Viniyoga in Italia: Today in Europe there is a going back to what is called alternative medicines, like herbal treatment and the traditional dietary laws, thermal baths and other traditional treatments. Do you think these traditional approaches have a relevance in today’s world?
TKV Desikachar: Today these are even more relevant than before. Because we are becoming like machines. My mother used to give baths to my children. The love and care of the grandmother was there for the child. My father used to give baths to some of his students. He was giving oil-baths to his students, that is how he knew exactly what was happening to their body. He would massage and thus know. Today everything is mechanized. Today, when people take a bath, they have the phone, the radio, the television. Are they really bathing? Mostly it is just the bathtub that is having a bath.
We have lost the touch of love and care. It is for this reason that a lot of people look forward to massage. There are people, who, when they get massage, get so emotional. I have seen a person who got into this massage and then she cried as she had never cried in all her life, just because someone touched her body. Today, it is very important to get re-linked to nature in a conscious way. Remember what was happening in the Greek and Roman times in the baths. They had political discussions in the baths. In Japan, even today, they have business meetings in the baths.
Man is a social being, he is not just a stone. Anything that brings us back into contact with people or nature has a healing power. And this is much more required now than before, because today we are becoming more and more like machines. We don’t cut the vegetables in the garden. Somebody cuts them and we purchase them. We don’t cook anymore because we have the one and two minute ready items. We don’t even know what is happening. That is why natural food has a new attraction today. I do hope that there will be more and more qualified people who can bring back something of the old systems. It is more important than ever. People are looking for these things because they do miss it. There are people who are fed up with the computers and would like to write by hand! Ink-pens are again fashion!
Too much of anything is too bad. We’ve got too much mechanised.
– Extract from an interview in the Journal Viniyoga Italia on Yoga and Well Being.