Wednesday, July 9, 2014

A Yoga for Everyone - Entropy Yoga


The various asanas (physical movements) and breathing exercises come later. If done before steps like entropy yoga or what Patanjaili described as Yama and Niyama, they may not amount to much more than improved physical abilities and freedom from common ailments afflicting persons who lack physical exercise and activity. For a broader benefit and success in life begin with entropy yoga. The maximum benefit from physical yoga movements is derived when thoughts do not wander and are focused on the physical movement alone, for in the very first few lines of his text on yoga, Patanjali, the father of yoga describes that yoga is to still the activities of the mind. Entropy yoga prepares the mind for such a focus.

President Obama in a Yoga Asana at the White House!?!?  :)


INTRODUCTION

Yoga is an ancient Sanskrit word.  Since the term was invented a few thousand years ago, a lot of water has passed under the bridge and many new meanings having been given to it. Although some of the original yoga (not all) were associated with religion, modern techniques need not necessarily be associated with any. The ancient text by the father of yoga - Patanjali makes no reference to any religion and does not use any existing name for the Almighty, defining him as the Supreme being with infinite knowledge. The simplest way to understand yoga in the modern context is any technique or practice to improve mind, body and soul. There are many different types of yoga, some very simple, some complicated and difficult to practice, some good for certain personalities and some good for others .

However, here we shall describe a very simple yoga, simple yet profound in its inner meaning.  It is so general in nature that it is beneficial for all humans. It is called Entropy Yoga. This yoga is not something that is practiced for a few fixed minutes or hours daily but rather it is matter of lifestyle that governs every moment of our lives.

Entropy yoga along with inculcating principles of non-violence and truth in life is a prerequisite for any other form of more specialized or advanced yoga as deduced from the principles described by the Father of Yoga - Patanjali- as well as the later experience of mankind including modern science.

The term Entropy Yoga was born some seven years ago as a result of study of both the physical and spiritual sciences by this author. While earlier descriptions of it by this author described some of the science behind it, the present note shall skip that and focus on five simple steps that may be employed to practice it.  The interested reader can find out the theory and background from additional links at the end if he or she so desires. Instead of five steps of entropy yoga they are better referred to as five aspects. The reason is that steps convey an image of something that is done one after another whereas the five aspects of entropy yoga may be followed in any order.

When we introduce entropy yoga in our lives, we become more and more peaceful and efficient in anything that we do. Besides, it leads to an evolution of our personalities. There is a mystic side to entropy yoga. Its practice increases our inner energy in a mysterious manner that can neither be fully explained nor fully understood but it can be experienced easily  

It must be pointed out that not just Sanskrit speaking persons but all cultures have proposed practices for developing mind, body and soul. Such practices are different types of yoga even though not known by that name. Therefore, when it comes to entropy yoga, it is something that has been practiced by the most efficient humans and cultures on the planet since ancient times. Countries where it is practiced much are the most well managed and progressive countries in the world. Wherever its violation is widespread, the country as a whole is undeveloped and full of poverty, mess and strife.

Now let us consider five aspects of this yoga. They are so simple that on reading them you shall say that you already knew. However, it will serve to remind if you are lagging in any one aspect

THE FIVE ASPECTS OF ENTROPY YOGA

1 Cleanliness

The first aspect of entropy yoga is cleanliness. This begins with a cleaning of the body and proceeding to clothes, living spaces and surroundings. This is something that has to be done daily and on a regular basis as far as one’s body is concerned at least. If you have been living in dirty surroundings do not get worried and frantic about it. Just take a bit at a time. Over time, you will end up with clean clothes, bedding, rooms and surroundings. Dirt in the wrong places is a mark of a high level of disorder in placement of matter, leading to large entropy increases and thus huge loss of efficiencies. Cleanliness restores order.

2 Organizing Stuff

The second aspect of entropy yoga is to organize your stuff, from your clothes to everything that you possess. If you are having difficulty in that, perhaps you have collected more than you can handle. Get rid of some. Here again, if you have a lot of clutter around you, you shall not be able to fix it in a day. Just handle a bit at a time and within months your stuff will be organized. Once it becomes a habit, you shall begin to put away things where they belong right from the start. Just try and organize one corner or cupboard and see the amount of peace and clarity of mind that gives. It is not surprising then that those who keep their things organized at all times function with immense clarity of mind and efficiency as compared to those who do not. A profound sense of peace surrounds them. Organizing things is connected to a sense of order.To see if a nation is orderly by habit, check to see if its market places and traffic on roads is orderly or chaos

3 Organizing Time

Organizing time implies being punctual in appointments with others and also in ones activities such as meals, sleeping etc. Time has to be organized over days, weeks and months. It implies that you would schedule all your activities and appointed hours and minutes after due deliberation and once having done so stick to it precisely. Just check how the most developed cultures of the world such as the British, particularly during the Victorian era, Swiss and Germans are rigid about time and how they developed as a result of it.

A quick check of the daily punctuality of a nation is to go to the train or bus station and see if they arrived in time. A quick check of the annual punctuality of a nation is to check the school and university schedules of sessions and exams over the last ten years and see if  they remained fixed or changed. This author did a doctorate from UBC, Canada where at his university the schedules remained substantially unchanged over thirty years. This country has been rated as one with one of the highest qualities of life. Compare this with countries that disregard punctuality and end up as undeveloped.

