When man came to know that within him there was an organ which controlled his physical actions and reactions, called the brain, he decided to investigate it. When he realized that he had a power within him which controlled his brain, body, actions, emotions, feelings etc., known as the mind, he decided to investigate this also. Yet there are very few pioneers who have made a systematic investigation on the whole physiology and psychology of the human being.
One of the important needs of today is to lead a tension free life. Man wants to be happy, but still he is not capable of unburdening himself from frustrations, stresses and anxieties. He wants to manipulate the world to suit his needs, desires and ambitions. As a result, phobias, complexes, inhibitions and psychological traumas manifest. It is in this area that man has to divert his attention, if he is to integrate the various phases of human personality and overcome terror, insecurity, passions, fright, uncertainty, suspicion, etc. which constantly influence physiological, emotional, mental and psychic behaviour patterns.
All the various systems of the body and the activities that go on in them are directed by the brain. The mind as conscious and subconscious has direct influence on the brain’s activity, and this can be seen in the form of brain waves. When the conscious mind directs the activity of the brain, then beta and alpha rhythms predominate, reflecting in a state of mental activity, alertness and relaxation. When the subconscious mind directs the activity of the brain, then theta and delta rhythms predominate, reflecting a state of concentration, one-pointed perception, awareness and introversion. When there is intense activity in an emotional, physical or mental frame, then brain waves can in some ways influence the whole system positively or negatively. They do this by blocking the perceptions of the conscious and subconscious mind, which then turn into tension; or by bringing the whole system to a state of intense sensitivity, receptivity and activity by developing the creative capacities in man.
Apart from all this, there are many more reasons for the unknown influences on physical, emotional, mental and psychological behaviours which bring problems and diseases in man’s life. But one point to remember is that diseases, ailments, or any type of problem on any level of human personality originate with a state of imbalance. Physical body and brain are affected by the mind and vice versa. It is the sentiments, emotions, feelings, objectives, passions, stresses, desires and ambitions in the mind which create physiological changes. A thought can and does influence the body, and a limb pain caused by a minor or major injury can and does project tension into the mind.
Recent investigations prove that within each individual lies the key to relief from mental, physical, psychological and emotional disorders. Awareness, harmony, mental clarity and inner balance are the principal factors in establishing a state of balance in man. Yoga techniques such as asanas, pranayamas, relaxation, concentration and meditation help the individual to attain awareness, balance and harmony.
Within the body are currents of energy, which travel from top to bottom, circulating all throughout. These are known as bioplasmic energy channels, nadis, electromagnetic currents or pranic passages. The whole body is a composition of prana and mind. Subtle pranas are responsible for our physical actions and motions in life, while mind is responsible for thinking and feeling. These are the two great twin forces in our system. If they lose their balance, then corresponding imbalance is created in the physical and mental behaviour. The practices of raja yoga and hatha yoga are based on these twin forces. Through the practice of asana and pranayama, the energy or pranic force is balanced, and through the practice of concentration, relaxation and meditation, the mind is balanced.