A therapeutic Dance for Total Fitness
Indian classical dance, and its association with Vedas, Ayurveda and Patanjali’s Yogsutra.
Natyashastra ( a treatise on Indian aesthetics, literature, dance and arts)written in 2nd century BC , also called as Pancham Veda.
The sages Bharata the author identifies the fundamentals of art in Vedas. Rgveda for articulation of words, Yajurveada as a source of ritual, body language and gestures, musical sound and sung note from Samveda and Atharvaveda for drawing upon the techniques of sattwika alludes to the understanding of the physio-psychical system.
Indian dance its anatomy, physiology and philosophy –
Natyashastra reveals an amazing and staggering acquaintance with the body system, the anatomical structure, and even the physiological and psychological processes. An impressive psychosomatic system is developed. This suggest that author was completely familiar with the flourishing system of medicine i.e. Ayurveda. The Indian understanding of the body was based on the theory of the bhutas (elements) and their attributes. Anatomy placed emphasis on joints rather than muscles.
A close analysis of Natyashastra reveals the authors deep understanding of the functions of joints and articulation of movements. He is keenly aware of the manipulation of weight and energy.
Further the theory of Rasa i.e. sentiments is developed as a psychosomatic system by establishing correspondence between the motor and sensory systems. The principal of tension and release are well understood. We know that according to Ayurvedic system of medicine equilibrium and disequilibrium are created by the balance or imbalance of the five elements of fire, air, earth, water and space. Natyashastra shows the deep understanding of the senses, body and mind relationship. Natyashastra follows the discussion of three gunas in the system of medicine. Natyashastra was well acquainted with Yoga Sutra.
Natyashastra moves within the parameters of world- view which subscribes to the goal of life as the four purushrthas and the four ashramas.
Natyashastra shares a world view which is expressed in Upnishads , the concept of unmanifest and manifest, Samadhi. Rgvedic formulation of the One formless or unformed, the multiple forms and beyond form.
Thus Natyashastra serves as an interregnum between the Vedas , Upnishads, early speculative thoughts, the disciplines of Ayurveda, early Jyotishastra and Ganita and Yoga.
Natyashastra occupies supreme place for being the master developer of a system of correspondence between the material, physical and psychical, ethical and even spiritual. It seeks to synthesize diverse disciplines and asserts that arts have latency and potency of bringing together all aspects of life from physical to psychical and even metaphysical- in a meaningful whole.
The art provides both pleasure and education and are a vehicle of beauty, duty and conduct.
Orthodox Indian philosophy is presented in six classical system called the Shad Darshanas, one of which is the doctrine of Yoga. The earliest scripture which refers to Yoga is the Rgveda, which originated around 3000BC. Further 3 more Vedas addressed Yoga philosophy. The knowledge of Yoga traditionally transmitted orally through the ages, and found its place in written Sanskrit literature. With the passage of time the orally transmitted works because they were not committed to writing, disappeared either totally or in part.
At about 3century BC, a great sage named Patanjali composed his celebrated Yog Sutras. Though the knowledge of yoga had existed for thousands of years before him, he is considered to be the first author, who truly systematized Yoga & laid down exact methods and techniques for attaining it. His Yogsutras are considered to be the greatest work on the subject.
Patanjali accomplished task of collecting and systematically classifying all Yogic techniques that were already validated with in the long standing classical tradition. He established Yoga as a practical discipline, emphasizing its eight important aspects:
The word “Yoga” is derived from the Sanskrit root “Yuj” meaning to unite, join, contact or connect.
The objective of Yoga is to improve bodily health and physical resilience. It is through physical purity & steadiness that the foundation of mental growth is laid. There after the immediate objective of Yoga is to increasingly harmonize & integrate one’s thoughts, emotions, desires, aims, motives, reasoning etc. through this process it is possible to discover the hidden potentials of the mind and intellect. Through the unfolding of one’s inherent mental & psychic abilities one can then attain the state of self realization.