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Yoga / Meditation

Yoga for health and happiness
and want to be free from troubles in life. The happiness is two-fold-physical and mental. The mind is at peace when the body is sound or free from any disease. Yoga helps achieve this object.

Ashtanga Yoga (Eight- Fold Yoga )
Yoga is a science. Yoga practices are designed to suit every individual. The codification of Yoga practices was done by the sage patanjali. The treatise is called “YOGA DARSHAN” Ashtanga Yoga or Eight- fold Yoga was formulated by Patanjali For the benefit of humanity Ashtanga Yoga consists of 1. Yama 2. Niyama 3. Asana 4. Pranayama 5. Dharana 6. Dhyana 7. Samadhi.

Yama (Five Commandments for Social Discipline):
Yama is five-fold practice of Social Restraints or social conduct rules; viz.,
1. Ahimsa (Non-violence), 2. Satya (Truth) 3. Asateya ( Non-stealing) 4.Aparigrapha (None-accumulation of wealth etc..) 5. Brahmacharya(controal of senses). The society is at peace if these social restraints are practiced by every citizen.


Niyama (Five commamdments for personal discipline):

Niyama is five-fold practice of personal conduct rules namely :
1. shocha (cleanliness) 2. Samtosha (Contentment) 3. Tapah ( the endurance to face the pairs of opposites such as heat and cold; joy and sorrow; regard and disregard and disregard etc) 4. Swadhyaya (the efforts for realization of self or atman ) of self or atman ) 5. Ishwara pranidhana( Surrender to god and work with out selfish motives and work not for praise).

Asana (the body postures or poses) :
Asana ( the posture) is the third step in yoga. Practice of yogasanas eliminates all impurities from the body and keeps the body in good health free from any disease. A person who practices asanas and pranayama regulary will not suffer from any ailments of old-age.

Pranayama(control of vital energy of the body):
Pranayama( the control and intensification of the life force or prana throughout the body) is a very important aspect of Yoga. Pranayama is a two-in-one system which purifies the indriyas and helps the body to be free from diseases and makes the mind calm free from worries or disturbances. Pranayama is an intermediate step which if practiced well, leads to other higher steps of yoga such as pratyahara Dharana etc..

Pratyahara (control of seances):
pratyahara (negation) is willful control of senses of sight sound smell taste and tough etc.. well practiced pratyahara leads one to achieve the higher step of Dharana.

Dharana ( concentration) :
Dharana is connection of the mind on a particular object.

Dhyana ( Meditation) :
Dhyana also known as meditation is the constant flow of thought. This is the penultimate step which of practiced well leads to the heights step samadhi.

Samadhi (Superconscious stage) :
Samadhi is superconscious stage the highest step in Yoga. In this state one enjoys eternal bliss.

YOGA FOR CONCENTRACTION AND SUCCESS

Mental Alertness :
mental alrtness is achieved by the practice of Yoga Asana Pranayama help develop concentration on their studies school children shiold learn Yoga at the age of eight so that they can also reap the fruits early they need development of a very sharp memory . they should be in a position to answer all questions well in their examinations. These Yoga if this is true in the case of student it is equally true in the case of others the young and the old the concentration of the mind leads to susccess in life.

Yoga for Emotional Equalibrium

Eternal Bliss (Happiness) :
Immediate benefit of yoga is apparent in the form of physical fitness and mental alterness. The greatest benefit from Yoga is permanent happiness or eternal bliss. The transformation of human personality takes place at much higher planes than those of body and mind A normal person is extrovert while a practitioner of yoga is introvert. His level of thinking and his way of life undergo a drastic change compared to that f an ordinary person, A person who is well established in the practice of Yoga is not carried away by extremities if heat and cold; in the attitude of other persons towards him; in praise or in insult. This transformation of personality takes place not suddenly but only after constant practice of yoga. Emotional equilibrium or tranquility of soul is the greatest advantage of Yoga.

Yoga for Children

Right time to begin the practice of Yoga :
Children should be taught Yogasanas and initiated into the techniques of yoga right from the tender are of 8 years. Their bodies are quite flexible at this age and asanas can be practiced by them with ease. The basic knowledge of any subject taught to them at this age leaves an indelible impression o their minds. Hence, Yoga practices should be taught to children at the tender age to achieve everlasting results.

