Introduction to Yoga Therapy

It says “body is the instrument for all good deeds”. Here the term body is used in its deepest possible sense. According to yoga we all possess three bodies. These are gross physical body, subtle mental body and the causal body. When all the three bodies experience complete well-being we are in a state of perfect health. In the state of perfect health all our actions are in tune with natural law. At this level there is no scope of emergence of disease. Let us understand how yoga therapy can be utilized for regaining and maintaining inner balance for a better and disease free life.

The discipline of yoga is fundamentally developed for self-realization and to overcome all kinds of suffering. During the course of its growth and development, yoga has evolved as one of the reliable, authentic and efficient health care systems of the present time. Yoga is a holistic health care system, known for the prevention of disease, restoration and promotion of health.

What is Yoga Therapy

The use of various yoga techniques like asana, pranayama, cleansing techniques and the tools of jnana, bhakti and karma yoga to systematically address any infirmity, disease, stress or limiting condition in an individual is termed as yoga therapy. Yoga therapy techniques correct the problem from the most fundamental level. The corrections are brought from the inner most to the outer layers of our existence. In yogic terminology the layers of existence is termed as panchakosha (panch meaning five and kosha meaning layer or sheath).

Basis of Yoga Therapy

Yoga therapy is based on the principle that the root cause of all psychosomatic diseases is the mind (manomaya kosha). Disturbances in the manomaya kosha, disturbs the flow of Prana in the pranamaya kosha. Finally the disturbed flow of Prana in the pranamaya kosha settles as full-fledged disease in the annamaya kosha or gross physical body. Therefore the remedy is to reduce the speed of thoughts and calm down the mind. When the mind is calm, the Prana is automatically balanced and body free from disease. This is how yoga has been defined in the ancient texts as: skill to calm down the mind (Yog Vasishtha) and mastery over mind (Yog Sutra).

How Yoga Therapy Works

Yoga therapy provides self corrective measures to handle the problem at all levels of physical, vital, mental, intellectual and spiritual existence. Yoga therapy works on the principle of providing deep relaxation to the entire being. Providing deep relaxation to the different muscle groups and internal organs is in turn based on the principle of ‘stimulation and relaxation’. In any and every yoga technique that we employ, we gently stimulate the system. Stimulation opens the channels of relaxation. When we release the yoga technique we allow the relaxation to continue to reach the deeper layers of calmness. Relaxation gives the necessary respite and also the much needed chance for the system to recuperate and correct itself.

One can easily practice Yoga in a therapeutic way. Practicing yoga gently and slowly while maintaining an inner awareness of all the changes that happen alongside can give us a new understanding about how yoga works.  Through calming down the mind and providing deep relaxation to the body one can reach the state of total silence which is free from all afflictions.

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