Yoga Chikitsa or Yogopathy?
Some might say: “Yoga therapy may threaten the pharmaceutical industry and they won’t like that.” Pharmaceutical industries should never be afraid of Yoga or see it as a threat because Yoga takes discipline and, it’s not just the technique, it’s the lifestyle and the attitude.
What attitude are you going to take toward that which stresses you?
Life is filled with stresses. And stress originates in the mind and expresses as a disease in the body. Even in caves, there are going to be stressed because of the lizards, the snakes, etc. The top of the mountain is going to be cold.
The moment you perceive something as stressful, the stress-reaction kicks in.
The key lies in not perceiving something as stressful. This is easier said than done. It’s like if there are thorns everywhere, you put on a pair of slippers and you can walk around. This perspective toward life becomes the key attitude, the key element in Yoga as a therapy.
How do you develop this attitude? How do you measure this attitude? How do you inculcate it in a person who is suffering from diabetes or asthma or cancer?
This is why the concept of yogic counseling is so vital in Yoga therapy, and most people don’t do it. If someone comes and says, “I have hypertension,” and if I say, “Do this pranayama.” Or, “I have cancer,” and I say, “Do that asana.”
This is no longer Yoga Therapy, it isn’t Yoga Chikitsa. I call these instances Yogopathy. Just like allopathy and other ‘pathies’, with all their boxes. We have limited Yoga into the confines of a box.
The metaphysical aspect is not going to manifest unless there is an alteration in lifestyle (which includes diet, how you eat, how you relax, how you work, how you sleep, etc.). And how do you bring about the adoption of a yogic lifestyle? How do you inculcate it? How do you make sure they follow it? How do you motivate them to persevere?
This is where it becomes challenging. It’s no easy fix.
Read more from Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani on this topic: