Prakash Mistri
Simple asanas of forward bending, as specified at The Yoga Institute, do the same good as the very difficult ones. i
Asanas remain popular today with yoga students all over the world. This is so, partly because of our present day materialistic value system, that upholds the mechanical, the sensate, the external, the glamorous, in high esteem, as against the conceptual, idealistic, the internal etc.
It is the view of scientific workers, however that physical maneuvers by themselves have a limited physical value. A leading orthopedic surgeon Dr. Inghalikar opines that what generally the asanas do, is to provide certain amount of flexibility to the body. The more difficult ones, may create more flexibility, at the cost of pain and rebound tightness. The simple movements would be however adequate. For example, the pressure of the body itself on the cervical spine, can result in more flexibility as in Halasana. In case of persons suffering from cervical spondylosis this asana is contra-indicated.
Dr. Inghalikar, who is also an advocate of Yoga, felt that for routine day to day purpose, simpler movements should be preferred. For majority of persons with spinal complaints, posture like Halasana or Sirasana will be relatively contra-indicated. For orthopedic complaints, properly prescribed Yoga processes, will give excellent results. This prescription of Yoga, would vary from person to person. Improperly prescribed asanas on general term (like saying that Bhujangasana is good for all spinal complaints), is likely to give more trouble.
The anatomical and physiological value of a simpler posture, in posterior stretching is the same as of a very difficult one.
Published in the July 2010 edition of Yoga & Total Health Magazine.
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