What is Yoga
Wikipedia: "Yoga refers to traditional physical and mental disciplines originating in India. The word is associated with meditative practices in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. Major branches of yoga in Hindu philosophy include Raja Yoga (Patanjali, meditation and positive thinking), Karma Yoga (do good), Jnana Yoga (think about yourself), Bhakti Yoga (pray to God, the Guru or to your inner self), and Hatha Yoga (body exercises and meditation)."
Before you opt for a particular style of yoga, you should consider what you're looking for. Do you want strenuous exercises (stretching, muscle building, bodystiling) or relaxation (stress reduction, health, peace)? Sporting challenge you will find with Power Yoga, Ashtanga Yoga, Iyengar Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. Relaxation you can find with the normal Hatha Yoga and the Vini Yoga.
Try out what is good for you. Ultimately, every yoga teacher has a personal style. Every yoga teacher has weaknesses and strengths. Learn from any yoga teacher. Find your own way to practice yoga. Use what works for you and accept in any yoga class the things that are not effective for you. Above all, always stay on your path of truth and accuracy. Don´t give up on the door to spirituality.
Ideal is a practice time of fifteen minutes. If you do yoga every day at a certain time for four weeks, your mind gets accustomed to your daily practice. Then Yoga becomes a simple way to preserve your health and your inner happiness. Yoga offers a variety of techniques for the body and the mind. We should practice each yoga exercise so that it works well for us. What hurts us, we omit. What is good for us, we do. We can vary all yoga exercises creatively. We always ask ourselves: "What do I need now and what's good for me? What works best to release my tensions?"
Find your individual rhythm and your individual priorities. Do the breaks at the right moment and in the right track. If you do not want to spend much time with yoga, just do a little practice at the end of the (work) day. Yoga is an ongoing experiment. The way of the effective tension solution is not easy to find. We need to practice yoga with wisdom and inner feeling. A formal practice is not enough. We should first sense our inner tensions and then find the most effective techniques to resolve them. Over the years, you will dissolve one layer of tension after another until the light awakens in you and lasting happiness appears. On the way to self-realization, you will need many different yoga practices. There are specific techniques for each stage of our development.
An important part of daily yoga practice is our motivation. We reflect on the benefits of a daily health and relaxation program. We design our daily yoga practice so that it brings us pleasure. An important aid is beautiful music. If we do the yoga exercises with beautiful music, they seem much easier. Our daily yoga practice has to be designed so that it meets our personal needs and we feel that it is effective and good for us. We can vary our yoga practice. We always do yoga in cooperation with two forces: endurance and joy. These two forces enable us to keep up our yoga path for a lifetime and to continue to grow until we live in the light.
Yogi and Yogini
You are a yogi or a yogini, if you practice Yoga for health, beauty, strength, relaxation or healing. You are a yogi, if you practice Yoga for inner peace, happiness and enlightenment. You are a yogi, if you are enlightened. Enlightenment means to live in God, in the light, in cosmic consciousness.
Modern Yoga teaches the unity of all religions. You can be a yogi and a Hindu, a Christian, a Muslim, a Buddhist or an atheist. The most important Christian yogis were the Desert Fathers and Mothers. Their enlightened master was the Holy Antonius. Many Buddhists live as yogis alone or in a cloister. Overall, most yogis are Hindu. More and more yogis also live in the west.
The three great books of Yoga are the Yoga-Sutra from Patanjali, the Hatha-Yoga-Pradipika from Goraksha and the Bhagawad Gita from Krishna. The basic yoga techniques are positive thinking (Patanjali), meditation (Patanjali), body work (Goraksha), praying (Krishna) and loving all beings (Krishna). To get an initiation from an enlightened master can be very helpful. He or she opens the doors to your enlightenment energy (kundalini energy). Nevertheless, you have to practice Yoga and reach self realization on your own. Enlightenment will happen, when the time is right for you. Important modern Yoga masters are Swami Sivananda, Anandamayi Ma, Sai Baba, Amritanandamayi (Amma) and Mother Meera. They teach the basic paths of truth, peace, love, self discipline and happiness.
