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Physical Activity and Nature Cure

Posted Jun 02 2009 4:40pm

Hatha YogaYoga & Nature Cure
India has a glorious history. Our ancestors have made several invaluable contributions for the welfare of mankind. Yoga is also one of them. "PatanjalaYoga Sutra" is a universally accepted treatise on the subject wherein Yoga has been defined as the control of modifications of Mind. The control of Mind invariably involves the control of senses and enables the soul to abide in its true nature. In ancient India there has been a number of Yoga exponents each defining Yoga in its own way. In Indian contemplation uni-lateral development of personality has not been given any importance. Special emphasis has been laid to the development of Mind and soul also alongwith body. Yoga is such a science which aims at the total development of human personality.

Yoga classics while recommending various practices for physical development, have also described numerous techniques for mental, social and spiritual development. It is encouraging to note that in last few decades some distinguished medical scientists also have taken active interest in evaluating various therapeutic claims mentioned in ancient Yoga texts and in most of the cases they have corroborated the claims on the basis of the research data in one form or other. The principles and practices of healthy living advocated in Yoga classics are universal and have been propounded by our ancient sages as a result of practical experimentation for a very long time. Todays living in a polluted atmosphere and odd conditions coupled with the growing stress and strain has multiplied its necessity and importance enormously.

Usually Indian Philosophy has been divided into 6 Theistic and 3 Atheistic Darshanas. Six Theistic Darshanas are Mimansa, Vedanta, Nyaya, Vaisheshik, Samkhya & Yoga and three Atheistic Darshanas are Charvak, Buddha and Jain. These 6 Darshanas find their basis in Vedas. To understand the concepts and principles of Yoga the knowledge of philosophy is essential. So it is believed that the real spiritual wisdom leading to Moksa can only be acquired by getting perfection in Yoga.

In recent past, Yoga has acquired a world-wide recognition and acceptance. But it is observed this popularity of Yoga has been mainly confined to its health-care aspect i.e. Hatha Yoga alone. Although it is true that the essential nature of Yoga is psychological and sychological and not merely physiological yet the main reason of giving special emphasis to physical practices by Hatha Yoga is that a healthy and sound mind invariably necessitates a healthy and sound body and regular practice of Hatha Yoga is a surest way to acquire a disease free and vigorous body. Positive physical health is sure to facilitate the process of mind control. It is for this reason that Hatha Yoga has laid so much emphasis to the practice of asanas and cleansing acts which are somewhat different in effect than other exercises because the object of Yoga practice to control the body as well as the Mind.

Therefore, Yogis have invented such exercises in the form of Yoga which effect both simultaneously. Asanas while mainly contributing to keep the body healthy invariably impart sensual control and mental concentration. An individual should be physically sound, one-pointed, cheerflul, enthusiastic, affectionate, all-loving, given to the service of society and all living beings, characterful, endowned with patriotisism, philanthropy, all round health and blissfulness.

It is essential to differentiate between exercise and activity, for correct living. While both are important, as they are involved in vital physical movement, they vary in degree and benefits. Both employ the body in voluntary movement. In recent years, even in sickness the need for exercise has been recognised.

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