What is Yoga?
Simply yoga means “union” of the mind, the body, and the soul. It is the one and only way to expand the human consciousness to reunite with the Cosmic or Super consciousness.
In this third dimensional world, we have only access to our five senses along with the 17% conscious mind. To explore the multidimensional doors towards the betterment of our 3D life, anybody can adapt yoga to experience a 360-degree view of one’s timeline.
When we say Yoga, we must never forget its origin!
The Father of Yoga is Maharishi Patanjali of Bharata. He was the first man who proposes Yoga to the world. He wrote Yoga Principles, which are the most basic building block of the whole process of yoga known as Yoga Sutras.
Today’s time yoga has only been restricted to physical and mental fitness. But these are just the consequences of practicing yoga. The ultimate goal of yoga is Liberation and reunion with the source of creation and Beyond. It’s a journey to break free from physical limitations.
Sage Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras :
Your body is a sophisticated biological machine. All these sutras are users manual which can unlock limitless potential using your body!
If you allow it, it can open a different dimension within you! Therefore, it is not right to call Patanjali Yoga Sutra a book! Because this is not a book, it is a very complicated system of instruments. It is not possible to find any other collection of such great collections of instruments. Even if it ever happened, it would be very difficult!
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are in themselves exceedingly brief, less than ten pages of large type in the original. Yet they contain the essence of practical tools, set forth in admirable order and detail.
What is that 1 Powerful Free Tool of Yoga :
EIGHT LIMBS OF ASHTANGA YOGA
It is the singlemost powerful tool available to you for free.
In Sanskrit “Ashta + anga” is ashtanga. “Ashta” means Eight and “Anga” is limbs so it means Eight Limb path, Ashtanga yoga is based on Yoga Sutras of Patanjali.
- Yama (Principles or moral code)
- Ahimsa – A principle of non-violence
- Satya – A principle of Truthfulness
- Asteya – A principle of non stealing
- Brahmacharya – Continence / Celibacy
- Aparigah – A principle of non-hoarding or non possessiveness
- Niyama (Personal Disciplines)
- Shoucha – Purity
- Santosh – Contentment
- Tapa – Endurance
- Swadhyaya – Self study
- Eshwar Pranidhan – Dedication
- Asana (Yoga Positions or Yogic Postures)
A stable and comfortable posture which helps attain mental equilibrium.
- Pranayama (Yogic Breathing)
Extension and control of breath.
- Pratyahara (Withdrawal of Senses)
A mental preparation to increase the power of mind.
- Dharana (Concentration on Object)
Concentration of mind on one object and its field.
- Dhyan (Meditation)
With drawing mind from all external objects and Focusing it on one point and meditating on it.
- Samadhi (Salvation)
State of Super bliss, joy and merging individual consciousness in to universal consciousness. Union between Jivatman and Paramatman. Union of Shiva and Shakti in Sahasrar Chakra (the top of the head). Realizing the Bramhan (pure consciousness) or Realization of God is the ultimate achievement of Human Birth.
But, what is Super Consciousness?
It is a state in which the soul realizes that it is much more than the conditioned body and mind. Different types of higher states of consciousness can arise individually or in various combinations.
The list of known types of higher states of consciousness:
⦁ Modified states of consciousness, achieved with the help of meditative psychotechnics.
⦁ Optimal experience and the “flow” state;
⦁ The euphoria of a runner;
⦁ Lucid dreaming;
⦁ Out-of-body experience;
⦁ Near-death experience;
⦁ Mystical experience (sometimes regarded as the highest of all higher states of consciousness)
Yoga is not a quick-fix tool. If you are seeking a cure for an ailment, Yoga is a tool that actually prepares your mind, body, and soul to connect to each other, and as a consequence, you get the cure of that ailment.
Everything in our reality follows some major Universal Laws. An ailment is the effect of some cause or action or karma you did to yourself either mentally or physically.
If you are not in conscious control of your thoughts and emotions, you become a victim of mental disease. If you are unconsciously eating non-pranic food a lot, it degrades your lifespan, your body healing ability, and effects you mentally to behave compulsive, in short, your consciousness and awareness degrade.