Wikipedia: "Hatha Yoga is a system of Yoga introduced by Yogi Swatmarama, a sage of 15th century India, and compiler of the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. In this treatise Swatmarama introduces Hatha Yoga as a way of physical purification that the body practices for higher meditation. The word Hatha is a compound of the words Ha and Tha meaning sun and moon. A Yogi has to join together sun (masculine, active) energy with the moon (feminine, receptive) energy, thus producing balance and enlightenment in an individual."
Hatha Yoga is a strong practice done for healing and purification. Hatha Yoga is what most people in the Western world associate with the word "Yoga" and is most commonly practiced for mental and physical health. The most comprehensive text of Hatha Yoga is the Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Yogi Swatmarama. It includes information about shatkarma (purification), asana (postures), pranayama (subtle breath energy), chakras (centers of energy), kundalini (enlightenment energy), bandhas (energy control), kriyas (purification techniques), nadis (energy channels), and mudras (energy gestures).
Yoga for Beginners
Get the benefits of yoga. Learn yoga from a video with beautiful music. Relax in a few minutes with an easy yoga series. Do it as it is good for you. If you cannot do something, don't do it. The first ten minutes we learn some basic yoga exercises and the last minutes we meditate with some mantras and the muscle relaxation.
1. We lie down on our back and relax.
2. We raise the outstreched right leg and hold it in the air. Then we raise the left leg in the air and hold it.
3. We raise both legs and the head in the air. We hold it as long as possible and breath relaxed in our belly.
4. We go into the candle, raise the butt and the legs to the sky. The hands strengthen our back. We move our feet and relax a minute in the candle.
5. We lie down again and rotate the spine. We turn the pelvis to the right and the head to the left. And the other way round. We twist the spine as far as possible.
6. We turn in the prone position and raise the right outstreched leg. We hold it and breath relaxed in our belly. Then we raise the left leg and hold it in the air.
7. We put our head backwards and bring our feet as far as possible to the head. The legs are in the air and the hands lie beside the body on the ground. They support the position. We hold the Cobra, breath relaxed into the belly and move the feet.
8. We lie the head on our hands, move our feet and relax.
9. We sit cross-legged or in the heel seat. The back is straight and the belly relaxed. We think one minute the mantra "Om Shanti". We think it so fast, that all thoughts come to rest. Then we move a hand in blessing and think: "I send light to (name). May all people be happy. May the world be happy."
10. We lie down and make the muscle relaxation. We tense the muscles of the legs and feet. We relax. We tense the muscles of the arms and hands. We relax. We tense the muscles of the head and the face. We relax. We tense the muscles of the whole body. We relax. We move the feet. We relax completely for some minutes. We go peaceful and happy our way.
Yoga with Positive Thinking
Yoga with positive thinking is very helpful for many people. It allows one to quickly overcome negative tendencies and reach a happy and healthy life. Positive thinking and daily meditation are the two basic techniques of enlightenment.
1. Go = Jog on the spot, with your arms moving by your side. Visualize light, turn around and think, "I go the positive way."
2. Windmill = Straddle your legs apart, bow forward, turn like a windmill into the spinal column and think: "My goals are ...".
3. Frog = Bring your feet together. Bow your upper body forward. Push yourself up with your hands on the floor and move your buttocks down in a crouch and back up in the air. The head goes up to the sky and down to the earth. Practice the frog several times and think: "I have strength and endurance."
4. Arm-leg raising = Lie down on your stomach. Raise your left arm and right leg. Bring both back to the earth and lift the right arm and the left leg. Do this several times. Think, "I take things the way they are."
5. Upper body raising = Lie in the prone position, with your hands on the floor and repeatedly press the upper body up and down. The head goes to the neck and forward. While breathing in and out, think, "I let go of my false desires."
6. Pelvic rotation = In the prone position, turn your pelvis to the right and then to the left. Your head must lie on your hands. Think, "I am sad because ...".
