Yoga and Health
Swami Adhyatmananda

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Many letters are received from Orlando (Florida), Charlotte (North Carolina), Denver, Indiana, Detroit, Toronto, Texas and such other states as well as cities that they are keenly awaiting Gujarat Times so that they could read with interest the column on ‘Yoga and Arogya’. In addition they have requested, “No doubt in the past you have already written on hypertension, but please, we will feel obliged if you could give details of Pranayama, meditation and Shavasana along with instructions on proper food, proper exercise as well as for easy Asanas.”

When a man ages he may contact diseases but once he recuperates he can perform Asanas regularly Yoga-abhyas requires to be done without the least idleness. In addition you must have self-confidence.

The question arises whether self-confidence can bring down the blood-pressure. The study and research in Yoga­abhyas have proved that regular, necessary and proper Yoga­abhyas, Pranayarna and meditation can influence mind and body both. The relation between body and mind is that of the governed and governor. No work can be performed by the body unless the mind knows, wishes and orders. If the body stops obeying the orders of the mind that much portion of the body becomes inactive.

Self propelled processes of the body depend on the head which is a part of the body The processes of blood circulation, respiration, contraction and expansion of the body, sleep, vibration, genito-urinary function and all such other ‘activities of the body are directly dependent on the mind. The other activities of the life depend on the parts of the body other than the head which is a part of mind. All the senses of action and knowledge work on the orders of this part of the mind. That is the reason why one can consider mind as the controller of the kingdom of the body.

One Doctor Robert. B. Roy, a psychologist of America has carried out an extensive survey which has established that perversion of reflective capacity results in baseless worries, mutual prejudices, and unhealthy knots. One very well known diagnostic, Hakim lbjsina from Arab country who hailed a few centuries back, has described in his book many aspects which are a result of perversion of mind and diseases of mind. Ibjsina, while describing the diagnostic treatment, has described method of converting the condition of the mind of a diseased man instead of treating him with medicines. He has mentioned that many types of very dangerous and severe or incurable diseases can easily be controlled by bringing the mind under arrest.

It is always said that for regulation of blood pressure, keep away from tension filled atmosphere! But how is it possible to save oneself from such a situation? Can it be possible to have tensionless life in the present day world where on every step you are confronted with mutual competition and rivalry, where everything is in imbalance and insecure? This is definitely possible if one can transform the attitude and reaction towards life. We are not distinct and unaffected by the rise and fall or ebb and tides of the present day world, hence Yoga-abhyas plays a very impor­tant role. It is possible to affect each of the outside and inside parts of the body with the aid of Asanas. All the sinews and subtle glands of the body are connected directly with the mind and flexibility exercises of the body are such a part cf Yogasanas which controls all parts of the body That is why the control of the mind can regulate the working of the body In particular the flexibility exercises control the blood circulation and its rise and fall. The practice of  Shavasana or Yoganidra is recognized all round the world to achieve results without any break down or tension. This is an experienced fact.


Shavasana is the most effective Asana of Yoga. By the performance of Shavasana daily, blood pressure can be brought under control without any need of either allopathic or Ayurvedic medicines. Even if after performing of Shavasana medicines are required the quantum will defi­nitely get reduced. This will gradually and slowly be altogether stopped.

Lie down on a blanket properly spread on ground or on a cot with back underside. Keep both the legs loose and open. Both the legs should be kept nearby but not touching each other Keep the palms of the hands facing towards the ceiling. Keep both the hands on the ground in a very relaxed position but quite near the body in a way that they do not touch the body. Keep the palms loose and relaxed, the whole body relaxed, peaceful and joyous.

Resolve in the mind, “Let there be welfare of all. Let all be happy. Let no one be unhappy. Let all have auspi­ciousness. Let there be peace in the east, in the west, in the north, and the south. Let there be peace in the world, in the forests, in the mountains, in the oceans. Let there be peace, let there be peace again in the lives of the people, in the minds of the public at large.”

Pray this way for the health and peace of all every where. Breathe in as slowly as possible. We should not breathe in or breathe out without our knowledge or aware­ness. While you inhale create a feeling that along with the breath the energy of the universe, power, alertness, vitality, luster of the infinity brightness, wisdom, knowledge, devel­opment and perfect health are entering inside you. With every exhalation you are getting free from personal weak­nesses, unhappiness, troubles, prejudices, hatred, and ten­sions. While you exhale you are distributing your happiness, your joy, to the entire universe. You will gain back an infinitude of the same things that you give away By practicing this process your personal tension turns into a universal tension and thereby gets divided as well as distributed. We therefore feel very light. We are completely drenched inside-out by a tremendous tide of vibrations of happiness.

