Thursday, October 01, 2009

Yoga and reductionism

Many yoga folks often complain about reductionism in allopathy - a total reductionism of the body and hence its side effects. Reductionism is great as long as a corresponding constructionist argument can be given. But, this is quite hard. For this, all interactions between the components obtained by reducing the original need to be understood and then the bigger picture needs to be obtained. Not impossible, but quite darned hard! Thats where many allopathic medicines screw up in the form of side effects - from a lack of complete understanding of the interactions between the components! When this constructionist argument is not available, the understanding obtained by reductionism is useful, but mainly remains an intellectual exercise. But, unfortunately, many people, including many scientists do not want to treat it that way. Of course, their ego wouldnt let them do so. It wouldnt be very flattering for them.

Many folks in yoga, do something similar! I have seen quite a few people claiming practice of some poses changes ones mental character and makes one sattvic! The reason given is that these poses acts on nadis (nerve centres) and hence the change! The same problem similar to allopathy. It could be true that characteristics may be possibly totally reduced to the state of the nadis (in the sense that the reason why Russia and US decided not to go for real war during cold war rests on the state of few atoms in the brains of their presidents). But, its next to impossible to put up a constructionist argument for that and hence the claim is silly.

In my opinion, characteristics change primarily only due to effort of the individual. Asanas and other yogic techniques might assist, no doubt, and nadis may probably be involved in that! But, the primary effort is from the individual. To claim that it can be simply achieved by doing some poses is ridiculous!

1 comment:

sfauthor said...

Nice posting. Do you know about these yoga books?