7. Feet = Get your feet moving in the prone position. The head lies relaxed on your hands. Think, "I forgive... (my partner / parents / the cosmos / God), that he/she... I forgive me, that I ...". Whom do you want to forgive today? Think these words until a feeling of sadness arises in you, of letting go and forgiveness.
8. Cycling = Turn on your back, lift your head and move your arms and legs. Think, "My positive thought today is....".
9. Candle = Stretch your legs to the sky. Your hands support you at the back. Visualize the sky, move your feet and think many times the mantra "Heaven", until you feel the light coming down in your body.
10. Meditation = Roll from the candle into your meditation seat (cross-legged or heel seat). Put your hands in your lap. The back is straight and the stomach is relaxed. Move one hand and wrap them and think, "I send light to ... May all people be happy. May the world be happy." Stop all your thoughts for a minute. Relax. What is good in your life?
Wikipedia: "Karma Yoga or the "discipline of action" is based on the teachings of the Bhagavad Gita, a sacred Sanskrit scripture of Hinduism. Karma Yoga is an intrinsic part of many types of yoga. The word Karma is derived from the Sanskrit Kri, meaning 'to do'. Karma Yoga is the path of union (cosmic consciousness) through action. Karma Yoga is described as a way of acting, thinking and willing by which one orients oneself toward realization by acting in accordance with one's duty (dharma) without consideration of personal self-centered desires."
Live in the rest (existence-unity-bliss) and act with love for the happiness of all beings. Follow the three principles of peace, wisdom and love. For some people it is important to live in the outer peace, to achieve the inner peace. Basically, the inner peace is the result of a calm mind. A calm mind we get when we focus in wisdom (Spirituality, God, Yoga) and work continually on our negative qualities, addictions, fears and aggressions.
Everyone should find his personal balance of rest and action. Those who live in the inner balance, save their energy, their physical and mental health. Our mind grows into the light, if we strengthen not only the calmness, but also the positivity and the love in us. We should replace negative thoughts with positive thoughts. We should constantly practice positive thinking, positive speaking and positive doing.
When we facilitate the desire for a happy world, then we grow further towards enlightenment. The secret to this wish is the connection from the inner to the outer world. We are not spiritually separated from other beings. Their happiness affects us. When we visualize other beings as happy, then we also feel happy. Those who encourage the goal to a happy world creates positivity within. When we send light to all beings, then one day light will come through to our souls. When we do something good for the world, the world will reward us with a positive psyche.
There is a danger along the path of unconditional, all-encompassing love. We can overwhelm ourselves and work too hard and have no energy left for happiness. A karma yogi must practice rooted in inner peace. A karma yogi must take care of him or herself, as it is impossible to take care of others unless the self is cared for. Furthermore, a path of exhaustion only leads to burn-out, not enlightenment.
Jesus said, “love God and love your neighbor.” (Meaning, practice spiritually balanced for the development of the self and for the happiness of others.) Swami Shivananda said, “love, serve, give, meditate, purify, and realize your true self.” The Dalai Lama explains, “live balanced by helping and by meditating.“ There are two great goals a human can have. He or she can seek enlightenment or work towards a happier world. At best, we combine the two.
The Ten Ethic Principles of Patanjali
Patanjali is the father of Indian yoga. He lived in the second century BC. In the Yoga Sutra, he grasped the essence of all yoga knowledge together in a few words. The two main sets of Patanjali are, "Yoga is the calming of the mind. Then the yogi lives in the light." To soothe the thoughts Patanjali recommends a two-step way. The first stage is the development of positive ethic qualities (the ten yoga principles). Without positive qualities in meditation inner peace will break through the chaos of the outside world again and again. The second stage of the yogic path is to practice meditation. In meditation we quiet our thoughts completely. We stay in inner peace. At some point we develop the ability to combine meditation and outer action. Then we can always stay in peace and happiness, and at the same time we can fulfill our external obligations.
1. Non-violence (ahimsa) = No killing other beings. Be meek. Be peaceful.
2. Truthfulness (Satya) = Live in the truth. Basically, be honest with yourself and others. Also no little lies of convenience. A lie is permissible only in well justified situations, for example, if you save with a lie the life of another human being. A Yogi is silent in doubt . Those who consistently lives in the truth radiate truth. Their fellow men trust them.
