Mahavira's Scripture Of Health: [10.15] Yogic Postures And Health - Health, Sadhana And Asanas

Published: 05.07.2007
Updated: 06.08.2008

We have to consider the whole question from two points of view: health and sadhana. It is certain that the sadhana aspect can never be strong if the health aspect is weak. There is a close connection between health and sadhana. How would sadhana be possible if one's health is not in the proper state? There are many people who breathe 40 times in a minute. They cannot take deep breath. Their lungs are so weak that they have no strength to take deep breaths. How would sadhana be possible in that State? There are many people who, while meditating, go on continuously yawning. How would they be able to meditate? How would they do sadhana?Health is a very important side of sadhana.

Health cannot be completely separated from sadhana. From the point of view of health, one has to be acquainted with the anatomy of the body. One must have knowledge about all the systems of the body. He must have knowledge about the network of the nervous system and endocrine system. He must know how they can function properly.

Some glands in our body are very important. If the adrenal glands do not function properly, there may be some health disorders. If the thyroid gland is not functioning properly, the problem of health would become complicated. If the kidneys are not functioning well, man would have many diseases.

By doing certain asanas, we can keep our endocrine glands in a healthy condition, we can keep our digestive system healthy, and we can keep our spinal column flexible. If we are conscious about all these things, we can carry on our sadhana in the proper manner. Thinking from the point of view of Mahaviras theory of health, we cannot minimize the importance of these questions. Mahavira did not prescribe the asanas merely from the point of view of sadhana. He did it also from the point of view of health. Mahavira repeatedly says that it is always best to do asanas, they are meant to be practiced at all times. This means that it includes the points of view both of health and sadhana.

After properly studying and analysing the asanas, one must decide which asana would suit him the best. Along with it, one point should always be clear in the mind that the primary aim of the asanas is nirjara and atma-shodhana. If we practice the asanas merely from the point of view of health, the purpose as well as the goal would be limited. We should do the asanas from the point of view of nirjara. When there is nirjara, there would be atma-shodhana. There would be refinement of Samskaras and along with it, the organs and limbs of the body would continue to function properly. If we practise the asanas from this comprehensive point of view, it would be possible to establish the relation between Mahavira's theory of health and the yogasanas and as a result, derive the greatest benefit out of it.

Sources
  • Mahavira's Scripture Of Health by © Acharya Mahaprajna
  • Edited by Muni Dulheraj & Muni Dhananjay Kumar
  • Translated by Sarla Jag Mohan
  • Published by Adarsh Sahitya Sangh, New Dehli, India, 2000

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Some texts contain  footnotes  and  glossary  entries. To distinguish between them, the links have different colors.
  1. Adrenal Glands
  2. Asana
  3. Asanas
  4. Body
  5. Endocrine System
  6. Mahavira
  7. Nirjara
  8. Sadhana
  9. Samskaras
  10. Thyroid Gland
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