Good health is the pre-requisite of all the progress in life - physical, mental and spiritual - and is uniformly required by everybody whether old or young, man or woman, rich or poor, learned or illiterate. But is it not a fact that howsoever much we desire good health, we are not making vigorous attempts to attain it?
Today we know so much about the Sun and the Moon which are far away from us and are striving to know more, while know very little about our physical body which is so near and dear to us. We are making various plans for the irrigation of land but seldom think even for a moment whether the circulation of blood in our body is properly irrigating our system. We are very attentive to the cleanliness of our house, shop and office premises, while we do not pay sufficient attention to the internal cleanliness of our body and mind. We are particular towards the provision of flush latrines, but seldom see whether the waste matter which is to be flushed out by the Flush System is properly driven out from within our body.
I do not mean to suggest, even for a moment, that we do not require these appliances, we certainly do require them. What I mean to say is that we must posses sufficient knowledge of our physical body and mind for getting health and happiness in life. We cannot do anything in life without health. Our present day life has, however, created in us unwillingness for hard work, we desire to achieve results quickly without any labour. But we cannot purchase health at any cost. Nobody can do exercise for the other and consequently we cannot acquire health unless we actually work for it.
In order to enjoy sound health it is essential for us to have an adequate knowledge of human anatomy, right eating (i.e. what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat) and right type of exercise necessary for driving away the waste and foreign matter from within our body and sending the blood to each and every organ of our system. Only by doing these things, we can get good health and this is not very difficult too.
If any one promises to tell you the way by which you can avoid disease, get peace of mind, without incurring any expenditure and getting out of doors, you may perhaps hesitate to believe him, but there is no reason to doubt his bonafides. If you learn a few Yoga Asanas and carefully practice them every day you will yourself realise that you always keep fit both in body and mind. Yoga Asanas are numerous, neither you can afford the time to learn them all, nor it is necessary for you to do so. After years of research and experiments on thousands of persons we have selected 18 Asanas, with their counter poses, and divided them in three courses. The first course consists of 6 Asanas and 3 counter poses.
Our experience is that the common man can always enjoy sound health and avoid disease by practicing only this first course, every day. As a matter of fact disease gets deposited in different portions of our body, and when this does not get out of our system in the normal course, nature drives it away in the shape of abscess, fever, influenza or any other kind of illness. The appearance of disease is an indication that the foreign matter has been accumulated in our system in a large quantity and nature is trying to move it out. Through some misapprehension we do not remove this real cause of illness, but only try to cure the systems. If we regularly drive away the foreign matter from within our system every day by doing a few Yoga Asanas and practicing Pranayama, and also following the laws of health, there is absolutely no reason why we should at all fall ill.
Without proceeding any further, it is imperative that we should know something about the presence and accumulation of foreign matter in our body. One portion of the food that we eat or drink is assimilated in our system, it is converted into blood, flesh, bones and so on. The second portion that is not assimilated form within our body, viz., excreta, urine, sweat, etc., etc. For good health both these processes (assimilation as well as elimination) are essential. There is the third portion of food also which is neither assimilated nor eliminated from within our system. This portion is deposited in different parts of our body and is the main cause of all diseases, barring accidents, as referred to in the previous paragraph.
Through thousands of years of study, passing on experience from one generation to another, the Yogis of India have achieved control of body and mind that has baffled even modern science. Out of patient work covering centuries the Yogis have especially conceived and worked out a scientific system of exercises of postures termed Yoga Asanas to give man health, energy, longevity and happiness.
The following are the distinctive features of Yoga Asanas from other systems of exercises: