Yoga psychology is both a positive and a normative science. It not only analyses human personality and its growth, but sets normative ideals and prescribes techniques to achieve such objectives, as well. Thus, expansion of consciousness and making oneself the master of his /her mind are the broad objectives of yoga psychology. The topological aspect of mind as described by Freud in terms of conscious, subconscious and unconscious levels was well detailed in the yogic literature, thousands of years ago. The sound practice of yoga enables one to have a disease-free body and keen intellect.
The book, thus, details the impact of various yoga practices on psychology and specifies that consciousness has a wider conation in yoga. Yoga presents vivid and sound meditation procedures for the attainment of psychic consciousness through the awakening of kundalint. Homeostasis or balance is the central principle in yoga psychology, and it holds that any sort of imbalance in the system - physical, psychological or pranic-creates disorders and the solution lies in rebalancing it. Here comes the role of yogic psychotherapies such as prarthana, mantra sadhana, spiritual counseling, pranayama, yajna, sankirtana, svildhyaya and vrata anusthana.
This volume enunciates that yoga psychology is an applied science, and thus has remedies for many individual and social problems. It deals at large with the application and benefits of yogic practices in developing one's personality traits and leveraging them further to keep him/her happy and experience a blissful life.
Dr Kamakhya Kumar, an eminent Yoga scholar and researcher, is a senior faculty member at the School of Yoga and Health at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya, Haridwar. Having an extensive research experience in Yoga science, in which he holds a PhD as well, he guides researchers in five universities in India.
Dr Kumar has an extensive experience in teaching Yoga in, various universities, facilitating Yoga training and addressing workshops on Positive Attitude, Life Management, Stress Management, Mind Management, etc.
Dr Kumar is the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Yoga and Allied Sciences, and has over ten books and about fifty research papers to his credit. He has handled various administrative and organizational posts, including the Chief Co-coordinator of Yoga Arogya Polyclinic at Dev Sanskriti Vishwavidyalaya.
It is special task of joy to write a foreword to a book that can bring happiness to those yoga students yoga lovers and yoga aspirant who want to understand the Yoga-Psychology well.
Great truths are universally relevant and consequently defy every: attempt at definition. Same is the case with yoga and psychology. Yoga being the union of the individual soul with the supreme soul is universal in appeal. Yoga as spiritual union signifies the soul union with god, the practice of yoga then is a process of self discovery and therefore yoga is not a practice for achieving outward result like poise, muscular co-ordination or the development of artistic or intellectual skills. Likewise psychology is not merely a practice of achieving mental health through psychotherapy rather it is the science of mind unveiling the secrets of the different stages of mind like conscious unconscious and super conscious mind.
Yoga as union implies perfect harmony of body mind and spirit. On a physical level it implies glowing health on mental level it implies the harmonious integration of the personality and the corresponding elimination of psychological complexes and on the soul level yoga implies union of the little self with the greater self of the ego with the vastness of cosmic awareness and as stated earlier of the individual soul with its infinite source: God.
Maharshi Patanjali in his Yoga-Sutras says: Yoga is the inhibition (nirodha) of the medications (vrtti) of the mind. Now that yoga is the inhibition or cessation of mental waves it is of course essential to understand the mind first which we have in psychology. Therefore without proper knowledge or understanding of mind we can’t understand the happening like the inhibition of mental waves which occur during the higher practice of yoga like Samadhi. In asampajanata Samadhi there is the complete or total end of the mind. It is the state of mind where occurs the divine union of the individuals soul with the supreme soul. That is why this Samadhi is also known as the seedless (nirbija Samadhi). Therefore for a better understanding of such divine phenomena it is course essential to understand the science of mind and the psychology of yoga first. This is what the book present in detail.
The book advocates a holistic view of yoga-psychology it beautifully blend yogic knowledge along with its psychology for a better understanding of yoga. I do hope the readers will not only find the book interesting and stimulating but also respond to it through personal experience and enjoyment.
Yoga is science common to all and the whole humanity in its true nature of efficacy results and applications. We all can derive satisfaction from it in our own way that too without any preoccupied notion and ill effects. There are three are three dimensions of yoga: yoga and objective body; yoga and subjective mind and yoga and consciousness. In fact these are not three separate dimensions they are three facets of the same super science. It is the only science which ahs the message for the body the mind and the consciousness and all three work together without ringing the bell. Most of the times integral components of yoga practices yield these effects through the operational mechanism known as mind body consciousness although the outcome is denoted merely as bodily changes. Only by understanding the psychological phenomena well a researcher can explain the scientific principles behind the multifaceted effects of yogic practices.
