Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Everything That You Need

Here is everything that you need. There is something in here that you can do everyday (and it does not have to be asana!)
The Hatha Yoga Pradipika(+/- 1350 CE): “Hatha Yoga shines forth as a stairway for those who wish to ascend to the highest stage of yoga: Raja (PataƱjali) Yoga” I.1[Hatha Yoga is nothing but a steppingstone. It is not the end goal]

The Yoga Sutras of PataƱjali: “Yoga is the cessation of the fluctuations of the mind.” I.2

The Bhagavad Gita: “Whatever you do, whatever you eat, whatever you give, whatever you offer in sacrifice,  whatever austerities you perform, do so as an offering…” IX.27

The Isha Upanishad: “The Supreme is enshrined in the hearts of all. The Supreme is the ultimate Reality. Rejoice in It through renunciation (of separate existence). Covet nothing. All belongs to The Supreme” 1 ["If all of the Upanishads and all the other scriptures happened all of a sudden to be reduced to ashes, and if only the first verse of the Ishopanishad were left in the memory of the Hindus, Hinduism would live forever." M.K. Gandhi]

The Ramayana: RAMA

Asana (Postures/Physical Practice. Observe this order):
         Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation): 6/10/12 rounds as fast as you can
         Sirshasana (Headstand), or variation
         Sarvangasana (Shoulderstand), or variation
         Matsyasana (Fish)
         Paschimottanasana (Seated Forward Bend, lit. “Intense stretch of the West side of the body”)
         Bhujangasana (Cobra), or Dhanurasana (Bow)
         Ardha Matsyendrasana (Spinal Twist, lit. “Half Lord of the Fishes Twist”)
         Savasana (Corpse pose)

Kriya (Cleansing Actions):
         Agnisara: Abdominal pumping
         Nauli: Abdominal churning (substitute Uddiyana bandha)

Pranayama (Breath Control):
         Nadi Shodhana: Alternate nostril breathing. Using right hand, close right nostril with thumb. Inhale (puraka) thru left, close both and retain (kumbhaka), exhale (rechaka) through right. Inhale right, close both/retain, exhale left.  This is 1 round. Complete 6-12 rounds. Eventual ratio is 1:4:2 (puraka:kumbhaka:rechaka).

         Posture: Sit with the head, neck, and spine erect (Bhagavad Gita VI.13), equalize the incoming and outgoing breath moving through the nostrils, eyes fixed at the base of the nose (i.e. between the eyebrows). (Bhagavad Gita V.27)  Focus on any of the following (only one focal point per session):
·         Count each exhale from 1-10 (in, one; in two, etc.). If you lose your count, start at 1. Starting at 1 is more important than getting to 10
·         Name the breath SO (inhale) HAM (exhale), or IN / OUT (Soham: I am That)
·         Mentally repeat your mantra. Do not try to time it to the breath. It will find its own rhythm
         USE A TIMER! Begin practicing daily for 5 minutes. Increase slowly and gradually over time.

Most Important of All:
         It is better to do just a little practice everyday than to do a long practice once a week or once in awhile. The only wrong way to practice is to do no practice at all. I believe that you can do it!

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