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Hatha Yoga Tip

INCLINED PLANE with an added leg and arm variation.

Use as a counter pose after forward bend. Sit with legs outstretched in front, feet together, yet relaxed. Place hands behind you about a foot away on the mat with straight arms. Push your chest forward and drop your head back. Inhale, lifting up hips as high as you can while pushing your feet into the floor. Hold your breath in the pose and then lower the hips back to the mat with an exhalation. Repeat the pose twice more if desired. With practice, hold the pose longer, breathing rhythmically, up to 30 seconds. Relax in corpse pose. Tip: Keep feet parallel on the mat in the pose and legs straight. Hold hips high and head back while relaxing the neck. Keep the chest high. Keep the fingers pointing back away from the body.

• Strengthen arms, legs, and back.
• Opens the chest, rib cage and abdomen area.
• Maintain core strength.

Try these variations to incorporate use of the abdominal muscles and further strengthen arms:

VARIATION 1: In the pose with hips held high, raise one leg up straight, once to three times, replacing the foot and repeating with the other leg. Lower the hips back to the mat.
VARIATION 2: In the pose with hips held high and without turning the hips or turning them as little as possible, shift weight to one arm, inhale and lift the other arm straight up. Turn the face upward, to keep the head aligned with the spine. Keep the chest elevated. Exhale and lower the arm with hand back on mat to original pose. Lower hips and relax in corpse pose.

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.

The goal is to become God, to become one with God. This is achieved through ceaseless practice of meditation, after establishing oneself in virtue and goodness. – Swami Sivananda

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SAKSHI – Witness

NIMITTA – Cause; Instrument

BHAV – Feeling; perception; direct experience; mental attitude; subjective state of being; attitude of mind; state of realization in the heart or mind; a right feeling and frame of mind; right intention; right imagination; right mental disposition; purity of thought. Bhava is a Sanskrit term; there is no proper equivalent in English. It means mental attitude or mental disposition. Bhava is internal feeling. There are three kinds of Bhavas, viz., Sattvic Bhava, Rajasic Bhava and Tamasic Bhava according to the nature of the quality that predominates in man. Sattvic Bhava is divine Bhava. It is Suddha Bhava. Just as thought or memory or will can be cultivated or developed by practice, so also, Bhava can be developed.

Sakshi Bhav – The attitude of remaining as a witness. Nimitta Bhav – The attitude of performing as an instrument of God. A devotee that always thinks that God does everything and they are only an instrument (Nimitta), directed by the hands of God, then this is Nimitta Bhava. The Bhavas of a Bhakta and a Vedantin differ. The Vedantin entertains Sakshi and Akarta Bhavas. The Bhakta entertains Nimitta Bhava. The Vedantin develops Brahma Bhava. The Bhakta develops Dasya Bhava, and so on.

Prayer invokes the inner potential of the individual which flow only from God. Prayer can certainly work miracles. – Sri Swami Sivananda