In modern times, stress and poor lifestyle choices have taken its toll on the physical and mental health of humanity. Yoga has emerged as a savior in these difficult times. It provides an opportunity to improve our health and relax our mind. This combination of dual benefits i.e. physical and mental health has attracted many people to start practicing yoga.
For the uninitiated, Yoga may look like a collection of complicated poses to improve the flexibility of the body. This is only partially true. Yoga is as much of a physical science as much an exercise of the mind. Yoga is not only for achieving flexibility, but it also helps develop strength and endurance. Yoga is a holistic approach to the overall health of the body including spirituality. Before diving into the clear aspects of Yoga, this article is meant to share a brief history of yoga and build a foundation for further practice.
The great sage Patanjali wrote Patanjali Yoga Sutras around two thousand years ago. Yoga as a discipline is cited in a multitude of texts from Vedas to Mahabharata. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is the essence of all the philosophies of Yoga combined. Patanjali compiled these philosophies into four chapters and one hundred and ninety-six sutras.
The Sanskrit word Sutra translates into a formula or an aphorism also has a more physical meaning – a thread. Patanjali has beautifully stringed the pearls of Yoga from ancient texts and practices into the thread of his writing. Thus, he has blessed the coming generations with a profound and logical system of the discipline of yoga in his timeless classic Yoga Sutras.
The first chapter of Yoga Sutras is Samadhi Pada. Here Pada means chapter and Samadhi means – settlement or completion. One who attains Samadhi has started walking the path to the knowledge of the self. Samadhi is a technique by which a person dives deep into one’s true self and brings out the pearls of knowledge and wisdom.
The first sutra of yoga, ‘atha yoga-anushasanam’ which translates to ‘Now, the discipline of yoga is explained’. In the first sutra of the first chapter, Patanjali invites you to take part in the discipline of yoga. Patanjali knows that the practice of Yoga needs a full concentration of one’s mind. Thus, he does not start the chapter with the definition of Yoga but with an invitation.
Importance of Pause
He starts his first chapter with a pause which is crucial to the study of Yoga. A pause – you will need this pause after reading every individual sutra, after reading every word of the sutra. Yoga is nothing if for a pause. A pause makes you mindful to the present and what you are studying.
Patanjali wants you to become active and focused because now is the time when he starts explaining the discipline of yoga. He wants you to calm down the crashing waves of the ocean of your mind and settle still like water in a pond. Patanjali wants you to live in the present and be ready to take the benefits of Yoga Sutras.
Living in the Present
The first sutra starts with the Sanskrit word atha – means now. Now is the time when you start your practice of the discipline of Yoga. With the first sutra, Patanjali also wants the student to understand the importance of Yoga as a discipline. Yoga means union – a union of the practitioner with the truth.
Yoga can be successfully practiced by the one who has dedication, focus, concentration, patience and time. Yoga needs your time. It is not just about finding an hour from your twenty-four-hour busy schedule but also to be in the present moment during that one hour. Do not spend that one hour for yoga on dreaming about future or lamenting about the past. Dedicate that one hour to the present moment.
The field of yoga is wide and deep. The philosophy has survived millenniums. Many sages and philosophers have contributed to the development of yoga. Around five thousand years ago, Krishna spoke ‘Bhagavad -Geeta’ to the great archer-warrior Arjuna in the battlefield of Kurukshetra. Bhagavad-Geeta means ‘The Song of God’. Here, Krishna talks about various kinds of yoga performed by yogis like bhakti-yoga, Gyan-yoga, and karma-yoga. The great tradition of yoga must spread all over the world for the happiness and healthiness of the people and the benefit of humanity.
How to Find the Best Yoga Teacher Training In India? Some Tips
Yoga has gained immense popularity among the masses because of a number of benefits offered by it. In the recent times, many gyms and health institutions have made it compulsory to introduce yoga glasses along with zumba and aerobics. If you are serious about taking your yoga practice to the next level, it is extremely important to find the best yoga teacher training in India that would help you learn the nuances of yoga postures and excel at it.
Things to Consider When Looking for a Yoga Teacher Training Program
There are a number of benefits of attending yoga teacher training in India. India is known to be the birthplace of Yoga. If you get to research on the Internet, you will find a number of yoga centers or institutions claiming to offer the best yoga teacher training. But how do you check the reliability of a yoga center or an institution? Here are several qualities to look in for that will help you select a right yoga school or center.
You get a choice to learn hatha yoga, ashtanga yoga, vinyasa yoga. First of all, understand what these types of yoga are and what appeals you the most. Always choose a style you are familiar with and which can help you achieve your short-term and long-term goals.
The second important thing to consider is the school you are choosing must have a right type of yoga instructor or yoga teacher. He must be skilled, knowledgeable and fully conversant with yoga practices. A knowledgeable and skilled yoga instructor would guide you right from the beginning of the training to the end to help you become a good yoga teacher. Also, know if a teacher is friendly and easily approachable to clear your doubts in order to accomplish your training goals.
The size of the class is another important thing to look in for. Always opt for a class that has a minimum number of students because it will promote better learning and practice. A teacher may find it difficult to focus on individuals in an overcrowded class.
