Ha = Sun
Tha = Moon
As the yoga brings UNION of Pairs of Opposites (God & Goddess)
Focus: Concentrating on practice of a simple meditation (dhyana), posture (asana) and breath control (pranayama).
Unique Quality: to enegizes the subtle channels (nadi system) to bring health and energy to body, mind by opening the nadis.
Benefits: Hatha yoga aims to balance the opposing forces. Transcendence can only be achieved once energy have been understood and balanced.
The words prana (life-force), ayama (to lengthen or regulate)
Pranayama seeks to lengthen, control and regulate the breath, in one variation.
The rechak (exhaled air)
kumbhak (retention during normal inhaling and exhaling)
the three parts of the breath that are regulated.
Pranayama is practiced to develop mental, physical and spiritual strength.
Pranayama establishes regular breathing patterns breaking this negative cycle and reversing the process.
It does so by taking control of the breath and re-establishing of the body and mind.
4. Asthanga Vinyasa
The vigorous yoga exercise, refers to the alignment of movement & breath, a method which turns static asanas into a dynamic flow.
The length of one inhale or one exhale dictates the length of time spent transitioning between asanas. Asanas are then hold for a predefined number of breath. In effect, attention is placed on the breath and the journey between the asanas rather than solely on achieving perfect body alignment in asana, as is emphasized in hatha yoga.
The asanas are almost passive and do not usually include what usually be classified as standing asanas or balance posses. Yin yoga is a practice that allows for the student to begin to look deeply and the many systems within as well as to take the much needed time for the process of integration.
Most styles of yoga offer some insight into the system of the chakras, however with the stillness required by the Yin yoga practice. There is time to explore to position oneself to face discomfort –rather than avoid- and to meet this challenge joyfully. This is a practice of acceptance, a template for transformation and an opportunity to create vibrant health and spiritual awakening.
During the asanas, muscles are relaxed to avoid tetany (muscles cramps), or muscle spasming which will result from engaging muscles for long periods of time.
Learning posses for each trimester relieve aching back, legs and feet. Look and feel fit, make labor easier focused on helping you feel comfortable, relaxed and fit during pregnancy. This practice will increase your energy and stamina, build strength, flexibility and balance the emphasis on proper technique and deep breathing improves focus and concentration which can help ease labor and delivery. The gentle stretches help reduce fatigue, tension and tightness while promoting relaxation and improved circulation.
The healings through method a nature positive energy the process of the restoration of health using the energy from the nature. Reiki, energy transform on hands. When it is necessarily combination with spiritual, herbal from plants.
8. Partner Yoga
In Partner Yoga practice there is an amazing, seemingly magical phenomena that occurs when we meet another in a balanced way. When our posture rests in perfect alignment, we are taken out of the realm of duality and experience unity, the root of Yoga. This experience of unity is simply sharing the same essence on the deepest level.
1. Introduction to Yoga
The word yoga means “unity” or oneness and is derived from the sanskrit word yuj which means “to join.”
This unity or joining is described in spiritual terms as the union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.
On a more practical level, yoga is a means of balancing and harmonizing the body, mind and emotions. This is done through the practice of :
Yoga is not an ancient myth buried in oblivion. It is the most valuable inheritance of the present. It is the essential need of today and the culture of tomorrow. (Swami Satyananda Saraswati)
2. Type of Yoga
(a) Raja Yoga
Yoga sutras of Patanjali (eight limbs) described by yogi: Patanjali.
1. Yama (the five abstention), universal principles, or ethics
Ahimsa : (non violence) compassion and reverence for all life
Satya : (truth, non-lying) truthfulness
Asteya : Non stealing. Respect for belonging of others
Brahmacharya: respectful action in connection with the divine.
Aparigraha : non greed. Non possessiveness sharing with others
2. Niyama (the five observances), rules for self purifications.
Saucha : (purity) making one’s body and surroundings a temple.
Santosa : (contentment) having gratitude for what presents itself to you.
Tapas : (austerity) Fervour determination for deeper understanding.
Svadhyaya : (self liberating study) study of the vedic scriptures to know about God and the soul.
Ishvara pranidhana : (surrender to God) developing awareness of and surrender to the divine.
