What is life style change according to yoga?
A yogic life style lived in joy and satisfaction forms the core of this life style change. It is an attitudinal change at the psychological level. If we look at all the risk factors for CHD, one can see that it requires a total change in one's attitude to refrain totally from smoking, change the food habits, and lead a stress free life. Otherwise even this forced life style change which is usually practiced after an event of CHD could become a cause for stress and suppression. Hence yoga recommends a basic change in our attitude towards right living. Let us see how yoga can be a tool for this life style change to prevent or reverse heart disease.
Yoga, not only provides the philosophical or logical back up in the form of right concepts to answer why one should lead a life of moderation with control over one's instinctual behavioural patterns, but also provides highly evolved time tested techniques for healthy living. For example, Yama and Niyama, the first two components of Astanga yoga described by Patanjali, the concepts of Karma Yoga from Bhagavat Gita, Bhakti Yoga from Narada Bhakti Sutra and Jnana Yoga from Upanisads addresses the basic concept about one's purpose and meaning of life style. Starting from many do's and don'ts (Niyama and Yama) to culture the mind during interaction in the society yoga gives simple norms for right living, Yoga helps one to climb up the pedestals to the climax of Jnana or Moksha where the individual could live in perfect harmony and bliss unperturbed by the waves of joys or depression of life.
The clue to right living is summarized in Bhagavat Gita as:
He who is moderate in food, activity, entertainment, sleep, and wakefulness attains Yoga which destroys suffering.
Yuktaharaviharasya Yuktacastasya karmasu
Yuktasvapnavabodhasya Yogo bavati dukhaha
Yoga, which rids one of woe, is accomplished only by him who is regulated in diet and recreation, regulated in performing actions, and regulated in sleeping and waking.
Natyasntastu Yogosti Na Caikantmanasnatah
Na cati swapnasilasya jagrato Naiva carjuna ||
Arjuna, this Yoga is not for him who eats too much, not for him who does not eat at all, nor for him who is given to too much sleep, nor for who is ceaselessly awake.
The right thigh should be in front of the left thigh and top of the right foot should rest on the calf of the left leg.
Bend the elbows and bring them in front of the chest.
Twist the forearm around the other with the left elbow remaining below.
Place the palms together to resemble an eagle's beak.
Slowly bend the left knee and lower the body until the tip of the right big toe touches the floor. Keep the eye focused on the fixed point.
Maintain the position for about a minute.
Repeat the same with the other side.
Relax in Tadasana.