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Viparita Karani is classified as a form of Kaya yoga mudra. Kaya mudras means Asanas, pranayama, and concentration are all combined.

Kaya mudra combines the entire body with breathing and concentration practice to create asana, unlike ordinary yoga hand mudras. 

Viparita means “reverse” in Sanskrit, while Karani denotes “an action to complete a task.” Viparita Karani denotes the “action of reversing” when summarising the meanings of root words. The flow of energy is reversed in Viparita Karani Mudra by reversing action.

Viparita Karani mudra is comparable to other inverted yoga poses like Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand) and Sirsasana (Headstand). 

 Here is an example of client Mr. Iyengar, who has been advised to practice a deep Viparita Karani as “natural dhyana.” According to Patanjali, Dhyana is the seventh of the Eight Limbs and can be translated as “meditation.”

Meaning Of Viparita Karani

In hatha yoga, Viparita Karani, legs up the wall pose, is both an asana and a mudra (a seal done by your hands and fingers). It’s usually a completely supported pose using a wall and sometimes a pile of blankets (used to support the buttocks during the inverted position) in modern yoga as a workout. 

According to Hatha yoga experts, this inverted balance exercise was created to bring inner harmony and union of opposites, such as the bloodstreams (arterial and venous), nerve impulses, through the use of gravity.

The natural erect body position is turned into a reversed position in Viparita Karani Mudra, where hands support the spine at a 60-degree angle. The ‘head down, legs up’ position allows fluids to flow back.

Mr. Iyengar said in 2005 in Estes Park, Colorado, when describing the historical significance of Viparita Karani:

“According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, all inversions are Viparita Karani. It includes even Sirsasana. But, according to one statement, [this] is Viparita Karani when the buttocks are somewhat down below the trunk. Viparita Karani is said to be halfway between Halasana (Plow Pose) and Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand).”

Furthermore

This asana is a revitalizing and restorative asana that calms and energizes both the body and mind. It’s a shoulder stand inversion that’s similar to Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand). The difference between the two Asanas is that in Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), you don’t use a wall. Instead, you use your hands and arms to keep and hold yourself in that inverted position.

This asana is good for calming and soothing the nervous system. The spirit of letting go is taught in this restorative position can also be applied to vigorous asana practice.

As a result, all inversions, such as Sarvangasana (Shoulder Stand), Sirsasana (Headstand), and Adho Mukha Vrksasana (Handstand), are Viparita Karani postures. When people talk about the historical benefits of the pose, they’re usually talking about all prolonged inversions (holding the inverted posture for a long time).

Viparita Karani Pose Breakdown

Because Viparita Karani Mudra is a restorative pose, many people choose to execute it with props like pillows, bolsters, and folded blankets. You can start by selecting a prop that meets your needs and then following the procedures outlined below.

  • Select an open area near the wall and sit so that your feet are flat on the ground and perfectly spread out in front of you. Make sure your left side of the body hits the wall as well.
  • Exhale deeply and lie down flat on your back. Turn the soles of the feet upwards while keeping the back of the legs firmly against the wall. In order to settle down and to be comfortable in such a pose, you may need to move around a little to make minor adjustments.
  • Place your buttocks slightly away from the wall or gently press them against it.
  • Maintain a resting position for your head and back on the floor. Keep your body at a 90-degree angle.
  • Place a prop under your hips. Should you be on a tight budget, you can use your hands to hold your hips and create a curve around your lower body.
  • Maintain a neutral position for your neck and head, and relax your face and throat.
  • Close your eyes and take a deep breath. For around ten minutes, stay in this position.
  • After that, let go and roll to one side. As you sit up, take a few deep breaths.

A Detailed Explanation

Do not get confused yet. Here’s a detailed explanation. 

STEP 1: 

Determine two factors regarding your support before completing the pose: its height and its distance from the wall. By the way, make sure that the wall is clean. There shouldn’t be any spider webs or other crawling thingies.

If you’re more rigid, use lower support that’s farther away from the wall; if you’re more flexible, use a higher support that’s closer to the wall. 

Your height also determines your distance from the wall. If you’re shorter, come closer to the wall, and if you’re taller, move further away. Experiment with your support’s position until you find one that works best for you.

STEP 2 :

Start around 5 to 6 inches (13 – 15 cm) away from the wall with your support. Sit on the right end of the support, with your right side against the wall (left-handed people can use “left” instead of “right” in these directions). 

Exhale and throw your legs up against the wall and your shoulders and head down onto the floor in one fluid motion. And if you can’t keep your legs together, use a yoga band to support your legs.

You may slide off the support and plump-down down with your buttocks on the floor the first few times you attempt this. Don’t be disheartened. 

Reduce the support’s height and/or move it further away from the wall until you’re comfortable with it, then return it to its original position.

STEP 3:

Your sitting bones don’t have to be flush against the wall; they only need to be in the area between the support and the wall. 

Make sure your body arches slightly from the pubis to the tops of your shoulders. You’ve definitely slipped a little off the support if the front of your body appears flat. 

Slowly bend your knees, gently press your feet against the wall, and lift your pelvic a few inches off the support. Tuck the support a bit higher up under your pelvis, and then drop your pelvis back onto the support.

STEP 4:

Soften your throat by lifting and releasing the base of your head away from the rear of your neck. Instead of pressing your chin into your sternum, elevate your sternum toward the chin. 

If your cervical spine seems flat, place a tiny roll (made from a blanket, for example) beneath your neck. 

Release your wrists and arms out to the sides, palms up, and open your shoulder blades away from your spine.

STEP 5:

Maintain a tight grip on your legs, just enough to keep them vertically in place. 

Deeply inside your body, toward the back of the pelvis, release the heads of your thigh bones and the weight of your belly. 

STEP 6:

This stance can be held for 5 to 15 minutes. When removing the support, be careful not to twist it. Instead, swivel to the side and slide off the support onto the floor. 

To elevate your pelvis off the support, bend your knees and push your feet against the wall. Put the support to one side, if possible lower your pelvis to the ground, and turn to the side. 

Stay on your side for a few minutes before exhaling and rising to your feet.

Follow the procedure mentioned to relax your eyes. Rub your palms together to become warm and place warm palms on your closed eyes. I am sure you will find the warmth to be very relaxing.

Preparatory Poses For Viparita Karani

  • Virasana 
  • Uttanasana 
  • Setu bandha sarvangasana 
  • Supta baddha konasana

Modifications And Variations

Arm Variations

You can hold your arms in a variety of ways. Experiment with them to discover how they affect you. What you want today could not be the same as tomorrow.

  • As in Savasana, place your arms at your sides.
  • With your palms up, extend your arms straight out to your sides.
  • Cactus arms (also known as Stick’ Em Up arms) have upper arms straight out from shoulders, elbows bent 90 degrees, and the backs of the forearms on the ground.
  • With your arms on the ground, hold your elbows overhead.
  • Place your palms on your stomach, or place one hand on your heart and the other on your stomach.

For Sacrum Joint Pain Relief

The sacroiliac joints connect your pelvis and lower spine. The sacrum (the bony structure above your tailbone and below your lower vertebrae) and the top part (ilium) of your pelvis make up these structures.

