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The Yogic Perspective on Disease

Like a house protecting one from the heat of the sun, hatha yoga protects the practitioner.  ~Hatha Yoga Pradipika


Samprapti is the process by which natural balance is lost leading to progressive stages of disease as imbalance increases.  It has six stages as outlined by Ayurvedic expert, Dr. Vasant Lad, in his book Marma Points of Ayurveda, p.64-65 and Yoga Therapist Doug Keller in his book, Yoga as Therapy, Volume I, to which I add my own understandings for clarity.  


Stage 1  Accumulation:   An excessive energy begins to accumulate in one area.  Subtle symptoms of stress 

and imbalance may be perceptible.  A life event, genetic, physical,  emotional,              

mental, societal, occupational, environmental, or lifestyle predisposition may

initiate this imbalance.  In the Yogic view, this would be the original point of injury.  


Stage 2  Provocation:     With repetition of the instigating root imbalance without attention to remove it, the

imbalance grows in frequency and intensity and its energy begins to rise and overflow        

the trigger area origin.     


Stage 3  Spreading:       The excess is no longer contained and the "injury" spreads throughout the body via

circulation and nerves.  Pain may now show as a symptom in body and/or mind.                                                        

Stage 4  Deposition:       The imbalance makes contact with another weak spot in the body, often quite distant                

from the original site of accumulation, and there deposits its excess and grows      

changing the body/mind in structural, physical, sensory,  emotional, neurological,                 hormonal, cellular and even DNA aspects over time.       


Stage 5  Manifestation:  Obvious signficant and chronic external symptoms of the inner imbalance appear.


Stage 6  Complications:  Manifestation creates progressively more advanced, severe, dynamic and widespread 

changes in structural, physiological, psychological, and/or social frameworks and a 

range of complicated symptoms leading to diagnosis as dysfunctional or diseased.

The Yogic term for this stage is "Beda" which means "destruction or differentiation".      

The important point here is that Yoga Therapy as a form of Ayurveda and Hatha Yoga offers a way to reduce the accumulations of excess and imbalance at Stages 1-5 before they become chronic, widespread, and, in some cases, incurable.  And, even upon Stage 6, Yoga has been shown by clinical studies and individual experiences to significantly reduce or reverse many conditions, and more time and studies are likely to bear this out all the more.  


It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.

- Mahatma Gandhi

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