Personality Development through Yoga

Personality Development through Yoga

Yogic practices are found effective for development of all dimensions of personality. Let us talk about the yogic practices that influences development of different dimensions of personality

Yoga and Physical Dimension of Personality: Physical dimension is related to our body. It means that all organs and systems of our body should be properly developed and function. It implies a healthy body without any disease. Yogic practices like asana, pranayama, and bandha play a beneficial role in physical development of children. There is a series of asanas and pranayamas which help to improve the functioning of the body.
Yoga and Emotional Dimension of Personality: Yogic practices are effective for development of emotional dimension related to our feelings, attitudes and emotions. There are two kinds of emotions–positive and negative. For example love, kindness are positive emotions, while anger and fear (exam phobia) are negative emotions. Similarly, our feelings and attitudes may be positive and negative. For emotional development, positive feelings, attitudes and emotions should be developed and negative ones should be controlled, as the negative attitudes and emotions work as a mental block for the development of personality. Yoga plays a crucial role in development of positive emotions. It brings emotional stability. It helps to control negative emotions. Yogic practices such as yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara and meditation help in emotional management. For example, the principle of non-violence will protect us from negative emotions and develop positive feelings of love and kindness. Similarly, other principles of yama and niyama will help to develop positive emotions and attitudes in our personal and social life and therefore help in the management of emotions. 
Yoga and Intellectual Dimension of Personality: Intellectual development is related to the development of our mental abilities and processes such as critical thinking, memory, perception, decision making, imagination, creativity, etc. Development of this dimension is very important as it enables us to learn new things and acquire knowledge and skills. Yogic practices such as asana, pranayama, dharana, dhyana (meditation) help to develop concentration, memory and thereby help in intellectual development. 

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Yoga and Social Dimension of Personality: Primary socialisation, probably the most important aspect of the personality development takes place during infancy, usually within the family. By responding to the approval and disapproval of parents and grandparents and imitating their examples, the child learns the language and many of the basic behaviour patterns of her/his society. The process of socialisation is not limited to childhood, but continues throughout life and teach the growing child and adolescent about the norms and rules of the society in which she/he lives. Some key elements of this process include respect for others, listening carefully to other persons, being interested in them, and voicing your thoughts and feelings politely, honestly and clearly so that you can be easily heard and understood. Principles of yama include these key elements and are very important as these helps us in the betterment of our relationships with our friends, parents, teachers and others. 

Yoga and Spiritual Dimension of Personality: This dimension is related to the development of values. It is also concerned with selfactualisation which is related to recognising one's potential and developing them to the maximum. Proper development of this dimension helps the person to realise one's true identity. For spiritual development, yama, niyama, pratyahara and dhyana (meditation) are helpful. Yama and niyama help to develop our moral values while pranayama, and meditation help us to realise our true self. Introspection is a very effective for the development of ‘self’

Yogic Practices for Personality Development

 In the following section, we will discuss some yogic practices which contribute to the development of various dimension of personality. We begin with Surya Namaskara. Prepare the body by performing yogic micro practices. 

Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)

Surya means 'sun' and namaskara means 'salutation' or 'bowing down'. It consist of 12 postures. The regular practice of surya namaskara helps improve blood circulation throughout the body and maintain health, and thereby helps one to remain disease-free. Postures practised during surya namaskara act as a good link between warm-ups and asanas. Surya namaskara should preferably be done at the time of sunrise. It can be done any time on an empty stomach. However, morning is considered to be the best time for it. Adolescents should start doing surya namaskara daily to have healthy body and mind.

Let us perform surya namaskar by following the steps given below

1. Stand erect with legs together and hands by the sides of the body. Bring both the arms to the chest with palms together in the prayer posture. (Namaskarasana).

2. Inhaling, raise both the arms above the head. Stretching bend the trunk backwards. (Hastottanasana)

3. Exhaling, bend the trunk forward and place the hands on the floor besides the feet and forehead near the knees. (Padahastasana).

4. Inhaling, stretch the right leg backward and bend the left leg at the knee. Tilt the head backward and, look up while arching the spine. (Ashwasanchalanasana)

5. Stretch the left foot backward by the side of right foot, lower your head and move buttocks upwards. Keep arms and legs straight and heels on the floor. (Parvatasana)
6. Lower the knees, chest and chin to the floor. Keep the hips slightly up. The toes, knees, chest, hands and chin should be touching the floor.(Ashtanga namaskara)

7. Lower the hips. Raise the head and torso upto the navel region. Bend the head backwards. (Bhujangasana)

8. Lower the head and trunk to the floor, now raising the buttocks and straightening the arms, bring feet towards the head. Head should be between the arms. Come to the postion 5.(Parvatasana)

9. By bending the right leg, bring it to the front between the hands. Take the left leg behind with knee touching the floor. Keep palms on both the sides of the right foot and head tilted backward and back arched. Look up. (Ashwasanchalanasana)

10. Exhaling, bring the left leg forward and keep it by the side of right leg. Keep the hands on the floor on sides of the feet and head near the knees. (Padahastasana) 11. Inhaling, raise both the arms above the head and bend the trunk backwards.(Hastottanasana) 12. Come to the erect and straight position. Join both palms in prayer posture. (Namaskarasana)

Benefits


• It helps to increase strength, endurance and flexibility. 
• It regulates all the systems of the body. 
• It improves concentration. 
• It helps in removing excess fat. 
• It helps in constipation and improves blood circulation in the body. 
• It energises the body. 
• It helps in increasing the height of the growing children and toning up the body. 
• It revitalises the body and refreshes the mind. 
• It stretches abdominal organs and improves digestion


Limitation 

• One should avoid practising surya namaskara in case of high blood pressure, fever, heart diseases, hernia, slipped disk, intestinal tuberculosis and sciatica. 

Tadasana (Palm Tree Posture)

 Tada in Sanskrit means 'palm tree'. This is called Tadasana because in this asana the student stands straight like a palm tree. Hence, it has been named Tadasana

Let us perform Tadasana by following the steps given below:
1. Stand erect, feet together, hands by the side of the thighs. Keep the back straight and gaze in front. 2. Stretch the arms upward, keep them straight and parallel with each other in vertical position, with the palms facing inward.
3. Slowly raise the heels as much as you can and stand on toes. Stretch body up as much as possible. Maintain the position for 5-10 seconds. 
4. To come back, bring the heels on the floor first. Slowly bring down the hands by the side of the thighs and relax

Benefits 

• It gives vertical stretch to whole body muscles. 
• It strengthens thighs, knees and ankles. 
• It helps improve height of the children. 
• This posture plays an important role in increasing one’s self-awareness. 
• It helps to remove laziness and lethargy. Limitation 
• Those having complaints of vertigo should not practice this asana.

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