From over the past few decades hazardous chemicals have been escaping into the environment by a number of human activities, causing adverse effects on human health and the environment. The combustion of fossil fuel has considerably changed the atmospheric composition, especially in the big cities. Air pollution has both acute and chronic effects on human health, affecting a number of different systems and organs.
Can Yoga do Something
Can yoga and other traditional practices help in mitigating the effects of pollution on human health? The answer is yes. Yoga is a system of healthy living to the core, which heals and purifies the body on continuous basis. In fact, Swami Satyananda Saraswati has defined Hatha Yoga as science of purification, which cleanses the body of various impurities accumulated over time and open blocked energy channels.
How it helps
Yogasanas have deep influence on the blood circulation which enhances the distribution of oxygen and nourishment to various parts of the body and the removal of toxic and dead materials.
Yoga breathing practices like Kapalbahti and Nadi Shodhan Pranayam are great practices to cleanse the lungs of various pollutants. Optimum oxygen is supplied to the body through regular practice of Pranayama, generating energy. Along with the generation of energy, water is generated in the cells which helps regulate the flow of lymphs, which is very useful in the internal cleansing of body.
All the healing traditions of India are based upon the concept of Dharma or natural law. Dharmas are underlying principles that keep all things in harmony and sustain their higher growth and development. Actions based on Dharma gets the support of the universe. The old wisdom says “Dharmo Rakshati Rakshita” i.e. one who protects Dharma, is in turn protected by Dharma.
Based on this Dharma, is the age old practice of Havan. Havan is an ancient ritual which is performed to purify the atmosphere and the environment. Havan is performed by burning mango sticks with ghee (purified butter). In this way the fire cleanses the air and kills the bacteria. Research has shown that if Havan is performed regularly, situations like draught can never occur. Human life is of mutual interdependence. Man exploits nature’s resources to fulfill his desires and pay back to the nature by performing Havan. In this way the nature continue to nourish us well because we nourish her back.
This higher awareness of mutual interdependence slowly paves way to Karma Yoga.
Where an individual perform actions without any slight expectations of anything in return. Such a person works for Lokasangraha or public welfare.