Yoga is an age-old science composed of distinct disciplines of body and mind. It’s originated in India 2500 years back and remains effective in bringing overall health and wellbeing to any man who does it regularly. It means to link, to culminate or to agree. It is the culmination of body and mind or the culmination of Jiva and Shiva (soul and the universal soul).
The term Yoga has a very wide scope. There are numerous schools or methods of Yoga. Dnyanayoga (Yoga through knowledge), Bhaktiyoga (Yoga through loyalty), Karmayoga (Yoga through activity), Rajayoga (Royal or supreme Yoga) and Hathayoga (Yoga by balancing contrary principles of human anatomy). All these schools of Yoga aren’t necessarily very different from one another. They’re somewhat like threads of the same fabric, entangled into each other. For centuries, Yoga has been regarded as an effective method of self-improvement and spiritual enlightenment. These systems essentially have this exact same purpose; just the ways of attaining it are little different for each of these. In its most popular form, the expression Yoga has come to associate with the past of those systems that is Hathayoga. For the purpose of this article also, the term Yoga is used with the identical meaning. Although, when it comes to Philosophy of Yoga, which is in the end of this guide, the term Yoga is going to have a wider range.
Asana and Pranayama
Let us have a detailed look at the most important two elements of Hathayoga i.e. Asana and Pranayama.
Asana means obtaining a body posture and keeping it as long as one’s body allows. Asana, when performed rightly according to the principles discussed above, render enormous physical and mental advantages. Asana are regarded as the preliminary step to Pranayama. With the practice of Asana there’s a balancing of opposite principles within the human body and psyche. Additionally, it helps to eliminate inertia. Advantages of Asana are improved with longer maintenance of it. Asana ought to be secure, stable and pleasant. Here’s the overview of rules to be followed for doing Asana.
1. Normal breathing
2. Minimum attempts (Prayatnay shaithilyam)
5. No comparisons or contest with other people
6. No jerks or quick actions.
Each asana has its own advantages and a couple of common benefits like stability, flexibility, better hormonal secretion, feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. It is a misconception that an Asana (Yoga extend) must be tricky to perform in order to be beneficial. Lots of the simplest Asana render the majority of the common advantages of Yoga to their fullest. In any case, the beauty of Yoga is in the fact that in a not-so-perfect level the majority of the benefits continue to be available. That means even a newcomer benefits from Yoga as much as a specialist.
In their quest to locate a solution to the miseries of human body and mind, the creators of Yoga found a part of the answers in the character. They watched the birds and creatures stretching their bodies particularly fashion to eliminate the inertia and malaise.
Lots of the Asana can be classified based on the form of strain on the abdomen. The majority of the forward bending Asana are favorable pressure Asana since they put positive pressure on the stomach by crunching it e.g. Pashchimatanasana, Yogamudra (Yoga emblem pose), Hastapadasana (feet and hand pose), Pavanmuktasana (end free pose) etc.. Both kinds of Asana provide excellent stretch into the back and abdomen and fortify both these organs. Alternating between negative and positive pressure on precisely the identical section of the body intensifies and enhances blood flow in that area. The muscle group in usage gets more supply of blood and oxygen because of the pressure on that spot. E.g. at Yogamudra (emblem of Yoga), the lower abdomen becomes favorable pressure because of that Kundalini is awakened. Hastapadasana refreshes all nerves at the back of the legs and in the back. Consequently you feel fresh and rejuvenated. Vakrasana gives a fantastic massage into the liver and pancreas and hence is advised for diabetic patients.
Practicing Pranayama is one of those ways of eliminating psychological disturbances and physical ill health. Pranayama means controlled and prolonged period of breath. Additionally, it means life force. The same as a pendulum requires twice long to return to its first position, the exhalations in Pranayama are twice longer than the inhalations. The major goal of Pranayama is to bring mental stability and control needs by controlling breathing. Breathing is a part of autonomous nervous system. A body that is now stable by Asana and continues to be cleansed by Kriya (cleansing procedures) is prepared for Pranayama. On the other hand Pranayama prepares the body and mind for meditational and religious practice of Yoga such as Dhyana, Dharana and Samadhi. On physical level, practice of Pranayama increases blood in oxygen, then refreshing and rejuvenating the mind and the nerves. Here are a couple of physical advantages of Pranayama.
A. Lungs, chest, diaphragm become fitter and stronger.
B. Ability of lungs is increased.
C. Slow changing pressure produces a sort of massage to all organs in the gut cavity.
E. Brain works better with more oxygen from the blood.
G. Body gets lean and the skin shines.
Pranayama consists of 4 components in the following order:
The ratio of those parts to each other is normally 1:4:2:4 with a few exceptions. Patanjali’s Yogasutra agrees with this ratio combined with many other scriptures. With the goal of overall well-being, practicing the first few parts is sufficient. A religious practitioner normally practices all four components including the previous one i.e. Bahya Kumbhaka. Such a professional also does many more repeats than somebody who does it for overall health and well-being. Out of the four components of Pranayama, it is the Abhyantara Kumbhaka which is basically identified with Pranayama. There’s yet another Kumbhaka that occurs spontaneously and is named Keval Kumbhaka.
