Panchakosha and Theraputic use of Yoga

Yoga is not just the physical exercise. To use yoga in therapeutic way one must know that how disease occurs in the body. And to know how disease occurs there is Panchakosha (5-layer) concept. Here I shall start with the concept of Panchakosha.

Panchakosa (Sanskrit: पञ्च कोश; “five sheaths”) from root pancha, “five” + kosha, “body” — is the “five bodies,” or discernible “aspects” of man, arranged successively from the grosser to the increasingly more subtle. Continue reading “Panchakosha and Theraputic use of Yoga”

7 best yoga poses of mine

Yoga is derived from Sanskrit word “Yuja” which means to Unite. The unification of Mind, soul and body is defined as Yoga.  Yoga is for longevity of life, happiness and living healthy lifestyle. Yoga deals with the extensively with every aspect of our life according to Vedas.  Asana is the therapeutic  exercise practice for health.  Asanas purify and strengthen the body and control and focus the mind. Asana is defined as “posture;” its literal meaning is “seat.” Originally, the asanas served as stable postures for prolonged meditation. There are thousands of asanas among them I like few most which is easy and very beneficial I try to mention some of them below. Continue reading “7 best yoga poses of mine”

My expirence on the path of Samadhi

Last article was just an introduction to Samadhi.

To be in Samadhi one should have zero mind. i.e think nothing. Everybody says this statement, but question arises here HOW?

It’s all practice you need to do. The qualities of Mind are Aanutwo and Aakatwo. i.e to think single thing in its minute nature.To go to its deepest possible cause. This is the quality of mind. However in modern time, right from birth mind start to divert elsewhere. A child feels borde to watch the shows that has less frame rate. His mind is totally diverted from the original property of mind. Now he can’t stay calm from mind even for a second. That is why I am still unable to get Samadhi, and this may be the cause in you. So we must first make our mind to gain its original power or qualities. It is possible only by practicing. Continue reading “My expirence on the path of Samadhi”

What is Samadhi?

Some says wisdom lead to Samadhi. Osho says sambhog is one path to Samadhi. Some also say LSD is false way to Samadhi. So what Samadhi really is? Is yoga a path of Samadhi? How do we acquire it? Is it that; we must always try to acquire Samadhi? Many questions on mind.

In our seminars we take people through a process until their perception of any one single event is perfectly balanced. The event is no longer good or bad, right or wrong, it is simply perfect as it is. At this point amazing experiences occur for the person undergoing the collapse process. With a perfectly balanced perception of the event, the individual is free to acknowledge the order in that event. They are then free to become grateful to the person, persons or thing that caused the event, and in so doing release love. Samadhi means to merge—bring both sides of duality and judgement to one at which time, in perfect symmetry, love is birthed. Continue reading “What is Samadhi?”

Life, Yoga and the Universe

Yoga texts divide the universe into two distinct areas, above and below, or purusa and prakrti.  Purusa is above. It is unchanging, constant and that part of us capable of ‘real’ seeing and perception. Prakrti is below. It is that part that is ever changing—our mind, memories and emotions. All material things, matter and life is prakrti, the source of which is the one—the original matter from which all things are formed.

We have a soul—a timeless, spaceless entity which is outside our body. This soul (pupusa) is unchanging, constant. We are the higher mind, and that is our being which has the ability to listen to the soul, or the material world, of prakrti. The material world is a reflection, a mirror, of the soul and as a consequence we are challenged to see the perfection of creation in our lives as they are in the material world. It is therefore a challenge to be in the material world, to interact and participate with others and to master, rather than escape from, the seven areas of life. Continue reading “Life, Yoga and the Universe”

Yogic Chakras and Astrology| Chakra-Astrology relation

As it is well known to all the yogis that, “Chakras are centers of spiritual energy.” It is correlated as nerve plexus with the modern science. However  its not just nerve plexus. Spiritual subject are beyond science. Here; lets approach yogic chakra and Astrology with their relation.

Besides our ‘outer birth chart’ relating to the physical body is an ‘inner birth chart’ of the astral body that reveals the life pattern of our soul. The main factors that make up the astral body are the seven chakras from the root to the crown. The chakras have detailed astro­logical equivalents in Vedic astrology, which has its own special way of examining the astral body through the birth chart.

Our inner Sun of Prana moves up and down the spine and the chakra system along with each breath, traversing our inner zodiac along the way. Each breath constitutes a day for our inner Pranic Sun, with our inhalation as the day time and our exhalation as the night time. This is the astrological basis of Yoga Pranayama techniques that aim at moving the awakened or spiritually energized Prana up and down the spine during the practice. If we can do this, then each one of our breaths will have a great power for activating the chakras and arous-ing the Kundalini, the serpent power that opens the chakras, and which itself is the awakened energy of our inner Pranic Sun.

Not only the Sun but all the planets move through our subtle body or inner zodiac. They can be located in the chakras of the subtle body and their corresponding signs of the zodiac. The six chakras or energy centers of the astral body reflect the seven planets and the twelve signs that they rule. This sequence follows the orbits of planets around the Sun from the Sun as the third eye or head center, with the Sun and Moon considered as two aspects of one planet in terms of sign and chakra rulership.

Chakra Planet Solar Sign Lunar Sign
1. Third Eye (Ajna) Sun/Moon Leo Cancer
2. Throat Chakra (Visshuddha) Mercury Virgo Gemini ‘
3. Heart Chakra (Anahata) Venus Libra Taurus
4. Navel Chakra (Manipura) Mars Scorpio Aries
5. Sex Chakra (Svadhishthana) Jupiter Sagittarius Pisces
6. Root Chakra (Muladhara) Saturn Capricorn Aquarius

The Sun and Moon are well known in yogic thought as the right and left eyes of the Cosmic Person (Purusha) and relate to the two petals of the third eye center (Ajna chakra). They show our consciousness in its masculine and feminine, or will and feeling sides as activated through the right and left, the solar and lunar, pingala and ida nadis that traverse the entire chakra system from the base of the spine to the nostrils.

Mercury is the well-known ruler of speech and intellect, which relate to the throat chakra. Venus relates to love and affection and to the heart chakra. Mars rules the navel or fire center, our energy, drives and passions. Jupiter rules the reproductive system and the creative energy, our potential to expand. Saturn rules elimination and support and is the coarsest of the planetary influences, our potential to con­tract and the root chakra. Rahu and Ketu, in their role of shadowing the Sun and Moon, relate to the ida and pingala, the left and right nadis.

The ancient Vedic yoga and the solar religions of the entire an­cient world speak of the resurrection of the Sun out of darkness, or the building up of the circle of the Sun. This is the process of taking our life-force and intelligence, our soul or inner Sun, out of the cycle of ignorance, death, time and breath and into the superconsciousv breathless states. It can be approached in several ways. Yogic practices direct the prana or life-force through the different chakras with man­tra, pranayama and other energetic practices. Meditation or knowl­edge teachings Qnana Yoga) build up the different aspects of direct perception. Devotional teachings (Bhakti Yoga) approach the chakras through the worship of or devotion to different deities.

Pranayama (“breath control”) in Yoga

Pranayama (“breath control”) is the fourth limb on the eight-limbed path of raja yoga. Sometimes described as the science of breath or extension of the breath, pranayama is a highly evolved system of practices that can enable men to gain control over the breath. It follows asanas, or the practice of physical poses, on the eight-runged ladder to self-realization.

Pranayama is considered an invaluable practice because of the vital role that prana (“air,” “breath,” or “vital life-force energy”) is believed to play in a man’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. According to the tradition of yoga, prana is more than just air: It is the vital life energy that animates the being of not only every man, but also the entire world. The concept of a vital life energy that animates the entire universe is central to not only the yogic tradition, but also numerous other Asian civilizations, as well as to the belief systems of many indigenous peoples and shamanistic cultures.