The linkage between the mind and body particularly in reference to yogic sciences was widely accepted in the ancient wisdom and oriental learning but later developed in the ancient wisdom and oriental learning but later developed an artificial dichotomy between these two components. Modern medical science focuses only on body as something which is apart from the mind. However psychosomatic linkage have now got its due importance both modern medical practitioners and therapists of Indian tradition it has now been proved by scientific researches beyond doubt that yoga practices brings in better equilibrium in the autonomic function and metabolic rate at one hand and neurohumoral functions at the other, so that the state of both physical can mental well being is a achieved. This itself reflects that physiological and psychological conditionings go hand in hand and operate simultaneously.
The ultimate aim and goal of yogic science is not only to attain optimum physical and mental health but also to eliminate the level of unconsciousness of an individual practicing it. The pathway of mechanism for attaining such goals may be vivid but one thing is very clear that for attaining such goals one has understand follow and nourish the body and mind simultaneously. In that way psychology of yga has its own importance. Its basic principle need to be documented in terms modern physiology and psychology. In fact it is the need of the hour.
Kamakhya kumar is a scholar of yoga. He has not only studied the fundamental principles based on the original text but also has applied it while treading the patients suffering from various psychosomatic disorders. He has a long experience of teaching and research in the field of yogic physiology and psychology. In this yoga psychology book he has explained all the relevant aspects of psychotherapy based on yogic principles. Various techniques of yogic psychotherapy like prayer mantra sadhana spiritual counseling of yajna sankirtana savadhyaya and vrata anusthana are well elaborated. All these techniques so far were found scattered here and there and needed patent and scientific explanation. Kumar has done be an commendable work and I hope it will be an utmost useful monograph for students scholars and practitioners.
I wish him all success in his sacred endeavour of serving the heritage of yoga.
The importance of yoga is in its amenability in rendering the entire content of the human psychology in term of consciousness. No doubt scriptures produced world over have contributed to the moderation of human psychology so as to check its inherent violent nature throughout the ages. If there had not been check of this nature in the forms of scriptural prescription man would have left the world in havoc. Today man is faced with the practical utilities of science which have negated the utility appeal and vale of these scripture in this process of evaluation modern psychology has played an important role. Physical science would have abstained itself from entering the domain of spirituality had not psychology attacked the inherent consciousness and sided with physical sciences exclusively to explain the phenomenon of consciousness as a by-product of the physical form like the carvakas. Man finding himself defenseless took resort to faith and declared it as inviolable but this inviolability has also been shaken and sooner or later it too has given way to thorough analysis for its tenability. In this exercise faith does not seem to have any bright future on account of its sheer non-rationality.
Herein lies the advantage of Vedic Yoga since its entire structure is based on consciousness as the basic stuff of creation in all its form and varieties. Vedic seers by means of deep meditation were able to see through everything howsoever gross and mightily tangible it was as a formation of consciousness. This has been the finding of not one or two seers but of many seers living over a million sq. km of the Indian soil for thousands of years in insolated groups sequestered from one another by considerable distance and hurdled by rivers forests and wild animals. Despite all these points of distraction their common concurrence on consciousness as the essential stuff of creation is astounding and much more than the modern physicist discovery boosted the efforts of the psychologist to create a psychology with matter as basic stuff the Vedic seers left the entire legacy of consciousness as the same sort of stuff to think of the possibility of formulating a psychology of the psyche.
When we study the present situation we find that the modern psychology reigning between the tension of opposite the real and the ideal. The is our past animal nature Pulling us back to itself in the form of instinctive drives while the ideal is our effort to make adjustment in the mode of fulfillment of our instinctive drives so as to conform to the social norms of the day. The animal nature is self-seeking while the ideal conforms to the social norms requiring moving beyond sheer self interest so as to concede to the requirement of other involved in the given situation be they member of family neighbors classmates colleagues or any sort of people who have an interest to be share with. It is only around this point that the modern psychology is moving under different denomination behavioural transactional industrial educational marital psychoanalytical to name just a few. The interaction of the opposites creates tension while the psychologist is seeking to remove the same through adjustment and readjustment. On account of having adopted the norms of physical sciences the modern psychology envisages the human life as a machine to be kept on working properly unmindful of any aim or objective before it in any sense. If a living being particular a human begins to be treated as a machine how can it be expected to have an objective of its own apart from its amenability to exploration by its owner?
