YOGA

P103045502-YA-TEACHER-RYT-200

Profesora de Hatha Yoga Sivananda © formada en Chakra Yoga School en Rishikesh India (http://www.yogachakraindia.org/)
(http://www.sivananda.org)

…English version…


Yoga means union of the mind, body and spirit with the Divine and while this refers to a certain state of consciousness both individual and Universal, it is also a method to help one reach that goal creating a healthy body and mind that leads to spiritual evolvement.

Based in the teachings of Swami Sivananda, Swami Vishnudevananda summarized the yoga philosophy in 5 principles or the Five Points of Yoga:

  1. Proper Exercise (Asanas) Yoga poses help develop a strong, healthy body by enhancing flexibility and improving circulation.
  2. Proper Breathing (Pranayama) Deep, conscious breathing reduces stress and many diseases.
  3. Proper Relaxation Helps keep the body from going into overload mode, easing worry and fatigue.
  4. Proper Diet Eating simple, healthy and vegetarian foods that are easy to digest notably have a positive effect on the mind and body, as well as the environment and other living beings.
  5. Positive Thinking (Vedanta) and Meditation (Dhyana) These are the true keys to achieving peace of mind and be free of negativity in our lives.

The Four Paths of Yoga

The Four Paths of Yoga, Union with the Divine, completes the picture to give individuals a clear sense of direction for not only a healthier and stronger body but also a way of living that promotes peace and mindfulness to counteract day-to-day trials and tribulations.

Help in getting there by giving options that fit different human temperaments and approaches to life. Which one fits you best?

  1. Karma Yoga (yoga of action) teaches to act without egoist expectations in all endeavours of daily life ~ home, work, school. It is a good path with someone who is outgoing and enjoys a certain sense of spiritual activism to help others.
  2. Bhakti Yoga (the path of devotion) is a good path for someone with an emotional nature and enjoys prayer, worship and seeking God through unconditionally loving others. The rise of kirtan or singing/chanting is a sure sign that Bhakti Yoga is a growing path around the world.
  3. Raja Yoga (the Science of the mind) is the path that takes us on a comprehensive journey to understanding our mind and thoughts. Through mental control, we are able to gain control of the physical body and the life force energy known as prana. This is a good path for those who are interested in meditation and its effects on the mind.
  4. Jnana Yoga (yoga of knowledge) is considered a good path for those with strong intellectual tendencies as it requires great strength of will and mind. Using Vedanta as a vehicle, the inquiry into the individual nature is the key to this difficult path. It is best undertaken after some of the lessons of the other paths have been well understood in order to move along towards Self-realization or profound spiritual awakening.

…Versión Española…


Yoga Significa Unión

Unión entre el Jivatman y Paramatman; la conciencia individual y la Conciencia Universal.
Unión entre cuerpo, mente y espíritu. De acuerdo con los temperamentos y gustos personales, se puede enfatizar la práctica de ciertos Yogas, más que las de otros.

Los 5 Puntos del Yoga

Hay cientos o más de técnicas y Yogas diferentes. Con el propósito de simplificar y clarificar el tema, Suami Vishnudevananda, sintetizó la vasta ciencia del Yoga en 5 principios sencillos de entender e incluir en nuestra vida diaria: Ejercicio Adecuado, Respiración Adecuada, Relajación Adecuada, Dieta Adecuada, Pensamiento Positivo y Meditación.

Los 4 caminos del Yoga

Las distintas prácticas Yóguicas han sido clasificadas tradicionalmente en cuatro Margas (sendas):

Jnana Yoga, o Jnana Marga, que es el Yoga de la sabiduría, y desarrolla el intelecto o voluntad.

Bhakti Yoga, el Yoga de la devoción, que abre al corazón.

Karma Yoga, la senda de la acción, o del servicio desinteresado.

Raja Yoga, la senda regia, o psicológica, que involucra a la mente. Una rama del Raja Yoga, es Hatha Yoga, que prepara al Yogui para los estadios más elevados del Raja Yoga.

…Para más información…


 Los 5 principios del Yoga

1. Ejercicio Adecuado (Asanas)

Nuestro cuerpo físico está diseñado para moverse y ejercitarse. Es importante llevar un estilo de vida que provea el ejercicio natural a los músculos y articulaciones, previniendo de enfermedades y posibles dolencias que aparecen por la ausencia de movimiento. El ejercicio adecuado debe ser agradable para el practicante a la vez que beneficioso para el cuerpo, mente y vida espiritual.

El Yoga ve al cuerpo como un vehículo para el alma en su viaje hacia la perfección, los ejercicios físicos están diseñados para desarrollar el cuerpo, ayudar en las facultades mentales y en las capacidades espirituales.

Los ejercicios físicos del yoga se llaman Asanas, que significa postura fija debido a que ésta se mantiene por cierto tiempo. El cuerpo es tan joven como flexible sea. Los ejercicios yóguicos enfatizan en la salud de la columna vertebral, en su fuerza y flexibilidad. La columna vertebral alberga el sistema nervioso, que es el sistema telegráfico del cuerpo. Al mantener la columna fuerte y flexible a través del ejercicio, incrementamos la circulación y los nervios tienen asegurado su suministro de nutrientes y oxígeno.

Las Asanas también afectan a los órganos internos y el sistema endocrino (glándulas y hormonas).
Tradicionalmente, los Yoguis practican Surya Namaskar, el Saludo al Sol, antes de la sesión de Asanas. Aunque existen muchas Asanas (8,400,000 según las escrituras) la práctica de las 12 posturas básicas contiene la esencia y todos los mayores beneficios de este maravilloso sistema.

