Deprecated: mysql_connect(): The mysql extension is deprecated and will be removed in the future: use mysqli or PDO instead in /home/a26f9f83/public_html/articles/includes/config.php on line 159
Yoga for Relaxation > NetSparsh - Viral Content you Love & Share

Yoga for Relaxation

Discover the true meaning of yoga?

In taking any modern yoga class, you will find parallels to ballet. Like ballet, the promise of poise, grace and flexibility encourages much interest. Yet if yoga is like any other exercise, it is only at first glance. Underneath the coveted health and fitness benefits of modern yoga practice are the roots of a great spiritual tradition blending cultures and religions.

Unfortunately, through the westernization of yoga, we have lost an essential component of this peaceful practice. Though the ritual remains intact the meaning has gone astray. Where previously the postures of yoga practice were merely a branch of a tree; today they are viewed by western society as the tree itself. How do we bring meaning to our poses?

Modern Yoga's Roots and Benefits

Though the development of yoga cannot be pinned to an exact year, the discovery of the Indus seals, which show figures in the classic yoga asana (posture) of lotus pose, trace yoga back to at least 3000 BCE. At this time the Vedas were being written, which today's yoga postures are derived from. These gave birth to Vedic yoga, which accommodated the ancient Indians fixation on ritual and sacrifice. We see evidence of the importance of sacrifice in the yogic corpse posture. Lying as though we were placed in a coffin, this represents the ultimate sacrifice-that of death. Though seemingly morbid, corpse posture is one of hope when we understand that according to the Vedanta sutras, death results in liberation

Sacrifice was meant to join the material and the physical, and create the longed-for "union" that defines the word Yoga. The Vedanta sutras (vs.4:4,13-14) declare that the liberated soul is not materially motivated.. By asking us to free ourselves from the bondage of material motivation, compassion requires us to be selfless. Surely, this giving is an exercise in compassion. Even still, the modern practice of yoga facilitates this. Through postures and stillness, we alter our consciousness and therefore change our perspective. In our new realization of others as being part of the cosmic whole, we feel that in giving to them we are also giving to ourselves.

The ancient philosophy of yoga saw its postures as part of a greater whole. Thousands of years ago during the time of Astanga yoga, posture practice was one piece of a more important whole. Astanga yoga, which originated during Vedic India, was derived of eight branches; yama (control and discipline), niyama (rules, methods and principle), asana (posture), pranayama (focused breathing), prathyahara(avoidance of undesirable action),dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (contemplation). In contrast, most contemporary yoga focuses on postures and uses breath work as a small component or an afterthought. Though admittedly, the current vision of yoga over-emphasizes asana, it is extremely important and has enormous benefits. The medically studied benefits of yoga include the following: Stress reduction, improved muscle strength and tone, increased energy and flexibility, improved balance and coordination and a reduction in depression. . Moving with Compassion

Through most of asana practice, we are unconsciously engaging in physical metaphor. Many yoga postures are named after and imitate the living world; tree pose, eagle pose, frog pose, cat pose. By developing postures that imitate the stance of animals, the vedic seers may have been seeking not only to embrace the qualities of these animals, but to formulate compassion for them. The way that compassion serves as a partner to yoga's goal of liberation can be understood through reading the ancient yogic texts. Understand these vedas; whether they be the Rig Veda (knowledge of praise),Yajur-Veda (knowledge of sacrifice), Sama Veda (knowledge of chants), and Atharva-Veda(knowledge of atharvan), is likelier while deep in meditation. Understanding the vedic sutras, we are permitted to experience a bliss unknown through material grasping.

In this state everyday experiences fade away and a greater perspective unfolds. Over time, meditation also allows us to become more intuitive and receptive. This opens us up to others, enhancing our compassionate nature. This experience has been discussed by Eastern sacred-text expert "H.P. Blavatsky's in "The Voice of the Silence." Blavatsky writes: "Compassion is no attribute. IT is the LAW of LAWS-eternal Harmony, Alaya's SELF; a shoreless universal essence, the light of everlasting Right, and fitness of all things, the law of love eternal."

In order to experience compassion for others we must first extend it to ourselves. Straining too forcefully in a pose is counter to compassion. Why? Yoga teaches us that we are all connected, so when we hurt ourselves this pain eventually reaches others. Instead we must strive for gentle self-acceptance, competing with nobody-not even ourselves. This is essential to a rewarding experience of yoga.

