Meditating TechniquesAdvantages of YogaTreating Back Injuries - yoga can heal back injuries that you may have by increasing the blood circulation for your injured tissues to heal faster and strengthening your lower back muscles; yoga may also in several cases heal other types of injuries as wellPrevention - Yoga also has the power to reduce chances of re-injuring yourself, shorten the time needed to recover from injuries and serve as a regular exercise technique to prevent disabilitiesMental Clarity and Improved Stress Control The quiet and deeply relaxing techniques used in yoga would help you have a better state of mind every day at work and better control of your stress levelsGreater Self-Understanding and General Well-Being Find yourself amazed with how much at peace you feel with yourself when you start "practicing yoga" regularlyGenerally Better Physical Health Besides getting that ideal toned figure youve been aiming for, yoga will also help in refreshing your kidneys and maintain a better postureBetter Sleep Rediscover the simple pleasures of sleeping with the help of yoga.Beginners Tips for Yoga PracticeConsult Your Doctor Before launching on to the first yoga step you encounter, make sure that your doctor gives you the go-ahead to do so. Yes, its true that anyone can technically do yoga but there are certain difficult poses that would be impossible or dangerous to attempt if you are troubled with past injuries or disabilities.Just to be on the safe side, talk to your doctor and ask him if you can yoga your way to having a sexy figure or not.Classes or Private Lessons When youre determined to join a yoga class, make sure that youre joining a class whose level fits yours. Make sure that you join the class on the first day as well to avoid feelings of insecurity when you see others being able to tackle new yoga poses that boggle the mind. Secondly, choose a class schedule that you can regularly adhere to. If you only attend a class or two every two months, thats sort of defeating the point of joining a class in the first place. Lastly, choose the type of yoga class that fits your taste and abilities.On the other hand, if youre not the social type, you can always attempt yoga practice at home and with the comforts of privacy. The only disadvantage to this however is the chance that youre not doing something right and the possibility of causing harm to yourself. The best compromise, in this case, would be to hire a private teacher for a lesson or two or until you know enough to practice on your own.
Yoga - the oldest system of personal development needs no introduction nowadays. Its popularity can be estimated by the fact that more than 15 million people practice yoga in USA alone. Almost every health club in a country like UK has yoga classes. In India where the yoga system was originated it was not practiced on mass level until couple of years ago. Of course, yoga was taught as a free service for years by organization like Bhartiya Yog Sansthan in public park but never before as an unquestionable and unsafe mass hysteria. Recently with the help of TV channels the whole concept of Yoga has rejuvenated in India. Baba Ramdev Ji, the Indian yoga guru has started teaching yoga to the masses to the extent of millions of people. It is really good that now people in India are developing healthy habits by waking up early in the morning followed by energizing yoga practice, thanks to TV channels and Baba Ramdev. As Yoga exercises have tremendous physical and medical benefits which help people to get rid of various diseases, it is good that those TV channels and Baba Ramdev and others are doing marvelous work to help the nation to get rid of diseases. However, like every other science, yoga is also a precise science. The question is: Are all yoga exercises safe to teach through the TV media and can the same exercise be taught to all people with various health conditions? This is the question which requires deeper digging into the subject of yoga itself otherwise the consequences of doing yoga practice could be more dangerous than beneficial said Subodh Gupta, Yoga expert from India. Let us understand how:There are some breathing exercises like simple alternate nostril breathing (without holding the breath), which can be taught easily without much complications and have various benefits. However, at the same time some of the exercises, for example: kapalabhati breathing technique which is taught to the masses is quite questionable. This exercise even though having tremendous benefits, can be equally dangerous if somebody has heart disease or problem related to hernia said Subodh. Will it help or rather make the hernia and heart problem worse? considering the fact that many Indians suffer from hernia and heart problem. For example, according to the National