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YOGA


Yoga is from the Sanskrit word 'Yug' meaning union {with the Divine}.

Different types of yoga:

There are various types of yoga. Before we examine the differences, we should remember that all of them lead to the same goal, unification with the Divine. The yoga paths can be broadly classified into

Bhakti Yoga       : Path of Devotion
Karma Yoga      : Path of Selfless Action
Jnana Yoga       : Path of Transcendental Knowledge
Asthanga Yoga : Path of Patanjali (eight-step path) 

Unfortunately, yoga in the west has come to mean "hatha" yoga which is mainly physical exercise and postures (asanas). In fact, asanas is only a single step in the eight-step path (Asthanga yoga of patanjali). Patanjali is quick to point out that asanas are to be used as a stepping stone for the higher paths, since just working on the beauty and welfare of an impermanent object (the body) is a waste of time and effort. Asthanga yoga is sometimes referred to as Raja yoga . However, Asthanga yoga is more of a philosophy like basic research while raja yoga usually refers to specific techniques which are based on not only Asthanga yoga but also on various [minor] upanishhads.

Yogasana


1. SIDDHASANA


It is said many saints acquired super natural powers by sitting in this asana. Perhaps on account of this the name has been given as such. “Siddhi” means super natural power. Stout persons find this asana easy.


Procedure
  1. Spread a blanket four folded.
  2. Sit over it in the usual way.
  3. Place the heel of one leg just below the anus.
  4. Place the heel of the other leg below the generative organs. See that the regenerative organs are not pressed.
  5. In this pose the joints of the two heels will be just touching each other.
  6. By a continued practice for a fortnight or so it will be easy.
  7. The hands may be placed in chin mindra style.
Then come to the original position.

Fruit of Asana
One can conveniently sit in this pose for longer time. This asana will help to keep up brahmacharya. Because sitting is erect the internal organs are not pressed and they are kept in their natural positions.

Note: Ladies need not do this Asana. There is a another variety under this with some slight modification. The hands are joined as we do “Namaskar” (a form of welcome). This pose is taken to seek boons and blessings. This is known asthamasana as described in writing. 

2. BADDHA PADMASANA

This is another sub type under Padhmasana. There is an opinion that this is superior even to Padhmasana.






Procedure

  1. Spread a blanket.
  2. Sit over it in the usual way.
  3. Place the legs as in Padhmasana.
  4. Take the right hand towards back and catch hold of the right toe.
  5. Take the left hand towards the back and catch hold of the left toe. Though this is easily said, it is not quite easy to do. If it is not possible to catch the toe try to take the hand as for back as possible.
  6. Then come to the original position.

Fruit of Asana

This will cure unnecessary big belly. Hunch back will go away. This is more or less a
tapas pose.

3. KUKKUTASANA 

This is another sub type of Padhmasana. 

Procedure


1. Spread a blanket length wise.
2. Sit over it in the usual way.
3. Place the legs as in Padhmasana.
4. Place the hands in between the leg and the thigh, palm facing the ground.
5. On the strength of the hands gently raise the body.
6. Then come to the original position.

Fruits of Asana
This will cure stomach problems & body pains.

4. VAJRASANA
“My son is very adamant and not obedient” is the lamentation of a father. This asana is also a pose of fixity. If this is correctly done the body will not shake. It is possible to sit on this Asana for long duration.

 

Procedure

Spread a blanket.

    1. Sit on it in the normal way.
    2. Bending both the legs, place both heels just below the buttocks.
    3. In this position the calf muscles and thighs will be touching.
    4. Place the hands on the knee cap.
    5. The foot may have some pain in the early stage but gradually the pain will go away.
    6. The entire weight of the body is on the heels.

    Fruit of Asana

    Digestion power is much increased. Nervous system gets new vigour. The beginning portion of Nadi gets nourishment. By sitting erect the internal organs are not pressed and are in their normal positions. Wind trouble in the stomach will be cured.


    5. SARVANGASANA

    The word “Sarvaanga” means all portions of the body. Hence this asana is the one to give an all round benefit. Any body can do this, quite comfortably for a minimum of ten minutes.




