The Bio-psychosocial-spiritual (BPSS) is an assessment model use to assess an individual/family’s situation based on the 4 broad components that allows for an overview of the individual well-being. Through attending the YTT, I gain a deeper insight to what Yoga is, beyond the Asana and it connected with what I do at my work. This is my attempt to combine what I know to what I have learn. It is very raw and maybe not well written (as my brain is slow in processing nowadays) but here goes!
Biology looks at one’s physical and physiological needs, such as food, shelter and health.
While in the 8 limbs of Yoga, one’s physical and physiological needs are not being emphasized. There has been so much research done on the benefits of practicing Yoga, in particularly, Asana, for our physical health. Each asana connects to different points to our body, stretching, toning, strengthening and even massaging our internal organ giving them a much-needed boost. It is no wonder so many people are now turning to Yoga, especially during this pandemic, keeping Yoga Teachers an evergreen profession!
In these 10 weeks of YTT, I also notice that my body has become stronger and somewhat healthier. It has been challenging, especially certain postures (like headstand which I still struggle with), but it is a process that with practice, will become easier.
Psychological assessment includes one’s mental health, emotional regulation, sense of self and values.
One of the biggest benefits of Yoga would be the mental wellbeing and calmness it brings to one after practice. I don’t know about you, but I always feel much lighter and calmer in my head after a yoga session.
Pranayama or “life force extension”, consists of techniques designed for one to gain mastery over our respiratory process, acknowledging the connection between the breath, mind, and our emotions. Pranayama is probably is one of the most accessible tool/skill that we can do anytime, anywhere to regulate our emotions. When we are feeling angry or anxious, our breath usually quickens, and in some extreme cases some might experience hyperventilation or panic attacks. On the flip side, when we are asleep or relax, our breath slows down. By consciously slowing down our breath and making it rhythmic, we can regulate our emotions by sending signals to our brain to slow down and keep calm.
I found Pranayama to be especially useful whenever I have a difficult or anxious client that I am speaking with. If I can regulate my breath and stay calm, the mirror neurons translate and helps my client to stay calm as well.
One of the most obvious benefits of joining this YTT is making new friends. Going to class and meeting new people from all walks of life is so exciting as honestly speaking, with the pandemic, our socialisation can be quite minimal for now. Coming to class every week has become so much of a routine for me now that I am going to miss seeing my classmates and Master Sree. As our class is on weekday evenings and all of us are working, it is tiring to travel for class straight after work even having to skip dinner due to the timing. But all that do not seems to matter when we step into class and just focus on Yoga. I really enjoyed the conversations and laughs we shared and journeying through this YTT together!
Spirituality is something that I struggle with as it is such a broad and abstract topic that has different meanings to different people. Some may associate spirituality to being pious to God whereas others might see it as a non-religious experience in search of something bigger than ourselves or meaning in life. For me, I would identify more with the latter, where I am not religious but trying to get in touch with my own spirituality.
In learning about the 8 limbs of Yoga, I learned that it serves as a guideline for Yogi to live a meaningful and purposeful life. From the first limb, Yama, guiding us on our moral and ethical conduct with our surrounding to Niyama, focusing on duties towards ourselves, self-discipline and spiritual observances. These serves as the backbone for Yogi to practise the remaining 6 limbs in order to reach Samadhi. It is important to acknowledge at this point that it is a process and journey to reach the 8th limb, one that requires ample amount of self-discipline and perhaps intrinsic motivation to do so. I am still at the beginning stage and it is a humbling awareness that I still have a long way to go.