Yoga has attracted global attention in the Modern Age of Anxiety. Every country in the world has the presence of Yoga in one form or other. Yoga is secular, knows no boundaries of race, creed and religion as everyone who aspires for peace, progress and perfection does practice yoga
Since ages, yoga has been practised for one and only one reason i.e. Self-realization. The state of self-realization is also known as enlightenment, witnessing one consciousness everywhere (Kavailya), that combines the discovery of inner space generally termed as spiritual consciousness (spiritual consciousness which is beyond all religions) with achievements and attainments in the outer space in terms Health, Harmony, Happiness, Peace, Prosperity and Success in our personal, professional social and spiritual lives.
Yoga is most popular because of its capacity to bring about the optimum level of physical well being, flexibility, muscular strength, vitality, improved posture and blood circulation, unique ability to stretch tendons, muscles and ligaments are only a few of many benefits the practitioner gets. Yoga offers a unique and holistic lifestyle, qualitative living, emotional poise, mental peace and journey to the unknown, potentials lying latent within all living beings. Yoga is fundamentally a science of living that offers means, tools and practices to live, move and act in harmony and peace, even in the midst of problems.
Swami Vivekananda- the first monk who travelled across the globe and popularized yoga, rightly said, that “Yoga is a process of compressing one’s evolution in a single year or a few months or a few hours of earthly existence”. This definition of yoga is highly relevant in the present age as it integrates both ancient and modern wisdom. It further relates the ancient science of Yoga with the different states of consciousness, ultimately awakening to new and higher states of consciousness which are beyond normal consciousness that is associated with the mind. Maharshi Aurobindo, further redefined Yoga in modern terms as “Self Conscious finding is Yoga.” Sri Aurobindo, by declaring “all life is Yoga’’ has made the modern man aware about the importance of this ancient science in managing problems and sufferings that plague him in all his activities.
A modern man highly mesmerized by the paradigm of science started looking towards yoga through a rational and empirical approach, in his search for solutions to the immediate problems and sufferings confronting him; this resulted into multiple applications of yoga to human life i.e. disease management, healthy lifestyle, mental peace, emotional balance and poise, awakening the practitioner to potentials lying latent within him.
The research studies done during the past five decades on the different practices of yoga have now suggested that yoga can be safely applied as an adjunctive /alternative therapy system aiding in the management of a vast array of problems/maladjustments viz. personal, professional and social problems etc. The ancient wisdom of Yoga consciously entered into the life of modern man through many divergent routes each bearing a different name i.e. the science of healthy living, the art of living, an alternative system of medicine etc but the very philosophy remained the same i.e. knowing oneself thereby bringing about total transformation.