From the current draft of The Light of Awareness:
Yoga is a holistic system and the best definition of “holistic” I’ve ever heard was on a Dharma Podcast from a brilliant physician named Dr. Martha Herbert: it went something like, “holistic means all of the above.” All of the above. Systemic care, which is a transformation from within, doesn’t come from a single input, decision, lever or intervention. Yoga is a system of self care.
On the most mechanistic level, you know that if you just change the oil in your car on schedule, but forget to ever tune it up, put gas in or check the transmission fluid, you’re going nowhere. We must take care of the whole system. But even more than that, Dr Herbert’s point is that holistic care works synergistically.
You can’t dissect the system, look to refine a single mechanism that will “fix” the system. Care isn’t fixing. That bears repeating: care isn’t fixing. Holistic methods transform through four iterative processes :