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YOGA AND RELATIONSHIPS

Pauline Sebina

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We continue on yoga and relationships, it be marriage or just partners…

One participant testified that the Art of Living Happiness course had saved their marriage, which was on the verge of a divorce. During the course, upon doing the different processes, the participant realized their contribution to the unpleasant state of their marriage. That introspection was a revelation, coming from inside.

A few months later they did the course together with the spouse. The spouse kept on wondering why it had taken them so long to do the course. They felt great and their marriage got saved. This is just but one example to show that yoga does offer a practical solution to relationships, where each person goes inward to empty their own invisible bag that make our lives miserable.

The Happiness course teaches special breathing techniques/ pranayama, a bit of yoga stretches and a bit of meditation. It is a beautiful combination that causes you to release tension, the heaviness we carry from the past, bitterness, anger, unforgiveness and any other unpleasant emotion you can think of. The breath and emotions are linked. The more we learn to work with the breath, the better control we have of our emotions.

When other people give their views about your relationship, especially if the finger points towards you, the tendency is to defend oneself and only see the problem to be from the other person or the environment. Yoga is very personal, the only person it addresses is you. It has that ability to bring out the truth from inside. No one can argue with inner truth. It causes you to pause as you realize that the problem is not just from outside, it is largely from within.

Wouldn’t it be a better and stable world particularly for our children, to be in a space where we use the available natural tools like yoga, which give you a mirror to look within and find the well of happiness and contentment that we’ve been Blessed with, and not finding blame?

As we visit the court-houses we find divorce cases are frequent. Involved parties may consider wholistic yoga, to individually get to the root of their differences and possibly restore their marriages.

In 2019 Art of Living will conduct yoga retreats / workshops for couples who are willing to enrich or revive their relationships.
More next week

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YOGA corner

YOGA AND GOOD HEALTH.

Pauline Sebina

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World Health Organisation (WHO) defines health as “….a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of Art of Living, explains good health as disease free body, quiver free breath, inhibition free intellect, and ego that embraces all. From these definitions, and many others, it is clear that good health is a much broader phenomenon which affects the physical body and the more subtle aspects like mind, emotions, inner being and even covers wellbeing at a social level.

Let’s start with the aspect of social wellbeing, which takes us to the very first two Limbs of Yoga – the five Yamas and the five Niyamas. The first Limb being the five Yamas refers to one’s ethical standards and sense of integrity, focusing on our behavior and how we conduct ourselves in life. A quick recap of these include: non-violence; truthfulness; non-stealing; continence; non-covetousness.

The second Limb of the five Niyamas have to do with self-discipline and inner or spiritual observances. Examples are cleanliness – both inside and outside; contentment – when your happiness does not depend on what you have or what you don’t have; spiritual austerities being the ability to withstand the unpleasant, the discomforts of situations or place; the study of the sacred scriptures and of one’s self. Such study should lead or guide us to our inner person, to the peace within; and the last Niyama is about surrender to God, the Divine, or the higher consciousness or being.

Delving more into the human values found in the Yamas and Niyamas, undoubtedly social wellbeing has to start at a very early stage. We have a saying in Setswana that ‘lore lo ojwa lo sa le metsi” meaning that early learning is likely to be better entrenched as a lifetime value than teaching an older person.

We are aware that our young generation, who are our future, require a lot of guidance and mentoring on human values that would build them into a peaceful, caring, confident, and tolerant nation. Introducing yoga in schools may go a long way in leading us to a desirable socially healthy future. When our actions are guided by the human values espoused in the Yamas and Niyamas among others, good health required in social wellbeing becomes a given. More next week…….

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YOGA corner

Yoga and parenting

Pauline Sebina

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This week let’s consider the different growth stages of a child, as we delve further into yoga and parenting, and reminding you that by yoga I refer to the combo of physical stretches, the breathing techniques and meditation.

Starting the child with yoga at a very early stage is beneficial for the many reasons that we’ve already touched on. It builds a very strong value system in a child, which serves as a strong foundation for their development. For example, the benefits of mental calmness, emotional intelligence, physical fitness, good energy, focused mind, self-confidence, enlarged sense of belongingness with humanity, a tolerant mindset are all valuable pillars for growing a child. The benefits are far reaching at home, in school and in the society.

Following from above, when children who have been practicing yoga reach their teens, they are so grounded that the common pains of peer pressure, low self-esteem or being bullied are not even an issue for them. We all know that the teen stage is very fragile, and that’s where children lose their balance. They become easily influenced, start experimenting with smoking, alcohol, drugs, sex, etc.

We know that sometimes children are exposed to, and have to deal with many other social ills that are beyond their control, which cause a dent on their persona. But when a child has developed inner strength, self-confidence and self-discipline from practicing yoga, it goes a long way to keep them mentally stable and with clarity of purpose.

Children observe what their parents do. As a parent, when you also practice yoga it brings some assurance to the child that they in turn are doing a good thing. So as parents we do it for ourselves and also for the sake of our child.

As the child graduates to being a youth and young adult, all the good attributes we’ve shared above would have created a person with integrity, loving, sensitive to others, productive, focused, in all, a good and successful human being. Botho is one of our National Pillars, and creating a generation of young people with Botho would not only be a family wealth, but also a National wealth.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating. Art of Living has a schedule of different programs for 2019, providing opportunity to experience all the benefits shared above and more.
More next week.

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