The Postures or Asanas, Breathing techniques or Pranayama, Relaxation, Vegetarian diet, Positive thinking and Meditation.
Yoga is well known for its sequences of physical postures, gentle stretching exercises, combined with breathing techniques and the practice of deep relaxation. Yoga is a way of life that offers many different methods for educating the body mind and spirit. Western yoga has synthesised many different elements of this centuries old series of teachings into five points; as identified by Swami Vishnudervannanda:
Proper exercise for;
- Greater flexibility to joints and muscles within the body
- Massaging effect on inner organs and glands promoted improved function and detoxification
- Maintaining flexibility of the spine
- Toning and rejuvenating of the nervous system
- Stimulation of the circulatory system improving supply of vitamins minerals and oxygen to the cells within the body.
Through the sequences of postures, the Asanas, the physical body is stretched, strengthened, made flexible and detoxified. Daily practice of these Asanas is encouraged to keep the mind and body healthy and invigorated. The Asanas also offer exercises in mental concentration and meditation.
Deep breathing for;
- Better concentration and clarity of thought
- Improved emotional stability
- Reduces anxiety and stress.
- Better physical control and coordination.
- Lungs become powerful and healthy.
- Deep, slow breathing increases the efficiency of the heart, reducing blood pressure and disease.
- Provides higher quality oxygenated blood supply to maintain all the bodily functions such as digestion and assimilation of food, nourishment of the brain and nervous system
- Stimulation of the glandular system particularly the pineal and pituitary glands
- Improved elasticity of the skin
- Exercise of abdominal organs through the massage provided by the movement of the diaphragm. The heart is also massaged.
- Weight control, oxygen will help to burn up fat more effectively and will feed tissues and glands if you are underweight.
Without food we can survive for a few weeks, without water a few days but without oxygen our life would end in a few minutes.
The use of Pranayama breathing exercises stimulates the solar plexus, which is our body’s equivalent of a battery. This will release energy into our system. The vitality of a person relies on a purified blood system. To maintain a pure blood supply a high saturation of oxygen is vital. Oxygen is essential for our brains; brain cells have a high metabolism and as a result rely on a higher quantity of oxygen than any other organ. Without enough oxygen getting to the brain we see such symptoms as depression, mental sluggishness and a loss of concentration, senility and vision or hearing impairment. Oxygen is also vital for every other organ in the body. Oxygen also promotes the release of toxins from the body.
Proper relaxation for;
- Stress relief, calming the brain, alleviating mild depression
- Relaxes the body
- Rejuvenation by re-charging our energy supplies
- Inner peace and balancing of the mind
- Reduces headaches , fatigue and insomnia
- Helps to lower blood pressure
A healthy body and mind is the result of a regular relaxation practice. There are three levels in yoga, physical, mental and spiritual.
Asnanas teach overworked muscles how to relax. The yogic breathing exercises encourage the calming of the mind and a development towards inner peace. Spiritual relaxation through meditation allows an inner tuning to a higher divine force.
Proper Diet for
- Purity and calmness of the mind
- Soothing and nourishing for the body
- Increased cheerfulness, serenity and mental clarity
- Balanced nervous system
In yoga the body is understood to be a vehicle for the soul. Respect and care are
• Proper Diet (Vegetarian) is eating with awareness. A yogi takes food which has the most positive effect on the body and mind and the least negative effect on the environment.
Click here for a website that shows specific hand positions or mudras and how they can be used to open energy centres or chakras in the body: