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    YOGA SUTRAS OF PATANJALI ORIGIN OF YOGA SUTRAS Once upon a time, long ago, all the Munis and Rishis approached Lord Vishnu to tell him that even though he (incarnated as Lord Dhanvanthari) had given him the means to cure illnesses through Ayurveda, people still fell ill. They also wanted to know what to do when people got sick. Sometimes it is not just physical illness, but mental and emotional illness too that needs to be dealt with. How does one get rid of all these illness? What is the formula? Vishnu was lying on the bed of snakes — the serpent Adishésha with a 1, 000 heads. When the Rishis approached Him, He gave them Adishésha (the symbol of awareness), who took birth in the world as Maharishi Patanjali. Hence Patanjali came to this earth to give this knowledge of yoga which came to be known as the Yoga Sutras. The suras are considered as the words of wisdom and inspiration. Exploring Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra is a first step in seeing how yoga is beneficial for us. Yoga connects you to the authentic information and an enhanced understanding of the ancient writings that continue to provide valuable yoga knowledge today. ABOUT YOGA SUTRAS The work is divided into four chapters, chapter1 (51 sutras) known as Samadhi, chapter2 (55 sutras) known as sadhana, chapter3 (56 sutras) known as vibhuti, chapter4 (34 sutras) known as kaivalya. If we talk about Samadhi various kinds of Samadhi are mentioned. However there are only two categories of Samadhi- Sabija (with seed) and Nirbija (without seed). Sabija Samadhi in its own turn of six kinds- samprajnata, asamprajnata, savitarka, nirvitarka, savicara, nirvicara depending on the object of experience of awareness. Chapter1 ends up in 51 sutras by clarifying that seedless awareness is obtained by blocking of all cittavrittis. These 51 sutras are- 1.1 Now, after having done prior preparation through life and other practices, the study and practice of Yoga begins. 1.2 Yoga is the control (nirodhah, regulation, channeling, mastery, integration, coordination, stilling, quieting, setting aside) of the modifications (gross and subtle thought patterns) of the mind field. 1.3 Then the Seer abides in Itself, resting in its own True Nature, which is called Self-realization. 1.4 At other times, when one is not in Self-realization, the Seer appears to take on the form of the modifications of the mind field, taking on the identity of those thought patterns. Un-coloring your thoughts (Yoga Sutras 1.5-1.11) 1.5 Those gross and subtle thought patterns (vrittis) fall into five varieties, of which some are colored (klishta) and others are uncolored (aklishta). 1.6 The five varieties of thought patterns to witness are: 1) knowing correctly (pramana), 2) incorrect knowing (viparyaya), 3) fantasy or imagination (vikalpa), 4) the object of void-ness that is deep sleep (nidra), and 5) recollection or memory (smriti). 1.7 Of these five, there are three ways of gaining correct knowledge (pramana): 1) perception, 2) inference, and 3) testimony or verbal communication from others who have knowledge. 1.8 Incorrect knowledge or illusion (viparyaya) is false knowledge formed by perceiving a thing as being other than what it really is. 1.9 Fantasy or imagination (vikalpa) is a thought pattern that has verbal expression and knowledge, but for which there is no such object or reality in existence. 1.10 Dreamless sleep (nidra) is the subtle thought pattern which has as its object an inertia, blankness, absence, or negation of the other thought patterns (vrittis). 1.11 Recollection or memory (smriti) is mental modification caused by the inner reproducing of a previous impression of an object, but without adding any other characteristics from other sources. Practice and non-attachment (Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.16) 1.12 These thought patterns (vrittis) are mastered (nirodhah, regulated, coordinated, controlled, stilled, quieted) through practice (abhyasa) and non-attachment (vairagya). 1.13 Practice (abhyasa) means choosing, applying the effort, and doing those actions that bring a stable and tranquil state (sthitau). 1.14 When that practice is done for a long time, without a break, and with sincere devotion, then the practice becomes a firmly rooted, stable and solid foundation. 1.15 When the mind loses desire even for objects seen or described in a tradition or in scriptures, it acquires a state of utter (vashikara) desirelessness that is called non-attachment (vairagya). 1.16 Indifference to the subtlest elements, constituent principles, or qualities themselves (gunas), achieved through a knowledge of the nature of pure consciousness (purusha), is called supreme non-attachment (paravairagya). Types of concentration (Yoga Sutras 1.17-1.18) 1.17 The deep absorption of attention on an object is of four kinds, 1) gross (vitarka), 2) subtle (vichara), 3) bliss accompanied (ananda), and 4) with I-ness (asmita), and is called samprajnata samadhi. 