Digestive Disease Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), potential causes for hernia include anything that creates increased pressure in the abdomen. This includes: coughing, vomiting, straining/constipation, etc. Now considering this information what about the forceful exhalation which people do while practicing kapalabhati or other pranayama exercises and how far these can be dangerous for people having hernia? Perhaps medical expert can better answer this question in more details. Similarly there are number of other yoga postures which require great precautions. As we all have different body structures and different fitness level, conducting same exercises (apart from very few which are comparatively safe) for 30000 people in a camp without checking their medical conditions is quite questionable. Also Are the instructions about kapalabhati and other yoga exercises safely delivered by Gurus? Are they ensuring that people are following their practices safely? Is it really safe for the beginner to learn yoga only through the TV channels?Well, it is a serious question for the swami Ramdev Ji and others who are teaching yoga to masses to answer said Subodh Gupta. If seems that in India there is no governing body which understands the fragility of adverse impact of yoga exercises if done in improper way. No doubt yoga is effective for treating various diseases and a noble effort has been taken by Swami Ramdev and organizations like Vivekananda Yoga Anusandhana but unless these exercises are not done in a proper system and with supervision, the whole concept of yoga teaching will become more of mockery or maybe it has already become. Perhaps in near future when the ill effect of unsafe yoga practice will come to the limelight, the media will come up with great news stating that 50 or 100 million Indians are making fun with yoga everyday in front of TV and playing with their health. Issued in public interest by Subodh Gupta, for all those who are beginners and are learning yoga through TV, video cassette, DVD or in camps with hundreds of other people.
The best technique for any person contemplating to take up yoga is not to contemplate but to concentrate - on how yoga and its techniques is escalating into a world wide epidemic where yoga exercises are helping ailing patients and others who seek peace of mind.Understanding yoga is a lot less complicated than you could imagine but if you are thinking of taking up the practice then there are some yoga techniques you need to be aware of and apply through out the exerciseYoga is with out a doubt one of the most effective exercises performed to today in helping people to stay in shape and to keep fit and healthy. You will be surprised how yoga fits into your daily way of life due to the fact that is can be practiced almost anywhere and any timePeople are genuinely taking more and more interest in keeping their fitness levels at a point where they are gaining a healthier lifestyle and this is all thanks to yoga. Yoga techniques are beneficial in servicing your body organs. Muscles, joints, glands, tissues are also maintained by some techniques of yoga. There are 5 yoga techniques which you may enjoy including into your workout these are meditation, relaxation, deep breathing, posture and movement of the joints. Every one of these yoga functions has it own technique.Better known as the (sandhichalana) is where the movement of joints come into play. This is performed and solely directed by yoga followers towards easing the joints. Joints are freed from stiffness by undergoing and practicing full movements which consist of hand neck and lower limb movements.A yoga technique behind the relaxation exercise is to be able to deepen your concentration pattern which aims to help deter any interference that attracts your attention easily. The Hong-Sau is another technique used which assists you further in focusing on the concealed powers of concentration. This is great yoga routine that can help you battle any meddling disturbances while at the same time providing you with a relaxed and calm feeling on the inside.Each to their own on what exercise to exercise but one of the most popular is the Aum technique which stretches awareness far beyond any limitations that your body and mind creates. By maintaining an uninterrupted meditation mode you gain contentment.Many of the techniques mentioned will not be advisable for the beginner so therefore guidance from a yoga master would be your best approach. Be sure to ask questions on different types of yoga and the techniques, this will help you decide which one to take up.Check it out for yourself, go along to a local class in your area and watch just how many people are leaving you behind in claiming better body awareness and a content positive approach to life.
