The word Yoga comes from the Sanskrit root 'yuj' which means 'to join'. Yoga is the science that teaches us the method of uniting the individual soul with the Supreme Soul. Yoga is not acrobatics, magic, or torture. LYoga is a study of human body and mind, but not a religious cult.
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Patanjali formulated this science into a definite system under the name of Ashtanga Yoga or Raja Yoga.
Meditate to connect with your inner self. You can experiment With Different Types Of Meditation, as there is no one way of meditating that is right. Simple steps to getting started:
(Some points from: https://www.curejoy.com/expert/connietrowbridge)
- Start Slowly
- Get Comfortable. Ideally, you sit up straight. Relax your jaw, your neck, your shoulders. Place your hands, palms up, on your knees.
- Breathe Deep: To begin, take a deep breath in through your nose filling up your stomach like a balloon, and then
exhale out through your mouth. Repeat this few more times. This will help your body and mind relax.
- Focus On Your Breath: After your five initial deep breaths, continue breathing in and out through your nose. Focus on your breath as it goes in and out. If your mind wonders, that’s okay. Don’t be mean, don’t judge your thoughts, just notice them, let them go, and then bring your attention back to the rhythm of your breath going in and out.
- Repeat Daily: Make meditation a daily part of my life. It doesn’t matter if it’s only for 5 or 10 minutes to start with.
There are thousands of manuals on yoga, including classical traditions of yoga, particularly hatha yoga. Postures and other practices like Pranayama (breath control), and dharana is gaining popularity. There are many yogic traditions in different parts of the world under different names. Just listing few links.
In the philosophy of the seven chakras there are correspondences to the five elements as shared by both Hinduism and Buddhism as well as two other elements:
- Sahasrara (Crown): Thought/Space
- Ajña (Third Eye): Light/Dark
- Vishuddhi (Throat): Ether/Sound
- Anahata (Heart): Air
- Manipura (Navel): Fire
- Svadhisthana (Sacral): Water
- Muladhara (Root): Earth
Some of the Patanjali Concepts
Patanjali says: "Disease, dullness, doubt, carelessness, laziness, worldly-mindedness, illusion, missing the point, unstability - these are obstacles in Yoga."
- Yama or Eternal Vows:
Brahmacharya (continence) and
- Niyama or Observances:
Svadhyaya (study) and
Ishvarapranidhana (surrender to God);
- Asana (firm, comfortable meditative posture);
- Pranayama (the regulation of the Vital Force);
- Pratyahara (abstraction of the senses and mind from objects);
- Dharana (concentration);
- Dhyana (meditation); and
- Samadhi (superconscious state or trance)
Vipassana meditation - Other practices
Vipassana is a gentle-yet-thorough technique of meditation. According to Vipassana Meditation, it is an observation-based, self-exploratory journey that focuses on deep interconnection between the mind and body, which is realised through disciplined attention to the physical sensations
Concentrate on the breath (prāṇa), watching the inhalation and expiration and calming the mind, bring peace and tranquility. Similar to Samatha practice.
Some uses the form (rūpa) and mantra (nāma) of a deity to concentrate upon.
Alternate Simple Meditation
- A few minutes spent in meditation - find five or 10 minutes to sit and meditate. In the beginning, a few minutes before you go to bed or as part of your morning/evening ritual. Take few breaths, Deep and calm. Focus thoughts.
- This is an activity that you want to do! There should not be stress to do it.
- Meditation does not have to be done on a special place/setting. You can do it on a park bench, on the subway, or even while walking along the street.
- Observe your thoughts - No need to control the myriad of thoughts racing through their mind. This is perfectly normal in the beginning and it shows that you are human! When this happens, just observe the thoughts. If you start attaching to the thoughts then one will lead to another and you will find yourself getting caught up in a spiral of drama.
- Make your daily activities a moving meditation. There are many forms of moving meditation that you may not be aware of. For example, painting, dance and tai chi. You can even make your daily chores a moving meditation. Washing the dishes or doing the ironing can become a meditation if you choose to allow yourself to be mindful of what you are doing.
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