Set up for the posture by placing a yoga bolster, folded blanket, yoga block, or even a cushion under your hips to support your sacrum fully. 

Rest your bottom hip on the prop as you enter the posture, with the prop parallel to the wall. Turn onto your back and lift your legs to the wall.

Relax your legs once you’ve got them up the wall, so they’re heavy in your hips. This will aid in the ‘release’ of your pelvis, allowing for a small amount of space on either side of your sacrum.

For Tight Hamstrings

Resting your legs against the wall can be challenging. Move your hips away from the wall to make the pose more accessible. The stretch to your hamstrings is reduced as a result of the decrease in hip flexion.

If you have a yoga strap, make a huge loop with it and wrap it around your legs. This will allow you to stretch your legs and press into the strap for support.

Can’t Keep Legs Straight For More Than 5 Mins?

Take a chair and place it against the wall, with the back of the chair touching the wall. Instead of leaning against the wall, rest the backs of your legs on the chair’s seat, with your hips extended to around 90 degrees.

For More Relaxation

You can relax more deeply without your legs slipping apart if you use a yoga strap across your thighs. Wrap the strap over your thighs or around your calf muscles, right above your knees. Try both and discover which one allows you to relax the most.

Do one of the following to get into the strap pose:

  • Before swinging your legs up the wall, wrap the strap over your legs.
  • Hook the strap over one leg, then put the other leg through the loop after you’ve brought your legs up the wall.

For Pregnant Women

To make a V-shape with your legs, wrap a yoga strap around your ankles. This may necessitate tying two straps together. This wide-leg version gives you extra room to unwind.

You don’t have to be pregnant to accomplish this variation, of course. It’s a great one for all ages!

For Unsteady Legs

Place your feet on the wall and bend your knees. Gently push your upper body away from the wall with your feet until you can lower your pelvis to the ground and rest your feet flat on the wall.

While practicing Viparita Karani, this version might also assist in reducing leg tingling.

Different Legs Versions You Can Try

You can undertake various leg variations, such as bringing your feet together in Baddha Konasana (Cobbler’s Pose). As in Prasarita Padottanasana (Wide Stance Forward Bend) or Upavista Konasana (sitting upright with the legs as wide apart as possible, spread your legs wide).

Experiment with different leg variations to see what works best for you.

Precautions Before Performing Viparita Karani

  • Make sure your bowels are empty before beginning Viparita Karani.
  • If you have already eaten, maintain a 6-hour interval between your practice and your food if you are doing Viparita Karani for an extended period.
  • This inversion pose should be avoided when you have high blood pressure, heart illness, or thyroid difficulties.
  • Always exit the stance slowly.

Props For Modifications

A strap and a small sandbag are two typical props for Viparita Karani, in addition to a pillow or blanket for assistance. 

You can tighten the strap around your thighs, slightly above the knees, after you’re in the pose. The belt will keep your legs in position, enabling you to relax your legs.

It’s a little more challenging to get the sandbag in place. Bend your knees and glide your feet down the wall, keeping your ankles extended and your soles perpendicular to the ceiling until you’re in the pose. 

Lay the bag across your soles (or heels) as best you can, then straighten your knees and deliberately push the bag toward the ceiling. The weight on the legs helps to relieve lower back stress.

Taking A Partner’s Help

A companion can also assist you in grounding the thigh bones’ heads into the wall. As you complete the posture, have her/him stand next to you. 

She/he should next lean forward and wrap her/his arms around your front thighs, right above the pelvic joint. 

She/he should bring the thighs closer to the wall on your inhale and hold them firmly against the wall as you release the front torso away from the thighs on your exhale. 

Rep for a few more breaths.

Best Time To Practice

Viparita Karani, like other inverted yoga postures, is best practiced first thing in the morning after bowel movements and a shower. 

The body’s metabolic and other functions are already at their height throughout the day. In this situation, reversing the body’s natural flow will have more negative consequences than benefits.

However, after 3 hours of a decent lunch, it is possible to do it in the afternoon. It should also begin after a 10-minute break in Shavasana.

Tips For Beginners

As a beginner, you may find it difficult to achieve proper alignment in this pose. You must breathe in such a way that the heads of your thigh bones are firmly pressed against the wall for this to work. 

It will aid in the release of your spine and stomach. Imagine the inhale passing through your torso and forcing the thigh bones’ heads against the wall. 

Allow your thigh bones to press harder against the wall and your body to draw away from the wall as you exhale each time.

This position might serve as a useful substitute for Savasana, particularly for newbies who have trouble relaxing. 

It’s also a fantastic replacement for anyone, regardless of where they are on their yoga path. Legs Up the Wall Pose has many of the same advantages as Savasana, plus a few more.

Benefits Of Viparita Karani

Viparita Karani is thought to be beneficial for almost anything that ails you, according to modern teachers, including:

Physical Benefits

  • This position softly stretches our hamstrings and opens up space in our low back. Elevating our legs may improve circulation and allow any excess fluid to escape. 
  • This posture may be very beneficial for people who suffer from edema or sciatica. Furthermore, after a long day at work, this pose can feel fantastic because it eliminates achiness in your feet, legs, and low back, making it a powerful pose.
  • This pose may increase the release of digestive fluids, which helps indigestion. An increase in appetite is also possible.
  • In obese people, increased metabolism in body cells can reduce fat around the waist.
  • When the head is turned upside down, cellular fluid that has accumulated in lower body parts enters the circulation.
  • It may protect from atherosclerosis by restoring vascular tone and flexibility (a condition of fats, cholesterol, and other substances accumulation in artery walls).
  • It can aid in the relief of a minor backache.
  • Stretches the back of the neck, legs, front chest, and pelvis gently.
  • According to a study, inversion postures such as Viparita Karani strengthen the heart muscle, improving circulation and a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Viparita Karani is a good treatment for cerebral insufficiency and senile dementia because it can enhance blood flow to the brain.
  • On the other hand, modern professors claim that Viparita Karani can help with premenstrual syndrome, menopause, menstrual pains, and sleeplessness.
  • The thyroid gland is stimulated by the pressure applied around the throat muscles and chin in this mudra. It may bring the functions of a hypoactive thyroid back into equilibrium.

All In All 

We automatically begin activating the vagus nerve, commonly known as the ‘wandering nerve’ due to its path from the brain to the gut, by reclining in an inverted position and letting the respiration too slow.

When in an inverted pose the nervous system as a whole receives the message that it is secure to relax, and we are finally able to change from the fight or flight system, which is partially responsible for stress-related illnesses.

Moreover

Viparita Karani’s key physical benefits:

  • Allows you to relax your muscles.
  • It can aid in the relaxation of the neurological system, which may aid in the relief of anxiety.
  • It may make you feel less tired.
  • Many people find that being in this position allows them to relax profoundly, releasing tension and stress.
  • This is a fantastic passive pose for lengthening your hamstrings.
  • Relieves fatigued legs and feet (after a marathon, flight, long walk/hike, bike ride, or other strenuous activity).
  • Stretches glutes, hamstrings, and hip adductors if legs are apart.
  • The sciatic nerve is supported by the wall, which allows your legs to relax. This makes Viparita Karani a useful practice to do if your legs are fatigued, and it also helps relieve sciatica pressure.