1.18 The other kind of samadhi is asamprajnata samadhi, and has no object in which attention is absorbed, wherein only latent impressions remain; attainment of this state is preceded by the constant practice of allowing all of the gross and subtle fluctuations of mind to recede back into the field from which they arose. Efforts and commitment (Yoga Sutras 1.19-1.22) 1.19 Some who have attained higher levels (videhas) or know unmanifest nature (prakritilayas), are drawn into birth in this world by their remaining latent impressions of ignorance, and more naturally come to these states of samadhi. 1.20 Others follow a five-fold systematic path of 1) faithful certainty in the path, 2) directing energy towards the practices, 3) repeated memory of the path and the process of stilling the mind, 4) training in deep concentration, and 5) the pursuit of real knowledge, by which the higher samadhi (asamprajnata samadhi) is attained. 1.21 Those who pursue their practices with intensity of feeling, vigor, and firm conviction achieve concentration and the fruits thereof more quickly, compared to those of medium or lesser intensity. 1.22 Because the methods may be applied in slow, medium, or speedy ways, even among those who have such commitment and conviction, there are differences in the rate of progress, resulting in nine grades of practice. Direct route through AUM (Yoga Sutras 1.23-1.29) 1.23 From a special process of devotion and letting go into the creative source from which we emerged (ishvara pranidhana), the coming of samadhi is imminent. 1.24 That creative source (ishvara) is a particular consciousness (purusha) that is unaffected by colorings (kleshas), actions (karmas), or results of those actions that happen when latent impressions stir and cause those actions. 1.25 In that pure consciousness (ishvara) the seed of omniscience has reached its highest development and cannot be exceeded. 1.26 From that consciousness (ishvara) the ancient-most teachers were taught, since it is not limited by the constraint of time. 1.27 The sacred word designating this creative source is the sound OM, called pranava. 1.28 This sound is remembered with deep feeling for the meaning of what it represents. 1.29 From that remembering comes the realization of the individual Self and the removal of obstacles. Obstacles and solutions (Yoga Sutras 1.30-1.32) 1.30 Nine kinds of distractions come that are obstacles naturally encountered on the path, and are physical illness, tendency of the mind to not work efficiently, doubt or indecision, lack of attention to pursuing the means of samadhi, laziness in mind and body, failure to regulate the desire for worldly objects, incorrect assumptions or thinking, failing to attain stages of the practice, and instability in maintaining a level of practice once attained. 1.31 From these obstacles, there are four other consequences that also arise, and these are: 1) mental or physical pain, 2) sadness or dejection, 3) restlessness, shakiness, or anxiety, and 4) irregularities in the exhalation and inhalation of breath. 1.32 To prevent or deal with these nine obstacles and their four consequences, the recommendation is to make the mind one-pointed, training it how to focus on a single principle or object. Stabilizing and clearing the mind (Yoga Sutras 1.33-1.39) 1.33 In relationships, the mind becomes purified by cultivating feelings of friendliness towards those who are happy, compassion for those who are suffering, goodwill towards those who are virtuous, and indifference or neutrality towards those we perceive as wicked or evil. 1.34 The mind is also calmed by regulating the breath, particularly attending to exhalation and the natural stilling of breath that comes from such practice. 1.35 The inner concentration on the process of sensory experiencing, done in a way that leads towards higher, subtle sense perception; this also leads to stability and tranquility of the mind. 1.36 Or concentration on a painless inner state of lucidness and luminosity also brings stability and tranquility. 1.37 Or contemplating on having a mind that is free from desires, the mind gets stabilized and tranquil. 1.38 Or by focusing on the nature of the stream in the dream state or the nature of the state of dreamless sleep, the mind becomes stabilized and tranquil. 1.39 Or by contemplating or concentrating on whatever object or principle one may like, or towards which one has a predisposition, the mind becomes stable and tranquil. Results of stabilizing the mind (Yoga Sutras 1.40-1.51) 1.40 When, through such practices, the mind develops the power of becoming stable on the smallest size object as well as on the largest, then the mind truly comes under control. 1.41 When the modifications of mind have become weakened, the mind becomes like a transparent crystal, and thus can easily take on the qualities of whatever object observed, whether that object be the observer, the means of observing, or an object observed, in a process of engrossment called samapatti. 