is integrally linked with the well being of human body. Though it is
said that the final aim of yog is to achieve moksh or nirvan, several
yogic practices are instrumental in maintaining good health. Real comfort
lies in good health and this is an essential component for happiness
as well. Those who practise yog as a daily ritual would experience great
deal of peace and joy. However, in order to comprehend the health problems
relating to human body, preliminary knowledge of anatomy and physiology
are necessary. The knowledge of anatomy and physiology forms the basis
for the study of biological sciences. Even for a common man, to understand
the health problems and to find their solutions, preliminary understanding
of this subject will be helpful. At present, the human existence is
challenged by the stress disorders or the psychosomatic diseases such
as hypertension, hyperacidity, insomnia, heart diseases, diabetes, asthma,
etc. To combat these diseases an individual can always resort to yog
as it has therapeutic value. It has the potential to tranquilise and
balance the mind.
delving into the history of yog it has been observed that the yogic
practises have evolved with passing time with a specific purpose of
influencing various psycho-physiological functions. These ancient concepts
seem to have been based more on an empirical approach and therefore
have less objectivity, when they are compared to the modern scientific
concepts which are based on experimental, analytical and objective approaches.
The yogi's have arrived at these concepts by introspection, in the form
of subjective experiences accompanying various Yogic practices like
Asan's, Pranayam etc. which influence different functions of the body.
At the same time, they also used the knowledge of anatomy, as recorded
in various Ayurvedic texts. A famous treatise on surgical aspects of
Ayurveda called Sushrut Samhita mentions specifically that the anatomical
description given in that work is not only for the practitioners of
Ayurved but is also for the students of Yog.
to yog the body and mind is never considered as made up of two separate
entities. They are rather looked upon as one single composite unit.
Similarly the structure of the human body and its function also, are
not considered as two separate things but were rather treated as the
two aspects of the same organism. There were basic concepts according
to which the ancient yogi's comprehended the nature of the human being,
its dynamism, and its body structure and function. One of them is the
Panch Kosh. A human being is considered existing and carrying out his
or her activities simultaneously at five different levels or planes.
The term used for these levels is `Kosh`, which literally means the
cocoon or the sheath. Panch Kosh, therefore, means the five different
levels of existence and operation. A human being is said to exist, simultaneously,
on the level of physical body, on the level of physiological-vegetative
functions, on the level of emotion and memory, on the level of intellect
and on the level of pure consciousness. Through the Yogic practices,
such as, Asan's and Pranayam one becomes aware of these different kosh
which, in turn, enables man to the correct understanding of one`s own
or life force is responsible for the various functions being carried
out within the body. Pranashakti is responsible for the vegetative functions,
but at the same time it steers the subtler psychological functions,
too. The yogic practices which try to affect Pranic or the vegetative-physiological
activities are obviously considered to affect the mind as well and bring
about internal awareness. Another element is the Kundalini, the evolutionary
energy. According to this concept there is a higher and potentially
very dynamic aspect, to this Pranashakti, which in normal circumstances
is never called into action. This aspect remains in the dormant state
known as `kundalini`. Through the yogic practices when it is stimulated,
it is awakened and reaches to its highest possible spiritual potential.
Awakening one’s kundalini brings about spiritual enlightenment
accompanied by significant psycho-physiological changes.
these, the ancient yogi's also considered the concept of Nadi while
comprehending the human anatomy and the impact of yog on it. The Pranashakti
which works all over the body, uses some specific channels through which
it moves. These channels or passages are known as Nadis. According to
the ancient scriptures there is not a single part in the human body
which has not been contacted by anyone of these Nadis. In one of the
Hath Yog texts it is mentioned that there are three hundred fifty thousand
Nadis in the body reaching each and every part of the body. Lastly,
the Chakras are six nodal points or centres that are responsible for
the different levels of consciousness as well as for the control of
various internal organs.
the passage of time and scientific development the view regarding the
structure and function of the body became more objective and more analytical
in nature. As per the modern view human body shows a remarkable organisational
unity which helps in carrying out all its activities in a coordinated
and integrated manner. For the specific function there are different
types of cells, evolved specially to carry out that function. These
cells when form separate specialised group, it is known as tissue. Different
tissues come together to form various organs, and different organs come
together to form various systems of the body. The functioning of all
these systems collectively contributes in what is called as body function.
Thus it is essential to realise that the body function is ultimately
a collective function of each and every cell which constitutes the body.
The proper functioning of each individual cell, therefore, is the most
important factor for the survival of the body as a whole.
are essentially nine systems that are responsible for structure and
function in the human body. The Skeletal system and the Muscular system
are the principal systems responsible for the movement. The Nervous
system and Endocrine system are principally involved in the organisation
and control of the whole body. Respiratory system and Cardiac system
are responsible for making the oxygen and nutrients available for the
whole body. Digestive system and Excretory system are responsible for
making the nutrients available for the body as well as for expelling
out the unwanted waste matter from the body. Ultimately the Reproductive
system concerns itself with the propagation of the species.
structure and the function of the body are closely linked with each
other. The structure is more defined and is more durable but nonetheless
it undergoes changes with the passage of time. On the other hand, the
function is more elusive and goes on showing the constant fluctuation.
During the growth or decay with a change in the structure, the function
changes; similarly in some conditions change in the function can alter
the structure as well. This dynamic inter-relationship between structure
and function is an important factor in understanding the nature of living
organism. One feature that distinguishes human beings from the other
beings is their self-consciousness. This is the single most important
factor which can influence whole of the human activities. This increases
enormously the complexity in the nature of human being too.
systems in the human body are often affected by a number of diseases.
in order to treat them and to keep the body hale and hearty, an individual
can always resort to yog. The yogic practices heal the body as well
as the mind. Practicing yog can cure, respiratory disorder, digestive
disorders, increase blood circulation and ensure proper functioning
of the heart. However, according to the different systems a particular
yogic practice is suggested. Hence, it is safer to consult a yog practitioner
before initiating into this process.