Mental Benefits Of Viparita Karani

This posture’s mental benefits are what make it so amazing. In comparison, it is a simple position, but it is quite beneficial to our mind and body. Because this pose stretches our hamstrings and stimulates our sciatic nerve, it is thought to stimulate the muscles and provide a therapeutic feeling.

Similarly, we may slow our heart rate and relax our central nervous system by moving into this pose and including deep, steady breathing. This is the ideal posture to adopt when we are feeling pressured or overworked. Practicing this posture immediately before bedtime will also help you sleep better because it allows our bodies to relax and unwind.

When To Not Perform This Asana

The following are some of the adverse effects and precautions associated with practicing Viparita Karani:

  • High blood pressure: Folks with high blood pressure should avoid this yoga pose because it aggravates their condition.
  • Heart disease: Practicing Legs-up-the-Wall pose should be avoided if you have a heart ailment.
  • Thyroid issues: It should also be avoided by those who have an enlarged thyroid.
  • It is best to stay away from it during menstruation unless performed in the presence of an experienced yoga teacher (there are many contradictory theories surrounding the practice of this pose during menstruation).
  • Eye difficulties: It should not be done if someone has major eye problems, such as glaucoma.
  • If you have a neck injury, you should avoid it.
  • Back Issues: Only do it in the presence of an experienced yoga teacher if you have back problems.

The Science Of Viparita Karani Mudra

Viparita Karani Mudra is an energizing inversion that relieves the spine, legs, feet, and nervous system. 

The asana aids in achieving a state of complete relaxation. The benefit of this asana is that it may be performed regularly by any yoga student, regardless of their overall level of yogic expertise. Viparita Karani Mudra also aids in the relaxation of the mind and brain, allowing for better self-awareness.

Viparita Karani Mudra is usually done right before Shavasana since it has a powerful relaxing impact on the psyche. You can, however, practice Viparita Karani Mudra without making it a part of your normal yoga regimen.

Wrapping Up

Asana practice can be difficult. But when we put in the effort to master the postures and finally manage to keep our balance and position ourselves correctly, we usually feel a sense of success.

Spending time in any inversion is thought to help you achieve a meditative state.

Even if the rest of the world considers sitting still to be a waste of time, we know that being quiet and sitting with our thoughts is a wonderful method to calm our brains and broaden our life’s possibilities.

Your meditation practice doesn’t need to resemble that of others. So the next time you need to disconnect from the outside world, lie down with your legs up the wall and chant OM repeatedly, feel the power of breath.

Sumeet

Reviewed by Dr. Rai and Devina

We won’t be able to alter the entire world, but we can alter ourselves and fly like birds. We can be calm even in the midst of disasters, and by doing so, we may help others to be calm as well. Serenity spreads like a virus. When we grin at someone, he or she will return the smile. A smile, on the other hand, is free. We should inflict joy on everyone. Why not die happy and laughing if we just have a minute to live? ” (136-137) The Yoga Sutras, Swami Satchidananda

Many people refer to the ‘Yoga Sutras’ without knowing where they came from. The question of “who wrote the yoga sutra?” has sparked significant debate, with the conclusion still out. This collection of 195 sutras or words of wisdom, compiled by the revered ancient sage Patanjali, is the foundation of classical or raja yoga.

Yoga is the integration of body, mind, spirit, and soul in its purest form. According to Yoga, we struggle from the delusion of separation between our own awareness and Universal Consciousness, or Brahman. The Yoga Sutras provide practical guidance to remembering that oneness on your spiritual journey.

Yoga encompasses far more than just asanas. Even when life gets wild, the sutras teach us how to be our genuine selves and embrace every moment.

The Story Of Patanjali – The Mythical Version

Once upon a time, all the Munis and Acharyas came to Lord Vishnu to tell him that even though He (incarnated as Lord Dhanvanthari) had provided them with the skills to treat illnesses through Ayurveda, people continued to be ill. 

They began to wonder what to do if someone became ill. It’s not always just a physical illness that has to be addressed; sometimes, it’s also a mental and emotional illness. How can one purge impurities such as wrath, desire, greed, and envy from one’s life? What is the formula for success?

Lord Vishnu was resting on his snake-infested bed, which included the 1000-headed serpent Adishésha. When the Sadhus addressed Him, He gave them Adishésha (the symbol of awareness), who became Maharishi Patanjali and lived in the world. As a result, Patanjali came to this world to impart yoga knowledge, which became known as the Yoga Sutras. The Puranas do not explain; it is up to us to figure out what the hidden meaning is.

Story Of Patanjali – A Theoretical Version

We don’t have a lot of information on Patanjali himself. His life is thought to have taken place during the first and fourth centuries of the Common Era. 

He penned the sutras in a style known as “Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit,” rather than traditional Sanskrit, indicating a Buddhist presence. The Yoga Sutras’ author was most likely not a half-man, half-multi-headed serpent.

That was a different Patanjali, a legendary god; yet, the two have been confused at times, such as in the Iyengar and Ashtanga practices’ beginning invocations.

According to the history of the work, many of our understandings of the Yoga Sutras have been filtered through multiple commentators on the original verses.

The Yoga Sutras, written approximately 2,000 years ago, are considered one of the most important yogic writings. It’s possible you’ve seen it on your local studio’s bookshelves, on the study guide for teacher training, or heard it mentioned in class. However, it is frequently veiled in mystery. 

So, what’s the big deal? Are Patanjali’s yoga sutras still applicable today? Is it possible to make a difference by adhering to its principles? What do yoga sutras say? Let’s explore more about the legendary ancient texts, i.e., PATANJALI YOGA SUTRAS.

What Is The Central Idea Of The Yoga Sutras?

Sankhya is one of the oldest Indian philosophical systems. It teaches that the way to enlightenment is knowledge. Patanjali’s greatest contribution to the world was that he translated this profound—yet solely intellectual—philosophy into a format that the average spiritual seeker could understand and apply. A map to help you on your path to enlightenment.

We don’t know exactly what Patanjali was trying to say. Many people have interpreted and commented on his Yoga Sutras through the years. The sage Patanjali offered yogis ashtanga yoga, often known as the eight limbs of yoga, a long time ago. This corpus of knowledge describes how to educate the body, mind, and senses for spiritual advancement in natural evolution. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras is the name of the system described in this collection of maxims.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are not the first nor the only ancient text on yoga. They provide a system for achieving self-realization. Although nothing is known about Patanjali himself, many think he lived between 500 and 200 B.C. He was also thought to be an enlightened soul who returned in human form to assist others in overcoming their afflictions.

Patanjali’s wisdom is contained in 196 turns of phrase or deep truth maxims. The aphorisms provide an unending source of insight and a step-by-step route to enlightenment for the spiritually unawakened. While each word is short, it provides an unlimited field for thought and debate when combined with the others. This is why intellectuals and yogis continue to analyze and examine Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras today.

