A miracle called Yoga

Sitting cross-legged on the floor was an excruciating task that hurt my knees and back.

For Onam and Vishu, Kerala’s two prominent festivals, members of our kindred group, living in Mumbai, get together at one place to celebrate the events and partake of a sumptuous feast. Usually, there are 15 of us. It is customary for us to sit on the floor cross-legged and eat from a banana leaf.

Sitting in that position used to be an excruciating task for me as my knees and back ached awfully owing to arthritis. So, I always sought the dining table, making myself an odd man out. That is history, though. Now, I can sit cross-legged on the floor like others and have the feast tastefully without grimacing or wincing, thanks to Yoga.

Descending the stairs was equally uncomfortable for me once, for it brought on the pain in my knees. Now I do it swimmingly, thanks again to Yoga. The practice of Yoga has enabled me to cross all my arthritic barriers.

My uncle, a gymnast with a well-built body, who had a few years’ innings in the army, is in his late 70s but doesn’t look his age. He tells me about his inability to sit on the floor cross-legged. Yoga makes your body more supple than gymnastics. It is not merely physical advantages that accrue from practicing Yoga, but curative benefits, too.

My blood pressure had once spiked to 160/90, making me panicky. “It is too high to be ignored. As one ages, the pressure tends to go up. Still it can’t be this high,’ said the doctor. He prescribed me a tablet, to be had every day. “Buy a pill reminder box to keep a week’s medicine in it, so that you won’t forget to have it or overdose yourself with it. Both are equally bad,” cautioned the doctor.

“How long should I have it? A month or two?” I asked him anxiously. “Lifelong, unless a miracle happens,” he said with a sympathetic smile. “You must walk morning and evening which will definitely do you good,” he said.

That was a year ago, and the miracle came about recently. I had followed the doctor’s advice in letter and spirit and had been religiously taking the medicine every day, monitoring my pressure at intervals. On checking it one morning last month, the pressure measured below normal.

“I think you are overdosing yourself with the medicine,” said the doctor, displeasure writ large on his face. “No, doctor, I have been sincerely following your advice regarding medicine, but I don’t walk in the morning now. Instead, I practice Yoga everyday for an hour under a well-trained instructor,” I said.

“You’re practicing Yoga? No wonder your pressure is low now. Yoga has proved to be the best medicine for your ailment. Continue to do it. And discontinue the medicine.” advised he. “Yoga has had a curative effect on the body,” he added confidently. The doctor, it seemed, had quickly entered into the spirit of Yoga!

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