The popular trend in the Western society is a belief that ‘regular physical activity seems to be the most important contributor to prevent disease and promote health’. This statement seems incomplete. Of course, physical activities are of immense importance for good health, but for preventing disease, physical activity or yoga postures alone, constitute one half of the complete picture. You need to practice meditation, to achieve the goal of preventing disease. It’s a wonderful news that doctors and scientists are coming to terms with accepting and affirming thousands of years old concepts, beliefs, and findings of ancient yoga enthusiasts.
Yoga is an ancient philosophy. It upholds pure consciousness as the ultimate reality, superimposed by duality of mind and body (Purusha and Prakrity). Following the directives of Yoga, helps to balance the mind and body, taking the individual self closer to the universal life force,the impregnate dynamic energy. The significance of yoga is not just in physical exercise, though it is an essential requirement for good health. The real emphasis should be on meditation. Meditation requires stringent self discipline, mindfulness and breathing exercises, which is possible only when one is in a reasonable state of health. Certain specific yoga asana or body postures, open energy channels and psychic centres and increase the sense of balance. Each posture has a direct influence on stimulation and control of hormonal secretion. Regular practice of yoga/meditation, even for short sessions, but with the right motivation and mindset, can become a pleasurable experience, with unlimited benefit to humanity.
A recent science article from England, mentioned, “The studies show that these mind-body exercises appear to suppress the expression of genes and genetic pathways that promote inflammation”. Inflammation is at the root of immune system, which guards our body against external or internal damage.In cases of chronic disease or prolonged tension, the good work of immune system gets jeopardized and inflammation spreads within the body, undermining mental and physical well being. Scientific studies are now suggesting that if untreated for a long time, inflammation can change the pattern of genes. Medical world are doing all they can to keep things under control. However, the cheapest, simplest and the most invigorating method of keeping fit in body, soul, and mind, through yoga/meditation and healthy diet has remained grossly neglected for too long. Health benefits of meditation are enormous no doubt. Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that serious meditation influences the autonomous nervous system, which controls the autonomous body activities, such as digestion, blood circulation and body’s hormonal surges. There are advanced meditation practices that can work wonders by opening the gateway to profound intuitive wisdom and deep emotional resilience. According to Yoga philosophy, body is the gross form of mind or consciousness. Practice of yoga matures that realisation. If science and metaphysics worked hand in hand,the advance in higher knowledge, with implicit health benefit, in all these fields, would have been greater and faster.