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“Aside from the wonderful physical and medically proven health benefits of yoga, this ancient science holds the ability to support, help and transform on every level of your existence” Yogi Ashokananda
Yogi Ashokananda’s desire to teach yoga sprang from wanting to understand and experience the truth of yoga for himself, in his own life, and then assist others, whether it be for greater fitness and vitality, or to embrace themselves and their lives on a deeper, more profound and joyful level. Yoga is scientifically proven to positively ease a variety of conditions, physical, emotional and spiritual, including anxiety, depression, back pain and hypertension.
The word 'Yoga' comes from a Sanskrit root 'Yuj' which means 'to join'. In its spiritual sense, it is the process by which the identity of the individual soul and the Supreme Soul is realized. Although many people think this term refers to union between body and mind or body, mind and spirit, the traditional acceptance is union between the Jivatman (one’s individual consciousness) and Paramatman (universal consciousness). The human soul is brought into conscious communion with the Divine Reality. Just as camphor melts and becomes one with fire; just as a drop of water when it is thrown into the ocean, becomes one with the ocean; the individual soul, when it is purified, when it is freed from whims, when it becomes pure (Sattvic), becomes one with the Supreme Soul. The science that teaches the way of acquiring this knowledge is called 'Yoga Sastra'.
“Yoga is a realisation of freedom, yoga is a realisation of yourself” Yogi Ashokananda
Yogi Ashokananda’s understanding and discovery is that yoga is a paradox. While he believes that it brings one to unity, really it brings about separation. Many people believe that by practising yoga (as in asanas) they will achieve unity of themselves. The journey of Yoga can be challenging, confronting and uncomfortable as it helps you to see how you have separated yourself, within your own body and mind. That separation leads you back to unity with yourself and with God. Yoga is a realisation of freedom, yoga is a realisation of yourself, enabling you to hold and contain the awareness of both your individual self with your greater Self. Eventually only one will exist, either you or the Higher Self.
1.Yama or Eternal Vows:
Brahmacharya (continence) and
2. Niyama or Observances:
Svadhyaya (study) and
Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God)
3. Asana (firm, comfortable meditative posture)
4. Pranayama (the regulation of the Vital Force)
5. Pratyahara (abstraction of the senses and mind from objects)
6. Dharana (concentration)
7. Dhyana (meditation)
8. Samadhi (superconscious state or trance)
Today most people practicing yoga are engaged in the third limb, asana, which is a program of physical postures designed to purify the body and provide the physical strength and stamina required for long periods of meditation.
Physical benefits of yoga
1. Improves flexibility
2. Improves strength and stamina
3. Improves posture
4. Excess weight is reduced
5. Helps to encourage easy and graceful movement