Las 12 posturas básicas son:

  1. Postura sobre la cabeza (Sirshasana)2. Postura sobre los hombros (Sarvangasana) 3. Postura del arado (Halasana)4. Postura del pez (Matsyasana)

    5. La Pinza (Paschimothanasana)

    6. La Cobra (Bhujangasana)

    7. El Saltamontes (Shalabhasana)

    8. El Arco (Dhanurasana)

    9. La Torsion Espinal (Ardha Matsyendrasana)

    10. El Cuervo (Kakasana) o Pavo Real (Mayurasana)

    11. La Pinza Vertical (Pada Hasthasana)

    12. El Triángulo (Trikonasana)

Al final de cada sesión se realiza siempre una relajación profunda. Que permite absorber los beneficios de la práctica, a todos los niveles, y relajar los músculos previniendo de agujetas.

Las posturas para meditación y Pranayama incluyen la postura del Loto.

2. Respiración adecuada (Pranayamas)

El Yoga nos enseña cómo usar nuestros pulmones al máximo de su capacidad y cómo controlar el aliento. La respiración adecuada debe ser profunda, lenta y rítmica. Esto aumenta la vitalidad y la claridad mental.

Swami Vishnudevananda, fundador/Guru de los Centros Internacionales Sivananda de Yoga Vedanta, enseñaba que la mayoría de la gente usa solamente una fracción de su capacidad pulmonar para la respiración. Respiran de modo superficial, apenas expandiendo la caja torácica. Sus hombros están encorvados, tienen tensión dolorosa en la zona alta de la espalda y cuello, y sufren de falta de oxígeno.

Hay tres tipos distintos de respiración:

  • Respiración clavicular es la más superficial. Durante la inhalación los hombros y la clavícula son elevados mientras que el abdomen es contraído. Se realiza un esfuerzo máximo, pero una mínima cantidad de aire es obtenida.
  • Respiración torácica es realizada con los músculos intercostales expandiendo el tórax, y constituye el segundo tipo de respiración incompleta.
  • Respiración abdominal profunda es la mejor, por cuanto lleva aire a la parte más baja y más amplia de los pulmones. La respiración es lenta y profunda, efectuándose por tanto un uso adecuado del diafragma.

Una respiración yóguica completa combina los tres, comenzando con una respiración abdominal profunda y continuando la inhalación a través de las zonas intercostal y clavicular.

Aprendiendo la respiración abdominal

Coloque una mano sobre el abdomen a la altura del diafragma. Inhale y exhale lentamente. El abdomen deberá expandirse mientras inhala y contraerse al exhalar. Trate de tomar conciencia y compenetrarse con este movimiento.

Aprendiendo la respiración completa yóguica

Una vez que se sienta suficientemente hábil en la práctica de la respiración abdominal estará en condiciones de aprender la respiración completa yóguica. Inhale lentamente, expanda el abdomen, después el tórax, y finalmente la porción superior de los pulmones. Luego, deje salir el aire de la misma forma, dejando que el abdomen ceda a medida que exhala.

Pranayama

El control del Prana, o energía sutil del aliento vital, conduce al control de la mente. Los ejercicios respiratorios son llamados Pranayamas, que significa “controlar el Prana”. El prana circula por los nadis o meridianos de nuestro cuerpo permitiendo que llegue más oxígeno a las células favoreciendo la depuración del organismo y de que no se produzca ácido láctico en la sangre previniéndonos de agujetas.

3. Relajación adecuada (Savasana)

Por medio de una relajación adecuada de todos los músculos el Yogi es capaz de rejuvencer completamente su sistema nervioso y alcanzar una profunda sensación de paz interior.

Cuando el cuerpo y la mente trabajan constantemente de modo excesivo, disminuye su eficacia natural de relajarse. La vida social moderna, la comida, el trabajo, e incluso los “entretenimientos”, hacen que la relajación resulte difícil de alcanzar. En el curso de un día, nuestro cuerpo elabora todas las sustancias y energías necesarias para el día siguiente. Pero todas estas energías pueden ser consumidas en pocos minutos como por ejemplo el malhumor, cólera, ofensas, o irritación intensa.

Con el propósito de regular y equilibrar el trabajo del cuerpo y de la mente, lo mejor es aprender a economizar la energía producida por nuestro cuerpo. Esto puede hacerse aprendiendo a relajarse. Durante la relajación completa, no se consume prácticamente energía, o “Prana”.

Para poder lograr una relajación perfecta, los yoguis utilizan tres medios:

  • Relajación Física

Sabemos que cada acción es consecuencia de un pensamiento. Los pensamientos toman forma en la acción, el cuerpo recoge el pensamiento. La mente puede enviar mensajes a los músculos ordenándoles tanto que se contraigan como que se relajen.

La relajación física puede ser iniciada por los pies y moverse hacia arriba. La autosugestión pasa a través de los músculos, llegando hasta los ojos y oídos. Después, lentamente, se pueden enviar mensajes a los riñones, hígado, y los otros órganos internos. Se puede hacer la relajación en “Savasana, o la “Postura del Cadáver” estirados de cara al cielo con los brazos y piernas ligeramente separadas y las palmas hacia arriba.

  • Relajación Mental

Cuando se experimenta tensión mental, es aconsejable respirar lenta y rítmicamente durante algunos minutos. La mente se calmará pronto y se puede experimentar sensación de flotadez.

  • Relajación Espiritual

Cuando una persona se identifica con el cuerpo y la mente, pueden aflorar preocupaciones, ansiedades, miedo, cólera u otras emociones que crean tensión. Los yoguis saben que trascendiendo la idea de cuerpo/mente y ego, se logra una relajación más completa.
El yogui se reconoce a sí mismo como el gozoso y poderoso Ser interno que todo lo permea y todo paz. El yogui sabe que la fuente de todo poder, conocimiento, paz, y fortaleza, está en el Ser, no en el cuerpo. Nos sintonizamos con ello, afirmando la naturaleza verdadera, esto es: “Yo soy la conciencia pura, o Ser”.