Yama Niyamas form the Foundation :
The social restraints (Yama) and personal conduct rules (Niyama) form the strong basis or foundation for the practice of yoga. The strict observance of Yama – Niyamas along woth other Yoga practices of asana, pranayama etc., will transform the whole personality of the child as he grows up physically, mentally and spiritually. And this type of holistic development of integrated development is the object of yoga for children and the youth in respect of yoga practices. By regular practice children gain maturity.

UNICEF
The United Nations Children’s fund (UNICEF) has indertaken the programmes for the health and education of the children throughout the world. UNICEF is working hard for the rights of the child. Its aim is to bring out an international Law to set up universally agreed standards for the protection of children.

Parents Charity should begin at home.
Parents should take great care of their children. In fact, the child care should begin much earlier to its birth. The role of parents is predominant in the child health. It is therefore worth taking a bird’s-eye-view at the sequence of events that influence the health of the child before and after its birth:

The preparation :
parents long for healthy children. Children are like tender plants. In order to reap a good harvest, the farmer plans carefully all the operations involved in the process of agriculture. The factors that contribute to good harvesting are the land, its preparation, in-puts and good farm-management and timely harvesting. Any neglect on the part of the farmer will deprive him of the desired good crop. Likewise, parents need careful planning for the upbringing of their children. Thus it becomes imperative on the part of the parents to prepare themselves for the production of healthy child. How much do you care to beget a healthy child depends of the efforts you put in and discipline you maintain physically, mentally and emotionally. Any neglect on your part would not only upset your plans but would result in irreparable loss. By now it is established beyond doubt that you have to exercise discipline in order to enjoy the fruits viz., good children

The child Vs. Parents:
There is absolutely no ban on you to enjoy life in its entirety, in all its aspects. But excessive and indiscriminate indulgence in highly dangerous and fraught with dreadful consequences. The control of sense organs forms the basis of self discipline. Procreation in a sacred act and the chilren form the links in the long chain of human race. It is, however, obvious that moderation and discipline will enrich youthful enjoyment of life and its pleasures.

Healthy Children:
Since Parents long for healthy children, they should exercise utmost discipline of the body, and mind. Only healthy parents can produce healthy children. Any negligence on part of the parents either before or during the development of the child in mother’s womb will impair the faculties of the child, physical, mental or both.

As you sow, so do you reap:
In a society of permissive sex, alcohol and drug addiction, it is a folly to expect that a healthy child is born to unhealthy couple. Firstly, the two fundamental conditions of good seed and good field should exist to beget good children. Secondly, it is inevitable that the sins of the parents are reflected on their children. So the child cannot escape the consequences for the misdeeds of his parents. Excessive indulgence in eating, drinking, sex naturally upsets the health of the child in the mother’s womb, as well as after its birth. This results in children with a number of disabilities or handicaps physical as well as mental.

Precaution:
If this problem is understood well by all married couples, particularly the newly married, the percentage of weak and mentally handicapped children can certainly be reduced and the planet Earth will be blessed with more and more children of sound mind and sound body.

Pre-natal care:
It is obvious that a woman should exercise her utmost care during her pregnancy. She should take all precautions with regard to food, work, rest and exercise. She should also read good books (Gita etc) and seek association of wose people. The husband should take care to see that during this period, she maintains a pleasant and happy attitude. It is clear that any negligence on the part of the mother would cost her dearly, resulting in a mentally or physically retarded or impaired child-birth. So, she cannot afford to be negligent during her pregnancy. She should live on a balanced and nutritious diet. She should work reasonably to give exercise to her limbs. Idleness makes the organs stiff. She should have enough rest; should never over work. She should be free from anxieties and worries. She should be keep away from all the vices such as liquors, smoking, reading exciting novels, seeing pictures that cause fear and anxiety, all of which will directly affect the child in the womb. The damage caused to the child at this stage is permanent and irreparable. Hence it is the bounden duty of the parents to think twice before committing any irregularities in their daily routine. Self discipline should be exercised if they long for healthy children.

The growth of Children:
As the farmer takes pains to protect the plant and ensures its healthy growth, parents too should take every precaution to protect the child right from its birth and ensure proper growth.

