Yoga is an ancient science of health and wellness bestowed by the seers and sages of India for the welfare of humanity. This is one of the most ancient systems of Psychosomatic training known for human beings. Yoga has been a great art and science of healthy living even though it is one of the six systems of Indian philosophy.
Positive health is an important means of leading a meaningful life filled with happiness and inner harmony. They encompass the aspects of the human personality on account of our Social behavior, personal traits like intellect and emotions as well as harnessing the potentiality of the mind and body for a state of homeostasis or perfect equilibrium condition. Yoga techniques are rich in the purification of the mind and body and their mechanisms have been very useful to preserve and promote the health of the practitioners of yoga.
Health and Wellness
Health is one of the basic human needs and good health is an important contribution for the quality of human life experience. Our ancient vedic scriptures have shown the importance of good health by keeping a fit body in which it says “Sharir Madhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam” which means body is means of achieving the great objectives of meaningful life .
These objectives are called as chaturvidha purushartha in Indian scriptures.We can see the importance of good health in this sutra of Charaka Samhita. Dharmarth Kam Mokshanam Arogyam Mulamuttamam Rogastasya apahartha sreyasojeevitasya cha in which it echoes that in order to accomplish the Dharma, Artha, Kama and Moksha health is important and disease becomes the obstacle to progress.
These concepts are pivotal to the productivity of the individual either in the personal or professional life which depends a lot on the state of the health in terms of physical efficiency and mental concentration. Accordingly, the World Health Organization in 1948 defined “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” the more profound definition comprising the spiritual dimensions of the health including the physical and mental health concepts in the sutras of Sushruta Samhita,
Sama dosha sama agni scha sama dhatu mala kriyaaha|
Prasanna atma indriya manaha swastha iti abhidheeyate||
This says that, the equilibrium condition of Three doshas (Vata, Pitta and Kapha) Digestive fire, all the body tissues & components (Dhatus) as well as all the excretory functions along with a pleasant mind, controlled senses and spirit contribute to health.
Wellness and its relevance in health is a process of achieving the full potential to enhance the higher quality of life experiences. It is relevant in the reduction of the stress and the risk factors of the disorders leading to illness as well as to ensure the positive health conditions through the multi dimensional approaches based on sustainable principles and practices.
Wellness and its Relevance in the health
Wellness is a process of achieving the full potential to enhance the higher quality of life experiences. It is relevant in the reduction of the stress and the risk factors of the disorders leading to illness as well as to ensure the positive health conditions through the multi dimensional approaches based on the sustainable principles and practices.
Health care system and its challenges
Health care systems around the world are dealing with Great Spirit to provide the best possible health solutions at the same they are facing the challenges of the modern life in which we can see the rise of psychosomatic diseases such as hypertension which are due to the chronic stressful situations, improper lifestyle and a lack of physical activity. The incidents of mental sickness are heavily affecting the physical health conditions.
Holistic health view of philosophical foundations of Yoga
The schools of yoga which are the philosophical foundations of the realization of the higher aims of life through their methods. The collective experiences of these processes help in the stability of the emotions, improved intellect as well as the efficient functional abilities of different systems of our body which encompass the connection of the body, mind and spirit.
Role of Hatha Yoga and its curriculum in health and wellness
Hatha Yoga is the science of the purification of the mind and body, Hatha means a balance between two forces of energy which are represented as physical and mental energy. The channelization of the energy takes place through the subtle energy channels called as nadis and they contribute the flow of the energy in the form of energy centers which are called as chakras.
These are the vital forces and places in our body encompassing the entire human spectrum from gross to subtle experiences. The concept of disease is deeply established in the blockages of the energy in the nadis which are mainly due to many of the imbalances on account of psychosomatic disturbances experienced by an individual in his daily life on account of various stressful factors encountered in the external environment of his surroundings either in the personal or professional life.
In order to bring about such harmony in the mind and body to enjoy good health the practice of Hatha yoga curriculum will be of great help.
Asanas – Body postures
The practice of Asana is considered as the foremost practice among the Hatha yoga sadhana. The stable and comfortable body posture is called Asana. The regular practice of asana is going to bring health, steadiness and a feeling of well-being. These poses are broadly divided into cultural and meditative categories. The proper growth and strength of the body result from the different poses.
They have a wide range of therapeutic values in order to heal the internal disorders of the system. Isometric movements are involved in these poses which help in optimum stretch of the muscles and best possible range of joint motion without the risks of exhaustion and muscle fatigue. The description of the diet is also explained in the second part of the 1st chapter with a purpose to inculcate conducive eating habits for the yoga practice .This is known as “mithahara” or controlled diet for the successful practice.
