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YOGA- Retreat to Reality

A major portion of the world population visits doctors under stress. Enormous workload and unmatchable peer pressure has forced individuals to work putting their physical and mental health on stake. Work and profession has become new religion after the world witnessed the growth of industries. With the ongoing rise in the psychological and mental issues like depression and OCDs, there is an urgent need for people to realise before they fall prey to such diseases.
Before the medical diagnosing an individual may assess him/her if they exhibit the below mentioned traits:

  • You are feeling both wired and tired. There is a constant, simmering anxiety that you can’t shake. This results in feeling exhausted and unable to relax. You can’t seem to get out of fight or flight syndrome. You regularly feel like you are running out of time because your brain is in hyper mode and life feels sped up.
  • Insomnia is taking over. You’re having trouble sleeping, either getting to sleep or staying asleep. You wake up tired and have been living as if fatigue is the new normal.
  • You are feeling indecisive about even the smallest decisions.
  • You are over-reacting, or your responses are not in proportion to the situation. You are more easily triggered and can’t control it any more.
  • You are distracted and find it difficult to concentrate on one thing for very long.
  • You wake up feeling stressed. You’ve lost the ability to choose smart stress where you control the intensity and duration.
  • You can’t remember the last time you felt totally relaxed. The application of Rest and Digest is a faint memory.
  • You want to quit everything but feel paralyzed to change even one thing.
  • You keep using phrases like “I’m too busy” and/or “I’m running out of time.”

You have a bunch of unused vacation being stockpiled at work.

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Yoga and Music

When you listen to music, much more is happening in your body than simply auditory functioning. Music stimulates the nucleus accumbens in your brain, a part of brain that releases the feel good chemical dopamine.  

Music origin can be traced back to Vedic period. Vedic religion was based on performing sacrifices in order to propitiate the gods. Music formed an important part of the rituals, in fact, singing, instrumental music and dance were described as divine in Vedic literature; it was believed that they propitiated deities. But these historical evidences should not limit music to be simply a religious tool.

Music draws a significant coherence with Yoga. An analogy can be drawn between the two practices by taking a due consideration of the benefits they offer to human race. Both these practices have evolved as a therapy to counter the effects of the burdening lifestyle.

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Is Yoga a Religion?

Practitioners of Yoga may be very clear about Yoga not conflicting with any religion. However, there are many thousands of denominations and sects within many diverse religions. Some of these groups have religious beliefs that might seem very different to ones own. And so the beliefs arising from these sects give a discourse as to which religion owns YOGA, but can this discourse be accepted and can Yoga be accredited or attributed to any particular religion.

Although the origin of Yoga can be traced back to the Indus-Sarasvati civilization in Northern India over 5,000 years ago and the word YOGA, was first mentioned in the oldest sacred texts, the Rig Veda, yet it traversed the boundaries of civilizations adapting to various cultures and practices. From here it may occur that YOGA belongs to Hinduism or Buddhism, but it is rightly said- “Yoga may be in Religions, but Religion is not in Yoga”. This can be explained as; “The many Yoga practices with body, breath and mind, along with their transcendent goal of direct experience, are generally neither characteristic of Religions, nor typically practiced by the adherents of Religions.”

Another outlook on the subject may be centered around the HAVE’s & HAVE NOT’s of religion and Yoga i.e. what religion has and Yoga lacks.

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Yoga In Our Daily Life

The human body is a machine. This machine does a considerable measure of work in a regular life. Man-made machines are normally controlled by a vital source which can be mechanical, magnetical, electrical, petroleum, synthetic, and so forth. Like all the man-made machines, our human body likewise require a vital source to work legitimately. Every one of the energies our body is getting from the sustenance stuffs which we have in our day by day life. Works out, tasty nourishments, water, air and so on additionally assume a critical part in our life. Aside from this, to make all the body parts, solid and immaculate, there is likewise another way called "YOGA."

With such materialistic modernized life we often tend to forget and cherish the most valuable thing in our lives our own ‘body’. Yoga offers a resolution to overcome the stresses of daily life in this fast paced world. From weight reduction, adaptable body, shining delightful skin, tranquil personality, greater wellbeing – whatever you may be searching for, yoga has it on off.

Yoga is often misunderstood as being limited to Asanas (postures), but actually it proffers a lot more than this. The regular practitioners of yoga consider it an irreplaceable activity of their day-to-day schedule. For some Yoga is the personal fitness mantra, for some it is a weight loss formula. It keeps the mind peaceful and placid. Professionals who are consistently performing Yoga consider it to be a creativity machine and a tool for better communication. For an individual with a long and hectic working program, it is the preeminent tool to attain peace with oneself not just physically but mentally and emotionally.

