Yogis, saints and rishis(sages) are highly respected for the simple reason that they are simple and treat all the worldly things that we (the average humans) are so attached to, as impediments to self growth and realization of oneself.
We need not really strive hard to emulate them and start doing penance under the shade of a tree. But we certainly can follow some of their practices to attain peace within ourselves, in this stress filled modern world. Life has become so mechanical, materialistic and competitive that the tension and stress building up as a result of this is enormous.
The changing work environments
As a result of the global village concept, and a huge outsourcing business market available to the Indian firms, especially the IT and IT enabled services (BPOs and others), the whole scenario has transformed and a changed pattern is followed with respect to the working hours, lifestyles and food habits. The health of the professionals is taking a beating. A lot of stress related illnesses are diagnosed. The employees are also losing mental wellness.
Students and the stress factor
In order to match the growing demands of the global employment markets, the students (professional students/non professional ones) are put to a lot of grind round the clock. The aspects of recreation, learning in joyous and serene environments have just faded and given way to severe stress inducing competition oriented teaching/training methodologies. Also due to lack of values in the education methodology poor personalities are coming out.
There are a lot of instances of students who land lucrative job offers during the campus placement drives but proved to be failures on the job front over a period of time. This is clearly due to over emphasis on becoming competitive, while forgetting the finer aspects of personality development during their student life.
Some possible remedial measures
It is strongly advised that the educational institutions and parents likewise should find ways and means of providing recreation to the students by including at least one hour of sports and games activity and a regular practice of yoga and meditation on a daily basis, in the curriculum.
Steps taken by some corporate houses and educational institutions
It's heartening to note that some educational institutions have realized the importance of the above practices and dedicated exclusive practice halls and rooms for meditation and yoga. Like wise some corporate houses provide in house facilities for sports activities and the necessary paraphernalia for practicing yoga and meditation. The above measures are proved to be sure steps for achieving a balanced mind and physical fitness.
Benefits of Yoga & Meditation
a) To the individual
Since the practice of yoga and meditation involves no fuss and also does not demand any big time infrastructural demands, and the benefits of the exercise as we know are immense, it is strongly recommended to involve this in a person's daily schedule. Yoga exercises will help in toning the body, helps in digestion of food and some asanas(postures) are even helpful in reducing and giving relief from back pain.
Where as the aspect of meditation brings in a soothing and cooling effect on the stressed minds of today's mankind. There is tension and stress everywhere. People are turning more materialistic. In this context the practice of meditation will work as a stress buster and greatly helps in improving an individual's concentration.
b) To the business environment
As we are aware of the fact that human resources are the real assets of any organization and that productivity is majorly dependent on the quality and commitment of the workforce contained by that organization. The employees who are stress free, fit in body and soul add a significant contribution to the success of that outfit. In the wake of this reality, institutions which have good facilities for their employees to practice yoga& meditation will reap rich dividends in the form of improved output from them.
c) To the family
If a family member, preferably the senior and responsible one like the parent is relaxed, confident and successful, the entire family will get the benefit out of it. The parent can be a role model in this aspect and guide the rest of the members in practicing these yoga and meditation techniques so that the entire family can enjoy the benefits like freedom from stress, more fitness and the mental well being.
If an individual is healthy and happy his family will also be happy. If the families are happy then the entire nation would be cheerful, productive and will be a role model country in the international arena.
Though these practices have essentially emanated from the cultural and traditional backgrounds of the East, they have a universal appeal and purpose. We come across a lot of centers established in the Western and European countries focusing on teaching and training the fine arts of yoga & meditation. We all can take inspiration to spare some time in our daily lives for these invaluable practices and reap rich benefits (fitness of body and mind) out of it.
Copyright © 2009 B.V.S. Prasad,
Faculty, Cygmax Institute of Management Studies
Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, India