In our village from olden days our grandpas and grandmas were using medicinal herbs which they used to collect from the farm or from their residential premises for the treatment of common ailments. The Village ‘Vaidyas’ also used to provide herbal medicines in various conditions. People approach them for some types of illnesses. Many of such treatments are documented and have scientific rationale behind them. Thousands of years back, our own medical system Ayurveda, and wellness systems like Yoga were developed in the country.
Methods of prevention of illnesses and healing through Ayurveda and yoga are simple, the common remedies are cheap and safe and the drugs are mainly obtained from the nature.
Ayurveda is an ancient science of life since time immemorial. Ayurveda, apart from providing various therapeutic measures for diseases, emphasizes on maintenance, promotion of health and prevention of diseases through diet and lifestyle regimens. As per Ayurveda, life is sustained by a tripoid of mental, physical and spiritual factors constituted by body (Sharir), senses (Indriyas), mind (Satwa) and spirit (Atma). The physical world including the human body is derived from the specific combinations of five fundamental entities viz. Akash, Vayu, Teja, Jala and Prithvi which are known as Panchamahabhutas and the soul. Panchamahabhutas form the Tridoshas viz. Vata Dosha, Pitta Dosha and Kapha Dosha, Dhatus (tissues) and Malas (excretory products). Tridoshas carry out the physiological activities and are responsible for the integrity of the human body.
Due to the faulty diet and lifestyle normalcy of the Tridoshas is disturbed and they aggravate in the body. Vitiated Tridoshas disturb the normalcy of Dhatus and Malas causing their vitiation which manifests as various diseases in the body. Thus the health of an individual depends upon the normalcy of the Doshas, Dhatus and Malas. Health of an individual can be known by following aspects-
- Proper nourishment.
- Proper strength.
- Desire and appetite for intake of food.
- Proper digestion of food ingested at proper time.
- Sleep at proper time.
- Absence of pathological or dreadful dreams.
- Feeling of freshness after waking up in the morning.
- Proper evacuation of faeces, urine, and flatus at the proper time.
- Proper functioning of mental faculties, intelligence and senses in all respect.
- Absence of any kind of pain.
Adopting healthy living ways advocated/ described in Ayurveda such as Dincharya (daily lifestyle), Ritucharya (seasonal lifestyle) and Sadvritta (code of conduct) etc. a person can remain healthy by maintaining the normalcy of the Doshas, Dhatus and Malas. Following these regimens will help an individual in achieving promotion of health, maintenance of health and prevention from various diseases.
Yoga is a science as well an art of healthy living physically, mentally, morally and spiritually. It’s no way limited by race, age, sex, religion, cast or creed and can be practiced by those who seek an education on better living and those who want to have a more meaningful life.
Yoga system advocates the eight fold path, popularly known as “Ashtanga Yoga” for all-round development of human personality. They are – Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana & Samadhi for increasing the power of concentration, mental purity and steadiness.
The practice of Yama i.e., Ahimsa (not to harm others), Satya (to be truthful), Asteya (not to steal). Brahmacharya (celibacy), Aparigraha (not to possess beyond actual needs) along with the practice of Niyama i.e., Souch (external and internal purification), Santosh (contentment), Tapa (to make right efforts to achieve goals). Swadhyaya (to study authentic texts to acquire correct knowledge), and Ishwar Pranidhan (complete surrender to the divine will) paves way to increase the power of concentration, mental purity and steadiness.
Asanas are special patterns of postures that stabilise the mind and the body through static stretching. Their aim is to establish proper mechanism in the nerve muscle co-ordination and improve the general muscle tone. Two basic principles governing the performance of Asanas are stability and comfort. Every Asana should be performed effortlessly and maintained for a comfortable time. There should be no jerks and the performance of Asana should not lead to undue fatigue.
Pranayama is the science of regulating and gaining control over the prana or breath or life force. Normally, there are 3 components of breathing — Inhalation (Puraka), Exhalation (Rechaka) and Stoppage of breath (Kumbhaka). Maintaining Kumbhaka is the main aim of Pranayama but it should be Kevala Kumbhaka, a natural cessation of breath without any force. Pranayamas help in getting control over the thought processes in the mind as breath acts as a mediator between body and mind. The other benefits of Pranayama along with Kumbhaka are development of deep relaxation, lowered metabolic rate, sense of blissfulness, expansiveness and solitary thought.
According to Yoga, most of the diseases Mental, Psychosomatic and Physical originate in mind through wrong way of thinking, living and eating which is caused by attachment. The basic approach of Yoga is to correct the life style by cultivating a rational positive and spiritual attitude towards all life situations.
In recent times there is a growing awareness among the people about the efficacy and utility of Yoga and Nature Cure in keeping one fit at physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual planes.