3. Righteousness (Asteya) = Not stealing, not cheating. A Yogi is in professional life generally honest. He does not seek unwarranted advantage, but he is looking for fair trade.
4. Wisdom (Brahmacharia) = Live in the spiritual focus (in the light/in God = Brahman). Do not serve the money (outer luck) but the inner happiness (God, Brahman, enlightenment). Be centered in your inner happiness and peace.
5. Simplicity (Aparigraha) = Be moderate in external enjoyment and consumption. A spiritual person lives modestly outwardly and inwardly rich. A Yogi uses his energy not in outer actions, but lives so peaceful that it turns inward and cleanse his body from the inside. One day, he lives permanently in the light (the cosmos energy).
6. Worship of the spiritual goal (Ishvara-Pranidhana) = Thus we do not lose our spiritual path, it is necessary that we remind ourselves again and again to our spiritual goal. We can worship an image (Goddess, Shiva, Patanjali), we can bow before a statue (Buddha, Jesus, Shiva) or speak a mantra (prayer). What is your spiritual goal? Send light to all beings, and wish a happy world.
7. Sacrifice the ego (Shaucha) = Purification / cleaning. The way into the light passes through the crucifixion of the ego. Without a crucifixion there is no enlightenment. True sacrifice is an art. He who sacrifices too much braced themselves internally. Who sacrifices too little, does not solves his tentions. How do you get inner peace today? "I let go of my false desires. I take things as they are. My sacrifice today is ... "
8. Selfdiscipline (Tapas) = A clear goal, a clear life plan and a clear way of practicing. Tapas means to lead a disciplined life. Follow your inner wisdom and you'll win on your spiritual path.
9. Reading (Svadhyaya) = The daily reading (mantra, meditation) keeps us on the spiritual path, cleanses our spirit, connects us with the enlightened masters and makes us to spiritual victors.
10. Contentment (Santosha) = Satisfied with what one has. Which idea will help you to get into the satisfaction with yourself and your life? "My thought of satisfaction is now ..."
The Path to Inner Happiness
Inner tension and inner conflict occur when people prevent themselves from being at peace and from experiencing true happiness at a deeper level. This inner tension and conflict takes energy, destroys any chance for contentment, and lower one’s overall spiritual positivity. A highly tense and conflicted person tends to have negative thoughts. Love for oneself and others is blocked mentally and spiritually.
Inner conflict can mainly be traced to one’s childhood. In a conflicted society, where pressure to perform and competition is a daily reality ingrained upon its members, a tendency toward conflict and tension is passed on from parents to their children during their upbringing. Parents live out their worries, doubts, fears, aggressions, addictions, and thus influence the spiritual development of their children. Other childhood sources of learned conflict stem from television. Tension in turn then comes from professional stress, strained relationships, divorce, and more, as these children grow up to face similar challenges as their parents face or once faced.
The good news is, whenever this inner conflict builds up inside, it can also be eliminated. The bad news is this can take quite a while. Whenever tension builds over the course of several years, it will also take years to relieve. It is always worth the effort, however, to take on the challenge of curing oneself of such inner negativity. For example, illness later on in life can be avoided as a life full of peace, energy, and positivity is a healthier one.
The amount of inner peace a person possesses correlates oppositely to the amount of tension in one’s body and spirit. The lower the tension, the more positive the life force present. Every person has the potential to find absolute peace and contentment. Everyone can achieve enlightenment. The only thing standing in the way of this goal is our own tension and negativity. Once these darker feelings subside, our inner positive energy grows.
A good way to go about curing oneself of this life force robbing negativity is to practice several spiritual exercises every day. We have to live in a way that facilitates a gravitation towards the light, instead of the dark. Most people in today’s day and age are on a march in the opposite direction. They live day to day feeling egotistical and stressed out. They live their lives focused on creating more tension and end up burnt out, sick, negative, and depressed.
