The nature of the mind is to seek happiness, joy, and ecstasy. Sometimes, the mind cannot find this in the area of the five senses. When it is not satisfied with just seeing, hearing, tasting, touching or smelling, it starts to crave. The mind longs for the highest peace and bliss. And in search of that higher ecstasy, the mind is lured into the trap of addiction and dependency.
Like every other addiction, smoking gives the illusion of escape. But all it leads to is misery and pain. Take a close look at any heavy smoker. And you’ll immediately recognize this sad truth. Dependence on nicotine causes premature aging and a host of other serious issues. Making a hard core smoker look old and haggard.
Cigarette smoke carries more than 4000 chemicals. 250 of these are known to be harmful. And more than 50 are known to cause cancer. According to a fact sheet published by WHO, tobacco kills nearly 6 million people every year. More than 5 million of these deaths are the result of direct tobacco use. While more than 6,00,000 die due to second hand smoking.
And while smoking can thrill in the beginning, its charm fades in a while. In no time at all, many health problems insidiously creep in. And then the smoker ends up wanting to shake off the habit. In vain.
Repeated attempts to kick the butt generally fail. Because the smoker is always in need of that ‘one last’ drag.
Unfortunately, smoking calms the mind and gives temporary relief from stress. Giving the smoker a reason to cling on to the addiction.
Sri Sri on how to quit smoking, naturally
“The first is fear, fear of disease. For example, if the doctor tells you that if you take one more cigarette, your lungs will give way and you will not survive, then that fear makes you stop smoking.
The second is greed. If someone tempts you into something bigger. Let’s say, if someone offers you a million dollars on condition that you don’t smoke for a month. Then that greed to get something bigger, some better benefit, gives rise to the possibility of getting over the addiction.
The third thing is love, love for something higher. Love can elevate your consciousness, your whole body-mind complex. Love and prayer can help stop the craving.”
There is yet another way out of the addiction. The way of yoga and meditation. Or as Sri Sri so aptly puts it, “Having a bigger addiction! A higher ecstasy that you can find through yoga, pranayama and meditation! Of course, this is love for the cosmos, love for God, a devotional dance! This will give you such an ecstasy that it can snap you out of your addiction.”
We are seeking happiness here and there. But that Source of happiness is actually within us. We are the Source. A dip in the inner realm, a peep into the inner dimension has the power to remove addiction. To banish our dependence on nicotine forever. To help us quit smoking naturally.
When we start doing yoga and meditation, we will experience innumerable benefits.
- Our body will become stronger.
- Our immune system much better.
- Health will hit optimum levels.
- Our mind will become calm and serene.
- And yet we will be full of energy and vitality.
What are the benefits of quitting smoking?
- Lung capacity improves. Stamina increases. This will become obvious during exercise sessions.
- Blood circulation and heart rate improves. Imparting a youthful glow.
- The immune system becomes stronger. Resulting in resistance to sickness and disease. Improving overall health.
- Smoking is a leading cause of cancer. Quitting smoking reduces the possibility of being afflicted by the dreaded illness.
- When we decide to quit smoking, we may experience more stress. This is caused primarily by withdrawal symptoms. The symptoms will eventually decrease. And our stress levels will go down.
- We will no longer expose our family, friends and those around us to the lethal hazards of passive (second hand) smoking.
Yoga asanas and pranayamas help us quit smoking naturally
- Improves blood circulation.
- Energizes the nervous system.
- Rejuvenates the brain cells and calms the mind.
- Clears the nadis (subtle energy channels) and helps resist the urge to smoke.
- Releases accumulated stress.
- Calms the mind.
- Purifies and balances the nadis (subtle energy channels).
- Works therapeutically to solve many respiratory problems.
- Helps counter the withdrawal symptoms of de-addiction.
- Expands the chest.
- Improves blood circulation.
- Reduces fatigue.
- Excellent for people with respiratory ailments.
- Helps relieve stress and minimizes the urge to smoke.
- Opens up the lungs. Improves the flow of oxygen to the body.
- Stretches various parts of the body.
- Calms the mind.
- Reduces anxiety, depression, and stress.
- Fends off smoking.
- Relaxes the body.
- Calms the nervous system.
- Helps relieve the mind and body of stress.
- Stretches and strengthens various parts of the body.
- Helps strike a very effective physical and mental equilibrium in the body.
- Reduces anxiety and stress.
- Helps fight the impulse to smoke.
Yoga practice helps develop the body and mind, bringing a lot of health benefits. Yet, it is not a substitute for medicine. It is important to learn and practice yoga postures under the supervision of a trained Yoga teacher. In case of any medical condition, practice yoga postures only after consulting a doctor and a Sri Sri Yoga teacher.
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