Yoga – A need of the hour
Dr Sagolsem Kulachandra Singh
Contd from prev issue
Stress Management through Ashtanga Yoga
The regular practice of all the yogic procedures of eightfold yoga system namely Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, samadhi supported by proper Lacto-vegetarian diet, rest and necessary adequate exercises is known to produce a perfect balance between body and mind. lt has been objectively proved that effect of Asanas, pranayamo, Meditation is to normalize the functions of the body, internal body systems and mind together. lt is emphatically stated by Janardana Swami in his book on Yoga.
lf one practices yoga regularly and as per his capacity, he is assured of health, happiness and contentment. These claims have been objectively proud by scientific experiments also.
A) Dr. Herbert Benson, a cardiologist of Harvard School of Medicine, USA, has proved after decades of an experiment that continued practice of Meditation leads to Relaxation Response characterized by (i) Lowering of pulse rate, breathing rate, reduction in increased blood pressure. (ii) Feeling of well being.
(iii) improvement in general body resistance (iv) reducing the speed of Aging.
(v) Reduces bad cholesterol level in the blood and improves the immune system.
B) In 1988-99 Dr. Dean orrish, a cardiologist from California University of America has conclusively proved that combination of Yogic way of life namely change of lifestyle, abstinence from nicotine, proper-cholesterol free vegetarian diet regular exercise reopen the blocked coronary artery from 56 to 62% within a period of one year. That is yoga has the power of reversing the disease and it can By-pass the By-pass surgery provided all the above things are done together.
It has been further proved that regular practice of yogic procedures affects at all the levels of life namely physiological, psychological and spiritual.
C) The regular practice of Yogasanas is known to improve the suppleness of the spine, mobility of joints, tones and reflex activity of muscles, the envious and lymphatic drainage of internal organs, and overall improves the general body resistance. Yogasanas are not just physical exercises, aimed to increase muscle bulk or power. On the contrary, they help to keep the bodyweight near to normal, improves the flexibility and suppleness of spinal column and joints and endurance of muscle activity. This is very very essential to avoid or postpone degenerative disease of joints.
D) Pranayama is known to improve the breathing capacity developing proper control over mind and strengthen the autonomous nervous system and develop proper coordination between a conical and autonomous nervous system which ultimately helps to combat stress much more efficiently. In the ancient scriptures, it is started.
lf one practices Pranayama and other parts of yoga properly one can get rid of all diseases. But if one doesn’t practice any part of Yoga properly it can give rise to all diseases.
Hence, one should learn yoga from an experienced yoga teacher.
E) Asanas and Pranayamas are mainly known to improve the functioning of neuromuscular-glandular axis the functioning of which is responsible for internal Homoeostasis a natural body resistance.
F) Meditation i.e. to “Live With Attention Without Tension” helps to reduce the production of stress to a great extent and also helps to accept the unavoidable reality. It is to be kept in mind that the science of Yoga never originated on a Therapy.
However, the effect of total yogic living style has been proud to avoid, control and cure certain stress-oriented diseases. This therapy has to be accepted as a style of living. Just practising same asanas or pranayamas sometimes and neglecting other aspects of Yoga won’t do. Remember that only Asanas means not Yoga Therapy, or there are no particular asanas for particular diseases. The beauty of this Yogic Therapy alias yogic way of living is, it treats the person as a whole. In yoga one does not treat a part of the body like neck, back, heart, etc. lt takes into account all aspects of living of an individual namely physical exercises, mental attitude, social relationship, spiritual awareness, diet and abstinence from vices. Thus it is a totally holistic approach or Art of living. The purpose of this approach is not just to get rid of some diseases but also to improve the personality as a whole and enjoy the jubilant feeling of well being. One must realize that Yoga Therapy cannot replace conventional medicine completely. However, one should not ignore Yoga Therapy. Both yoga and conventional therapy have to go together. To start with yoga can be introduced as an adjustment to other Therapy. Continued practice of Yoga way of living is known to reduce the need for medicines by 25% to 100% in 6 months to 2 years period. lt is known that it can avoid surgical intervention in problems like ischaemic heart disease, backache, sinusitis, Dyspepsia at all. However, one must practice Yoga properly and regularly.
Yoga therapy does not involve the mere practice of Yogasana or Pranayama only. One of the most important aspects of Yogic art of living is to follow the precepts of Yama. However one should behave in society with others. These precepts are Truth, Nonviolence Nonstealing, Non-attachment and Brahmacharya, Control over all the sense organs and at an individual level, attitude contentment or witnessing Self-study, Self-efforts realizing the ultimate reality and to take proper lacto-vegetarian food.
The aims of these guiding principles are not to being any limitations on the freedom of a person but it helps to make oneself healthy and develop a good relationship with others, which is the backbone of good quality of life. Thus the yogic way of living which involves all dimensions of life namely Diet, Exercise, Thoughts, speaking and Acts is a complete Holistic art of living. Stress Management is the by-products.