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Yoga is both the end and the means

This is a phrase that Dr O.P. Tiwariji repeats to his students.

It is the end because the goal is the total integration of the personality. It's also about the means, because by following them we can achieve this end.

But in reality, Yoga aims to go beyond the mind. Even the word therapy has little to do with Yoga. I could say that Yoga is just a concept, a description of a state. If the state preceding Yoga is unintegrated, we won't be good candidates. And this can come from the body as well as the mind. So there are means of integrating it.

In both Yoga and Ayurveda, the aim is to reach the mind (citta) by treating the body. It is explained that even certain foods produce certain thoughts. Patañjali also develops the means in his aphorisms, for example by giving us the concept of āsana and prānāyāma.

An un-integration of the body is considered a disease and can affect the proper mental functioning and vice versa.

In the book Yogic Therapy written by Swami Kuvalayananda and Dr S.L. Vinekar, they explain that Yoga therapy is about strengthening the whole being so that it can withstand external and internal disturbances. They mention a phrase from the Yoga Vāsiṣtha: a person who puts on shoes will feel that the whole earth is actually covered with soft leather.

They further state that one of the definitions of Yoga is also "sannahana", meaning to be armed or prepared. Swatmarama (Hatha Pradipika) describes the treatments to be applied to diseases resulting from improper practice of Yoga, particularly prānāyāma.

In particular, extreme stress affects muscle tone, blood vessels, the heart, digestion, sleep and breathing rhythm. This creates a chain of disturbances in the body. In Yoga therapy, these symptoms are considered to be the main precursors of disease in the body. With regard to maintaining a positive state of mind, the Yamas and Niyamas are the principles to observe in order to reduce the strength of our innate psychological tendencies (kleshas).

We can follow the principles of Yoga therapy (yogacikitsā) diligently and without dogma, and not lose sight of its main objective. Let us avoid giving a narrow definition of Yoga by limiting it to preparations.

Let us be aware that after each practice, our mind should be calmer and our ability to discern and make decisions becomes clearer. This is the compass that tells us that we are on the right path, content to humbly call ourselves "yogists" rather than yogis.

Learning and practising the means of Yoga helps to cultivate and strengthen the intellect (buddhi).

Good practice of the means of Yoga for all of us. Stay "stick to the wind" and, above all, be sincere. Yoga, according to its original definition, cannot be "done".

Onanchi Ureña-Chappet





-Yoga Kosa, Philosophico - Literary Research Department of Kaivalyadhama S.M.Y.M. Samiti. Lonavla, India.

-Kuvalayananda Swami and Dr Vinekar S.L. Yogic Therapy. Second Edition. Central Health Education Bureau (Directorate General of Health Services) Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Government of India. New Delhi.

-Svatmarama Suri. Hatha Pradipika. Edited by Digambarji Swami and Kokaje Raghunatha Sashtri. Second Edition. Kaivalyadhama, S.M.Y.M. Samiti. Lonavla, India.

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Sharing a moment with Onanchi's is a pure blessing. She is a gift of love, peace, laugh and wisdom. Her generosity and knowledge are endless. So grateful to have you by my side Ony.

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