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April 27, 2015
The truth hurts, but it is time to realize why some religions are afraid of Yoga. In the Western countries and the Middle East, the predominant orientation is shifting. People of all religions are becoming increasingly aware of the need to counter balance obsessive desires for material and outward achievements, are now seeking mental energy, peace of mind and Self-realization.
As Yoga teachers we witness the growth of a new global spiritual quest that is no longer fulfilled with dogmas and rigidities of traditional institutionalized religions. We do not condone killing of people from different religious beliefs. "Thou shalt not Kill," is more than words. What a different world it would be if the ancient Gnostics and Cathars had not been persecuted to their deaths.
Yet, Yoga has grown in popularity, while those who once ruled Western religion and persecuted the world have been publicly exposed for their injustices to native people, women, and children.
In this scenario, Yoga with its centering methods of relaxation and meditation, with its tools of stress reducing and improving psycho-physical efficiency, and with its practical and essential spirituality is not surprisingly the object of primary interest, not only among the general public but also among the ranks of Scientific researchers.
Shanti, Shanti, Shanti,
April 27, 2015
Spiritual Perspective of Yoga
By Johnson Joseph
Man is a spiritual being. Man is the compound of body soul and spirit. Body is the tangible part. Soul is the seat of mind, emotion and will. Spirit (atma) represents the divine touch of life. 'Nainam chinnanthi sasthreni, na ainam chinnanthi pavaha: na chainam clay dainthiaapo, na soshedhi marutha:' is a sloka which explains the nature and quality of spirit (atma).
Every Holy Book has given humans an exceptional quality compared to the rest of the living beings upon this earth. Though there are animal life and plant life, human life has a different virtue inherent from the Creator. Animal life is a conscious life. Vegetation has an unconscious life. But humans have a self conscious life. Man is capable of decision making and have a will. We can choose good and bad. We can believe, build, reject, accept, pray or party etc. Do animals pray? Do they build a temple to worship, kill for religion or ideology, conduct elections, give and take bribes or establish a bank or business?It is said that God created man in God's own image. Man lost this image and now experiences a separation from the divine. Therefore, man needs to discipline the body & soul to naturalize him against the negativity of human dispositions. This helps man regain the lost equilibrium in his basic nature in creation which is spiritual.
Is yoga a spiritual practice? No. Not at all. There are evidences that Yoga had been practiced in India even before the Vedic period. However, it got a scientific stature during vedic eras and the spiritual seekers were the promoters of this body- mind culture. 'Rshiis' and 'sanyasins' were 'Yogis' too. Thus Yoga got the stature and texture of religion. Is spirituality essentially religious? The first knowledge is self-knowledge. Discovery of one's own soul or spirit is spirituality, some seek the guidance of religion, and some others are solitary seekers.
On the other hand, it is seen that among the modern promoters of yoga many consider that it is just one another physical discipline and just a set of 'Asanas' (Yogic postures). Then what makes Yogasanas different from Gymnastics. When Yoga is taken away from spirituality, it loses its soul. It is a necessity to reiterate the original heart and soul to the Yoga system. The Asanas or the physical discipline it promotes is a bridge between one's body and the spirit and thus it is essentially spiritual in its nature.
April 27, 2015
Better Your Mind, Body and Spirit With Yoga
By Chuck Berger
If your looking to get in better shape, strengthen your cardiovascular system and tone your muscles up among other things, I've got one word for you...YOGA!
Yoga has been around now for about 3,000 years and yet you don't here all that much about it, although yoga is becoming one of the fastest growing exercises around. They even have yoga classes for kids now.
When you think of exercise, you probably think of physical activities such as running, lifting weights or working out on the heavy bag to the point where your sweating and out of breath. Yoga takes a different approach in that it is still a very physical exercise, but a more controlled exercise. Yoga can provide relief of stress and tension and is also very good for the mind and spirit as well. And even though yoga may look easy, once you try it, you'll soon see that it is very demanding.
