The Yoga System of Health and Relief from Tension (1957)
Title: “The Yoga System of Health and Relief from Tension”
Author: YOGI VITHALDAS
Publisher: New York, Crown Publishers
Year of Publication: 1957
LOC Catalog Entry: http://lccn.loc.gov/57012820
Copyright Status: Public Domain in the United States and countries following the rule of the shorter term
“The Yoga system of health is a culture that has been practised by the yogis in India for thousands of years. Its roots lie buried deep in the past, but its message is addressed no less surely to the people of today, living in the restless atmosphere of the modern world. Yoga lays stress on bodily and mental poise and produces an equanimity of spirit that is most beneficial to the whole nervous system. It trains the student in the basic principles of health, and creates a true placidity of nature that allows great intensity of activity of both mind and body, when such activity is necessary.
The question is whether the Western world needs Yoga and is ready to attach to it the significance the East attaches. The Westerner must perforce admit that the modern world is one of agitation and nervous tension. Does he get along satisfactorily or does he just ‘muddle through’? Life expectancy has certainly gone up in the last hundred years, but this has not been due to an innate development of resistance to disease, but rather to the increase in medical knowledge. Sir Farquhar Buzzard, Physician in Ordinary to the King, maintains that in England one person in every fourteen suffers from nerves to such an extent as to warrant treatment, whether it is given or not and that one million weeks of working men’s time are lost every year because of nervous disorders alone. We have further his authoritative statement that one-third of all the ills that man is heir to in these days are due to nervous disorders, and are not organic breakdowns.
The need for Yoga therapy, which deals so exhaustively with nerves and their effects, is thus seen to be very real, for ill-nourished and uncontrolled nerves sap the vitality of a nation, and affect its physical condition and its mental outlook. Yoga is not advocated to teach the Western city dweller the Indian rope-trick or any other abnormal practice (and among these false ideas must be included the use of Yoga to effect indefinite prolongation of life), but to expand his own latent powers, physical, mental, and spiritual, to their fullest possible extent.
The life of the average man, and by that I mean the majority, is a biological span that he inherits from his parents and grandparents, but many people, by paying too little attention to the fundamentals of living, literally fail to get the most out of life, and die before the completion of their inherited life span. Yoga, as taught in this book, will show how the longest life may be attained.”
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
I. Yoga and This Age page 7
II. Yoga Therapy 18
III. Physical Culture, with Exercises 25
IV. Prana: The Force of Form. With meditative and breathing postures 64
V. Pranayama: Systematic Breathing Exercises 77
VI. Concentration and Meditation 97
VII. Key Energy 111
VIII. About Food 121
List of Exercises 128
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