Yoga is an ancient treasure trove of wisdom passed down from our ancestors over five centuries ago. Unfortunately, yoga’s history is not limited to asanas and other physical poses. Yoga can mean so much more than that.
Yoga derives from the Sanskrit root term ‘yuj, ‘ meaning “to unite”. It is the union of an individual soul (jivatma) and a universal soul (Paramatma). It allows the practitioner to be in harmony with their surroundings, essentially a state of consciousness.
According to the Patanjali Yoga Sutras, an ancient text on yoga, yoga is believed to consist of eight limbs.
Respective rules (Yama and Niyama), postures, breath regulation (pranayama), withdrawal from the senses and concentration (Dharana), meditation and absorption into God (Samadhi) are some of the rules and observances.
Additional techniques were developed by hatha yoga practitioners, including gestures (mudra), cleansing procedures (kriya), and locks (bandhas).
THE CONCEPT OF HEALTH
It is difficult to understand the concept of “Health” because it is abstract. The fundamental question is: “Can a person who doesn’t have any disease be considered healthy?”
1948: The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health as the complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being. It was not just the absence of disease and infirmity.
A person’s health is comprised of their physical, mental, spiritual, vocational, moral and emotional dimensions.
This definition shows that health is dynamic and multi-dimensional. A holistic approach that addresses all dimensions of health is the only way to achieve optimal health. Yoga is the ideal candidate for this purpose.
* Asanas (postures) and shat Kriyas (cleansing processes) can improve the physical aspect of your health.
* Dhyana (meditation), and Dharana (concentration), improve mental health.
* Yama (discipline), and Niyama (observance), are universal rules for morality and conduct established by Patanjali. These principles are similar to the modern principles of community medicine and public health.
Pratyahara (withdrawal from the senses) and pranayama (breath regulation) are two practices that improve emotional health.
* Yoga strongly supports the importance of surrendering to the almighty, or ishvarapranidhana. This promotes spiritual health and development in individuals.
Yoga can help you achieve the traditional concept of optimal health.
THE YOGIC VIEW OF HEALTH
Understanding the structure of the human body is essential for understanding the yogic concept of health. Maitreya Upanishad, an ancient text, explains the structural aspects of the human body. According to this text, the human body comprises five sheaths known as pancakes.
These five levels of health are said to lead to optimal health.
1. Annamayakosha or The physical body
The five great elements, or pancamahabhootas, are the foundation of the physical body. These five elements are further organized to create the seven basic tissues of our bodies, the saptadhatus. These include rasa (lymph), mama/flesh/muscle, mama/blood, mama/flesh/muscle), medas/fat (bone marrow), majja/bone marrow), majja/bone marrow), majja/bone marrow) and sukra/semen (semen).
2. Pranamayakosha, or Energy Body
It is mainly made up of energy channels that run throughout the body, called Nadis. These nadis facilitate prana, the life force, through channels. According to some estimates, 72,000 nadis are running through the human body, and they follow the path of least resistance. There are seven of these nadis that meet at energy centers called chakras. Five types of prana flow through these nadis. They are classified according to their functions: udana prana samana apana vyana, samana samana samana apana vyana, udana prana samana samana samana apana vyana, and then they are sub-classified into five different upa-prana krikara, krikara,devadattta,
3. Manomayakosha, or Emotional Body
It is made up of three Gunas, or personality characteristics of an individual. Sattva, Rajas, and Tamas are the three main characteristics. These three Gunas determine the personality and overall character of an individual.
4. Vijnanamayakosha, or Intellectual body
This kosha refers to the ability to distinguish right from wrong.
5. Anandamayakosha and Bliss body
Only in certain deep yogic states can you experience this awareness. It’s a state of bliss or ecstasy.
THE BHAGAVAD GITA
The Bhagavad Gita defines yoga as follows:
Samatvam yoga ucyate (2.48)
This statement states that yoga is the best form of stability. Yoga allows you to achieve both mental and physical harmony. Yoga is a state where the body’s physiological functions and the mind remain in moderation, called harmony. It does not react too strongly to aversion or desire.
The Bhagavad Gita also gives a detailed description of mental health. A sthitaprajna is mentally healthy, meaning a man of steady wisdom. In Sankhya yoga, the second chapter explains in detail the qualities of a “sthitaprajna”. These include calm, situational stability and emotional stability. They also exclude all desires.
THE HATHA YOGA PRADIPIKA
In the second chapter of this classic text on Hatha Yoga, you will find information about the physical characteristics of a good practitioner of Hatha. Swatmarama wrote this text. He refers to these characteristics as the “Hatha Yoga Lakshana”, which is said to be a result of practicing Hatha Yoga.
nadivishuddhir Hatha siddhi Lakshana
Hatha yoga is known for achieving the slimming of the body, shining eyes, clear voice, brightness, and freedom from diseases.
THE PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS
The Vibhutipada, a Patanjali yoga sutra, describes bodily perfection (kaya-Sampat).
Beauty, grace, strength, and adamantine toughness are all part of the perfection of the body.
These characteristics are associated with optimal physical health.
Yoga sutras provide a detailed explanation of mind control. These sutras can be used to manage mental illness. The steps and characteristics that lead to optimal mental health are also described in great detail.
THE CONCEPT OF DISEASE
A disease is a condition that causes impairment or disruption to the body’s optimal functioning.
THE PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS
The Samadhi pada, or the yoga sutras, describes 13 obstacles that prevent Samadhi from achieving his goal (antarayas). Vyadhi, or disease, is one of them. This refers to physical illness.
In the sadhana pada, five kleshas are listed. These kleshas are believed to be the root cause of mental illness. These include ignorance (avidya), fear of death (abhinivesha), ego (Asmita), desire/raga, ego (Asmita), and ego (Asmita). Avidya is the most common of these afflictions.
THE YOGA VASHISHTA
Yoga vashishta, a book on yoga that explains the teachings of Lord Rama and Sage Vashishta, is a treatise about yoga. This text explains the concept of disease as follows:
An individual in the anandamayakosha, or bliss body, is at their healthiest and most balanced.
There are movements in the vijnanamayakosha, but they are channeled in the right direction.
Manomayakosha, the emotional body, is where imbalances begin. It is the root cause of all diseases.
These mental imbalances are caused by ignorance or ajnana. Adhi is a mental imbalance that results from ajnana or ignorance.