As it is generally admitted by yoga practitioners and yoga trainers, yoga sessions are very much about self equilibrium, peacefulness and meditation. By practicing meditation we can all reach the sublime state of learning the purpose of our existence and maximizing our will to reach it. Studies have proven that meditation highly contributes to both physical and psychological well-being, which is why yoga routines consider the practice of meditation as one of its main principles. Reducing physical pain, stress and blood pressure, meditation promotes a state of mind, by which we can achieve self-healing. Due to all these uncontestable benefits that this practice involves, there is a great variety of information available in different formats, regarding the most efficient meditation techniques, postures, courses, products and forums. Religion and psychology promote meditation as well, as a way of assessing our actions and seeking self improvements. As many theories and ancient believes demonstrate, our present life is determined by our previous actions, which is why it is vital to analyze and meditate on the things we do, in order to find ways of improving ourselves and thus, creating a brighter future.Meditation is definitely one of the main principles of yoga, as it has been verified that it is a trustworthy tool to use for achieving mental clarity and health. A very important thing to know is the fact that there are various types of meditation exercises, designed for advanced or beginner yoga students. Thus, you have to carefully analyze all details and information provided on each and every one of these techniques and exercises, so that you obtain the maximum results, from your meditation routines. Despite the fact that many people believe that, just like breathing, meditation is something that comes naturally and cannot be taught, there are a few aspects of this process, which can increase your efficiency and your results, in no time. One of the aspects you have to bear in mind is the time of the day when you carry out your yoga meditation; hence, it would be perfect if you could do it either in the morning or late in the evening, as during those particular moments of the day, the atmosphere is charged with a high level of spiritual energy.Here is some advice regarding meditation:* Before starting the meditation session free your mind of all worries. * Try to locate a quiet place, where you are not likely to be disturbed. * It is recommended to choose the same moment of the day, as well as the same place, for your meditation routine. * Focus on meditation; do not let your mind get lost in other thoughts.* Try to follow a pattern when breathing. * Your head, back and neck have to be placed in a perfect straight line.Remember that it is crucial both to perform the meditation session and to observe the results, in order to get close to experiencing the supreme synchronization between the body and the spirit.
he trend of 5-faced photographs and images of Gayatri is seen, so that those who take recourse to the spiritual practice of this MahaMantra, ask a pertinent question as to what we should do in future? Mantra chanting, meditation, eulogies to God, reading religious texts, sacrificial fire rites etc. are preliminary practices. As a result of this, the preliminary goal of purification of the body and concentration of the mind is achieved. Yet there are more milestones to be reached. For its attainment spiritual seekers should look out for necessary information and then imbibe alertness, steadfastness and capability, to walk on that path. If a spiritual seeker remembers all this always, then know for sure that the aim behind creating photos/images of a 5-faced Gayatri has been duly achieved.In reality Gayatri is the worldwide Super Power of the Almighty Lord. It has no particular form. If one desires to have a glimpse of Gods form, it can be in the form of light only. Wisdom is compared to light. The god of Gayatri is Savita. Savita means the sun a gigantic ball of brilliant light. When Gayatri Super Power manifests in a spiritual seeker, he gets a glimpse of a pinpoint of light, when he meditates. A spiritual seeker sees a small/ big ball of light either in his heart, head, navel or eyes. Sometimes it augments and at other times it diminishes. Many types of shapes, colors of light rays are seen in it. In the beginning stages it keeps oscillating, sometimes it is visible and at other times it disappears. But slowly a state comes, when all the different shapes, movement and colors are warded off and only a point of light remains. In the initial stages, this light is of a small shape and with lesser radiance but when ones soul state advances, this point of light starts enlarging, becomes more dazzling and manifests a lot of bliss. Just as a lotus blooms forth when the early morning sunlight caresses its bud, so too when our inner soul is touched by this divine light, it experiences bliss of Brahman, absolute bliss and bliss of ones very