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Guidelines For Yogic Practices

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About the Book   The present book 'Guidelines for Yogic Practices' is a handbook which should work as a 'self-instructor' to the beginners of Yoga practices. The book adequately describes many Hathayogic practices such as Asanas, Pranayamas, Bandhas, Mudras, Kriyas and Meditation to help an initiate to gain ground in the subject.   Each technique of Asana, Pranayama etc. has been presented with proper sequence with a view to un...

About the Book

 

The present book 'Guidelines for Yogic Practices' is a handbook which should work as a 'self-instructor' to the beginners of Yoga practices. The book adequately describes many Hathayogic practices such as Asanas, Pranayamas, Bandhas, Mudras, Kriyas and Meditation to help an initiate to gain ground in the subject.

 

Each technique of Asana, Pranayama etc. has been presented with proper sequence with a view to understand the practice in an easy and smooth manner.

 

Moreover, principles of each group of practice have also been lucidly placed to provide sufficient conceptual clarity to a practitioner.

 

About the Author

 

[M.A., M.Ed.(Phy.), Ph.D.(Anthrop.)' Ph.D. (Alt. Med.), D. Litt., D.Y.P.1, the Founder- Director of The Lonavla Yoga Institute (India) was a direct disciple of Swami Kuvalayanandaji. He worked in Kaivalyadhama in various capacities as Asstt. Director of Scientific Research, Deputy Director of Phlosophico-Literary Research and Principal of G. S. College of Yoga and Cultural Synthesis for 30 years.

 

After his retirement he established THE LONAVLA YOGA INSTITUTE (INDIA) and worked tirelessly till his last breath in service of Yoga in order to propagate this ancient Indian science in its original and traditional form without any conscious deviation or distortion. It is his matchless zeal and highly spirited endevour that produced a good number of Yogic texts critically edited and published hitherto for the first time which otherwise had been preserved in the manuscript libraries in India and abroad. His noble efforts will certainly go a long way in spread the universal message of traditional Yoga in all the times to come.

 

Preface

 

I have a great pleasure in presenting this hand-book to the students of Yoga. Yoga is becoming increasingly popular and there is a great need for the right guidance to the seekers of Yoga. Not all books on Yoga available today fulfill this need. The present hand-book is based on my personal experience and being in the field of teaching Yoga, the necessary requirements of the students are taken into consideration.

 

The theoretical background of Yogic practices has been explained first along their necessary principles to be borne in mind by every student. Growing misunderstanding that Yoga means Asanas shows a very partial outlook on Yoga and to give a comprehensive view various forms of Yogic practices have been included in the present hand- book.

 

I hope, the students would appreciate this effort and derive maximum benefit for their psycho-physical health.

 

I am thankful to Shri K. M. Gokhale, the Manager of Shri Mudranalaya, Pune, for having taken immense pains while this hand-book was going through the press.

 

Introduction

 

Yoga is an ancient discipline having a hoary past. The relics of Mohenjodaro excavations show its antiquity. The importance of Yoga for spiritual development has been recognised through the ages.

 

The discipline of Yoga passed through several stages and in course of time different schools emerged and variety of techniques were evolved. Every school of Yoga emphasised on specific practices but the aim remained the same for all the schools, namely, to control the processes of mind.

 

Some schools use techniques that deal with the mind directly and some use indirect means through body to tackle the mental processes. For a common man the approach to mind through the body is easier and within his limits. Therefore, such practices which emphasise the use of the body are much favoured.

 

The practices enjoined in Yogic literature and handed down in different traditions are called the Yogic practices. These may be classified in the following groups--

 

(i)

Asanas,

(ii)

Pranayamas,

(iii)

Bandhas and Mudras,

(iv)

Kriyas, and

(v)

Meditation.

 

Each one of these groups consists of several practices. Apart from these groups of practices there are Yamas and Niyamas which are in the form of self-imposed restrictions and codes of conduct to form an adequate substratum for Yogic practices and are considered an essential part of Yogic routine followed on whatever small scale.

