Yogasana : Yoga asana pose posture

Asana are dynamic posture that also facilitates an individual to bring harmony between body, mind and spirit. Yogasana awakens the subtle energies in the body. Yogasana not only confined to physical level only but also involve spiritual progress.

The objectives of practice of yoga postures or position (Asana) is to open and purify the energy centers (Chakras) and energy channels (Nadis). As we have seen, “Ha” stands for Ida nadi, and “tha” means Pingala Nadi. Nadi means psychic payway of energy. So,  asana and pranayama balance the Ida and the Pingala Nadi, i.e. the balancing of mental energy of Ida and Vital energy of Pingala Nadi. At the subtle level, Ida nadi and Pngala nadi are compare with Parasympathetic and Sympathetic Nervous Systems respectively. So, the practice of Hatha yoga balances whole nervous system.  During the asana, every Chakra creates a connection to the corresponding subtle energies from the Universe.

The exercises (action) of Yoga are designed to put pressure on the Glandular Systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. It strengthens the spinal cord, energizes the inner cells and activates the whole nervous system. It allows us to use the body as an instrument of higher awareness, so that we can receive wisdom and knowledge.

Pingala Nadi

Right Channel. Positive force – flow of vital energy- Masculine- Hot-Represents the sun-Originating in Muladhara-Pingala ends up in the right nostril.

Sushumna Nadi

Central Channel- Neutral force – flow of spiritual energy.

Ida Nadi

Left Channel- Negative force – flow of consciousness- Feminine- Cold- Represents the moon- Originating in Muladhara- Ida ends up in the left nostril.

 

Principles and philosophy on which asana based

Gravity

The inverted postures and the reverse posture take benefits of gravity to increase the flow of blood to the desired part of the body. e.g. in the headstand to the brain, in the shoulder stand to the thyroid gland and in the reverse posture to the sex glands.

Organ massage

The position of the asana causes a squeezing action on a specific organ or gland that ultimately results in the stimulation of that part of the body.

Stretching muscles and ligaments

Stretching has beneficial effects on the body.  Stretching muscles and ligaments results to increase in blood supply to the muscles, ligaments and relax them by alleviating tension, pressure in the nerves of that area.

Deep breathing

During retaining the yoga posture breathes is slow and deep. This increases the oxygen and prana supply to the target organ or gland.

Concentration

During slowly and deeply breathing the attention is focused on the target organ or gland. This brings the mind into play, and greatly increases the circulation and prana supply to the organ or gland.

What is the secret of vitality and rejuvenation?

A healthy central nervous system (brain and spine), healthy glands and healthy internal organs are the secret of vitality and rejuvenation.  The purpose of the yoga exercises is to recondition the system, both mind and body, and to develop the nervous and glandular systems.

Healthy Central Nervous System

C.N.S. Central Nervous System is consist of Brain and Spine.

Brain

weight of  Human brain is about 1.5 kg.(3 pounds) and  enclosed in the skull (cranial) cavity. It has 3 membranes covering it, called as meninges.

Dura Matter (Tough Matter):

The outer membrane, it is tough, protective covering. Archenoid (web like): the middle delicate membrane. Piamatter (Soft Matter): This innermost transparent membrane contains blood vessels (nutritive in function). Between the bony and membranous coverings, there is cerebrospinal fluid that acts as a protective internal cushion. The bony skull, meninges and the cerebrospinal fluid protects the brain from external injury and shocks.

Spinal cord

The spinal cord extends from the medulla or brain stem up to the second lumber vertebra, and is about 40 cm long. The spinal cord is a hollow oval shaped cylinder, tapering slightly as it descends.

Since the nerves from the spine go to all the organs and glands of the body, a healthy spine plays a crucial role in vitality and rejuvenation.

In our body brain is given protection by skull bone, but the spinal nerves do not have protection against mechanical insults as the brain has. At the intervertebral foramina the spinal nerves leave the spine, this is a very vulnerable area. If a vertebra is slightly out of place, it may pinch the nerves in the intervertebral foramina leading to the deterioration of spinal nerves and manifestation of the organic disease.