Postures for Peace

By the time of Patanjali's yoga sutras, which were written near the beginning of the common era, we begin to see a discussion of the more practical aspects of yoga. Posture is discussed (be it mainly for meditative purposes), as is concentration of the mind during this exercise. In the Yoga-Sutra, Patanjali presents relaxation as the very essence of yoga practice. He teaches us that posture should be steady and comfortable .This sentiment is reflected in the postures (asanas) of today's practice. The physical dimension of yogic exercise requires us to have compassion for our limits. We are never asked to push, instead only to release. Mercifully, our small efforts are graced with us connecting to a life-force that is divine and encompassing.

Asanas urge us to see our body as divine, and to nurture health in this mortal temple. Yogic adepts understand that their body is flawed, however slender and toned it may look externally. This acknowledgement leads to less judgement of other's bodies. However pleasing to the eye a yogis shape may be, the same vedic texts that encourage the practice of yoga for health, also remind us that true "liberation" comes from being free of the cycle of rebirth-free of the physical form.

Yogic postures work in contrast to the western notion of exercise. Here we see exercise as an end, such as an end to overweight and fatigue. Yoga is different. While in most forms of exercise the physical results are the sole goal, in yoga the soul is the goal. The ancient tradition of yoga exercise stands apart in its doctrines. The ancient yoga texts insist that the mind and spirit are more important than the physical body. While many other eastern forms of mind-body fitness also encourage this awareness, no other physical practice has the ultimate goal of union with the divine. In yoga, the process of attaining this union is as important as the actual attainment.

Yoga practice is not a means to an end. It is an end in of itself. Even distinguished from vedas and sutras, the modern practice of yoga posture is a beautiful and calming pursuit. Though modern yoga practice makes little mention of the scriptures that it is based on, the experience of union and compassion can be woven into each pose. In doing this we are enhancing more than our practice, we are improving our life.

Galina Pembroke is an internationally published writer. In addition she publishes and edits New View magazine online, http://www.nuvunow.ca. New View is dedicated to providing unique, non-mainstream articles for personal and planetary growth. To aid this we have rapidly expanding sections on Green Living, Animal Rights and Self-Help.

In The News:

This RSS feed URL is deprecated, please update. New URLs can be found in the footers at https://news.google.com/news

Muskogee Daily Phoenix

Goat yoga event benefits foster children
Muskogee Daily Phoenix
Nine kids ran around and jumped on visitors doing Saturday yoga sessions at Hunt's Green Space. Each kid had four legs. Some had horns and a high-pitched "baa." The Goat Yoga sessions, benefiting Fostering Hope, attracted about 50 participants on ...


WRAL.com

A cat lover's dream: Cat yoga classes are being offered in Charlotte
WRAL.com
Charlotte, N.C. — Mac Tabby, Charlotte's first cat cafe, is offering a one hour yoga session with cats every Monday night from 7:30 to 9 p.m. The one hour session is then followed by 30 minutes of cuddling and conversation with the kittens of the cafe.


Well+Good

Strengthen *every* muscle you need to nail your handstand with this chair pose variation
Well+Good
When you scroll through Instagram's infinite number of impressive handstand vids, what you don't see is all the strengthening work and practice that leads up to actually going upside down. But this week, Cortney Ostrosky, yoga teacher and self ...


Well+Good

Combat ultra-tight legs with this yoga flow for runners
Well+Good
At the Well+Good Cedar Lakes Retreat a few months ago, yoga instructor superstar Beth Cooke—who teaches at New York's Sky Ting studio as well as private clients like Lena Dunham—revealed a yoga sequence that's particularly magical for runners.


Tri-City Herald

In this Tri-Cities yoga class, there is room for everyone at 'heart center'
Tri-City Herald
Jeff Morris walked into the studio buzzing with energy and excitement. It was palpable. “Yes! Yeah!” he exclaimed when asked if he was ready to start yoga. He picked out a mat, one of several lined up in front of a wall painted with a large, colorful ...


Greatist

Yoga Really *Can* Tone Your Body (Especially If You Do These 6 Poses)
Greatist
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past 5,000 years, you've heard about the many benefits of yoga. A regular yoga practice can erase muscle aches, lead to a better night of sleep, give you a sunnier disposition, and improve your mental ...


