World Community Service Centre, affiliated to Bharathiar University,
Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu
Simplified Kundalini Yoga Practices for senior citizens
“Matha, Pitha, Guru and Theivam” are holy words uttered by the intellectuals who realized the life and shown us a way to lead the life with joy and to attain the goal of fulfillment in life. Yoga has taken birth when the first man originated in the world was revealed as scriptures in the Sindhu civilization. The thoughts are recorded by them as Rig, Yajur, Sama and Atharvana Vadas. After the formation of Vedas, Upanishads, Epics like Ramayana, Mahabharatha came to tell the facts that behind in human life how to face the challenges and to lead a successful life. Also, the Holy Bible, Quran, Granth Sahib, etc., given by the giants who realized the divinity. But the human in the world today suffering a lot without the spiritual knowledge by reluctant to follow these holy books and suffers by their ignorance, carelessness, and emotions. Maharishi Vedathri told that once the knowledge of science and spiritual equal in the state of mind among the human, the world will get peace.
Spiritual knowledge shows a path to lead a life without hurting anyone. Science must be used for advantages without any disadvantages may be realized by the individuals those having spiritual knowledge. What is spiritual knowledge? The combination of Discipline, duty, and charity is spiritual knowledge. Discipline is “Should not harm anyone either physically or mentally and help the needy as much as possible”. Duty is “Do the service to society by physically as much as possible”. Charity is “Help to others either physically or financially as much as possible”.
In modern days, science attained a high place rather spiritual knowledge, if it balances in human life, then no sufferings, man is with full of happiness.
‘National Policy on Older Persons’ was adopted by Government of India in January 1999. This policy defines, “senior citizen or elderly as a person at the age of 60 years or above”.
STATUS OF SENIOR CITIZEN
Integrated care for older people reports by the World Health Organization states that the population of older people has increased substantially in most of the regions around the world. It also states that increasing age brings risks of disease and dependency, the major burden of disability and death, age-related losses like moving, seeing, hearing, and conditions such as chronic respiratory disorder, diabetes, heart disease, dementia, stroke, musculoskeletal conditions such as osteoarthritis and back pain. It further recommended community-level approaches in preventing physical and mental capacities and to deliver interventions in support of caregivers.
Help Age India, 2018 report says that according to 2011 census 8% of the population was 60 years and above and it might be around 12.5% and 20% by 2026 and 2050 respectively. This increasing scenario alarms to take care of elders in health care, shelter, finance. Elders reported that due to the usage of phones/computers attention towards them by the adult children/grandchildren decreased. Thus, this study concluded that attention should be paid against the problems faced by elders for income generation and sensitization programmes for adult children/grandchildren. (Help Age India, 2018).
The legislation is enacted by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India in the year 2007 called “Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007” for the welfare of parents as well as senior citizens. This Act enables the senior citizens who are neglected by their children or heirs by providing maintenance allowance. Some States in India implemented this Act and other States are taking steps to implement except Jammu and Kashmir. Once upon a time, the joint family is a backbone of Indian society. Withering of its culture, the elders are forced to face many problems including physical, financial, social and emotional. This Act is a remedy to such an extent in relieving elderly problems. This Act also emphasizes the obligation of children to take care of their parents/grandparents and also the relative of senior citizens to maintain such senior citizens. Also, this Act has provision for the setting of old age homes for needy senior citizens. If any children/relative are not maintaining their parents/senior citizens, then the senior citizens approach the Tribunal constituted under this Act to enforce the maintenance for the senior citizen. (Wikipedia)
The publication “Elderly in India” 2016 by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India delivered that according to population census 2011, the total elderly population in India is 104 million of which 53 million females and 51 million are males. The growth rate of elder population has shot up to 36% from 25% between 2001 to 2011. Population plays a vital role in the development of a country. Also, development depends on workforce potential. The transformation of social economic, political affects the human attitude. The reasons behind our rapid industrialization, urbanization, and migration resulted in the nuclear family. As a result, a part of the family, particularly, elder faces problems physically, mentally as well as financially. Hence, a holistic approach is needed to frame programmes for welfare to deal with aging.
