May 26, 2020 |
Read Time: 5 minutes
Prevention is so much better than healing because it saves the labour of being sick! As they say ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’.
We are the custodians of our bodies. We must take the right action to ensure a healthy lifestyle along with habits to prevent, and reduce disease and illness. And the practice of Yoga is once of the best lifestyle habits that can help in this prevention.
Prevention involves focusing on maintaining a healthy lifestyle including our diet and food, and also our sleeping habits, exercise, relaxation and other such efforts which promote a sense of wellbeing. Prevention is about averting, delaying or diluting the onset of any diseases and ailments on us.
Yoga is can be considered as one of the ‘best’ lifestyles or ways of life which promotes this sense of wellbeing as it encompasses all aspects needed –
- Ahara – our food habits,
- Vihara – our lifestyle
- Ayasa – relaxation , and
- Vyavahara – our behaviour and activity i.e our work etc.
Patanjali talks of eight limbs of yoga namely Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi and all these eight limbs work towards flushing out toxins and ushering in a balance in our functioning at the physical, mental and emotional realms. And, the regular practice of Yoga seeks to keep us working consistently at our highest potential at the body and mind level.
Yama and Niyama regulate our behaviour and ensure that our attitude towards others and our own selves ensures a peaceful co-existence and promotes a helpful and sensitive frame of mind. In today’s challenging times, this contributes towards a society which takes action as a whole to keep each other healthy by following right practices like Social Distancing, washing of hands, hygienic practices and more in the present scenario. Such practices go a long way in keeping the COVID19 at bay.
Asana practice primarily focuses on the physical body and seeks to remove all the blockages and resistances at the body level. The asana component nudges the body into a ‘digest and rest’ mode which is an extremely essential aspect of prevention. A long term, consistent and regular breath based Yoga asana practice contributes towards a strong immunity system. Asana practice also has a positive impact on the nervous, endocrine and circulation systems and thus is key to a ‘well – oiled’ functional body which is able to prevent and fight pathogens and disease.
Pranayama works at the subtler level of prana or life energy. Pranayama in simple terms is the regulation of our breath to ensure that our life energy is converged inside our body and doesn’t get dissipated. This in turn ensures that we feel energetic, positive and more important, it plays a critical role in releasing and opening all blocks in our body and bodily functions. It is said that a yogi is a person whose prana or life energy is completely centred inside his body and no disease can even touch such a person!
The subtler limbs of Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi work at the mind level. Our mind is capable of functioning in an extremely focussed and calm manner and can influence our body and bring in amazing positive changes in us. This again paves the way for a proactive way of living which will keep us safe and away from disease.
Yoga definitely is a very effective tool of prevention. But in order for it to be effective it is extremely important that yoga is practised in the right way from the right and experienced teachers. Only then can one truly experience and reap the benefits of this powerful tool of prevention.