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Balanced Yoga as important as Balanced Diet

By Arun Goel 

What am I? A personality.

What is personality? A combination of body, style, emotions and intellect.

So when we talk about bettering ourselves, it should not be just about physical improvement but improving our personality, our entire being.

A poor man is poor, not only because of less money. He is poor because `perhaps', he does not have the intelligence of how to earn; or he does not have a fit and healthy body; or he lacks the attitude, the will and emotional balance to work. In such a case, the poor man has to work on some or all aspects of his personality for a better living. Working on just his health and intelligence may not be enough. He has to develop the willingness, the right emotion as well.

We all are aware that we need to have a balanced diet - the right proportion of proteins , carbohydrates, minerals and vitamins. Having too much or too less of any of these nutrients will lead to an imbalanced body and disease. Similarly, our personality too needs to be fed the right balance of emotion, intellect and physical components.

Yoga has several branches - Hatha or Raja Yoga for body development; Gyana Yoga for the intellect and knowledge; Bhakti Yoga for faith; Karma Yoga for action and service.

These yoga practices must be combined for greater results. Balanced yoga will lead to a balanced personality- an Integrated Personality - a personality with less psychological, emotional and physical problems.

No one aspect of yoga should be over-emphasized.

Too much of Bhakti Yoga will make a person fatalistic - "This happened because of God" , "I couldn't sleep because of God" , The grass is green because of God . It brings an imbalance.

Too much of Gyana Yoga makes a person an intellectual. He wouldn't do anything as it is easier to just sit and think. The person starts lacking in other aspects of his personality. Emphasis on Hatha Yoga will just make you too body conscious. The personality will not be strong enough to handle emotional and mental crisis.

The right proportion of all yoga aspects is vital for a balanced and healthy personality. One should practice 70% Karma Yoga (Action and service), 20% Hatha yoga (postures and Pranayama), 5% Gyana yoga (Knowledge) and 5% Bhakti Yoga (Devotion) for happiness and health.

Mothers might as well start advising balanced yoga along with balanced meals to their kids!

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