SENIOR CITIZEN AT OLD AGE HOME
Generally, the reason behind the people who are residing at an old age home is because of their insecurity. In India, a deliberate outline is prevailing that son only should take care of their old age parents. Because of that reason, no one likes to spend their old age along with their daughters, even though they are willing to accompany and take care of them. Also due to the migration of the younger generation for their employment abroad, their older parents remain lonely without security which leads them to dwell at old age home. Another thing because of no support from relatives and society people like to live at an old age home.
Affinity, tolerance, adjustment, and sacrifice were not taken into consideration in today’s modern life. Many people like to lead their life mostly with privacy and in a short minded. Technology has developed tremendously but spiritual life consisting of moral, duty and charity have not developed that much when comparing to scientific modern life. Culture plays an important role in society’s development. The government implemented many schemes for the welfare of old age people. It must also take appropriate steps by inculcating good moral and law of nature to the citizens then only old age people at home may be excused and live peacefully with their loved ones.
In the above circumstances, yoga plays a predominant role in solving the old age problem both physically as well as mentally to some extent. Every one hearing the word yoga in the world today. What is the meaning of yoga? Doing exercises for the wellness of health is yoga. No. Yoga consists of physical exercises as well as meditation. The origin of yoga takes place in India through the immense efforts of saints by researching on the divine force. This study has taken into consideration of Simplified Kundalini Yoga framed by Vethathiri Maharishi.
DEFINITION OF YOGA
Improving the body to become healthy and the mind to be wealthy by regulating the activities accordingly clear in identifying our own mistakes and nullifying the same, eradicating the old imprints of mind, leading one’s own life happily and getting the ability to help others to lead their life happily is called yoga.
SIMPLIFIED KUNDALINI YOGA
Vethathiri Maharishi has designed Simplified Kundalini Yoga through years of research and meticulous practice in such a manner that they don’t take much strain to the body. It has four processes on the whole. They are Meditation, Introspection, Sublimation, and Perfection. Also, it consists of Simplified Physical Exercises and Kaya Kalpa.
SIMPLIFIED PHYSICAL EXERCISES
There are many kinds of physical exercises in the world. Vethathiri Maharishi has formulated simplified physical exercises after many years of research taking into consideration his medicinal experiences and their uses. Maharishi designed these exercises in a simple manner that they don’t strain the physical body much. There are two stages in the physical exercise. One is posture and another is movement. There are nine types of physical exercises. By performing these exercises, all parts of our body from head to foot become healthy. Blood circulation, heat circulation, and air circulation will be regulated. All Endocrine glands will function well. Simply, physical exercises bring physical as well as mental health.
Kaya means physical body, kalpa means strength. Therefore kayakalpa means strengthening our body for a healthy and long life as the name defines. Vethathiri Maharishi spent nearly forty years to formulate this practice for the welfare of humankind. Through this exercise, the energy could be raised. This is the feather in the crown of the system of Simplified Kundalini Yoga. There are a lot of benefits. The prominent one is it prevents the onset of diseases, retains youth, delays old and postpones death.
Vethathiri Maharishi has through years of research and meticulous practice, being able to simplify the process of meditation and raising the Kundalini power, whereby it has become easy for everyone whether male or female, to practice. He has devised a method by which the Kundalini power of an aspirant can be raised from its original location and moved to the Agna Chakra, with the help of a person adept in the practice of Kundalini Yoga. During meditation, sensory perceptions and the working of the mind are halted, as a result of which biomagnetism is conserved.
Only when an individual examines himself and sincerely works to remove the impurities in his personality can he have good physical and mental health and lead a successful life. Such an examination is called ‘introspection’ or self-analysis. Introspection consists of an analysis of thought, the moralization of desire, neutralization of anger, eradication of worries and realization of self.