Bandha (Locks) are extremely vital to the practice of Pranayama. Depending on the purpose of Pranayama (religious or overall wellbeing), locks are performed. Mulabandha, Jalandharbandha and Udiyanabandha will be the frequent Bandha performed by everybody. Jivhabandha is mandatory only if performed for religious purposes.
Characteristics of Yoga
Let us take a look at a number of the chief characteristics of Yoga.
1) Yoga isn’t an exercise.
To understand the idea of Yoga one must remember that the rankings in Yoga aren’t exercises but physiological stretches and upkeep of stretches. You may describe Yoga with regard to Yogic stretches or Yogic practices. Obtaining a body position by extending the muscles and then keeping this posture provided that one’s body allows, that is exactly what Yogic stretches are. Yoga requires quite smooth and controlled motions and a slow steady tempo. To accomplish this one needs to have total concentration of thoughts when doing Yoga. Comparison with other people is greatly discouraged. Doing something beyond one’s capacity from competition generally results in damaging one’s body and hence is greatly discouraged. Breathing in Yoga stays steady unlike most aerobic exercises. Yoga can also be Isotonic unlike bodybuilding exercises, which are isometric in character. In isotonic stretches, length of the muscles increases while tone remains the same instead of the isometric exercises in which length of these muscles remains the same while the tone changes. In Isotonic stretches, body is stretched in a special fashion and preserved that way for a while.
2) Longer maintenance and fewer repetitions (according to the human body’s capacity).
Advantages of Yoga are improved with the upkeep of a body stretch. Longer the upkeep better will be the result. However one can’t force oneself into keeping the stretch longer than the body can bear. Each and every place is pleasant and secure (Sthiram Sukham Asanam). The perfect place for you is that where your body stays steady (sthiram) and that is pleasant and comfortable to you (sukham). The moment a stretch gets unbearable and uncomfortable and the body starts shaking, one ought to come from that position in a really slow, smooth and controlled manner. There’ll be many more repetitions and shorter maintenance for a newcomer. With more training, the repetitions will be fewer and upkeep will be longer. After performing Yoga one should just feel fresh and pleasant and nothing else. If you’re feeling tired or exhausted or any part of your body aches, it merely means that you’ve tried beyond your capacity.
3) Trust your own body.
With the practice of Yoga, you also learn how to trust your body’s ability to progress concerning flexibility without conscious attempts. Provided that the goal is in mind and the body is stretched only to its present capacity, the flexibility develops by itself. One needs to just concentrate on breath, concentrate on the current state of the body present and revel in that pose as long as it feels comfortable. ‘Prayatnay Shaithilyam’ means minimal efforts. Although there’s an perfect position described and desirable for every asana, nobody is pressured into attaining the perfect position. Yoga is done with the confidence which flexibility is obtained after a constant and regular practice. There’s a message here and that’s to have faith in the unknown. This message together with the enhanced endocrine function, better muscle tone, calmer mind and improved positive outlook can be hugely beneficial for recovery from any illness.
By way of instance if a specific Asana relies upon extending the stomach as the most important muscle group (the pivotal muscles), then the remainder of the body is relaxed while the stomach is stretched or pressured. One must watch for unnecessary straining of those muscles which are supposed to be relaxed. Initially this is tough to follow nonetheless it becomes easier with some practice. This habit of differentiating between different muscles to the pressure becomes quite helpful in different areas of life too. It lets you unwind while driving during rush hour. While performing ordinary daily tasks it makes you aware of the unnecessary strain on various parts of your body. You’re watchful even while speaking to somebody or while brushing your teeth or when stuck in a traffic jam. etc. etc.. These functions are unnecessary and they exude energy.
Tracking your breathing is an essential part of Yoga. Frequent mistakes like holding of breath or breathing intentionally occur during Yoga. Both these errors must be avoided. Holding back breath gives headaches, fatigue and so the benefits of Yoga are dropped by improper or inadequate breathing.
