Those shatkarma which effect purification of the body are secret. They have manifold, wondrous results and are held in high esteem by eminent yogis.
– Hatha Yoga Pradipika 2:23
The first step to gain mastery in Yoga is through purifying the body of toxins. Shatkarma (sometimes referred as Shatkriya) consist of six groups of purification practices. ‘Shat’ means ‘six’ and ‘Karma’ or ‘Kriya’ means ‘art’ or ‘process’. The word kriya or karma is used in Hatha Yoga in a special technical sense regarding the techniques of cleaning. The practice of shatkarma is also used to balance the internal disorders (doshas) of the body i.e. kapha – mucus, pitta– bile, and vata – wind. According to both Ayurveda and Hatha yoga, an imbalance in the doshas results in illness. The aim of Hatha Yoga and, therefore, of the shatkriyas is creating harmony within the major energy channels (ida & pingla) thereby attaining physical and mental balance.
Dieting is catching up around the world. ‘To Diet’ – is more popular for better looks than for sound health. High calorie junk foods are shunned. A struggle between the palate and the desire to slim down continues.
The Yogic concept of food however, takes into consideration the total dimension of human existence. Yoga believes, apart from the atoms and molecules of which our gross physical body is made, we possess prana, mind, intellect, emotions and the spiritual dimensions. Yoga is the process by which we bring an integration of the entire personality at all these levels. If the stamina of the body is to be developed, the prana should be brought to a harmonious balance, the mind should be calmed down, the emotion should be stabilized and the intellect should be under total control.
Samkhya means ‘right knowledge’; it also means ‘numbers’. Samkhya is one of the oldest systems of Indian philosophy. It occupies a unique place among the six systems of Indian philosophy. Almost all branches of Indian literature reflect the influence of Samkhya Philosophy. This system is sometimes, described as the ‘atheistic Yoga’ as distinguished from Yoga Philosophy, which is also referred as ‘Theistic Samkhya. This system is accepted as the main opponent of Vedanta Philosophy which is a non-dualistic philosophy; whereas, Samkhya maintains a clear-cut dualism between Purusha (Pure Consciousness, soul) and Prakriti (nature, manifested being, mind-body complex); further maintains the plurality of Purusha, and is silent on God. It is often also referred as pluralistic spiritualism, an atheistic realism and uncompromising dualism.
International Day of Yoga (IDY), is celebrated annually on 21 June since its inception in 2015. The idea of International Day of Yoga was formally proposed by the current Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi during his speech at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA), on 27 September 2014. He stated;
Yoga is science of life carrying
in it the mystery of conservation of health and complete transformation of
life. Its techniques offer remedies of health and hygiene chiefly because these
are half therapy. Yogic therapy contributes to the integration of personality
through healthy body and mind with minimum of time, effort and expense. This is
attained by promotive, preventive and curative methods. Whereas Promotive
methods bring in homeostatic functioning in the body, Preventive methods
protect individuals from exposure to bad influences and Curative methods bring
cure in the disturbed psychophysiological function.
Hatha Yoga is one of the first types of Yoga with which people have become acquainted world over. Most of the physical formats of Yoga as are popular today are all types of Hatha Yoga. The word ‘hatha’ consists of two seed words – ‘ha’ (sun) means ‘prana’ or energy flowing within the body and ‘tha’ (moon) means the mind or mental energy. Hatha means to bring balance in the energies of the sun and moon, or unify the vital energy of the body with the mental energy.
Education is not just the
amassing of information and its purpose is not mere career hunting. It is a
means of developing a fully integrated personality and enabling one to grow
effectively into the likeness of the ideal that one has set before oneself.
Student life is precious period of inner culture, a period concerned with the
very important task of laying the foundation of one’s character and
personality. Upon this alone depends the making of one’s life.
Thoughts come from the minute we wake up until the minute we fall asleep, and even after that they are in our dreams. We undeniably need voluntary thinking, but how to silence involuntary thoughts – thoughts that brings down efficiency, is the cause of stress, anxiety and depression!
Yoga provides fulfillment, removes illusions, death and birth, unhealthy condition of body and provides happiness; bringing high spirit, keen intellect and perfection in the practitioner. This path to excellence is illuminated in Yoga Philosophy based on ‘The Yogasutra of Patanjali’.
Continue reading “Glimpse into ‘Yoga Philosophy’”
There is an invariable connection
between the mind and breathing. Every state of mind is reflected by a
corresponding change in the breathing pattern. Researches have shown when mind
is disturbed, breath also gets disturbed. This imbalance in breathing disturbs
the physiological functions and overtime become pathological. Disease such as
asthma, hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, migraine, hyperacidity etc is
the results of such imbalances. Such diseases further disturb the mind and so
the breath in turn; and the feedbacks continue aggravating the disease status.
This vicious cycle can be cut by either pharmacological interventions or simple
Continue reading “Pranayama – The Breath of Yoga!”