Wanna live a fully conscious and your desired life then learn more about: 12 Spiritual Laws Of Universe: How They Can Make Or Break Your Life
How to get Maximum Benefits from Yoga?
Yoga is a subtle process of self-transformation. Yoga poses or asanas are just tools to prepare you physically and mentally to master your true self, which is beyond your imagination and knowledge. But once you experience your true self, you will change permanently. Everything else in this world is temporary, accept your true self.
Now I will give you 3 weapons which will lead you to a spiritual journey of self-seeking:
You have 3 Free Tools to get maximum benefits :
MIND, BODY, and ENERGY :
1. Mind Tool :
In this process, all you need to use is your, Awareness and art of remaining Conscious of your actions.
Sit in a place alone, away from all external disturbances. Have a diary, pen, and earphones with yourself. Now we will create a new version of ourselves. This method is called Identity Shifting.
Make 3 sections about your new future version :
⦁ How my Physical Appearance is?
⦁ How do you feel?
⦁ How my behaviour is?
⦁ How my work is? (As per your desired profession )
⦁ How my habits are?
Now after writing in detail as possible. Put on your earphones and play calm meditative music or any calm instrumental relaxing music. It will enhance your visuals and make it colorful with emotions.
Sit in a Siddhasana posture, in Mahamudra, eyes closed, the eye focus should be slightly upwards towards the third eye (or pineal gland), also head should be slightly upward facing.
Step 2 :
Get Ready for visualization Process :
⦁ Feel the breath, in and out with utmost ease.
⦁ Bring full awareness of your breath.
Let’s start with Mindfulness Excercise
Do 3 times following exercise, very slowly, with utmost ease :
⦁ Take a deep breath with some force in your abdomen, hold for 5 secs.
⦁ Exhale slowly and empty your abdomen, hold for 5 secs.
Step 3 :
Now gently let the breath find its own normal pace. You shift your awareness of the music now. And start visualizing yourself the way you desire. How you should look? How you should behave? How you should feel? How you should work? How your life should be?
Step 4 :
Close your hands together.
Express gratitude to the divine source of creation saying any affirmation as you desire.
My own affirmations are as follows :
I am grateful that I m alive today.
I am grateful for each and every breath I take.
I am grateful for the wonderful body that I got from Mother Nature as a gift and I will return it to you gracefully the way you gave me.
I am grateful to the Earth, Water, Air, Fire, and the Ether to give me this wonderful physical experience of life.
I am grateful for the Sun, the Moon, the stars, and all other celestial bodies to give me energy and strength.
Also, Do have a look at : 6 Benefits Of Using Positive Affirmations: Power Of Affirmations
Say any prayer as you like or Sanskrit prayer or mantra. If you don’t know any, simply chant Aum, minimum 9 times or maximum 108 times, very slowly by following the breathing technique in Step 2 .
2. Energy Tool :
” Energy can never be created nor destroyed, it can only be transformed. “
In yogic terms, energy is known as Shakti, the Mother of all creations. Energy is unlimited and available free to you in subtle form. But when subtle energy manifest and transforms itself into a physical state, it becomes limited. Thats why all the natural physical resources of this planet is limited for a man’s greed.
Therefore, yogis and sages of Bharat, always seeks the possibility beyond physical, towards ultimate liberation. They used subtle tools just like todays modern scientists work with physical instruments. These subtle tools are inside our body itself. Our thought and imagination are subtle tools, whereas our body is the most sophisticated, biological tool.
Todays scientists will tear the body apart to understand any entity. But, if its possible to understand the whole biological structure and even subtle atomic structure any living entity without disintegrating their body and without the help of modern instruments? Yes, in ancient Bharata, it is already done by the great mahatmas or sages. This process of Yoga is known as Meditation or Dhyana.
Following are some of the Ancient and Modern Energy Tools :
- Meditation: Meditation is a major technique that has been used for centuries as an effective technique to work with the mind, as well as to provide relaxation, well-being, and improved health and various amount of benefits. Learn more about : 11 Benefits Of Meditation That Can Change You And Your Life Positively!
