Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is renowned for its ancient art in physical and mental therapy. Its vastness and diverse interests…Chakras, Elements, Koshas, Mantras, Mudras and Bandhas, making Yoga an intriguing form of exercise, hobby and subject.
Hatha, the twin energetic forces of Ha meaning ‘Sun’ and Tha meaning ‘Moon’. The practice of Yoga influences a fluctuation between these two energy forces, creating balance between the dynamic active physical body (Sun) and subtle energy chitta of the mind (Moon). Yin and Yang, power of the opposites uniting.
Physically, through the practice of Asanas (Postures) it improves the body’s flexibility and strength to muscles, joints and bones, releasing tension, knots and stiffness. Pranayama (Breath control) that will result to having a better posture and an enhanced energy flow.
Emotionally, through the practice of Dharana (Concentration) it creates balance, harmony and a sense of peace from within Pratyahara (releasing our senses), by undoing symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety that may lead to the spread of disease. Yoga will create and restore health and well- being.
Spiritually, it opens the heart and mind on a journey of discovery of the ‘Self’ being found Dhyana (Meditation). A path leading towards Samadhi (Enlightenment) “Raja Yoga”. “Patanjali’s 8 Limbs of Yoga”.
Philosophy, underpins the practice giving it an esoteric charm playing around with their deep meanings of the Yama’s and Niyama’s suitably and with subtle awareness dropping in their concept giving students a flavour of them “food for thought”. Some of my personal favourites: Aparigraha - non attachment of our mobile phones…Ahimsa - kindness to our bodies when in practice on the yoga mat, to ourselves and others when off our mat….Samtosa – contentment to be thankful accepting and appreciating what we have, what we were able to achieve in that practice…Svadhyaya -self-study the understanding of our uniqueness, how perhaps our right and left side of our bodies might be different in the postures. A profound sentiment for our minds to intellect with.
“It is no longer seeking happiness and peace from outside, because it realises it is happiness personified.” (Patanjali IV-34)
Yama - Our Observance
Ahimsa= Kindness, Satya = Truth, Asteya = Honesty, Brahmacarya = Good conduct, Aparigraha = Non- attachment.
Niyama – Our Restraint
Shauca = Purity, Samtosa = Contentment, Tapas = Abandoning desire, Svadhyaya = Self-study, Isvara-Pranidhana = Devotion.
Asana – The Postures
Exploring range of movement in the body, hips, knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists, neck and spine.
Pranayama – Breath Control
Uniting the mind to the body directing breath.
Pratyahara – Sense withdrawal
Touch, sound, sight, taste and smell control our emotions. Removing the senses taking the min inwards to understand outwards matter.
Dharana – Concentration
On one subject.
Dhyana – Meditation
Complete with yourself.
Samadhi – Pure consciousness
Sense of freedom.