Press Interview

Swami Satyananda Saraswati

Can yoga cure all disease, even cancer?

All diseases which are psychosomatic in nature, which includes almost 89% of all diseases, are curable through the proper practice of yoga. What I am telling you is based on scientific studies that are being constantly conducted in India as well as in other countries. Research has gone into deeper aspects regarding the possible effect of yogasana, pranayama and meditation on cancer and many people have benefited from the practice of yoga.

Can cancer be helped through the practice of pranayama?

It is possible through pranayama, meditation and yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is a tantric practice through which you relax the mind and body, allowing the energy to flow freely in every part of the body.

Has this been proved by research?

The investigation of yoga throughout the world is in its infancy. We have just started. For the last twenty years, studies have been done. Whatever results we have achieved are very optimistic and we have every reason to believe that yoga can treat this disease.

What are the other diseases that have been cured through yoga?

Diabetes, blood pressure, migraine, insomnia, heart disease, spondylitis, peptic ulcer, gastric ulcer, menstrual problems, sciatica, slipped disc, arthritis and constipation, which is also a disease.

Who are the majority in the practice of yoga, men or women?

In India more men are practising but it is very hard to give any opinion because in India nothing can be proved with statistics. There are many gurus teaching asanas to women disciples in the villages but, as we can see, more men are practising.

How much asana and pranayama should be taught to a patient?

When you teach yoga to patients, the teacher has to decide according to their capacity. On the first day maybe, the patients cannot do much, but in three months’ time they may be able to do a lot. So we cannot say how much they have to do. It is better to say that yoga should be learned from an experienced person or guru, and of course not from books.

Is it true that yoga was born in India?

The concept and philosophy of yoga was discovered, perfected and formulated in India many thousands of years ago and it is considered by all as an age old science.

What has Bihar School of Yoga done to bring yoga to society?

Bihar School of Yoga started in 1964 and is now a recognized educational institution. It trains yoga teachers for the government and private teachers.

How many teachers have you trained so far?

My God, more than one hundred thousand, because we have many schools throughout the world. In every country, we have teacher training facilities. In European countries the registered number of teachers having a licence is nearly 72,000 – just imagine! In India we do not know how many there are because we have no statistics. We are not well organized but training is imparted in different centres in the world under our guidance. Suppose you start a school here and I tell you to do it, you can train 500 teachers.

Maybe you can send a few people from here to Munger. I will train them and they will come here to teach. There are regular courses – one month courses in asana, courses for sick people depending on their sickness from seven or fifteen days to one month or three months. Then we have senior teachers courses, junior teachers courses and sannyasins’ courses, all living in the ashram for years together.

Is there any yoga school in Madurai?

You must write good articles in different magazines and inspire the people of this city. If people want it, everything will happen; if not, nothing will happen.

Is there enough yoga in this country?

No, it is not enough. India needs more and that is going to happen sooner or later.

4 February 1982, Madurai, Tamil Nadu