In this growing era, some unprecedented diseases have taken over our physical bodies, for which allopathy and naturopathy have no permanent cure. Here comes hatha yoga for the rescue of humanity from some of these deadly diseases using some simple laws of nature.
Hatha yoga is a method of preparing the system for spiritual
awakening but it is also a very important science of health. Since
ancient times it has been used by yogis and rishis for the relief and
elimination of all kinds of diseases and defects. It is true that the
practices require more time and effort on the part of the patient than
conventional therapies, but in terms of permanent, positive results, as
well as saving the enormous expenditure on medicines, they are
certainly more worthwhile.
What makes this method of treatment so powerful and effective is
the fact that it works according to the principles of harmony and
unification, rather than diversity. The three important principles on
which physical and mental therapy is based are as follows:
1. Conferring absolute health to one part or system of the body
thereby influencing the rest of the body.
2. Balancing the positive and negative energy poles (ida/pingala,
3. Purifying the body of the three types of wastes (doshas).
The Law of nature
If you have fifteen grandfather clocks together on the same wall,
all with pendulums of identical length and weight, you will notice that
after some time all the pendulums become synchronized in their
movements. This occurs quite naturally according to the law of mutual
rhythms and vibrations. In this physical body, the various organs and systems all have
their own functions to carry out. But there should be complete
coordination between them. If any of the organs or systems of the body
are not able to coordinate with each other, it means that not one but all
the systems and organs are unbalanced. Thus, in any sickness, whether
physical or mental, every system is out of coordination.
According to the law of mutual rhythms, all you have to do in
order to regain the health of the whole system is to bring one organ or
system to a state of health. Then all the others will naturally follow suit.
Ill health of one system creates ill health in the rest of the both.
You cannot say that your stomach is bad and everything else is alright.
Therefore, a sick person with a number of ailments should generally be
given treatment for only one of them. If you are able to create health in
one system of this body, gradually the whole body begins to improve.
This is how hatha yoga therapy should be prescribed.
Most yoga teachers today, however, do not follow this system.
Depending on their knowledge of medical diagnosis, they make a very
long list of practices — one for constipation, one for nosebleeds, one
for something else. They think that by teaching a sick person various
hatha yoga techniques for his different ailments, he will get better.
Their system is based on the popular concept that various diseases
belong to different groups, which does not take into account the
interrelationship of all the organs and systems.
Conserving energy in this physical body is another important
aspect of health which has been ignored by most of the healing
sciences. We have given so much importance to nutrition, but we have
missed the real source of energy, which is inherent. This energy is
something like positive and negative electrical charges pulsating
throughout. The correct balance of these opposite forms of energy
creates good health. Whenever these positive and negative flows are
suppressed, blocked, dissipated or poorly distributed, disease
The different organs and systems of the body do not subsist merely
on food and vitamins. The main source of energy in life is these
plus/minus or positive/negative charges. Therefore, the science of
physical and mental harmony is known as hatha yoga.
Physical and mental therapy is one of the most important
achievements of hatha yoga. So far, hatha yoga has succeeded in diseases
like asthma, diabetes and blood pressure where modern science has not.
Besides this, hatha yoga has proved very effective in cases of epilepsy,
hysteria, rheumatism and many other ailments of a chronic and
constitutional nature. In fact, we have found that most diseases of a
chronic and constitutional nature can definitely be reversed through hatha
The psychic and mental diseases which human beings are suffering
from are nothing but a state of disharmony in the energetic system. In
order to alleviate them we will have to take a new look at our body and
enlarge the dimension of modern medical science. We will have to
redefine the body, the classification of disease and the system of
What is being discovered more recently is that asana and pranayama
are more powerful and effective ways of controlling the whole body.
They are the first steps in allowing us to not only alter the mechanisms of
one element, but to gain control over the total structure of the brain and
mind, the controlling system which allows us to direct every aspect of our
lives, and the energy within that.
The real purpose of hatha yoga
In the last forty years hatha yoga has been accepted as a therapeutic
science all over the world and many scientific studies have been
conducted in this field. Today we teach yoga to people because it is very
necessary. Man has become sick and medical science is not able to meet
the challenge. Hatha yoga, however, has been helping everybody.
Therefore, we do not want to discourage this aspect, but at the same time
we should not forget what hatha yoga really stands for.
Behind every sick man there is a spiritual man. Behind a
diabetic there is a yogi. Behind a man suffering from depression
there is an aspirant. When a patient comes for help, teach him yoga
and make him better. Treat his sickness, but do not stop there. Take
him further into the spiritual domain of life.
This is the mistake that most yoga teachers make in the West.
They just take a patient with arthritis, rheumatism or insomnia, teach
him a few exercises and that is it. Hatha yoga has not been used to
treat the total personality. This is why teachers are not able to raise
the level of their pupils. Just to improve the physical health is not
enough. The mental health must also improve, the nature must
change, the personality must change, the psychological and the
psychic framework also has to change. You should not merely feel
freedom from disease, but freedom from bondage and from the
vagaries of the mind. Now, the time has come when teachers in
every part of the world must understand and transmit the true spirit
of hatha yoga.