When we consider Yoga and its practices, we find that in ancient times Yogic practices formed part of a daily routine. This routine ensured that an individual maintained good physical and mental health. Yoga as a preventive discipline rather than for yoga therapy.
Today, the scenario has changed and more and more people flock towards yoga for its therapeutic strengths.
Yoga is considered a very effective alternate therapy, although as a remedial treatment it lacks diagnostic tools. Yoga needs to incorporate scientific medical diagnosis to measure therapeutic gains.
Here, we explain the role of the fourth dimension of Yoga – where a healthy person not only practices yoga as a preventative discipline, but also as a transformational therapy.
Someone who is unwell will benefit from Yoga therapy and healing, and a healthy person practices Yoga for the preservation of good health and for inner transformation – the fourth dimension.
Yogic practices like Kriyas (dhauti, neti and, kapalbhati), asanas and pranayama, mantra chanting, relaxation, meditation, and so on, are all essential elements of a healthy lifestyle.
When you add to this the yogic diet (regulated and sattvic diet), rest, relaxation and recreation in good measure and optimum exertion or expenditure of energy, you have a formula for a healthy and happy life.
Therapy in Yoga advantageously applies to a host of ailments; both physical and mental. It is particularly effective in functional disorders. Therapy happens at the level of the causes, and not superficially at the level of symptoms.
Yoga therapy is holistic in nature and attempts to eliminate the causes permanently. The chances of recurrence of disorders minimize. Yoga therapy is ideally suited to handle mental and emotional disorders because of the strong philosophy and psychology backing to it.
Yoga can bring about a change in the priorities we privilege in life, and our outlook of life.
We can be healed in the sense of being empowered to endure pain and suffering in an optimum manner.
This empowerment may be by providing emotional support, or by influencing the outlook towards life whereby we are comfortably reconciled to a situation. Healing also applies in the case where the cause of mental suffering or pain can’t be removed, like when we have lost a loved one, or when the negative effects of a past event continues to bother us.
Despite the fact that Yoga in its original essence is a preventive discipline, the soaring popularity of Yoga today may be attributed to the therapy and healing brought about by the practice.
This is the fourth dimension of Yoga which, mostly overlooked, is the most important dimension for humanity. This dimension of Yoga refers to its capacity to bring about a transformation in the life of a healthy person.
A physically and mentally strong individual who is essentially a healed individual, requires the subtlest form of Yoga therapy called transformational therapy. This transformation only begins in the case of healthy individuals.
From a philosophical position, a healthy person may ask “who am I?” and “where am I going?”. Their answer may be clouded due to being caught in the maze of life and living. Because we get caught in this maze, we may miss out on experiencing blissful happiness.
For us to be healthy, and transformed individuals, we have to cease being preoccupied with illness, and adjust in the healthiest manner possible to our society and environment.
This allows for the quality of life to mirror our ‘inner lightness and purity’. Some of us have a tendency to negative thoughts, despite having good health and adequate means to meet the demands of living. To truly be transformed, we need to seek the noblest form of happiness that is possible.
Yoga and its practices hold the promise of this different and higher kind of happiness.
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