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Yoga

Yoga Therapy  | Yoga Systems | Hints and Cautions | Lessons and Articles 

  1. Where to Start

  2. Easy Breathing

  3. Yoga Notes

  4. The Rope Of Karma (article)

  5. The silent answer to 'Does God Exist' (article)

  6. Panacea gone awry(article)

  7. Misconceptions in Medicine

  8. Transference of Anger

  9. Vrittis- The five states of the mind

  10. Secrets of Secrets

 

Where to Start?

To answer this question lets refer to one definition of 'knowledge.' Knowledge is the expression of and experience gained from an action performed.

“Where to start?” That is the first question one asks when getting ready to begin a practice of Yoga. Some answer, begin with meditation, while others suggests Asanas or warm up postures and exercise. As in all good questions, this question should be answered by another question, “Where did life start?” and the answer to both  of our above questions is “….with the breath of life”. Our Yoga practice should start with the breath disciplines which will later on lead us to the classical Pranayama

The ancient masters advocate that the practice of yoga actually begins in the mind and through the medium of the breath extends into the physical body.

 

In the beginning, Pranayama is very much a case of simply moving air in and out of the body, or vayu-yama. As long as the pulse of prana is pervading in the body vayu-yama, breathing out and in like the ebb and flow of the ocean. Becoming aware of the pulse of life -Prana- increase the force of the flywheel called breath. on the other hand to force the breath in a 'particular way' is an act of the ego.

Even when practicing Specific Pranayama exercises it is vital to be aware of the process and not to simply force the event.

Pranayama is actually a higher form of controlled breathing bringing under domination the Divine Life Force, represented by the Prana. 

The first exercise is simply to become aware how the body wants to breathe and let that go on for a while about 2 minutes would be sufficient. In this practice it is more important to be aware of the movement of breath in and out of the body.

There is a special way to observe this process that causes the movement of the breath to switch from being generated from the lower brain to the more conscious upper brain.

The Second Pranayama to be learned is a simple, easy form of involved, deep, regular inspiration and expiration of breath. It is called Sukha Pranayama and can be done in any upright sitting position. Sukha means “pleasant” and this breath should always be approached with a positive sense of enjoyment, where the breath is also deep or Dirgha, sending powerful reflexogenic feedback signals through to the brain advising the “respiratory center” that Pranayama is being done.

 This is the safest and best approach although to many is not exciting. 

The first rule is to cause no harm. Any practice which has the potential to cause harm to the body should be avoided. Any practice which would interrupt natural breathing and further cause labored breathing should be avoided.

Attempting to do Yoga postures and when there comes a strain, then and only then one tries to breathe in order to allay the pain or difficulty is wrong practice.

In the beginning the practice of breathing is to get introduced to the body and what to do with the body comes next.

Sukha Pranayama

1.       Sit comfortably with the head neck and trunk in a straight line as much as is possible.

2.       Place the palms of the hands down on the legs, close in against the body or fold the palms together and rest them in the lap.

3.       Breathe deeply in and out, slowly six to ten times. The incoming breath should take a minimum of a six count, and equally also the outgoing breath. After a few days of practice, extend the number of rounds so that five to six minutes of deep breathing is easy to do.

In performing this simple breathing exercise pay attention to how the breath impels the body. As in the more advanced lessons the use of advanced breathing practice is used to make the body flexible...this is the true Tapas (heat that comes from within) and not to raise the temperature of the room.