4.       Dieta adecuada (Vegetariana)

Los alimentos que ingerimos afectan profundamente nuestra mente. Para una máxima eficiencia cuerpo-mente y completa conciencia espiritual, el Yoga propone una dieta vegetariana.

La dieta yóguica consiste en alimentos puros, simples y naturales los cuales se digieren en forma sencilla y promueven la salud. Las comidas simples ayudan a la digestión y asimilación de los alimentos. Los requerimientos nutricionales se dividen en cinco categorías: proteínas, carbohidratos, minerales, grasas y vitaminas. Es importante estudiar sobre dietética para poder balancear la dieta. Comer alimentos recién cosechados, frescos, provenientes de la naturaleza, orgánicos, libres de químicos y pesticidas, nos ayuda a atender las necesidades nutricionales. El procesar, refinar y cocinar en exceso, destruye la mayor parte del valor de los alimentos.

El sol es la fuente de energía para toda la vida en nuestro planeta, nutre las plantas (el vértice de la cadena alimenticia) las cuales luego son ingeridas por animales vegetarianos, los cuales son comidos por otros animales carnívoros. Los alimentos que se hayan en el vértice de la cadena alimenticia, al ser nutridos directamente por el sol, tienen las mayores propiedades para promover la vida. El valor alimenticio de la carne como fuente nutritiva se conoce como “de segunda mano”, y es inferior en la naturaleza. Todos los alimentos naturales (frutas, vegetales, semillas, frutos secos y granos) tienen, en distintas proporciones, estos nutrientes esenciales. Como fuente de proteína son fácilmente asimilables por el organismo. Sin embargo, los alimentos de “segunda mano” son más difíciles para digerir y son de menor valor para el metabolismo del cuerpo.

La calidad de la proteína es más importante que la cantidad misma. Los altos requerimientos proteicos que aún se usan en muchos departamentos de salud se basan en datos antiguos y han sido reprobados varias veces en el laboratorio. Una máxima saludable es: “Come para vivir, no vivas para comer”. Lo mejor es si entendemos que el propósito de comer es suministrar a nuestro organismo fuerza vital o Prana, la energía vital para la vida.

Sin embargo, la verdadera dieta yóguica es aún más selectiva que esto. El Yogui se preocupa por el efecto sutil que los alimentos tienen sobre su mente y su cuerpo astral. Por lo tanto evita alimentos que son sobre estimulantes, prefiriendo aquellos que le dejan la mente en calma y el intelecto agudo, atento. Aquel que siga seriamente el camino de Yoga evitará la ingesta de carnes, pescado, huevos, cebollas, ajo, café, té (excepto de hierbas), alcohol y drogas.

Cualquier cambio en la dieta debe hacerse en forma gradual. Comienza sustituyendo cada vez más grandes porciones de vegetales, granos, semillas y frutos secos, hasta que finalmente todos los productos cárnicos se hayan eliminado de la dieta. La dieta yóguica te ayudará a alcanzar un nivel de salud y vitalidad más elevado y serenidad mental.

5.       Meditación (Dhyana)

El Pensamiento Positivo y la Meditación constituyen uno de los 5 puntos fundamentales de Yoga, tal como lo enseño Swami Vishnudevananda fundador de los Centros Internacionales Sivananda de Yoga Vedanta. “Nos convertimos en aquello que pensamos”. Es importante tener pensamientos positivos y creativos ya que estos contribuirán a una salud vibrante y una mente pacífica, llena de alegría.

Cuando la superficie de un lago está en calma, uno puede ver el fondo muy claramente. Esto es imposible cuando la superficie está agitada por las olas. De la misma manera, cuando la mente está en calma, sin pensamientos ni deseos, puedes ver él “Ser”, a esto se le llama “Yoga”.

La felicidad que se logra a través de la mente es temporaria y efímera. Para alcanzar un estado estable de paz y felicidad podemos calmar la agitación mental concentrando la mente externa e internamente. Internamente, nos enfocamos en el “Ser” o la conciencia del “Yo soy”. Externamente enfocando nuestra atención en un elemento externo.

Cuando nos tomamos un tiempo para poner la pelota en el hoyo de golf, los demás pensamientos se enlentecen o aquietan. Sentimos que jugamos un buen partido cuando alcanzamos una perfecta concentración. La felicidad que experimentamos aparece no por haber colocado la pelota en el hoyo dieciocho veces, sino por haber logrado una concentración perfecta en dieciocho oportunidades. En ese momento todas las preocupaciones y problemas del mundo desaparecieron.

La habilidad para concentrarse está en tod@s, no es extraordinaria ni misteriosa.
La meditación no es algo que un Yogui tenga que enseñarnos, cada uno/a tiene la habilidad. Meditar es estar en un estado observativo libre de juicio. La meditación genera profundos cambios en la psique, refrenando y calmando las oscilaciones de la mente y trayendo paz mental.

En el estado meditativo el tiempo se desvanece. El tiempo no es más que una modificación de la mente que depende de cómo lo percibimos. El tiempo, el espacio, la causalidad y las experiencias externas son una ilusión.

La experiencia cotidiana está limitada por tiempo y espacio pero en estado de meditación la conciencia trasciende estos límites. El presente es el ahora percibido como un flujo infinito en constante cambio, inmensurablemente pequeño y efímero, no puede retenerse. Pasado y futuro no existen.

