Health is harmony.  When different systems like respiratory, circulatory, cardiovascular etc function in harmony with each other then the body is healthy.  When different aspects of psyche like mind, emotions, intellect etc of person function in harmony then person is psychologically healthy.
Body and mind of a healthy person are in harmony.  This harmony can be disturbed due to different reasons.  Unhealthy lifestyle is one such reason.  If this harmony is disturbed beyond recovery it can cause diseases like blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, depression.  It can even trigger genetic disorders and give way to opportunistic infections.   Such disorders are lifestyle disorders.

1. Yoga can restore this harmony and cure many lifestyle related diseases.  This can happen without any medicine.  If person is taking any medicine, yoga can only helps it work better and eventually rendering it unnecessary.  However, yoga may not help if person continues to live unhealthy lifestyle.  Also, yoga can cure lifestyle related diseases if it is practiced in proper manner; example some yogic exercises are not intended for people suffering from blood pressure.   Doing those exercises can only worsen the disease.  Therefore yoga should be adopted as a targeted therapy only under an expert teacher.  This is particularly important when the disease is severe.  Yoga cannot help in medical emergencies or when rapidly acting therapy is required.

2. Yoga is a holistic therapy.  It works for all aspects of personality including body, mind, vital force etc. Effect of yoga is deeply transforming and long lasting.  Effect of yoga is broad.  For example yoga done for cardiovascular health not only works on heart but also all other parts of body that directly or indirectly relate to heart.  Because of it’s wider scope yoga therapy not only treats primary symptoms and causes of disease but also the secondary conditions and causes that are not so obvious.

The holistic nature of yoga lies in it’s postures, breathing, locks, gestures, and meditation all synchronized to give a wholesome effect.  Yogic breathing increases vital force and circulates it in different parts of body.  Postures improve body dimensions, relative alignment of organs, and assimilation of vital force in body.  Locks and gestures prevent vital forces from leaking wastefully.  Meditation and celibacy improves the general intelligence that governs body and psyche.  This makes yoga a holistic therapy and renders it capable to treat most lifestyle related diseases by restoring harmony in body and psyche.

3. Effect of yoga reaches deeper than most other therapies.  Yoga increases vital force in our body.  Yoga strengthens and also creates new channels through which vital force travel through body.  Yoga circulates vital force to nooks and corners of body.  Yoga assimilates vital force in body by adapting body to the raised vitality.  Similarly yoga also improves circulation of nutrition in the body and removal of toxins.  This strengthens the foundation of our health.

 As you advance in the practice of yoga, you can experience layers of body vital force and your psyche that you had never known or imagined before.  As you advance in the practice of yoga, you gain control and feel of those regions of body that function in autonomous fashion and at subliminal level.  For example, just by manipulating breath and concentration you can raise or slow down heart beat, raise body temperature, control movement of your intestine etc.

4. Yoga can heal you from the deepest layer of your body.  Correspondingly, it can also nullify the harmful impressions of past on your subconscious through meditation.  Due to it’s reach yoga can heal and transform the foundations of your body and psyche.  Reach of yoga is so deep that it can raise you from your ashes would not be an exaggerated claim.  However, exploring deep within the body and psyche through yoga is dangerous without right training and attitude.

5. Lesser degree of awareness and sensitivity keeps us oblivious of harmful effects of unhealthy lifestyle till some health problem comes to surface.  Yoga simply increases this sensitivity and awareness.  Yoga raises awareness and brings more portion of body and psyche in to it’s focus.  You become more sensitive to anything unhealthy rising in body and mind.  Example, you may become alert to consumption of wrong kind of food, or you may become aware of unwholesome environment around you.

6. You can also become alert to subconscious tendencies of mind that can drive you towards wrong lifestyle. For example you can become alert to mental tendencies created by advertisements to sell their unhealthy products. This heightened awareness can help you identify and abstain from unhealthy lifestyle and prevent consequent disorders.

7. Relaxation is the most potent therapeutic effect of yoga.  Relaxation induced by yoga goes deeper than sleep, though not a substitute to sleep.  It is a concentrated deep sleep.  Yogic relaxation restores depleted states of brain and brings order to it.  Yogic breathing can balance and energize the brain.  Brain can control the body in better manner.  Yogic relaxation boosts immune system, nullifies harmful effects of stress on body, and speeds up healing activity in body.

8. Yoga can not only improve health but also power of your psyche and personality.  This can gives you self mastery and control over habits and impulses.  Yoga can free you from the vagaries of your mind and ego.  It improves your will power and gives you confidence.  You become mighty against misleading tendencies in your environment that tend to drive you towards wrong lifestyle.

9. Yoga is a lifestyle in itself.  It is an ideal replacement for any kind of unhealthy lifestyle.  Through it’s philosophy, yoga is also a source of wisdom.  This can help to cultivate right attitude towards life.  Yoga can not only help to prevent and cure lifestyle related diseases but also help you with living a better life in general.

 
All the above factors can help to cure most lifestyle related diseases, reduce your vulnerability to them, improve health, encourage and give you strength to live healthy life, and prevent you from falling back to unhealthy ways.

10. However, the greatest panacea of all sufferings lies in the ultimate goal of yoga and that is to recognize your true nature, the choiceless awareness.  This recognition renders you free from everything good or bad.  Understanding and living through your true nature and it’s oneness with the existence takes most of the stress out of your life.  This choiceless awareness can serve as an ideal standard for living every moment of our life.  Whether you suffer or delight, you experience yourself as free from both and that freedom is ultimate gift of yoga.  Whether you are suffering from disease or not, by recognizing your true nature you are beyond suffering.

Written by Chetan More for Parimukti.com

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parimukti yoga

Parimukti is an organisation dedicated to teaching yoga and meditation to every single individual who wants to explore this wonderful ancient techniques in-depth.

Parimukti is a self -challenging growth oriented practice which will ultimately lead to a life transforming experience.

All points of view are welcome, even contradictory ones ? All we expect is that you put your point across in a civil manner.

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