Today, the modern age seems to be going through a great crisis. Science has revolutionized our life. It has considerably changed the old world by its wonderful new discoveries and inventions. No aspect of our life remains untouched of science. Technology has brought the sophistication where everything is almost achievable. However, in spite of this phenomenal growth in science and technology including the medical science, we still fall short for finding solutions to basic problem of stress and human wellbeing.
Modern stressful conditions and sedentary lifestyle has given rise to chronic diseases also known as non-communicable diseases (NCDs). All age groups are affected by NCDs. Unhealthy lifestyle, poor diet habits, rapid urbanization are some of the factors responsible for stress and disease. NCDs have complex etiology with prolonged course of illness and rarely does one achieve complete cure.
Given the non-contagious origin of such diseases and risk factors associated with behavior, lifestyle and environment we can safely bet on Yoga, which is a way of healthy living. Yoga now a day is widely recognized as health-care system which has all the necessary tools for health promotion. The whole practice of yoga can be put under four streams or paths. These are Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. They utilize the four major faculties in man – intellect, emotion, will-power and executive capacities through sensory and motor apparatus. Whatever form of yoga we practice, we need any one of these faculties which automatically put the yoga practice into any one of the above four paths of yoga. With the help of all four yoga we can work on all aspects of our personality.
By practicing all the four Yoga we can utilize all the faculties available with us. i.e. sensory and motor organs for working (Karma Yoga), Will-power for Meditation (Raja-Yoga), Intellect to reason out (Jnana-Yoga) and emotion to love (Bhakti-Yoga). Each yoga also has a corresponding effect on one of the kosha or layer of our personality. Operating on all these koshas to restore the balance is the method for handling these complex NCDs.
Yoga practices at the Annamaya Kosha level include asana (Raja Yoga). To restore balance in the Pranamaya Kosha level we use pranayama (Raja Yoga). For operating on Manomaya Kosha we use meditation and devotional session (Raja and Bhakti Yoga). Use of intellect (Jnana Yoga) to correct our notions helps us to operate at Vijnanamaya Kosha. Action in relaxation (Karma Yoga) brings out the state of bliss of Anandamaya Kosha.
Thus, the use of four Yoga is most suited for the modern man in order to have all-round development of personality and for health, happiness and peace in everyday life as well as for obtaining infinite bliss. In our Hatha Yoga TTC we introduce four streams of Yoga to students for better understanding of Yoga and spirituality.
Know more about four paths of Yoga here