- Reiki Healing: Become your own Reiki healer. The power of healing is within you. Unleash now with 2 simple Reiki healing Techniques to minimize compulsive actions. Learn more about : A Quick Guide To Stress Management With Reiki With 2 Simple Ways
- Subliminals: Subliminal messages are the signals which surpass our conscious mind and directly hit our subconscious mind. It could be any symbol with secret messages or audio which conceals secret messages inside. Learn more about : The Truth On Subliminal Messages: Do They Really Work?
- Binaural Beats: Research suggests that binaural beats can help working memory and long-term memory, and also strengthen connections among networks within the brain. Attention may also be improved by using binaural beats. Alpha frequencies (8 to 13 Hz) are thought to encourage relaxation, promote positivity, and decrease anxiety. The lower beta frequencies (14 to 30 Hz) have been linked to increased concentration and alertness, problem-solving, and improved memory.
3. Body Tool :
ASHTANGA YOGA :
Try these 2 limbs of the ASHTANGA Yoga to master your Body Tool :
- Asana (Yoga Positions or Yogic Postures)
A stable and comfortable posture which helps attain mental equilibrium. It aligns your physical geometry with the cosmic geometry.
- Pranayama (Yogic Breathing)
Extension and control of breath.
Best PRANAYAMA Techniques for Beginners :
Which YOGASANAS should Beginners do ?
You can start with Best 5 Effective Yogasanas for the Beginners in the article below.
Best 5 Effective Yogasanas for the Beginners :
The most jaw-dropping poses around involve more than just flexibility, balance, and strength. They require confidence, trust, and practice, practice, practice. Here are some of the best yoga poses you can do in the morning workout.
Whether you’re just mastering the art of Savasana or you’re trying to take your Vinyasa flow to the next level, these 5 poses from some of the most impressive yogis on youtube pretty much demand to be ogled over.
Top 10 Health Benefits of Surya Namaskar:
1. Healthy Lower Body: The first and last pose of Surya Namaskar, the pranamasana (prayer pose) works on the lower body. It effectively strengthens the legs, ankles, and feet. The pose firms the hips relieves sciatica, and reduces flat feet. In pranamasana, the hands are folded in Namaste position close to the heart. Scientifically, the folding of hands together connects the right and left hemisphere of the brain.
2. Magnifies the Blood Circulation: The active inhalation and exhalation process throughout the Sun salutation series keeps the blood oxygenated and lungs ventilated. The optimal flow of fresh blood in the body is a great way to detox the body making it free from toxic elements and carbon dioxide.
3. Natural Weight Loss: When the Surya Namaskar Series is practiced regularly and at a fast pace, it stretches the abdominal muscles assisting you in reducing weight around the stomach area. The asanas tone the abs and strengthen the musculoskeletal system.
4. Glowing Skin and Luscious Hair: The Sun Salutation incorporates diverse yoga asanas that enhance the supply of blood and oxygen to these regions helping you savor a youthful glow and long-healthy mane even during old age.
5. Calming Properties: The performance of yoga postures has a calming effect on the brain. However, the specific poses of Surya Namaskar like downward dog, cobra pose gently stimulate the nerves, reduce anxiety, and fortify the nervous system that promotes positivity.
6. Enhances Fitness and Flexibility: The Surya Namaskar is a comprehensive workout that benefits the entire body. The diverse 12 postures stretch, strengthen, and boost fitness levels of the body. The Ashtanga Namaskar works on the joints of wrists, the forward fold extends the limbs and makes the spine supple, and so much more.
7. Activates the Heart Chakra: In the prayer pose, the hands are joined together in front of the heart center. According to Yogic traditions, this mudra activates the heart chakra and encourages the lotus heart to open up with awareness.
8. A Remedy for Blood Pressure and Heart Problems: Surya Namaskar is a natural remedy for blood pressure. The Surya Namaskar benefits the heart muscles and corrects irregular heartbeats. The practice also keeps sugar levels in control thus keeping the heart problems at bay.
9. Happy Gut: Due to the alternate stretching and compression of the abdominal organs in the Sun Salutation Series, the digestive fire gets activated that helps get rid of constipation and other stomach problems. A happy and healthy gut is one of the most regarded health benefits of Surya Namaskar.