existence and consciousness. Just as the Indian red-legged partridge (bird) keeps gazing at the moon for the whole night, in the same way a spiritual seeker yearns to experience untold bliss by gazing at this inner light. Sometimes one desires that just as a moth lays down his life for the flame lamp i.e. it gives up its ordinary existence for the glorious flame, so too I must merge my lowly individual ego into this cosmic light of God.This is a minor glimpse of meditation on the formless Brahman (God). From the standpoint of experience, a spiritual seeker feels he is experiencing Brahman and spiritual wisdom. The gift of wisdom i.e. imbibing great idealistic activities in our daily lives should awaken within us, inspirations and yearnings. Not only awakening but that it is taking the form of a firm resolve, inner state and as truth. This is the symbol of experience of divine light. Because when the ignorance of power of illusion (Maya) and selfishness is overcome, man starts thinking with a generous viewpoint and imbibes acts of great men. Such a person never hesitates to step daringly on the path of spirituality, unlike people full of avarice, selfishness, delusion and narrow worldly attachments. In order to execute appropriate acts, he marches ahead speedily on the path of spiritual well-being with great valor and enterprise.So far we have dealt with the nature of high stature wisdom and meditation on the divine power in the form of Gayatri. In the preliminary stages, it is not possible to get such high stature experiences. One must first imbibe preliminary, spiritual practices like Mantra chanting, worship, meditation, eulogies, fire sacrifices etc. At such times it is a must that one takes help of photographs and images. Meditation in the preliminary stages is possible only via name and form. The stage of formless meditation is very much higher up on the scale. Even in that state there is no need to give up image worship and instead by including it in ones daily chores, one controls ones accumulated psychic imprints. When a huge building is constructed, its foundation is in the form of pebbles and stones. Once a firm foundation is laid down, one can build a building of various hues and designs. Later one fails to notice the pebbles / stones in the foundation, yet there is no need to renounce or mock at them. One should realize that the basis and firm foundation of that gigantic building are these pebbles, stones etc. The spiritual progress of meditation with form too can be called a foundation stone. In the preliminary stages its requirement is a must. Thus the commencement of spirituality right from ancient times has taken place with the help of image worship and steadily it marches ahead. It is with reference to this that the shape of Gayatri Super Power has been molded. Just like other images of God, its image too right from ancient times has been used in mediation and worship of God.Ordinarily only the image of a human face with one face and 2 arms are apt. This is the best from for meditation and worship. Gayatri too should have those kinds of hands and legs just like a spiritual seekers beloved mother has. Hence in meditation and worship, one uses the image of Gayatri Mother having 2 arms and one face seated on a white swan and having a book and water pot in her hands. But in some regions one sees images with 5 faces. Maybe its meditation and worship is not apt, yet it has one important message and direction in it. We must see that minutely.The five faces of Gayatri are the 5 sheaths covering a Jeeva (living being). They are the 5 manifestations and the ten arms of the 10 Sidhis (divine powers) and experiences. Five arms are on the left hand side and the other 5 are on the right hand side. It points out to the 5 material and 5 spiritual powers and Sidhis that are conjoined to Gayatri Super Power. Whenever this Super Power manifests, there one will definitely see the 10 experiences, special qualities and wealth. The meaning of executing spiritual practices is not merely sitting in one particular spot daily so as to perform some scientific rite. In fact it means that by making our entire life a form of spiritual endeavour one should raise the stature of ones qualities, actions and nature so high, that one sees those divine glories in them, which are found in a symbolic form in the image of the 5-faced Gayatri. The aim of spiritual practices is to generate divine energy. When 10 energies and 10 Sidhis are attained, know for sure that some spiritual seeker is successfully marching ahead on the path of high leveled spiritual practices.The 5 faces of Gayatri tell us that the 5 demi gods of a living beings very existence are conjoined to it, so as to fulfill its goal. Because they are under the influence of sleep, they look dead and hence are of no use. As a result a living being exists like a weakling. But if these powerful aides are activated, if their power is aptly utilized, then man instead of leading an ordinary run-of-the-mill