Breath is life. Without oxygen, we would perish within a matter of minutes. Our first experience of life is the first breath we inhale. We intuitively know the profound wisdom of the breath. It can be an indicator of an internal, emotional state or a state of health. Shallow, rapid breathing can be a sign of internal disorder and stress. Troubled or irregular breathing can be a sign of illness. Deep, rhythmic breathing makes us feel better. When trying to calm an anxious friend, we intuitively suggest: “Take a deep breath.”

Yogis have studied the power of the breath for millennia. They have discovered that by controlling the breath, we can control the mind. Thus, learning how to exercise appropriate control over the breath can be an invaluable tool on the road to liberation and the bliss of super conscious meditation.

Most people breathe in a shallow fashion—from the chest. The most efficient breathing uses the abdomen and diaphragm fully, and is often called diaphragmatic breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing is more effective than chest breathing because it allows us to take in a greater amount of oxygen. Oxygen is vital to our sustained health and well-being. Once taken into the lungs, oxygen is transferred to the blood, where it circulates throughout a man’s entire system. This oxygen is transferred down to the minute cell level, where it provides the unique and essential purpose of supplying the energy that each cell needs to accomplish its role. Without oxygen, our entire system would shut down and we would die. Once oxygen has been transferred to each cell, a trade takes place whereby carbon dioxide released as a result of metabolism within each cell is exchanged back into the blood. The blood carries it to the heart and lungs, from whence it is discharged back into the atmosphere through exhalation of the breath.

This important role of oxygen is reflected in the use of the scientific term “vital capacity” to describe our ability to take in oxygen. Yogic breathing practices are designed to help us increase the amount of oxygen we take in, and consequently, increase our vital capacity.

One of the most common techniques taught in pranayama is three-part yogic breathing.This technique brings one’s awareness to the breath in such a way that the duration of each inhalation and exhalation is lengthened. One does this by mindfully inhaling air in three steps: first, into the belly; next, into the mid-chest; and finally, all the way up to the shoulders and collarbones. Once the inhalation is complete, the breath is exhaled in three parts: first, from the top of the chest; second, from the mid-chest; and finally, from the abdomen. This cycle of breathing is repeated a number of times to provide increased oxygenation to the body, as well as to relax and restore.

A second popular breathing technique is called nadi shodhanam (“purification of the channels” or “channel cleansing”), known popularly as “Alternate Nostril Breathing.” Yogis believe that energy flows through the body via a network of subtle energy channels, or nadis. The sushumna channel runs up through the center of the spine, and the ida (associated with feminine energy) and pingala (masculine) nadis intertwine around it. Energy travels through the ida and pingala  nadis in a regular, cyclic pattern. Alternate Nostril Breathing is designed to help balance the flow of masculine and feminine energy, which represent opposite poles of the self in the body. This breathing practice also helps to balance the right and left hemispheres of the brain, and has a deeply harmonizing and unifying effect on the entire body/mind/spirit.

A third common yogic breathing technique is kapalabhati (“lustrous”) breath. It is said to be the breath that makes the entire face radiant and lustrous. This pranayama technique entails rapid, forceful exhalations of the breath and relaxed inhalations. It is said to cleanse and purify the body. In addition, it warms the body, particularly the energy in the solar plexus, which is associated with the rising of the creative kundalini energy that is believed to lie at the base of the spine. Because of its warming effect, kapalabhati breath is also popularly called “breath of fire.”

There are many other yoga breathing techniques and exercises that have been developed over time. These techniques provide detailed instructions for precise ways to inhale, retain, and expel the breath. Many of these techniques are advanced and should be undertaken only under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

The three pranayama exercises described in this section, however, are simple to perform. In fact, they are often incorporated into a hatha yoga class—sometimes at the beginning or end of a class, during the performance of the physical postures themselves, or as a relaxation or energizer between postures. Because they are such powerful yoga techniques, you will find detailed information on how to incorporate them into your yoga practice in the following section. As with any technique presented in this book, however, do not undertake pranayama exercises if you have any medical concern without first consulting your primary healthcare provider.

