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What is Wellness?

Wellness is not just about lowering your sugar and cholesterol levels, or losing weight, or getting a massage therapy for migraines.

JKYog - A Holistic Approach to Exemplary Wellness

What is Wellness?

Wellness is not just about lowering your sugar and cholesterol levels, or losing weight, or getting a massage therapy for migraines. Wellness is more than just a good physical health. As the World Health Organization (WHO) defines in its first principle of constitution, wellness is a state of “complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” To truly experience health from a holistic perspective, it is important to nurture the seven interconnected components of wellness:

Physical – sustaining the body with regular physical activity and healthy diet.
Intellectual - empowering the intellect with perfect flawless knowledge.
Spiritual - seeking the meaning and goal of human existence and endeavoring to attain it.
Emotional – guarding and elevating the thoughts.
Occupational - achieving work-life integrity, while meaningfully contributing expertise and knowledge.
Social - cultivating & engaging in healthy relationships and responding authentically.
Environmental – living a life that is environmentally conscientious there by living in harmony with nature.

These various components of wellness can be achieved only when we comprehend how the well-being of body, mind, intellect, and soul are inextricably linked.

The Mind-Body Connection

The notion that wellness is more than a physical state has been the focus of several research studies lately. However, our scriptures have revealed this to us many centuries ago.  “The Yoga Vāsiṣṭha, an ancient scripture, tells a revealing story about the mind-body connection from the pastimes of Shree Ram. Lord Ram once undertook a tour of His kingdom, to personally observe the condition of His people. He was dismayed to see them suffering from diseases. Returning to His palace, He asked His preceptor, Maharshi Vasiṣṭha, ‘Guruji, what is the cause of disease?’

‘Ram, disease begins in the mind. When we harbor poisonous thoughts, the Manomaya kośh (mental sheath) gets disturbed. This agitates the Prāṇamaya kośh (vital energy sheath). That disturbance manifests in the Annamaya kośh (physical body) as disease,’ replied Maharshi Vasiṣṭha.”[*]

Cause of Disease

There are innumerable causes for Diseases.  However, “Ayurveda talks about two kinds of diseases – Doshaj diseases are those that come as reaction to bad karmas (actions) from our past lives while karmaj diseases are those that come as a consequence of

defective habits of eating, sleeping, thinking, working, etc., in the present life. But at the bottom of both these are defective thoughts that lead to the creation of harmful habits and immoral actions.”[*]

Remembered Wellness & Remembered Illness

“In the last few decades, modern medical science has also begun acknowledging the mind-body connection. A powerful example of this is the placebo effect. A placebo is a harmless substance, like a sugar pill, given to patients instead of prescription drugs. However, patients are told that they are receiving the actual medicine for their ailment. The consequence of consuming the placebo is that they mentally believe they must get well, and their thoughts induce them to recuperate, even without the actual medicine![*]

The placebo effect is the remembered wellness phenomenon, in which the subconscious mind remembers the state of wellness and replicates it in the present. For example, when a patient isits the family physician, the patient finds that the symptoms have disappeared. The mere fact that one is meeting the doctor tells one’s subconscious mind to get well. Consequently, remembered wellness takes place and the healing happens.

The reverse of remembered wellness is remembered illness. A very common example of this is white collar hypertension, a high blood pressure that occurs at the doctor's office or in a medical setting, but not in other settings. Here, the subconscious mind remembers the previous state of illness, and the body responds to the patient’s thoughts.

Thus, illness is caused not only by viruses and bacteria, but also by the negativities harbored in the mind. True health requires managing the mind along with taking care of the body, as “the field of the body has five kośhas (sheaths) that cover the soul that is ensconced within:

Annamaya kośh. It is the gross sheath, consisting of the five gross elements (earth, water, fire, air, and space).
Prāṇamaya kośh. It is the life-airs sheath, consisting of the five life airs (prāṇ, apān, vyān, samān, and udān).
Manomaya kośh. It is the mental sheath, consisting of the mind and the five working senses (voice, hands, legs, genitals, and anus).
Vijñānamaya kośh. It is the intellectual sheath, consisting of the intellect and the five knowledge senses (ears, eyes, tongue, skin, and nose).
Ānandmaya kośh. It is the bliss sheath, which consists of the ego that makes us identify with the tiny bliss of the body-mind-intellect mechanism.”[†]

Optimal wellness is achieved only when we consciously direct our effort to make wise choices at each and every kośh/layer/level of our being. And it is attainable through JKYog.

JKYog - A Holistic Approach to Exemplary Wellness

JKYog blends both – material and spiritual techniques – from the eternal sciences of the Vedic scriptures. It is a complete system of Yog dedicated to the spiritual, mental, and physical wellness, through yoga and spirituality. The system includes five Vedic disciplines for mind-management and exemplary wellness. To learn more and take charge of your health and wellbeing, see Yoga & Meditation and the upcoming Life Transformation Program near you.

* H. H. Swami Mukundananda. “The Need for Mind Management.”  Art of Mind Management, Plano: JKYog, 2017, pp. 8-9. Print.

† H. H. Swami Mukundananda. “Chapter 17: Kṣhetra Kṣhetrajña Vibhāg Yog.” Bhagavad Gita: The Song of God, Plano: JKYog, 2013, p 434. Print.