The Healing Power of Yoga: Harmony

A lady performing a sitting yoga pose on a mountain against a sunrise, silhouette

Holistic Healing Through Yoga: Nurturing Body, Mind, and Spirit

There is no healing without harmony, whether that harmony is defined physically, emotionally, or spiritually. Harmony is a condition of health when all the functions of every system in our body are optimized, giving us a feeling of well-being. Sickness indicates that there is a part of our being (body, mind, or spirit) out of harmony. Healing is about returning to harmony.

The Yog Circle | Healing with Yoga

The Art of Healing

The Oxford English Dictionary defines the word ‘heal’ as ‘to make whole, or sound’; also ‘to unite, after being cut or broken’. On the physical level, healing is the drawing together of the two sides of a cut, the knitting together of the two ends of a broken bone. On the spiritual level, healing is the process of becoming whole. It is the integration of all the aspects of one’s being, the bringing of body, mind and spirit into a harmonious union.

Yoga, an ancient practice encompassing body, mind, and spirit, is renowned for its physical benefits. But for thousands of years, since the Ancients themselves explored and developed Yoga, it has also been used as a deep healing process.

It’s important to make the distinction between curing and healing. Curing is what mainstream medicine may or may not be able to do for us when we are ill or injured. Healing comes from within us, from our inner resources.

Yoga not only helps us to stay strong and vital and keeps stress at bay but can also prevent disease and promote rapid healing which is free from side effects.

The Healing Power of Yoga

Yoga has teachings, education, and guidance to alleviate and counter the problems of the modern lifestyle. Teach a person self-control, give them positive guidance, and let them feel the amazing benefits of well-being, and you give a person health and vitality for life – to enjoy life as we’re supposed to, to our full potential.

No wonder, when she was fighting a bitter battle against cancer, actress Manisha Koirala sought solace in the healing power of yoga. And now, after returning to her home in Mumbai, yoga is what she plans to continue. “Loved yoga… realized I need to be patient… my body is not the same now… lot weaker… happy I started it at least… slow n steady,” is what the actress had posted on a social networking site.

Yoga: Bridging the Gap

There might be some skepticism about the merits of Yoga over medicine. Researchers have learned recently that, besides relieving back problems, yoga can provide help for people suffering from serious medical conditions, especially if you have a chronic condition that may not respond to modern medicine.

Yoga is powerful because it “works” on the whole person, on the mind, the body and the spirit. There is something in Yoga for the body’s energy, for all the body’s systems – circulation, digestion, hormones, metabolism, the brain as well as all the vital organs, and very importantly, the psyche.

Each aspect of Yoga has its part to play in the healing process.

A Closer Look at Yoga Postures

Yoga postures directly influence the body’s internal functions, including circulation, respiration, digestion, and excretion. They also have a direct impact on the nervous system, lymphatic system, joints, muscles, and ligaments. Additionally, they play a role in improving posture, breathing, physical strength, stamina, flexibility, and overall balance.

Many of the better-known yoga postures are not appropriate for people who are ill, but there are simpler, less physically demanding techniques that promote healing by clearing toxins, removing the blockages that hinder the free flow of energy, and raising energy levels.

The Yog Circle | Meditation for healing

Breathing Exercises

Breathing exercises release tension and replenish energy. Shallow, restricted breathing contributes to tiredness, depression, and physical illness. Deep, relaxed, rhythmic breathing in which the lungs are fully utilized is energizing and revitalizing and can help us avoid and overcome illness. The simple breathing and stretching exercises of yoga improve the elasticity and efficiency of the diaphragm and intercostal muscles and replace poor, ineffectual breathing habits with more healthful, life-enhancing ones.

Simple breathing exercises also help us deal with the strong emotions that a diagnosis gives rise to panic, grief, and despair. While it is easy to observe how our emotions affect our breathing (an anxious, angry, or frightened state of mind results in shallow and erratic breathing), it is important to note that the reverse is also true. Our breathing affects our emotional state. Deeper, rhythmic breathing calms the mind, nerves, and emotions, relieves anxiety and stress, restores serenity and balance, and uplifts spirits. Calm breathing brings energy into our being. It carries the vital life force throughout the body, and it connects and brings into harmony all the levels of our being: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.

The Yog Circle | Pranayama


Meditation isn’t simply ’emptying the mind’. What makes meditation so calming to the mind is the opportunity it provides us to allow our thoughts and emotions to surface so that don’t repress them, but acknowledge them. It develops mental focus, and the power of observation and perception, which enable us to observe things accurately, better understand the workings of our mind, and face and let go of our fears.

Once we have looked clearly at the realities of our situations, we can acknowledge them, accept them, and work with them. Burying emotions traps our energy and creates more stress; acknowledging and accepting them liberates this energy and reduces stress. Meditation is therefore a therapeutic process: it cleanses and brings about integration on the emotional level, releasing energy for our spiritual growth. In other words, it brings about healing.

The Yog Circle | The orle of meditation in healing


Relaxation is possibly the most vital element in healing because it helps undo the stress that is detrimental to the immune system. While performing relaxation, muscles release tension, the heart rate and blood pressure drop, breathing and mental activity slow down, and tension and anxiety begin to dissolve. Our minds and bodies ‘let go’ and surrender themselves to the stillness and peace of deep relaxation. These are conditions conducive to the repair of cells and in which healing can take place. In relaxation, we are actively cooperating with our immune system and encouraging our inner healing forces to work for us.

The Yog Circle | Relaxation

Expert’s Perspectives

Sat Bir Singh Khalsa, renowned for his research in the field of the healing power of yoga says, “If we’d use yoga as regularly as our toothbrushes, if schools taught it, doctors recommended it, and parents reinforced it, people would be physically and emotionally healthier.” According to Khalsa, if such is implemented, an entire generation of people would have a tool that reduces, or at the very least manages, stress while building self-awareness. “If you can find a pill that fixes something, that’s golden. Everybody wants that,” he says. “What’s not sexy is the stuff that makes the most sense—lifestyle research. And yoga is really all about changing your lifestyle.”

Julie Friedeberger, a yoga teacher who believes in the healing power of yoga confesses, “A lifetime of yoga has taught me to regard life’s big challenges as opportunities for growth and transformation. My experience of cancer left me with a deeper trust in the power of yoga to help us meet those challenges.”

In conclusion, Yoga is a powerful and holistic approach to healing, addressing the body, mind, and spirit. Its practices, encompassing postures, breath control, meditation, and relaxation, contribute to overall well-being. As the world recognizes the importance of lifestyle-based approaches to health, Yoga stands as a timeless companion on the journey to harmony and healing.


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