10. Helps Maintain High Spirits: With the practice of Surya Namaskar enhance the health of your body, mind, and soul. It is one of the best ways to keep the body free from diseases and to lead a life of youthfulness, vigor, and positivity.
Surya Namaskar Yoga comes with innumerable benefits. Make sure you incorporate it into your daily life and practice it with dedication and zeal.
Steps of Chakrasana – Urdva Dhanurasana (Wheel Pose)
- Lie down on your back with feet apart, bend your knees and place your feet on the ground close to your body.
- Now bring your palms under your shoulders such that the fingers point towards the shoulders and the elbows are shoulder-width apart.
- Inhale and press your palms firmly into the floor.
- Lift your shoulders and elbow firmly into the floor
- Your Feet should be pressed firmly into the floor.
- Inhale and lift your hips up.
- The spine should be rolled up so that it may seem to resemble a semi-circular arch or wheel.
- Straighten out your arms and legs as much as possible so that the hips and chest may be pushed up.
- Hold this pose for at least 15-30 seconds.
- To go back to original, bend your elbows to lower your head and shoulders to the floor.
- Then bend your knees and bring your spine and hips back to the ground and relax.
Cautions of Chakrasana (Wheel Pose)
- Do not try this Asana in case of a back injury.
- If you are suffering from heart problems, then don’t try this.
- Headache, Diarrhea and carpal tunnel syndrome.
- High or low blood pressure.
- Do not perform this if suffering from any cardiac or spinal problems.
- Avoid if suffering from a hernia.
Health Benefits Of The Upward-Facing Bow Pose (Wheel Pose):
- Strengthens liver, pancreas, and kidneys.
- Excellent for the heart.
- Good for infertility, asthma, and osteoporosis.
- Strengthens arms, shoulders, hands, wrists, and legs.
- Stretches the chest and lungs
- Strengthens the arms and wrists, legs, buttocks, abdomen, and spine
- Stimulates the thyroid and pituitary glands.
- Increases energy and counteracts depression.
- This asana also gives strength to your legs, abdomen, buttocks, spine, shoulder blades, glutes, hamstrings, lower back, wrists, and arms.
- It cures infertility, asthma, and osteoporosis.
- It also relieves stress and reduces depression, and makes you feel energetic and full of life.
Mountain pose is also known as Palm Tree Pose or Tadasana in Sanskrit as in the final stage, the Yoga pose looks like as palm tree so the name is. This is also known as heavenly stretch pose as one stretches oneself towards heaven.
Benefits of Mountain Pose – Tadasana:
- Increase height: Palm tree pose is one of the best yoga poses to increase the height of the growing children. Since it gives maximum stretch to the body from toes to fingers thus helpful for those who desire to increase his/her height.
- Good for nerves: Since it gives optimum stretching to the nerves and muscles thus helpful in the functioning of various system of the body.
- Treat sciatica: It is good for sciatic patients if perform under the guidance of an expert.
- Enhance concentration: It is good to improve balance and concentration as well as increase alertness.
- Strengthen lower legs: The Asana strengthens the toes, ankles, knees, abdomen, buttocks and the lower part of the legs.
- Weight Loss: It is helpful in shedding extra fat from the different parts of the body.
- Relieve back pain: It is effective in treating backache.
- Hips mobility: It provides strength and mobility to the feet, legs, and hips.
- Art of standing: By practicing the yoga poses regularly, one will learn the correct way of standing.
- Reduce flat feet: It helps you to reduce flat feet.
- It also strengthens legs, knees, ankles, buttocks, lower abdomen, shoulders and neck. It is also good for improving your posture.
- Strengthens thighs, knees, and ankles
- Increases awareness
- Steadies breathing
- Increases strength, power, and mobility in the feet, legs, and hips
- Firms abdomen and buttocks
- Relieves sciatica
- Reduces flat feet
- Develops strength and flexibility simultaneously, especially in the spine
- Relieves tension, aches, and pains throughout the body
- Improves blood circulation
- Encourages healthy digestion and elimination
- Leaves you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated
- Expels dullness and depression
- Harmonizes the body and mind
- Increases energy and enthusiasm
Astavakrasana or Eight-Angle Pose is one of the advanced arm-balance poses in yoga. The meaning of ‘asta’ in Sanskrit is eight and ‘vakra’ is curved or bent. It is an excellent way to develop your stability and equilibrium while strengthening the wrists and arms.
