Yoga Practices in Modern Era

What is Yoga?

Yoga means a bringing together of the parts of the body in order to create a union or balance of a persons body,mind and spirit. We can define Yoga in many ways. Actually the word Yoga derived from the Sanskrit word "yugira" which means union. So the word Yoga has given 3 different meanings namely Apaya (means), Samyoga (union), and samadhi(absolute union).

Yoga is a process of gaining control over mind. One who indulges properly in Yoga is defined as the effects of Karma/action. So the perfection of action is Yoga.

History of Yoga?

The practice of yoga started about 6000yrs ago.According to Indian culture it is to be believed that all the YOGA are explained and taught by Lord Siva. It is recorded in vedic tents of India as a health practice. Hiranya garbha is the introducer of Yoga. It becomes clear from the word anthanuvasanam mentioned the first sutra of yoga of patanjali, that Patanjali is not introducer of yogic philosophy. It was taught and learned by preceptors and there disciples in regular succession. in this way Yoga spread first by a series of preceptors by the series of Hiranyagarbha Yoga. But it was elaborated and compiled for the purpose of research, study, spreading, patanjali gone through the Yogasutriya in the form a book. So Acharya Patanjali is acknowledged as the founder of yoga. He gone the yogic philosophy to the mankind at the time when medicine or other methods was not available for the treatment of the problems related to human.

Ashtangas of Yoga:

Yoga consist of 8 components. Yama, Niyama, Aasana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Dhaarana, and Samaadhi.

Yama:

It is type of conduct for good life. ten rules of conduct are Ahimsa, truth, non stealing, confinence, forgiveness, endurance, compassion, cleanliness, etc.

Niyama:

These are the ten Niyamas or rules mentioned by those proficient in the knowledge of yoga are tapas, patience, believe in god, charity, adoration of god, hearing discourses on the charity principles of religion, achane, intellect, japa and yajna.

Asana:

It is the posture or postural pattern which is steadily and easy. It is the science dealing with health, perfection of the body and mind to keep the self in a crystal pure shape. Its practice gives steady posture, health and lightness to the body. as well as the sense of well being.

Yama:

It is type of conduct for good life. ten rules of conduct are Ahimsa, truth, non stealing, confinence, forgiveness, endurance, compassion, cleanliness, etc.

It is classified into three:

  • 1. Cultural Asana/ posture- for correcting the proprioceptive awareness of the muskulo skeltal system etc.Eg- Mayurasana, garudasana,pavanamukthasana, etc.
  • 2. Meditative Asana/ posture- done for meditation. Eg- Sidhasana , vajrasana, etc.
  • 3. Relaxation Asana/ posture- Any physical activities or even meditation posture for a long time.

Pranayama:

Prana means breath and Ayama means length, expansion, or restrained. Thus it is a practice like extension of breath and its control.It is considered as one of the efficacious means of attaining Yoga. Strengthens the respiratory system, cleanses the body,etc.

5.Prathyahara.:(control over the senses)

It is the fifth stage of yoga, where there is withdrawal and emaciation of the mind from the domination of the senses and exterior objects.It is an essential pre requested or subsequent Yogi practice which are mostly higher psychic manipulation. In fact it is the bridge between bahiranga/external and andaranga/internal of Ashtanga yoga described by Patanjali.

6.Dhaarana:

When the body has been tempered by Asanas, when the mind has been refined by the file of Pranayaama and where the senses have been brought under control by Pratyahaara, the saadhaka reaches the sixth stage called Dharana.

7.Dhyaana:(Meditation)

As water takes the shapes of the container the mind when it contemplates an object is transferred into that shape of that object. When the slow of concentration is uninterrupted the state that arises is Dhyaana.

8.Samaadhi:

It is the end of the Sadhaka quest. At the peak of the meditation the yogi passes into the state of samaadhi where mind fully conscious and alert but the body is at rest. It is a state at which the yogi has departed from the material world and is merged into the eternal. It is the mukthi from the all the states of conciousness. Supreme happiness , free from pleasure, pain, misery are experienced..
Among the Ashtaangaas of Yoga, first four ie- Yama, Niyama, Asana, and Pranayama have been guarded as external/bahiranga Yoga Practices while the rest are considered as internal/ antaranga. Pratyahara is actually bridge between these two.

Vajrasana

What is Vajrasana or Diamond posture?

It is one of the easiest and basic Asana/posture in Yoga. It is also called as Thunderbolt posture or diamond posture or adamantine posture. In Yoga almost all postures are performed on empty stomach or 3 hours after the meal except few postures like Vajrasana. This is one of asana can perform immediately after food as it help for good digestion. Doing this asana help people to relieve digestive complaints, give strength to mind etc.

How to do vajrasana?

  • 1. Sit on the floor on a mat or ground with leg stretched.
  • 2. Bend right leg and place the foot under the right hip.
  • 3. Bend left leg and place the foot under the left hip.
  • 4. Sit comfortably in between the heels by keeping back erect and place both palms on thighs.
  • 5. Try to sit possible as can, try to concentrate on normal breathing. Doing breath exercises like long deep inhale and slow steady breath out help to give concentration and cool to the mind. (for beginners try 5 or 10 mts first).
  • 6. To return normal state remove the hand one by one and keep it besides the body and slowly stretch leg one by one

Benefits of Vajrasana:

  • Enhance blood circulation in the lower abdomen, hence increase digestion.
  • Relieves constipation problem.
  • Helps to gas problems.
  • Get flexible knee joint, strong calf muscles, strengthen foot heels.
  • Get strong mind and concentration.

Precautions while doing vajrasana:

  • Patients who have knee injury, lower vertebrae problems, do not do without experts advice.
  • Beginners try to sit minimum for 2 minutes first then should increase overtime..
  • Doing Yoga asana under expert train is more advisable.