March 10, 2020 |
Read Time: 6 minutes
“Yoga” practice is explained here.
Yoga is a science-based practice for spiritual enlightenment for seekers, as the highest goal. Yoga is a step-by-step progression to regulate and achieve control over senses and mind. The manifestation of your true being is possible through Yoga.
The study of Yoga is the culmination of reading ancient texts and rigorous practice, both are necessary to progress on the path of enlightenment. Yoga is a well-laden path by our Sages to realize what we are, who we are and what we should achieve. There is no other science which empowers you to achieve your mission in this life.
What is the basis of Yoga?
Patanjali Yoga Sutras by Sage Patanjali is the ancient compilation, in the form of short Sanskrit verses which is the basis of the study as well as the practice of Yoga. The origin of Patanjali Yoga Sutras is the Vedas.
Our venerable Guru, T. Krishnamacharya, has deliberated with his son, T K V Desikachar while teaching him Yoga, the meanings of the entire Patanjali Yoga Sutra comprising 195 verses, about 8 times over a period of 30 years. The understanding of Yoga only improves and deepens every time a well-versed Sanskrit scholar studies the holy ancient text.
What is Yoga?
“Yoga” is defined as “Yujyate anena iti yogah – “that which joins is Yoga”. Further, which joins your soul – Jivatma with eternal God – Paramatma is Yoga.
Yoga builds your ability to –
- A clear perception of reality and the right understanding
- Understand past, present and future of objects of contemplation
- Removal of desires and vasanas, past impressions in mind that directs our actions
- Transcendental experience of our true nature
- Oneness of mind, body and soul, Supreme bliss and joy
What is the 8-Step practice of Yoga according to Patanjali Yoga Sutras?
The 8-Step practice is a disciplined approach from changing our attitudes toward the environment and ourselves, to complete integration with the object to be understood, and this could even be the answers to eternal questions of seekers.
Why Yama and Niyama are important?
The practice of Yoga Asana is not just a bodily exercise. And the practice of Pranayama is not merely a breathing exercise. Asanan and Pranayama are generally taught as first lessons of Yoga. We need to begin with Yama and Niyama as the foundation of practice to make sure that our mind-body complex system fully reaps the benefits of Yoga.
We have excerpts of Yama and Niyama in Classical T. Krishnamacharya Tradition from the book Health, Healing and Beyond by his son, T K V Desikachar.
Yama Principles and Benefits.
- Ahimsa – Consideration to all livings beings, especially those who are innocent, in difficulty or worse off than ourselves. Thus we stimulate friendliness and reduce anger, dread and even violent feelings of those around us.
- Satya – Right communication through speech, writings, gesture and actions. This is the ability to communicate with sensitivity, without telling lies and with reflection. Persons who acquire this will not make mistakes in their actions
- Asteya – Non-Covetousness, or ability to resist a desire for that which does not belong to us. Those who do not covet what belongs to others naturally win their trust, and with it their willingness to share freely.
- Brahmacharya – Moderation in all our actions. At its best, moderation produces the highest individual vitality
- Aparigraha – Non-greediness or the ability to accept only what is appropriate. One who is not greedy is secure. There is a time to think deeply to develop a complete understanding of one’s self.
Niyama comprises of –
- Sauca – Cleanliness of our body and our surroundings. Cleanliness is more than hygiene and neatness. It reveals what needs to be constantly maintained and what is eternally cleaned. What decays is external and what does not is deep within us.
- Santhosha – Contentment, or the ability to be comfortable with what we have and what we do not have. The happiness that comes from acquiring possessions is invariable temporary. Contentment, simply put is the key to total happiness
- Tapah – Removal of impurities in our physical and mental systems through correct habits of sleep, exercise, nutrition, work and relaxation. Such activities all point to efficiency and accuracy in our daily lives.
- Svadhyaya – Study motivated by the necessity to review and evaluate our progress. When developed to the highest degree – a process that continues throughout life until its final moments – proper study brings one close to the highest forces that promote understanding of the most complex. There is no limit to our understanding.
- Isvara Pranidhana – Reverence to higher intelligence or the acceptance of our limitations in relation to God, the all-knowing. It is in this reverence that we gain the confidence to direct our minds towards the highest intelligence, toward any object of complexity.
In conclusion, Yoga is a science to be studied by Svadhyaya and practised in a consistent and regular manner to gain mastery over your mind and body and achieve your objectives.