Hatha Yoga

MATSYASANA – FISH – a variation
An easier variation than the lotus fish, a cross legged fish adds a deep thigh stretch while the legs are in cross legged position. Begin by lying on the back and crossing the legs, catching hold of the feet. Then ease the crossed legs with knees to the mat. When inhaling push up onto the elbows and lift the hips. Keep holding the feet. Bring knees as close to the floor as possible. Then lift the chest and lightly rest the top of the head on the mat. This can be done in one move, onto the elbows and knees and pushing up the chest. The tip is not to rest the hips on the feet, but on the elbows, and use the strength in the quadriceps, back and core muscles to help lift the hips and push up the chest. Hold up to a minute, then release slowly, lower the back slowly onto the mat and uncross the legs. Stretch the neck by looking at the feet, then relax in corpse pose. Cross legs the opposite way when next repeating this pose.

BENEFITS:
• As for the fish pose, a good counteracting for kyphosis and rounding of the shoulders.
• This variation tones the back and quads, opens the chest and ribs.
• Is the counter pose to the shoulder stand and plough.

CAUTION: Hyper extension of neck may cause discomfort, dizziness. The fish should then be omitted or practiced very briefly for just a few breaths at your discretion.

This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.

Other yoga tips at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html
God is Love. God is sweeter than the sweetest thing, the inflowing honey and nectar. –
Swami Sivananda

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Discourse IV: Kaivalya Pada- On Realization
IV.21. CITTANTARA-DRSYE BUDDHI-BUDDHER ATIPRASANGAH SMRTI-SAMSKARAS CA
‘If one mind could perceive another, then there would be cognition of cognition, as well as confusion of memory.’

Commentary:
The mind can neither perceive itself nor perceive another mind, for if this were the case there would be complete confusion of the knowledge and memory of the different minds. The mind is but an instrument; all knowledge comes from beyond it.

From Discourse II: “Sadhana Pada – On Spiritual Disciplines”
II.33. VITARKA-BADHANE-PRATIPAKSA-BHavanAM
“When negative or harmful thoughts disturbs the mind, they can be overcome by constant pondering over their opposites.”

Commentary:
The yogi is ever alert, watching his mind. When he sees useless thought waves arising, he immediately replaces them with positive thoughts, thus creating new mental habits that are conducive to spiritual growth.

When you are free from attachment to all external objects, the mind will be at peace. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Bhagavad Gita Quote

Chapter XI: The Yoga of the Vision of the Cosmic Form

XI.38. TWAMAADIDEVAH PURUSHAH PURAANAS TWAMASYA VISHWASYA PARAM NIDHAANAM;
VETTAASI VEDYAM CHA PARAM CHA DHAAMA TWAYAA TATAM VISHWAMANANTAROOPA.
(Arjuna speaking to Krishna)

Thou art the primal God, the ancient Purusha, the supreme refuge of this Universe, the knower, the knowable and the supreme abode. By Thee is the Universe pervaded, O Being of infinite forms!

Renunciation alone can make you fearless and happy. – Sri Swami Sivananda

Glossary

PRAKRITI – the primordial creative force
Prakriti refers to a primordial creative or natural force; the natural or original intended state of something or of an individual’s being. The term is derived from the Sanskrit pra, meaning “beginning,” and kriti, meaning “creation.”
Prakriti is composed of three gunas (elements):
Rajas – Creation
Sattva – Preservation
Tamas – Destruction

The three gunas give movement to the force of Prakriti in the world, allowing modification and change to that which is primal and original in nature. Prakriti is considered to be a feminine, creative energy. Its counterpart, Purusha, is the masculine energy.

VICHARA – the enquiry into the real nature of things.

Vichara results in Viveka or discrimination between the real and the unreal.
Atma Vichara is a yogic practice that involves analysis or inquiry into the Self. The term comes from the Sanskrit, atma, which means the “self” or “soul,” and vichara, meaning thought, deliberation” or analysis. Atma Vichara is one of the main practices of Jnana yoga, or the yoga of knowledge.

Vichara results in Viveka or discrimination between the real and the unreal. It helps the aspirant to sift the true from the false. Swami Sivananda asserts that without cogitation, the Truth cannot be known or realized. Vichara sharpens the intellect and leads to the discernment of the Truth that lies behind the phenomenal universe. Swami Sivananda suggests that the spiritual aspirant should practice Vichar.
The justification for this method of Vichara or enquiry is contained in the saying, “As you think, so you become”. By constant reflection on the Reality behind the appearances, the seeker attains oneness with the Reality and becomes that Reality itself.

ATI-PRASNA – a transcendental question

The question, “Why has God created the world?”, is an Ati-prasna question.

