My mind recently went back to the Guru Ramdev - Brinda Karat affair. Guru Ramdev is the champion of yoga who sees it as a technique which will lead to a healthier lifestyle, while Karat is the typical Communist - anti-Hindu, and salivating at the feet of multi-nationals medical companies who see Guru Ramdev as a threat to higher profits.
This whole affair got me thinking (and this also follows from a discussion with my father). Millions of people in India have benefited health-wise from Guru Ramdev's yoga. Many people claim to have been cured of long standing illnesses, while many others have declared that they have felt no need for medicines because of their regular practice of yoga. So many people cannot be wrong about the health benefits of yoga, and it only serves to strengthen Guru Ramdev's claims.
Modern medicine has one problem. If the problem is diagnosed to be in A, modern medicine will treat part A, while the effect of the cure on other parts is not known. Conversely, if the problem lies in A, B and C, all in some proportion, modern medicine has not advanced enough to detect that (there may exist some specific instances which can be so diagnosed, but in a general sense, they cannot be). It only attempts to cure part A or B or C, which really is not enough, because all 3 parts must be cured simultaneously.
The solution is a holistic approach, that takes into account the natural tendencies of the human body, rather than trying to force a solution. Yoga is one such holistic technique. Other techniques are psychological influence (using a placebo instead of an actual medicine has provided the desired results in some cases), use of music (or sound frequencies) to effect a cure, etc. It is this holistic approach that Guru Ramdev is advocating. Yoga has another advantage - its legitimacy has been well documented over the ages. It is traditional wisdowm that is as of now beyond the reach of modern medicine (the irony!).
What would be a good idea (IMO) is to introduce yoga as a compulsary subject in schools across India. In the longer run, this would lead to an entire generation of Indians being familiar with yoga and its health benefits. And this regular practice of yoga would also render any sort of medication unnecessary, which would greatly reduce health-related costs. The value of this cannot be underestimated in a developing country such as India. This is somewhat similar to the Japanese initiative to help prevent malaria in Africa (with US funding) using low-cost techniques.
However, I have my doubts as to whether this idea can actually be implemented. Political motivations fueled by profits, gross ignorance, and maybe even religious opposition (Christians and Muslims see yoga as blasphemous) would mean that this idea will face stiff opposition.