Ultimate aim of Yoga is the amalgamation itself in the greater self. Yuja method to combine or to connect. A link of Atma and Parmatma is the merging of the body and the soul. Yoga is a means of life. It’s a whole integration. According to Patanjali (founder of Yoga), two things define Yoga Poses; a secure and comfortable body posture and Anantha Samapatti. Therefore you can’t separate bodily postures from meditation. In reality a body that is now elastic and steady through training of different positions becomes a fantastic foundation for the supreme transcendental state of mind (Samadhi). The kriya (cleansing procedures) purify the body. Mudra and bandha bring the essential equilibrium of mind and concentration, originally on the breathing (pranadharana) and then on God (Ishwarpranidhana). Originally the mind wanders a lot and that is o.k.. An individual ought to let it wander. This will enable him to focus better on himself (sakshibhavana). Initially it will be tricky to focus since the body postures aren’t that steady. For this one has to purposely take his mind away from body posture and focus it on into the breathing process (pranadharana).
Advantages of Yoga
If you follow the basic principles, several benefits can be reaped. Care of body moves makes the body supple, lean, flexible and secure. Stress relief is the greatest of all of the benefits. Relaxing positions in Yoga instruct you to relax your muscles and allow the gravity work on your body. The ability to differentiate between tension on various areas of the body, i.e. to stretch one muscle group while relaxing all the others teaches you to relax and not waste energy throughout your everyday routine. The part about immersion is important in providing relief to your mind from worry and anxiety of everyday actions. Here’s a detailed look at a number of the significant advantages of Yoga.
1. Stress relief
Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety are the inevitable characteristics of modern day life. Yoga offers many tactics to cope up with the stress and anxiety. Yoga teaches very effective relaxing and breathing methods to achieve this. Yoga also helps you to feel relaxed faster and increase your energy book by teaching you how you can allow the gravity function on your body. Half of the fatigue at any action comes from improper and inadequate breathing and by holding breath. Yoga teaches you how to breathe adequately and how to not make your body tense and stiff when doing other daily tasks also. The principle of concentrated stretching teaches you how you can not waste energy throughout your everyday routine. It makes you aware of the unnecessary strain on various parts of your body. People having busy schedules that are used to being in action all the time, must realize that relaxing isn’t a crime or not a waste of time. On the contrary it provides you new energy to perform your tasks better.
Adequate breathing plays a terrific part in rejuvenating and refreshing body and mind. Breathing techniques in Yoga provide abundant supply of oxygen into the lungs, cleanse nasal passages and sinuses and therefore help feel refreshed. A body that is now lean and flexible with stretches and upkeep of the stretches gets processed by breathing methods and becomes energized. Various Yoga stretches induce a balanced secretion of hormones, which then rejuvenates the entire body and one feels refreshed and energized because of this.
Aside from the calming effect, yoga also includes many body moves which when maintained for a few minutes provide a amazing flexibility to our muscles. In many chronic diseases of the spine, Yoga has helped many people to decrease the frequency and degree of the disease such as spondylitis, arthritis etc.. Care of body moves makes the body supple, lean, flexible and secure. In the process, not just your body but also your mind becomes elastic. The brain acquires faith that things can change favorably given sufficient time.
Yoga is particularly great for getting control over breath and backbone. You force them to do something that they pounce on you. Time and again Yoga has been shown to be a boon for all sorts of ailments of the back. The method of exhaling twice more than inhaling (Pranayama) gives abundant supply of oxygen to blood and several impurities of blood are treated. The deliberate exhaling technique (Shwasanmargshuddhi) cleansing the nasal passage and the sinuses. They help eliminate chronic sinus trouble or clogging of nasal passage for lots of men and women. This makes the lungs and lymph organs more powerful. The abdominal breathing technique (Kapalbhati) helps individuals with asthma or weak diaphragm to breathe easily.
5. Focus of mind
Practice of Yoga helps in getting better attention of mind. Meditation, being a part of Yoga, teaches you how you can concentrate better and achieve more from virtually any action. It teaches you to eliminate the other thoughts from the mind and concentrate on the target. People have benefited enormously concerning attention of thoughts by performing meditation (Dhyana) and Dharana throughout all ages.
Even if one can’t attain perfection in an Asana, the advantages of an Asana continue to be available at a not-so-perfect degree such as calmer mind, better flexibility, better blood pressure, lower pulse rate and better endocrine function. Whatever condition of Asana one is in, if a person keeps the pose, body receives the essential massage and stretch. There’s a better secretion of endocrine glands because of the steady and adequate stretch. The brain tissues get the necessary signs and brain gets calmer. Breath is more regulated and because of this feels refreshed. All this happens no matter the degree of perfection. It is the steadiness and degree of comfort that is more important than perfection.
His book Shripatanjali Darshan that is a collection of hymns (also called as Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras) is held in high respect by the professionals and professionals and is known as one of the most revered reference book (a workbook for real practice) on Yoga. Patanjali’s Yoga is known as Patanjala (that of Patanjali) and can also be regarded as Rajayoga, which means the royal Yoga or the supreme, sublime Yoga as it consists of practices that lead to spiritual liberation (Moksha). Rajayoga is a component of Sankhya philosophy and is proven to awaken Kundalini (Total opening of Chakra when attained in transcendental state of meditation) and results into total spiritual enlightenment if practiced regularly.
