What would you say if we told you that you are fully in charge of your own health? Would you believe that you and you alone hold the key to optimal health and wellbeing independent of anything or anyone else? All you need is your physical body, dedication and to study the secret technology of ancient Yoga!
In ancient times Yoga was considered to be a whole and complete system of spirituality, and at the same time, a most potent source for health and healing. Yoga for health is less known these days, however, despite its anonymity, the fact remains that the original, authentic form of Yoga is held in high regard as an incredible curative system that can heal all aspects of your being – the physical, mental, emotional, energetic and even karmic. To understand fully we first need to distinguish the original Yoga.
A great spiritual system was born thousands of years ago and rooted in the ancient tradition and customs of India where spiritual masters developed a fascinating science of evolution in which they entitled Yoga. The name originates from the sanskrit word “yug”, which means “union”.
Originally Yoga was known as a complete and structured science for spiritual self-development. It was considered a technology of sorts where practitioners, or yogis, applied scientific knowledge for practical purposes. There existed famous lineages of sages and seers who achieved the ultimate spiritual success of self-realization or enlightenment by becoming serious practitioners of the yogic system. This is what makes the original and authentic Yoga a science. It is a system of knowledge, which brings proven results and guaranteed, predictable outcomes.
Since becoming mainstream and migrating to the West, Yoga has undergone a transformation, and not for the better. Nowadays it is viewed as a mere form of sports or exercise and lumped into the same category as an aerobics class, Pilates or Crossfit. This stretchy form of modern gymnastics is a far cry from the sophisticated and comprehensive path for evolution that the great Yoga masters created. Devoid of its original heritage and meaning, the modern Yoga has become a lost cause from a health and healing perspective. Much of the early teachings have become obscure and this powerful approach to holistic, whole health and rejuvenation is mostly unknown these days.
It is well known in the ancient yogic tradition that there is much more to a human being than the gross physical structure, which is both visible and tangible. Beyond our physical body exists an energetic substructure, known as the human aura, and it surrounds and overlaps with our manifested form.
The physical body does not govern these energetic layers but, rather, these energetic layers govern and regulate the physical body. If there is an interruption in the flow of energy – also known as prana in the Yoga tradition, or chi or ki in other traditions – within this human energy field, then it is only a matter of time before the disturbance is revealed in the physical body. The energetic substructure is a blueprint, so to speak, for the physiological tissues and processes.
According to the yogis it is here, in this human energy field, that the origin of illness and disease truly lies. What ultimately materializes in the body in the form of symptoms is simply a by-product of a disturbance or imbalance that is impregnated at a deep, subtle and energetic level.
Therefore, in order to permanently and wholly remedy any health disturbance it makes sense to heal and rejuvenate at the energetic level first and foremost, rather than solely addressing the physical manifestations of any disease. And this is exactly what Yoga can do.
Now that we understand the genuine meaning of Yoga and we are aware that we are more than just a physical body, we can more clearly make the connection between Yoga and health.
There are two foundational characteristics that define Yoga:
Firstly, the harnessing of universal energies, or in other words, incorporating various energies found in the universe into the Yoga practice for personal development.
Secondly, concentration of the mind. The yogis even went as far to say, there is no Yoga without concentration of the mind. The mind is ultimately what attracts and then directs the energy.
Energy is unique because it has an unlimited potential, making it the most extraordinary healing tool on the planet. It is so powerful that it has the possibility of surpassing the gross body, penetrating the aura and bringing life force to the deep, subtle layers that need it most. By remedying the energetic flaw, the energy matrix becomes healthy and the physical body has no choice but to follow suit.
The Yoga system is comprised of many tools and techniques including asanas, meditation, pranayama, mudras, bandhas, mantras and kriyas. Three of them are most notable in terms of their health and healing properties.
Most simply defined, asanas are Yoga poses or positions. In the Tantra Yoga system asanas are not diminished to a physical practice or a way to stretch and tone the muscles. They serve a much more mystical and crucial purpose. When done correctly – with mental concentration and a focus on energy – asanas will bring great vitality and rejuvenating energy to the physical, energetic, emotional and mental bodies (the layers of the aura).
Tantra Yoga is a more meditative type of practice whereby the practitioner aims to hold a certain asana for a longer duration of time. Depending on the level of difficulty, asanas should be held for minimally 2-5 minutes up to even 30 minutes, nonstop. The longer the asana is held the stronger the energetic accumulation and therefore the healing potential.
Beneath the Yoga umbrella exists a branch called Kriya Yoga. This is the Yoga of cleansing and purification and not to be confused with the Kriya Yoga of Yogananda. Within this branch of Yoga, 36 purification and cleansing techniques are described and defined. They range from basic, everyday practices such as rinsing the eyes and scraping the tongue in a particular way, to much more advanced techniques that are often reserved for the spiritually elite.
Kriya Yoga is considered a vital component to the larger Yoga system simply because it purges impurities on all levels, preparing an individual for more and more powerful surges of energy to flow through their being. By reaching the maximum energetic flow you can become immune to any disease, tap into the fountain of youth and reach incredible spiritual heights.
In the same way that asanas have been reduced to mere stretches for the physical body, pranayama is likened to breathing gymnastics and hyperventilation techniques nowadays. In actual fact, pranayama is the controlling of the prana, or life force energy. This energy is slighter and subtler than the air we breathe.
Pranayama is a highly sophisticated technology of Yoga. When authentic techniques are at the forefront of this practice, the healing effects are in many cases mind-blowing and can even be supernatural. This branch of Yoga is considered the fast track, or super highway, to unbridled health and profound healing. However, because of its advanced nature, pranayama must be preceded by an extensive practice of both asanas and kriyas first.
If you truly desire whole body health and healing, then effort and determination are key. There is no magic pill or shortcuts in Yoga, not in terms of evolution nor in healing. Many of us assume a lazy approach to our health in which we relinquish our health destiny into the hands of the allopathic medical community and our trusted doctors. Rarely is health truly restored with this method, and moreover, we become further and further disconnected from ourselves.
If you can overcome this habitual pattern and mindset that someone outside of you holds the key to your health and find the inner strength and willpower to make your wellbeing a top priority, then Yoga for health can and will bring miracles into your life. You will experience increased vitality, inner peace and harmony, mental freedom and happiness, plus much more.
To use Yoga for health we must start with the clarity that it is much more than a fitness or lifestyle choice. We cannot find comprehensive healing that Yoga has to offer in the modern gymnastics approach. By using asanas, kriyas and pranayama we can influence the energetic structure of our inner being, which brings a behavior remodeling of the energy and a resurgence of the vital force. Yoga has been proven as a reliable and holistic solution to modern ailments, disharmonies and diseases that plague many individuals today (for example, read about how Yoga can help to overcome female frigidity).
Hopefully you can see beyond the superficial facade of modern Yoga and develop a renewed appreciation for the ancient knowledge that it truly is. From spiritual evolution and self-realization, to unprecedented healing and rejuvenation, as well as emotional and psychological transformation – the original yogic knowledge and teachings are comprehensive beyond belief.