Bhujangasana

This pose is called Bhujangasana because when the full pose is displayed, it lends one the appearance of a hooded cobra. Spread a blanket on the ground. Lie on it face down and the muscles of the body completely relaxed. Place the palms on the ground just below the shoulders, bending them in the elbows. Touch the ground with the forehead and raise the head and the upper part of the body slowly just as a cobra raises its hood. Bend the spine backwards. Let the...

Salabhasana

When this pose is demonstrated, it gives one the appearance of a locust. Lie on the blanket face down and the arms touching the ground. Let the palms face upwards with the fingers clenched. Inhale slightly. Then stiffen the whole body and raise the legs the hips and the lower abdomen up. putting the whole weight of the body on the chest and the hands. Raise the head also slightly.13 Remain in this pose for 10 seconds in the beginning and prolong the time...

Sirshasana

This is called Sirshasana as you have to stand on the head. It is considered to be the king of all Asanas. Spread a fourfold blanket. Squat on the ground and prepare a finger-lock by knitting the fingers of both the hands together. Make a convenient angle with the forearms. Let the finger-lock serve the purpose of a vertex. Keep the top of the head on the vertex. Slowly raise the lower part of the trunk, and then the legs. Now the whole body will stand at right angle with the ground. Remain in...

Yogic Diet

A diet that is wholly conducive to the practice of Yoga and spiritual progress is called Yogic diet. Diet has intimate connection with the mind. Mind is formed out of the subtlest portion of food. Sage Uddalaka instructs his son Svetaketu Food, when consumed becomes threefold the gross particles become excrement, the middling ones flesh and the fine ones the mind. My child, when curd is churned, its fine particles which rise upwards, form butter. Thus, my child, when food is consumed, the fine...

Obstacles In Yoga

There are certain obstacles in the path of Yoga, which you should, by all means, overcome in the very beginning of your Yogic career. If you do not adequately guard yourself against these impediments in right time by the warning voice of your Guru, they will smash all your hopes and aspirations to pieces and will eventually bring about miserable downfall. Lust, greed, anger, hatred, jealousy, fear, inertia, depression, prejudice, intolerance, evil company, arrogance, self-sufficiency, desire...

Siddhasana

Siddhasana is next to Padmasana in importance. Some eulogise it as even superior to Padmasana from the point of view of meditation. The Asana is so called because it is capable of giving the practitioner all Siddhis (psychic powers). Moreover it was and is the favourable pose of several Adepts in Yoga (Siddhas). Sit again on the seat prescribed by Lord Krishna as before. Stretch the legs forward. Place the left heel carefully at the anal aperture and the other heel on the root of the generative...

Mayurasana

This is called Mayurasana because when this Asana is performed, it imitates a peacock spreading out his bundle of feathers behind him. Kneel on the ground and squat on the heels. Bring the two forearms together and keep the palms on the ground. The palms and fingers represent the feet and claws of the peacock, except that here the palms are directed backward. Keep the elbow joints in close contact with each other so as to provide a nice fulcrum to support the...

Dhanurasana

This is called Dhanurasana because when the full pose is demonstrated, it resembles a bow with a string in it. The hands and the legs represent the string, whereas the trunk and the thighs take the place of the bow. As you did in the previous two poses, lie on the blanket face down. Relax all the muscles of the body. Bend the legs slowly at the knee-joint until the hands catch hold of the ankles. Raise the head, chest and knees. Keep the arms and the forearms...

Paschimottanasana

Lie flat on the blanket and stretch the arms over the head. Slowly breathe in. Raise the arms, head and trunk, exhale and bend them over the legs, stretched taut, without raising the knees. Catch hold of the toes with the fingers, contracting the abdomen and gently pressing the head against the knees. Pull the toes with the arms and lower the elbows. While bending the trunk down, do not make any violent jerk. Do it very, very carefully and slowly. While remaining in this pose breathe normally....

Matsyasana

This pose is called Matsyasana because by assuming this posture and doing Plavini Pranayama you can float like the fish on water as long as you like. Spread a thick blanket on the ground. Sit on it with legs fully stretched in front of you. Do Padmasana. Then lie flat on the back. Then resting the whole body on the elbows raise the trunk and head. Pressing the head well on the ground on the one side and the buttocks on the other, make an arch or a bridge of the trunk. Rest the hands on the...

Sitkari

Folding the tongue in such a manner that the tip of the tongue touches the upper palate, draw the air through the mouth producing a sound of c. c. c., retain the breath as long as you can without the feeling of suffocation and then exhale through both the nostrils. These three processes constitute one round. Start with three rounds and add one round every week. This Kumbhaka increases the beauty and vigour of the body, removes hunger and thirst, indolence and sleep and makes the whole body...