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Is 200 hours TTC enough to be a professional Yoga Teacher?

The phrase must appear to be familiar to some of the readers and for those who still happen to be uninformed about the course it would be enlightening to understand the Yoga becoming a business tool. There has also been an attempt to compromise the actual knowledge with the certified knowledge. A certified teacher with a few hours of training has become a normal site. But what followers and practitioners seeking a renowned School of Yoga fail to understand is that Yoga learning cannot be restricted to syllabi of few hours. The most recognized, eminent and distinguished Guru’s had been a practitioner for years and then started teaching based on their experiences.

There has been a significant rise in the institutes running Yoga Teacher’s Training Course and so has been in the number of programmes and courses being run by the. For e.g. 200 hour Yoga Teacher’s Training Course is a part of several institutes curriculum. The components of the course have been enlisted below:

» Asana: Yogic postures comprise four hours of the daily schedule. You will be introduced to the various asanas in a systematic manner with progressively increasing level of difficulty. Once the basics are mastered, asana flows, adjustments and subtle aspects of breath & awareness will be brought into focus.

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From a young person to turning into a mother, menopause and seniority women experience distinctive periods of existence with numerous real changes. These distinctive periods of women life are accompanied by several ups and downs in personal and professional life. These situations are further supplemented by the patriarchial society which ascertains the Do’s & Dont’s of their life. Although the rise of feminism has wrecked the patriarchy but only to a minor level. A major battle remains to be won and this battle is not to be taken up with hatred and defiance towards others but by loving and embracing self.

Nisagradatta Maharaj Ji was an Indian Guru of Shiva Advaita (Nondualism), belonging to the Inchagiri Sampradaya, a lineage of teachers from the Navnath Sampradaya and Lingayat Shaivism. He explains the true nature of life based on his major teachings evolved from ‘I am that’. It was crucial to quote him here to convey the soul of the discussion, i.e. finding out who you really are.

He quotes, “Go deep into the sense of ‘I am’ and you will find. How do you find a thing you have mislaid or forgotten? You keep it in your mind until you recall it. The sense of being, of ‘I am’ is the first to emerge. Ask yourself whence it comes or just watch it quietly. When the mind stays in the ‘I am’, without moving, you enter a state, which cannot be verbalized, but which can be experienced. All you need to do is to try and try again. After all the sense of ‘I am’ is always with you, only you have attached all kinds of things to it- body, feelings, thoughts, ideas, possessions and so on. All these self-identifications are misleading, because of these you take yourself to be what you are not.”

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Yoga and Sports

Sports are not simply a physiological wonder, but rather an unpredictable interaction of the psyche and body. It is currently turning out to be more aggressive and has likewise turned into a profession with an accentuation on fiscal additions and the longing to win at any expense. In this way, it is vital to discover answers for the changing games scene of today. A sportsperson needs four essential qualities: Speed, Skill, Strength and Stamina. To accomplish this in expert games, the everyday life of an athlete calls for order in preparing, an adjusted eating regimen, an adjusted way of life and an inward focus and determination. Something that is derived out of pressure and against the peace of mind. The aggressive nature imparts highly goal oriented behaviour focussed on achieving a target and the daily routines are exhaustively planned which leave very little space for peace & rejuvenation and creativity of the mind.

In case you love sports you understand that injurious run with the employment—realized by excess development, uneven characters in your biomechanics, or all around both! Regardless, if you practice yoga, you have a wonderful mechanical assembly accessible to you for neutralizing wounds. A yoga practice urges you to take a supply of your body as you practice. The more care you have about how your body feels from general or from stance to speak to, the more likely you are to see tight or damage slanted districts of the body that need thought before absolute injuries can happen. Numerous competitors appreciate the advantages of an individual Yoga work on, including upgraded well-being and enhanced game's execution. Players and competitors rehearsing Yoga incorporate basketball players, long distance runners, runners, surfers, footballers, cricketers, tennis players, swimmers and rowers etc.

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What is a Real Yoga Teacher?

To one’s astonishment the search on Google for Real Yoga Teacher presented results on the short term Yoga Course offering qualifications of mere 200-300 hours and authorizing an individual to become a Yoga teacher.