Allow the child natural growth:
The child should always be allowed a natural growth. The more artificial the means of progress, the more impediments the child would face in its growth. The child growth largely depends upon factors like breast – feeding, appropriate food, water and the environment

Food, Water, Air and Sunrays:
The child should be fed on balanced and nutritious food, free from adulteration; fresh water, free from contamination; air, free from pollution; and ample sun bath in the morning and evening should be made available to the child. The food, given to the children, should be fully digested and converted into blood and other nutrients of the body to keep it full of strength and vigour.

Mentally handicapped children
While some children are born with sound body and mind, others are not. Some children are physically disabled and/or mentally handicapped. Those who are less intelligent and are unable to cope with the work of day-to-day life, are generally known as mentally-handicapped children. It is with the help of Sun-rays, fresh-air, pure water and nutritious and wholesome food and Yogasanas, that a child can enjoy better health. It is the duty of the parents, teachers and all responsible citizens to use all the means of protecting the health of the body and the mind of the growing child. As the individual needs vary from child to child, more so in the case of mentally handicapped children, it warrants special attention, at all times, of the clinical psychologists, physiotherapists and other specialists attending on them. The mentally handicapped children should not be treated as burden to the society. On the other hand we must help them in creating a congenial atmosphere and for their progress and happiness

Yoga therapy along with other types of treatments should be used with expert guidance, to better the conditions of the innocent mentally handicapped children. Yoga therapy is a system by which the cause of the disease is eliminated from the body thereby restoring to normalcy the functions of the organs. Yoga therapy improves he circulation of blood, flexibility of the joints, elasticity of the muscles, freshness of the skin and strength of the nerves. Yoga therapy enhances the efficiency of the glands such as thyroid pineal, pituitary glands, adrenal and prostate etc. All the systems together will improve the functioning of the faculties of the brain and help regain vitality of less active organs of the mentally handicapped children. Most of the psychosomatic disorders are cursed quickly by the Yoga Therapy.

Yoga Asanas

Ardha Matsyendrasana(Spinal Twist)

This is named after the sage Matsyendra. In this posture twist the waist laterally as show in the picture. If the beginners fell this posture difficult they should practice Vakrasana for a few days. Then it will be easy for them to amuse this posture. Exhale and twist the waist in this posture; Inhale after you return to normal sitting position. Symmetry should always be maintained. If you twist your body six times to the left,you should also twist your body six times to the right.

Benefits:This is highly useful to control diabetes and kidney troubles. This posture makes the spine elastic. Nerves of the spinal column are toned up. This improves the efficiency of the abdominal viscera, such as liver, spleen, pancreas and the intestines. This eliminates the problems of constipation and dyspepsia(loss of appetite). Artha Matsyendrasana is a wonderful asana and gives you a very high standard of health when practiced in combination with the other asanas of forward and backward bending.


Bhujangasana
(Serpent Posture)

This asana resembles the Serpent with its hand raised, hence it is called Bhujangasana. This is similar to that of Srpasana except that in Sarpasana knees do not rest on the floor but in Bhujangasana knees rest on the floor. Lie down on the floor, belly touching the floor,legs together, toes stretched backwards. Keep the palms near the chest and bend the head and the back upwards in a coverage position. Bending backwards is more important that lifting the body. Inhale and remain in this posture as long as you can hold the breath and then relax. Repeat this asana three to six time

Benefits:Bhujangasana makes the spine flexible, removes constipation, prevents Arthritis. The lungs becomes strong. Bhujangasana should be practiced along with Shalabhasana and Dhanurasana for deriving maximum benefit. Bowel movement is free and you will not suffer from any major old age problems. You can maintain good shape of the body throughout the life span. Make it a part of your daily routine and enjoy life to fullest extent.

Dhanurasana(The Bow Position)

Obese people and people with stiff joints and hardened muscles need not try this asana suddenly. They should practice simpler asanas and gain flexibility of joints and elasticity of muscles for about a week. They can then try Dhanurasana.

Benefits: Since Dhanurasana is the combination of Bhujangasana and Shalabhasana the benefits of both these Asanas are derived by Dhanurasana.The fat in the body specially around the waist is dispersed and hence the waist is trimmed to proper shape. This asana removes constipation and increases Jatharagni (the digestive fire). You can get rid of Arthritis by regular practice of Dhanurasana.