A nivel físico la meditación ayuda a prolongar los procesos anabólicos de crecimiento y reparación, y a reducir los catabólicos o procesos de decaimiento. Normalmente los procesos anabólicos predominan hasta la edad de 18 años. De los 18 a los 35 hay un balance entre ambos, y luego de los 35 los procesos catabólicos predominan. La Meditación puede reducir significativamente el descenso catabólico. Esto es por la receptividad innata de las células del cuerpo.

Cada célula de nuestro cuerpo está gobernada por la mente instintiva subconsciente. Ambas tienen una conciencia individual y colectiva. Cuando los pensamientos y deseos fluyen en el cuerpo, las células se activan, el cuerpo siempre obedece a la demanda del grupo. Está científicamente probado que los pensamientos positivos traen resultados positivos a las células. Como la meditación trae un estado positivo prolongado a la mente, rejuvenece las células del cuerpo y retarda el decaimiento.

Algunos consejos para la meditación:

  1. La regularidad en el tiempo, lugar y práctica es muy importante. La regularidad condiciona a la mente para enlentecer sus actividades con un mínimo de retraso.
  2. Las horas más efectivas son al amanecer y al atardecer, cuando la atmósfera se carga con una fuerza espiritual especial. Si no es posible sentarse a meditar a estas horas, elige una hora en la que no estés involucrado con actividades diarias, una hora donde la mente esté apta para calmarse.
  3. Trata de tener un cuarto separado para la meditación. A medida que se repite la meditación, poderosas vibraciones se asentarán en esa área y podrá sentirse una atmósfera de pureza y paz.
  4. Cuando te sientes, mira hacia el norte o este para poder tomar ventaja de las vibraciones magnéticas favorables. Siéntate en una postura firme, confortable, las piernas cruzadas, la columna y el cuello erguidos sin tensiones.
  5. Antes de comenzar, programa a la mente mantenerse quieta por un período determinado de tiempo determinado usando el reloj biológico. Olvida el pasado, presente y futuro.
  6. Regula la respiración conscientemente. Comienza con cinco minutos de respiración abdominal profunda para llevar oxígeno al cerebro. Luego enlentece el ritmo hasta hacerlo imperceptible.
  7. Mantén la respiración rítmica, la inhalación y la exhalación deben tener la misma durada.
  8. Permite que la mente divague al comienzo. Saltará de un lado a otro, pero eventualmente se volverá más concentrada, junto con la concentración del prana.
  9. Si quieres puedes eligir un punto de concentración en el cual la mente pueda descansar. Para las personas que son de naturaleza intelectual, será el Ajna Chakra, el punto entre las cejas. Para las personas más emocionales, se puede usar el Anahata o Chakra del Corazón.
  10. Otra posibilidad es concentrase en un objeto neutral o elevado, manteniendo esa imagen en el punto de concentración. Si usas un Mantra, repítelo mentalmente, y coordina la repetición con la respiración. A pesar de que la repetición mental es más poderosa, el mantra puede repetirse en forma audible si uno comienza a sentirse soñoliento.
  11. La repetición llevará al pensamiento puro, en el cual la vibración del sonido se une con la repetición mental, sin conciencia del significado. La repetición audible progresa y lleva a la repetición mental, de allí a la repetición telepática, y luego al pensamiento puro.
  12. Con práctica, la dualidad desaparece y se alcanza Samadhi o estado de super conciencia. En Samadhi uno descansa en el estado de dicha, en el cual el conocedor, el conocimiento y lo conocido se vuelven uno. Este es el estado de super conciencia alcanzado por los místicos de todas las creencias y credos.

Las 4 Sendas del Yoga

Cada una se ajusta a un temperamento o a una aproximación diferente a la vida. Todas las sendas conducen, en última instancia, al mismo destino – la unión con Brahman o Dios – y las lecciones de cada una de ellas deben de ser integradas si se desea lograr verdadera sabiduría.

Karma Yoga, El Yoga de la Acción

Es la senda elegida primariamente por aquellos de naturaleza extrovertida. Purifica el corazón, enseñándonos a actuar desinteresadamente, sin pensar en ganancias o recompensas. Al desapegarnos de los frutos de nuestras acciones y ofrecérlas sin esperar nada a cambio, aprendemos a sublimar el ego. Es útil mantener la mente concentrada repitiendo un mantra durante el desarrollo de cualquier actividad.

Bhakti Yoga, La Senda de la Devoción o del Amor Divino

Esta senda atrae particularmente a aquellos de naturaleza emocional. El Bhakti Yogui está motivado principalmente por el poder del Amor/Dios. Se entrega a través de la oración, el culto y el ritual, canalizando y transmutando las emociones en devoción o amor incondicional, entonando y cantando bajhans (alabanzas).

Jñana Yoga, El Yoga del Conocimiento o Sabiduría

Esta es la senda más difícil, requiere gran fuerza de voluntad e intelecto. Utilizando la filosofía del Vedanta, el Jñana Yogui usa su mente para investigar dentro de su propia naturaleza. El Jñana Yoga conduce al devoto a experimentar su unidad con ‘Dios’ directamente, al disolver el velo de la ignorancia. Antes de practicar Jñana Yoga, el aspirante debe haber integrado las lecciones de las otras sendas yóguicas – ya que sin desinterés y amor por Dios, y sin fortaleza de cuerpo y mente, la búsqueda de la autorrealización puede convertirse en una mera y vacua especulación.

