Swami Kriyananda answers a reporter’s questions about yoga’s importance and growing popularity.
How is yoga of particular importance (for everyone) in today’s electronic, stressful world?
You’ve paired two things that needn’t of their own nature be paired. So here, in fact, there are two questions in one. The first is, “How is yoga of particular importance in today’s electronic world?”
The answer is that yoga makes us more aware of ourselves as bodies of energy, not merely of material substance. The more aware we become that we are energy, the greater control we have in our lives.
By increasing the flow of energy to the body, one can maintain good health, and overcome illness and other physical setbacks in record time. By increasing the flow of energy in one’s work, one can be more successful in everything one attempts, and can greatly shorten the time for achieving it. With great energy, indeed, one can do in a few minutes what others may require weeks or months to accomplish.
By increasing the flow of energy to other people, one can vastly increase and deepen the love and friendship between oneself and them, and also affect them for the good in their own lives. By increasing the flow of energy in one’s life, one finds abundant happiness, insight, and wisdom in guiding one’s affairs.
As for the question of stress, yoga helps one to become calmer, more centered in oneself (in a good way — that is to say, it produces the opposite of self-centeredness), it puts one more in control of oneself and one’s own life, and helps one to resolve problems with much greater ease.
Why do you think yoga is so intriguing to many Hollywood celebrities — that is, why do you think so many of them are getting interested in it?
I think that living in a world of fiction helps to develop in those people who are more aware a sensitivity to alternate realities.
Of course, the physical aspects of yoga are attractive to people whose livelihood depends on their looking young and physically fit, which they can accomplish through Hatha Yoga.
But the inward, truer aspects of yoga are most attractive to those whose minds are open and are not enclosed in habit-created patterns of thought. Certainly the movie profession invites new ways of looking at things.
I hope this helps.
In divine friendship,