We all want to become healthy, both mentally and physically, but somehow there are a lot of toxins in our bodies and minds. The more we clean the mind, the more we bring out the true light within. I can compare what happens in the oil industry to what happens within us as we clean ourselves. The ground is drilled and from that comes a very crude oil. When the crude oil is processed in the refineries, you have gasoline. It’s not that anything super has been put into the crude oil, instead they simply refine the crude oil and that same oil expresses its true capacity as pure gasoline.

The word “refinement” implies that you are returning something back to being fine—re-fining. The prefix “re” stands for returning back to the original state. That means it was originally fine, somehow it became crude, and you are now returning the fineness back through refineries. People are also like that. When you were born as a baby you were fine. There were no bad qualities in you and that is why the face of a baby expresses the kingdom of heaven. The face looks divine. A beautiful smile is enough to express that inner divinity. All the babies have natural, cosmic beauty, but we only have cosmetic beauty.

And now, we have to make ourselves fine again. We were fine, somehow we lost it by becoming de-fined, and now we have to make ourselves fine again. Unfortunately, to make ourselves fine, we seek the aid of artificial things. Defining means losing the fineness. Definitions divide us. My definition is different from your definition so I am different from you. We all have different definitions and that separates us and we fight with one another. Babies have no definitions; they are fine and so they love each other and play with each other. Babies make no distinctions between rich and poor, friend and enemy. You see an equal vision in babies and that equal vision is what you call Yoga. Whoever lives with that equal vision is said to be a divine person.

So the sign of divine life or Yoga is to keep this equanimity—the equal vision we were born with. We were fine as babies, then we became “de-fined,” and now we have to raise above the definitions and become fine again. Whoever has achieved that has become a refined person. That is the purpose of all the religions and also of Yoga. All our practices, all of our daily actions, should help us in refining our bodies and minds. That means we need to clean our bodies from any toxins and clean our minds from mental toxins. Once it is all cleaned we are refined again.

Ultrasonic vibrations clean you very well. If you practice chanting constantly, or as much as possible, the sound will clean your body and mind. After all, what is disease? Disease is nothing but disturbed ease. You were at ease, somehow you lost your ease, and now you call yourself dis-eased. Find out what caused the disturbance of your ease, push it aside or stay away from that and you are at ease once again.

On the physical level, what causes our dis-ease? The bodies of babies are so supple and relaxed. They are as flexible as rubber. Slowly, the bodies become tensed up, rigid and then we say the child is growing up. But the child, as it is growing, does not have to lose its suppleness. It does not have to become stiff. What makes it stiff? Think of a door or of the windows of a house if you leave them unused for a long time. The hinges become rusty and the door becomes stiff due to the rust in the hinges. In the same way, in our bodies, our hinges are very loose in the beginning and we can move your limbs any way we want. But gradually toxins get into the body and make the joints stiff. These toxins come in mainly from the food that we eat, the liquids that we drink, and the air that we breathe; they all bring toxins into our system. So the very beginning of Yoga takes care of  what we put in our bodies. If you want to be a good yogi you should begin by eating the right food, drinking clean liquid, and breathing clean air. These are all free to us or at least, inexpensive. An apple costs much less than an apple pie! Whatever comes directly from nature, without any artificial changes, will be clean. Eat natural food as much as possible. Fruits, nuts, and salads can be eaten raw. Steamed food, cooked as simply as possible, is also good. Drink natural liquids. The most important thing that is necessary for us to live is clean air. It is the most important thing for our lives. We can live for a few days without food or water but we cannot live more than a few moments without air. Food costs a certain amount, liquids are a bit less expensive, but air is the least expensive. Nature made sure that the most important thing would be free to everyone. You won’t receive a big bill by a taking a deep long breath!

Unfortunately, some people still don’t want the free, clean air. Instead they go to the shop and buy nicotine poison or smoke drugs while nectar is free. In the name of Yoga, we are asked to lead a natural life, staying away from any poisons so that the body can be more supple and free. If a person practices Hatha Yoga and some pranayama (yogic breathing) the accumulated toxins from improper eating, drinking, and inhaling any smoke, can be eliminated from the body. Then there will be no more craving. It is the toxins in the body that create the craving. Whether you are overeating, over sleeping, overdrinking or smoking, if you just begin Hatha Yoga, very soon you will find that cravings and unhealthy habits will go away all by themselves. I have even seen individuals over the age of 80, who have begun a Yoga practice and feel younger and more alert every day!

So, at least for the sake of physical health, you can begin a regular Yoga practice. It can eliminate the toxins that are already in the body and at the same time, it can bring in fresh energy and vitality in your system.

By Sri Swami Satchidananda