The Five Faculties of Modern Yoga and Benefits Bestowed – Part One

Breaking down Modern Yoga into its individual components, for a more informed practice
– Part One –

The Five Faculties of Modern Yoga and the Benefits Bestowed

Providing a firm foundation for a life lived well

When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Viktor E. Frankl

– Part One –

A Summary of Modern Yoga and its Benefits


What is Modern Yoga?

Modern yoga is the approach I choose to take with my teaching. I define it as:

“… A lifestyle discipline constructed around five faculties that proactively develop integral health. These faculties merge together:

  • the practical and philosophical components of authentic yoga
  • the knowledge and insight of contemporary science and psychology.”

I want to make authentic yoga accessible to more people through the practice of modern yoga.

Here, I’ll help you understand what modern yoga really is and the benefits it bestows. I could say this is ideal for new yoga pupils. But for the more experienced student too, it’ll refresh your knowledge and help you to prioritise the continuing development of your yoga practice.

If you’re struggling with life, I hope to provide encouragement and a possible path out of your predicament. Many pupils discover yoga through their own adversity and never look back.

And towards the end, I’ll address some common issues around practising modern yoga to advance integral health.



Let’s Define ‘Integral Health’

The World Health Organization defines ‘health’ as:

“A state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

And in the Encyclopaedia Britannica, it’s:

“The physical, emotional, social, and mental capacity of an individual to cope with their environment.”

These definitions happen to contain the elements of integral, or holistic, health which modern yoga promotes.


The Five Faculties of Yoga Summarised

“There is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.”

The Buddha

The Faculties are:

  1. Physical Fitness

  2. Physical Health

  3. Emotional Intelligence

  4. Mental Health

  5. Personal Growth


The benefits each bestows are:

1.    Learning how to be physically fit

Physical Fitness is about how well your body performs. Yoga exercises your body in an empowering way. It enables you to attain high levels of fitness as appropriate for your needs.

2.   Learning how to be physically healthy

Physical Health is about how well your body functions. Modern yoga exercises your internal and external body. It also regulates your vital organs and other life-support systems.

3.   Learning how to be emotionally intelligent

The physical and mental disciplines of yoga develop your emotional intelligence. This translates the ancient practice of yoga into contemporary psychology – especially where it concerns the concept of Self.

4.   Learning how to be mentally healthy

Modern yoga teaches you how to practise mindfulness and meditation. When combined with physical health and fitness, these nourish your mental health.

5.   Learning how to cultivate personal growth

Better emotional intelligence, mental health, and physical health and fitness all develop your self-awareness and control. They also improve your motivation, empathy and social skills, providing you with the ingredients for personal growth.


If you found this interesting and want to know more …

Click forward to Part Two where we explore each faculty and its benefits in much greater detail. Ultimately, I want to help you improve your yoga practice by giving you a fuller understanding of:

  • The integrated nature of what you’re doing
  • Why you’re doing it

You’re not expected to learn all of these things at once – that would probably be a mistake!

Take your time and grow slowly into a yoga practice that’s right for you. This will develop your strength, grace, and fortitude – both mentally and physically. Like a mighty oak tree or a beautiful garden, you need to cultivate your yoga practice. By doing so, you’re also nurturing your inner self and quality of life.