- Strengthens the wrists, arms, and shoulders
- Tones the abdominals
- Tones the inner thighs
- Improves sense of balance
- Helps supply blood to the spine and helps to eliminate toxins.
Benefits of Bakasana (Crane Pose)
- Regular practice of this pose will increase mental and physical strength.
- Helps in to make your body more flexible.
- It increases endurance capacity.
- Practicing this posture on a daily routine helps you in strengthening your forearms, wrists, and shoulders.
- It provides a decent stretch to your higher back and even strengthens your abdominal muscles.
Benefits of Vrikshasana(Tree Pose)
- Helps improve body balance
- Gives your body the optimum posture
- Strengthens your legs, thighs, spine, shoulders, and arms
- Tones your arm and leg muscles
- Grants stability of mind and body
- Can strengthen ligaments in your ankles and feet
- Best pose for posture-related complaints
- Brings you to a rejuvenated and invigorated state
- Greatly improves concentration
- Known to reduce risks of sciatica
The Benefits Of Pigeon Pose (Kapotasana)
Various benefits of this asana are as follows:
- It helps increase the elasticity in your arms, spine, thighs, calf muscles, shoulders, and hands.
- It helps to stretch and strengthen the muscles and joints in your legs.
- It also tones the muscles of the throat and organs inside the ribcage, abdomen, and chest.
- Refines the blood circulation in the body and improves and enhances the working of the digestive system.
- Reduce blood pressure and lowers the effects of chronic diseases.
- Reduces sciatica and makes the lungs stronger.
- Activates the nervous system and also increases oxygen intake.
- Minimize stiffness in the hips, back, and shoulders.
- Calms the mind and the body and releases stress.
- Treats urinary disorders.
Why to choose Yoga?
With yoga you can get into the state of Meditation. Only meditation is the way to know your True Self. Once you know your true self you will no longer be a Mind or Body, your whole perception of the reality will change. What was impossible , will seem an enormous ocean of possibility to you.
So are you ready for this intense drastic transformation? Then Yoga is for you. If you are just seeking weight loss or body toning techniques or cure of any ailment, then also yoga welcomes you. But you need to be patient enough because Yoga is a subtle process.
Anything to be cured from its root takes a certain period of time. But once the cause gets uprooted from its root, it’s gone forever. If you are fond of solace and a quick fix, you can go to the medical expert, gym, play any sports, etc.
According to the Katha Upanishad, “When the five senses, along with the mind, remain still and the intellect is not active, that is known as the highest state. They consider yoga to be firm restraint of the senses. Then one becomes un-distracted for yoga is the arising and the passing away”.
In Bhagavadgita, it is stated that “Yoga is said to be equanimity”. “Yoga is a skill in action”. Know that which is called yoga to be separation from contact with suffering”.
Everything in this material world is temporary for souls. As long as we are in this material dimension our body will decay, and the living and non- living things will continue to decay, till it comes to its free energy form. We all are energy it’s true, but our vibration and frequencies are different. This is the reason why people having irrespective of different personalities and traits, we are made of same quantum particles.
Yoga is the way to connect our conscious mind to its deepest core of the subconscious realm. That’s how we get a cure for every problem of our walking life through yoga. Yoga is the essence of living. Yoga is a lifestyle. It is an ancient lifestyle of yogis or sages who devotes their whole life to release all the materialistic attachments and to attain salvation.
I believe yoga exists everywhere. The sprouting of seeds from the soil is yoga. The detachment of leaves from the branches is yoga. When we fall in love we are in a state of union i.e yoga. Whatever we consume in this world, it gets digested and excreted which is a vital part of yoga. Time is yoga. Each and every cell of our body is alive due to yoga. Meeting, falling, detaching, then again reuniting is also called yoga.