Raja Yoga, La Ciencia del Control Mental y Físico

A menudo llamada la “senda real”, ofrece un método comprensivo para controlar las ondas de pensamiento, transformando nuestra energía mental y física en energía espiritual. El Raja Yoga es llamado también Ashtanga Yoga en referencia a los ocho pasos que conducen al control mental absoluto. La práctica principal del Raja Yoga es la meditación. También incluye todos los demás métodos que nos ayudan a controlar el cuerpo, la energía, los sentidos y la mente. El Hatha Yogui utiliza la Relajación y otras prácticas tales como Yamas, Niyamas, Mudras, Bandhas, etc., para obtener el control del cuerpo físico y de la sutil fuerza vital llamada Prana. Cuando el cuerpo y la energía están en comunión, la meditación se produce naturalmente.

 

…More information…


The Five Points of Yoga

Swami Vishnudevananda condensed the essence of the yoga teachings into five principles for physical and mental health as well as spiritual growth. These are the core teachings of the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres and Ashrams.

1.       Proper Exercise (Asanas)

Our physical body is meant to move and exercise. Proper exercise should be pleasant to the practitioner while beneficial to the body, mind and spiritual life.

There are numerous modern physical culture systems designed to develop the muscles through mechanical movements and exercises. As Yoga regards the body as a vehicle for the soul on its journey towards perfection, Yogic physical exercises are designed to develop not only the body. They also broaden the mental faculties and the spiritual capacities.

The Yogic physical exercises are called Asanas, a term which means steady pose. This is because the Yoga Asana (or posture) is meant to be held for some time. The body is as young as it is flexible. Yoga exercises focus on the health of the spine, its strength and flexibility. The spinal column houses the all-important nervous system, the telegraphic system of the body. By maintaining the spine’s flexibility and strength through exercise, circulation is increased and the nerves are ensured their supply of nutrients and oxygen.

The Asanas also affect the internal organs and the endocrine system (glands and hormones).

Swami Vishnudevananda recommended daily practice of the 12 Basic Asanas. Traditionally, Yogis practice Surya Namaskar, the sun salutation, before the Asanas.

  1. Headstand (Sirshasana)
  2. Shoulderstand (Sarvangasana)
  3. Plough (Halasana)
  4. Fish (Matsyasana)
  5. Sitting Forward bend (Paschimothanasana)
  6. Cobra (Bhujangasana)
  7. Locust (Shalabhasana)
  8. Bow (Dhanurasana)
  9. Spinal twist (Ardha Matsyendrasana)
  10. Crow (Kakasana) or Peacock (Mayurasana)
  11. Standing forward bend (Pada Hasthasana)
  12. Triangle (Trikonasana)

2.       Proper Breathing (Pranayamas)

Yoga teaches us how to use the lungs to their maximum capacity and how to control the breath. Proper breathing should be deep, slow and rhythmical. This increases vitality and mental clarity.

Three Types of Breathing:

  1. Clavicular breathing is the most shallow and worst possible type. The shoulders and collarbone are raised while the abdomen is contracted during inhalation. Maximum effort is made, but a minimum amount of air is obtained.
  2. Thoracic breathing is done with the rib muscles expanding the rib cage, and is the second type of incomplete breathing.
  3. Deep abdominal breathing is the best, for it brings air to the lowest and largest part of the lungs. Breathing is slow and deep, and proper use is made of the diaphragm.

A full Yogic breath combines all three, beginning with a deep breath and continuing the inhalation through the intercostal and clavicular areas.

Learning Abdominal Breathing

Wear loose clothing and lie on the back. Place the hand on the upper abdomen, where the diaphragm is located. Breathe in and out slowly. The abdomen should expand outward as you inhale and contract as you exhale. Try to get the feeling of this motion.

Learning Full Yogic Breathing

Breathe in slowly, expand the abdomen, then the ribcage, and finally the upper portion of the lungs. Then, breathe out in the same manner, letting the abdomen cave in as you exhale.

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.

The two main Pranayamas taught in the Sivananda Ashrams and Centres are Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma.

3.       Proper Relaxation (Savasana)

Long before the invention of cars, planes, telephones, computers, freeways and other modern triggers of stress, the Rishis (sages or seers) and Yogis of yore devised very powerful techniques of deep relaxation. As a matter of fact, many modern stress-management and relaxation methods borrow heavily from this tradition. By relaxing deeply all the muscles the Yogi can thoroughly rejuvenate his nervous system and attain a deep sense of inner peace.

When the body and the mind are constantly overworked, their natural efficiency to perform work diminishes. Modern social life, food, work and even the so-called entertainment make difficult for modern people to relax. Many have even forgotten that rest and relaxation are nature’s way of recharging. Even while trying to rest, the average person expends a lot of physical and mental energy through tension. Much of the body’s energy is wasted uselessly.

More of our energy is spent in keeping the muscles in continual readiness for work than in the actual useful work done. In order to regulate and balance the work of the body and mind, it is best to learn to economize the energy produced by our body. This may be done by learning to relax.

It may be remembered that in the course of one day, our body usually produce all the substances and energy necessary for the next day. But it often happens that all these substances and energy may be consumed within a few minutes by bad moods, anger, injury or intense irritation.

There are three methods used by yogis:

1.       Physical Relaxation

We know that every action is the result of thought. Thoughts take form in action, the body reaching to the thought. The mind may send a message to the muscles ordering them to contract and also to bring relaxation.

Physical relaxation can begin with the toes and then move upward. The autosuggestion pases through the muscles and reaches the eyes and ears at the top. Then, slowly, messages can be sent to the kidneys, liver and the other internal organs. This relaxation position is known as Savasana, the Corpse Pose. The body is laying down facing up, arms and feed a part, palms to the sky.

2.       Mental Relaxation

When experiencing mental tension, it is advisable to breathe slowly and rhythmically for a few minutes. Soon the mind will become calm and you may experience a kind of floating sensation.

