The heart of wellbeing is in holistic integration

The importance of an integrated or holistic approach to wellbeing is now widely accepted in modern medicine, psychology, physical therapy, fitness, nutrition and more. 30+ years ago, my parent’s first book, Yoga for Body, Breath, and Mind was published. As one of the early works in comprehensively bringing the holistic approach of yoga to an international audience, it emphasized the relevance of an integrated approach this right away, on the second page itself:

‘True personal reintegration encompasses all elements in our lives. Accordingly, the yogic approach is an integrated one, in which all aspects of one’s being will be touched. In fact, the very root meaning of the word yoga is “to integrate.” These aspects include the body, breath, mind, food, the behavior of the senses, habits, society, and the environment of the individual.’

‘Integration is a matter of balance. Presently, many approaches exist for integration. Some consider the human system as a structure, while others consider it as a functional organism. These approaches use different methods for structural and functional integration. Some attempt psychological integration through mind work, while others use behavior modification programs to bring about social integration. Used in isolation, these methods must ultimately be found lacking, simply because there is an interconnection between all the elements in the human system.’

‘To work towards the state of integration, the path itself must be an integrated one. The practice of yoga is such an approach. It both uses and affects the structural, functional, psychological, and social aspects of the person. Yoga takes into account the present state of all of one’s being and seeks to affect them all in whatever manner is most personally appropriate.”

More than three decades have passed since these words were published, yet they are even more relevant today, with the increasing pace of activity and fragmented lifestyles of the current times.

Yoga should not be a platform for doubt or disturbance. Our yoga path should be a journey towards clarity, stability, and holistic integration of all layers of our self. That is the journey of yoga for Svastha, a movement towards wellbeing!