In essence, the Yoga Sutras organize contemporary philosophical ideas into a fundamental structure. Sutra is the Sanskrit word for thread, and each sutra symbolizes one thread in the rich and complicated tapestry of yoga. Contemplation, Practice, Accomplishments, and Absoluteness are the four sections that tie the threads throughout. They explain the philosophy of yoga, the practical ways for obtaining enlightenment, the development of divine capabilities as a result of practice, and the nature of final emancipation and the ultimate self.

What Do Patanjali’s Yoga Su-tras Tell Us?

You might expect the Yoga Sutras to spell out a sequence of poses to release the body and mind, but the sole mention of asana (physical practice) in the actual text is that you should be seated comfortably. Not exactly what you’d expect from a yoga book! So, how can this text omit poses or postures if it is presenting the essence of yoga? To address this, it’s better to start with the second sutra of the first book, where Patanjali defines yoga.

Yoga is referred to as “citta vritti nirodhah.” This translates to: ‘yoga is the restraint of the mind-stuff alterations.’ Perhaps not quite what you were hoping for. This suggests that yoga is a discipline that calms the mind’s (sometimes turbulent) fluctuations. We may be able to see more precisely if we can reduce the impact of these mental disturbances or calm the turbulent, noisy nature of the thinking mind. We can build a more accurate view of the nature of reality and ourselves within it by seeing more clearly, and thus discover a more profound sense of calm.

Yoga, according to Patanjali, is a mental science. First and foremost, yoga’s origins may be traced back to psychology and philosophy before becoming a physical practice. Yoga, in its purest form, allows us to ponder profound issues about the nature of awareness. We might begin a journey away from the pressures and sufferings of daily life by learning to cultivate a certain contemplative awareness – not to the point of insanity, but with a desire to make objective observations of oneself – according to Patanjali’s yoga.

Yoga And Samkhya

Both Samkhya and Yoga are Dualistic theories that accept the distinction between Spirit (Purusha) and Matter (Karma) (Prakriti). 

Redemption, which is the objective of both religions, occurs when a person is freed from the cycle of reincarnation by realizing that their Spirit is pure consciousness and so unattached to the physical world. 

This is accomplished in Samkhya by a process of intellectual investigation into the nature of matter, whereas Yoga achieves the same outcome through intense meditation.

Some ancient scriptures refer to Patanjali’s Yoga as Samkhya with Ishvara. Like many Sanskrit phrases in the Yoga Sutras, the word Ishvara can be construed in several different ways.

It could be a reference to God or a master or competent teacher. Fidelity to Ishvara is one of the necessary conditions for nirvana in the Yogic system, but not in Samkhya.

Theories And Techniques Of Yoga Sutra

The Yoga Sutra of Patanjali consists of an eight-fold path known as Ashtanga, which means “Eight Limbs,” that serves as a guide to living a meaningful and purposeful life.

The Yoga Sutras are not presented in chronological order. Rather, they are placed in a wheel-like circular pattern. The profundity of each of the four ‘Padas,’ or portions, varies. The wheel of depth moves deeper and deeper through the four Padas as one proceeds on the path to spirituality, resulting in an ultimate sensation of detachment.

The path from self-realization to ultimate self-realization is long and winding. However, the feeling of calm that frees oneself from earthly ties is found in the search for the ultimate self. This never-ending trip is where one might feel a sense of perfection that cannot be found anywhere else.

The Four Chapters Of Patanjali Sutras

The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali are divided into the following four chapters:

1. Samadhi pada: Defines yoga but is intended to help individuals who are near to achieving samadhi, or self-realization.

2, Sadhana pada: Describes the eight stages that must be followed to progress spiritually. This chapter is written for the average individual. 

Most yogis utilize the eightfold path as a guide for yogic life; therefore, it’s arguably the most essential of all the chapters. This encompasses ethical, moral behavior, asana, pranayama, sensory mastery, concentration, meditation, and self-realization, all of which are completed in this order.

3. Vibhuti Pada – The eight siddhis or supernatural powers that a yogi can obtain in the highest degrees of spiritual development are described and warned against in Vibhuti pada.

4. Kaivalya pada: Defines how to exist in the world without being influenced by the three gunas (sattva, rajas, and tamas) or energy qualities. 

These four chapters, taken together, look at a person’s total development in action, thought, and speech. Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras are one of the most widely cited sources of yogic wisdom since they give the ultimate instruction manual for yoga and spiritual development.

Digging A Little More We Discover – The Eight Limbs Or The Ashtanga Concept In Yoga Sutra

1. YAMA – The yamas are a set of five ethical principles that focus on our interpersonal connections and prepare us for a peaceful living in society.

  • Ahimsa is a nonviolence ethic. You avoid harming yourself or others physically, verbally, or emotionally if you practice ahimsa.
  • Satya is the truth ethic. This entails speaking the truth in your words, thoughts, and actions, as well as matching your words to your actions.
  • Asteya is the non-stealing ethic. This is quite self-explanatory: don’t take what isn’t yours.
  • Brahmacharya is the moral code that governs how you use your sexual energy. The goal of this yama is to develop inner power, vitality, and vigor, which are necessary for advanced yogic activities.
  • Aparigraha is the non-collection ethic. This yama encourages you to simply purchase what you require and discourages you from being attached to material things.

2. NIYAMA –  The niyamas are a set of five precepts that focus on personal conduct and discipline. To foster spiritual progress, they encourage you to adopt a pure lifestyle and mentality.

  • Saucha means “cleanliness” in Sanskrit. This refers to the purity of diet, thoughts, and environment, as well as proper hygiene.
  • Santosha denotes serenity; The happiness ethic. It inspires you to be content with what you have.
  • Tapas is a self-discipline philosophy. Tapas helps you build the self-discipline required to stay on the yoga path.
  • Svadhyaya is the self-study ethic. This comprises spiritual instruction and research, as well as a comprehension of our life’s purpose.
  • Ishvara pranidhana (full surrender to God) is a moral commitment. This practice shifts your focus from earthly concerns to your quest for self-realization.

3. ASANA – Yoga’s physical practice, known as asana, is designed to cleanse the human body and improve long-term health. In a strict sense, you strive to appreciate a steady and pleasant posture that can be maintained for a long time during meditation.

4. PRANAYAMA – Pranayama, or breath regulation, connects the three outwardly centered limbs above with the four internally centered limbs below. 

To boost your life energy, you control and expand your breath using pranayama after preparing your body with asana. This prepares the mind for the next phases of yoga by clearing it of distractions and ignorance.

5. PRATYAHARA – The practice of sensory detachment is known as pratyahara. The senses must be conquered once the body and its energies are under our control. The intellect can grow on the spiritual path if it is no longer enslaved by the senses.

6. DHRANA – Dharana is the Sanskrit word for focus, and it is necessary for the following limb, meditation. Meditation is impossible to achieve without concentration. To properly concentrate, you must first develop control over your body, prana, senses, and mind.

7. DHYANA – Dhyana is a meditation technique. Meditation arises naturally as a result of an uninterrupted flow of focus. As a result, mastering dharana is required before achieving this limb.