Learning Yoga is a long process and demands a meticulous devotion for the art which originated in the Vedic period. Swami Vivekananda had said that “When you are doing any work... do it as a worship, as the highest worship, and devote your whole life to it for the time being.” For the learners who think Yoga can be learnt in a span of time must understand that when you take up the profession of being a teacher it should not be momentarily because a teacher influences his/her students, their lives, their thoughts and sometimes also become their role models. Considering the long lasting effect a teacher has on the lives of students it becomes necessary to understand the sanctity of the profession, understand the responsibility the profession weighs on the shoulders of the individual.

The deficiency of experience could be tragic and there had been incidents where the lack of practice and experience had caused serious injuries to the learners who had approached such teachers. Taking up Yoga as a money oriented profession has yielded dreadful outcomes. Yoga demands learning on the correct physical and energetic levels, which is a time consuming process. A Yoga instructor is expected to be aware of the ability and capability of each body he comes across, if one is not apt enough to  acknowledge the above mentioned skills, then he/she cannot be considered a teacher.

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Yoga - An Essence Of Life

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah
Sarve Bhadrani Pashyantu, Ma Kashrchit Dukha Bhagbhavet
(May all be happy, May all be healthy May all experience prosperity in everything, may all be free from suffering)

This is the basic principle of Yoga. Yoga is not only Asana and Pranayam,  Yoga is an essence of life which helps us to live in healthy and balanced manner. When we are in practice, we transform, connect and bring ourself to a better individual despite of our fear and suffering .We find solace and contentment in practice.

Physical posture do brings about a connection that aligns us with mother earth and the qualities of earth like groundedness, stabilization, power to face each and every situation with calmness automatically inculcate into us and open us to greater world. Yoga is a way to know yourself which brings enlightment,it is a spiritual science for the integrated and holistic development of our physical, mental as well as moral-spiritual aspect.

Moral-spiritual aspect play a lead role in today’s scenario nowadays people who brutally kill innocent men, women and children create shock , fear and anger which brings  chaos in our society and whole world desperately look for a solution which can come only from YOGA. With the help of yoga we can fill the world with divine love, eternal peace, bliss, goodwill, forgiveness and humanity because a yogi is always dutiful to the world. A yoga practitioner is an intellectual crusader.  A yogi when gains the power of mental concentration , he overcome the very nature of mind which is nimble, changing, moving and transitory.By regular practice,a yogi rises above external and environmental factor and amalgamate himself with God.  

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śauca saṅtoṣa tapaḥ svādhyāya īśvarapraṇidhānāni niyamāḥ

(シャウチャ サントシャ タパ スワーディヤーヤ、イーシュワラプラニダーナーニ ニヤマー)

「śauca(清浄) 、saṅtoṣa(知足) 、tapaḥ(精進) 、svādhyāya (自己の霊性の探究)、īśvarapraṇidhānā(神への祈念)はニヤマ(勧戒)である」

ヨ ガスートラ(その3)ではヤマ(禁戒)についてお話しましたが、今回はニヤマ(勧戒)についてのお話です。ヤマ(禁戒)の後にニヤマ(勧戒)が続くのは、 まず先に害するものを取り除いた上で、良い行いをするほうが効率が良いからなのでしょう。例えて言うならば、先に毒を吐き出させてから、薬を飲むというこ とでしょうか。日常生活の中で、私達自身の霊性を高める良い習慣を心掛けなければ、悟りに至る道を歩み続けることは難しいでしょう。

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ahiṁsā satya asteya brahmacarya aparigrahāḥ yamāḥ

(アヒムサ サティア  アスティア ブラマチャリア アパリグラハ ヤマ)

「Ahinsa(非暴力) 、satya(誠実) 、asteya(不盗) 、bramacarya(純潔) 、aparigrahah(不貪) はヤマである」

ヨ ガスートラ(その2)ではヨガの八支則の1つ、ヤマ(禁戒)について少し触れました。ヤマは自分自身に対して、そして周りの世界に対して守るべきである基 本的な心得です。カルマの法則によると、良いことも悪いことも自分が行う全てが何らかの形で自分に返ってきます。心の平穏を得るには、自分と周りの世界と の関係を良好に保つ事が不可欠であり、自分や周りに害を与えない行動を日頃から心掛ける事が大切です。