life actually attains extraordinary material and spiritual heights. Man will get a golden chance of renouncing his demeaned state and in its place, lead a life of exalted glory. The 5 elements of the body have been depicted as the 5 demi-gods as follows The Lord of space is Vishnu. The goddess of fire is Maheshwari power. The Lord of wind is Sun. The Lord of earth is Shiva and the Lord of water is Ganapati Ganesh. In this manner the 5 gods of our body are the Lords (existence) of the 5 elements (KAPILTANTRA). The 5 Pranas (vital force) too are called 5 demi-gods.All living beings have 5 demi-gods. Because they are imbibed with vital force, they are Shiva. This group manifests Kundalini Shakti (Divine Serpent Power). Its shape is like that of dazzling lightning. (TANTRARNAV)Kundalini is awakened when the 5 sheaths of our body are activated. When the Kundalini is activated the 5 sheaths of the body of a spiritual seeker radiates brilliance (MAHAYOG-VIGNAN)The human body is made up of 5 elements. Its Sattva Guna is seen as the 5 radiations of consciousness. (1) Mind (2) Intellect (3) Will (4) Mind stuff or psyche (5) Ego.From the Rajas principle of the 5 elements arise the 5 Pranas or Vital Forces. On this basis the 5 sense organs carry out the functions of the 5 sense objects.From the Tamas principle of the 5 elements is created the gross/physical body. They form 1) Juice 2) Blood 3) Flesh 4) Bones 5) Marrow. The 5 special organs viz. brain, heart, liver, lungs, kidneys and the 5 sense organs of action are a creation of this area.The 5 demi-gods given to us, in order to help the living body, are also called the 5 sheaths. Superficially the body looks single yet its power augments more and more. Despite being invisible, it is so powerful that if it is activated, man can become great from lowly and also the cosmic soul (God) from his present status of an individual soul. These 5 coverings of a living being are called the 5 sheaths 1) Food Sheath 2) Vital Force Sheath 3) Mental Sheath 4) Intellectual Sheath 5) Bliss Sheath.Taitariya Unpanishad proclaims that the Vital Force Sheath is in the Food Sheath, the Mental Sheath is in the Vital Force Sheath, the Intellectual Sheath is in the Mental Sheath and that the Bliss Sheath is in the Intellectual Sheath. Over here there is some parity and at some places there are differences. Its discussion is as follows Man is full of food and juice. This is its head. This is its southern aspect. This is its northern aspect. It is the soul. The hind tail is situated on the Merudand (subtle spine).-TAITARIYA UPANISHAD ( 2/ 1/ 1)The soul which is within the Food Sheath made up of food, juice etc. is yet separate from it and is the vital force. It is omnipotent. It is of the same shape. Its activities too are similar. The vital force of the Vital Force Sheath is the head. Its Vyan vital force is the Southern aspect and the Apan vital force is the northern aspect. Space is its soul. Its status in earth is tail-like.-TAITARIYA UPANISHAD ( 2/ 2/ 1)Separate from the Vital Force Sheath is the Mental Sheath. The Vital Force Sheath overflows with the Mental Sheath. It is very similar to it. The Vital Force Sheath is very similar to the Mental Sheath. Yaju is its head. Rig is the southern aspect and Sam is its northern aspect. Its soul is command.-TAITARIYA UPANISHAD ( 2/ 3/ 1)Why are the Vedas correlated to the Mental Sheath? This answer is given in the Shankar Bhashya (commentary) in SankalpaManthan and the sentiments are depicted in the form of Yaju, Rig, Sama Vedas.Different from the Mental Sheath is the Intellectual Sheath. The Mental Sheath is covered by the Intellectual Sheath. This is the Intellectual Sheath and is similar to Purusha. It is like the Mental Sheath. Faith is its head. Relative truth is its southern aspect and divine truth its northern aspect. Yoga is its soul. Its hind status is in importance.-TAITARIYA UPANISHAD ( 2/ 4/ 1)The Bliss Sheath despite dwelling within the Intellectual Sheath is separate from it. The Intellectual Sheath overflows with Bliss Sheath. This too is similar to Purusha (God). It is like the Intellectual Sheath. Beloved is its head. Inner bliss is its southern aspect and external joy is its northern aspect. Bliss is its soul. Its hind status is in Brahman.-TAITARIYA UPANISHAD ( 2/5/ 1)In the PANCHDASHI religious text the verses 3, 5, 6, 7, 8 of chapter three, depict the 5 sheaths as follows:The body of a creation of the fathers sperm, which in turn is made from the food that he partakes, is situated in the Food Sheath. Because the body undergoes birth and death, it cannot be the soul. The conscious soul is different from it.-PANCHDASHI (3/3)The Vital Force Sheath which is an inspirer of the senses which give power, abound within the body. But this too being unconscious like the body, cannot be the soul. It is separate.