3. Asana (posture), literally means “seat”.
4. Pranayama, breath expansion, suspending breath.
Prana + ayama
(life force) + to restrain or stop, to lenghten or regulate.
Regulating the breath in a way that prana is freed or extended in a controlled way.
5. Pratyahara (abstraction), with drawal of the sense organs from external objects.
6. Dharana (concentration), focusing attention, fixing the attention on a single object.
7. Dhyana (meditation), meditation is stillness. Intense contemplation of the nature of the object of meditation.
8. Samadhi (liberation), merging consciousness with the object of meditation, enstasy, state of oneness with the object of meditation.
Hatha yoga also called hatha vidya is a system of yoga described by yogi Swatmarama. The system as pereparatory stage of physical purification that the body practices for higher meditation or yoga. It’s based on asana, pranayama and shatkarma/shatkrya (neti, dhauti, nauli, basti, kapalabhati, trataka).
Hatha represents opposing energies: sun and moon, hot and cold, fire and water, yin-yang, male and female, positive and negative.
Hatha yoga attempts to balance mind and body via physical postures or asana, purification practice, controlled/regulate breathing and the calming of the mind through relaxation and meditation.
1. Hatha yoga Pradipika ? Sanskrit text on yoga beside yogi Swatmarama own yogic experience it’s includes information about:
- Shatkarma (purification)
- Kundalini (instinct)
- Bandhas (muscle force)
- Chakras (centers of energy)
- Kryas (technique: manifestation of kundalini)
- Shakti (the great divine mother)/ supreme being most actively manifest through female embodiment, creativity/fertility, though it is also present in males in its potential. Shakti (secred force).
- Nadis (channels), river, tube, pipe, the energies of the subtle body are said to flow.
- Mudras (symbolic gestures), while some mudra’s involve the entire body, most are performed with hands and fingers.
2. Traditionally, Lord Shiva is credited with propouding hatha yoga. It’s said that on a lonely island, assuming nobody else would hear him, he gave the knowledge of hatha yoga to Goddes Parvati, but a fish heard the entire discourse, remaining still throughout. Lord Shiva took mercy on fish (matsya) and made him a siddha (one who is accomplished), who came to be known as Matsyendranaatha. Matsyendranaatha taught yoga to Chaurangi, a limbless man who was given hands and feet by Matsyendranaatha just by looking at him.
Hatha yoga Pradipika mentions: adi natha, matsyendranath, borakshanath and many other yogis who became famous hatha yogis.
Gherand Samhita (collection classic tex) is manual of yoga taught by Gheranda to Chanda Kapali, speaks about seven fold yoga:
- Shatkarma for purification
- Asana for strengthening
- Mudra for seadying
- Pratyahara for calming
- Pranayama for lightness
- Dhyana for perception
- Samadhi for isolation.
Shiva Samhita – a Sanskrit text on yoga. The text is addressed by the Hindu god Shiva to his consort Parvati (Shiva compendium) talk about the complex physiology name 84 diff asanas, describes five specific types of prana and provides techniques to regulate them. It also deals with abstract yogic philosophy, mudras, tantric practices and meditation. It emphazes that even a common householder can practice yoga and benefit from it.
(c) Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga, describes by K. Patlabhi. This style of yoga involves practicing asana which are easily and quickly done sequencely or consecutively where ujjayi breathing can be incorporated.