 

Let us get acquainted with the various groups of Yogic practices.

 

Asanas

These are certain special patterns of postures that stabilize the mind and body. They aim at establishing proper rhythm in the neuromuscular tonic impulses and improving general tone of the muscles.

 

Asanas are not simply physical exercises. Although they are one with body they bring tranquilizing effect on the mind. Therefore, they are psycho-physical practices.

 

They may be classified into three divisions :

 

(1) Meditative Asanas : These are sitting postures which maintain the body in a steady and comfortable condition. By various arrangements of the lower and upper extremities different Meditative Asanas are formed.

 

(2) Cultural Asanas : These are static stretching procedures which bring about proper tone in the musculature of the body. They are meant for giving flexibility to the spine and rendering back and spinal muscles stronger on one hand and stimulate proper working of the vital organs situated in the thoreo-abdominal cavity on the other. There are innumerable varieties of cultural Asanas performed in varuous positions of the body like sitting, lying, standing etc.

 

(3) Relaxative Asanas : These are performed in lying position and are meant for giving rest to the body. These relaxative Asanas are very few. The two widely practised are Shavasana and Makarasana. These not only relax the body but also the mind.

 

Asanas form the basis for further Yogic practices by contributing to physical well-being.

 

Pranayamas

 

These are the practices in the control of respiratory impulses. With gradual control of inspiratory and expiratory phases one comes to the suspension of breathing for some time. Holding of breath judiciously is the essential technique of Pranayama. In the initial stages of practice the breath holding phase is altogether avoided and ephasis is put on the controlled inspiration and expiration. This keeps the safety valve open and possible harmful effects of injudicious breath-holding in Pranayama are avoided.

 

Respiratory activity is very vital for the psychophysical functioning of the individual. It forms one of the main channels of the flow of the autonomic nerve currents. By gaining control over the autonomic nervous system Pranayama influences the mental function. Pranayama is a potential technique for higher Yogic practices like meditation.

 

The three phases of controlled inspiration, controlled expiration and controlled retention of breath are technically known as Puraka, Rechaka and Kumbhaka respectively.

 

There are many varieties of Pranayama. But the two most important ones have been dealt in the present book. Considering the expected results of Pranayma for the common man, the retention phase has been completely omitted. Nevertheless, it should be remembered that after sufficient practice in controlled inspiration and expiration one attains the ability to practise Pranayama with retention of breath.

 

Badhas and Mudras

 

These contain practices that consciously control certain semi-voluntary and involuntary muscles in the body. In these muscles there is integration of central and autonomic nerve supply. By bringing these muscles under volition one could influence thereby the acivity of the autonomic nervous system which functions as a whole. Bandhas and mudras help to tone up the internal organs, decongest them and stimulate their healthy functioning.

 

A distinction is made between Bandhas and M udras on the basis of their use in Pranayama. The Mudras that are used in Pranayama are usually called Bandhas because they bind and channelise a particular nervous activity in a particular place or direction. Uddiyana Bandha is one of the most important Bandhas.

 

Mudras have similarity with many Asanas. But all Asanas are not called Mudras. Mudras are specific in their effects.

 

Kriyas

These are purificatory processes usually classified into six divisions and, therefore, these are often called Shat- kriyas. These are Dhauti, Basti, Neti, Trataka, Nauli and Kapalbhati. Each one of these consists of many sub-sections.

 

The Kriyas may be classified into two ways:

(1) According to the mode of cleansing

(2) According to the region of cleansing

 

The modes of cleansing are:

(i)             Air,

(ii)           Water,

(iii)          Friction and

(iv)          Manipulating movements.

 

The regions of cleansing are:

(i)          Naso-pharyngo-audio-cranial region.

(ii)       Gastro-aesophageal region.

(iii)     Ano-recto-intestinal region.