Well+Good

Can't do a yoga push-up? Try this chaturanga modification instead
Well+Good
I'm a five-days-a-week CrossFit-enthusiast, so imagine my surprise when thirty minutes into my first ever yoga class my arms were trembling. Chaturanga? Chaturang-ouch. Sure, I knew intellectually that yoga is hard, but given my strength-training ...


Business briefs: SoFul Yoga celebrates one year with open house
Salisbury Post
SoFul Yoga and Wellness will celebrate its first anniversary with a ribbon-cutting Thursday and a birthday open house Oct. 28. The ribbon-cutting at 1 p.m. Thursday will commemorate the studio joining the Rowan County Chamber of Commerce. Chamber ...


Bloomberg

Trump's Trade War Is Going to Kill Off $1 Yoga Pants
Bloomberg
On AliExpress, Internet giant Alibaba's e-commerce portal for international buyers, shipping is free if a pair of $10.29 yoga pants are transported via ePacket, the name of the subsidized service by the U.S. Postal Service. Other shipping options from ...
Why $1 Ebay Yoga Pants Could Be the Latest Victim of President Trump's Trade War With ChinaTIME
View Document - Complaint (Unlimited) (Fee Applies) - Santa Clara Superior Court - Case Information PortalSanta Clara Superior Court - Case Information Portal

all 523 news articles »

The Blast

Heidi Klum's Trainer Gives Meghan Markle Thumbs Up for Pregnant ...
The Blast
Heidi Klum's trainer is giving Meghan Markle the green light for downward dog, encouraging her to continue practicing yoga throughout her pregnancy.
Pregnant Meghan Markle wakes up at 4:30 a.m. To practice yoga ...Pulse Nigeria

all 3 news articles »
Google News

Muscle Fitness ? Can Yoga Make You Stronger?

Many people wonder if yoga can improve their muscle fitness.... Read More

Discover How Yoga Will Help You Reach Your Goals ? Part 1

Time is valuable and there are a number of successful... Read More

A World of Infinite Opportunities

Many people feel that there is a limited amount of... Read More

Yoga and Meditation - That Leads to Gaining Enlightenment in this Life?

Every process of Yoga... neigh Meditation that frees us from... Read More

The Benefit of Pilates

Pilates can benefit your overall health and sense of well-being... Read More

Basic Yoga Poses (Asanas)

In most forms of Yoga there are three components to... Read More

Positive Energy

Cultivating positive energy: Most of us who study Yoga have... Read More

Yoga and Pregnancy

Every woman wants to have a healthy baby. Yogic practices,... Read More

Yoga and True Self

The great sage Patanjali in his work Yogasutra codified all... Read More

Hot Yoga - Bikrams Twenty Six

Even though the world population has shifted from mainly rural... Read More

How to Find the Right Yoga Class For You

There are many types of yoga, some with more emphasis... Read More

Maybe Bikram is Right?

For some reason, I had the time to sit down... Read More

What is Self Mastery? - Part 1

Self Mastery, alone, sounds like a selfish term; but if... Read More

Yoga for PMS

Most women experience PMS symptoms at different points of their... Read More

Hatha Yoga

One of the many subsets of the 5000 year old... Read More

Can a Yoga Prop Help Prop Up Your Practice?

Some people may wonder if using a yoga prop can... Read More

Paths of Yoga I

With dozens of Hollywood celebrities following in their Guru's lotus... Read More

Are You Willing To Follow Eight Yoga Exercises For the Lower Back?

EXERCISES FOR BACK RELIEFMany people believe that rest is best... Read More

What is Patanjalis Ashtanga Yoga?- Part(I)

The Sanskrit word 'Yoga' has two meaning, because it is... Read More

True Essence of Yoga

Yoga is the most prestigious field of spiritualism. People think... Read More

Yoga Accessories? Getting What You Really Need

Unlike some other sports, you don't need a lot of... Read More

Understanding the Different Types of Yoga

Yoga is becoming a more and more popular activity in... Read More

Yoga for Every BODY

We all want to feel loved, open, free and peaceful.... Read More

Stress - How To Manage Effectively

Stress is very common in all walks of life and... Read More

Using Yoga to Manage ADD

Exercise is a powerful tool for ADD management. Medical professionals... Read More