Blog post by: Yogacharya Ankit Garg.

Yoga is the English word for ‘Yog’. Actually Yog is a hindi word which literally means ‘sum or union’.

Usually there is a disconnect between our actions & mind as it keeps jumping in and out of the subject like a wild monkey. But there are few times when we are able to be submerged into the concerned subject and our mind and actions unite together, lose their exclusivity and become one. This is then the Yog comes into existence.

So Yog might be the new word for us but we all have experienced it inadvertently. Whenever you find your time is flying, minutes into seconds and hours into hour, Yog is happening. For instance; while writing examination you are well prepared for, watching an intriguing movie, playing with your kid, breastfeeding your baby, eating your favourite food etc. And whenever Yog happens, we enjoy the purest form of emotions, are able to utilise our senses to their extremities by default and gets the maximum output.

But the problem is we are unable to attain Yog when require it most because our mind follows our heart like a servant and if heart doesn’t feel to do a certain task, mind does try but not able to muster threshold amount of courage to, bypass heart, become his master’s master and deliver his peak performance. Having failed repeatedly, mind gradually loses his confidence to defeat powerful heart  so usually don’t dare to attempt what master doesn’t feel to get done and if tries against master’s will ever then is not able to unite with ongoing action or achieving Yog due to constant confrontation with heart. And this is the main root of agony in human life.

In Bhagwat Gita, Lord Krishna keeps reminding Arjuna to rein his senses ( Indriyas) with the wisdom’s help which is indispensable to perform the duty.

Since this confrontation between heart (senses, Indriya) and mind (Intellect, wisdom) has been happening from time immemorial, Sage Patanjali, around 400 C.E, designed a detailed methodology, to make human being capable to rein his senses (indriyas) as well as body for comprehensive development, known as Patanjali Yog Sutra.

It is quite evident that the origin of Yoga took place thousands of years ago in India. The Pashupati Seal dated around 2350-2000BC, discovered in Indus Valley civilization shows the figure of a Yogi sitting in the lotus posture which is considered to be of Lord Shiva. And pre-historic paintings at Bhimbetka rock dated 10,000BC have had evidences of Shiva dancing, trident and mount Nandi.

It is quite interesting to know how the human journey starts with heart as a master and mind as servant and then each human being has to fight his own battle to dethrone heart and get his mind   the master’s seat.

Actually, intellect requires its sweet time to be developed in human body; a human being in his childhood is meant to be governed by his heart (senses) primarily. As he grows physically so does mentally, he is supposed to and should be governed by his intellect ( mind ) being developed each day from exposure, education and analysis.  This is the time when role reversal has to take place but heart doesn’t want to lose his dynasty at any cost. And the battle begins only for few who are fortunate to be reminded of their mind power as Jamvant did remind Lord Hanumana His power so that He could perform His duty, reached Lanka and conveyed Lord Rama’s message to Sita.


This is a herculean task, needs a rigorous systematic training right from the childhood when a human-psyche is taking shape. Having sensed its importance, our Rishis developed an education system “Gurukul” where students would have to stay in a hermitage & master their body, senses (heart) and develop intellect with the help of Yoga and studying various other subjects.

With the onset of British rule, Macaulay’s education system replaced our Gurukul system and felled Yoga -tree down. But its roots remained intact as were very deep in Indian culture.

And when the world begins being burnt in the diseases and depression, the yoga- shoot emerges out, soon grows into such a giant tree this time which takes almost entire world under its non-discriminatory shade.

Before we try to understand yoga insurgency in the past two decades, we must first discover what has led the world to the brink of ecstasy-crisis today, an important question to answer as well as a warning for the human race.

As the population boomed in the mid-20th century (from 2.5 to 5 billion) the demand increased at much faster pace than supply which expedited the development in all technological, non-technological fields whether transportation, industrial, communication, education, medical, agriculture etc., to meet the demands rising indiscriminately. But every development has its cost too and this time cost was the metamorphosis of care-compassion driven human race into commodity- comparison driven.

Two human traits played a key role in this nearly perfect transformation; the constant craving for change and curiosity for the changed, do compel any human being to, explore ‘what is new’, and possess that. Consequently, the money which would earlier have limited varieties to be consumed in, is now less in number than the available commodities to be awe of. For instance; Selecting suitable colour for your home is as tedious today as selecting suitable partner for yourself and you can consume more money in the bathroom than the entire house’s cost.

Earlier people would be compared & judged on the number and type of intangibles but now on tangibles like car, phone, clothes, jewellery etc.

This new transformed human race has been somewhere finding its felicity and identity in commodities & security in money rather in compassion, virtues and relationships. This affinity towards non-living things spares inadequate space for loving living beings and value relationships. This materialism becomes the biggest reason for struggling relationships results in an in-apparently lonely life. And machines, of course, have made life faster but body slow and fragile.

If 21st century is the era of artificial intelligence, it is witnessing the artificialization of lives as well which has positioned two main obstacles before human race to move ahead; Physical and Psychological fragility.

The sedentary life style has restricted body’s movement drastically, makes limbs weak, joints immobile and gives birth to various new diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, Slipped-disc, Constipation, Infertility and many more.

The commodities-stricken mind loses its that already liitle ability to remain equanimous in emotional turmoil. WHO study says the depression will be the second leading cause of diseases by 2020. That’s why WHO ran a campaign on last year’s world health day dedicated to depression with a slogan: Let’s Talk.

It is pretty obvious from 21st June as the International Yoga Day that the World is acknowledging Yoga as an appropriate antidote which can remove both these obstacles effectively.

Sage Patanjali has synthesized yoga to impart not only physical health but mental and social health as well for one’s complete well being. It has total eight limbs so known as “Ashtanga Yoga” too. These eight limbs are as following;

Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahar, Dharna, Dhyana and Samadhi.

The first four disciplines are external observations primarily known as Hatha-Yoga while last three disciplines are mental disciplines known as Raja-Yoga (king of Yoga). The middle fifth limb acts as a bridge between external disciplines and internal (mental disciplines).

Different forms of physical activities like cycling, gymming, running, swimming, aerobics, different games are able to counter physical fragilities only partially as none of them is able to massage abdominal organs and arch spinal cord which is indispensable to strengthen our trunk.

Yama and Niyama teach one social and personal conduct. Asanas and Pranayama are meant to work on physical body. Asanas have the ability to heal the targeted organs specifically like Mandook asana, Ardhmatsayendra-asana Yog-mudra, Bhujang-asana, & Utkat-asana target Pancreas, Liver, Large -intestine, Spinal cord & Quadriceps respectively.

When all the medicinal-practises have failed in mitigating psychological fragility (depression), world has found meditation as a rescuer but is unware of the fact that meditation is the 7th limb of Patanjali Yoga. Meditation is an art for being able to think what you want to think and not to think what you do not want to think.

While attaining physical health by practising Hatha- yoga, a follower begins his inward journey via Pratyahaar (withdrawal of senses from outer environment) and then learns how to rein his senses (indriyas / heart) by practising Dharna and then Dhyana (Meditation). In this way, our mind realises his real power to control our heart and utilises his services as a subordinate.

Whether a student or a sprinter, an athlete or an administrator, a teacher or a techy, it is the emotional quotient ( E.Q ) rather intelligence quotient ( I.Q) , that provides an edge; E.Q is directly proportional to one’s mental strength. And yoga is the best way to achieve that.