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Presentation :  


It must be said that the purpose of an individual program is to bring the main systems of the health of the human body  to a state of balance, and eliminate diseases. In the "Yoga Sutras  of Patanjali, disease is considered the first of the obstacles on the road to Yoga (balance) which must  be overcome. Vyasa in his commentary on “Yoga Sutra”, emphasizes: “Disease - is an imbalance of doshas, bodily secretions (the dhatu) and organs.  »


Unfortunately, Patanjali does not give practical recommendations on disease control. Fortunately, these recommendations are given in the Ayurvedic tradition. Ayurveda, like yoga, is based on the philosophy of Sankhya, which exemplifies Vyasa's definition of disease. The fact is that this definition is very similar to that used in Indo-Tibetan medicine, where it forms the basis for the preparation of algorithms of the  diagnosis and multi-medicinal recipes.  


These algorithms are designed to identify “heat-cold” syndromes, the assessment of the functional state of the body's regulatory systems (dosha), as well as organs and tissues. 

Based on these data, plants with optimal impact on these three areas were selected and obtained.


For example, the drug "Rnam-rgyal-mKhris", used in Tibetan medicine for the treatment of hepatitis C, is based on the use of plants such as: rosehip (Rose), myrobalan ( Amla ) and the seeds of momordica .  


The Rose is  used for the treatment of "heat" diseases, the fruit of myrobalan - to balance the doshas,​​ and the momordica - influence  the hepatobiliary system directly.  

So, due to the complex influence on the various links of the pathological process, a simple 3-component drug showed a strong therapeutic effect.


He is  obvious  that the selection of individual elements of hatha yoga practice, taking into account the algorithm mentioned above, can significantly improve the effectiveness of activities, including therapeutic ones, which is especially important in the initial stages of training .  


It's no secret that for many  beginners in hatha yoga, the improvement of health is one of the main and sometimes the only motive.

Thus, the algorithm consists of 3 stages, each of which is subdivided into diagnosis and correction:


Step 1.

  • a) determine the ratio of "heat and cold" in the body.

  • b) choose exercises and modes of practice, which will balance the ratio of "heat and cold".

2nd step.  

  • a) determine the ratio of the doshas.

  • b) choose ways to balance the doshas (asanas, kriyas,).

Step 3.  

  • a) define diseased organs or systems. In the absence of these  :  define "the place of least resistance" (locus minoris resistentia) in the body, because under adverse circumstances they are likely to become the "  sources of disease  " Where  “a place of greater reactivity” (locus majoris retivae).

  • b) choose methods of treating diseased organs and strengthening "weak points  ".

Then, in a fairly simplified and accessible form, all these steps will be demonstrated to you. It should be noted that some yoga teachers, in one way or another, consciously or not, use these methods, or a similar algorithm.  


Of course, an experienced teacher is not necessarily going to engage in multilevel diagnostic procedures, he will have more confidence in  his intuition and  his  experience. 

A quick look, a short conversation - this is often enough to build a program, which will be suitable for the person and his problems in a given period of time.


However, not everyone has the opportunity to study with the right teachers, and a variety of seminars are rather designed for people who are advanced and confident in the direction of their trajectory.  


Others have to use programs from various books or reinvent their own program, which is fine for the "  brain development  “, but not always good for the body.  


One of my teachers said: "People are divided into two groups: those who learn from their own mistakes, and those who learn from the mistakes of others.  » . The former often become masters, and the latter - have more  chances to survive ", and it must be said that time confirms these words.  


It should be noted that recent publications shed light on principles of  construction  programs, but more in technical terms. We focus on the therapeutic aspects. 

So let's look at the algorithm in detail:


Step 1 :  The determination of "heat and cold" in the body and the methods of balancing this ratio.  


Most modern scholars of Indo-Tibetan medicine identify  the concept of “heat and cold” in our body with systems: trophotropic and ergotropic  


  • ergotropic = sympathetic, i.e. it assumes the expenditure of energy

  • trophotropic = para-sympathetic, ie animator of metabolic functions, energy restorers.  



The hypothesis of their existence was presented in 1925 by a Swiss physiologist Hess . Subsequently, Hess's theory was deepened and developed by his disciple - M. Monnier. They proved that to a large extent, the ergotropic trophotropic systems referred to the sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions of the autonomic nervous system.  


These systems are largely antagonistic, and their variability ensures the maintenance of homeostasis - a state of dynamic equilibrium, aimed at maintaining a constant internal environment.  


