Introduction to The
Science of Yoga
– To yoke, to join,
– To bring the mind,
body and spirit
together in a
– Spirit means to
breath – therefore
yoga is a “spiritual”
Branches of Yoga
Bhakti Yoga Mantra Yoga
Devotion to selfless service Using sound, chants, music
and love in yoga practice
Hatha Yoga Laya Yoga
Ha = Sun Tantric practices, kundalini
Tha = Moon yoga, healing practices as
Asana = postures you share breath with
Purpose: to bring right and left another
side of body in harmony – Raja Yoga
male/ female sides
The yoga of “royalty” – the
eight fold path
your actions, volunteer work,
selfless acts of kindness
Branches of Yoga
• Kriya Yoga
Kriya means "ritual action".
Known as the Yoga of
Ritual Action, Kriya Yoga is
union with the Infinite
through a certain action or
rite. It was introduced to
the West in the 1920s by
author of the well-known
Autobiography of a Yogi.
Yoga of intellect, study of
thinking and discussions,
Common branch of yoga
practiced in US
Many styles of Asana:
– Traditional Hatha
– Svaroopa Yoga
– Ananda, etc.
8 Fold Path - Raja Yoga
– Ahimsa – Saucha
Nonviolence Cleanliness of body
– Asteya – Santosha
– Satya – Tapas
– Brahmacharya Austerity
Celebacy or – Swadhyaya
– Aparigraha Self-study
Nonhoarding – Ishwara Pranidhana
Greedlessness Study of ancient
scripture and texts
Ceasing the fluctuations of the
mind (thoughts are frequencies
– waves and particles)
Vipassana – mindful
Third Eye Focus (front
of forehead) and watch
for the next thought)
Repetition of a sound –
Repetition of a word
Silva Mind control)
(Mudra of Knowledge):
Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the index
finger, with the other three fingers stretched out.
As it is a mudra of knowledge, it enhances the
knowledge. The tip of thumb has centers of pituitary
and endocrine glands. When we press these centers
by index finger the two glands work actively.
There is no particular time duration for this mudra.
You can practice by sitting, standing or lying on bed
whenever and wherever you have time.
– Increases memory power and sharpens the
– Enhances concentration and prevents Insomnia
– If we practice it regularly, it will cure all
psychological disorders like Mental, Hysteria,
Anger and Depression
(Mudra of Earth):
Tip of the ring finger touches the tip of the
thumb, with the other three fingers stretched
It reduces all physical weaknesses.
It has no particular time duration. You can
practice it any time you want.
– It helps to increase the weight for weak
– It improves the complexion of skin and
makes the skin to glow
– It makes the body active by keeping it
(Mudra of Water):
Tip of little finger touches the tip of
thumb, with the other three fingers
It balances the water content and
prevents all diseases which come due
to lack of water.
It has no specific time duration and one
can practice it according to their time.
– It retains clarity in blood by
balancing water content in the
– Prevents the pains of
Gastroenteritis and Muscle
(Mudra of Air):
Keep the index finger on the base of the
thumb and press with thumb keeping the
other three fingers straight.
It prevents all the diseases that occur due
to the imbalance of the air.
The practice of this mudra for 45 minutes
reduces the severity of the disease in 12
to 24 hours. For better results practice it
for two months.
– It cures Rheumatism, Arthritis, Gout,
Parkinson's disease and paralysis
without any medicine
– It is useful for Cervicall Spondilytis,
paralysis to face and catching of
nerve in neck
– It corrects the disorder of gas in the
(Mudra of Emptiness):
Keep the middle finger at the
mount of Venus and press it with
It reduces the dullness in our
One can practice it for 40 to 60
minutes daily until to be cured
from the disease.
– It relieves an earache within
4 or 5 minutes
– It is useful for the deaf and
mentally challenged, but not
for inborn ones.
(Mudra of Sun):
Bend the ring finger and press it with
It sharpens the center in thyroid gland.
Practice it daily twice for 5 to 15
– It reduces cholesterol in body and
helps in reducing weight
– It reduces anxiety
– It corrects indigestion problems
(Mudra of Life):
Bend ring finger and little finger and
touch the tip of thumb with their tips
keeping the remaining two fingers
As it is the mudra of life, it improves the
power of life. Weak people become
strong. It reduces the clamps in blood
vessels. If we practice it regularly, we
will become active.
No specific time duration. One can
practice it any time.
– It improves immunity
– Improves the power of eyes and
reduces eye related diseases
– It removes the vitamin deficiency
(Mudra of Digestion):
The tips of middle finger and ring finger
touch the tip of thumb while the other
two fingers are stretched out.
It plays an important role in our health
as it regulates the excretory system.