3.       Spiritual Relaxation

As long as a person identifies with the body and the mind, there will be worries, sorrows, anxieties, fear and anger. These emotions, in turn bring tension. When one goes beyond the body/mind and separate him/herself from the ego-consciousness it is easier to reach relaxation.

The yogi recognize himself with the all-pervading, all-powerful, all-peaceful and joyful self, or pure consciousness within. He knows that the source of all power, knowledge, peace and strength is in the self. We tune to this by asserting the real nature that is “I am that pure consciousness or self”. This identification with the self-completes the process of relaxation.

4.     Proper Diet (Vegeterian)

Besides being responsible for building our physical body, the foods we eat profoundly affect our mind. For maximum body-mind efficiency and complete spiritual awareness, Yoga advocates a vegetarian diet. This is an integral part of the Yogic lifestyle.

The yogic diet consisting of pure, simple, natural foods which are easily digested and promote health. Simple meals aid the digestion and assimilation of foods. Nutritional requirements fall under five categories: protein, carbohydrates, minerals, fats and vitamins. One should have a certain knowledge of dietetics in order to balance the diet. Eating foods first-hand from nature, grown in fertile soil (preferably organic, free from chemicals and pesticides) will help ensure a better supply of these nutritional needs. Processing, refining and overcooking destroy much food value.

There is a cycle in nature known as the “food cycle” or “food chain”. The Sun is the source of energy for all life on our planet; it nourishes the plants (the top of the food chain) which are then eaten by animals (vegetarian), which are then eaten by other animals (carnivores). The food at the top of the food chain, being directly nourished by the Sun, has the greatest life promoting properties. The food value of animal flesh is termed as “second-hand” source of nutrition, and is inferior in nature. All natural foods (fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts and grains) have, in varying quantities, different proportions of these essential nutrients. As source of protein, these are easily assimilated by the body. However, second-hand sources are often more difficult to digest and are of less value to the body’s metabolism.

Many people worry about whether they are getting enough protein, but neglect other factors. The quality of the protein is more important than the quantity alone. Legumes, nuts and seeds provide the vegetarian with an adequate supply of protein. The high protein requirement still being used by many Health Departments is based on antiquated data and has been scientifically disproved many times in the laboratory.

A healthy motto is: “Eat to live, not live to eat”. It is best if we understand that the purpose of eating is to supply our being with the lifeforce, or Prana, the vital life energy.

However, the true Yogic diet is actually even more selective than this. The Yogi is concerned with the subtle effect that food has on his mind and astral body. He therefore avoids foods which are overly stimulating, preferring those which render the mind calm and the intellect sharp. One who seriously takes to the path of Yoga would avoid ingesting meats, fish, eggs, onions, garlic, coffee, tea (except herbal), alcohol and drugs.

Any change in diet should be made gradually. Start by substituting larger portions of vegetables, grains, seeds and nuts until finally all flesh products have been completely eliminated from the diet.

The Yogic diet will help you attain a high standard of health, keen intellect and serenity of mind. To really understand the Yogic approach to diet one has to get familiar with the concept of the 3 Gunas or qualities of nature.

5.Positive Thinking & Meditation

Here is the most important point of all, we become what we think. Thus we should exert to entertain positive and creative thoughts as these will contribute to vibrant health and a peaceful, joyful mind. A positive outlook on life can be developed by learning and practicing the teachings of the philosophy of Vedanta. The mind will be brought in communion by regular practice of meditation.

When the surface of a lake is still, one can see to the bottom very clearly. This is impossible when the surface is agitated by waves. In the same way, when the mind is still, with no thoughts or desires, you can see the “Self” this is called Yoga.

We can control the mental agitation by two means: by concentrating the mind either externally or internally. Internally, we focus on the “Self” or the consciousness of “I am”. Externally, we focus on anything other than the “Self” or “I am”.

When we take up some recreation on putting the ball into the hole (golf), the other thoughts are slowed down or stilled. We feel we have played a good game when we have achieved perfect concentration. The happiness we experience comes, not because the ball being put in the hole eighteen times, but because we have achieved perfect concentration eighteen times. At that time, all the worries and problems of the world disappeared.

The mental ability to concentrate is inherent to all; it is not extraordinary or mysterious. Meditation is not something that a Yogi has to teach you; you already have the ability to shut out thoughts being in a meditative state free of judgment.

All happiness achieved through the mind is temporary and fleeting. To achieve that state of lasting happiness and absolute peace, we must first know how to calm, to concentrate and go beyond the mind. By turning the mind’s concentration inward, upon the self, we can deepen that experience of perfect concentration.

When the mind is fully concentrated, time passes unnoticed, as if it did not exist. Time and Space are just an illusion of Maya. The meditative state transcends all such limitations. In it there is neither past nor future, but only the consciousness of “I am” in the eternal NOW. It is only possible when all mental modifications are stilled.

Meditation works profound changes in the psyche. By curbing and stilling the oscillations of the mind, meditation brings mental peace. On the physical level, meditation helps to prolong the body’s anabolic process of growth and repair, and to reduce the catabolic or decaying process. Ordinarily the anabolic process predominates until the age of 18. From 18 to 35 there is balance between the two, and after 35 the catabolic process dominates. Meditation can significantly reduce the catabolic decline. This is because of the innate receptivity of the body cells.

Each of our body cells is governed by the instinctive subconscious mind. They have both an individual and a collective conciousness. When the thoughts and desires pour into the body, the cells are activated; the body always obeys the group demand. It has been scientifically proven that positive thoughts bring positive result to cells. As meditation brings about a prolonged positive state of mind, it rejuvenates body cells and retards decay.

