Intro: Women in good numbers are getting conscious of their health and are turning to yog, pranayam, etc. This gives them not only good health but also positive thinking for welfare of the family and society.
In those days not only the works were divided between men and women, but the whole life style, dress, food habits and thoughts for life were separate for both in every sphere of life. There were no unicode between men and women. For example, women did not even touch newspapers. Same was the situation of Yog. A few men in the village used to practise Yogasans and Pranayam. Women did not reveal their desire to follow men. Although, a few women knew about yoga. There were some disciplines, practices and habits in the families, which were considered to be only for men.
As a daughter of an educated and education-loving father I was sent to a hostel for study only at the age of eight. Only a few girls of my age had joined the village school. The school, where my father had gone to get me admitted, was known for its holistic approach in imparting good education. That was the first school in Bihar, every girl had to stay in hostel. They had to practise yogic exercise every day. Music was taught in classes. Ramayana and Geeta were recited every morning and evening.
My father was impressed by the extra-curricular activities and value-based education. When I came back home after six months of hostel life, my father desired to see my achievements. I was to show different yogic exercises, play his harmonium, and dance. Village people started coming to my house. They were surprised to see my performance. But after leaving the school in 1958, I too left practising yog and playing harmonium. Nobody from my family, even my father asked me to practise it. After my wedding in 1959, my husband did pressurise me to practise yog. But in vain. Slowly, my body got stiffed and I could not even sit in Padmasana.
Twenty years ago there came a wave of yog in our country. Now, it can be called tsunami in the life of women also. I can perceive this change in the life of women and special type of manifestation of concept and conduct of equality between men and women.
I am of the opinion that activities of even common women are very near to yogic exercises. I presume that the concept and practice of Yog originated from the manifestation of natural and social responsibilities of women. The mother’s hand is very close to the works of creature of nature. We all know that creator of nature, when fulfilling her responsibility as mother, she has to go through yogic exercises and Pranayam. She cannot deliver a child without inhaling, holding and exhaling in a prescribed way. She requires instructions from the nurse, while performing nature given duty of motherhood.
No doubt she is a special creation of nature. The works assigned to her require full attention, holding and exhaling. Giving full concentration on her duty, she gets pleasure after delivering the child, which is real happiness of life. Women, living the life of scarcities and full of hard labour, enjoy the life. Her happiness depends always on giving something to others. She can even hold her hunger to feed others.
Her natural qualities and works based on yogic expression are without knowing the value of Yog. Women were practising it. Now most of the women have understood the value of Yog in life. They have also come up to practise Yog with Astha Channel. When the housewife is doing Yog, whole family learns. I have heard many wives asking their husband to do Yog and Pranayam. They are concerned with their health. Most of the ladies who are doing Yog belong to upper class and middle class of society. Actually the labour class women do not require practising Yog, because their life style and responsibilities assigned to them are fully yogic exercise. The day will come when they will also get time for Yog.
Leaders of every walk of life have started dreaming that India will get position of “Vishwa Guru” by the end of 21st century only. The youth of India have also started dreaming in the same way. I think that the half of the population of country, women must dream equally. Now the time has come that women are coming and participating in each and every sphere of life with men. In some walks of life, women are seen more than men in numbers.
We are aware that the women have been neglecting their health while performing their duties sincerely. They used to take care of every member of house, but not of herself. Now when women are practising Yog, it is certain that their health will improve without costly medicines. The fact is that adopting Yog or Ayurveda is going back to our roots only. The Indian roots have solutions for each and every problem of the present society.
Because present society is the outcome of its past. Now we have become habituated to look to western countries for solution. We Indians should leave this wrong habit. India has the capacity to give solutions to individual or social problems of the world. We must have that much of confidence.
It is good that new women are also coming with that confidence. The future will be not of only men or women, but of Bharat. She neither lives for herself nor wants to take the credit of her services. She should not. Because father, family, government and society are now ready to help her and have started to sing the song of her achievements.
Let us hope in coming days women come up with positive thinking for the welfare of the family and society. Practising Yog will improve their thinking and actions accordingly.
Now women are proceeding to take a place as equal partners of men in every sphere of life. She is not just equal to a man. She is special. She deserves special education, special security and special respect. It is her due, without which equality between man and woman cannot be established. She must get not only equal opportunities but also special care. Yog is one of them.
Mridula Sinha, Governor of Goa