-PANCHDASHI 3/5What exactly are the 5 sheaths? The Upanishads while describing them say The group of sheaths created by food; this visible body is called the Food Sheath. The group of 14 elements along with the vital force (Prana) is called the Vital Force Sheath. The group of sense organs and mind, embedded in these 2 sheaths, is called the Mental Sheath. The Intellectual Sheath plays the roles of discrimination (Viveka) and intellect. The natural form and place of the soul, present within these bodies is called the Bliss Sheath.In this manner human consciousness has been partitioned in 5 ways. This partitioning is called 5 sheaths. The Food Sheath means sense organ consciousness. The Vital Force Sheath means our very life force. The Mental Sheath means thought process. The Intellectual Sheath means the unconscious center and flow of sentiments. The Bliss Sheath means soul wisdom and activation of the soul.The state of living beings evolves on the basis of these conscious layers.The high stature spiritual practice of Gayatri is carried out so as to unveil the 5 sheaths and activate them. In order to point at this high stature spiritual practice, the symbolic form of the 5-faced Gayatri is depicted. This depiction points at the activation of this chief potential of the 5 sheaths of the subtle body and thus attains supreme benefits of this great science.Via these sheaths one can attain that divine potential which can decorate our personality with wealth and glory. The conscious arena can be made as wealthy as the Lord of Wealth called Kubera. Sheath means a veil or a covering. When these veils are removed one after another, you ultimately come face to face with the absolute truth / reality. Those obstructions in the form of mental taints are removed due to activation / unveiling of the 5 sheaths which are the root cause of the living being failing to attain those powers given by the Lord and as a result of which, he leads a demeaned life.The partitioning of the 5 sheaths has been presented in the categorization of the three bodies. These 3 are the gross, subtle and casual bodies. It is called Tripada Gayatri (3-legged). The gross body is made up of the food and Vital Force Sheath. The 5 elements and 5 Vital Forces ( Pranas) are embedded in it. The subtle body is made up of the mental and Intellectual Sheath. These 2 can be called conscious intellect and unconscious mind. The casual body is made up of the Bliss Sheath. Certain scholars differ on this subject, yet the reality is this only.
While many consider Yoga to be a form a physical exercise, it is also known to be an exercise in spiritual development. Most would agree that the true goal of Yoga is to provide the individual with the means to achieve inner peace and balance. To achieve these lofty goals, students are encouraged to become familiar Yoga's eight fold path. The eight fold path consists of eight disciplines; Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samhadi.The first fold, Yama, advises students to engage with the world from a moral standpoint, and is actually broken down into five distinct elements. The first element, Ahimsa, teaches the student to respect the world around him. The second, Satya, teaches that one should be honest with themselves and with others. The third, Asteya, teaches not to steal from another. The fourth, Bramacharya, advises against overindulgence of any form. The fifth, Aparigraha, teaches the student to live a simple life that is not distracted by material things.Niyama, or the second fold, is considered the path of self restraint and consists of three distinct elements. Shaugh, the first element, teaches students to keep the body and mind clean and pure. Santosh, the second element, teaches the student to be happy and contented with the task at hand and to give an honest effort in all endeavors. Tapa, the third element, suggests that certain pleasures must be given up in order to attain one's goals.Asana is the third of the eight fold path, and it is concerned with physical training and building stamina. Asana is made up of 84 yoga poses, which are focused on developing strength, increasing health, and preparing for meditation. This stage is as much about physical conditioning, as it is mental or psychological discipline. Pranayama, the fourth fold, concerns controlled breathing. Proper breathing is important for mastering true relaxation and self discipline. The proper way to breathe while practicing yoga is to breathe in, and breathe out while pausing in between.Pratyahara is the fifth of the eight folds, and is concerned with the individual's control of sensory stimulation. The intent is to induce a sense of inner peace and quiet, by tuning out external stimulation. Dharana is the sixth fold, and it is primarily concerned with focusing one's concentration on meditation. When a meditative state has been attained the student is then on to the seventh step, Dhyana. The final step, Samhadi, is attained when all previous steps have been completed and the individual experiences a true oneness with all things. The student is, as of this point, in tune with the universal flow. Namaste!