-Navin Sir(Yoga Teacher @BVS)
Yoga is the science of right living which creates harmony of the entire body, mind and spirit. It works all the aspects of the person and helps to develop physically, mentally, intellectually and socially. It has various tools and techniques to purify body, mind and soul of human being leading to develop balance, positive and creative person. Yoga is perhaps the only discipline that results as an overall personality development and give the feeling of being confident, energetic and motivated. It creates the perfect balance in all the systems of the body. It nourishes the nervous system, releases anxiety and promotes inner harmony. "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit verb YUJ, thus meaning to yoke or to unite. The practice of yoga brings union between one's consciousness and the universal (God) consciousness.
- Yama: Universal morality which includes Compassion for all living things, Commitment to Truthfulness, Non-stealing, Sense control , non covetousness
- Niyama: Personal observances which includes Purity , Contentment, Disciplined use of our energy , Self study, Devotion to God.
- 3. Asanas: Body postures
- Pranayama: Breathing exercises, and control of prana
- Pratyahara: Withdrawal of the senses in order to still the mind
- Dharana: Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness
- Dhyana: Devotion, Meditation on the Divine
- Samadhi: Union with the Divine
- Prasanta Bhawa: Temperance
- Aadarsha: Truth and righteousness
Yoga is a vast subject. Here, I have written the importance of Aasan, pranayam and Dhyana (Meditation).
In yoga Aasan is the third limb. Even we can get many benefits from practicing yoga Asana. Certain "Aasans" (yoga postures), which helps to keep physically fit as well as influence our energetic centers & systems of the body and they have a great effect on specific nerve centers. Aasans helps to keep elasticity and mobility of physical bodies. Practicing yoga poses cleanses and detoxifies the body, by increasing the circulation of fresh blood through the body. We will be able to cleanse and flush out toxins which are the result of an irregular lifestyle, unhealthy habits, and poor posture. Most of the people ignore the exercise, definitely they loose the flexibility, elasticity and mobility of the spine, joints and muscles, which leads illness like joint pain, arthritis and other diseases related to the body.
Everyday in our life, we need to give rotational movement for our eyes, head, arms, legs and other body parts. We can give movement by bending forward, backward and it is possible by practicing standing, sitting, abdominal-wise, back-wise & opposite postures. Such postures have a great positive effect and flexibility on the spinal column also. Most of the people have the problem of their digestive system which is associated with solar plexus (Manipur Chakra). The Stomach is the delicate part of the human body and often the most abused. When digestion malfunctions, owing to overeating or wrong eating, it causes all kinds of troubles in the body. We have the habit to see our self in the mirror and we think we are quite all right. We don't realize that we are carrying many toxins in our system. The body is full of them. If we don't know how to get rid of these toxin, and the system can no longer handle them, disease results. Most of the people they suffer problems like gastritis, indigestion, ulcer, diabetes, stone in the gall bladder and in kidneys. The main cause is they do not exercise and do not know the food discipline. Food, which also has effect on the body and mind. Our body takes form according to the kind of food we eat. Our senses & mind are united with food, so our behaviour is also shaped by food we eat. If the food is pure, the mind will be also pure. Food is also the builder of our beautiful character. Though most of the people are educated, they are ignorant about the food discipline; basically they do not know how to eat. If we know how to eat, it will give us the best health otherwise, it will be harmful and produce different kind of diseases and eat up the man like a hungry tiger.
Dynamic yoga exercises help to accelerate in the removal of toxins from the body. In these days every system of the body is affected with toxins. One of the reasons for having illness is the presence of toxins in the body and that toxins choose the weak organs of the body like heart, lungs, digestive system, kidney etc. Today, people are exposed to chemicals, pesticides, additives in food. Moreover, in polluted environment the organisms of people have to struggle with constant invasions of toxins, because process to removal of toxins are complicated and take more time than assimilation and the absorption of nutrients. Toxins and chemicals penetrate membranes and accumulate in intercellular space. Toxins enter lymphatic and blood vessels, where venous blood carries toxins to the organs of elimination. The transit of toxins through millions of cells is difficult to complete without the activity of vibrated cells, muscular contractions, exertions that occur during walking, running, jumping and dancing and especially through yoga pose.
When muscles contract, they compress veins, accelerate a flow of venous blood to the heart, and provide impulses that help blood to eliminate toxins. We can observe how pets stretch their bodies after waking up. When the body stretches, muscles are contracted that helps to remove toxins from the body. It is worth watching the stretches of pets and animals, especially of cats. This is the scientific process that nature has given that knowledge to pets and animals. The body needs stretching after waking up in the morning. During the sleep, heart muscles help to move venous blood with wastes and toxins; however, this help is not enough to remove toxins. The weakening of the body is due not to effects of illness, but to the transgression of the entire metabolism, because of the accumulation of toxins. Removal of toxins from cells and intercellular spaces is a process requiring constant vibration of cells by nerve impulses, and occurs during exercising or moving which provides contractions of muscles. Yoga Asanas are scientific process that really helps to contract and stretch the muscles and helps to eliminate toxins and energizes whole body. When people do not exercise or move efficiently their bodies gradually declines. They may suffer from various diseases and old age can easily attack them.