Yoga exercises will help your muscles become more limber which increases flexibility, it also helps your concentration and focus and will give you better balance along with lowering your blood pressure and better your sleep habits.
There are many types of yoga and if you are a beginner I would encourage you to by some books on the subject, call your local gym or look up a type of yoga on the internet that is right for beginners. Because with any exercise, if you over due it, you may cause injury to yourself.
Better your mind, body and spirit by giving yoga a try. If your interested in yoga, you might want to check with your local gym, as most gyms have yoga classes.
Remember, start out slow and gradually increase your workouts when your ready.
Like yoga, vacations can do a lot for the mind, body and soul. Vacations rejuvenate all three and most if not all people have a better out look on all aspects of their life once they return from a nice long vacation. You no longer have to stress out trying to find the best deal on vacations. We have them here...Guaranteed!
April 27, 2015
The Spiritual Journey
By Sally Janssen
The majority of our actions have some emotional habit or impulse at their source and could be better classified as reactions.
However, conscious action is determined and directed by our thinking and this has two aspects in function. The lower mind or Manomaya Kosha deals with the material and concrete subjects is most active in Concentration upon a material focus. The higher mind or Vijnanomaya Kosha deals with abstract principles and is more involved in Meditation.
We need a clear thinking, rational lower mind or concrete mind which considers black and white as very definite tools to measure right and wrong, good and bad, in order to evaluate and make decisions before any action.
We need the higher mind to aid our understanding of ideologies and assist our dreams, ideals, plans and promises for better things and to equip us for self discipline, spiritual aspiration and free access to our intuition.
Both these aspects of the mind must integrate before much can be satisfactorily experienced in meditation. And fruitful meditation leads inevitably to right action. Action is the material testing ground of the spirit. So from the heights and delights of higher extended and expanded psychic consciousness in meditation we must return to the physical or lowest plane of consciousness in order to prove our spiritual strength and skill in practical matters through our actions.
Sowing and reaping seeds of our actions, we go from incarnation to incarnation. It is only by spiritualised and conscious action that we can graduate from the school of birth, death and rebirth with its repeated negative cyclic experiences, and go forward in confidence on the first stages of the journey along the well worn path which others have trodden to arrive at spiritual fulfillment and freedom.
The term "The Spiritual Journey" implies that we are going somewhere. We don't just sit down and grow into a wiser human being. We must walk forward and make effort and we must see that there is a goal in spiritual achievement as well as material.
Amidst the many life experiences encountered along what could be considered a mountain climb, we seek regular glimpses of the pinnacle which represents the ultimate Power for Good and the height of our aspiration. In Yoga it is to become fully developed as a creative and intelligent human being. This may be understood as the general goal but it requires the embellishment of our imagination if it is to stir within us an intense desire for the highest level that a human being can obtain. What can help us is our quiet consideration of our heroes, gurus and teachers until we conceive our own concept of what constitutes the ideal human being.
The lower mind requires a strong, clear picture or image of ourselves as we would wish to become if it is to serve as a beacon in the midst of practical disciplines and provide a reference for our actions. It also helps restrain us as we are about to re-act. Freedom of the soul from the limitations of the personality comes with release from habitual re-action to allow the conscious will to direct a line of action the individual sees fit.
A healthy mind is required before consciously attempting the spiritual journey and a degree of independence of thought and feeling. We are also reminded in all teachings that we must utilize the fundamental faculty of discrimination. Discrimination is the ability of an astute personality to use the black and white square of reasoning to assess the true nature of things - to be capable of evaluating good and evil, constructive and destructive influences and other pairs of opposing qualities.
But more importantly is the necessity for a Loving Heart, without which one cannot confidently take the first step towards the future.
Then, suitably equipped, we can begin that adventuresome journey. It is then, also, that we begin to experience the most earnest tests and trials of life. These tests are experienced in the midst of everyday life and circumstances as well as within the recesses of one's own consciousness. It is best never to wish to escape or avoid these trials. Face them bravely and honestly having utter faith that the Law of life is just and fair and take refuge in that Law.