Sattvic Rajasic Tamasic

Spinach. Tomatoes. Cucumber. Pumpkin. Cauliflower. Lady's finger. Peaches. Almonds. Pistachios. Raisins. Wheat. Red rice. Unpolished rice. Barley. Oat-meal. Dried peas. Dates. Sugar-candy. Green gram. Bengal gram. Green pulse. Groundnut. Cereals. Dried ginger. Myrobalan. Lemon. Honey. Charu.

Nauli

ISOLATION OF THE RECTUS ABDOMINIS The contraction, isolation and the rolling manipulation of the rectus abdominis is termed Stand up. Keep the legs a foot or so wide apart. Press your hands against the thighs by slightly bending the trunk. Then do Uddiyana Bandha in this standing posture. Let go the centre of the abdomen free by contracting the left and the right sides of the abdomen. Now all the muscles of the abdomen stand out bulging in the centre forming a vertical line. This is Nauli.15...

Bandha Traya

That posture or exercise which shuts the gate of the body at a particular place and thereby stops inhalation and exhalation is called a Bandha. When Mula Bandha, Jalandhara Bandha and Uddiyana Bandha are practiced at one and the same time, there ensues Bandha Traya. Sit on Siddhasana pressing the perineum with the left heel and the other heel on the root of the generative organ. Inhale deeply. Contract the anus and draw it upwards. This is Mula Bandha. While in this state. contract the throat...

Benefits Of Pranayama

Perfection in Pranayama gives you the major eight Siddhis viz., Anima, Mahima, Laghima, Garima, Prapti, Prakamya, Vasitvam and Isitvam. Anima is the power to become as minute as you like, whereas Mahima makes you as big as you like. By Laghima you can make your body as light as a feather and fly in the sky thousands of miles in a minute. Garima can make your body as heavy as a mountain. By the power of Prapti you can predict all future events, understand unknown languages, cure any disease,...

Rhythmical Breathing

The breathing of worldly people is irregular. In exhalation the breath goes out 16 digits, and in inhalation only 12 digits, thus losing 4 clear digits of breath in every act of inspiration and expiration. Now just imagine how much Prana is wasted every day by you at this rate If you can inhale 16 digits of Prana as in exhalation, everything is all right. There is absolutely no loss then. You will have rhythmical breathing. The Kundalini will be roused. Moreover, by practicing this exercise and...

V

Close the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale through the left nostril. Then close the left nostril with the ring and little fingers of the right hand, retain the breath as long as you can comfortably do, and exhale through the right nostril by removing the thumb. Now half the process is over. Drawing again the air through the right nostril, and retaining it as before. exhale it through the left nostril by removing the ring and little fingers. These six processes constitute one...

Padmasana

Amongst the various poses prescribed for meditation, Padmasana is unique and foremost. It holds a very conspicuous place in the Yoga practices because great Rishis like Sandilya, Gheranda and several others have spoken of it in glowing terms. It is called Padmasana because of its full pose lending one the appearance of a full-blown lotus. Sit on the seat prescribed by Lord Krishna in the Bhagavad-Gita Ch. VI-11. Stretch the legs forward, place the right foot gently at the left hip-joint, and...

Kevala Kumbhaka

Kumbhaka is of two sorts Sahita and Kevala. The Kumbhaka that is associated with Puraka and Rechaka is called Sahita that which is devoid of these two is called Kevala pure and absolute . Kevala Kumbhaka should be practiced when the Sahita Kumbhaka has been completely mastered. In the Vasishtha Samhita you will find When after giving up inhalation and exhalation, one holds his breath with ease, it is absolute Kumbhaka Kevala Kumbhaka . In this Pranayama the practitioner can retain his breath as...

Sarvangasana

It is so called because all parts of the body function during its performance. 12 This is known as the Frontal Gaze. Take particular care not to strain your eye in any manner. Gaze very very gently. If you find it difficult to do this also, simply close your eyes and concentrate on the heart-lotus or the space between the two eye-brows. This practice is doubly beneficial. It will not only not strain your eyes, but will also protect them from the risk of some foreign...

Yoga Sadhana

Sadhana means any spiritual practice that aids the aspirant to realise God. It is a means to attain the goal of life. Without Sadhana no one can achieve the goal. Sadhana differs according to taste, temperament and capacity. You can realise the goal of life by four different paths. Just as one and the same coat will not suit Mr. John, Mr. Smith, Mr. Dick and Mr. Williams, so also one path will not suit all people. These four paths lead to the same goal, viz., the attainment of the Ultimate...