Yoga does not only keep our body healthy, it also helps to think positively. Through thoughts and feelings, there will be changes in biochemical in the body and that chemical helps to create a reality and add color to it. Unhappiness along with negative thoughts brings a gray world. To change a gray world and to overcome the feeling of unhappiness, anxiety, or tension, one needs to refocus the mind with positive, healing thoughts. Our mind is like programmable computer, we can program our subconscious mind by positive emotions, feelings and visualizations. The word "Program" is not used only in the field of computer, it is used in the human brain also. Every body programmed his/her subconscious mind unknowingly with whatever emotions and feelings they have. We have to learn to programme & de-program our mind in a proper way to become a successful person. When a wish of any desired condition is established in mind, somehow the unconscious mind leads to the wish to realization-not magically, but through mental programming specially through subconscious mind. 86% of our brain is controlled by subconscious mind. This is the part of the brain which stores most of our memories and creativity.
Several research works on happiness & love have proved that if a person is happy, confident, loving and positive he/she uses the brain more potentially than a person with anger, fear, depressions & negative state of mind. Since our emotional attitude has a direct relationship to our immune system, a person who expresses happiness love, laughter, friendliness and helpfulness is far less likely to contract disease. Positive emotional attitude is more harmonious with good health than a negative attitude. So the main part of our brain that is cerebral area is more involved with the positive states of mind. With the autopsy and MIR brain scan have revealed that lower metabolic activity via less glucose intake and blood flow in the cerebral cortex, those people are found seriously depressed and mentally ill. Brain scans also reveal us at large areas of cerebral tissue inactive in such patient and such problems can cause brain cancer, Parkinson and senility the brain maladies which is increasing day by day. The cerebrum the top most t part of the human brain is considered as the seat of intelligence where higher processes of human thoughts exist. The ability to read, write, speak and make calculations exists in this important part of the human brain. The creation of music, works of art and philosophical thoughts originate from the cerebrum.
When we do Yoga, Pranayam and meditation the brain cells of neo-cortex and cerebrum become activated, we start to use more of our mental and brain capacity. Thus instead of using 4-5% brain we can increase our capacity 5-15% or even 20% also. Therefore, when we use a greater portion of our brain capacity and increase our IQ level, we will be able to use many of our psychic and spiritual abilities and the power of mind becomes greater as well. In Yoga we learn to think positive, we do Yoga postures using Yogic and scientific formula 3B+MS with opposite postures like shoulder stand, head stand, hands to feet, biangular pose which definitely helps to keep our cerebral cortex active and healthy. We can energize the body and the mind by breathing exercise. People often think that they can breath properly but most of the people do not breath properly for their whole life. Right breathing is the key to gain energy & vitality. Proper breathing influences all body process including brain activity and digestion and provide oxygen to muscles, organs and tissue, in addition it removes toxins and wastes.
Here 3B+MS formula means:
B= Body movement.
B= Breath regulation.
B= Blood Circulation.
M= Full determination of mind
(Positive thinking while doing Yoga).
S= Courage of soul/spirit, divine faith
So applying the yogic formula in Yoga postures, pranayam and meditation there will be biological and chemical changes in our body and of course changes in our thoughts. Red corpuscles will be increased in our body and naturally the level of hemoglobin will grow. Endorphins chemical will increase helping to keep our mood in a happy state. Endorphins reduce pain and provides pleasure too. Food will properly digest which helps in maintaining good health and energy. Tensions will go away because the cells are transformed and re-generated as well as blood pressure will become normal. As a result of Yoga practices, the trainees will experience his / her hormones in a proper level. There will be a perfect co-ordination and balance in the nervous system. The body will get strength to fight against tiredness and fatigue as per the capacity in the functioning power of muscles and cells in the brain. Therefore, not only students, people who have to work mentally and physically like professionals, philosophers, economist, writers, poets, teachers, can achieve enormous benefits from Yoga.
Practicing Yoga every day lets our face have a smile and eyes have a twinkle of love and all the day with firm determination to be good to do good. Let cleanliness be our culture. Let our body, house, clothes and most of our entire mind be clean. Let our food be fresh, natural nourishing, digestible and sattwic (food of goodness). Let us make our culture, the Yoga culture.
I feel delighted that the students in Brihaspati School are eagerly learning yoga. May yoga disciplines lead them to develop good character as well as their stato-dynamic personality.