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METHODS Of YOGA


There are a large number of methods of yoga. They are broadly classified into four streams

(A) Path of Analysis: Jnana Yoga (Philosophy).

The age of science has made man a rational being. Intellectual sharpness is immanent. Analysis from the tool. The path of philosophy (Jnana yoga) is most apt for the sharp intellectuals. It is centered around the analysis of Happiness, the vital contribution of Upanishads. Also many other fundamental questions regarding life and reality are taken up. In this path, man learns to use the intellect to overcome the intellect and goes to the very basis of intellectual thinking

B) Path of Psychic Control - Raja Yoga

Culturing of mind is the key to success in almost all endeavors in our lives. The Yoga of mind culture (Raja Yoga) gives a practical and easy approach to reach higher states of consciousness. It is based on the Antaranga yoga of Patanjali's Asthanga yoga system. The eight limbs of this yoga are:

1.  Yama (the disciplines, 'DONTS', 'nisedhas') 
2.  Niyama (the injunctions. "DOS", "vidhis")
3.  Asana (the posture of the body). 
4.  Pranayama (the control of prana, the life-entity)
5.  Pratyahara (restraint of senses from their sense object)

These first five limbs come under a general heading "BAHIRANGA YOGA". In this, the 'Bahirindriyas' (the external voluntary sense organs) are used to gain control over the mind indirectly. The last 3 limbs are referred to as Antaranga yoga: here-in the mind is used directly to culture itself. The art of focusing and defocusing the mind is mastered.

(6)   Dharana (focusing of Mind) 
(7)   Dhyana (deconcentration) 
(8)   Samadhi (super consciousness)

(C) Control of Emotions:  Bhakti Yoga (Devotion) 

The control of emotions is the key to the path of worship (Bhakti yoga). In this modern world, man is tossed up and down in the ocean or emotional conflicts and upsurges The path of Bhakti is a boon to gain control over these emotional instabilities and suppressions by properly harnessing the energy involved in it. by properly harnessing, the energy involved in it. Bhakti Yoga is the science of energy culture to transform the crude forms of uncontrolled emotional energy upsurges to subtle harmonious form of energy (G 35b).

(D) The path of work: Karma Yoga

This involves doing action with an attitude of detachment to fruits of action. This makes man release himself from strong attachment & and thereby brings in him a steadiness in mind which verily is Yoga - "Samatwam Yogah Ucyateā€¯. The secret of Karma Yoga is to tactfully use just enough energy to accomplish the job. It is the skill of working, in deep relaxation and peaceful awareness (G 45).

Operating on all these kosas to restore the balance is the method for handling these complex ailments. Yogic practices at the Annamaya Kosa level include Kriyas, physical movements and exercises and yogasanas. To restore the balance in the PRANAMAYA KOSA level, we use breathing the Pranamaya. Operating at MANOMAYA level is by DHARANA and DHYANA (the direct method of controlling the mind the ANTARANGA YOGA OF PATANJALI) coupled with Devotional session (to control the emotions and overcome the emotional imbalances and upsurges- the science of BHAKTI YOGA. Knowledge to eradicate all miseries which are basically generated by AJNANA (the ignorance or the wrong approach in our interactions with the world.) as postulated in Upanishads (Ananda Mimamsa - Happiness Analysis) helps to operate at VIJNANAMAYA level, leading to the healthiest state of bliss, ANANDAMAYA KOSA. This multipronged method is termed as the Integrated approach of Yoga Therapy. An extensive literature survey can be found at the end.

Embedded in this comprehensive methodology of Yoga for the all-round personality development, ire the techniques needed for improving one's health also the therapeutic applications of Yogi. We will now study the principles of an integrated approach.

The basis for an integrated approach in Yoga therapy.

This integrated approach is derived from the Upanishads and texts on Yoga particularly Taittiriya Upanishad and Yogavasistha. Man's fuller existence including the subtle bodies (depicted as Pranayama, Manomaya, Vijnanamaya and Anandamaya Kosas or sheaths. apart from our gross physical body called as (Annamaya Kosa) has been considered. The Science of illness and the spectrum of Yoga Therapy portrayed in Yoga Vasistha has been reported earlier (A 11a) Originating at the Manomaya Kosa level (as 'Adhis'), the 3rd among the five sheaths of our existence, the agitations of mind cause imbalances and disturbances in the Pranamya Kosa level. The disturbed pranic flows and unstable 'Nadis' (the channels of Prana) do not allow the food to be digested properly. Over digestion, under digestion and wrong digestion bring about physical symptoms in the grossest ANNAMAYA KOSA (Vyadhis). This is the genesis and process of development of psychosomatic ailments.

(A) Respiratory Ailments

Patients with chronic respiratory ailments not cured by the usual medical and surgical methods of treatment chose to take up yogic practices. Amongst them were patients with chronic (seasonal and perennial) allergic rhinitis, chronic sinus it is with repeated flare up of headache, chronic bronchial asthmatics with or without emphysematous changes and a small group of patients with chronic bronchitis. (R 13).

Table 1 Details about our Yoga Therapy Camps and Regular Courses (Facts & Figures)


In the common monthly meetings of the patients, the practices were checked and corrected, if necessary. Clinical data were recorded in these meetings also. Follow-up camps once a year tailored to the needs of the old patients varied in duration from three days to fifteen days. Clinical data were recorded prior to and during the follow up camp periods.

Follow-up data collection drive also consisted of house visits by research wing personnel and paramedical staff who were well-trained to record the data. It is proposed to continue the follow-up work for a period of ten years. We have so far collected data up to 3 years.

Data on self control and matched control groups without yoga practices are also recorded along with other patients continuing yogic practices.

                               All Research Papers are published online courtesy www.vyasa.org
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