Yoga-chikitsa (Sanskrit) or Yoga Therapy has never been very easy to define, largely owing to the depth and breadth of the subject.
And yet, simply stated, Yoga Therapy could be called a system of health care that helps treat human indispositions as naturally as possible, to alleviate pain and suffering through set of exercises, both physical and mental. Ideally, yoga therapy is preventive in nature, as is Yoga itself, while being curative in many instances, soothing in others, and restorative in most.
Yoga therapy is of modern denomination and represents man’s first attempt to combine age-old concepts and techniques with contemporary medical and psychological know-how. So, where traditional Yoga was primarily concerned with spiritual transcendence, yoga therapy aims at holistic treatment of a variety of psychological or psychosomatic disorders ranging from sinusitis and asthma to emotional distress.
Yoga holds that a person’s health condition depends on himself. It lays emphasis on physical, mental and emotional balance and development of a sense of harmony with all of life. There’s nothing mystical about it. Nor is it external. Rather it is an inner faculty. Yoga endeavors to re-establish inner balance through a variety of ways, ranging from the gross to the subtle. Which is why it is considered a holistic art.
Rather than prescribe treatments, yoga therapy encourages awareness. Through age-old yogic techniques, we get to know ourselves better.
Contrary to modern medical science that tries to identify the pathogenic factor (be it a toxic substance, a micro-organism, or metabolic disorder) then eliminate it, Yoga takes a totally different point of view. It holds that if a person is sick there must be a deeper reason behind it – that illness doesn’t arise by chance. It is the result of an imbalance, a disruption in the body-mind complex that creates the condition. Here the symptoms, the pathogenic factors, are not the issue. Yoga believes that the root cause lies somewhere else.
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