Those were some of the critical things to be taken into consideration when you are looking for the best yoga teacher training in India. https://upaya-yoga.com/ offers yoga teacher training and yoga retreats to help individuals understand the nuances of yoga training and excel at it. Visit the website today to get more information about yoga teacher training courses.
The earliest mantras took birth in India over 3,000 years ago and were composed in Vedic Sanskrit (a sacred language of ancient India that is no longer spoken) by the rishis (wise ones) as paths to awareness, using the power of sounds to create specific energy responses. Mantras were one of the earliest components of yoga and are quite possibly the first type of meditation that was developed. The practice of chanting a mantra is considered the easiest form of meditation called Mantra Meditation.
Mantra has a sacred power that can bring us into direct contact with the presence. It connects us, heals us and expands our hearts. A mantra is a word or series of words in the form of divine sound. It chanted aloud or silently to invoke spiritual qualities.
Mantra chanting’s sound takes us to another level where we sense enigmatic transformative power. It is a condensed form of spiritual energy and an ancient key to unlocking the mysteries of the entire universe.
There are five elements, earth, water, air, fire, and space. Mantra comes in space. The other four elements are associated with the senses. All the other elements are encompassed in space. So, a mantra is something that can affect and control all the elements. Mantra can even control and affect your body and mind. That is what is really fascinating about mantras.
A mantra is divided into two words; ‘man’ or mind and ‘tra’ the technique that quietens the mind. Mantras have a special technique to quieten the mind. As we chant, the frequencies of the mantra go into the being and quieten the mind. If we are in a depression, anger, anxiety, disappointment or frustration and we listen to or chant a mantra, it brings us to consciousness in bliss or called Ananda.
All mantras come from one mantra, and that is Om. When we chant Om we are invoking that universal intelligence and energy to come and be with us.
Every organ in the body has a frequency, a sound. When we chant the mantra there is a neurobiological shift which happens in the physical brain. And the cells rejoice, they get happier.
How to Chant
Mantra chanting is a sacred and beautiful practice. It can be done alone or in groups. The mantra should be performed sitting in a comfortable position, with the eyes closed, the mantra is repeated silently or aloud. Allow the mind to be focused on the mantra, letting the thoughts go and maintaining a slow and deep breath. Pay careful attention to the speed and rhythm of your chanting. A Mala (string of beads) can be used to count series of 108 repetitions of the mantra.
Traditionally, mantras are chanted in cycles of 108 repetitions. According to the Vedic scriptures, our physical and subtle bodies contain 108 major nadis, or energy channels. When we chant a mantra 108 times, that sound vibration can fill all of the energy lines in our bodies and balance them.
Mantra can be easily learned and singing along to a favorite mantra track. It is a good way to learn the correct pronunciation and to familiarise yourself with a particular mantra.
The mantra is very connected to feeling and reverence. There needs to be a feeling to it. Only then does the shakti of the mantra gets released. Otherwise, it doesn’t work. When you say it with feeling then the power in the mantra is unleashed.
Most of the people are aware of the benefits of doing yoga regularly but very few of us are able to make a daily routine. To become firmly established in our practice, we must attend to it for a long time, without interruption, with full devotion & dedication. It is well said that “If you want to be a runner, you have to run and if you want to be a dancer, you have to dance.
Many people join yoga classes & invest in yoga mats & attire. But very few of them continue for a long time. Because they start facing challenges such as body ache, fear frustration & anger as they are not able to perform poses properly. It requires huge practice to make the body flexible for doing yoga.
But regular practice can make keep you calm, healthy & happy. So, it is too great to start your day with yoga. It can energize you without coffee.
Tips to start yoga practice:
Keep your yoga props ready: You will require yoga mat & yoga attire. You don’t need special yoga clothing. You can wear comfortable clothes.
Decide time for everyday practice:- It is good to start yoga in morning but if due to some reason you can’t practice in morning. You may do in evening but make sure that you are keeping 2 to 3 hours gap between meal & exercise.
Select a comfortable place: Yoga should be done in a comfortable & peaceful place. So that no one can distract you. While selecting place make sure that you get natural air as well so that it will help you in doing pranayama.
The change will be gradual not at once: Always expect gradual improvement from yourself because you will not be able to perform all asana in a few days. It will require time. Don’t compare yourself with others. Set your own goals & don’t get disappointed if you are not able to do any pose.
Practice on an empty stomach:- It should be practiced on the relatively empty stomach. It should be practiced 2 to 3 hrs after a meal.
Don’t push yourself beyond limits:- You know your body limits, don’t push yourself too much so that your body gets injured. It’s better to start slowly for at least 20 to 30 minutes & then you can increase yoga timing.
Be regular:- It is must be consistent in yoga practice, make it a part of your daily schedule. 20 to 30 minutes of yoga practice is more likely to show sooner results than 2 hours of occasional practice.
Perform with your family: You can include your family as well. Doing yoga alone will be boring. So, if you do yoga with friends or family members then you will feel the difference.
Always warm up before yoga:- It is must to do warm up exercise to bring your body in momentum.
Include different yoga asana:- You may start with sun salutation & pranayama. Then gradually once master then you can include standing asana, inversions, downward poses & backbends one by one.