Halasana
(The Plough Posture)

This asana resembles a plugh, hence the name Halasana. Before trying Halasana you should practice Khatwangasana for a week. Then bend the back and touch the floor with the toes as shown in the picture. Hands can be spread on the floor as in the picture it kept locked near the hand. Breathe out (Exhale) and draw in your abdomen for easy practice of Halasana. Bend the back according to your capacity, but do not strain too much. Don’t exceed your limit. Slow and steady practice leads you to success. This asana should be learnt under expert guidance.

Benefits: Halasana makes the spine flexible. Halasana improves the strength of the muscles and nerves of the spine. Blood circulation to the neck is increased. The waist becomes free from excess fat. The stomach is pressed well and the abdominal viscera improve their function. Digestion is improved. Constipation is removed. Practice of halasana slims the body


Hamsasana
(The Swan Posture)

This is an easier form of Mayurasana. In Hamsasana, the toes rest on the ground. The body in this posture should, however, be in a straight-line,. Practice of Hamsasana helps very much in the practice of Mayurasana.

Benefits:Almost all the benefits of Mayurasana are derived by Hamsasana. Digestion is improved. Sluggishness of the liver is removed. Liver enlargement is cured. Organs of the abdomen and lungs are toned up. All the gastrointestinal disorders are cured.


Matsyasana (The Fish Posture)

This asana looks like a fish swimming on water, hence the name Matyasana. Lie down on the back. Fold the legs as in Padmasana. Raise the back resting the head on the floor. Hold the toes with the hands. See the elbows touch the floor. Inhale and remain in Matyasana as long as you can. Then rest the back on the floor and finally sit in Padmasana and relax.

Benefits:Matyasana is practiced as a Counter Posture to Sarvangasana is removed by the practice of Matyasana for half the time you spent for Sarvangasana. For instance if you practice Sarvangasana for four minutes, you must practice Matyasana atleast for two minutes.

Matyasana is a remedy for Asthma, if it is coupled with kriyas like Jala Neti and Jala Dhouti. In general Matyasana improves the functional efficiency of the Lungs and the abdominal viscera.


Padahastasana (Hands to Feet)

This is a forward bending posture. In this posture, the hands are brought down to touch the legs; hence the name is Padahastasana. While bending forward, care should be taken to keep the knees straight. Maintain the posture as shown in the picture for a few seconds In this posture you must Exhale (breathe out). When you come to normal standing position you must Inhale. Initially this Asana should be practiced atleast six times. When perfection is achieved you can stay in the position for a minute.

Benefits:Padahastasana makes the spine flexible, the thighs strong, removes back pain and constipation. The benefits of this Asana are similar to those derived from the Paschimottasana.


Shalabhasana (Locust Posture)

This asana resembles the pose of Locust or Grasshopper. Hence this is called Shalabhasana. First rest in Makarasana. Then keep the hands below thighs and raise up both the legs together. The legs should be as straight as possible. Inhale and remain In this posture for a few seconds and then relax. Repeat this three to six times initially. After gaining sufficient experience you can remain in Shalabhasana for a longer duration, at a stretch. However do not strain beyond your capacity. For easy practice start with each leg separately for six times. Then you can try raising both the legs.

Benefits:Shalabhasana is useful for stomach., Lumber, waist portions and to the legs. Practice of this asana removes constipation. The waist remains trim if you practice Shalabhasana regularly.


Sarvangasana (Shoulder Support)

This is a posture in which the body is lifted topsy-turvy(upside down) and entire weight of the body rests on shoulders and elbows. This is useful for all the organs of the body, hence called Sarvangasana. This is difficult to practice in the beginning; but could be taken up after practicing the Khatwangasana for a few days. Practice the posture as shown in the picture keeping the legs as straight as possible. Eyes should be closed. Breasting should be slow and normal. The posture may be retained for 30 seconds in the first week, gradually increasing by 30 seconds every week upto two minutes. It is enough if the posture is maintained for five minutes with care. No strain should be felt in the shoulders or in the neck. The lifting up of the body and brining down should be smooth without any jerks.

Note: The Counter Posture Matyasana should invariable be practiced for half the time given for Sarvangasana. If you practice Sarvangasana, the main posture, for 4 minutes, you must practice Matyasana or Ushtrasana, the counter – posture for 2 minutes. If this method is strictly adapted, you are sure to relax the body completely. You feel quite fresh after practicing the Sarvangasana.

Precaution:Person with cervical spondylosis, eyetroubales hupertention (high blood pressure) or heart troubles (coronary diseases) should not practice Sarvangasana. They must get rid of the disease first and practice the other simple asanas for about four weeks and then try Sarvangasana. A woolen blanket or a soft towel may be used below the shoulders and neck.