Procedure


1. Spread a blanket length wise.
2. Lie down on the blanket length wise.
3. Raise both legs evenly.
4. Place the palms on the sides so that the legs can be raised further and support them.
5. Raise the body till the chest touches the chin. If it is correctly done the body will give about 80 degrees angle to the head.
6. Then slowly come to the original position. This is nothing new pose. Some people while standing place the palms on the hip portion to give a majestic look. In the same way it is done with the head down on the ground
.

Fruit of Asana

The back bone gets good quantity of blood circulation. Further the back bone will become more flexible. Youth and the flexibility of the back bone are proportional. This asana will help to keep up Brahmacharya. Digestion power is increased. Kidneys will function normally.
 
Note: In the creation there is difference in the body structure between male and female. Young ladies before marriage can do this asana, when the uterus is under developing stage. But pregnant ladies should not do this asana. So also during monthly period ladies need not do this asana. Normally in our country young girls get maturity between 14-15 age. They also grow up after maturity. Hence when this asana is practiced at this period all the internal organs will become strong.

6. MATSYASANA

When the back bone has been bent in the forward direction in one asana, the next should be to bend the back bone in the backward direction. Hence after Sarvangasana this asana has to be done. As the name describes this asana is likely to be in the form of a fish.

Procedure

1. Spread a blanket folded length-wise.
2. Sit on it in the usual manner.
3. Have the legs in the Padhmasana pose.
4. Gently lie down.
5. Place the hands under the head palms facing the head.
6. Then bend the back bone and also the head. In bending the neck great care has to be taken so that the neck may not develop sprain. I have found a nice way to understand the angle to which the neck is bent. When we are lying down we see the portion of the roof. If the neck is bent backward our vision falls on the pictures or clock on the wall. If it is still bent our vision falls on table or something below the clock etc. If this process is suitable to you, you can also adopt this.
7. Then slowly come to the original position.This asana can be practiced in another way also. Padhmasana position can be had after lying down.

Fruit of Asana
This asana is a cure for many diseases. This increases the digestion power to a great extent chest troubles, Asthma, etc. are cured. Since the throat and bronchial

portions are broadened more fresh air is intaken. The glands in the neck portion are nourished.
Note: Instead of placing the hands below the head some practise this asana in another way. The toes (of Padhmasana pose) are held by the fingers. If this is suitable method it can be practiced
this way also.

7. HALASANA
This asana gives a backward bend to the back bone. As the name goes, the pose looks like a plough.


Procedure

  1. Spread a soft blanket.
  2. Lie down on it in the usual way.
  3. Place both hands on the sides in the usual way, palms facing the ground.
  4. Raise both the legs evenly without bending when the legs are raised the hands should not be taken from the ground.
  5. Making a curve of the spine bring the toes towards the ground away from the head.
  6. Bring the legs further so that the toes touch the ground.
  7. Breathe slowly during asana.
  8. Then come to the original position.

This asana can be practiced in three stages. At the first stage raise the legs half way. Then in the second stage give a bend to the spine so that the toes are nearer to the ground. In the third stage touch the ground with the toes.
There is another variety which is rather difficult. As in Pachamothasana hold the toes with the fingers.

Fruit of Asana
The spinal region get much benefit. This asana removes lethargy. Chronic constipation is removed. Wind trouble in stomach will go away. Liver trouble will be cured. 

Note: Due to physical shape, some may not be able to take the legs, towards back position. Such persons can adopt this easy way. After lying down raise both the legs to the possible extent giving a gap of two feet or so from the ground. Then bring the legs to the original position. Repeat this same six or eight times. This form of practice will enable to bring the legs towards back.

Yogasana

8. BHUJANGASANA

In the previous asana the near portion of the back bone was given a bend. By this asana the upper portion of the back bone is given a bend. The correct position of this asana will look like a serpent raising its head.

Procedure

1. Place a blanket folded length wise.
2. Lie down on the blanket gently facing the ground.
3. Give a relaxed condition of the body.
4. Place the hands on the sides, palm facing the ground.
5. Raise the head and chest.
I6. t will be noticed that the back bone is given a backward curve at the beginning portion.
7. Gently come to the original position.

Do like this some six or seven times. In the previous position the legs and the head was raised but in this only the head is raised.

Fruit of Asana
All forms of diseases of the generative organs will be cured. Hunch back will be cured. This will keep the Kundalini sakthi to raise up. Since the intestines are pressed the undigested food is moved towards anus. For young girls this asana is good. In the growing period the eturus will become strong. Pregnant ladies should not do this Asana.


