The Seven Essential Components of Global Well-Being
To truly experience health from a holistic perspective, it is essential to nurture the seven interconnected components of wellness
What is Wellness?
Wellness is not just about lowering your sugar and cholesterol levels, or shedding extra weight, or getting a massage therapy for chronic back pain, and so on. 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 essential to nurture the seven interconnected components of wellness:
Physical – sustaining the body with healthy diet, regular physical activity, and a good night’s sleep.
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 are achievable only when we fathom how the well-being of body, mind, intellect, and soul are inextricably linked.
The Mind-Body Interrelatedness
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 and karmaj. 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. However, at the bottom of both these are defective thoughts that lead to the creation of harmful habits and immoral actions.
Therefore, holistic 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 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.
Therefore, it is imperative to be mindful of what we feed our body, mind, and intellect. 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. When every individual consciously chooses at every layer, it naturally enhances the global health. And this 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 that promotes holistic health both at micro and macro levels.
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