Kapalabhati (कपालभाति) Lustrous Breath in Yoga

Kapalabhati, कपालभाति or “Lustrous Breath,” is one of the extremely energizing and vitalizing breathing techniques. In a short period of time, it brings a great volume of oxygen into the body, helps to warm and invigorate the vital organs, and aids in circulating blood quickly throughout the entire body.

In preparation to practice Lustrous Breath, assume a comfortable seated position as described in “Alternate Nostril Breathing.” Allow your hands to rest gently on your kneecaps, thighs, or in your lap. Take a few deep breaths to center yourself. Now, as you breathe through your nose, contract your abdomen as you exhale. Press your navel toward your spine as you expel whatever air is in your abdomen. (See Fig. 16.3.) As soon as the air is expelled, let your abdomen relax as your body naturally inhales fresh air. Then, exhale once again, as you contract your abdomen. Let your emphasis be on the quick, rapid, and forceful (but not forced or painful!) exhalation of air from your abdomen. Your abdomen flattens as you compress it on the exhalation, and the air naturally fills it again as you inhale. Continue exhaling and inhaling in this manner. The rapid contraction and filling of your abdomen as air is expelled and inhaled creates a type of pumping motion. If you have difficulty practicing Lustrous Breath, you might imagine that there is a feather resting on the top of your nose and you are trying to blow it off, contracting the muscles of your abdomen to initiate the exhalation. As you exhale, compress your bellybutton back toward your spine.

As you practice this breathing technique, you may want to have a handkerchief or some tissues at hand. You may find mucous secretions being more actively released from your nose on your forceful exhalations. Lustrous Breath has the added benefit of helping clear and cleanse the nasal passageways.

When you first begin to practice Lustrous Breath, try doing 20 to 30 Lustrous Breaths at a time (one active exhalation followed by a spontaneous inhalation constitutes one Lustrous Breath). Pause and rest. Then try some more. With experience, you will probably find that you can increase the period of time and numbers of inhalations and exhalations that you can accomplish without feeling fatigued.

Lustrous Breath can be particularly invigorating and energizing. As you experiment with it, see what effect it has on you. How do you feel after a round of Lustrous Breath repetitions? How do you feel relative to how you felt before you began this breathing practice? Are you aware of any difficulties or pleasurable effects that you experience as a result of this practice? As your day progresses, are you aware of any changes in your level of energy? Feel the importance of kapalbhati in yoga.

 

Salute to the Sun ( Suryanamaskara)

 

 

Surya Namaskar is one of the best yoga postures. This posture is great form of exercise for the healthy living. Further it is useful in many other treatements.

During the practice of the sun salutation or as it’s known in its traditional form – Suryanamaskara – nearly every muscle, organ and tissue of the body is activated, stimulated and awakened. Energy flows, vitality is stimulated, heart rate is increased and the vital forces of life are distributed throughout the body. This is a great motivation for the practice of the sun salutation series in the morning, and a magnificent way to wake and honour the body both internally and externally.

During this practice, the body is opened and closed in a sequence of forward and backward bends which massage our internal organs, improving digestion and tone of the abdomen.

Salute to the Sun – the Practice

As we draw our arms to the sky we look up to acknowledge the intelligence beyond, the greater order, the truth, creation and love. We salute the source and acknowledge its passage through our body.

We draw down our arms, palms together, touching our heart Centre as we pass to touch the floor. Here we have drawn the power of creation from the above and beyond to the below and within. We humble ourselves to the source as we hold our hands to the earth acknowledging that: “nothing comes from me, only through me”. We jump back into the crocodile and here honour nature, the animal world and the essence of life stored within. We raise our body bending our back into an upward dog pose opening the chest and in so doing freeing the heart to the flow of love from the sun, the entry source of life forms, flow within and birth love in our hearts. We roll back into the downward dog again humbling ourselves to creation before jumping forward and completing the cycle with the same positions holding meaning.

“I bow to the source of all creation acknowledging that what is within me is a gift, a true gift of life and ultimately, love.

 Traditionally, a salute to the sun is done at dawn, the Brahman hour. This is the time before sunrise, a time we can take to reflect on the source of life. The sun gives life force and vitality to us all, it is the rest metaphor for unconditional love reflected in nature.

