This body is the moving temple of God. It is an instrument for crossing the ocean of Samsar or the round of births and deaths and attaining the supreme abode of immortality, eternal bliss and perennial joy. It is a horse that can take you to the destination or the goal of life. Therefore it must be kept quite healthy and strong. Proper training and care of the body on an intelligent basis is necessary. There should be a harmonious development of all the muscles of the body, organs, nerves and the frame.
Some try to develop the chest and the arms only. Some try to develop only the lower limbs and the chest. To develop certain parts of the body at the expense of the rest of the body is irrational and unscientific. Another important point is there must not be any violent exertion. The general health must be maintained. There must be symmetrical development of all the parts of the body. The muscles of the extremities or limbs, chest, back, neck, abdomen, etc., should be developed equally. Then only will there be grace, elegance and beauty. You should have a comprehensive understanding of the laws of health and hygiene and dietetcis, of the causes of ill-health, how they arise, how they may be prevented or removed ! An elementary knowledge of physiology which treats of the functions of the human body and anatomy which treats of the structure of the body will be of immense help to you.
This is a system of yogic exercises of the Indian Rishis and Yogins of yore based on exact principles. There is no vague doctrine here. It imparts to every practitioner definite, practical knowledge, fine health, longevity, strength, vim and vitality. Any trouble is removed from its starting point by the practice of Asans. These are adapted for both men and women, for people of the East and West. You can keep up meditation while performing the Asans. This is accompanied by Pranayam or regulation of breath also. By practicing the Asans regularly men and women will acquire a figure which will enhance their beauty and that suppleness which will give charm and elegance to every movement of theirs.
These Yogic exercises are preventive and curative. That is the beauty of this system. Some exercises twist the body forward and backward. Others help the lateral movement of the spine. Thus the body as a whole is developed, toned up and strengthened. The whole course can be finished in fifteen minutes. Within this short period you can realize the maximum benefit. All the organs of the body are toned up and exercised. This system is simple, exact, efficacious, economical of time and capable of being self-practised.
Abundant blood is supplied to the brain by the practice of Sirshasan. Hence the memory and intellectual powers are increased. The practitioner regains his memory power that may have been lost owing to overwork or other causes. The spinal nerve-roots and the spinal cord receive and abundant supply of blood. Eyesight improves by the practice of Sirshasan. Grey hairs also disappear. Many incurable diseases are cured by the regular practice of this Asan. Wet-dreams are checked. It transmutes the sex-energy into spiritual power or Ojas Shakti. The nerves of the body are energized, invigorated and galvanized.
The endocrine glands play an important part in the economy of nature. The practice of Sarvangasan keeps the thyroid in a healthy condition. A healthy thyroid means healthy functioning of all the organs and systems of the body. The suprarenals or the adrenals, the pituitary and the pineal glands are also toned up and maintained in a healthy condition.
The diaphragm, the muscular partition between the chest and the abdomen is also developed by certain exercises such as Dhanurasan, Mayurasan, Paschimottanasan. The movements of the diaphragm massage the abdominal viscera or organs. There will be free evacuation of the bowels daily in the morning. Constipation, dyspepsia and a host of other ailments of the stomach and the intestines will be eradicated.For those who have a poorly-developed chest, respiratory exercises are necessary. For those who have excess of fat in the abdomen, abdominal exercise are essential. They should pay special attention to them. Exercises that are best calculated to improve the function of the vital inner organs of the body and tone them up to counteract against their tendency to disease, are also indispensably requisite. Then only a high standard of health, vigour and vitality will be maintained.
The lungs can be developed through the practice of deep breathing exercises. By Pranayam, the apices of the lungs will get a proper supply of oxygen. There will be an improvement in quality and quantity of the blood. All the tissues and cells will be nourished with plenty of pure blood and lymph. The process of metabolism will be carried out in an efficient manner.
The circulation of blood in the arteries and veins is kept in proper order by the practice of Asans. There is no stagnation of blood in any part of the body. The spinal cord is toned up. The practice of Asans prevents arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. The practitioner remains for ever agile and nimble. He has a very elastic spine and a supple body. He has a keen vigorous appetite.
If the joints move freely, the ligaments and the surrounding tissues will be in a properly healthy condition. Free movement of the spine will prevent stiffening and contraction of the spine. Ossification and degeneration of the bones of the spinal column (Meru Danda) will also be checked. A thickened and immovable joint due to lack of free movement gives a great deal of discomfort and uneasiness. By the practice of Asans free movement is given to the elbow, wrist, ankle, shoulder and spinal joints. Muscles of the cervical, dorsal and lumbar regions are stretched and relaxed. There is dorsal and lumbar lifting, through frame exercises. The body is kept in a fit condition.
If the muscles are not properly exercised, they will contract. The blood circulation and nerve force will consequently be impeded. The functional disturbances of the organs and general nerve-tone will result. The muscles will get atrophied. Practice of Asans keeps the muscles, organs and nerves in a very health condition.
Sound functioning of the organs, depends upon good healthy nerves. The tripods of life are the brain, the heart and the lungs. The heat and the lungs are under the control of the brain. The heart and the lungs and the other organs are stimulated or retarded through nerves that proceed from the brain and the spinal cord. These three important organs and the cerebro-spinal system are kept in a healthy condition by a regular practice of Asans. The vital forces are also preserved and increased.
Therefore this is the perfect system of physical culture. This is the king of all systems of physical culture. This is the best of all systems of exercises. Practise these Yogic exercises and have a strong healthy body. There is no use in theorizing. What is wanted is regular, systematic sustained practice. An ounce of practice is better than tons of theory. Regularity in the practice is very necessary. Many people practise these exercises by fits and starts and give up the practice after some months and hence they do not derive the maximum benefits of this system of exercises. He who practices regularly will be endowed with a peculiar glow in his face and eyes and a peculiar charm in his smile. He will always laugh heartily and radiate joy, strength and vigour wherever he moves. He will accomplish all his cherished aims. He will always succeed in all his attempts. He will look very young even at the age of sixty.