Along the way we know that the landscapes of our circumstances will change, that there will be hills and valleys, rivers to cross, unexpected situations as we turn a corner, new companions, new adventures, and new delights. We will have to face unknown challenges as well as those already in our path, and we face the ever present enemy of our own fatigue and limited stamina.
One is tested for courage and love for life, strength, for abilities and talents, love and compassion, sense of responsibility, loyalty, application to hard work, sense of justice, determination in the face of obstacles, awareness of Nature's Laws as applied to man, independence, kindness and service to others, leadership, sense of brotherhood, generosity, and lastly, a capacity for self sacrifice.
Each of us must go through every one of these tests, through which we come to realise our own abilities and spiritual potential. We must overcome all temptations to abuse, misuse or to waste our energies and talents and are tested to the utmost until we truly stand free upon the mountaintop, free from the need to incarnate in order to polish up our nature and free to choose to graduate from life's earth school or remain to teach others by our own direct experience.
Spiritual growth is like the journey of the Prodigal returning home to the Father. It is like the child returning to its Parent, but as a miniature or microscopic energy reflection of our Source, the macrocosm. We discover our place in the great scheme of things.
In each lifetime or incarnation we take 7 years to equip the body for the karmic law to fulfil itself so at 7 years old we are responsible for our actions of the body. In the next 7 year period we develop the emotional nature and at 14 years we are responsible for the emotional expression of the soul. From 14-21 we are developing full control of the mind and intellect in order to complete our equipment for life expression and are responsible to the lords of Karma for our thoughts. At 21 the soul is fully equipped, should he choose to go on his spiritual journey fully clothed in his sheaths or garments of consciousness, alone and self assured.
One can only know life or come to know God through direct experience. And so each soul seeks further experience in order to learn the meaning of life for himself and so relate to others. The aspirant strides out eagerly along a path towards a future knowing it will bring him eventually to his death when the time is right for the next stage of the journey of the spirit.
When final earthly attainment and liberation is achieved, when the goal is reached and the individual casts aside the garments of his many lives what happens to the soul, where does it go? These and many more questions are to be answered.
But what would you ultimately seek in your spiritual journey beyond 'graduation' from this earthly school?
From a short address at a National Yoga Convention Vision Valley, NSW 1975 by Sally E. Janssen
Sally Janssen is a writer, and Yoga teacher well known both in Australia and abroad for her skill in demonstration of the Hatha Yoga practices and her wisdom in applying the principles of Raja Yoga -the study of the mind and consciousness. More details at https://www.essence-of-yoga.net
Her book "Mental Fitness: A Complete Self-help Guide" explains the principles of mental fitness that can be applied by us all. The book may be found here: https://www.mentalhealthandfitness.com/blog.
April 27, 2015
Yoga Practice And Spirituality
By Jack Wogan
Spirituality is the inner search of the highest values and deepest meanings in a person's life. In order to achieve this precious objective including a higher state of awareness, to outreach wisdom or communion with God or creation and thus become perfect, special practices such as meditation, prayer and contemplation are necessary.
Yoga is an ancient teaching which helps sedulous practitioners to reach spiritual enlightenment. With this in mind, we can understand that Yoga and Spirituality are inseparable.
In the east, Yoga is regarded as a distinguished set of exercises that nurture the mind, body and spirit. On the contrary, in the west people mostly reduce it to the physical, stretching aspect.
Apart from being a way of living our everyday lives, Yoga is an outright system, a way of thinking. That is why its two aspects - physical and spiritual - need to be combined. How can we do it? It is important to stop judging people. This will allow you to feel deeply the Oneness of all life. Changing negative thinking into positive one is also a good tip. Healthy diet, accompanied by elimination of intake (such as coffee, alcohol etc.) that narrow down the vital energy from your body and tire it out, is another step. Add fasting once a week and even try to consider vegetarian diet! Practice Yogic Asanas and breathing exercises on a regular basis! Meditate at least twice a day for up to 20 minutes and the picture is complete.
