Yoga: Introduction Origin: Yoga is originated from Veda, oldest scripture of India (4000 B.C.) and systematically presented by Sage Patanjali in Yogasutra in around 150 B.C. Founder: Hiranyagarbha is the founder of yoga. Sage Patanjali: Patanjali, an Indian sage is the compiler of Yoga Science. He wrote ‘Yogasutra’ containing 195 verses divided in four chapters. It is believed that he was an incarnation of Adishesha, a mythological God. Scholars such as S. N. Dasgupta, claims this is the same Patanjali who authored the Mahabhasya, a treatise on Sanskrit grammar.
Yoga Definitions According to Yogasutra of Patanjali: ‘ Yoga is restraint of the activities of the mind.’ According to Bhagavad-Gita Yoga : ‘Evenness (of mind) is Yoga” (2/48). ‘Yoga is Skillfulness in Action’. (2/50)
There are basically four paths which all lead to the same goal, the attainment of the ultimate Reality. These paths are:
Asana(Body Posture) Asana is the Sanskrit word for ‘Posture’. Classification Meditative Relaxing Cultural Postures Postures Postures e.g. Shavasana, Makarasana e.g. Padmasana, Siddhasana e.g. Bhujangasana,Ushtrasana vishalyogi
Pranayama means, ‘a pause in the movement of breath’.
For getting success in Pranayama, perfection in practice of asana is prerequisite. Some important practices of Pranayam are- Ujjayi Bhramari Bhastrika Sheetali Benefits: The regulation of breath(pranayama) gives to body lightness and turning away of the senses from material objects. It increases the spiritual power and confers cheerfulness and inner peace. vishal
Dhyana(Meditation) ‘Dhyanam nirvishayam manah’ - That state of the mind, wherein there are no Vishayas or sensory thoughts, is meditation.
Sthuladhyana: Contemplation of the image
Sukshmadhyana: Contemplation of the Serpent power
Jyotirdhyana: Contemplation of the internally aroused light in the higher stage of meditation
Benefits: It is meditation whereby practitioner realize his self. Though meditation is usually recognized as a largely spiritual practice, it also has many health benefits. It Leads to a deeper level of relaxation, reduces anxiety, decreases muscle tension and headaches.
HathaYoga Hathayoga ensures physical health and harmony –prerequisites for Concentration, Meditation and Self-realization. Parts of Hathayoga: Shatkarma (Cleasing Process) Asana (Body Postures) Mudra (Gesture for energy control) Pratyahara (Abstraction of senses) Pranayama(Regulation of Breath) Dhyana (Mediation) Samadhi (Self-realization)
Shat-karma(Six Cleansing processes ) Dhauti : Cleansing of abdomen, teeth, tongue, ear for the elimination of impurities and increasing their efficiency. Basti : It is performed for cleansing of bowel. It is helpful in removing many diseases abdomen and spleen. Neti : Cleansing of nasal canal; It is useful for the treatment of many diseases of head and neck. Nauli : Abdominal massage by unifying and rotating abdominal rectus muscles; it intensifies gastric fire. Trataka : Gazing an object without blinking; It provides excellent vision. Kapalbhati : Purification and vitalization of the frontal lobes of the head. It removes disorders of phlegm.
Pratyahara (Abstraction of senses ) Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses of cognition and action from both the external world and the impressions in the mind field. Benefit: As a result of this [abstraction] there is complete mastery of the sense organs. Dharana (Concentration) Concentration is the process of holding or fixing the attention of mind onto one object or place . Benefit: By this practice mind attains the ability to be focus on object of contemplation.
Samadhi is the deep absorption, wherein only the essence of that object, place, or point shines forth in the mind. According to Hatha Yoga- “Rousing of Kundalini and its union with Siva at the Sahasrara Chakra is the final stage of Samadhi and Mukti”. Samadhi (Self-realization)
Yoga energizes, relaxes, strengthens and promotes correct breathing. After the physical postures one feels benefited by a more positive outlook, enthusiasm, and a general sense of self-awareness. Yoga unlocks clear and one-pointed thoughts, firm will power, improves self confidence by transforming stress into peace. Hath-yogic practices like cleansing processes, asana, pranayama etc. helpful in curing the physical and mental diseases. Aspects of Yoga (Physical Mental & Spiritual) Continued…
Yoga teaches right art of living, how to deal with ourselves and others. One may learn patience, forgiveness, and the value of gentleness through yoga practices. One who achieve the ultimate goal of Yoga will surrender the body, mind, intellect and ego entirely to the divine. It brings down the peace, purity, truth, consciousness and Bliss of the Supreme-self in one’s daily life.