Thursday, January 22, 2015

The Value of Silence in Yoga

Yoga employs different positions to help relax mind and body; however, perhaps the strongest influence yoga can produce is when you’re not doing anything at all.

Silence or Mauna isn't just the practice of withholding speech but also in controlling one’s senses. For yoga to be effective, a person must take his time clearing his or her mind of all troublesome thoughts and refocus his energy on the stimulus of serenity. After all, you practice yoga to relax, not to think of solutions to everyday problems; the latter will come eventually.

There are many stories regarding the efficacy of Mauna. In an account by Catherine Ingram for the Yoga Journal, former Indian PM Indira Gandhi consulted a Shankaracharya, a title for the head of a Hindu monastery, and confided her reservations regarding administrative work. As the only female to hold the position so far, Gandhi felt the pressure.

After a closed-door session, a rejuvenated Gandhi returned to her plane bound for New Delhi. Despite asking so many questions, neither Gandhi nor the Shankaracharya spoke a word. The lesson learned that day was that answers would come to the curious or troubled someday by way of "innate intelligence."

Perhaps this is the reason for yoga spas being located in serene areas. Soundproof rooms are a start, but some spas situate themselves well away from bustling cities. The remoteness of the location allows the person to become one with nature, just as yoga intends to.