In the many years of teaching yoga, I have seen several people who were and are on allopathic pills for extensive periods and they all suffer from stiffness, constipation and mental woes.
Allopathic medicine aggravates the Vata (wind) and Kapha (phlegm/oily) properties of the body by suppressing Pitta (bile) and, with it, the functioning of the liver. Next to the heart, the liver is of most importance; it is the natural seat of metabolic fire, Jatharagni. A clean and strong liver promotes not just great digestion but also intelligence and cheerfulness. Intelligence is governed by the fire element, which has its seat in the liver and its outlet in the eyes. Therefore, we really can see the intelligence of a person in their eyes.
Allopathic medicine is a natural enemy of the liver. With a host of chemical compositions, it attacks and cheats the liver into a submissive role. Its plan is to suppress our natural heat (metabolic fire) by force, thus engaging in combat against illnesses on its own. The metabolic fire is the giver of life and destroyer of diseases. By cleaning the seat of it, the liver, we actually make it burn brighter and lighter. Imagine fire that emits white smoke and not black; white smoke is the sign of healthy fuel whereas black smoke indicates pollutants.
As mentioned above, metabolic fire is suppressed by allopathic medicine, so the medicine combats illnesses on its own. Because of this suppression, the natural warmth in the body disappears, phlegm increases and the result is a toxic liver. When the air in the body (Vata) cools down, the nervous system is impaired and the electrical signals become weak and sporadic. Since there is no heat in the body, the muscles become stiff and weaken. Stiffness is a symptom of excess Vata and it is attested by the takers of allopathic medicine. The toxic and non-functioning nervous system fails to send signals to the brain leading to mental impairment. People on allopathic drugs sometimes appear a bit slow in processing things mentally.
Vata is the concomitant sum of the five ‘life-airs’ (viz. ApanaPranaSamanaUdana andVyana) that governs all body functions. Whence this life-air (Vata) exits the body, the state of being is called death. In the practice of yoga, we put foremost attention on the expansion of this life-air and learn to manipulate it to our own advantage. The expansion and subsequent manipulation of life-air is Pranayama. Aggravate this and you will become sick; make it flow naturally and you will be healthy.
It is important to note the increase in weight that happens due to the intake of allopathic medication; the reason is the same – weak metabolic fire. Due to the suppression of air, by now, cold, the phlegmatic mass increases, adding to one’s weight. The hard reality is that those on allopathic drugs truly have a hard time losing weight, but it becomes very easy once they are off the pills.
Another problem with allopathic drugs is in their multitude side effects, some of which include the softening of marrow and bone and the increase in the toxic composition of synthetic ingredients. One can go on and on about it.
Those on various allopathic pills will experience pain in the various joints and back during yoga practice, as the muscles and ligaments will not be soft enough to facilitate the stretch. No matter how hard they try to build health, they will not succeed in maintaining it long enough to enable muscle work i.e. bending and twisting. Herniated and/or slipped discs are very common among such people, occurring as the air tries to find a way out of the body. The joints are the greatest casualty. Warm air moves freely but cold air becomes stagnant and just stays there. As the cold air settles in the joints, it tends to push the discs out from the vertebral column in the short term and distort the joints in the long term. Injuries to yoga practitioners on allopathic drugs are far more common than in non-users as the pelvic area is stiffer than it should be and since the colon is the seat of air, the pelvic area and lower back is affected first.
Over time, the cold, stagnant air, in trying to leave the body, moves towards the brain, thus not only causing great harm to the body and nervous system but also causing lasting psychological damage.
Yoga students on allopathic pills are also slower in their practice for the reason mentioned above – the impaired brain signals. Sure, some cannot get off the pills right away and they will need time, perhaps even controlled reduction. Others simply have no choice, as it is their lifeline. However, there is always good reason to skip various antidepressants and avoid the regular intake of anti-pregnancy pills as they harm the body and mind and cloud our spiritual nature. The best way to control Vata are the four simple breathing exercises that are a part of my Slimmer in 60 Days online course. They will help in restoring your willpower to give up allopathic medication.
I have seen some of my students successfully getting off the drugs. I have seen numerous people deciding to forgo allopathic medication completely, or even cutting it down considerably, improving their mind and body movements in yoga and life in general. And, the shine returns on their faces, too…!
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Franz Andrini