8. SAMADHI – The hardest of the eight steps to comprehend is Samadhi. It will stay elusive until it is encountered. Samadhi is a state of meditation in which the practitioner loses self-awareness by focusing his or her attention on the object of observation.

Self-realization or illumination are two terms used to describe samadhi. The sense of “I-ness” vanishes at this point. There is no vanity, and the yogi genuinely realizes that they are one with everyone and everything around them, rather than separate from everything.

Above And Beyond The Eight Limbs

There is a phase in Patanjali’s teaching that does not appear in most modern teachings that leads to release from torture. 

This condition is known as nirbija-samadhi, which is now translated as seedless contemplation, with the seeds being thoughts that produce more thoughts. While we may assume that this is the cosmic unity we connect with the completion of the eight limbs, sources clarify that the goal of Patanjali’s Yoga is the complete separation of the human spirit from the materiality of the world.

When this happens, the spirit can extend indefinitely and perform what we would consider supernatural activities.

The Yoga Sutra Today

One of the grounds that Yoga Sutras has remained classic literature is that it is based on a thorough and comprehensive study of human tendencies. And, even though life has moved on significantly since the Sutras were written, the mind’s essence remains fundamentally the same; we merely know it in different ways and other languages.

Many of the difficulties outlined in the Sutras are dealt with in clinical psychology today – cravings, addictions, compulsions, aversions, and cognitive misunderstandings, to name a few – all of which can cause considerable suffering.

So, do you think the Sutras help you enhance your yoga practice? The answer is that it is entirely up to you: if you truly desire it – with patience, devotion, and trust – it has the potential to transform your life both on and off the mat.

Wrapping Up

“Due to the strength of previous impressions, one yearns for fresh sensations. However, there is no such thing as contentment. This leads to dissatisfaction and frustration.” – BKS Iyengar.

The benefits of putting the Yoga Sutra’s precepts into practice come up in unexpected ways, with blessings of clarity and kindness. Your yoga practice is functioning here, in your interactions with people, in your moods, and in your responses to life’s challenges, so you know it’s helping you stay centered, calm, and steady.

You can respond from a place of love and trust, compassion, and non-judgment in these situations. You radiate from your core as a result of your connection to something both deep within and beyond yourself.

You will find that when you are attached to your core and acting from that place within, you can handle practically any situation with greater comfort and clarity.

Sumeet

It’s time to get out your yoga mat and uncover the unique combination of physical and mental activities that have enthralled yoga practitioners all over the world for thousands of years. Yoga’s elegance is that you don’t have to be a yogi or yogini to experience its positivity. Yoga can calm the mind and strengthen the body, whether young or old, chubby or fit. Don’t be put off by yoga terminology, pricey yoga studios, or challenging poses. One such pose you can try is Downward Facing Dog. Everyone can benefit from this pose. You’ve already heard that Downward Facing Dog is beneficial to your fitness. Perhaps you’ve even tried it and found that it helps you feel better. Trying this pose has many mental and physical health benefits. Some benefits, such as increased versatility, are immediately noticeable.

Downward-Facing Dog Pose, also known as Adho Mukha Svanasana in Sanskrit, is a famous yoga pose that strengthens the core and improves circulation. This energizing pose provides a delicious, full-body massage.

Downward Facing Dog is a full-body stretch that opens up the backline and is relaxing and energizing. Adho Mukha Svanasana resembles how a dog appears when it bends over.

As a beginner, you can focus on learning Downward Facing Dog Pose. A Downward Dog a day, they claim, keeps the doctor away. This asana has a plethora of incredible benefits that make it imperative that you perform it daily. The best part is that even a complete novice can master this asana with ease.

Steps To Do Downward Facing Dog

This pose can be done anywhere a yoga mat can be laid out. Downward Facing Dog, when done correctly, will provide a delicious stretch to your entire body. This yoga pose reinforces your arms and legs while also assisting you in bringing energy to your whole body. However, downward Facing Dog’s advantages are also negated when done without the knowledge of alignment, as it can irritate wrists and tight back muscles.

It is why it’s crucial to learn how to adapt the Downward Facing Dog pose to fit your needs. Remember that yoga asanas are about function rather than shape and that everyone’s Downdog can vary slightly based on their anatomical and physiological limits.

  1. Begin in Child’s Pose, with your toes tucked under and your arms fully extended in front of you. Hold the Child’s place with your feet, then diagonally push your pelvis upwards until your body forms an inverted V shape.
  2. Bend your knees as much as you need to, and don’t stress if your heels don’t hit the floor. This isn’t the point of this pose! The aim is to raise your sit bones and open up the back of your body and the area around your shoulders. When they’re ready, the heel will come right down.
  3. Start with your hands to check your alignment. Push down through the mound of your index and thumb with your fingers spread wide. Make sure your wrists aren’t flexed to 90 degrees and that you’re pushing your weight up and back to relieve pressure on your wrists.
  4. To find space around your upper back and chest, try externally rotating your upper arms. Your forearms should feel like they’re pushing against each other. Working your shoulder blades down your spine and then around to the side ribs is an excellent way to start.
  5. Work your way up to your spine, lengthening the space between your vertebrae as you go. Make sure your pelvis is turned forward as you hit it to help raise your sit bones higher. It could help if you picture your pelvis as a bowl of water from which you’re almost spilling water on the concrete.
  6. To engage your thighs, hug your thigh muscles to the thigh bones. Next, pull the thigh bones up into the sockets of your hips. From within, rotate your thighs while keeping your feet straight ahead and in line with your hips’ width. Your eyes should be in between your legs while doing downward dog.
  7. Keep your abdomen stimulated but soft by hollowing out your midsection but not holding your breath. Finally, if your feet are flat on the floor, raise your toes for a few breaths before lowering them.

And although Adho Mukha Svanasana (aka Downward Dog) is in pretty much every yoga session, right from the first lesson you go to, it is anything but a simple pose. I am constantly grappling with Downward-Facing Dog — and I have been practicing yoga for more than a decade!

The most challenging aspect of this pose for me is that no matter how hard I try to lengthen my hamstrings, they remain tight. In Down Dog, this causes my lower back to round, so it feels like I’m still trying to find the natural curves of my spine.

Maintaining spine length is more critical than maintaining straight legs. So if you find yourself cracking your back or slouching your shoulders, it’s okay to keep your knees bent as often as you need to savor the flexibility in your back. Also, remember that your heels don’t have to touch the ground!

Start with this position – For Beginners:

You can practice the pose against a wall to improve it. Stand about a meter/3 feet away from the wall, with your legs hip-length apart. Put your hands up against the wall and use the same arm rotation as in the steps above. Next, move your arms and torso down the wall until they are parallel to the ground.

WHICH JOINTS ARE STIMULATED WHILE DOING DOWNWARD DOG POSE?

Let’s start by looking at how your joints move in this asana. A lot is going on in the joints of the upper limbs when the spine is in axial extension: raising and upward movement of the scapulae (shoulder blades).

  • Shoulder flexion is a term that refers to the movement of the shoulder blades
  • The elbows are extended
  • The forearms are pronated
  • Wrist dorsiflexion is a term used to describe the action of bending the wrists backward.