 

Kriyas have a great therapeutic value. They bring about increased range of adaptability of the tissues forming the various organs and systems, as also raise the threshold of their reactivity. Autonomic and proprioceptive neuro-muscular re- actions seem to have an important bearing in bringing about these results. Voluntary control is established on different reflexes through the Kriyas. This is done through inhibition of the reflexes during Kriyas like Danda Dhauti and Vastra Dhauti and through stimulation of the reflexes as in Gajakarani or voluntarily controlled vomitting. Thus the emphasis of Kriyas is on eastablishing psycho-physiological balance.

 

Meditation

The practice of meditation involves a whole, peculiar and special process of absorption in which the individual turns his attention or awareness to dwell upon a single object, sound, concept or experience. Traditionally the aim of this practice has been 'enlightenment'.

 

There exists many techniques of Meditation which are not confined to a particular religion. Meditation has long been used as a necessary practice in all the religions. It is possible to think of a non-cultic technique of meditation to be used by any individual. Meditation is a continuum of the process of absorption with different degrees.

 

Recently meditaion has been enthusiastically received in many countries in Europe and especially in United States of America by a large number of people as an answer to the stress of modern life. The technique of mediation that has become popular in the Western countries is known as Maharshi's Transcendental Meditation or T.M. It is a form of Mantra Meditation.

There is no doubt that meditation is a great tranquilliser.

 

However, it is not always so safer to at once enter into the practice of Meditation. A preliminary background should be prepared by the practice of Asanas and Pranayama. Even good results of Meditation are obtained through the humble practice of selected routine of Asanas and Pranayama.

 

In the hierarchy of Yogic practices Meditation occupies a higher position than other practices. However, it should be remembered that all Yogic practices are complementary to each other and each practice contributes to similar effects on a greater or lesser scale.

 

 


Contents

 

 

Preface

ix

 

Contents (variegated Asanas)

xi-xii

1.

Introduction to Yogic Practices

1

2.

Principles of Yogic Practices

7

3.

Practical hints

11

4.

Facts to know about Health and Fitness

12

5.

Yogic Practices

 

i.

Asanas, Bandhas and Mudras

14

ii.

Kriyas

82

iii.

Pranayama

96

iv.

Meditation

100

6)

Index

104

 

ASANAS, BANDHAS AND MUDRAS

 

 

ASANAS

 

1.

Swastikasana

14

2.

Ardha Padmasana

16

3.

Vajrasana

18

4.

Brahma Mudra

20

5.

Simha Mudra

22

6.

Jihva Bandha

24

7.

Parvatasana

26

8.

Ardha Halasana

28

9.

Naukasana

30

10.

Viparita Karani

32

11.

Sarvangasana

34

12.

Shirshasana

36

13.

Matsyasana

40

14.

Halasana

42

15.

Bhujangasana

444

16.

Ardha Shalabhasana

46

17.

Shalabhasana

48

18.

Dhanurasana

50

19.

Vakrasana

52

20.

Ardha Matsyendrasana

54

21.

Paschimatana

56

22.

Suptavajrasana

58

23.

Tolangulasana

60

24

Utkatasana

62

.25.

Mayurasana

64

26.

Kukkutasana

66

27.

Bakasana

68

28.

Yoga Mudra

70

29.

Chakrasana

72

30.

Vrikshasana

74

31.

Uddiyana Bandha

76

32.

Makarasana

78

33.

Shavasana

80

 

KRIYAS

 

1.

Agnisara

82

2.

Nauli

84

Kapalabhati

86

Jala Neti

88

Sutra Neti

90

6.

Danda Dhauti

92

Vastra Dhauti

94

 

PRANAYAMA

 

1.

Anuloma - Viloma

96

2.

Ujjayi

98

 

MEDITATION

 

1.

Breath

100

2.

Mantra

102

 


 


Item Code: NAK831 Author: Dr. Manohar L. Gharote Cover: Paperback Edition: 2013 Publisher: The Lonavla Yoga Institute, Lonavla ISBN: 8190161741 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch x 5.5 inch Pages: 120 (Throughout B/W Illustrations) Other Details: Weight of the Book: 140 gms
Price: $20.00
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