1.42 One type of such an engrossment (samapatti) is one in which there is a mixture of three things, a word or name going with the object, the meaning or identity of that object, and the knowledge associated with that object; this engrossment is known as savitarka samapatti (associated with gross objects). 1.43 When the memory or storehouse of modifications of mind is purified, then the mind appears to be devoid of its own nature and only the object on which it is contemplating appears to shine forward; this type of engrossment is known as nirvitarka samapatti. 1.44 In the same way that these engrossments operate with gross objects in savitarka samapatti, the engrossment with subtle objects also operates, and is known as savichara and nirvichara samapatti. 1.45 Having such subtle objects extends all the way up to unmanifest prakriti. 1.46 These four varieties of engrossment are the only kinds of concentrations (samadhi) which are objective, and have a seed of an object. 1.47 As one gains proficiency in the undisturbed flow in nirvichara, a purity and luminosity of the inner instrument of mind is developed. 1.48 The experiential knowledge that is gained in that state is one of essential wisdom and is filled with truth. 1.49 That knowledge is different from the knowledge that is commingled with testimony or through inference, because it relates directly to the specifics of the object, rather than to those words or other concepts. 1.50 This type of knowledge that is filled with truth creates latent impressions in the mind-field, and those new impressions tend to reduce the formation of other less useful forms of habitual latent impressions. 1.51 When even these latent impressions from truth filled knowledge recede along with the other impressions, then there is objectless concentration.
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    Adho Mukha Vṛkṣāsana (ah-doh moo-kah vriks-SHAHS-anna) adho mukha = face downward (adho = downward; mukha = face) vrksa = tree Handstand: Step-by-Step Instructions Step 1 Perform Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward-Facing Dog Pose) with your fingertips an inch or two away from a wall, hands shoulder-width. If your shoulders are tight, turn your index fingers out slightly; otherwise arrange them parallel to each other. If you're uneasy about this pose, you're not alone. To ready yourself for and secure yourself in this inversion, firm your shoulder blades against your back torso and pull them toward your tailbone. Then rotate your upper arms outward, to keep the shoulder blades broad, and hug your outer arms inward. Finally spread your palms and press the bases of the index fingers firmly against the floor. Step 2 Now bend one knee and step the foot in, closer to the wall (we'll say it's the left leg), but keep the other (i.e. right) leg active by extending through the heel. Then take a few practice hops before you try to launch yourself upside down. Sweep your right leg through a wide arc toward the wall and kick your left foot off the floor, immediately pushing through the heel to straighten the left knee. As both legs come off the ground, engage your deep core abdominal muscles to help lift your hips over your shoulders. Hop up and down like this several times, each time pushing off the floor a little higher. Exhale deeply each time you hop. Step 3 Hopping up and down like this may be all you can manage for now. Regularly practice strengthening poses, like Adho Mukha Svanasana and Plank Pose. Eventually you'll be able to kick all the way into the pose. At first your heels may crash into the wall, but again with more practice you'll be able to swing your heels up lightly to the wall. Step 4 If your armpits and groins are tight, your lower back may be deeply arched. To lengthen this area, draw your front ribs into your torso, reach your tailbone toward your heels, and slide your heels higher up the wall. Squeeze the outer legs together and roll the thighs in. Hang your head from a spot between your shoulder blades and gaze out into the center of the room. Step 5 To start stay in the pose 10 to 15 seconds, breathing deeply. Gradually work your way up to 1 minute. When you come down, be sure not to sink onto the shoulders. Keep your shoulder blades lifted and broad, and take one foot down at a time, each time with an exhalation. Stand in Uttanasana for 30 seconds to 1 minute. We tend to kick up with the same leg all the time: be sure to alternate your kicking leg, one day right, next day left. Pose Information Sanskrit Name Adho Mukha Vrksasana Pose Level 1 Contraindications and Cautions Back, shoulder, or neck injury Headache Heart condition High blood pressure Menstruation If you are experienced with this pose, you can continue to practice it late into pregnancy. Don’t, however, take up the practice of Adho Mukha Vrksasana after you become pregnant. Modifications and Props One way to modify Handstand is to brace the crown of your head against a padded support placed on the floor between your hands. A supported head stabilizes your position and is a great confidence booster. But getting exactly the right height can be tricky: if the height is too low, your head won’t be braced; if it’s too high, your neck will get scrunched. Use a yoga block for a base, then pile two or more folded blankets (or a bolster) on top. How high you build the support will depend on the height and the length of your arms. Experiment with different heights until you feel like you have the right one, then position your hands on the floor to either side of it. Walk in from Adho Mukha Svanasana until you can brace your crown on the support and the back of your head against the wall. Then follow the instructions above for moving into the pose. Deepen the Pose Lifting the head to look at the floor is an advanced movement. Be sure not to jam the base of your skull into the back of your neck. Imagine as you lift your head that someone is holding a softball against the nape of your neck. This will help maintain the cervical curve. Also, to lift your head, initiate the movement by pressing your shoulder blades more deeply into your back. Brace your crown against the wall. Then take one heel away from the wall and strongly extend it toward the ceiling. Bring that heel back to the wall and do the same with other. Finally try to take both heels off the wall and balance with only your crown against the wall. Preparatory Poses Adho Mukha Svanasana Bakasana Pincha Mayurasana Plank Pose Supta Virasana Tadasana Uttanasana Virasana Follow-up Poses Sirsasana Pincha Mayurasana Beginner's Tip Many beginners find it difficult to keep their elbows straight in this pose. Buckle a strap and loop it over your upper arms, just above your elbows. Extend your arms straight out in front of you at shoulder width and adjust the strap so that it is snug against your outer arms. Then use the strap in the pose, but think of pushing the arms slightly in, away from the strap, rather than letting them bulge out into the strap. Benefits Strengthens the shoulders, arms, and wrists Stretches the belly Improves sense of balance Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression Partnering A partner can help you get a feel for the movement of the tailbone. Position her in front of you as you’re in the pose. Have her wrap her arms around your pelvis, gripping one wrist in the opposite hand, and cradle the sacrum. Then she can pull the back of your pelvis up, lifting your tailbone toward your heels. Variations You can vary this pose by placing your hands in different positions. For example, you can narrow your hands inside shoulder width, which decreases your base of support and so develops your sense of balance. Or you can turn your hands outward, which will teach you how to externally rotate the upper arms. #yoga-vedanta #rishikesh #YogiGopal
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    How To Do Fish Pose (Matsyasana)? Matsyasana or Fish Pose is one of the best yoga poses for beginners as it is a ‘backbend asana’ that strengthens the upper back and the back of the neck and stretches the muscles of the front of the neck and the muscles between the ribs. The term Matsyasana is a combination of the words ‘Matsya’ (the Sanskrit word for fish) and ‘asana’ (meaning posture). How To Do Fish Pose (Matsyasana) Some Steps Are:- 1. Sit in Dandasana (Staff Pose), with your legs extended in front of you and your spine long. 2. Slowly roll onto your back. Press your palms down and lift up to the top of your head. 3. Walk your fingers toward your feet until your arms are straight—your elbows should be off the floor. Again press down firmly with your palms, and tuck your shoulder blades into your back; this will lift and open your chest and support your neck. 4. Keep your legs and feet strongly engaged. If it feels like there’s too much pressure on your head or spine, see the modifications on page 32. 5. Place your attention on the sensation of your breath right at the edge of your nostrils. Don’t think about or visualize the breath, but actually tune in to the feeling of the wind energy passing in and out of your body. Let your mind settle into this practice of close attention. If you want to learn yoga then you can join 200 Hours Yoga Teacher Training Program (YTTC) which is conducted by one of the best and Registered Yoga School (RYS), Yoga Vedanta at Rishikesh- Yoga capital of the world. This training program is mainly for the beginners. Here you will get the chance to practice yoga under the guidance of experienced instructors as Yogi Anand, Yogi Br Gopal etc., and in the pleasant environment of Rishikesh. For more information about this yoga school, you can visit us at-http://yoga-vedanta.in
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