Yoga asana keeps the spine flexible and so, there would be much less chance of spinal misalignments. Even some asana has curative and correcting effects on vertebral misalignments. Since the root cause of a disease lies in the mistake of the individual, its cure also lies in correcting those mistakes by the same individual. Thus, it is an individual himself who is responsible for both causing as well as for curing the disease. If the diseases are the out come of our wrong posture, we need to correct the posture that improves the spine’s flexibility. If we not improve the wrong posture the spine gets deteriorated leading the further deterioration of our organs and glands.

Healthy Endocrine Glands

  • In human body exocrine and endocrine glands produce chemical components called as Hormones.  The most important glands in our body are the hypothalamus, pituitary, pineal, thyroid, thymus, adrenal, pancreas and sex glands. The hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands are situated in the brain, the thyroid is in the neck area, the thymus in the chest, the adrenals and pancreas in the solar plexus area and the sex glands in the pelvic region.
  • The function of these glands is so vital, it secretes hormones which control human growth, weight and size. They also determine metabolism, vitality, sexual vigor and emotional state in human. Since the hypothalamus, pituitary and pineal glands are situated in the brain, the asana like, headstand has a powerful effect on them.
  • The shoulder stand is specific for the thyroid gland and will prevent and help cure thyroid gland problems. The reverse posture stimulates the sex glands and therefore the production of the sex hormones.
  • The twist asana benefits the spine, adrenal glands, liver, pancreas and kidneys.

Healthy Internal Organs

  • As we have seen that the asana has the remarkable effects on the brain, spine and glands.
  • Asana also has great curative and corrective effects on internal organs by massaging and stimulating them.
  • The stretching of the joints in asana has good curative and corrective effects on arthritis.
  • It (stretching) causes the secretion of a lubricant called synovial fluid which reduces the stiffness.
  • During the asana skin is stretched and stimulated leads to the healthier skin and safeguards the skin from the wrinkles.  Asana also massages the digestive organs by contracting and stretching them that sets its functioning at peak efficiency.
  • Don’t be discouraged by some initial mistakes, and don’t drop the practice in panic. You will learn slowly. consult yoga teacher/ expert before trying yoga asanas or pranayama for preventing injury.

asana   asana   asanaasana

 

Hatha Yoga Traditional Directions for Performing Yoga Asana

  • Stomach should be empty.
  • A glass of fresh water should be taken before performing asanas.
  • Yogasanas can be performed 8 hours after a meal, 2 hours after a glass of milk and one hour after eating fruit.
  • Always perform asanas early in the morning or in the evening.
  • Don’t streach too much while performing asanas.
  • Don’t go in the cold just after performing asanas.
  • Lower the head and other parts of the body slowly; in particular, raised heels should be lowered slowly.
  • If the body is stressed, perform Shavasana.
  • Perform yogasana in clean and ventilated room.
  • Light physical exercises, followed by yogasana, pranayama and meditation is the ideal sequence.
  • Inverted poses, are to be avoided during menstruation. In contrast, modern teachers do recommend Yogasana for relief from cramps during this period. Although it is traditionally taught not to invert against the flow.
  • Yoga During Pregnancy- During pregnancy, after the first 3 months, exercises that require lying on stomach are to be avoided.

 

Yoga: Yog Therapeutic – sense of union in body mind spirit

  yoga   yoga   yoga yoga

Yoga is an ancient practice that helps create a sense of union in body, mind, and spirit. It brings us balance. Yoga is a complete science of life that originated in India many thousands of years ago.

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Yoga means “union” in Sanskrit, the classical language of India. The Word Yoga is derived from the Sanskrit root Yuj (To Join, to concentrate one’s attention on) meaning to bind, join, attach and Yoke to direct and concentrate one’s attention on, to use and apply. Yoga is one of the six orthodox systems of Indian Philosophy. It was compiled and systematically co-coordinated by mahashi Patanjali in his classical work, the Yoga Sutras, which consists of 185 terse aphorisms. So Mahashi Patanjali is regarded as the pro-founder of Yoga Philosophy. The System of Yoga is so called because it teaches the means by which the individual soul can be united to or be in communion with the God, and so secures liberation. According to yoga, true happiness, liberation and enlightenment comes from union with the divine consciousness. One who follows the path of Yoga is a Yogi.

