Creating happiness with yoga
By Simon Borg-Olivier MScBAppSc(Physiotherapy)
Course Coordinator / Lecturer Master of Wellness Degree, RMIT University, Melbourne; Director Yoga Synergy, Sydney
& Bianca Machliss BScBAppSc(Physiotherapy) Director Yoga Synergy, Sydney
Yoga can be thought of as the art of creating happiness for yourself and those around you. Yoga has physical and non-physical aspects. All physical exercise, including posture, movement and breathing can be thought of as types of physical yoga. Non-physical yoga deals with your mind. It includes things like concentration, meditation, how you choose to feel and how you choose to approach your life.
Physical yoga is described in yogic texts by the Sanskrit expression “sthira sukham asanam” (asanam = physical activites; sukham = happy, relaxed, calm; sthira = firm, steady, energised, strong), which can be translated as ‘physical activities should be practiced in a way that is firm but calm with your mind steady and happy’. Physical yoga can create happiness by simultaneously relaxing and rejuvenating you. One of the main aims of physical yoga is to develop the ability to effortlessly deal with life and its challenges, so that you can experience life in a joyful manner. By practicing yoga and improving the quality and quantity of your life, you can have a more positive effect on your loved ones, your community and the environment.
Relaxation is the opposite of stress or tension. Dictionaries define it as the aim of recreation and leisure activities. It is the essence of what can make you happy. To be fully effective, relaxation of your muscles, nerves, brain and your emotions i.e. the whole body-mind, needs to be addressed. Yoga can help you to achieve relaxation by using simple techniques that regulate your muscles and nerves and help to direct the way you choose to think and feel.
Rejuvenation is the process of feeling young again or creating beneficial changes that lead to happiness. Young people and especially children are renowned for their high energy and vitality and for having a positive approach to things in their life. Yoga uses simple techniques to generate energy and move it though the body. Yoga can increase circulation and improve health and vitality without needing to make the heart beat faster. So you can feel energies yet calm, content and happy at the same time.
This is video of ABC news report of the Happiness Conference in Sydney 2010. There is a few seconds of one of the Yoga Synergy classes towards the end of the report!
In my presentation I gave a lecture on how to achieve happiness through yoga – The following is an extract of the presentation which was attended by about 1500 people. We did a short asana class as well with them as well, which may have been the largest class we have ever taught.
Further television news reports are available below:
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