One cannot learn to meditate, anymore than one can learn to sleep, one falls into both states. There are certain points to remember regarding the techniques and stages of meditation.

Councils for the Meditation

  1. Regularity of time, place and practice are important. Regularity conditions the mind to slow down its activities with a minimum of delay.
  2. The most effective times are early dawn and dusk, when the atmosphere is charged with special spiritual force. If it is not feasible to sit for meditation at these times, choose an hour when you are not involved with daily activities and a time when the mind is apt to be calm can be helpful. But meditation is a way of life, you can meditate anywhere anytime, even with the eyes open or when you are doing things.
  3. Try to have a separate room or place for meditation. As meditation is repeated, the powerful vibrations set up will be lodged in the area; an atmosphere of peace and purity will be felt.
  4. When sitting, face North or East in order to take advantage of favorable magnetic vibrations. Sit in a steady, comfortable, cross-legged position with spine and neck erect but not tense.
  5. Before beginning, command the mind to be quiet for a specific length of time. Forget the past, present and future and use your biological clock.
  6. Consciously regulate the breath. Begin with five minutes of deep abdominal breathing to bring oxygen to the brain. Then slow it down to an imperceptible rate.
  7. Keep the breathing, rhythmic, inhale for three seconds and exhale for three seconds. Regulation of breath also regulates the flow of prana, the vital energy.
  8. Allow the mind to wander at first. It will jump around, but will eventually become concentrated, along with the concentration of prana. Don’t force the mind to be still, as this will set in motion additional brain waves, hindering meditation.
  9. You can select a focal point on which the mind may rest. For people who are intellectual by nature, this may be the Ajna Chakra., the point between the eyebrows. For more emotional people, use the Anahata or Heart Chakra. Never change this focal point.
  10. AN other option is to focus on a neutral or uplifting object, holding the image in the place of concentration. If using a Mantra, repeat it mentally, and co-ordinate repetition with the breath. If you don’t have a personalized Manta, use Om. Although mental repetition is stronger, the mantra may be repeated aloud if one becomes drowsy.
  11. Repetition will lead to pure thought, in which sound vibration merges with thought vibration, without awareness of meaning. Vocal repetition progresses through mental repetition to telepathic language, and from there to pure thought.
  12. With practice you can feel beyond the duality what in India is known as Samadhi or the superconscious state. In Samadhi one rests in the state of bliss in which the Knower, the Knowledge, and the Known become one. This is the superconcious state reached by mystics of all faiths and persuasions.

If you meditate for half an hour daily, you will be able to face life with peace and spiritual strength. Meditation is the most powerful mental and nerve tonic. Divine energy freely flows to the adept during meditation, and exerts a benign influence on the mind, nerves, sense organs and body. It opens the door to intuitive knowledge and realms of bliss.

The Four Paths of Yoga

There are four main paths of Yoga – Karma Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, Raja Yoga and Jnana Yoga. Each is suited to a different temperament or approach to life. All the paths lead ultimately to the same destination – to union with Brahman/God/Universe – and the lessons of each of them need to be integrated if true wisdom is to be attained.

Swami Sivananda recognised that every Yogi, or human being for that matter, possesses and identifies with each of these elements: Intellect, heart, body and mind. He therefore advocated everyone to practice certain techniques from each path. This came to be known as the Yoga of Synthesis. He also taught that in accordance with individual temperament and taste one can emphasize the practice of certain Yogas over others.

Karma Yoga – The yoga of Action

Karma Yoga is the Yoga of Action. It is the path chosen primarily by those of an outgoing nature. It purifies the heart by teaching you to act selflessly, without thought of gain or reward. By detaching yourself from the fruits of your actions and offering them up to God, you learn to sublimate the ego. To achieve this, it is helpful to keep your mind focused by repeating a mantra while engaged in any activity.

“Karma Yoga is the selfless devotion of all inner as well as the outer activities as a Sacrifice to the Lord of all works, offered to the eternal as Master of all the soul’s energies and austerities.”
-Bhagavad Gita-

Right Attitude

It’s not what you do that counts, it’s the attitude while doing it that determines if a job is a karma yoga job, i.e. a liberating job, or a binding job. Work is worship.

Right Motive

Same as attitude. It is not what you do that counts but your real motive behind it. Your motive must be pure.

Do Your Duty

Often “duty” is referred to as “righteousness”. You will incur demerit if you shun your duty. Your duty is towards God, or Self, or the Inner Teacher who teaches you through all the specific circumstances of your life as they appear.

Do Your Best

Whatever you have to do, do your best. If you know of a better way to serve, you must use it. Do not hold back because of fear of effort or because of fear of criticism. Do not work in a sloppy manner just because no one is watching or because you feel the work is not for you. Give your best. Try to do such actions that can bring maximum good and minimum evil. Do Karma Yoga increasingly.

Give up Results

God/Life is the doer. You are not the doer. You are only the instrument. You do not know God’s intentions or God’s plans. God is the actor. The Self never acts, changes. It is only the 3 Gunas or qualities of nature which are playing. The way to realize this truth is to constantly work for work’s sake and let go of the results, good or bad. It is the desire for action that binds the individual. It is the detachment from action that will dissolve the karmic seeds. Detachment from results also means detachment from the type of job itself. There is no job that is inferior or superior to a different job. Don’t be attached to your job. Be ready to give up your job if necessary.

Serve Life/God or the Self in All

Do to others what you would like to be done to yourself. Love thy neighbour as thyself. Adapt, adjust, accommodate. Bear insult, bear injury. Unity in Diversity. We are parts of the same body. Practice humility in action. Beware of power, fame, name, praise, censure.