Tension can reside in the body and the soul. The body and the soul are connected, and in order to relieve ourselves of inner tension, we should practice spiritual exercises for both elements. Inner happiness can manifest on a deeper level only when we cleanse ourselves of this inner tension. As people are very individual, no two have the same sorts of tension and negativity. Everyone should therefore experiment with said exercises to find what is best for him or her to direct one’s path in the appropriate way for him or herself to find inner happiness. True contentment can be found as one of the enlightened. The deeper purpose of life is to reach enlightenment.
Overcome Fear, Sadness and Anger
In every life there is pain, loss, illness, loneliness and death. We have no claim to a long life still to be spared by fate. What is your pain today?
1. The problem: Describe briefly your situation and your problem. How exactly is your situation? What is the problem? Where is the center of the problem?
2. The Emotions: What are the feelings it in you? Fear, anger, addiction / desire, grief. What feeling is strongest? Where is the feeling sitting in your body?
3. The thoughts: What thoughts are connected with your feelings? Why are you sad, anxious, angry or longing? Count all your stressful thoughts down. (My thoughts are ...)
4. Thinking: What triggers your problem? What is the way out of your problem? What brings you to love, excitement, fulfillment, fortunately, satisfaction? Think about your problem for so long, until you find a solution. Think about different solutions. Collect all the information you need.
5. Implementation: Follow your positive thoughts. Fulfill your positive life plan. Avoid meaningless brooding. Now is the time to realize powerful. Go your way to victory and be content with you. What is now your positive duty? "My positive sentence is ...."
Don´t work too much. Don´t rest too much. Find your personal balance. Stay healthy and happy. Do every day some spiritual exercises. Do Computer Yoga every day. It is very easy. Relax in a few minutes. Go positiv through your life. God bless you.
1. Move your head and think the mantra 5 to 10 times "Om" in your head. Turn your head left and right. Forward and backward.
2. Move your shoulders, so that all tensions resolve. What is the best way for you? Move forward, and another way round. Move with your elbows and think "Om, Om, Om..." And another way round. Om..
3. Move your spine to the right and left side. The head also. Think "Om , Om, Om.. " in your spine.
4. Move your feet on the ground. Say "Om" in your belly, in your legs, in your feet and in the earth. Concentrate on the whole earth and think the mantra "Earth".
5. Massage your body from head to feet. Put your hands over your head together, rub the palms, visualize the sky above you and say the mantra "Heaven". The light comes down and you massage the light into your face, your eyes, your ears, your whole body and think "Light, Light..." Fill yourself with light. Move your feet, fill light into the earth and think, "Light ..."
6. Move your hand and send light so your people, "I send light to ... May all people be happy. May all the world be happy."
7. Rub your palm together, think on the enlightened masters and say, "Om all enlightened masters, please help me on my way." Now you can ask a question. Think about your life. What are your goals? What is your way? Hear the answer within you. Feel the answer inside. What is the answer?
8. Put your hands on your legs or your belly. Make your mind calm and think the mantra "Om" in your head, your thorax, your belly, your legs, feet, in the earth and in the whole cosmos. "Om Om Om Shanti Om Peace Om Peace Om Shanti Om Peace ..."
9. Stop one minute all your thinking. Sit only there. Don´t think.
10. What do you have to take in your life? Take it. What is your positive sentence now? What helps you to go positive through your day and your life? "My positive sentence is: I am optimistic. I go my way optimistic."
---> Computer Yoga with Yogi Nils. Relax in 8 minutes.
- A yogi life
- Yoga oracle
- Yoga and Christianity
- Reincarnation and Christianity
- Prahlad Jani - yogi without food
- Relaxation techniques
- Laughter Yoga
- Rune Yoga
- How to Find God Through the Path of Enlightenment
- How to Do the Yoga of Love
- How to Live Permanently in Love
- List of yoga postures (Wikipedia)
- Yoga Basic Knowledge and Exercises
- "Dr. Joseph Michael Levry"
- Download Wikibook Yoga with Yoga Oracle in various formats (PDF, Epub, Kindle).
- Yoga and the dance of life (PDF, Epub, Kindle).