Stay in the above position for some minutes and then press the thumbs of the legs in a direction opposite the body Now relax the feet. Now again stiffen the soles. Keep it for a few seconds. Then relax. Stiffen the muscles of both the legs. Maintain stiffness for a while and then relax. Now stiffen the ankles and knees, maintain for sometime and then relax. Stiffen both thighs, maintain for sometime and relax. Thereafter pull in the anus and contract it. Remain in this position for sometime and then relax. In the similar manner the fingers and the thumbs of the hands, palms, wrists of the hands, lower hands, upper hands, armpits, shoulders, and both the hands complete be stiffened in the end. Thereafter relax and in a similar manner gradually stiffen and relax belly, chest, waist, back and finally both the lips, both the eyes, both the nostrils, both the cheeks and complete face.

Having gone through all the above relaxation processes, take deep breath and expand the chest, stiffen the whole body, maintain stiffness for a few seconds and then relax. Thereafter do not move any part of the body Keep the body steady Move the mind over entire body Fingers and thumbs of the both the legs, ankles, soles, heels, leg muscles, knees, buttocks, fingers and thumbs of both the hands, palms, the hand under the wrists, both the elbows, both the upper hands, both the arm pits, both the shoulders are all relaxed, peaceful, composed and healthy There is no tension. Nurture this feeling.

The lower abdomen, the upper belly, organs inside the belly, bladder, small intestine, large intestine, liver, kidney, pancreas, spleen, adrenal are all relaxed and healthy Without suffering any type of tension all the parts are completely in perfect working condition.

Both the lungs, diaphragm underneath, bronchial tube, veins and arteries of the heart, atria, ventricles, and valves as well as all partitions of the heart - that is, complete heart

- are fully and completely healthy; there is no tension or problems of cholesterol. Triglycerides are at the required level, the heart beats regularly for 72 times a minute and supplies blood to the arteries in required proportion, it is completely healthy and is satisfied in itself. In the same way lower part of the waist, entire spinal column, the upper part of the back, both the shoulders, the portion of the neck, thyroid, parathyroid, muscles of the face chin, cheeks, nostrils, both the ears, both the eardrums, eyelids, pupils, eyebrows, scalp are all peacefully composed, healthy and in complete working condition without any tension. Engender such feeling and experience.

Remain a witness to the sound and noises all around you; take the mind away from these sounds and bring it inside the heart. Hear the beating of heart. Remain a witness of the inhalation as well as exhalation. Create an experience that by the benevolence of God, by the grace of saints, goodwill of your friends and family members you are every moment receiving good health, composure and both bodily and mental sound health.

Simultaneously experience that you are one with surrounding atmosphere. Shavasana is a process whereby in­dividual consciousness turns into universal consciousness.

Shavasana means unification of the personal power with the universal power. When you experience it you will not remain an ailing, diseased, unhappy, tired, tense, sleepless, and one who experiences mental stress; because the practice of Shavasana makes you one with earth, water, fire, wind and space just as a corpse becomes one with the five elements. Your oneness with the source of forces of these five elements provides you with new alertness, vitality, and desire to live with hope and enthusiasm. You are now no more disheartened. In you now is kindled lustrous light of new life. A fountain of vitality is jumping up and sprouting out of you. When a person experiences a trio of joy, hope, and enthusiasm there is left hardly any place for problems and difficulties. If a person daily every moment, takes recourse to this type of healthy and lively thoughts and moulds his behavior with the help of positive solid decisions, then the ordinary life will turn into an unique and strong life.

Shavasana can be practiced from 3 minutes in the beginning to 30 minutes. It is possible to bring the blood pressure which is, labile to a steady and regular level. Many studies and researches have been carried out regarding Shavasana and experiments in Yoganidra, both in this country as well as abroad. It is observed that such heart patients who were declared incurable have been rendered free of diseases and marvelous improvement is brought in. In a similar manner, Naditanasana, Pavanamuktasana, which includes Ardhapavanmuktasana (both left and right), Nabhisancharasana, Padmasana, Baddhapadmasana, Mandukasana, Kurmasana, Urdhvahastottanasana Kati­chakrasana, Tadasana and Nadishodhana process are also found very helpful for blood pressure and its treatment.


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