Nowadays people are quite aware of yoga and its health benefits, but it’s little known that yoga has the power to cure aliments be it physical, emotional or mental.
Yoga has become a household word across the world thanks to Guruji BKS Iyengar. Guruji has done extensive and incredible work to bring peace, health and spiritual growth for humankind.
Today I want to talk about the medical or therapeutic form of yoga and how Guruji used yoga asana to cure people from body pain and other disease.
Guruji constantly used inward explorations on himself throughout his life which helped him to build on the medical benefits of yoga . He continuously experimented and self-judged the actions on his own body (joints, ligaments, muscles, organs) during the asana practice . He studied the effects of asanas and pranayama on the function of the body and correspondingly what changes occur to the mind.
He introduced props for those who came with physical body pain or somatic or psycho somatic problems.
Therapeutic yoga or medical yoga has not only addressed many health problems, it has changed lives completely.
So how can yoga cure physical or other disease?
First let us understand what is meant by good health or fitness..
Fitness is not only freedom from diseases but also includes maintaining healthy physical, mental and social levels.
For good health, Prajna (awareness) needs to reach every cell of the body. This level of fitness is achieved by practicing asana the right way which will help us balance prana (life force, breath) with prajna ( complete awareness) and Iyengar yoga leads the way for us to practice yoga asana in the correct way and with the help of props.
Therapeutic yoga has evolved over the years with the help of constant research, experimentation, systemised observations and findings.
Iyengar yoga enables curing a variety of diseases with self healing by targeting the root cause while allopathic doctors will prescribe drugs which fixes the symptoms only and will have potential side effects.
Let’s give an example;
- A person with knee pain is given a painkiller for the pain relief (which is an immediate and temporary relief) however it does not cure the root cause.
- If the knee pain is due to reduced meniscus (meniscus keeps the femur and tibia from rubbing directly against each other) or no synovial fluid
Based on the common medical diagnosis advice will be pain killers or knee replacement with restrictions on movements like sitting or bending knees or forward bends etc.
While as in yoga therapy classes the person is made to do the asana which will align the various body parts. The right and the left sides are compared and the miss aligned part is balanced with the help of props till the feeling of both body parts are equal and the sense of equanimity is attained. When the body is aligned the circulation is better and a kind of detoxification happens, the toxins are released by the body fat into the circulatory system. With continuous practice this detoxification reaction happens until the body finally clears itself of it’s toxic burden. The cells, tissues , muscles start normal functioning and the person get’s relief from the pain.
According to the yogic point of view the universe (prakriti) is made of various principles (elements, organs of action, sense of perception, consciousness, intelligence and ego) and these need to be perfectly balanced. The other constituent which enliven the body matter is the soul (purusha)
Before I end this topic I suggest everyone to give a chance to your body to heal itself, our body has a tremendous power of self healing but we burden it with quick medicine and adding toxins of side effects which further add burden to our bodies.
Yoga is the best medicine given by our sages, let us embrace it for good health, peace and enlightenment.
“Asanas are the arrow, body is the bow and target is the soul ” BKS Iyengar