Showing posts from February, 2007

Sun Salutations Collage

Surya Namaskar

For a description of each posture, see Sun Salutations

Meditation and It's Benefits

Simple techniques for meditation include:
i. meditation on the breath ii. meditation on a visualized or actual object such as an area of the body for healing, the chakras within the body, a deity, mandala, candle, yantra, or a quality such as compassion, and/or iii. the repetition of a mantra, (a sacred sound), which can be with the use of a mala, or prayer beads.
Don't Worry About "Achieving" the Meditative State - This Occurs Naturally After Some Time
Once you are well on your way in your yoga practice and healthy in body and approach you may be able to sit still and focus your awareness on a single point. This, according to the Yoga sutras of Patanjali, will lead you spontaneously into meditation. So it is actually concentration that we sit down to practice, i.e. the continuous focus on a specific point, not meditation. Meditation is the stage that follows it.
Some Benefits of Meditation

Meditation offers a chance to bring our attention to our rich inner and outer worlds, …

Men and Yoga

Article By J Lamb
Yoga doesn't present a sufficient challenge for blokes. Well, that’s what I used to think. Then just over a year ago, needing something to chill me out, I went to my first yoga class. An hour and a half later, I came away feeling beautifully relaxed, as if I’d drunk half a bottle of wine. But I’d also stretched parts of my body that hadn’t been stretched since… well, never. This was real exercise after all.

And I kept going to weekly classes. Within three or four months people were commenting that I looked taller. All that stretching had improved my posture. I now stood up straight instead of slouching. I also felt more relaxed. On packed tube trains in the middle of July I didn’t get that tight-chested, breathless feeling because yoga helped me breathe correctly. But most of all I felt stronger, fitter. Men feel that yoga doesn’t present a sufficiently macho challenge – it’s for girls. But if you stick with it, the positions become more challenging. The repetiti…

Yoga Therapy for Injuries

Injuries to the body from accidents can take a long time to heal and require a holistic approach to compensate for the shock received to the body. Yoga is a very practical but nurturing solution. Gentle yoga mobility exercises plus relaxation and healing meditation and visualisation can combine to aid the road to recovery.

Case Studies:

Elkie who was told she would never be able to raise her arm up after an accident that dislocated her shoulder says,

"After having had a bad accident...dislocated and fractured my shoulder.....I feel very privileged to have met Yoga Harmony who with her expert knowledge and wonderful calm being has helped me mentally and physically. There is no doubt in my mind that Yoga has been very powerful in my complete recovery and I look forward to seeing Yoga Harmony every week!" (Elkie, London)

Yoga Therapy

Back Pain - Gentle asanas can help to strengthen the spine and abdominal muscles and to improve postural imbalances.

Neck Pain - one of the most vulnerable areas of the body, as it is so mobile, the neck can benefit from gentle yoga asanas to prevent injury. This is also very important as problems to the neck can cause other problems in the rest of the body, such as headaches, dizziness, loss of balance and panic attacks.

Knee Pain - the knees are also one of the most vulnerable which is why knee injury is so common. Yoga asanas work to align the joints, correct imbalances in the posture and eliminate bad habits in movement so that knee injury is minimised.

Stress - all the yoga practices including yoga philosophy and diet can help to reduce stress as they address the whole lifestyle.

Cancer - See article "A Life Without Yoga" on living with Cancer.

Heart Conditions - blood pressure can be regulated with the help of meditation.

Arthritis (osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, gout…

The Gurus

So much of the information we have on Yoga in modern times is because of the inspiration of the Gurus and scholars who have worked so hard to bring yoga to people around the world. 
A few of the Yoga Gurus:

Swami Vivekananda
T Krishnamacharya
Pattabhi Jois
TKV Desikachar
BKS Iyengar
Swami Sivananda (Divine Life Society)
Swami Rama Swami Saraswati (Bihar School of Yoga)
Paramahansa Yogananda
Indra Devi

Yogis, Researchers and Scholars "It should be thought very strange if one's hands and feet refused to behave, or behaved in a manner which showed that their owner had no control over them. Yet that is how too often human beings allow their most delicate instrument, the mind, to behave."
(Theos Bernard PhD, Explorer and Author of Heaven Lies Within Us)

Theos Bernard - The first American to be initiated into the rites of Tibetan Buddhism
Georg Feuerstein - Author Of The Yoga Tradition and Director of Yoga Research Institute
Mircea Eliade - Founder of "The Chicago School" o…

Books - Inspirational Reads

- Light on Yoga by BKS Iyengar
- Yoga Mala by Patthabhi Jois
- Anatomy of Hatha Yoga by H David Coulter
- Prana, Pranayama, Prana Vidya by Swami Saraswati
- Meditations from the Mat by Rolf Gates & Katrina Kenison

- Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Translation & Commentary by Swami Vishnu Devananda
- Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi
- The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Alistair Shearer

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Yoga & The Mind

Five Levels of Mental Functioning 

5.Nirodha - Patanjali says, "yogas chitta vritti nirodah" to describe the clearest quality of mind, (the fifth level) attainable via yoga practice. The aphorism defines the purpose of yoga as being to calm the fluctuations of the mind in order for the practitioner to see his/her true Self.

The other four levels of mental functioning are in the following order:

1. Ksipta - There is a low level of awareness of thoughts, feelings and perceptions and these are ever fluctuating and seemingly incoherent.

2. Mudha - A high level of inertia is observed here. There is a low level of motivation to think, feel or act. This can come about as a result of over eating, heavy medication, loss, deep disappointment, lack of sleep, and other causes.

3. Viksipta - This is thought to be the most common state of mind. Here, there is a reasonable level of mental activity but this is frought with doubts and fears and lacks a sense of unwavering purpose and direction. T…