In today’s society, yoga can be viewed as a tool for a healthy body and mind. The techniques of asana, pranayama, and meditation are usually practiced toward this goal.

While these three practices are important components of yoga, we must remember that a human being is composed of several different facets besides body and mind. We must also balance the emotions, the intuitive abilities, and the vital energy to live in complete harmony.

With yoga our awareness starts to expand beyond the body and mind and we encounter: one, prana, the vital multidimensional energy that keeps us alive and functioning, and two, emotions, which form an integral part of our life.

Prana is the expression of life—physical elation or sluggishness, mental clarity or confusion, emotional balance or imbalance is a manifestation of energy. Energy when managed through yoga leads to harmony and well-being on not just the physical level, but brings mental clarity and the ability for clear decision making on the psychological level, and awakens the dormant centers on the spiritual level. There are several yogic practices which directly influence the flow of energy, remove energy blocks, and allow us to awaken and increase the level of prana within the totality of our being.

Emotions hold incredible power. They have the ability to exalt or diminish the vital energy, which sustains our very life. Often emotions are repressed or suppressed leading to illness and imbalance on several levels. This reflects in our day-to-day interactions within the family, at work, or in society. When we are able to direct and channel our emotions in a healthy manner, we feel more positive and harmonious in our temperament and social interactions.
Through specific yogic techniques and practices, we can bring about an awareness and balance in these intricately interwoven areas. When we start to look beyond the body and begin harmonizing ourselves at various levels, we eventually discover our latent potential, leading to a more fulfilling and enriched life!

Swami Satyadharma Saraswati is a master teacher, from the satyananda yoga tradition developed by Paramahamsa Satyananda, and will be offering two programs in the Bay Area based on these principles.

Vishalakshi Rao is the secretary of North American Gurukul.www.northamericangurukul.org.
Swami Satyadharma Saraswati programs: Awakening Prana on Saturday, Aug. 20 and Opening the Heart on Sunday, Aug 21. Please check IC event listings for details.

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