9. DHANURASANA

The word “Dhanur” means a bow. If this asana is done correctly it will look like a bow. In this connection a clarification from Astrology seems relevant. For the sign Dhanur (Sagittarius), the Lord is Guru (Brahaspati). This house or Rasi, (as technically known) is considered a special beneficial sign. Further in Gita we find Lord Krishna’s words as, “Among the twelve months I am the month of Dhanur.” (This period is between the middle of December to the middle of January). So much greatness goes with this name. Hence this asana is great induced.


Procedure

  1. Spread a blanket folded length wise.
  2. Lie down on it facing the ground.
  3. Place both hands on sides as usual.
  4. Slowly bend the legs evenly without bearing space between the knee caps.
  5. Catch hold of the toes with the fingers raising the head also.
  6. It will be seen that by this the backbone is given a fine curve.

Stout persons may find it difficult. For them leaving a space between the knee will enable them to catch the toes. By continuous practice the space will be minimized.

Fruit of Asana
This asana gives many benefits. Indigestion, hunch back, Rheumatism, Pain in elbow joints and Palm joints will be cured. Gastro intestinal troubles will also be cured. There is still a difficult pose, as catching hold of alternate toes.


10. PASCHIMOTHASANA

In the previous asana the back bone was given a backward twist. In this asana it is given a forward twist. This a difficult asana for stout persons with big belly. There is a proverb. “Rome was built in a day”. Hence patience and continued practice is essential to get perfection in this asana. Some lean persons can learn in a fortnight training, while some others may take even a month period.

Procedure

  1. Spread a soft blanket.
  2. Sit on it in the usual way.
  3. Stretch both the legs forward without bending.
  4. Bend the body in the forward direction taking the hands towards the toes.
  5. Catch hold of the toes with the fingers.

Though this is easily said it is very difficult to do. In the early stages in bringing the hands towards the toes there will be a wide gap. It may not be possible to catch the toes. In this case, the legs can be slightly bent to enable to catch the toes. Then gradually the legs can be in a straight position.

6. Come to the original position slowly.
7. Breathe slowly during Asana time.
8. It is enough that, a few seconds, period in this asana be practiced.

Fruit of Asana
Several wonderful results are got. Persons having big belly will develop a trim figure in due course. Liver, spleen will function normally. Piles is also cured. Diabetes can be cured in due course. One great personality has described that Sirasasana, Sarvangasana and Pachimothasana are the three great boons given to us by the ancient Rishes.


11. MAYURASANA

The word “Mayura” means peacock. Since this asana looks like a peacock the name is Mayurasana. The ancient Rishis have observed, nature, animals, birds and creatures living in water so closely that their pose if practiced for man will give special benefits. The bats rest with head down. Monkeys catching hold of a twig hang down raising the head. Thus many asanas have some sort of similarity with the poses of several creatures.

Procedure

This also comes under the category of difficult asana.
1.  Spread a soft blanket.
2. Place a cushon or a pillow on one end of the blanket.
3. Lie down on the blanket, the cushon being near to the head.
4. In this position the toes will be on the ground.
5. Bend the hands at elbow and place the palmes facing the ground.
6. Bring the elbows near the naval region.
7. Gently raise both legs from the ground.
8. Raise the head also.
9. The whole weight of the body is on the elbows. Since the naval region is almost the central point for the body there will be equal distance on the two sides.
10. However, if you happen to fall down there is cushon so that the nose may not be hurt.
11.  Avoid spectacles during Asana.
12.  If it is not possible to raise both the legs begin with the raising of one leg at the initial stage.
13. Come to the original position slowly.
14.  A period of ten or twenty seconds is enough for normal person in the early stage.

Fruit of Asana
In a few seconds the entire body gets freshness. Indigestion will be removed. All kinds of liver troubles will be cured. This enables the Kundalini Sakthi to raise.

Note: there is a sub type in this asana which is described as Lolasana. This is easier than Mayurasana. According to my physical frame this is my favourite asana. The procedure is rather simple also. Sit on Padhmasana and lie down. As in Mayurasana, place the elbows on the naval region. Raise the head and the legs in Padhmasana. Here the chance of falling down is not likely but cushon may be placed to protect the nose. The benefits of Mayurasana are got fully by this also.


 

 

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