Yoga and Personality Development

What is personality?

Human personality is a very complex topic by itself. There are many
definitions of personality. For the sake of simplicity we can consider it as a
collection of physical, mental and behavioral traits and patterns that we
exhibit in our life.

Often personality development is either misunderstood or ignored. It is
acknowledged mostly in professional fields. Companies conduct training programs
on communication skills, leadership skills, and creativity and so on. They
collectively call these trainings as "Personality Development". Unfortunately
they are talking about only one side of the coin. No doubt that these traits are
important but they are just "external". These programs miss the more important
factor – body and mind. There are hundreds of books available in the marked who
are supposed to tell you "how to win" or "how to be happy" but how many really
get benefited just by reading the books? Books will tell you to think positive
but the poor individuals do not know how. Just by thinking that "I will think
positive "you can not be positive. It requires practice and fine tuning of body
and mind. Unless you have proper foundation of body and mind you simply can not
build any superior personality infrastructure.

Do I need personality development?

Majority of people feel that they already have a developed personality and
they do not need to enhance it further. After all they are working in
professional and personal sector for years! But let me tell you that if you are
thinking on the same lines then its time to introspect. The first step in
personality development is to acknowledge that you need to improve your
personality.

How do you know whether you need fine tuning of the personality? Just sit
peacefully and try to answer the following questions:

  • Do you feel that you work hard but still do not get expected returns?
  • Do you often feel that you deserved a promotion but somebody else grabbed it instead?
  • Do you feel drained after your job hours?
  • Do you feel stressed – physically and mentally?
  • Does your job affect your health?
  • How are your interpersonal relationships?
  • Do you feel void ness in your life?
  • Do you often feel unhappy (many times not knowing why)?
  • Do you feel that you can not deliver 100% of your potential?

The answers to the above questions will tell you whether there is any
friction within yourself.

The yogic view of of personality

As per Yoga the human body consists of five sheaths or layers. They are:

  • Conscious physical sheath (Annayama Kosha
  • Subconscious physical sheath (Pranamaya Kosha)
  • Mental sheath (Manomaya Kosha)
  • Intellectual Sheath (Vigyanmaya Kosha)
  • Blissful sheath (Anandamaya Kosha)

The Annamaya Kosha is related to our conscious physical deeps including
walking, talking, viewing and other such functions. These are the functions that
we perform using our physical body deliberately.

The Pranamaya Kosha deals with physical activities that we do in subconscious
state. Digestion, movement of the heart and lungs fall in this category. We
never do any deliberate efforts for these actions; still the body knows how to
perform them.

The Maniomaya Kosha deals with mind, emotions and thoughts. All our gross
thinking and emotions fall in this category.

Intellect is that faculty that decides what is good and what is bad. It is
the ability for rational thought or inference or discrimination. The Vigyanmaya
Kosha helps us to identify true from false. We can choose the correct path in
this "maya" filled world with the help of nourished Vigyanmaya Kosha.

Anandamaya Kosha or bliss is a pure state of happiness and joy which is
beyond any material pleasure. Samadhi or deep meditation gives such a joy.

The Anandamaya Kosha is the innermost sheath wrapped by other sheaths in
succession.

If you observe carefully you will realize that each sheath affects certain
part of our personality. Accordingly we can classify our personality as follows:

  • Conscious physical personality
  • Subconscious physical personality
  • Mental personality
  • Intellectual personality
  • Spiritual personality

How Yoga can nourish these personalities?

The conscious as well as subconscious physical personality can be greatly
improved by Yoga postures. Yoga postures stretch your body and induce
relaxation. They affect the vital force or Prana and cause it to flow in
specific parts of the body. They are excellent remedy for back aches, digestion
problems and heart problems. The modern life forces us to sit at a place without
much physical activities. Yoga postures can strengthen the joints and various
parts of the body.

The mental personality is greatly affected through Pranayama and
concentration. Our mind remains focused at our work and in home enabling us to
do the things with full dedication and interest. In naturally results in better
personal and professional gains.

Meditation enriches the intellectual personality. Your mind becomes calm and
clear. You can think with more care and affection for others. Maya can not
delude you any more. Your decisions prove to be correct.

Finally, the deep meditation or Samadhi brings you the ultimate bliss. The
joy that is impossible to achieve through worldly enjoyments. This is the final
aim for any Yogi.

In summary practicing Yoga regularly nourishes all these five personalities
and makes your life joyous, happy and healthy.

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