Yoga – Not Therapy

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

There is one body, there is one mind and there are hundreds of types of therapies. Nature cure is one, yoga therapy is one, allopathy is one and homoeopathy is one. Body is one and mind is one, and it is here that the therapies are all interrelated.

Different types of therapies are good for different types of symptoms – psychological or physiological. If you want a quick relief, one type of therapy is better. If you want relief without medicines, another type of therapy is better, or if you want to help yourself through natural ways such as using steam bath.

There are many ways to keep healthy. You cannot say that one therapy is the ultimate way, that nature therapy is the best method of healing or that yoga therapy, or any other method or therapy is best. It all depends on your requirements and your physiological and psychological condition.

For some chronic problems yoga therapy has proved to be useful in cases where allopathy and nature cure has failed.

Generally, in India people come to yoga as the last resort, after they have tried allopathy, ayurvedic medicines, or nature cures. At the end of the road, they come to yoga.

Yoga has been helpful in the treatment of many types of chronic ailments, also in many cases where modern medicine has failed such as in the case of cancer. Through practices of relaxation and breathing, patients have been able to stop the growth of cancer and often reverse the process. Those people who only had a couple of months to live, look forward to their future with great optimism.

All therapies are useful, when it comes to need, use and time. All ideas of yoga therapy are wrong, for we do not try to help anything or anybody through yoga. We simply try to put the body in order. In this process rheumatism, stomach ailments, breathing or nervous problems disappear by themselves once the body reaches a state of balance, equilibrium and harmony.

So there is no such thing as yoga therapy, yet there is something which is known as — yoga.

—19 March 1986, Ganga Darshan, Munger