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Daily Yoga for you at home and work. This is the conclusive part of Newsletter series on yoga - particularly "Karma yoga", which each of us can practice at home and work and greatly benefit. Different aspects of Yoga, like "pranayama", "Meditation", and "Relaxation exercises" have been described in our earlier communications. The last part of yoga is "Asanas". Asanas consists of gentle coordinated movements and positioning of different parts of our body to make our physical body flexible and healthy. These asanas can be learnt either from illustrated books on yoga or ideally learnt directly from a yoga teacher or "Guru".

An alternate simple method of keeping the body flexible is to gently perform full movements of all parts from head to foot in a systematic manner. The movements should be gentle, to the maximum painless limit at each joint and synchronised with breathing. If one set of movements is associated with inspiration (breathing in), the opposite movement is executed during expiration (breathing out). Each movement is repeated 5 - 10 times. Start with neck movements, move all the joints of the upper limbs, follow it by movements of the trunk - chest, abdomen, spine, the hips, all joints of lower limbs including the foot and finally toes. Ideally, these exercises / movements done under the guidance of a Yoga or a physiotherapist.

"karma yoga" can be followed by anyone, at any age and sex and doing any profession or work. Yoga is to "Discipline" our body, mind and spirit maximum benefit in terms of physical health, mental peace, spiritual well being and lasting happiness. "Happiness of a unique and indescribable nature" will finally - sooner or later - experienced if we keep along the disciplined path of Yoga.

  • Set a definite time for doing some of the Yogic Practices like Pranayama, Meditation, Relaxation, Asanas and some physical workout / aerobic exercises like walking, jogging, swimming or game of tennis or squash. You need to allot 60 to 90 minutes, preferably early morning. The most important aspect of this regime is "regularity". Do it daily ; do it without fail.
  • Do your duty to your family, friends, clients and the general public in a principled and proper way. Do not harm others; do not take unfair advantage of anyone you come in contact with. Follow the general principles and accepted norms in all your dealings. Maintain punctuality; do your alloted work sincerely and to the best of your ability. "Pusuit of Excellence" in your profession or job will be the general guideline.
  • Take a healthy diet, incorporating fresh fruits and fresh vegetables daily. Take your meals at more or less regular times. Food items which are highly spiced / pungents are to be minimised, preferably avoided. Even if you are a non vegetarian, restrict non veg. items and make it a point to include fibrous vegetarian items in every meal.
  • Try and maintain a balanced attitude and Mind: Do strive to achieve higher goals in your profession; put the stamp of "excellence" in all your actions / deeds. But be calm and unaffected whether you achieve your goal or not; whether you surpassed your peers or not.Your aim should be to surpass your own limits of skills and achievements!
  • Do set a routine or even a daily time table for all your activities and try to work within that framework, more or less. It may be modified now and then depending on changing circumstances.
  • Have a little time to spend with your own self. This may be used for prayer, silent introspection or to analyse and solve any sort of problem at home or work.
  • Devote some time for reading. Reading on the subject of your profession to catch up with the developments and keep pace with them is essential. Secondly some reading on the subject of life itself, the purpose of life or religious writings may be pursued as per your inclinations.
  • Above all be contented; be happy. This is not difficult. It only needs your consent. If you decide to be contented and be happy you are!

    It is easy to practise YOGA in your own life; Whatever you are and wherever you are. Bring order in your life; set rules for youself; set your own standards, but set it high! Follow a "Disciplined Life"; that is YOGA!

Dr. M.Mohan Rao, MBBS,MS,FICS,MCH,

M.D. & Chief Surgeon, Dr. U Mohan Rau Memorial Hospital.


Updated on 01.12.2003.

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