Yoga General

Yoga ( योग ) is a physical, mental, and spiritual discipline, originating in ancient India,whose goal is the attainment of a state of perfect spiritual insight and tranquility.

Regular practice of yoga helps in cultivating a strict discipline in food habits, cleanliness, sex and character, thus enabling one to become a better person.

The therapeutic use of yoga is widely known. In fact, today, yoga is considered a global phenomenon and an essential part of modern civilisation. However, yoga, when practiced in the wrong manner, and without professional guidance, can do more harm than good.

Equally important are the proper time, place and dress and the right diet. Yoga has to be practiced in a quiet, secluded place, where fresh air is easily available - like a verandah, terrace, garden, etc. Ideally, yoga should be practiced in the early hours of either morning or evening (on a relatively empty stomach).

However, it can be practiced either four hours  after a heavy meal, or 20 minutes after a glass of juice or a cup of skimmed milk. On completion, one can have a meal after half-an-hour. Avoid tea, coffee, smoking, alcohol and spices.

The duration of practice should also be fixed according to one’s capacity. Most importantly, yoga should be practiced at a fixed time every day; in two sessions if one feels able. One may feel an initial stiffness of the limbs and muscles. This will ease with regular practice. During yoga, the attire has to be clean, light and loose fitting to allow free movement; preferably light cotton garments. 

In cold climate, a shirt or thin sweater can also be used. To avoid discomfort, jewelry or accessories need to be taken off. One must always practice barefoot to ensure contact with the ground. Further, since the body has to be stretched in various directions, yogic practice has to be done on a clean mat, rug, carpet or a blanket. The seat should be firm and comfortable. Yoga should not be practised on any sofa surface.

During Yogasana, one should breath through the nostrils and not through the mouth, except in the case of Sheetali and Sheetakari Pranayama. While bathing is not directly related to yogasana, a shower before and after yogasana can refresh the body and mind.

Yoga should be commenced in a meditative posture, with a calm, tension-free mental state. Observe complete silence during the practice. One must not perform asanas during acute illnesses like fever, a severe asthmatic attack or extreme fatigue. Very weak patients in extreme exhaustion are warned against holding the breath (Kumbhaka) during pranayama.

Persons suffering from heart trouble, high or low blood pressure or any serious organic disease should avoid postures, which may prove dangerous. They should preferably practice yoga in the presence of a medical or yoga expert. If there is profuse sweating during practice, do not wipe it with a towel, but rub the body with the palms.

The sequence of yogic practices, i.e., Kriyas, Asanas, Pranayama, Chittashuddhi and Yoga Nidra should be maintained. Do not practice yoga merely by studying books, seeing television or others practising it. Beginners should first take lessons from a qualified and experienced Yoga expert. Pregnant women should avoid Yogasanas, Kapalbhati, Bhastrika and Suryabhedana during menstruation.

Asanas could be practiced during pregnancy upto the first 80-90 days. Pranayama can be continued without Kumbhak throughout pregnancy, as it helps considerably during labour. Take more raw food, salad and fruits. Drink at least 8-10 glasses of water everyday. Reduce consumption of salt, sweets, spices and chilies. Avoid tea, coffee, fried food, smoking, alcohol, chewing zarda, pan masala etc.

Avoid other physical exercises like gymnastics, weightlifting, jogging, tennis, swimming etc. after asanas and pranayama for at least 20 minutes after yoga.

Yoga is a way of life. It must be practised regularly and conscientiously, with thorough preparation, bearing all precautions in mind for true mental and physical relaxation. One has to also keep in mind that any results depend purely upon the individual, the nature of ailments and the regularity of yogic practice.

It is here that Yoga therapy comes to our assistance. Yoga emphasizes treatment of the root cause of an ailment. It works in a slow, subtle and miraculous manner. Modern medicine can claim to save a life at a critical stage, but, for complete recovery and regaining of normal health, one must believe in the efficiency of Yoga therapy.

The Yogic way of life includes a code of ethics, regulations, discipline and more, combined with prayer and meditation. Even a discussion of these subjects helps one relieve mental tensions and change attitudes. Simple Asanas help to stretch and relax the whole body and neutralize tensions. The sincere practice of Yoga postures benefits all levels of experience.

From the restoration of balance, flexibility, poise, health and well being to the body, to the cultivation of mental equanimity, emotional balance, and inner strength. On a physical level Yoga postures stimulate the glands, organs, muscles and nerves in ways that traditional exercise cannot.

Muscle tightness and strain is quickly relieved and both circulation and digestion improves. Stress-related symptoms like poor sleep, fatigue, muscle spasms, anxiety, and indigestion are greatly improved.

Through continued practice Yoga postures can have a profound effect on the inner dimensions of life, establishing deep calm, concentration, emotional stability and coEvery human being is born with powers to make life more meaningful and complete.

Physical power fulfils our physical needs through action; psychological power enables us to achieve the impossible in a civilized world and moral (inborn) power helps us master the art of living by inculcating good values. Unfortunately, this inborn power is the least utilized, leading to physical and psychological breakdowns.

Yoga, rooted in ancient history, helps to overcome these physical and mental diseases by generating cosmic powers. Yoga is usually associated with yogis; as a method used at high altitudes to attain peace. However, it has no relevance to any particular religion.

It is a way of life to control the mind, body and soul.

Yoga helps us to get in touch with reality by being in touch with the inner self. Yoga helps to achieve that elusive contentment which no materialistic luxury of the modern world can bring, to strike a perfect balance between the mind and body and harmony between man and the universe through yogic kriyas, yogasanas, chitta shuddhir and yoga nidra. It relaxes the physical and psychological powers and recharges them for better performance.

Yoga, as defined by Maharishi Patanjali, one of India’s greatest sages, is a technique used to control thought waves in the mind. He calls it a way of life, beyond the consciousness of body, mind and intellect. To learn yoga please Contact us.

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