The person performing yogic practice must have the aim to achieve health and super-consciousness. Healthiness is the first and most encouraging step, in the path of development of consciousness. If you do not achieve health while performing yogic practice, remember then, that you have been missing something or not doing practice through proper way.

How can we assure ourselves that we are on the way?

In Shwetashwatara Upanishad, some specific symptoms are mentioned which indicates that the health occurs as the first achievement of yogic practice. These symptoms are:

1. Laghutva - Lightness

2. Arogyam - Freedom from diseases.

3. Aloluptvam - Diminishing the passion

4. Varnaprasada - Good skin luster.

5. Swarasousthava - Good voice

6. Shubha gandha - Good smell from the body

7. Alpa Mutrapurisha - Proper production of waste products.

All these are the symptoms of healthiness. Firstly they mentioned about Laghutva i.e., lightness. The lightness is related to both body and mind. We have to consider it through both ways. For example, after taking heavy meal we experience some sort of heaviness in the abdomen and also in all over the body. Or, sometimes when we suffer from indigestion, we experience the same symptom. Also sometimes, due to stress, we experience heaviness in head or all over the body. This is the heaviness in mind, which reflects through somatic symptoms. The heaviness, either in body or mind, always turns into laziness or lethargy. If such stage persists for a long time, then it produce various symptoms like headache, fatigue, hyperacidity, anorexia, backache, body ache, insomnia, palpitation etc. These symptoms may complicate into various chronic diseases like piles, peptic ulcer, skin disorders, spondylosis etc.

Most of people get entangled in such chronic diseases through many years. Also they ask the question repeatedly "Why this disease has chosen me?" At that time, also, it becomes difficult to understand them that they have had been missing lightness for a long time.

After starting yogic practice skillfully, these symptoms start to disappear and the lightness start to appear step by step may be within some weeks or months. Thus the lightness indicates the freedom from the diseases. Also it gives assurance that we have been going through right way. We start to believe and love yoga. We start to do practice more regularly and intensely.

There is close relation between heaviness and passion. Both increase each other. Due to it, chronic diseases always become difficult to cure. The passion has various aspects. It may be about food, sex, doing something, receiving something. If it is received then the tendency for receiving increases and if it is not received, irritability increases. Thus the negative effects are due to both, by receiving or without receiving. Due to persistent passion, diseases become chronic and irreversible with the passage of time.

When we get lightness due to yogic practice, also we get freedom from passion step by step. Thus the vicious circle breaks and the pathology of chronic diseases starts to reverse.

Another symptom is good skin luster. Skin is nothing but the mirror of the body. Good skin luster indicates the proper metabolism, proper harmony between all systems and organs and proper canalization of all waste products. So, due to yogic practice when we get good skin luster, we can say that our internal processes have been going through proper way, and our internal vital organs like kidney, liver, lungs, spleen and muscles and bones are in healthy condition.

Also, our voice is the indication of both physical and mental state. The person suffering from chronic stress has dry, low (or very loud sometimes) and arrhythmic voice. Due to yogic practice, peace comes. The peace reflects through our voice. Thus the voice starts to become rhythmic and sweet to hear. This is healthy state of mind, which indicates the freedom from stress.

Like skin, the smell from our body also indicates the metabolism, harmony and proper canalization of waste materials. Unhealthy body creates bad smell. Due to yogic practice, since all processes normalize, especially elimination of waste products and toxins from our body, we experience good smell from our body.

Due to indigestion and poor metabolism there is formation of waste materials in excess. Due to yogic practice, there is improvement in digestion and metabolism. Due to it, the formation of waste materials becomes normal.

Most important thing is normalization of our natural urges of the body that are hunger, thrust, urge for defecation or urination. Proper urge i.e., proper time and proper intensity indicates healthiness. Due to yogic practice, we experience our all-natural urges in proper manner.

Thus the yogic practices produce health first. It normalizes our disharmony and gives strength to all organs and tissues. We can perform our regular activities skillfully and intensely. Body becomes ready for hard activities and also minds to manage stressful condition without significant disturbance. Our muscular-skeletal system there by develops increasing the properties like strength, stamina and flexibility. In other words, we change our old tissues and create new healthy tissues.

This is the condition suitable for further journey, i.e., ‘antarang sadhana’. In unhealthy state, we cannot perform meditation properly. But in healthy state, we can perform it properly and also get inner experience step by step. Our ultimate aim of yoga is awareness, which creates permanent happiness. Thus the inner journey starts from healthy state of body and mind and ends in the stage of super consciousness.

Vrikshasana (Tree)


(Shoulder Stand)