YOGA THERAPY, what why, how,
YOGA and HEALTH – YOGA THERAPY
“Yoga is a therapeutic science which has to be prescribed practically and scientifically just like any medicine.”
Although the very aim of Yoga is not to become healthy, simply by doing yoga, we generally feel better, and if we continue along the path, we find that all our imbalances, tensions, and previously hidden uneasiness or even diseases slowly disappear…
Why? What is it that brings our body to balance? How does it function? What is the link between yoga and health?
In China, the doctors could detect an illness before it manifests in the physical body. That is, before the patient falls sick and feels anything wrong. That is how people had to go the doctor at regular times, without being sick, just for the check-up.
How is this possible?
Yoga and all Eastern medicines (Ayurveda, Acupuncture, Marmatherapy…) say that before the illness manifests at the physical level, it shows subtle signs of imbalances at more subtle levels.
Yoga considers that the human body is made of five sheaths, ‘the koshas” , like levels of existence:
-- the spiritual sheath = ananda maya kosha = the body of bliss, state with no swinging …
-- the psychic sheath = jnana maya kosha = the superior mind, intuition, connected to the Universal
These levels are sub/unconscious and represent the hidden part of the iceberg, would our being be this iceberg.
-- the sheath of energy = prana maya kosha = body of energy, prana, life force
Prana is the force that sustains life and the functioning of all our organs, perceptions… Prana is a kind of electricity that powers our being.
Without prana, no life. If Prana is imbalanced, disease occur.
Prana maya kosha is also the LINK between conscious and unconscious realms
-- the mental sheath = mano maya kosha = mind, emotions, memories related to the individual
-- the physical sheath = ana maya kosha == physical body that we can touch and feed !
These sheaths are denser in nature, visible or at least perceptible, and are part of our conscious life. They would be the visible part (very small) of the being-iceberg.
Yoga says: “The illness is a message from the soul”
And thus yoga considers the sickness not as something that should be eradicated at all costs, but as a sign that should be absolutely studied, to find out the deeper significance that lies behind, the root, and take the changes that has to be taken from there, so as to heal completely.
Only then balance may have a chance to come back into the body for good and long time.
So how can we do this?
Yoga offers a huge range of practices, not only the asanas and pranayamas that we usually hear of, but also lots of meditation practices, tantric tools like mantras and yantras, creating vibration fields which “talk” to the layers of our deeper being… and much more…
Below is a table giving just a glimpse of the huge range of practices that are found in Yoga. A correspondance between practices - levels/ sheath – disease – healing is also shown.
Important to note also that the sheaths are not separated, only the vocabulary shows different elements, but they are all interconnected, interlocked into one another. And whatever practice, although more related to one specific level, will also affect other levels.
We could even say that the five sheaths, the five levels of our existence lie in the depth of each and every cell of our being.
Additionally, we may find in other disciplines, other literature, different number of sheath, different names, but the principle remains same.
almost all pathologies
At the end, you will find a list of therapies studied by Bihar Yoga in Yoga research foundation
Hatha yoga : Asanas, physical mouvements.
Shatkarmas: cleansing, purification practices of the physical body, strongly affecting ALL levels
Yoga nidra, deep relaxation
Flexibility, all organs, joints, muscle will function better, being energised, cleaned...
Prana level is raised
unlocking tensions, blocages
Interact with energy, the prana, chacras
in Therapy, specific asanas will cause specific effects on specific organs
Together with western medecine if there is life threat
emotions, thoughts, functionnings, patterns
conscious part of our being, the visible part of the iceberg
All the Hatha yoga practices have effects on the mental level
Yamas et Niyamas:
codes of conduct helping us to print better program in our mind, so that our life benefits not only to ego but also to the Community!
Yoga nidra, relaxation Pratyahara, withdrawal of the sens
allows discovery of our real true being
develops the attitude of the Drashta, the witness of all, conscious, aware, and not affected
teaches how the mind functions, which is the base for evolution ;
allows better understanding of our being, thus more control of our behaviours
By understanding how we function, we become step by step able to develop the whole potential of our being
by cultivating the positivities, accepting also the negativites as our inner compost, our mind becomes a beautiful inner garden
Mental energy is hugely powerful to HEAL,
In yoga it is said that every illness manifests through an imbalance in Prana
Thus work with Prana is of utmost importance in Therapy
Hatha Yoga: Pranayama, breathing / visualisations techniques aiming at controlling Prana, purify the « nadis », channels (like meridiens), unlock blocages...
Shatkarmas, cleansing of the physical body affecting strongly ALL levels
Yoga nidra, tantric meditation
raising prana level
The pranic body or level is a bridge between conscious and un/subconscious realms thus establish communication between them
Thus is a very powerful tool in therapy
Living the present
Expansion of consciousness
body of intuition, inner knowledge, past memories, unconscious emotions, patterns roots, impressions...
it is the unvisible part of the iceberg, and it LEADS our lives silently without our knowing
a LOT of illnesses find their roots there, in unconscious blocages of the past
Yoga nidra, psychic sleep
Pratyahara, withdrawal of the senses
Antar mouna, power technique that cleans the mind, teaches how it functions and brings inner silence
Ajapa japa, mind purification, purge
Vipasana, Tattwa shuddhi and more...