Various internal and external factors cause the ergotropic or trophotropic reaction, which are ideally compensated by antagonistic actions, and will then gradually calm down and arrive at a state of relative equilibrium.  


The balance is "  relative  because people with a perfect balance between the sympathetic and para-sympathetic system are a rarity, more often than not the balance is shifted one way or another.  


The whole process looks like a balance: one shoulder - this is the sympathetic system, the other - para-sympathetic, and one shoulder is often longer than the other.

The more difference there is, the less force it will take to unbalance the organism.


If the balance is strongly disturbed, and if it has not been compensated, painful symptoms and functional disorders may occur.


It should also be mentioned that there is no "good" and "bad" system, the sympathetic is not better than the para-sympathetic. Yes, the overdeveloped sympathetic system is more often linked to hypertension, atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease. 

But the vast majority (more than 90%) of patients with gastric ulcer or duodenal ulcer have an increasing tone of the parasympathetic system, similar data exist for patients with bronchial asthma.


To diagnose ergotropic and trophotropic states in Indo-Tibetan medicine, the methods of visual inspection and pulse diagnosis have traditionally been used. Modern medicine has collected external signs in a special table (table by AM Wayne), and called  the  pulse diagnostic method - a method for assessing heart rate variability.  


Even the method of measuring the galvanic reflex of the skin had an equivalent in antiquity - a handshake, which defined the moisture of the skin and accordingly - its electrical conductivity, and gave an indication of the prevalence sympathetic or parasympathetic activity. It is also possible to determine the ergotropic and trophotropic activity,  with sufficient accuracy, by the Lüscher test, often used in psychology.


In general, people with a predominance of the sympathetic system often have red, dry skin with dilated pupils. The pulse is accelerated, breathing too, blood pressure tends to  increase. Poor tolerance of  coffee is often observed.

People with a predominance of the parasympathetic system, on the other hand, have pale, moist skin, heavy sweating, constricted pupils. Pulse, respiratory rate, blood pressure and body temperature - normal or slightly reduced. Good coffee tolerance, up to addiction. 

The intensity of these symptoms directly depends on the degree of balance.


One of the indicators  more commonly used  is Kerdo's vegetative index, which quantifies the relationship of the sympathetic and para-sympathetic systems, it is calculated according to the formula:


    the Index = 100 * (1 - DAD / pulse)  Or:  


DAD - diastolic blood pressure (mm Hg V..);
Pulse - the pulse rate (Min. beats).

If the value of the index is greater than
  zero - we can talk about the predominance of  system  friendly.
If it is less than
  zero -  the prevalence of the para-sympathetic system;
If it is zero, it indicates a functional balance. The closer the index is to
  0  », the closer the body is  from a state of equilibrium.


In the "Bhagavad-Gita" we read: "Balance is called yoga." 

This principle is repeated by EI Sokolov (rus.) in  his monograph  Emotions and Atherosclerosis”, a book which is very instructive and interesting:  "the balance of the reaction of these two systems ensures the optimal level of homeostasis...The close relationship and synchronization of the physiological activity and mechanisms of the trophotropic-ergotropic systems enable the healthy person to achieve good s adapt to different environmental conditions, social status, feeding conditions, etc.

“The attainment of this state is a prerequisite, and the standard of preparation, for the practice of pranayama.


Patanjali said that "through the practice of asana, the impact of opposite parts stops". The selection of  type of practice has particular importance in this case.  


People of the "  heat  (sympathetic system dominates), will be more useful when performing  a practice in static mode, mixed with exercises of the Shavasana type (horizontal position of the body which increases the para-sympathetic tone), and a long fixation while performing the asana. Special emphasis should be given to asanas  "  tilt  ". As an example: entering the practice by pashchimotanasana (3 sets of 3 minutes).

A few 5-10 minutes of relaxation in shashankasana works the same way. The Chandra Bhedana breathing technique (left nostril breathing) is also used.



People of the "cold" type, (para-sympathetic system dominates) will be more useful by performing  a dynamic practice, preceded by Surya Namaskar in different variations, Sukshma Vyayama (min. 6+ / D.Brahmachari school) or the cycle of Pavanmuktasana (Bihar School of Yoga). Special emphasis on deviations. The Surya bhedana breathing technique is also often used (right nostril breathing). It should be clarified that these breathing practices (Surya, Chandra Bhedana, and Anuloma-Viloma pranayama (alternate breathing)) are cleansing practices called - Kriya.

However, there are ways to offset the effects of ergotropic and trophotropic practice:  these practices are used  in Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga (school of P. Joyce): Ujjayi Pranayama largely compensates for the dynamic load.


