We make New Year’s resolutions every year. But, with everything going on in our lives, we still take our health for granted. Doing yoga for just 30 minutes everyday, for instance, can help us maintain good mental and physical health. Though these goals we set may seem trite at times, they are important. For some, they are more than just rituals to mark the milestone of the New Year. This is the story of Sonam who was 15 years old when yoga changed her life.
The ancient practice of yoga did what doctors could not
Now a 24-year-old, Sonam is very beautiful. She has maintained her health and a good figure through yoga. But her journey was not as easy as it seems. Everyone has problems and Sonam’s life was not much different. In an interview for the Komorebi Post she explained her struggle. One day, when she was 15, while going to school, she felt something unusual in her legs. Her mom thought that it was just an excuse for not going to school. But this was more than that. She was not able to walk comfortably and fell after two or three steps. No one understood what was happening to her.
Sonam’s father panicked and took her to the family doctor. The doctor was not sure, but he diagnosed her with chikungunya, a rare viral disease that causes severe joint pain. Hearing this, Sonam and her family were anxious. For five days, she was taken out of school for medical care. After taking the prescribed medication, she had no recovery and Sonam started losing hope. But her dad did not give up and took her to the best hospital in the city.
They met a specialist, and he recommended she take two injections daily. Each dose cost around 50,000 rupees ($715). Still, the family agreed, and continued treatment for two or three days. Sonam’s mom could not see any signs of recovery, so she spoke to her cousin who is a leading doctor in Ahmedabad, Gujarat by the name of Dr. Vimal Ranka. He says he was shocked. He told the family, “to stop the injections soon as possible because they are really harmful and can make Sonam bedridden forever.”
The family had nowhere to go now and they had no idea what to do after seeing their daughter bedridden at such a young age. They feared for her life every day. Her dad thought maybe yoga could help. He took her to a yoga village and met the therapist there. Sonam had to do joint and muscle yoga for one month and also receive a special weekly massage for recovery.
Sonam experienced results in 20 days. Slowly, she started walking more. She regained the confidence that she had lost through the hospital treatments. Sonam said, “I don’t know what made me get back to my legs, but I am sure that yoga gave me the positivity and the energy to fight back for sure.”
“If it wouldn’t have been for yoga, we wouldn’t have known what would have happened to our daughter’s life,” says Sonam’s mother.
Since the yoga philosophy has universal applicability, it has been integrated into India’s cultural socio-system called Sanatana Dharma. Consequently, all aspects of living in India – from birth to death became a fusion of concepts, people and practice – both modern science and ancient practices. Science has done miracles but where would science be without ancient ideas?
This interview with Sonam can make us understand how the 5,000 year old practice of yoga is still one of the most in-depth methods of healing. With our rational minds we always feel that modern science is best. But we forget that a tree cannot stand unless it has strong roots – and yoga is the root of most treatments in India. And it has no side effects.