Patanjalayoga is also known as Ashtangayoga because it’s 8 measurements or 8 limbs. Yama (Rules for the social life), Niyama (Rules for private growth), Asana (Yoga Posture), Pranayama (Extended and controlled breathing), Pratyahara (withdrawal of senses), Dharana (narrowed focusing on a topic), Dhyana (continued experience of meditation), Samadhi (transcendental condition where there’s just an essence of pure presence) would be the 8 limbs of Ashtangayoga. The first four dimensions comprise the exoteric (Bahiranga) part of Ashtangayoga while the past four dimensions comprise the esoteric (Antaranga) part of Ashtangayoga.
From the 15th century A.D. Yogi Swatmaram founded among the six systems of Yoga named Hathayoga. Even though the term Hatha in Sanskrit means being strong, Hathayoga isn’t about Hatha but is all about the balance between the two principles of the human body. Ha and Tha are basically symbols. Ha means surya (sunlight). Only how the sun and the moon equilibrium the life cycle of this world; the two nostrils balance the entire life cycle of the human body. Nadi is a channel by which the life force flows. Hathayoga can help to maintain this equilibrium by adjusting the functional disorders of the human body and bringing psychological peace. Hathayogapradipika is the standard textbook on Hathayoga composed by Yogi Swatmaram. Hathayoga takes Patanjala Yoga as standard. Even though it’s an entirely independent faculty of philosophy in its own right, it is essentially based upon the doctrine of Rajayoga expounded in Patanjali’s Yogasutra.
In actuality, every school of philosophy culminates into Rajayoga because the purpose of every school is exactly the same as Rajayoga i.e. to achieve ever-lasting peace and happiness.
Hathayoga consists of
According to Hathayoga, Asana, Pranayama, Kriya, Bandha and Mudra are stepping stones to get the greatest psycho spiritual impact of Rajayoga. They create the essential foundation of calm and stable mind and body for Rajayoga. Patanjali emphasizes more on the psycho spiritual impact of Yoga instead of the physical aspects and real methods of Asana and Pranayama. His Asana and Pranayama will also be much easier and simpler to perform than those in Hathayoga. For this he recommends minimal amount of attempts (Prayatnay Shaithilyam) and keeping up a steady, rhythmic tempo and a secure, comfortable body position. Patanjali’s Yogasutra talk Asana and Pranayama just in the chapter of Kriyayoga (a part of Sadhana pada) as the instrument to attain physical and mental wellbeing.
Patanjali’s Yogasutra is composed of 195 sutra and 4 Pada (chapters or sections): Samadhi pada, Sadhana Pada, Vibhuti Pada and Kaivalya pada. Kriyayoga, the chapter about the actual practice of Yoga is a part of Sadhana Pada (part about the way of research and practice of Yoga). Merely to give a glimpse of Patanjali’s doctrine, here are a few ideas from the Samadhi Pada and Sadhana Pada of Yogasutra:
According to Patanjali, significance and purpose of Yoga is to reach Samadhi (ultimate transcendental condition where there is sense of pure presence and nothing else). Yoga is a marriage of body and mind. It is compared with a calm river, which flows down to its likely bed without attempts. To have the ability to focus your mind is the greatest advantage of Yoga. Yoga is just self-study. Goal of Yoga is to be self explanatory. Yoga teaches you to be closer to nature and lead a wholesome life. For this you will need faith and determination in Yoga.
Tapa is to produce body alert and energetic glowing with health. Swadhyaya is the constant study to sharpen the intellect. These sadhanas must be used to wipe out flaws of human nature. These five vrittis vanish by Dhyana.
Yogaschittavrittinirodhah. By practice of Yoga, all of the functional alterations of the mind completely stop.
Control your mind is what Yoga is all about. You must involve your head in the Asana. Asana is a tool to Yoga. Body positions, rounds and maintenance of an asana should be performed according to one’s own capacity. Retention is much more desirable than repetition. Meditation can’t be separated from Yoga.
While performing Yogasana (Yogic postures), two things will need to be observed. The next one is Anantha samapatti. It means to unite with something infinite. Patanjali says that all good things happen when you quit trying hard. You become one with Ishwara, you let go your hands and forget that you’re in certain body posture. Yoga should be the method of life.
The address is enhanced by studying loudly a Pada (stanza of a poem) and a doctor cures the diseases of human anatomy. Likewise Yoga treatments and cleanses a sick mind.
Based on Samadhipada, all types of psychological and physical problems like disease, laziness, doubts and suspicions, disobedience, misunderstandings, temptations, unhealthy thoughts are the alterations of Chitta (mind). Patanjali states that through total concentration and steadfastness and a regular practice of Yoga, an individual can get rid of all of these issues.
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