Spirituality is a vast field. Yoga is a vast field, too. They both require patience, determination and endurance for concrete results to appear. They do need peace of mind and relaxation as sine qua non conditions to germinate and evolve to higher levels. That is the very role yoga holidays assume: to provide the perfect background for spiritual rebirth. For sure your mind, body and spirit deserve and long for such a relief after a hard year at work!
The truth is that yoga holidays are the best ways of unwinding after a hard year of work.
April 27, 2015
Peace, silence and full harmony is something that everybody seeks in one's life. If you want to experience happiness and relief from distress you may want to try yoga. Yoga can help you get a rich spiritual life. Your body, mind and soul must take all the effort for living in a perpetual meditation.
Yoga is one of the 6 schools of Hindu Philosophy. It is based on meditation as a way to self-knowledge and redemption. It is a tool for physical and spiritual completeness. Yoga has been practiced for more than 5 000 years being a combination between physical exercises and mediation.
The power of the mind is the best medicine for the soul. Meditation has a symbolic relationship with yoga. It is a systematic method of conquest and stabilization on the highest level of our power. By meditation you can discover which are the talents, gifts and power that you want to display in the world. You get to know the nature of your true essence.
There are many values that yoga praises. Among them there is respect for the diversity of human being, normality, charity, impersonality. By inner transformation the individuals regain moral virtues and the physical, mental and emotional balance brings integration of being and personality.
The benefits that this discipline brings to physical and psychical health are manifold. The emotional balance and health state may be improved by practicing respiration and relaxation exercises. The idea is to dedicate some time only for you. Yoga means self-consciousness and self-observation.
Yoga is very good for everyday life. It offers a universal cure for the different symptoms of the modern diseases. Meditation is ideal during pregnancy and it is necessary for the health of both the baby and mother. Relaxation is a good long-term solution if you want to lose weight and most of the times it has better effects than a diet. If you want to release mental and affective tension you can choose from many types of spiritual practices. It is a good tool if you want to quit smoking or to recover the balance and to get over every day stress.
April 27, 2015
Chakras for Good Spiritual Health
By Glen Wood
Yoga not only improves the function of the mind and body, but also provides relief for back pain and many other illnesses that have something to do with posture. One of the aims of yoga is to change the traditional habits, helping pregnant women with motor problems as well as people suffering from chronic pain and stress.
So what can you get from yoga? It gives your nervous system and adrenal glands, which contribute to fight-and-flight response and stress, a respite and access to the parasympathetic nervous system. As a result, you get better digestion and immune defenses. Yoga also enhances the function of your lungs and makes your spine longer. By lengthening the spine, your posture and alignment throughout the body will improve, resulting in less tension in the muscles. Less tensed muscles contribute to back pain relief.
Inverted postures, when done safely, can develop strength and confidence. For back pain, an ideal inverted posture is the plough. It can be performed easily - you can even use a chair to assist you if you cannot touch your feet to the floor.
According to the science of yoga, a system of energy centers called the chakras activate a person's spiritual health. Found within the spinal column, these chakras have cosmic energy that need to be activated for self realization. Chakras convert cosmic energy into spiritual energy. Kundalini is the cosmic energy that manifests as a latent force in every person. Awakening the energy of nature or prakriti shakti brings the energy to the core of the soul or purusha shakti.
Yoga can be practiced using a variety of toning, breathing exercises, and postures. These will calm the mind and boost the body's energy.
Yoga asanas and yoga postures offer a lot of benefits. Yoga breathing techniques are good for managing stress and getting peace of mind, while yoga fitness exercises are good for the entire body.
Glen Wood - The Yoga Teacher. Glen is a yoga expert whom loves to teach you how to lose your neck, shoulder and back pain with yoga.
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