Thus, the apparent contradiction between the static and dynamic schools is reduced only to the type of  most suitable practice  to the given person.

2nd step :  D etetermine  the ratio of the doshas and the choice of methods to balance them:


Dosha - one of the fundamental principles of Indo-Tibetan medicine. Vata, Pitta, Kapha - Wind, Bile and Phlegm - the three pillars of the universe and the human body. Also, these three doshas determine the Prakriti, the type of our physical constitution.  


Knowing one's own type allows the person to adjust their lifestyle, diet, individual practice, in order to achieve the perfect balance. The methods to determine  there are many doshas  : pulse diagnosis, diagnosis based on urine, appearance, diagnostic methods of functional tests (adrenaline, insulin and so on.)

A very simple and reliable way is a method of tests, proposed by an Ayurvedic doctor D.Chopra. Subsequently, this idea became common, and questionnaires can be found in the vast majority of books on Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine.

However, it is better not to be limited  to one test, but to use several and then compare the results.

The “pure” doshas  are very rare, most often  there is a combination of two doshas,​​ and usually all the doshas are represented in different proportions. Defining their proportion, you can proceed to the choice of balancing methods, the purpose of which is to lead them to the ideal of 1: 1: 1, which is named by Tibetan medicine as "  the state of Buddha  ".  


A very effective way to balance the doshas are the cleansing techniques of yoga: karma or kriyas. Usually in yoga there are 6 karma (Shat-karma), although in Ayurveda - 5  are used (pancha-karma). Of these, the most powerful influence on the doshas include the 3 followings  : colon cleansing (Basti), stomach cleansing (Vamana-Dhauti) and bowel cleansing (Sankha-prakshalana).  Basti - decreases Vata, Vamana-Dhauti - decreases Kapha, Sankha-prakshalana - decreases  Pitta.  


A detailed description of these procedures is easy to find in books on Ayurveda and Tibetan medicine. Kriyas in yoga, in their action, are identical to Pancha-karma in Ayurveda, although the therapeutic potential of the latter is much higher due to the use of herbs, oils and related procedures.  


For example, for Vamana-Dhauti,  in yoga, a 40-day course is applicable, and in Ayurveda - a maximum of 8 days is sufficient. It is particularly important to choose the kriyas according to your temperament. One of today's greatest yogis T. Krishnamacharya writes:  “The use of kriyas, when the individual's dosha is unknown, can do more harm than good. Each person has a dominant dosha, and kriyas should be treated according to individual (body) constitution  ".  



A very important element is the selection of asanas, aimed at correcting the doshas. Here immense help is provided by the concept of five elements (pancha-tattva). Indo-Tibetan medicine says that Vata dosha came from the fusion of wind (Vayu) and Ether (Akasha), Pitta dosha is the fusion of Fire (Agni) and water (Apo), Kappa dosha - Water (Apo) and Earth (Prithvi).  


At the same time the concept of yogic chakras says that:

  • the Earth is at the level of Muladhara chakra

  • Water - to Svadhisthana chakra

  • Fire - at Manipura chakra

  • Air - to Anahata chakra

  • Ether - to Vishuddha chakra

  • Muladhara chakra in the physical body corresponds to the coccyx and the perineum

  • Svadhisthana chakra - lumbar - sacrum segment

  • Manipura chakra - the thoracalis and lumbalis parts 

  • Anahata chakra - the chest 

  • Vishuddha chakra - neck (cervicalis).  


This is not only the same part of the spine, but the entire part of the body innervated by the corresponding spinal cord. By choosing the asanas that produce effects on these areas, we can strengthen or weaken certain tattvas (elements) and thus regulate the doshas.



For example , when the percentage of Vata, Pita, Kapha is 33:33:33 and we have for example 60 minutes of practice,  the asanas for the 3 doshas will be performed in equal increments, of 20 minutes each.


For a percentage of 60: 30:10 (Vata, Pita, Kapha) - the duration  will change:  

  • 34 minute exercises for Kapha

  • exercises for Pitta for 22 minutes of exercises for Pitta 

  • and 4 minutes for Vata.  


Therefore, most of the practice  will be devoted to asanas, affecting  the perineum (Muladhara), the lumbar area and the sacrum (Svadhisthana) as well as the thoracic-lumbar junction (Manipur).  


For the Muladhara chakra , standing asanas are well suited: Tadasana ,  Hanumanasana , the balancing asanas - Vrikshasana , Utthita-parshvasahita , seated asanas - Vajrasana , Bhadrasana , Siddhasana , Padmasana , Garudasana and Gomukhasana .  