The spinal extensors and flexor muscles are the key players in Downward Dog because they help you keep your spine aligned. There are also many engaged in the upper limbs to assist you in maintaining your alignment. 

It strengthens your arms, neck, and legs while stretching your hamstrings, shoulders, calves, arches, hands, and back. This pose is classified as a mild inversion since your heart is higher than your head. 

It provides all of the advantages of inversions: Headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, and slight depression are all mitigated. Blood flow to the brain also helps relax the nervous system, enhance brain function, and reduce stress.

Cautions Before Practicing This Pose:

If you have severe carpal tunnel syndrome or are pregnant in the third trimester, avoid Downward-Facing Dog. 

Those with back, arm, or shoulder injuries and those with high blood pressure, eye, or inner ear infections should avoid it. Always stay within your capabilities and boundaries. Before doing yoga, consult your doctor if you have any medical problems.

Look Out For These Common Mistakes While Performing:

  1. The most common mistake beginners make in Downward Facing Dog is not releasing their heels towards the ground. The direction of the pose moves forward instead of the back while you’re on the balls of your feet. If you don’t put your weight back into your shoes, it won’t be a resting spot. It does not imply that the heels must be touching the ground; instead, they must be traveling in that direction. With continuous practice and assistance, one can surely master this pose.
  2. Bend your knees and come up onto the balls of your feet for a minute to get your bottom in the right place. Bring your sit bones up high and your belly to rest on your thighs. Then, while maintaining the high outward rotation of the sit bones, drop your heels and straighten your legs. Spread your fingertips and bring your hands marginally forward of your shoulders, with your middle finger attempting to point forward.
  3. If you are flexible enough, avoid allowing your rib cage to sag into the floor, resulting in sinking your spine, also known as a banana back. Instead, maintain a flat back by drawing the ribs in.
  4. To get a good grip, spread your fingers out. Don’t dismiss the abilities of each of your fingers, particularly your thumb and index fingers. They appear to be strong supporters of this asana.
  5. The gap between the feet may be an issue as well. Students sometimes take them too broadly, near the mat’s edge, or too short, touching each other. Instead, your feet should be hip-width apart, leaving about 6 inches (15cm) of space between them, based on your height. Again, you’ll have a strong base for this pose if you set up your feet right, release your heels, and hold your buttocks high.

Remember:

  • Often, keep an eye on the space between your hands: if it is broader than the distance between your elbows, this will trigger neck and shoulder tension. Instead, to find independence, extend your shoulders.
  • Your Downward-Facing Dog would be bunched up, with very little space between your hands and paws, if your hamstring muscles are stiff and you want to hit the floor with your heels. This will cause the lower back to round and place pressure on it. So instead, wake up with Reclining Hand-to-Big-Toe Pose to comfortably lengthen the hamstrings, then practice Down Dog with bent knees.
  • Do not hold your hands out. When you do this, you risk destabilizing your hands when friction is applied to the outside wrists.
  • If your hands fall out of this place, you risk injuring your face. Wet your palms with 2-3 drops of water for better grip.
  • If you have tight hips, Use these blocks under your foot to lend yourself some additional height and relieve stress on your hips. You may also use a block to help support the forehead.

Modified Downward Dog Pose

For Beginners:

If your hamstrings are incredibly tight, you may not be able to hold your buttocks high while still straightening your legs. If that’s the case, a slight bend in your knees is appropriate. With regular practice of other poses, the hamstrings can lengthen over time.

To do a therapeutic version of the pose, put a yoga block under your head. You may also put a block under your hands or a rolled towel under your wrists for extra comfort.

Try The Puppy Dog Pose:

The puppy pose is a gentle backbend that combines the downward-facing dog with a child’s pose.

  • Your hips should be directly over your knee caps, and your shoulders should be directly over your wrists. Toes gesturing straight back, place the tops of your feet on the mat. Maintain a hip-width distance between your feet.
  • Begin walking your hands out in front of you as you exhale. As you slowly release your forehead to the floor, enable your chest to melt toward the floor.
  • Spread your fingers out and firmly press your thumb and index fingers together.
  • To widen your shoulders, roll your upper arm bones outward away from your ears. As your forearms spin up toward the ceiling, feel your triceps wrap down toward the mat’s outer rim. Lift your elbows slightly off the mat and keep your arms active.
  • Deepen the extension by attaining your hips up and back towards the wall behind you on your next breath; in the meantime, continue to let your chest melt downward.
  • Inhale deeply and hold the stretch for 5–10 breaths.
  • Return your hands to the Tabletop position to exit the pose.

Remember:

Allowing the front ribs to stick out dramatically and/or allowing the knees to spread wider than the hips is not a good idea. The lower back may be compressed as a result of this.

Allowing your elbows to splay out and your shoulders to roll inward is not a good idea. Your neck and shoulders may become tense as a result of this.

Up For A Challenge?

Once you’ve mastered the fundamentals, here’s how you can ramp up your practice and make it more efficient.

  • Increase the stretch by raising your body off the floor with your toes and bringing your hips up higher. Remember to move the pelvis inwards. Maintain the pressure by lowering your heels to the floor.
  • To maximize the strength of your attention on your muscles, loop a belt around them and push against the belt’s strap. Next, position the belt above your knees on the upper portion of your legs to concentrate on your legs, and then focus on the leg by pulling the thighs outward.

Staying in this pose for a while when you’re exhausted will help you regain your energy. It can make your legs stronger and shape your legs, as well as relieve shoulder pain and slow your heart rate.

Wrapping Up!!

The Adho Mukha Svanasana is known for its muscle-relaxing properties. The effort to pull the hands apart in this position increases the tension in the muscle tendons and the spinal cord response by signaling the muscles to relax. As a result of the stretching in this pose, it helps to calm the body and mind. Because everyone’s body is different, there aren’t always specific instructions. Listen to your very own body as much as possible. It would help if you found the right balance between increasing your flexibility while avoiding injury or becoming demotivated.

If you are interested in Backbend Poses, check out this article.

Sumeet, Devina, and Dr. Mishra

It’s difficult to think of a recent fitness movement that has gotten more attention than yoga. Today, you can hear individuals arguing about the many benefits of yoga and making reference to its innate superiority in everyday life almost everywhere you go. It’s not surprising, given the importance of yoga in the treatment of physical and mental ailments around the world today. Yoga is now practiced by approximately 30 million Americans, and there are tens of thousands of yoga studios in the United States alone. Yoga is unquestionably an ever-evolving tradition that has swept the western world.

But where did yoga come from? What is the source of it? And why was it made in the first place? What is the true History of yoga? There are fewer well-known questions than Down Dog. What part does yoga’s past play in our current practice? 

Let’s learn about the origins of yoga and the rich past of this practice that we adore can only add to our knowledge of the scope and complexity of yoga. Yoga is now widely practiced. Yoga has evolved into a mainstream cultural phenomenon and is arguably India’s biggest cultural export.

The Origin of Yoga

It is an ancient activity that brings the body and brain together. It originated from the Sanskrit word “Yuji,” which means “yoke” or “union.” 