(d) List of Asana
- Adho Mukha Suanasana (downward facing dog pose)
(e) List of Style
Tsa lung Trul khor,a concept in Tibetan Buddhism described as “Yantra Yoga”by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu (2000)
Kum Nye,Tibetan practice,sometimes dubbed “Kum Nye Yoga’
Shin Shin Toitsu-do,a system of”mind and body unification”created by Nakamura Tempu in the 1940s which sometimes been dubbed “Japanese Yoga”
Taoist Yoga,title of a 1999 book about Taoist meditation
Styles of Hatha Yoga
- 1948: Asthanga Yoga – Sri K. Pattabhi Jois
- 1960: Sivananda yoga – Swami Vishnu-devananda
- 1970s: Iyengar Yoga – B.K.S.Iyengar
- 1980s: Rocket Yoga – Larry Schultz
- 1982: Forrest Yoga – Ana Forrest(1)(2)(3)
- 1983: Kripalu Yoga
- 1986: Jivamukti Yoga
- 1997: Anusara Yoga – John Friend
- 2001: Viniyoga – T.K.V.Desikachar
- 2000s: TriYoga – Kali Ray
- 2006: Naam yoga
- 2007: TriBalance Yoga
Cardiac Yoga – M.Mala Cunningham
- 1935: Kundalini Yoga described by Sivananda Saraswati
- 1969: Kundalini Yoga – Harbhajan Shingh Yogi(Yogi Bhajan)
- 1974: Naked Yoga
- 1985: Dhan Yoga (“Korean Yoga”) – Ilchi Lee
- 1991: Laya Yoga
- 1995: Laughter Yoga
- 2007: Zen Yoga
Bando Yoga or “Burmese Yoga” (citation needed)
(f) Yoga exercise or alternative medicine (yoga therapy)
(g) Hindhu views on monotheism and reform movements
Three yogas introduced in the Baqavad Gita
Karma: The path of Action
Bhakti: The path of Devotion
Jnana: The path of Knowledge
Krya Yoga: the number of levels of Pranayama based on techniques that are intended to rapidly accelerate spiritual development and engender a profound state of tranquility and God communion.
(h) Kundalini Yoga
In 1935 Sri Swami Sivananda penned a detailed depiction of some historically classic Kundalini Yoga practices in a treatise called Kundalini Yoga.
According to yogic Philosophy, kundalini is a spiritual energy or life force located at the base of the spine. It is conceptualized as a coiled up serpent. Literally, kundalini or kundala is that which is coiled (Sanskrit kund, to burn; kunda, to coil or to spiral) It is believed that Kundalini yoga is that which arouses the sleeping Kundalini Shakti from its coiled base through the 6 chakras, and penetrate the 7th chakra, or crown. This energy is said to travel along the ida (left), pingala (right) and central,or sushumna nadi- the main channels of pranic energy in the body. This process can be seen depicted even today in modern medical iconography as two snakes spiraling a central staff,and although the origin of this image is more directly derived from the caduceus of the Greek God Hermes, it may express the same or a similar principle.
As popularly taught in the under the system of Yogi Bhajan, the system is tailored as a comprehensive spiritual system for personal growth using kriya exercises, pranayama, and meditations along with mantras and dharmic teachings relating to Sikhism. A common mantra used in this form is that of “Sat Nam” – meaning “I am truth”. The yoga form was originally shared as alternative and transformational technology for self-development, and to counter the drug abuse of the 60′s, but has emerged as a comprehensive spiritual practice with global popularity.
Technically, Kundalini energy is understood as being sparked during yogic breathing when prana and apana blends at the 3rd chakra (naval center) at which point it initially drops down to the 1st and 2nd chakras before traveling up to the spine to the higher centers of the brain to activate the golden cord – the connection between the pituitary and pineal glands – and penetrate the 7 chakras.
Borrowing and integrating the highest forms from many different approaches, kundalini Yoga can be understood as a tri-fold approach of Bhakti yoga for devotion, Shakti yoga for power, and Raja yoga for mental power and control. Its purpose through the daily practice of kriyas and meditation in sadhana are described a practical technology of human consciousness for humans to achieve their total creative potential.
According to one school of thought, there being four main forms of yoga, Mantra yoga, Hatha yoga, Laya yoga and Raja yoga; Kundalini yoga is really considered a Laya yoga.
Mainstream traditions propose that kundalini energy can be awakened and enlightenment attained by practicing a combination of yogic techniques-ideally following the guidance of a certified teacher-including the use of mantra, prana and breathing techniques, sadhana, asana practice, meditation, or purely through devotion and prayer.
According to some Hindu traditions, Kundalini yoga is considered a highly developed spiritual awakening which relies upon a technique called shaktipat to attain enlightenment under the guidance of a spiritual master.
In the classical literature of Kashmir Saivism kundalini is described in three different manifestations. The first of these is as the universal energy or para-kundalini. The second of these is as the energizing function of the body-mind complex or prana-kundalini. The third of these is as consciousness or shakti-kundalini which simultaneously subsumes and intermediates between these two. Ultimately these three forms are the same but understanding these three different forms will help to understand the different manifestations of kundalini.