Follow the Discipline of the Job

Each job is a teacher of some sort. You can learn different skills by doing different jobs. Each job has different requirements in terms of time, degree of concentration, skills or experience, emotional input, physical energy, will. Try to do whatever job you are doing, well.

Bhakti Yoga – The Path of Devotion or Divine Love

This path appeals particularly to those of an emotional nature. The Bhakti Yogi is motivated chiefly by the power of love and sees God as the embodiment of love. Through prayer, worship and ritual he surrenders himself/herself, channelling and transmuting his emotions into unconditional love or devotion and chanting or singing the praises.

Raja Yoga – The Science of Physical and Mental Control

Often called the “royal road” it offers a comprehensive method for controlling the waves of thought by turning our mental and physical energy into spiritual energy. Raja Yoga is also called Ahtanga Yoga referring to the eight limbs leading to absolute mental control. The chief practice of Raja Yoga is meditation. It also includes all other methods which helps one to control body, energy, senses and mind. The Hatha-Yogi uses Relaxation and other practices such as Yamas, Niyamas, Mudras, Bandhas etc.. to gain control of the physical body and the subtle life force called Prana. When body and energy are under control meditation comes naturally.

Ashtanga – The Eight Limbs of Raja Yoga

Compiled by the Sage Patanjali Maharishi in the Yoga Sutras, the Eight Limbs are a progressive series of steps or disciplines which purify the body and mind, ultimately leading the yogi to enlightenment.

  1. Yamas – The Yamas or restraints (Don’ts) are divided into five moral injunctions, aimed at destroying the lower nature. They should all be practiced and developed by the letter but also more importantly in the spirit. They should all be practiced in word, thought and deed.
    • Ahimsa or non-violence
    • Satyam or truthfulness
    • Brahmacharya or moderation in all things (control of all senses). Also refers to celibacy
    • Asteya or non-stealing
    • Aparigraha or non-covetousness
  2. Niyamas – The Niyamas or observances (Do’s) are also divided into five and complete the ethical precepts started with the Yama.. These qualities are:
    • Saucha or purity – this internal and external cleanliness.
    • Santosha or contentment
    • Tapas or austerity
    • Swadhyaya or study of the sacred texts
    • Ishwara Pranidhana which is constantly living with an awareness of the divine Presence (surrender to Universe Will)
  3. Asanas- Postures
  4. Pranayamas- regulation or control of the breath. Asanas and Pranayama form the sub-division of Raja Yoga known as Hatha-Yoga
  5. Pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses in order to still the mind.
  6. Dharana – concentration. The last 3 steps constitute the internal practice of Raja Yoga. When Dharana is achieved, it leads to the next step:
  7. Dhyana- meditation is that state of pure thought and absorption in the object of meditation. There is still duality in Dhyana. When mastered Dhyana leads to the last step:
  8. Samadhi – the superconscious state. In Samadhi non-duality or oneness is experienced. This is the deepest and highest state of consciousness where body and mind have been transcended and the Yogi is one with the Self, God or Universe.

Jnana Yoga – The Yoga of Knowledge or Wisdom

This is the most difficult path, requiring tremendous strength of will and intellect. Taking the philosophy of Vedanta the Jnana Yogi uses his mind to inquire into its own nature. We perceive the space inside and outside a glass as different, just as we see ourselves as separate from God. Jnana Yoga leads the devotee to experience his unity with God directly by breaking the glass, dissolving the veils of ignorance. Before practicing Jnana Yoga, the aspirant needs to have integrated the lessons of the other yogic paths – for without selflessness and love of God, strength of body and mind, the search for self-realization can become mere idle speculation.

Vedanta

Vedanta is that philosophy which comes from the sacred scriptures called The Upanishads. The Upanishads are the final part of the ancient texts known as the Vedas.

Veda means knowledge and Anta means end. Therefore Vedanta is said to be the philosophy which leads to the end of knowledge and too from the ending part of the Vedas.

Three Types of Vedanta

Three main schools of Vedanta emerged: Dvaita – the dualistic approach, Advaita – the non-dualistic approach and Kevala Advaita – the pure non-dualistic school. The main exponent of Vedanta was the great sage Adi Sankara who was an adept of the Kevala Advaita Vedanta path.

Adi Sankara and Kevala Advaita Vedanta

Sri Sankaracharya summarized the essence of Vedantic teachings into three concise sentences. These are:

“Brahma Satyam. Jagat Mithya. Jivo Brahmaiva Na Parah.” These can be translated in English as follows:

God only is real. The world is unreal. The individual is none other than God.

Vedanta and Jnana Yoga

The beauty of Vedanta is that it transcends dry philosophy and mere intellectual concept. Vedanta is an actual life experience, a philosophy in practice. This practice includes the many techniques of Jnana Yoga (The Yoga of will and intellect).

YOGA & PREGNANCY 


RAW FOOD & PREGNANCY


Women that are eating Raw food they need to take attention to:

  • They need more folic acid (B9) 400 mg/day.
  • More vitamin A and C.
  • Cautious with  vitamin A and D supplements.
  • Iodine (iodized salt, seaweed, supplements)
  • If you are not expose to the sunlight you must take 1000 mg of calcium/day.
  • Avoid mercuric (blue fishes and tuna)
  • Asparagus, turnips, orange, beetroot, spinach, avocado. You can eat or even make their juices.

Responder

Introduce tus datos o haz clic en un icono para iniciar sesión:

Logo de WordPress.com

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de WordPress.com. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Google photo

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Google. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Imagen de Twitter

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Twitter. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Foto de Facebook

Estás comentando usando tu cuenta de Facebook. Cerrar sesión /  Cambiar )

Conectando a %s