Yoga is so ancient that no one knows when it first began. But it all existed throughout human history when people began to wonder what life was all about. Only a legend can provide us with information about yoga’s roots. 

Owing to the oral transmission of holy texts and the secrecy of its teachings, yoga’s past is riddled with ambiguity and confusion. Early yoga writings were recorded on delicate palm leaves that were quickly weakened, destroyed, or lost. Yoga’s origins can be traced to 5,000 years, but some scholars believe it may be as old as 10,000 years.

Yoga is also a psychological, physiological, and spiritual discipline emanating from ancient India. But given its Indian roots, the benefits and gifts of this practice have now spread all over the world. Its primary purpose as a spiritual practice is to aid in the unification of our mind, feelings, body, and energy. 

Mindful body activity, meditation, contemplation, breathwork, and sensory detachment are all examples of yogic practices.

Pre-Vedic, Vedic, Pre-Classical Yoga, Classical Yoga, Post-Classical Yoga, and Modern Yoga are the six major stages in the history of yoga. Let’s have a look at each one.

The Pre-Classical Yoga Period

About 5,000 years ago, the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India established the foundations of Yoga. Yoga was first recorded in the Rig Veda, one of the oldest religious texts.

  • CLASSICAL YOGA PERIOD

Pre-classical yoga was a jumble of disparate concepts, values, and strategies that often clashed and undermined one another. Patanjali’s Yoga-Sûtras, the first structured presentation of yoga, defines the Classical era. It was written sometime during the second century, explains the path of RAJA YOGA, also known as “classical yoga.”

  • POST-CLASSICAL YOGA PERIOD

Yoga masters developed a method of practice to rejuvenate the body and extend life a few decades after Patanjali. They accepted the physical body as a way of achieving enlightenment, rejecting the ancient Vedic teachings. They created Tantra Yoga, a radical form of yoga that purifies the body and mind.

  • MODERN YOGA PERIOD

Yoga masters started to move to the West in the late 1800s and early 1900s, gaining interest and followers. Swami Vivekananda wowed the participants at the 1893 Parliament of Religions in Chicago with his lectures on yoga and the generality of the world’s religions. Yoga’s introduction to the West slowed to a trickle before Indra Devi opened her Hollywood yoga studio in 1947. 

Many more Indian and Western teachers have followed in their footsteps since then, popularizing hatha yoga and attracting millions of followers. Hatha Yoga is now divided into several schools or types, each stressing different aspects of the practice.

Let’s Come Down To The Word Yoga – What Is It And What Does It Imply?

Yoga is the journey of the self, through the self, to the self.” – Bhagavad Gita. 

This is a concept that we are all familiar with. This Sanskrit word has been introduced into English dictionaries because it is so popular in our dialect. “Yoga” comes from the root “yuj,” which means “to Unite.” 

Since this is no longer a commonly used term in the English language, you might miss the context at first glance. Yoga means “unity” in its broadest sense. Yoga is a psychological, physical, and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India. 

Despite its Indian origins, the advantages and blessings of this tradition have now spread across the globe.

Let’s Break Down The Concept Of “To Unite” – What Does Yoga Unite?

A coming together of mind, body, and soul; of air and body; of our lower egos and higher self. A symbiotic relationship with the world, source, or deity. Many of these words have been used to explain the “union” that yoga brings in. Its primary purpose as a spiritual practice is to aid in the unification of our mind, feelings, body, and energy.

Mindful body activity, meditation, contemplation, breathwork, and sensory detachment are all examples of yogic practices.

Lord Shiva is considered to be the first yogi, and He passed his wisdom and learning to the Saptarishis, a group of seven learned men. They spread this information through seven different continents, demonstrating that humans can develop beyond their physical limitations.

The History Of Yoga

The existence of Yoga in ancient India is suggested by the number of seals and fossil remains from the Indus Saraswati valley civilization with Yogic motives and figures practicing Yoga Sadhana. Many academics and yogis disagree on when yoga began and how it developed. 

Some sources claim that it has been practiced for over 5,000 years. Others say it dates back over 10,000 years. The Bhagavad Gita, which means “the Lord’s Song,” is a yogic theology scripture written between 400 BC and 200 CE. 

It’s a holy text that focuses solely on yoga practice. This was purely a spiritual activity.

The Bhagavad Gita is an ancient text about a war that takes place on the battlefield. Yoga is an unusual setting i.e. a battlefield, for harmony, love, and happiness! However, this setting is often interpreted as an analogy for the “war of the mind.”

It was the first holy text to declare that everyone would attain enlightenment. – direction is different, but they all lead to the same destination: enlightenment. Yoga’s real nature and origin is enlightenment.

During the Vedic period, Vedic monks were usually self-disciplined and avoided all types of extravagance; instead, they conducted yagna sacrifices and used positions that most scholars assume were the precursors to the modern-day Yoga poses we use.

The Age Of Yoga

Yoga was created in the 5th century for mindfulness and religious purposes, not as a form of exercise. The idea became even more common among Jains, Buddhists, and Hindus at about the same time. The first versions of yoga were mostly used for spiritual purposes and were based on a set of core principles.

The first core value examines a person’s awareness and cognitive state to determine the source of pain and, ultimately, use meditation to resolve the problem. 

The second core principle aimed to raise consciousness, while the third was used to achieve enlightenment. Since it used Yoga to reach into other people’s bodies and behave divinely, the fourth quality was shrouded in mystery.

Ramana Maharshi, Ramakrishna Paramhansa, BKS Iyengar, K Pattabhi Jois, Paramhansa Yogananda, and Swami Vivekananda all contributed to the development of Raja yoga. In the mid-nineteenth century, yoga made its way to the West. At this period, Vedanta, Bhakti, and Hatha yoga prevailed.

Yoga had a long and storied journey to make it to the twenty-first century! It’s had a lot of different writers and has gone through a lot of changes. Given this, the nature of yoga is being one with oneself, one’s soul, and one’s surroundings.

What Were/Are The Different Types Of Yoga?

Yoga is divided into four pillars that are widely accepted:

  • Raja Yoga revolves around the mind and emotions
  • Yoga Bhakti is the Yoga of love and devotion
  • Karma Yoga is a form of yoga that focuses on inspired action and service
  • Yoga Jnana is the Yoga of inner wisdom and knowledge.

Other styles of asana-based yoga include – Vinyasa – Ashtanga – Bikram – Iyengar yoga – Restorative yoga – Prenatal yoga – Yin yoga. (Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Buddhist mindfulness practice, and Hindu Hatha Yoga have all inspired Yin yoga. Yin Yoga poses are performed in stillness for an extended period, unlike most other physical forms of Yoga.)

Of course, there’s Hatha Yoga, which has become the most commonly practiced style of yoga in the West today. The emphasis of Hatha Yoga is on the body, especially the physical asanas or postures.

Tantra Yoga

When you hear the words “Tantra Yoga,” you can have a lot of associations. Any terms that come to mind are sexual, personal, strange, hippie, and so on. The only way to transcend these negative stereotypes is to educate yourself on the subject. 