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Yama niyama asana pranayama pratyahara dharana dharana samadhayah asata angani
(ヤマ ニヤマ アーサナ プラナヤマ プラティヤハラ ダラーナ ディヤーナ サマーディ アサタ アンガニ)
「Yama(禁戒) 、niyama(勧戒) 、asana(座法) 、pranayama(調気) 、pratyahara(制感) 、dharana (凝念) 、dharana (瞑想) 、samadi(三昧)はヨーガの八支則である」

この節ではヨガの八支則(アシュタンガ・ヨガ)が示されています。Ashta(アシュタ:eight,八) +anga(アンガ:limbs,肢)で八支則です。古くからインドで受け継がれてきた伝統的なヨガは、これらの支則を実践し、人間が本来持つ肉体と精神そして霊性の質や能力を高め、最終的に悟りの境地に到達することを目的にします。

ヤマ(禁戒)とニヤマ(勧戒)は、日々正しく生きるための行動レベルのヨガであり、日常生活の中の心得です。 アーサナは瞑想を深めるための姿勢を取ることで、もともとは座法を意味しました。今日ではアーサナはヨガのポーズを指すことが一般的で、ヨガのポーズを通して身体のバランスを図ります。

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"What is Asana"

Yoga can lead to a total freedom of the body and mind. It is a spiritual path that helps us to find refuge, discover our true self and experience what life really means. The most well known aspect of yoga is asana which means posture, specifically a ‘comfortable and steady posture’ - like it is mentioned in the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” - ‘sthiram sukham asanam’.  Unfortunately most of the modern yoga today places an incorrect emphasis on this aspect. There is only focus on the acrobatic ability of the body which is a total misunderstanding of the concept of asana and the opportunity that yoga provides to us.

First benefit that the asana can give us is to bring our body into alignment. Usually we fail to pay attention and give awareness to our misalignment and therefore cause ourselves more damage. Our minds correspond with our bodies and therefore when our physical being is misaligned; our mental state is misaligned as well.

When we experience the alignment of the body and mind we benefit nourishment from the yoga practice. Bringing our body into alignment will allow the breath to be as it should be – a deep, flowing, fully nourishing breath. When we are misaligned, the breath will be short and insufficient, therefore creating more stress in the muscles and the mind. Furthermore we will never be able to experience freedom when our breath is not free. The asana will open the body in a way that the breath can flow easily, and this also indicates to us whether we are performing the asana correctly or not.    

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"What is Yoga"

When we truly face the reality of our life, we realise that our life is not optimal – it is not even close to the best life we could have. Our potential is not being fulfilled. On the contrary when we bring awareness to our life, we come to acknowledge that most of our experiences are full of discomfort. We are shooting blindly in the dark in search of the best option, always seeking for something better. This does not mean we are all miserable in our lives. It simply implies that for some reason, something is holding us back. In today’s world, we are faced with the overwhelming problem that we do not understand our true identity. We are struggling to define ourselves according to the way society sees us, our actions, and our beliefs. It is a common experience during this age to be unhappy, unfulfilled and confused. We constantly try to seek a solution to these problems by searching for a better job, a better house, by waiting in line at the psychology clinic. This is where yoga enters into the picture. Yoga is not some physical exercise. It is an ancient way of life from India that has existed for thousands of years, designed to free us from obstacles and liberate us from fears. Yoga brings us to balance and harmony, giving us the ability to enjoy life, fulfil our potential and find our true identity.

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アーユルヴェーダでは3つのドーシャ(トリドーシャ)のエネルギーが働いて、私達の心と身体つくり、動かしていると考えます。ドーシャにはヴァータ、ピッタ、カファの3種類があります。ヴァータは風と空間の要素を持ち、筋肉を動かす力、消化・吸収された栄養素を体中に運ぶ、代謝された老廃物を取り除くといった、運動のエネルギーです。ピッタは火と水の要素から成り、食べ物を消化・吸収し血や筋肉を作つくったり、見たり聞いたりした情報を自分の知識とする、思考する等、変換させるエネルギーです。カファの要素は土と水で、色々な組織を結合させ身体の構造をつくり、維持する、結合エネルギーです。 私達の心と身体はこれら3つのドーシャの組み合わせ・割合から成り、その割合は人により違います。生まれ持ったドーシャの割合はプラクリティ(体質)と呼ばれ、生涯変りません。健康を維持するためには、生まれ持ったプラクリティに心と身体を出来る限り近づくよう、トリドーシャのバランスを図る必要があります。また病気はドーシャが乱れ、アンバランスな状態が続くことで引き起こされると考えられています。どのドーシャも多すぎず、少なすぎず、バランスが取れた状態でなくてはなりません。

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