Yoga, the catch-phrase of today. For anything metaphysical, the first resort is to yoga. If you are stressed, mentally pressurized, wanting some peace of mind, the first suggestion that everybody would give is to practise yoga. What is yoga actually? Well, it is an organised way to keep your mind and physique in good shape and condition. Apart from that, practising yoga is said to be a cure for some diseases and a prevention from many. Well, as the old quote goes- Prevention is better than Cure. But in what ways!. Thirumoolar describes in his masterpiece, Thirumandhiram, many facets of yoga. In the following one he describes about what are the ailments that yoga cures when practised during different times of the day
"Anjanam Pondrudal Iyy-arrum Andhiyil
Vanjaga Vaadham Arum Madhiyaanathil
Senchiru Kaalaiyil Seydhidil Pitharum
Nanjara Sonnom Narai Thirai Naasame"
before explaining this song, let me digress a bit to tell something about the human body. Three main components drive the human body, called the Vaadham (Air), Piththam (Fire), Silaethumam or Saythumam (Water). The components in the appropriate proportions will have the body acting normally. If one of the them decreases or increases in proportion, it results in some ailment. Getting back to the song, Our body is like the anjanam (kajal), soft, in which, the ailments due to disproportionate Silaethumam can be cured by practising yoga in the evening, and of Vaadham(Air) during the afternoon and of Piththam (Heat/Fire) during the early dawn. And as a closing note of this verse, Thirumoolar says that what he has told is the truth and practising yoga will ensure that your hair colour will remain black making you look young and you would not have any eye related diseases.
"Pullinum Mikka Puraviyai Merkondal
Kall Unna Vendadhavanai KaliTharum
Thulli Nadapikkum Sombu Thavirpikkum
Ulladhu Sonnom Unarvudayorkkay"
This song refers to breathing techniques practised in yoga, it means those who adopt the practise of taking in air that is faster compared to a bird, then it gives the pleasure and briskness as you would drink the Kall (a drink prepared from the sap of toddy palm). The breathing practice will make you agile, will prevent fatigue. And Thirumoolar ends this with a quote, that "I have told to those who can realise"
"Thirigindra Vaayuvai Neripada Ullay
Nin malam aakidil Uruppu
Sivakkum Romam Karukkum Purappattu
Pogaan Puri Sadaiyonae"
meaning, "If channelised properly, within you, the air that goes around you, Your skins and organs will get rejuvenated, the hair will get darker and the Lord Shiva (Puri Sadaiyone) will always reside in your body"
More to come about Yoga, Thirumoolar and Thirumandhiram, until then...