The world “kundalini” can be traced to the Sanskrit word “kundala”, which means “coiled”. Kundalini can therefore be used by believers to refer to the latent energy within the human body which is constantly trying to manifest as our insight, power and bliss.
According to one author, the word kundalini literally means ”the curl of the lock of hair of the beloved”. It is a metaphor,a poetic way of describing the flow of energy and consciousness which already is said to exist within each person.
The practices are said to enable the person to merge with or “yoke” the universal self. This merging of individual consciousness with the universal consciousness is said to create a “divine union” called “yoga”.
(i) Satyananda Yoga
Swami Satyananda’s teachings emphasize an ”Integral Yoga” with a strong emphasis on Tantra, known as the “Bihar Yoga” system or “Satyananda Yoga”. This system addresses the qualities of head, heart and hands-intellect, emotion and action and attempts to integrate the physical, psychological and spiritual dimensions of yoga into each practice. Swami Satyananda brought the yogic side of tantra to the forefront. In 1971 Tantra Yoga Panorama was published in which the concepts of tantra were outlined as applicable to the needs of today’s society. Swami Satyananda codified the wisdom of yoga in ancient tantric scriptures and made it accessible to the modern aspirant. He defined the pawanmuktasana series, the shakti bandhas and the grouping of the various asanas according to position Pranayama, prana vidya and the role of mudras and bandhas were scientifically explained by him and made generally available for the first time. Swami Satyananda classified an expounded the techniques given in the tantras as a series of different stages and levels of pratyahara such as antar mouna, and different stages of meditation. He invented the technique of yoga nidra, now known worldwide as Satyananda Yoga Nidra, according to the tantric system of nyasa and defined and codified the different stages of the technique.
His system of tantric yoga involves the practice of:
Kundalini Yoga, in the tradition following Swami Sivananda’s explanation. Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of the evolutionary energy of the universe.
Kriya Yoga, in the form of Tapas, Svadhyaya and Ishvarapranidhana. Tapas is the practice of austerities. Svadhyaya is study of spiritual literature and also repetition of a personal mantra. Ishvarapranidhana is self-surrender to the Lord and doing all actions as an offering unto the Lord.
Mantra Yoga, the repetition of sacred sounds.
Laya Yoga, the practice of a state of absorption on an object of meditation.
The four advanced stages of the Eight Limbs of Yoga as codified by Patanjali: Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana and Samadhi.
(j) Contemporary Yoga Style & School
- Iyengar Yoga
- Anusara Yoga
- Bikram Yoga
- Forrest Yoga
- Hot Yoga
- Jivamukti Yoga
- Kripalu Yoga
- Power Yoga
- Sivananda Yoga
- Vini Yoga
JNANA AND CHIN MUDRAS
Jnana Mudra (psychic gesture of knowledge)
Assume a comfortable meditation posture.
Fold the index fingers so that they touch the inside root of the thumbs. Straighten the other three fingers of each hand so that they are relaxed and slightly apart.
Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing down.
Relax the hands and arms.
Chin Mudra (psychic gesture of consciousness)
Chin mudra is performed in the same way as jnana mudra except that the palms of both hands face upwards,with the backs of the hands resting on the knees.
Relax the hands and arms.
Sequence: One of these two mudras should be adopted whenever practicing meditation, unless otherwise specified.
Benefits:Jnana mudra and chin mudra are simple but important psycho-neural finger locks which make meditation asanas more powerful. The palms and fingers of the hands have many nerve root endings which constantly emit energy. When the finger touches the thumb,a circuit is produced which allows the energy that would normally dissipate into the environment to travel back into the body and up to the brain.
When the fingers and hands are placed on the knees, the knees are sensitized, creating another pranic circuit that maintains and redirects prana within the body. In addition, placing the hands on the knees stimulates a nadi which runs from the knees, up the inside of the things and into the perineum. This nadi is known as gupta or the hidden nadi. Sensitising this channel helps stimulate the energies at mooladhara chakra.
When the palms face upward in chin mudra, the chest area is opened up. The practitioner may experience this as a sense of lightness and receptivity which is absent in the practice of jnana mudra.
Variation: Jnana and chin mudras are often performed with the tip of the thumb and index finger touching and forming a circle. Beginners may find this variation less secure for prolonged periods of meditation as the thumb and index finger tend to separate more easily when body awareness is lost. Otherwise, this variation is as effective as the basic position.