For Svadhisthana : deviations in the lumbar-sacrum region: the cycle of Shalabhasana , Ardha-bhudzhangasana etc., tilts - Kurmasana , Yoganidrasana , twists: Parivrita-Trikonasana , Parivrita-Parsvakonasana , Marichyasana cycle,  Vakrasana , and Bharadvadzhasana .


For Manipura : backward tilts: Bhudzhangasana , Ganda-bherundasana , Vrishchikasana , Radzhakapotasana . Forward tilts - Halasana , Karna-pidasana . The twists: Ardha- and Paripurna-matsiendrasana , Pashasana , Mayurasana .


For Anahata : the thoracic openings  backwards - Purna bhudzhangasana , Urdhva - and Adho-mukha Shvanasana , Ushtrasana , Dhanurasana , Chakrasana , Nataradzhasana , Gherandasana . 

The inclinations in this area are very problematic, but they exist: Niralamba - and Salamba Sarvangasana . 

Twists: some variations of Marichyasana , Matsiendrasana and Pashasana .  


For Vishuddha : the thoracic openings  backwards - Matsyasana , Kapotasana , Viparita-Dandasana . 

Inclines - Sarvangasana , Shashankasana , Pindasana . 

Twists - the previously mentioned asanas.


This list is not exhaustive. Most of the existing asanas are not included in it, which does not diminish their importance. Many asanas affect  several chakras at the same time. Some of the asanas involve all the chakras, like, for example, Chakrasana and Pindasana .


The man practicing asanas gradually increases the capacities of his body, which ultimately affects the therapeutic effectiveness of asanas which loses its usefulness; because then, you have to adapt a more complex (advanced) asana. 

Step 3:  Determine  diseased organs, the choice of treatments for diseased organs,
and the reinforcement of "weak points".


Traditional medicine identifies know 11 main organs - small intestine, gallbladder, liver, stomach, spleen (pancreas), kidneys, pericardium, lungs, heart, bladder, colon. 

Also, in the concept of Chinese medicine the "three warming zones" are present, which V. Lad treats as the "tri-dosha balance." Of course, this list does not name all the organs known to medicine. However, this approach has been one of the most effective ways to diagnose and treat many diseases for centuries.


Diagnostic methods in this case include diagnosis by pulse, visual inspection, and diagnosis of natural body secretions. Modern medicine has added other important techniques like electro-punkturn and termo-punkturn diagnosis (Voll, Nakatani , etc.).  


The correct and adequate use of modern diagnostic procedures (ultrasound, MRI, X-rays, and others.) are also very effective.


After defining the existing and possible deviations in the functioning of the organs, one begins to define the asanas for the treatment or for the support of tonus of the organs. 

Acting through the asanas on certain segments of the body, through various regulatory mechanisms, we  are working  on the organs.  


The simplest of these mechanisms is the change in local hemodynamics - a compensatory increase in blood circulation after stretching or after compression.


Considerable importance is also attributed to the reflexes known as  visceral-skin  " and "  motor-visceral  which create a direct effect on the function of various organs. 

Logically, sensory nerves from internal organs, skin, and muscles intersect at segments of the spinal cord. 

The reverse is also correct: the tension of certain muscles and the stimulation of certain parts of the skin has a very beneficial effect on the internal organs.


For example: for the genitourinary system, the following asanas are very beneficial: Bhadrasana , Gomukhasana , Garudasana , Shalabhasana , Kurmasana , Marichyasana . 

For liver and gallbladder: Matsiendrasana , Halasana 

For kidneys - Bhudzhangasana cycle, especially Tiryak- bhudzhangasana , Dhanurasana and Shalabhasana . 

For stomach and pancreas: Mayurasana , cycle of Matsiendrasana and Pashasana . 

In diseases of the lungs, deviations in the thoracic region are effective: Matsyasana , Bhudzhangasana and Adho-mukha shvanasana

For the heart and the pericardium - cycle of Salamba - and niralamba-sarvangasana .

Conclusion :

Thus, this algorithm makes it possible to create an individual program, and to choose/adapt the elements of the practice which will:  

  • balancing the trophotropic and ergotropic systems

  • lead to balancing the doshas

  • heal and strengthen the organs.  


The state of equilibrium of all systems once achieved is the foundation and basis for the development and perfection of yoga. To achieve this state, diet, herbal medicine, diet, massage and hydrotherapy treatments are also used in Indo-Tibetan medicine. The combination of these various  Yoga practice methods can greatly increase this state.

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