If the human conscience is left with anything alive in it that seeks fulfillment it can be fulfilled through Vedic yoga and can have the joy of that fulfillment in abundance without turning to anywhere else. This is due to its basic postulate of consciousness as the sources and essence of everything. According to it even the instinctive life can be explained in terms of consciousness as its source and basis. Explanation for it is to be found in concentricity of consciousness i.e. consciousness in the form of individual consciousness. It needs to be understood that consciousness is prone as much to concentricity as to extensity as has been said by Ksemaraja in his commentary on spanda-Karika:
The creative power of consciousness is always engaged in exercising her energy in enjoying the taste of manifestation and yet her energy is never depicted. She is the wave of the ocean of consciousness the volitional power of the consciousness.
The methods of yoga can be pursued without recourse to any dogma and they require the same reigour as science insists, namely, observation, experimentation and verification by repeatable experience. Yoga can be looked upon as the experiential basis for philosophical speculation and conclusions and if rightly used it can be a bridge between philosophy and science.
Yoga claims that it has developed methods which can deal with the supra physical at rigorously and as objectively as modern science deals with physical phenomena. Yoga claims that its methods can deal both with the physical and supra-physical and if needed can deal encouraged it could develop an integral science of both the physical and their interrelationship.
Our ancient literature and the India philosophy are pregnant with yogic sciences. Unfortunately for non-Sanskrit knowing people the literature of yoga are to be found in the upanisads and the Bhagavad-Gita those in many translations are within your reach but they are general not special they give you the main principles but do not tell you about the methods in any detailed manner.
The special literature of yoga is first of all many of the minor upanisads the hundred and eight as they are called. Then comes the enormous mass of literature called tantra. These book have an evil significance in the ordinary English ear, but not quite rightly. The Tantras are very useful books very valuable and instructive all occult science is to be found in them. But they are divisible into three classes: those that deal with white magic those that deal with black magic and those the deal with we may all grey magic a mixture of the two. Now magic is the word which covers the methods of deliberately bringing about super normal physical states by the action of the will.
Through the sound practice of yoga, one can attain a disease free body as well as keen intellect. Yogasikopanisad mention that this body is the abode of siva hence a yogi considered the body as a temple and keep it healthy for further development of consciousness.
Today life has become more competitive fast and individualistic, and as such more stress full. This has given rise to a lot of psychosocial problem reflected in interpersonal irritations to the breaking up of conjugal life families and society at large. The social scenario as highlighted in the media is full of violence corruption and crimes of all sort. Can yoga work as an effective intervener in controlling or containing these social maladies which are threatening the very existence of human society? Psychologists agree that these problems are rooted in the human psyche. So along the line of the united nations organization (UNO) emblem we must resolve to fight them in the minds of men and instead of given sermons and preaching to other it must start from onself. From this viewpoint yoga is a valuable instruments.
So far we discuss the objective theories and principles of yoga it is science because of its practices and application. Yoga believes in the basic reality of individual differences and so no yogic practice can be effective for all. As per predispositions of human personality some people are dynamic and action oriented for whom hatha-yoga and karma yoga would be more effective. Similarly for emotional persons bhakti yoga for intellectual persons jnana yoga and for intuitive introvert people raja yoga can be most beneficial and effective. However instead of placing a person under a specific personality type it is more scientific to provide the appropriate package of yogic practices for an individual keeping in mind his specific needs and personality make-up.
Re-emerging yogic science on the basis of its theoretical models practical approach and exploratory studies has given high hopes of being an effective intervener for the promotion of health subjective well being and desired societal transformation. It is very rich in management techniques and practices which may be applied in different field of life demanding stress management confidence building and promotion of mental and spiritual health. It is a fruitful field for fundamental and applied research and teaching at higher levels by behavioural scientist particularly psychologists. Now it is high time that the indigenous knowledge of yoga and yoga psychology is suitably incorporated as a subject of study of study research and service in the universities and institutes running professional courses.
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