Yoga is an all-inclusive, highly tuned process that combines individual consciousness and the vastly larger consciousness. It is more important to accept yoga’s spiritual nature and philosophy than the practical relevance of the postures, breathing patterns and exercises. The yogis are masters at yoga and can easily activate the body and mind. This allows the mind to relax completely while the body is relaxed and in a state of calm. It helps to eliminate all mental and physical fatigue and to focus the consciousness force on the deeper levels of the inner self. It eventually leads to a state called trance, which allows for spiritual elevation and restoration of the whole of life. Only spiritual enlightenment, transcendent thoughts and the realization of (Brahma Vidya), ultimate knowledge are possible.
The principles of yoga, as mentioned in the Upanishads, deal with awakening the inner realms and soul. Yoga is a discipline that strengthens and improves the spiritual, mental, and physical state of being. Yoga science, which focuses on the physical aspects of life, aims to improve the health and strength of the body. Yoga sadhana’s initial stage focuses on the practice of asanas and pranayama, along with several yogic kriyas of refinement. As one progresses in yoga, the physical practice of specific positions of the body through various Asanas and bandhas facilitates the activation of other dormant vital energies, centers and harmonies to the brain and intra-body functions. This category also includes the kriyas (exercises) Neti, dhoti and Basti, and Cairoli and kapalbhati. These are used to purify the body internally. Fasting, austerity and penance are all ways to cleanse the body and mind and improve self-control.
We will highlight some pioneering research findings that have helped validate and recognize this prehistoric science in modern times. Everyplace laboratory experimentation and demonstration as per current trend mostly happened to the criteria of acceptance of validity or truth of the concept.
With the help of yogic kriyas and asanas, Dr. R Nagaratna from SVYASA University has had remarkable success curing patients suffering from chest and cardiovascular problems. Patients who have asthma were able to heal themselves by practicing breathing exercises and pranayamas rather than taking medication. This has helped them trust in their ability to treat this serious disease. Pranayama, basically controlled breathing and concentration, is a way to increase and harmonize the flow of prana (vital energies) in the body. Purifying the bronchial tube increases the lungs’ capacity and balances the outflow and inflow of carbon dioxide.
Swami Anand and Dr. Dharmvir Na Varandani were the first to report the results of systematic research on yoga’s effects on treating diabetes mellitus. The results of their initial experiments were presented at a national scientific Congress by the Central Council of Research in Indigenous medicine (Homoeopathy) that they had organized.
Over three months, a large clinical study was conducted at the “Yogic Treatment cum Research Centre”, Jaipur, with 283 patients who have diabetes. Patients were provided with a balanced diet of 98 FM oils, 400 gm carbs, 100 gm protein, and 2900 calories. During the study, patients were subject to urine, blood sugar and glucose tests. Patients were doing sarvangasana and halasana as well as mayurasana and padahastasana. There was a time for devotional practices, prayers, and meditational sadhanas in their daily routine.
After three months, 52% of patients showed improvement. Most of them were completely cured. The remaining patients are in an acute condition or have diabetes for over half their age. Positive effects were seen after the treatment was continued for a few more days.
In 1977, Dr. Lakshmikanthan published his article “Yoga and The Heart”. He presented the results of his research on two types of hypertension patients in the Government hospital, on whom allopathic medicine was largely ineffective. Patients in the first group had weak hearts, cardiac problems, and high blood pressure. The second group had healthy hearts.
Patients in the first group were asked to do Shavasana with soft pillows under their legs. The second group was given additional practices of viparitkarni mudra, halasana, and sarvangasana. Both groups noticed an immediate improvement in patient relaxation and sound sleep. In the second group, the healing effects of normalizing B. P. were very significant. Many people in the first group responded positively to the medications.
Asanas, scientifically-recommended modes of exercise that naturally target the mind and body, are called “Asanas”. These practices include stretching and compressing the muscles, regulating blood flow healthily, bringing energy and freshness to the body, and increasing flexibility. Although these exercises, such as Danda-baithaka or some aerobics, can provide quick results, they tend to harden muscles and increase the risk of damage from excessive pressure. Yoga asanas have another advantage: if one asana requires forward bending, there are also two in the same set requiring backward bending. This makes it a perfect sequence for biomechanics.
Sirsasana has been praised for its combined mental and physical health benefits. It should only be practiced after sufficient training and experience with other asanas. Dr. Alexandro W. Juli, Director of Thord Clinic for Meditation, Poland, conducted the first scientific study of this higher-level asana. It was published in 1980. With the aid of ECG, X-rays, and EMG, he determined the effects of sirsasana upon different organs and physiological functions of healthy subjects.
The subject of the study could concentrate well and had experience practicing this asana. For 2 to 3 minutes, he was instructed to perform this exercise on an empty stomach. Then, Shavasana was performed. These important parameters should be sold before, during, and after asana practice. The immediate positive effects of asana include regulation of blood flow, regulation of serum levels, and instant balancing. These results were positive for preventing heart attacks and coronary blockage and increasing body resistance to diseases. The x-ray shows a broadening in lung volume without pressure on the heart. The pulmonary test revealed a 33% increase in oxygen consumption during inspiration and a 10% decrease in expiration with carbon dioxide. Normal respiration rates had been recorded. These tests confirmed the relaxation of heart rate and an improvement in vital capacity.
The results of a controlled clinical study on Bhujangasana’s effect were presented at the 1978 “First Conference on the Application of Yoga to Rehabilitation Therapy”. This asana is known to normalize blood pressure and stress levels.
According to Kaivalyadham (India), the best practices for maintaining normal health and fitness were mayurasana and Sarvangasana. These asanas are also easier to perform and more effective than the others for weak patients.
The previous year’s studies had proven the scientific validity and opened the door to advanced research worldwide on yoga therapy for psychosomatic disorders. This expands the possibilities of yoga being used for the general public’s well-being. These seemingly simple practices can amazingly affect your mental and physical health.