Yoga is science of life carrying in it the mystery of conservation of health and complete transformation of life. Its techniques offer remedies of health and hygiene chiefly because these are half therapy. Yogic therapy contributes to the integration of personality through healthy body and mind with minimum of time, effort and expense. This is attained by promotive, preventive and curative methods. Whereas Promotive methods bring in homeostatic functioning in the body, Preventive methods protect individuals from exposure to bad influences and Curative methods bring cure in the disturbed psychophysiological function.
The mechanism through which yogic therapy achieve results are by;
- Direct influence on the body organs like muscles, joints, ligaments, visceral organs to counteract repeated irritations causing stiffness. Influence on visceral organs possibly decrease metabolic activity
- Influence through autonomic nervous system by reducing sympathetic tone and promoting parasympathetic tone, leading to balance
- Influence through higher nervous system by voluntary control over somatic system and by influencing psychic areas in the brain.
While the first two mechanisms are involved in the maintenance and promotion of psychophysical health, the third mechanism governs the spiritual aspect of personality.
In today’s times most of the asanas and pranayama are popularized as if they are for a particular physical or mental problem. For example, ardha matsyendrasana for diabetics or sheetali pranayama for controlling high blood pressure etc. As a matter of fact, only asana or pranayama is not going to help if it is done in a mechanical pattern. There are other factors that play a major role in the recovery and rehabilitation process. Some of these other factors are;
- Awareness – In order to get the benefit it is not important that the posture is perfect; more important is the awareness of the body and mind
- Attitude – all Yoga practices are based on the laws of nature. It is very important to understand its scientific details with spiritual outlook
- Commitment – quite often people take up Yoga as an experiment. Sometime when all other doors are closed, people come to Yoga and expect a miracle or instant recovery. One has to practice Yoga as a lifestyle; once in a while practice won’t give the desired results.
- Relaxation & Restoration –stop, breathe and relax. Give body and mind time it needs!
Yogic practices vary as individuals vary. According to the individual needs the nature of yogic practices will differ. But with due discrimination every individual stands to benefit in some way. There are limits everywhere. On the basis of limitations of age, environment, maturity, and general physical capabilities one has to select appropriate yogic practices to start with.
Yoga has always been a growing discipline. It has gone through several stages of development and has adjusted to the needs of the day. It never prescribed the same approach to all persons. It has always showed regard to individual differences. Yoga in modern times is taking a new dimension. There is a tendency to look for help from Yoga in every walk of life to overcome the problems and reach a level of peace and satisfaction.