Our thoughts are reflected in our body, our thoughts reflect our consciousness which in turn is a reflection of our attitude. Attitude has the power to transform our lives, to change the very essence of our experience of life. During the sun salutation we have the opportunity to focus on an attitude of Gratitude, the opportunity to use the focus of the sun to  transform these movements from mere exercise to a prayer.

When our heart is filled with gratitude for nature – in this specific case the sun – we open ourselves to a consciousness beyond and in these moments we bathe in universal love; in the fullness of life. Therefore in the practice of Surya Namaskar , as in all Yoga Asana, the thoughts we have are as vital an element as is breath as the physical movement.

This is an opportunity to stop; to appreciate what has been given to us in our lives; to open to the greater truth and to the magic and order of this universe, this world, this country, this city, this family and this life. Here in the act of movement and breath is the opportunity to unite body, mind and thought (spirit) in a celebration of life and in so doing absorb  universal essence.

 

Power Within and Without

This salute to the sun is one of the most powerful of all Yoga movements. Practiced every morning it moves, stretches, strengthens and activates every muscle in the body; The salute to the sun is an amazing exercise and a Yoga session in itself and the benefits as listed below are so numerous and all encompassing that just reading through them is cause for excitement; excitement that these body restoring benefits are easily within our reach.

 

The Practical Benefits of Salute to the Sun

  1. May be practice by anyone and everyone, singly or in a group, and it can be practiced any time in the year, inside and outside.
  2.  It takes about three to ten minutes a day.
  3.  It acts on the whole body, the total organism.
  4.  Does not cause fatigue or breathlessness.
  5. It costs nothing there is no need for burdensome equipment.
  6. All you need is a space measuring two square metres.
  7. It helps to promote sleep.
  8. The memory improves.

So this form of yoga called Surya namaskar must be followed by everybody.

 

Ajna Chakra, Intuition Chakra, sixth chakra in Yoga

Ajna, which is known as center of insight and intuition in Sanskrit, is the highest of the psychic centers in man. Ajna literally means “command” and oversees all of the elements and the chakras. Where the Vishuddha Chakra is the music that brings the elements and chakras together facilitating the making of beautiful music; The sixth energy center is sometimes known as the third
eye. Ajna is the conductor of the orchestra. Ajna is the window of the soul and when open, psychic abilities are said to unfold. It is considered the seat of intuition, where wisdom and knowledge unfold. Reference to the Ajna chakra can be found in many different religious texts (including the Bible) and cultures; even Plato wrote of the “eye of the soul that can be awakened by the correct means.” When the mind is still (Yogash Chitta Vritti Nirodah), and the lower Chakras balanced, Ajna Chakra opens to communicate with the higher plane to bring inspiration, creativity, clarity of thought and healing.

Physical location: Center of forehead between eye brows
Element: Space/light
Color: Indigo
Sense: Intuition
Force: Psychic
Areas of the body: Eye, head, sinuses, the senses
Mudra: Hakini Mudra
Bandha: Maha
Mantra: “I see.” “I follow the path of truth.”
When closed/ blocked can manifest in:
Overactive: inability to look within and see ourselves as we are; confusion as to what is real; difficulty concentrating; headaches; hallucinations; nightmares, Lacking: poor memory; lack of clarity about life-where we are going; unable to find our true path; can’t see alternatives; skeptical; inability to focus .
Health issues: sense related (eye or ear problems); sinuses, headaches

When open/not blocked can manifest in: Clear perception, Reliable intuition, Able to feel underlying vibration, Able to follow own truth, Able to see your path, Have gift of insight.

Asana examples that open the ajna chakra:
Balances, Inversions, Chanting/singing, Gate, Shoulder Stand, Eye Movements, Yoga Mudra, Tree Bridge, Hand Stand, Child, Seated Wide Leg Fold, Standing Fold, Plow, Sunbird, Head to Knee, Fish, Downward Dog, Rabbit, Runners Lunge etc.