Yoga: This is a complete lifestyle, has all the potential of controlling the four most common diseases (Heart Disease, Hypertension, Diabetes and Obesity) of mankind. The present Government has already announced World Yoga Day on 21st June. Baba Ramdev has also made Yoga a household word. Saaol has made Yoga a part and parcel of its treatment for treating heart disease. The major contribution of Yoga is in management of Stress. People has to be educated in Yama (don’ts of Yoga) and Niyama (Do’s of Yoga) – which are the basic principles of Yoga practice. Meditation also walks to stabilize our emotional brain, relax the mind and reduces anger. Though Yoga and its components had been formulated by our ancient saints thousands of years ago – today it has all the capability to control and treat the lifestyle chronic diseases. Yoga should not be taken just as Asana or Pranayama – it has a complete package for prevention and cure of lifestyle diseases. It is a complete way of living. It was developed by the ancient Gurus (masters) – mostly saints thousands of year back, which consists of Yama and Niyama which explain the Do’s and Don’ts in life for healthy living and stress management. Asanas – the third step of Yoga stand for postures and movement which keep the body fit and flexible. The medical science has now studied Yoga asanas and found them very beneficial for high blood pressure and Diabetes. Pranayama – helps the body to relax and energizes the body. Pratyahara teaches one about the importance of reduction of desires. Dharna and Dhyana are basically best ways to control the brain – the site of all stresses. Dharna is the initial stage of Dhyana . It means fixing the mind or concentrating on an object or theme. Meditation or Dhyana is the continuation of the concentration. It has tremendous relaxation effect on the mind and body.
Let me explain Yama and Niyama in a little detail. These two are the most underutilized steps of Yoga but they have tremendous potential in controlling the lifestyle diseases. Niyama talks about what should be done in life Cleanliness/purity, Contentment, Dedication, Self Analysis and belief in God. These five things can change anyone’s life and make it less stressed, more successful. If you see the effects of each of these do’s on life – they are basically stress management steps put together.
On the other hand Yama stands for Don’ts of life. They put checks in our life. The Yamas are non violence, no lies, no stealing, non over passiveness and no over indulgence in sex. These five no’s are a must if you want to have a healthy and stress free life. Following them on principle will not only prevent the lifestyle diseases but also make us more human, make the society better and should be advocated to everyone irrespective of caste, creed or religion. The beauty of these Yama and Niyama are that they do not need any time (which is in short supply in today’s busy life) and can be made a part of daily life benefitting the whole society. Asana, Pranayama and Meditation (Dhyana) needs time on daily basis – but I recommend them for 30-45 minutes to all my patients. A lot of medical research has been done all over the world which shows that these three processes have profound benefits for heart patients, diabetes patients and high blood pressure patients.


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