The rest of the world (beyond the Indian subcontinent) was unaware of the science of yoga – the health-beneficial concept of confluence and balance between a healthy mind and a healthy body.
As the world has now awakened to the fact that movement and agility are the key to good health, healthier and stronger vital organs, a calmer mind that is not influenced by anxiety, etc. form.
Today we hear from neurosurgeons and anesthetists that yoga and meditation practitioners are able to undergo and recover from complex brain surgeries with better results than the rest of us who have not. link with yoga in our daily lives. Yogis had been working on vagus nerve stimulation for centuries, without using scientific jargon.
Did you know that activating the vagus nerve keeps your immune system in check and releases an assortment of hormones and neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine and oxytocin? During the COVID-19 pandemic and when the cytokine storm became a topic of discussion, the vagus nerve began to feature in discussions and research within medical circles. Activation of the vagus nerve results in reduced inflammation, reduction in allergies, relief from tension headaches, improvements in memory, and feelings of relaxation, among others.
How to connect mind, body and soul through yoga:
Bijoylaxmilaxmi Hota, a renowned yoga therapist with over three and a half decades of experience, says she has successfully treated various conditions ranging from asthma, arthritis and back pain to tumors and cancer. She says, “Yoga is an excellent method of healing and has been used for ages, but even people who regularly practice yoga to stay fit and healthy don’t know its true essence. The ancient texts and the literature on yoga have always been clear that for yoga therapy to be fully effective, the initial treatment must be performed outside the home in a yoga ashram. It is not possible to relax and to detach completely at home.
Hota bats for yoga therapy in ashrams away from home. She emphasizes that in order to achieve complete healing, you also need to distance yourself from disease-causing elements, triggers and stressors. “At home, the conditions that created the health problems in the first place are still there and can counteract the effects of yoga. The peaceful atmosphere of an ashram automatically relaxes inmates. Healing will be enhanced if the yoga ashram is on the mountains, surrounded by greenery. In such a place, not only relaxation and oxygenation of body tissues will be better, but the concentration of prana will be maximum.”
Not just asanas and pranayams, yoga is of 4 types:
Hota says most people spend about an hour on yoga, practicing Hatha Yoga which is mostly asanas, pranayamas and sometimes shat karma. Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Trataka, Nauli and Kapalabhati are called chatkarma. cat means 6 in Sanskrit. These 6 traditional methods of yogis used for cleaning internal organs for a healthy body are called Chatkarma. Practicing any of the 6 Shatkarma requires expertise in that particular kriya, so it is mandatory to have theoretical and practical knowledge. It is therefore advisable for beginners to do these kriyas under the supervision of an expert guide.
But yoga is not just about asanas. We are more than just a body, says Bijoylaxmilaxmi Hota. According to yoga and psychology, besides the physical body, we have a conscious, subconscious and unconscious mind. The ancient yogis realized this and developed 4 other types of yoga –
- Bhakti Yoga (the yoga of devotion),
- Raja Yoga (the yoga of concentration and meditation),
- Karma Yoga (yoga of action, where one does physical work without expecting material gains) and
- Gyana Yoga (the yoga of research).
To heal the mind, body and soul, it is relevant to practice all forms of yoga.
Why Ashram Stays (Yoga Retreats) Make You Better Yogis:
According to Bijoylaxmilakshmi Hota, in a yoga ashram, the whole day is filled with many other types of yoga besides the main four. They are:
Mantra Yoga and
Each yoga addresses an aspect of human character, and together they nurture the complete personality, resulting in the practitioner feeling uniquely calm, uplifted, healed, and invigorated.
“Ideally, all forms of yoga should be practiced daily, albeit in shorter versions. But if this is not possible, one should periodically go to the yoga ashram. Those who do find it helpful to stay at their best and face life’s challenges with serenity. According to Swami Satyananda Saraswati, it is like recharging one’s inner battery to withstand the vagaries of life in a complex society,” says Lakshmi Hota.
Disclaimer: The tips and suggestions mentioned in the article are for general information purposes only and should not be construed as professional medical advice. Always consult your doctor or dietitian before starting any fitness program or making any changes to your diet.