Branches of Yoga

Hatha Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga, Jnana Yoga, Karma Yoga, Tantra Yoga are considered the main yogas, but there are many other types. The various yoga practices are a methodology for reaching the same destination.

Hatha Yoga

Hatha Yoga is the path of Physical Yoga is the most popular branch of Yoga. Hatha Yoga considered the body as the vehicle for the soul. Hatha represents opposing energies: hot and cold, male and female, positive and negative, similar but not completely analogous to yin and yang.

Bhakti Yoga

Bhakti Yoga is the Yoga of devotion. Bhaki Yoga teaches a person to have a devotion to God and all things through devotion to life and love.

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga is the path of Yoga that focuses on meditation and contemplation. It is based on the Eight Limbs of Yoga which was discussed in the Yoga Sutra. The Yoga Sutras are built on a foundation of Samkhya philosophy and the Bhagavad Gita.

Jnana Yoga

Jnana in Sanskrit means “knowledge”,  Jnana Yoga deals with wisdom and knowledge  “knowledge of the true self”. Jnana Yogis use an open, rational and curious mind in studying the spirit. Jnana Yoga is the Quest for the Self. In Jnana Yoga the intellect is used as a tool to know about our true Self. To realize about our true self , Jnana Yoga probes the nature of the Self through the question “Who am I?” 

Karma Yoga

“karma yoga” means “Path to Mergence with God through performing selfless service”. Karma Yoga is the science of action.

Tantra Yoga

Tantra Yoga is the path of ritual and perhaps the most misunderstood path. Tantra is the knowledge concerning Tattva (Truth) and Mantra (mystic syllables). It utilizes rituals to respectfully experience the sacred in everything we do, not just sex though sex is a part of it.

Asana is such a dynamic position which helps the practitioner to balance the mind and body. It brings a superior balance and awakens the subtle energies of the body. It is not just a physical practice but a spiritual practice based on the fundamental vibrating energy of every human being.

The exercises (action) of Yoga are designed to put pressure on the Glandular Systems of the body, thereby increasing its efficiency and total health. It strengthens the spinal cord, energizes the inner cells and activates the whole nervous system. It allows us to use the body as an instrument of higher awareness, so that we can receive wisdom and knowledge.

Benefits of Yoga  

At physical level

Improves muscle tone, flexibility, strength and stamina.   Lowers fat, Improves circulation, Stimulates the immune system

Meditation keeps one young. Younger biological age i.e. one is younger than one’s   chronological age.

Deep rest-as measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart.

Lowers levels of chemicals associated with stress eg.  cortisol and lactate.

It reduces the chances of tissue damage though, the free radicals are controlled.

Decreased high blood pressure.

Drop in cholesterol levels.

Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients.  

And that’s just the surface stuff. In fact, most of the benefits mentioned above are secondary to yoga’s original purpose.

 

At mental level

Helps you relax and handle stressful situations more easily.

Encourages positive thoughts and self-acceptance.

Reduces stress and tension, anxiety, depression, irritability and moodiness.

Boosts self esteem,

Improves concentration and creativity

Heals old traumas

Increases brain wave coherence. Harmony of brain wave activity in different parts of the brain is associated with greater creativity, improved moral reasoning, and higher IQ. Improves comprehensive ability and memory.

Enhances emotional stability.

Brings happiness and leads to vitality and rejuvenation.

 

At spiritual level

Builds comprehensive awareness.

Promotes an interdependence between mind, body, and spirit.

Helps you live the concept of “oneness.”   

Creates sense of well being and calm.

Makes one to discover one’s true nature i.e. realizing one’s self, in finding what  one seeks – consciously or unconsciously.

Controls the mind.

Sets one free from one’s illusions and preconceptions that prevents from fulfilling oneself.

Attains the union between a person’s own consciousness and the cosmic consciousness.

 

The Ancient Yoga seers perceived the physical body as a vehicle, with the mind as driver, the soul as one’s trueself, with action, emotion and intelligence as the three forces which pull the body-vehicle. The ancient yoga seers assemble an exclusive technique to bring the body, mind and soul together into one harmonious experience by balancing action, emotion and intelligence.

Yoga Exercise Ball  When Exercise balls are used in yoga it is called as yoga ball exercise.

 

Research

References and abstract of research papers published in international Journals on Therapeutic yoga. more…

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