Yoga Capsule: A New Stress Buster (Extracts)

Dr Ashok Kumar Gupta, Former Professor and Head, Internal Medicine, Darbhanga Medical College

The lifestyle of many physicians is connected with hypo-kinesis or insufficient physical activity. It has well-known adverse effects. It has been proved that adequate physical activity decreases mild and moderate depression and anxiety. A reasonable amount of physical activity may also produce a healthy euphoria because of the release of endorphins in the body. Yogic practices like pawanmuktasana, surya namaskara, and other asanas can compensate for insufficient or unbalanced physical activity.

Considering the lack of time for yogic practice and the speed of life in modern times, a specific sequence of sadhana, a set of practices are easy to do, but take only 10 to 15 minutes to complete, which will benefit all dimensions of health. This sadhana has been termed as Yoga Capsule and has been designed by Padma Bhushan Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, Munger.

Concept of yoga capsule

The physicians themselves are often the most important treatment tool. The ancient Indian surgeons knew that they had to keep their instruments sharp and clean. Medical professionals should maintain sufficient physical and mental fitness for themselves, as well as for their patient. Escaping from stress, overwork, unattended personal problems and doubts, into more work and consumer lifestyle does not solve anything. More positive ways have to be discovered and what could be a better positive way than to practise yoga?

As one takes a capsule of vitamins each day for good health, one should practise a Yoga Capsule every day to balance the energies in the body, improve mental efficiency, harmonize the emotions and bring excellence in undertakings. With this sadhana, anyone can incorporate yoga in their lifestyle for their betterment and upliftment without the need for major adjustments.

The yogic capsules contain three mantras, three to five asanas, two pranayamas, and a short relaxation. This capsule is to be ‘taken’ every day. Everyone can spare 10 to15 minutes out of 24 hours of the day. Yoga has always emphasized that one can use 23 hours and 15 minutes for ambitions, social and family life, but 30 to 45 minutes of every day should be reserved for the self. By adopting this capsule, yoga will become part of life and spiritualize the daily lifestyle.

Mantra: Mahamrityunjaya mantra x 11, Gayatri mantra x 11, 32 names of Durga x 3

Asana: tadasana, tiryak tadasana, kati chakrasana, surya namaskara

Pranayama: nadi shodhana, bhramari

Relaxation: yoga nidra

Become a gardener

Often it is said that one has to be a warrior to win in life, but a warrior wins by shedding blood and suppressing others, Yoga teaches that one has to be gardener in life. We have been given a barren piece of land and through our personal effort we have to convert it into a beautiful garden. It requires hard work and diligent effort to remove the rocks and weeds, mix the earth, and prepare proper beds. It is only then that we plant the seed. Once planted, we protect it.

This is the process that we go through when we practise yoga, not to satisfy the whims of our mind, but to follow and experience the aim set by yoga. Yogic goals are very clearly defined. When one focuses on these goals and strives to achieve

Yoga capsule

  • It is a specific sequence of sadhana to incorporate yoga in one’s lifestyle
  • It will help to create a positive and uplifting environment at home
  • It improves mental efficiency
  • It will bring creativity in performance

Asanas cover five different movements

  • Traction
  • Forward bends
  • Lateral stretch
  • Backward bends
  • Twist

Benefits of meditation

  • To connect with the inner values
  • Strengthens and gives peace in the face of all problems
  • To be at peace with oneself

Other routines

In this way, gradually, small routines and disciplines of yoga can be incorporated within normal daily activities. The capsules may be practised from Monday to Friday, and on Saturday a different activity may be undertaken, such as neti, ajapa japa, antar mouna or trataka. On Saturday evening, the Mahamrityunjaya mantra may be chanted 108 times. On Sunday, nothing. This is the Yoga capsule in daily life.

Another capsule: Once a year a visit to an ashram should be made, living there in a simple manner, it means changing the environment from home to ashram, changing one’s attitudes, work, routine, and associations. This will recharge one’s batteries. Just one week of ashram living will bring a qualitative change in life. That is the second capsule that needs to be taken at least once a year. If this discipline is maintained in life for some years while following other interests also, one will begin to experience the benefits of yoga in life. Yoga will become a part of life and not remain a practice.

Hence it is evident that the concept of yoga capsule has been so designed as to suit all the busy professionals, including doctors, to offer them all the benefits of yoga on every aspect of health – physical, mental, spiritual and total well being.

Conclusion

  • Short sessions of 15 minutes each, after bathing in the morning, in the afternoon, and at bed time can be devoted to yoga practice as in the concept of the yoga capsule.
  • The effect of yoga is never evident immediately, rather it is experienced slowly in areas like one’s power of concentration and depth of relaxation.
  • Mental and emotional tension generated day to day will slowly reduce. It is here yoga begins.
  • Yoga does not begin by standing upside down or wearing geru clothes. Rather yoga begins by developing awareness, sajagta.

Suggested reading

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, Prana and Pranayama, Tranquillizing Pranayamas, 2002, Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, Satyananda Yoga–Bihar Yoga, Yoga Capsule, 2013, Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha, 1969, Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Meditations from the Tantras, Meditation and Health, 2001, Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India

Swami Satyananda Saraswati, Yoga Nidra, The Art of Relaxation, 1998, Yoga Publications Trust, Munger, Bihar, India

Published in Medicine Update, Volume 30, 2020, An Official Publication of the Association of Physicians, India