Find out more about Yoga

Yoga in your life

 

Yoga can be used to link the body and the mind. It can help cultivate and maintain a state of concentration and develop the body and the breath through refinement of various postures and breathing techniques. It can also be used as a means of self enquiry and a tool to help us reach a deeper understanding of ourselves.

 

Yoga can also be a healing therapy to help us work at changing or avoiding the effects of problems and illness in our lives. According to traditional Indian medicine those diseases that are chronic and cannot be cured by medicine alone can also be helped by using Yoga techniques. So Yoga can be used as a support alongside other forms of treatment.
 

 

 

Yoga Sutra III: 6 ‘TASYA BHÛMISU VINIYOGAH

‘The discipline [of yoga] is mastered in stages’.

In this verse, the word ‘viniyogah’ can be translated as ‘progression’ or ‘application’

Professor T. Krishnamacharya was one of the most influential yogis of the 20th century. He taught that yoga should always be adapted to the needs; circumstances and goals of each student, never should the student change to fit the yoga. Rather than demanding perfection in posture, practices respect the student’s age and general level of health. Teachers also consider a person’s lifestyle, needs, goals, strengths and weaknesses.

 

Jivan Yoga aims to follow this tradition and offers Yoga appropriate to each person and their situation. 

 

"Yoga must be presented intelligently. It should be spoken of carefully and offered according to the aspiration, requirement and the culture of the individual. This should be done in stages. Systematic application of Yoga – be it concerned with physical exercises, deep breathing, relaxation, meditation, lifestyle, food, studies – is the need of the day. This I believe – is what the word viniyoga represents.” TKV Desikachar: ‘The viniyoga of Yoga (1983)

 

Self-observation

Self-observation is an important elemnt of Yoga practice. It allows us to know where we are starting from, which will be affected by factors such as age, level of fitness, if we are unwell or recovering from illness and  if we are injured or recovering from injury. Our starting place is also affected by mental and emotional factors. For example if we are:

·              tired

·              anxious

·              excited or agitated

To find our starting point today:

·              wait, relax and spend time going ‘inwards’

·              listen to our inner voice

·              listen to our breath.

 Developing self awareness in our Yoga practice

 

YOGA SŪTRA Chapter II verse 46

STHIRA SUKHAM ĀSANAM I

Translation: ‘Āsana needs to combine qualities of steady attentiveness (sthira) and spacious clarity (sukha)’.

 

Sthira translates into English as ‘steady’ and sukha is often translated as ‘comfortable’. Its opposite is ‘dukha’ – life’s suffering - or discomfort.

 

A posture should have the qualities of both sthira and sukha, which means in practical terms that the posture should be comfortable for an extended stay and we should be able to breathe freely and deeply while we’re in it. Yoga scholar George Feuerstein says that sukha also means joy. So our Yoga practice should feel steady and comfortable and we should be enjoying it!

 

 
 
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