4 Organizing Speech

The fourth important aspect of entropy yoga is speech. A well ordered speech is a mark of evolution and development whereas a chaotic babble of sounds, excited arguments, speaking louder than required, quarreling etc. is a mark of an undeveloped soul. If a perceptive human was dropped into a strange culture, he would immediately know from the manner of speech in a group, as to how evolved the culture is. In an evolved culture speech would be calm and composed and will not include things like cross talking, shouting, getting angry or emotional, speaking simultaneously etc. In the modern world one does not have to visit a country physically to make that observation. Just visit the popular TV channels of that country while sitting at home and you can make a similar observation. This observation measures the current state of evolution of the nation not a past or future one since these things change with time.

It goes without saying that talking too much involves the risk of violation just as speaking lies does, and it can easily be observed that the more evolved a culture the more profound is the silence. Conversely less developed societies and persons are constantly emitting a babble of sounds. Before you speak apply these four tests 1. Is it true 2. Is it necessary 3. is it kind 4. Is it the right moment; and if it passes the four tests speak but in the correct tone and volume as required by the situation.

5 Organizing Thought

The last and most important aspect of entropy yoga is organizing thought. This last aspect implies that we do not let our thoughts wander without control but rather focus them on the task at hand. More advanced improvements in organizing thoughts involve specialized meditative and breathing techniques but these are something that require training under guidance and cannot be practiced by everyone without it. They can also harm if sufficient progress has not been made in the other four areas just mentioned and if practiced improperly. Therefore, we shall leave these aside for the time being. It will also help preserve the simplicity of the present note.

In the meantime as a step towards it try and concentrate on whatever it is that you happen be doing. When taking a bath think of the bath and not a meal. When consuming a meal focus on the meal and when at work keep your mind at work and discourage others who start talking of the sports event instead during work hours, but when you return home from work stop talking and thinking of work. If someone does discourage them, If someone discusses plans for tomorrow, stop them and say it is not done in evenings. If done frequently, it shall first disturb your sleep and then your life. The British in the Victorian colonial era followed this strictly and went on to rule the world.

CONCLUSION:

It may be pointed out that although entropy yoga leads to high efficiency in anything that humans do and therefore success in life along with an environment for peace, it may not necessarily lead to happiness. That comes when one enhances values of love, truth and simplicity in ones life and by reserving some of the increased energy that comes from entropy yoga not just for one’s own selfish needs but also to help others and the world around them as well as the universe and mother earth that gives us all we need. A wonderful way to express gratefulness to nature is not to pollute mother earth and destroy its adornments such as trees and green cover but help restore it. It shall be a source of great happiness

People of Nainital, the author's childhood home, love to protect and plant trees


In fact not following up entropy yoga by the other things mentioned in the last paragraph causes the increased efficiency to create stress, a fate of present day developed nations that are high on both order and stress, often with tragic consequences, so that one wonders which is better, the poor third world relaxed and laughing farmer who says manana with a banana to it all or the stressed out and sulking developed world person, ready to snap at you at the first sign of provocation. Entropy yoga creates the conditions for success in life and an environment for attaining peace in it. If the focus of attention is drawn towards love and service rather than ones own needs and greed happiness follows otherwise it leads to stress.

However, entropy yoga called by that name or no name at all is a necessary first step to self improvement and improving lives. Happiness is not possible without peace, and the conditions to acquire peace not possible without a practice of entropy yoga. With entropy yoga both success in worldly life and happiness comes within easy reach of individuals, without it both recede. When practiced widely in a nation, entropy yoga leads to the success of the nation as a whole. 
Most of all, trust in God or a Universal consciousness that is in control of everything and watches over all is a source of great strength and support for those who believe in God.
NOTE: The top most photo was used with the belief that being an official government release on social media (Twitter in this case) its public use is permissible. If the White House or the President or guardians of baby have any objection to this use, please inform as a comment to this post and it shall be taken down at the first opportunity. May the Lord bless the baby in the photo and President Obama too for sharing a picture of human goodness with the world.

Supplementary Reading: 
1. Yoga- entropy yoga: http://someitemshave.blogspot.in/2007/10/yoga.html 
2. More on entropy Yoga: http://www.hotarticles.us/article/more-on-entropy-yoga 
3. Low Entropy Persons, Countries and entropy yoga: http://ashokmalhotra.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/low-entropy-persons-countries-and-entropy-yoga/

International Yoga day is June 21 initiated by the Right Honorable Shri Narendra Modi ji, P.M. of India, a yoga enthusiast 

2 comments:

John Anderson said...

Originating in India, yoga actually means to yoke - or unite. In reality this practice is meant to harness personal energy and to focus it in order to bring about a personal awakening or enlightenment. In the process, it places a strong emphasis on developing health and well-being, teaching meditation and improving strength and flexibility through its various forms and postures.

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Ashok said...

Thanks for adding information that would be useful to an interested reader, John

'Forms and Postures" is one small segment of yogic/yoga practices even though in recent times it has received most attention. The original founding treatise on Yoga by Patanjali - Introduction to Yoga - has reserved just a couple of lines for it.