Mantras, repetition of sound which by the power of vibration realign our whole being
Yantras, along with mantra, geometrical figure, drawing, which generates vibration also aligning our being.
We become conscious of our being as a whole
unconscious events or memories come out to the surface of the conscious mind
that is who they lose their power, that is how the blocked energy is unlocked
that is how we may become free from old past tensions or illnesses
Mantras and Yantras « talk » an understandable langage to the unconscious mind, thus allows conscious communication with the unconscious realm
A link, a bridge is established between unconscious and conscious levels. That is the core of therapy.
Everything is linked. when we free blocages in the subtle levels, a corresponding damage in the physical body is healed.
A physical trouble is the dense manifestation of a more subtle trouble.
All meditation practices +
“Puja”, ritual that connects us to the SOUL, and to the Conscious of the Universe.
« speak » the soul's langage
is the soul's langage
Havan, Yajna, sacred fire that establishes a connection between our inner being and the Cosmos, cosmic forces.
Stay in the present moment, here and now
Becoming aware of the manifested as well as UNmanifested world.
Havan: Fire is the messenger between the manifested and unmanifested world
Havan, sacred fire, is a manifestation of our inner sacred space inside, our soul.
Havan resonates in the soul, Soul resonates in Havan
Havan awakens the soul.
Havan reconnects to our soul.
The connection to the soul is what will completely heal ;
it is the return to the source, where all answers are found
The soul guides us, silently, or sometimes with perceptible messages, towards what is Just, for our life, health...
The connection to the Soul is what tunes our life to the universal Dharma
We find our place in the universe, all disorders, conflicts, diseases, just vanish...
YOGA THERAPY and WESTERN MEDECINE = HAND in HAND
In case of visible, manifested disease, be it physical or mental, a yoga therapy might be given, comprising appropriate practices according to each individual and illness. Western treatement might also be added in coordination.
About western medecine, we must keep in mind though, that as brillant as it is, only the « gross » level is generally cured, rarely the subtler levels.
Which is already very important and sometimes vital.
Yet if no deeper work takes place, to seek the very root of the illness in the higher levels, then relapse of the disease is most probable ; it might even take a different shape !
Additionnally, the side effects generated by treatments are often so heavy that they unfortunately cause other damages, sometimes even other diseases.
Here too, Yoga might be of great help.
That is how a « hand in hand » work might be very powerful:
è Western medecine with heavy treatement, when there is an emergency, life threat for the patient
è Yoga and /or other Eastern, alternative medecine (Ayurvéda, acuponcture, marmatherapy, reflexology, massages…) : they would both help in alleviating the treatement's side-effects, and allow to eradicate the very source of sickness situated in the subtler levels.
Actually, if there is no emergency or life-threat, a full « yoga therapy » is possible with an expert yoga teacher and therapist, eventhough the illness might be already manifested at physical or mental level.
Below are some links and information about books and researches on Yoga Therapy.
May this be beneficial to you!
Hari om tat sat
PUBLICATIONS ABOUT YOGA THERAPY
Bihar Yoga (Yoga according to Paramahamsa Satyananda and Bihar School of Yoga) publishes a vast range of books written by eminent doctors or psychiatrists, all yogis. A lot of diseases are studied, and utilising the experiences of scientific researches conducted since over thirty years by Bihar School of Yoga, show in a very practical manner how each and every patient, even non yogi, can cope with sickness and recover full health, with yoga.
Yoga is a Science. And that science can heal.
Link to Bihar Yoga:
Complete list of books published by Bihar yoga: Yoga Publication Trust:
Link to the principal Satyananda yoga centers where those books might be purchased:
Turkey: Yoga Studyo Antalya, almost all books available.
Lien Link to Yoga research foundation, established by Paramahamsa Satyananda in 1984 :
studied sicknesses : (non exhaustive list)
psychology, functionning, pathologies, light and less light
digestive system, respiratory ssystem, uro genital system, hyper tension, heart and cardiovasculare system, asthma, diabètis, joints , back neck problems, sciatica, slipped disc...
cancers, all types, study of the causes, how it works, and study of each different type of cancer
and much more…
ASATO MA SAT GAMAYA
TAMASO MA JYOTIR GAMAYA
MRITYOR MA AMRITAM GAMAYA
SARVESHA SVASTIR BHAVATU
SARVESHAM SHANTIR BHAVATU
SARVESHAM POORNAM BHAVATU
SARVESHAM MANGALAM BHAVATU
OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI
This mantra, the Shanti Path is a SANKALPA – a wish of the yogis:
Lead me from the unreal to the real.
Lead me from darkness to light.
Lead from death to immortality.
May all beings dwell in happiness.
May all beings dwell in peace.
May all beings attain oneness.
May all beings attain auspiciousness.
May all happiness be unto the whole world.
Om peace peace peace