The Mind generally plays this trick of asking ‘Ati-Prasna’ during the initial stages of practice of vichara. As Swami Sivananda states, these ati prasnas, or transcendental questions, are questions that are beyond the scope of human mind and intellect. There can’t be a suitable explanation for these questions within the scope of humanity’s words and ideas. Generally, the Mind plays the vichara by showing few ati-prasnas without a solution within its domain and hints that vichara is not much use. However, the key is to get over these open ended questions like this and continue ahead on one’s path. The Ati-Prasna hints to the sadhaka there is a greater phenomenon than life on Earth and to search for the Truth that lies behind the phenomenal universe.

When you are free from attachment to all external objects, the mind will be at peace. – Sri Swami Sivananda

MATSYASANA – FISH
An easier variation than the lotus fish, a cross legged fish adds a deep thigh stretch while the legs are in cross legged position. Begin by lying on the back and crossing the legs, catching hold of the feet. Then ease the crossed legs with knees to the mat. When inhaling push up onto the elbows and lift the hips. Keep holding the feet. Bring knees as close to the floor as possible. Then lift the chest and lightly rest the top of the head on the mat. This can be done in one move, onto the elbows and knees and pushing up the chest. The tip is not to rest the hips on the feet, but on the elbows, and use the strength in the quadriceps, back and core muscles to help lift the hips and push up the chest. Hold up to a minute, then release slowly, lower the back slowly onto the mat and uncross the legs. Stretch the neck by looking at the feet, then relax in corpse pose. Cross legs the opposite way when next repeating this pose.

BENEFITS:
• As for the fish pose, a good counteracting for kyphosis and rounding of the shoulders.
• This variation tones the back and quads, opens the chest and ribs.
• Is the counter pose to the shoulder stand and plough.

CAUTION: Hyper extension of neck may cause discomfort, dizziness. The fish should then be omitted or practiced very briefly for just a few breaths at your discretion. This yoga asana is an edited contribution for the Sivananda Gurugram partly sourced and edited from the Sivananda Publication : “Yoga: Your Home Practice Companion” – Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre – 2010.
Other yoga tips at http://www.sivananda.org/teachings/asana/101tips.html
God is Love. God is sweeter than the sweetest thing, the inflowing honey and nectar. –Swami Sivananda

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Raja Yoga

From Discourse IV:
“Kaivalya Pada – On Realization”

IV.11.
HETU-PHALASRAYALAMBANAIH SAMGRHITATVAD ESAM ABHAVE TADABHAVAH

“Desires are held together by cause, effect, support and objects; and when these disappear, so do the desires.”

Commentary:

What gives momentum to desires is cause and effect, past Karma, the activity of the mind
which creates the desires and the objects of the desires. When these foundations are removed so are the desires.

and

From Discourse III:
“Vibhuti Pada- On Divine Powers”

III.56.
SATTVA-PURUSAYOH SUDDHI-SAMYE KAIVALYAM

“Kaivalya (liberation) is attained when there is equality between “sattwa” (purity) and ‘Purusha'(the Soul).”

Commentary:

Liberation takes place when the mind has the same purity as “Purusha” itself. The purified
mind recognizes its nature as “Purusha”. The essence of this nature is, and always has been, bliss, freedom, peace, Self-sufficiency and perfection.

Bhagavad Gita Quote

Chapter XVI: The Yoga of the Division Between the Divine and the Demoniacal

XVI.10. KAAMAMAASHRITYA DUSHPOORAM DAMBHAMAANAMADAANVITAAH;
MOHAADGRIHEETVAASADGRAAHAAN PRAVARTANTE’SHUCHIVRATAAH.
(Krishna speaking to Arjuna)
Filled with insatiable desires, full of hypocrisy, pride and arrogance, holding evil ideas through delusion, they (the demoniacal) work with impure resolves.
XVI.11. CHINTAAMAPARIMEYAAM CHA PRALAYAANTAAMUPAASHRITAAH;
KAAMOPABHOGAPARAMAA ETAAVADITI NISHCHITAAH.
Giving themselves over to immeasurable cares ending only with death, regarding gratification of lust as their highest aim and feeling sure that that is all.
XVI.12. AASHAAPAASHASHATAIRBADDHAAH KAAMAKRODHAPARAAYANAAH;
EEHANTE KAAMABHOGAARTHA MANYAAYENAARTHASANCHAYAAN.
Bound by a hundred ties of hope, given over to lust and anger, they strive to obtain by unlawful means hoards of wealth for sensual enjoyment. Cling not to your ego, your lower self and limited mundane life. – Sri Swami Sivananda

2019-03-01T04:46:53+00:00