Practice note: The effect of chin or jnana mudras is very subtle and it requires great sensitivity on the part of the practitioner to perceive the change in consciousness established. With practice, however, the mind becomes conditioned to the mudra and when it is adopted the signal to enter a meditative state is transmitted.
Note: The word Jnana means “wisdom” or “knowledge”, thus jnana mudra is the gesture of intuitive knowledge. Chin, on the other hand, is derived from the word chit or chitta which means “consciousness”. Chin mudra, therefore, is the psychic gesture of consciousness.
Symbolically, the small, ring and middle fingers represent the three gunas or qualities of nature: tamas, inertia; rajas, activity and creativity; and sattwa, luminosity and harmony. In order for consciousness to pass from ignorance to knowledge these three states must be transcended. The index finger, represents individual consciousness, the jivatma, while the thumb symbolises supreme consciousness. In jnana and chin mudras the individual (index finger) is bowing down to the supreme consciousness (the thumb), acknowledging its unsurpassed power. The index finger, however is touching the thumb, symbolizing the ultimate unity of to the two experiences and the culmination of yoga.
Yoni Mudra (attitude of the womb or source)
Assume a comfortable meditation posture with the head and the spine straight.
Place the palms of the hands together with the fingers and thumbs straight and pointing away from the body.
Keeping the pads of the index fingers together, turn the little, ring and middle fingers inwards so that the backs of the fingers are touching.
Interlock the little, ring and middle fingers. Brings the thumbs towards the body and join the pads of the fingers together to form the base of a yoni or womb shape.
Benefits: The interlocking of the fingers in this practice creates a complete cross connection of energies from the right hand into the left and vice versa. As well as balancing the energies in the body, it helps balance the activities of the right and left hemispheres of the brain. Placing the tips of the index fingers and thumbs together further intensifies the flow of prana.
This mudra makes the body and mind more stable in meditation and develops greater concentration, awareness and internal physical relaxation.
It redirects prana back into the body which would otherwise be dispersed. The elbows naturally tend to point to the side when performing this mudra which helps open up the chest area.
Variation: Yoni mudra may also be performed by interlocking the middle, rings and little fingers without turning them inward. The thumbs may be crossed in front of the outstretched index fingers, or outstretched with the pads touching towards the body.
Note: The word yoni means ‘womb’ or ‘source’. Yoni mudra invokes the primal energy inherent in the womb or source of creation.
Bhairava Mudra (fierce or terrifying attitude)
Assume a comfortable meditation posture with the head and spine straight.
Place the right hand on top of the left, so that the palms of both hands are facing up. Both hands then rest in the lap. Close the eyes and relax the whole body, keeping it motionless.
Variation: When the left hand is placed on top of the right the practice is called Bhairavi mudra. Bhairavi is the female counterpart of Bhairava.
Note: Bhairava is the fierce or terrifying form of Lord Shiva, the aspect responsible for the dissolution of the universe. The two hands represent ida and pingala nadis, and the union of the individual with the supreme consciousness.
Bhairava mudra is used in prana mudra. It may also be used during pranayama and meditation practice.
Hridaya Mudra (heart gesture)
Sit in any comfortable meditation asana with the head and spine straight.
Place the tips of the index fingers at the root of the thumbs, as in chin and jnana mudras, and join the tips of the thumbs so they are placed side by side. The little finger remains straight. Place the hands on the knees with the palms facing upward. Close the eyes and relax the whole body, keeping it motionless.
Duration: This practice may be performed for up 30minutes.
Awareness: Physical – on the breath in the chest area.
Spiritual – on anahata chakra.
Benefits: This mudra diverts the flow of prana from the hands to the heart area, improving the vitality of the physical heart. The middle and ring fingers relate directly to nadis connected whit the heart,while the thumb closes the pranic circuit and acts as an energiser, diverting the flow of prana from the hands to these nadis. Hridaya mudra is, therefore, beneficial for heart ailments, especially ischemic heart disease. It is very simple and may be used safely and easily in acute situations. The heart is the center of emotion. Hridaya mudra helps to release pent-up emotion and unburden the heart. It may be practiced during emotional conflict and crisis.