“Yoga is the suppression of the activities of the mind” – Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
We all must have heard of zero states of mind or mindfulness terminologies. To suppress the activities of mind means to become thoughtless. Thoughts are also actions that we take without any physical approach. But to master this state of mind is much easier as you go deep into the process of mind free yoga. You don’t need to control your mind, set it free. There are many profound techniques of yoga that could actually shut your conscious mind’s chatter and let the subconscious merge with the conscious mind.
The first use of the root of the word “yoga” is in a hymn of the Rig Veda, a dedication to the rising Sun-god in the morning (Savitri), where it has been interpreted as “yoke” or “yogically control”.
A famous Indologist, orientalist, religious studies scholar, and philosopher of religion, Karel Werner, states that the earliest evidence of Yogis and Yoga tradition is found in the Kesin hymn of the Rigveda.
The Yogis of Vedic times left little evidence of their existence, practices and achievements. And such evidence as has survived in the Vedas is scanty and indirect. Nevertheless, the existence of accomplished Yogis in Vedic times cannot be doubted.— Karel Werner, Yoga and the Ṛg Veda
In the beginning, there was darkness, and the darkness was covered with darkness. Then came the light with sound, Om. And Om, give rise to the knowledge which got compiled as Vedas. In the hierarchy of Vedic knowledge, there are four Vedas. Rig Veda, Sama Veda, Yajur Veda, and Atharva Veda. Then comes four upa Vedas or sub-Vedas, six upangas or components and then six subcomponents out of which one is Yoga.
Rig Veda is one of the most sacred and the oldest book of human history. It is about eight to ten thousand years old. And yoga is the part of this Vedic literature. Maharishi Patanjali considered to the authority on yoga, propounded yoga nearly five thousand years ago. Lord Krishna and many sages of yoga have spoken about yoga.
In the middle ages the practice of yoga was confined only to the royal and scholarly class it was taught to students in gurukuls after passing a rigorous test.
In recent years by the effort of many spirituals and religious leaders of India, the doors of yoga have been open to the common man and to each and every human being of this planet.
Yoga is the union of body, mind, and spirit. The individual to the universal, the yoga is realizing the connection between the finite and the infinite, the manifest and the unmanifest. Yoga is bringing harmony in thought, word, and deed.
Those people who are suffering from Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, sciatica pain, slip disc, Spondylitis problems, and a wrist injury are not allowed to practice this asana.
If you have shoulders injury or hamstrings ?
Be extra careful attempting Asanas. If you are a beginner, don’t try Ashtanga Asanas immediately. Start with basics. Becoming master in that lead you to go for advanced Asana. Try advance under the supervision of a yoga teacher.
Somehow in today’s age Yoga has become associated with only physical postures. The fact is, the central teaching of yoga is maintaining an equanimous state of mind.
The Bhagvatagita says, “Yogaha Karmasu Kaushalam” meaning yoga is a skill in action and expression. Yoga is not just exercise. It is how skillfully we communicate and act in any given situation. Here yoga is described more as a mental skill.
It means if you could be watching a sunset, doing your job or business, or cooking at home. If you are doing it out of joy and love, you are a Yogi, a karma yogi. The same action devoid of any love and care is not yoga.
Krishna says in Bhagvatagita, ” Samatwam yogachhitaye”, meaning equanimity in the mind is the sign of yoga. The ability to remain centered in adverse situations is yoga. Whatever brings us back to our nature, which is harmony, and joy in yoga. Postures make the body healthy, Pranayama and meditation take the body deep within.
Uniting diverse aspects of the life of existence is yoga. Wonderment is the preface to yoga.
“Vismaye yoga yogabhumika” the wow we experience many times in life is a preface of yoga. Anyone engrossed totally in anything one is doing is yoga.
Tada Dhrashtuh Swaroope Awasthanam” yoga is being established in the seer, Dhrishta ” from the scenery we come back to the seer.
If one is in harmony within, the journey of life is calmer, happier and more fulfilling. Life starts flowing in the direction to unite with its very source.
I recommend the yoga beginners to try the top 5 trendy yoga poses mentioned above. They are the best poses of yoga to start. It will enhance your flexibility and stamina within a month if you are consistent with it.
All the best folks...
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