by Swami Vishnudevananda
Yoga is a life of self-discipline base on the tenets of ‘simple living and high thinking’. The body is a vehicle for the soul and has specific requirements which must be fulfilled for it to function smoothly and supply the optimum mileage. These requirements may be seen metaphorically in relationship to those of another vehicle. An automobile requires five things: a lubricating system; a battery; a cooling system; fuel; and a responsible driver behind the wheel. Now let us look at our human needs.
1. Proper exercise
Proper Exercise acts as a lubricating routine to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility.
2. Proper breathing
Proper Breathing aids the body in connecting to its battery, the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. When tapped through specific yoga breathing techniques (pranayama), this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation.
3. Proper relaxation
Proper Relaxation cools down the system, as does the radiator of a car. When the body and mind are continually overworked, their efficiency diminishes. Relaxation is nature`s way of recharging the body.
4. Proper diet
Proper Diet provides the correct fuel for the body. Optimum utilisation of food, air, water, and sunlight is essential.
5. Proper thinking or meditation
Positive Thinking and Meditation puts you in control. The intellect is purified. The lower nature is brought under conscious control through steadiness and concentration of mind.