Benefits:This is useful for the thyroid glands in the neck. The thyroid tones up the metabolism of the body. Piles and hernia and other disorders of the pelvic organs are cured


Sashankasana
(The Crescent Pose)

Sit in Vajrasana. Lock the hands at the back. Breath out, draw in your abdomen, bend forward and try to touch floor with the heads as shown in the picture. Remain in this posture for a few seconds. Then raise the head and sit in Vajrasana, breathing in slowly. Inhalation and exhalation should be deep and slow. Repeat the Asana for three times atleast in the beginning. However you can remain in the asana for a longer duration at a stretch after sufficient practice.

Benefits:Sashankasana gives exersize to the abdominal viscera and improves digestion. This asana makes the spine and nerves strong . Flexibility of the spine is achieved by this Asana.


Trikonasana
(Triangle)

Exhale and touch the left leg with the right hand keeping both the hands in a straight line. Similarly touch the right leg with the left hand. This process should, initially, be continued six times. Then stand erect and apart as shown in the picture.

Benefits:This is good for thigh and calf muscles and nerves. This useful to rectify the marginal defects in the vertebral column.

 

Yoga for health and happiness

The happiness is two-fold-physical and mental. The mind is at peace when the body is sound or free from any disease. Yoga helps achieve this object. Health is made up of four aspects Physical, Mental, Social and Spiritual. Yoga helps to achieve holistic Health.

 

Some Basics to start Yoga Practice:

1.    Surya Namaskaras (The Sun Salutation) is a graceful sequence of twelve positions performed as one continuous exercise. Each position counteracts the one before, stretching the body in a different way and alternately expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing. Practiced daily it will bring great flexibility to your spine and joints and trim your waist. It limbers up the whole body in preparation for the Asanas.

Rounds:  (Go slowly) Initially you can go for 3 rounds and slowly day by day you can increase up to 12 rounds.

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2.    Asanas: A position in Yoga, is also called Mountain Pose. It is a very basic standing posture with feet together and hands at the sides of the body. Yoga practitioners consider it a pose that promotes confidence and happiness as well as improving posture and creating space within the body. Standing Asanas: Sankaprakshlana (Vurdva Hastasana, Kati chakrasana, Udarakarshanasana, Sarpasana), Vrikshasana, Natarajasana, Trikonasasa, Virabadhrasana,

Laying down Asanas: Navasana, Pavana Muktasana, Sarvangasana, Halasana, Savasana

Opp. Laying Asanas: Bhujangasana , Salabhasana, Dhanurasana,

Sitting Asanas:Vajrasana,  Supta Vajrasana, Musti Vajrasana, Ustrasana,

Pashchimotasana, Anrdhamathyendrasana, Padmasana

 

Pranayama: By far the most important thing about good breathing is the Prana, or subtle energy of the vital breath. Control of the Prana leads to control of the mind. Breathing exercises are called Pranayamas, which means to control the Prana. Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma Pranayamas can be practiced under the guidance of expert/guru initially

 

Dyana (Meditation):

Stilling the mind on a single thought stream is Dhyana, says great saint Patanjali in his aphorisms of Astanga Yoga.

The 5 features of meditation are : Single thought / Effortlessness and relaxation / Slowness / Wakefulness and awareness /Feeling of Expanding lightness

Precautions: Yoga should be practiced on an empty stomach

·         Initially practice under guidance of guru. Follow instructions. Proceed slowly/carefully

·         Never force or strain to get into a specific position. Relax briefly between each practice

·         If the position is uncomfortable, don’t do it

·         Never practice any yoga techniques under the influence of alcohol/mind altering drugs

  • If you are pregnant, notify the instructor for special guidelines.
  • Should not take bath immediately after Yoga! Take bath before Yoga or after 30 minutes.


Key Actions for Healthy Life:

  • Drink plenty of water
  • Keep nostrils clean all the time to supply good oxygen and sunlight.
  • Eat Healthy and more fresh food and avoid junk
  • Observe fasting 1 day a week with spiritual discipline
  • Help some-one and be part of self-less service regularly
  • Spare an hour for Yoga and Meditation every day & practice with dedication
  • Be eco-friendly, Live simple and Save Nature

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