Practice it daily for 45 minutes, but
practice for longer time yields more
– It regulates diabetes
– It cures constipation and piles
– It helps excreting the normal waste
Apana Vayu Mudra
(Mudra of Heart):
The tips of the middle finger and ring
finger touch the tip of thumb, while the
index finger touches the base of thumb
and little finger stretched out.
It benefits the heart. It works like
injection in the reduction of heart attack.
It is as powerful as sorbitate tablet. It
reduces the gas content in body.
Practice it as many times as you can.
Heart patients and BP patients can
practice it for 15 minutes daily twice for
– It strengthens the heart and
– It regulates excretory system
– It redeems gastric trouble
(Mudra of Heat):
Interlock the fingers of both the hands and
keep the thumb of the left hand vertically
straight and encircle it with the thumb and
the index finger of the right hand.
It generates heat in our body. Take milk,
ghee, more water and fruit juices in addition
to practice of this mudra for much benefits.
Practice it any time you want. But don't
practice it a lot as it produces heat in the
body. It can cause sweating even in winter if
you practice it longer.
– It stops production of phlegm and gives
power to lungs
– It cures severe cold and bronchial
– It invigorates the body
Bandhas are internal
muscular holds used to
generate heat and focus
energy in three parts of the
They are primarily used
during pranayama (yogic
breathing) practice, although
they can be performed
during yoga poses (asana) as
To perform mula bandha, exhale and access your pelvic
floor, the space between your pubic bone and tailbone.
Gently pull it upward toward your belly button.
At first you may need to simply contract and hold the
muscles around your anus or genitals or both until you get
a feel for things down there. However, what you really
what to focus on and lift is the perineum, that ticklish spot
between your anus and genitals.
While holding the lock, do not hold your breath. Breathe
naturally. Engaging mula bandha while doing yoga poses
adds to the concentration and the integrity of the poses.
To perform the abdominal lock, sit in a comfortable cross-legged half-
or full-lotus position. Exhale completely. Then draw the abdomen in
and up without inhaling. Draw everything up and underneath the rib
cage. To unlock, relax the abdomen and inhale. Repeat often.
As with the mula bandha, the uddiyana bandha can also be used
during yoga poses. The bandha naturally massages and cleans the
abdominal organs, and the gentle pressure from the breath intensifies
Because of the contracting and lifting movements in both the mula
and uddiyana bandhas, they are complimentary and should be
attempted together if possible. Lifting and contracting the pelvic floor
facilitates doing the same with the abdomen.
Combining these locks while practicing yoga asana is exceptionally
To do the throat lock, sit, as before, in a comfortable cross-legged, half-
or full-lotus position. Partially inhale, and then hold your breath.
Drop your chin about halfway to your chest. The pull your chin back
toward your chest so that your neck is in line with your spine, not
rounded. Hold your breath as long as you comfortably can. You will feel
the lock high in your throat and along your neck almost in to your scalp.
This bandha contributes to correct posture and is believed to take
pressure off the heart and lungs.
Of the three, this is the most difficult bandha to precisely achieve.
Serious practitioners should consult a teacher well versed in yogic
Performing all three locks at once -- the mula, the uddiyana and then
the jalandara -- creates what is called the Mahabandha, the Great Lock,
which is said to renew nerves and glands as well has lower blood
The bandhas can be performed anywhere, while sitting in traffic,
balancing your checkbook. They can be done together, separately or
integrated in to asanas
We can regain our ability to breath in a slow, deep, and healthy
manner through pranayama - breathing from the belly button on up.
Increases the rate of metabolism (to aid with weight loss) - also Agni,
the digestive fire, is extremely important in Ayurveda (Eastern
Medicinal Branch of Yoga) - having a healthy digestion will improve
your entire state of health - body and mind.
Strengthens the immune system.
Calms and steadies the mind.
Improves focus and concentration.
Can raise or lower blood pressure, depending upon the technique
chosen and the desired result.
Body uses oxygen more efficiently, increasing our health.
Provides sufficient oxygen for the functioning of every cell in our body.
Without sufficient oxygen, we cannot metabolize food properly, and
nutrients are wasted (take time to breathe deeply between your bites
of food during mealtimes - aids digestion in many ways).
Forms of Pranayama
Udana vayu is the vital force centered
in the throat.
Prana vayu is the vital force centered
in the heart, chest and lungs and, by
extension with the nose and mouth.
Samana vayu is centered in the
abdominal area and is associated with
digestion and maintaining the
balanced functioning of the abdominal
Apana vayu is centered in the
intestines and is associated with
exhalation, elimination as well as with
the reproductive system.
Vyana vayu pervades the entire body
and is especially active in the limbs.