Benefits of Introspection
One who introspects himself gets reformation in his character thereby possesses enlightenment ultimately results to lead life peacefully and happily. By constant practice, dissipate the imprints of sins occur. As a result, the aim of mankind to attain perfection happens.
SUBLIMATION AND PERFECTION
With the realization of self, whoever practices introspection with full effort can be able to keep his body and mind well. If we are physically well, our mind can automatically think about our mental health. At the initial stage of meditation, we will be able to realize a bit of inner peace. By our continued effort to do meditation regularly gives inner peace for the whole of our life. In that state of affairs, anyone can practice introspection following meditation with awareness and planned action could achieve the fruit of sublimation. Perfection is the real consciousness and this transformation occurs in mankind ultimately at the end by one’s continuous efforts.
OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
Old age had never been a problem for a country like India where the culture respects elders whereas the disintegration of joint family and impact of economic change have brought peculiar problems which the old age people now face in our country. In the above circumstances, a senior citizen at old age home, as well as senior citizens in general, suffers both physically and mentally. Hence to find out a solution to the above problem arises as an essential need of the hour. There are so many researches on Simplified Kundalini Yoga practices shows much improvement in physical as well as mental health.
SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Nowadays people started to understand the importance of yoga in the day to day affairs of life slightly. The significance of study based on the benefits of physiological and psychological variables, it is an immense tool to improve physical health and mental health.
SIMPLIFIED KUNDALINI YOGA PRACTICES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS
- Prayer to Divine grace and Guru 5 minutes
- Neuromuscular breathing exercise and Relaxation exercises 15 minutes
- Agna meditation 5 minutes
- Thuriya meditation 10 minutes
Introspection 10 minutes
Total of 45 minutes
- Taking into consideration of the age factor and other conditions, Senior citizens with the knowledge and practice a part in SKY yoga as detailed above regularly, will get good physical and mental strength which in turn blossom good results to them as well as to the society at large.
(1) Value Education for Health, Happiness and Harmony – Based on The Philosophy and Teachings of Shri Vethathiri Maharishi, Published by Vethathiri Publications, Erode, Tamil Nadu, India, Third Edition April 2015
(2) Yoga for Modern Age by Vethathiri Maharishi Published by Vethathiri Publications, Erode, Tamil Nadu, India, ISBN: 978-93-85801-45-7 20th Edition, May 2017
(3) Embrace introspection as a way to deepen your inner-peace and happiness by Sophia Ojha
(4) Psychological change with introspection and meditation by themeditationblog.com
(5) The Art of Introspection in a self-obsessed world by Jennie Lee
(6) Integrated care for older people report by World Health Organisation
(7) Help Age India, 2018 report
(8) “Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act, 2007” enacted by Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment, Government of India.
(9) “Elderly in India” 2016 by Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India
(10) Rajkumar, G.R.Valliammal, “A Study on improving physiological and psychological personalities of the students by Vethathiri Maharishi’s nine-center meditation using electroencephalography” International Journal of Educational and Psychological Researches Vol.1/Issue 2/April-June 2015
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(16) R.Sharma, Ph.D., Principal, G.S.College of Yoga and Cultural Synthesis, Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, India “Yoga for Health and Healing”
This article points out that our society gives a high place to science rather than spiritual knowledge. If both of them are well balanced in human life, then humankind will be happier and stress-free.
The substantial increase in the population of senior citizens (age 60 and above) are mentioned here with proper statistical data. The author states that even though the life span of the elderly is increased, family support to them is very less due to the prevalence of the modern nuclear family system. Besides these people are suffering from various physical diseases and disorders too. To overcome these problems the author suggests that these people should get involved in Simplified Kundalini Yoga (SKY) designed and developed by Vethathiri Maharishi. The author’s suggestion is highly appreciable. But, Kundalini Yoga and other physical exercises associated with this yoga should be learned properly from a professional guru to avoid unwanted complications. If she has emphasized that aspect also it would be more meritorious.