Pranayama – Control of prana / breath.
The 2nd Chapter of Hatha Pradeepika explains about the pranayama technique. The controlled regulation of the speed of the respiration through the regulated inhalation,exhalation and retention of the breath either internally or externally is called as Pranayama which helps in improving the length of the breath and making it subtle.
There are eight classical pranayama techniques. These practices remove the barriers responsible for the blockages in the nadis and bring the purification. Most of the mental sickness and distractions of the mind are attributed to disturbed flow of prana . Hence, the pranayama practice helps a lot in harnessing the harmony through the balanced flow and brings the best possible mental health. The effect of steadiness in the breath results in the steadiness of the mind.
This is useful in the regulation of the senses control as well as attaining the one pointedness of the mind. This entire experience of the pranayama will develop the capacity of concentration.
Shatkarmas – 6 cleansing techniques
Cleansing techniques play a significant role in the removal of toxins in the body which are resulting in account metabolism. The balance of tridosha is an important contribution of shatkarmas for good health and wellness. These gross impurities are also exposing some risk factors for health and proper blood circulation as well as joint range of motions.
Body cleansing is brought about by the practice of the shatkarmas or six purificatory techniques.These are very important from the point of view of physical and mental health. These techniques are also highly valuable in healing internal disorders.
There are six main groups of shatkarmas or yogic cleansers:
1. Neti: nasal cleaning, including jala neti and sutra neti.
2. Dhauti: cleansing of the digestive tract.
3. Nauli: abdominal massage.
4. Basti: colon cleaning.
5. Kapalbhati: purification and vitalisation of the frontal lobes.
6. Trataka: Blinkless gazing
Mudras – Psychic gestures and Bandhas – Energy locks
These are the special practices in Hatha yoga to channelize the pranic force in a controlled and sustainable manner. The guidance and discipline is an important factor in the successful practice of bandhas and mudras . The 10 mudras of Hatha pradipika reveal the great wisdom to acquire the control of the pranic force to maintain the vitality. Vital points of the body such as navel region and
Pelvic floor health is improved by the practice of these techniques.
Practice of meditation is one of the best things to inculcate for good mental health. It is an effective antidote to beat the stress and its influence on the mind and body of routine life. The harmony of the mind and body results from meditation practice which is useful in better neuromuscular coordination, concentration, memory and other cognitive capacities.
Raja Yoga, the Royal road of positive health.
Raja Yoga is the royal road for achieving positive health through structured sequential practices of eight limbs as explained by sage Patanjali in his Patanjala Yoga Sutras. The effects of these different limbs are going to bring the reduction of the impurities and one can attain the higher wisdom for the peace and harmony in life which mainly applied in the reduction of the ignorance.
The eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga begin with the lessons of Non-violence which and other principles necessary to bring the harmony between the self and the society as well as the development of the personal qualification through the set of personal observances . These eight limbs are;
1) Yama are known as codes of restraint, abstinences, self-regulations
2) Niyama are called as observances, practices, self-training
3) Asana is Stable and comfortable body posture
4) Pranayama is controlled expansion of breath and prana or its regulation.
5) Pratyahara is the process of withdrawal of the indriyas (the senses)
6) Dharana is process of concentration
7) Dhyana is practice of meditation which is an unbroken flow of the awareness
8) Samadhi is the ultimate state of Yoga which is reached through the meditation
The principles and practices of Yoga have been practiced for several thousand years and have been subjected for investigation in different areas like psychology and allied sciences. They stood the test of all the time and are of great help in the achievement of best possible holistic health through their regular practice. Yoga revives our heritage and tradition and supports the modern health care system to prevent many of the modern psychosomatic diseases.
The practice of yoga also greatly means alleviating the sufferings of human life through the proper knowledge and understanding the connections of the afflictions and their influence. It is the path of self realization too. It mainly focuses on the preventive, promotive and curative aspects of Yoga as natural health care measures which are really in great demand for the strength and support of the modern health care system.
The regular practice of yoga is an antidote for many of the psychosomatic and lifestyle disorders of modern life with the revival of the traditional heritage along the lines of the sustainable approach. Our ancient Vedic scriptures have shown the importance of good health by keeping a fit body in which it says “Sharir Madhyam Khalu Dharma Sadhanam” which means body is means of achieving the great objectives of meaningful life.