Tantra is an ancient practice that combines asana, mantra, mudra, and bandha (energy lock), and chakra (energy center) function to create power, insight, and siddhi (bliss) in daily life.

Tantra Yoga entails harnessing and embracing Shakti’s five powers, the female goddess who embodies imagination and transformation. Tantric Yoga says that by balancing yin and yang, we can travel into life with more trust and contentment.

What Is Hatha Yoga? 

Hatha Yoga (Sanskrit: “Discipline of Force”) is a form of Yoga that emphasizes body mastery as a means of achieving spiritual purity by withdrawing the mind from external things. Hatha Yoga has become increasingly common in the West as a type of exercise that promotes resilience, endurance, physical stimulation, and mental focus.

Diet, purification procedures, breathing control (Pranayama), and the practice of bodily exercises called asanas, which structure a regimen of physical exertion, are all important aspects of Hatha Yoga. Padmasana (“lotus posture”) is a traditional asana in which the crossed feet rest on the opposite thighs.

A very effective and beneficial breathing technique that not only aids weight loss but also puts the whole system into perfect equilibrium. Kapalbhati Pranayama, also known as Skull Shining Breathing, is a breathing technique also included in hatha yoga practice. 

Other asanas are included in Hatha yoga

  1. JAL NETI: Jal Neti is one of Hatha Yoga Pradeepika’s six detoxification practices, or ‘Shatkarmas.’ Jal Neti is a method used by yogis to remain disease-free and, most specifically, to use their breath effectively in their yogic activities. Jal Neti is nasal care in the same way as cleaning your teeth is dental hygiene. Water is used to purify and disinfect the nasal passageway, which runs from the nostrils to the throat.
  2. DHAUT NETI: Dhauti is one of the Shatkarmas (or Shat kriyas) that make up the yogic method of cleansing strategies for the body. It is mostly meant to disinfect the entire digestive system, but it also involves the respiratory tract, external ears, and eyes. 

It is divided into four categories, according to the 18th century Gheranda Samhita: Antara (internal) Dhauti, Danta (teeth) Dhauti, Hrida (cardiac or chest region) Dhauti, and Mula Shodhana (rectal cleansing).

Vastra Dhauti is used to cleanse the stomach and esophageal tract. A long strip of wet cotton fabric is swallowed into the stomach during this procedure.

  1. NAULI: Nauli is one of the yoga kriyas or shatkarmas or provisional purifications. The exercise is said to clean the abdominal area and is focused on a circular motion of the stomach muscles that massages the internal belly organs.
  2. BASTI: Basti is an effective Shatkarma or yogic cleansing, that is used to clean the lower abdomen, specifically the colon. According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and other references, it has many beneficial effects.

    The word “Basti” refers to something that “resides inside a cavity enclosed by four walls.” Basti may also mean “to hold” and is often used to refer to the bladder. Basti kriya is analogous to an Ayurvedic procedure called enema, which cleanses the colon by inserting a tube filled with therapeutic fluid into the rectum.
  1. TATRAKA: Tatraka is a yogic cleansing (a shatkarma) and tantric meditation practice that entails looking at a single spot, such as a tiny object, black dot, or candle flame. Traka is said to improve one’s ability to focus. It improves memory and puts the mind into a state of consciousness, concentration, and focus.

Was Yoga Considered An Exercise?

While yoga’s roots aren’t in exercise, some forms have been transformed into workouts that emphasize the physical aspects of the practice. People come to yoga with a variety of goals in mind. Some people practice yoga for the contemplative or meditative aspects, while others prefer the workout and activity aspects. 

Yoga may also aid in the development of power. Certain positions and poses that require an individual to support a portion of their body weight can challenge and strengthen a muscle.

Many prestigious Yoga Institutions, Yoga Schools, Yoga Universities, Yoga Departments in Educational institutions, Naturopathy colleges, and private trusts and associations now offer yoga education. In hospitals, dispensaries, medical institutes, and therapeutic settings, many Yoga Clinics, Yoga Rehabilitation, and Training Facilities, Preventive Health Care Units of Yoga, Yoga Research Institutions, and so on have been created.

Modern Versus Ancient Notion Of Yoga

Yoga is a tool that assists man in reaching his full potential. Yoga is a practice that aids in the full development of an individual’s ability. All aspects of a person – physical, mental, moral, intellectual, and emotional – must be addressed to achieve this. Simply healing the body would be an indicative approach that would inevitably lead to other issues not long after recovery.

The concept of using yoga to cure illnesses, improve physical health, and gain stress relief is a new, although simplistic, viewpoint. Yoga was not only used to treat illnesses in ancient times. The importance of sanitation and hygiene, for example, was also present in ancient times. This did not, however, apply solely to shaving, washing, and other morning fasts. It entailed keeping your mind pure and clean, and by extension, your thinking process. In other words, it resulted in overall health.

People used to live lives that were entwined with the natural world. They were in their natural form when they evolved. There was an awareness of the body’s and mind’s mutually beneficial relationship. Bends and turns are only possible when you are in sync. Breath regulation and self-awareness are essential to doing this.

The Modern Myth Of Yoga

Today, much of our exposure to yoga is limited to yoga asanas. This is why we equate yoga with fitness and versatility.

Remember how people used to sit on the floor in yoga asanas regularly? We need to get into a padmasana, or lotus pose, now! Correct posture and a serene state were once a way of life that has been lost to modern living. That is why poses have become so popular in recent years. But now you know that yoga was never intended to be just asanas.

The true goal of yoga is for him to achieve self-realization and accomplishment.

The United Nations has designated June 21st as International Yoga Day, a day to give this ancient practice its proper place as a way of life that promotes peace, unity, and global integration.

Our Take On Yoga

We in the Yogic-Experience team say that everyone can practice Yoga, it absolutely doesn’t matter which religion you belong to or don’t. Should certain things go against your beliefs, simply stop doing them or ask for guidance. It is up to you whether you see Yoga as a spiritual practice, mostly in the west it is seen as an exercise. Which is perfectly fine. 

Wrapping Up

In India, the land of Yoga, various social practices and traditions represent a reverence for ecological harmony, tolerance for other schools of thought, and empathy for all creations. 

Since yoga has such a long tradition, it provides us with a lot of benefits. We fight the pressures of our daily lives by taking the time to draw our consciousness inside during our yoga practice.

We at the Yogic-Experience team believe that everyone can practice yoga, regardless of their religious affiliation. If you find yourself doing things that go against your values, either avoid doing them or seek advice. It is entirely up to you if you consider Yoga to be a sacred practice; in the West, it is mostly regarded as an exercise. That’s entirely acceptable.

There’s a chance we’ll catch a glimpse of absolute illumination. And, of course, this would make all of the yogis before us very proud.

Yoga Sadhana in all hues and colors is thought to be a magic bullet for living a meaningful life. It is a worthy activity for citizens of all faiths, races, and nationalities because of its emphasis on holistic health, both individual and social.

Billions of people all over the world profit from the practice of Yoga, which has been maintained and encouraged by great eminent Yoga Masters from ancient times to the present. Yoga is rising in popularity and becoming more dynamic by the day.

Sumeet

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