Apr 12, 2023

Book Review: Yoga in Daily Life by Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

 During my previous trip to Blossoms, I picked up a set of booklets from the Bihar School of Yoga. These are short 80-100 pagers with a crisp and clear focus on a specific topic. Last week, I read and shared the review of "Karma and Karma Yoga".

I followed it up with another 80-page booklet titled "Yoga in Daily Life". This book mainly talks about the basics of Yoga and how to incorporate Yogic practices into our daily routine. If you are new to Yogic philosophy and the different streams of Yoga, this book is a beginner-friendly guide.

Before jumping into the practices and the actionable steps, the author sets a beautiful context on the relevance of Yoga in today's times. There were multiple aha moments in the first 2 chapters, starting with the story of a tree with thorns.

"When the wind of inherent desires blows through the mind, there can never be any fulfillment, contentment or peace".

"The identification with desires and sense objects leads to frustration and anxiety".

The role of Yoga is to help decondition oneself in life by fine-tuning the different areas of the personality - body, mind, emotions, and spirit.

"The mind is what is affected first; therefore, first manage the mind" => this statement struck a chord, as I realized over the past few years the role of our mind and its contribution to our life.

The author narrates a path of pursuing Yoga in tuning these areas:

Hatha Yoga - for managing the body

Raja Yoga - for managing the mind

Bhakti Yoga - for managing the emotions

Kriya Yoga - for awakening the spirit

He also summarizes the importance of Jnana Yoga and Karma Yoga as a journey to rediscover oneself and develop the right attitude.

The 3rd and 4th chapters are all about integrating Yogic practices. A daily Yoga sadhana schedule is provided with clear guidelines for mantra chanting, asana, pranayama, meditation, and self-reflection. We don't need to block out hours to incorporate these aspects. The author provides guidelines for minimum time allocation for the required practices.

Highly recommend this book if you are getting started with Yoga philosophy and want to make Yoga a part of your lifestyle.

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