Patanjali yoga postures pdf,how to raise a confident child book list,change leadership framework - 2016 Feature


There is no better place to discover the wisdom of the body-mind connection than on our yoga mats, where the physical postures or asanas we do cultivate strength, flexibility and vibrant health, as well as an awareness of the psychological effects of the practice. Eight limbs of yoga were first described by Patanjali in his Yoga Sutras over five thousand years ago. Today we take a look at the eight step plan of yoga in the hope that you can deepen your yoga practice and liberate yourself from suffering.  Read on, absorb the teachings, do a bit of self-inquiry, and create positive change in your life! Restrain your actions by not harming others (ahimsa), being truthful (satya), not stealing (asteya), being sexually appropriate (bramacharya) and not being greedy (aparigraha). Ensure the actions you take toward your own body and mind cultivate purity (sauca), contentment (santosha), self-discipline (tapas), self-study (svadhyaya) and devotion (ishvara pranidhana). Pra?ayama refers to specific breath control techniques designed to nourish the quality and flow of pra?a in the body.
Withdrawl of the senses is an important part of yoga because the input we get from the external world through the sense organs pulls our attention wildly from one thing to another, causing an agitated mind. Dhyana is the state of meditative absorption that happens when you can effortlessly hold the focus of dharana. When all mental activity ceases and you become ‘one’ with your environment, making no distinction between yourself and the objects you experience, then there is samadhi – bliss, ecstasy! If we concentrate too much on asana and neglect the energetic practise we burn ourselves out, drying our organs and skin until they don’t have the support they need (bbq skin!) and ultimately limiting our lives. Just a bit of trivia: Patanjali is credited as the first person to compile and write down the yoga sutras. The yoga sutras existed long before Patanjali, which only strengthens their position as excellent principles by which to reach peace.
This valuable book provides a complete manual for the study and practice of Raja Yoga, the path of concentration and meditation. Aimed at the regular person, they are practical steps you can take to reach enlightenment – a sustained and profound happiness. But the asanas or physical postures we practice are only comfortable and steady if the mind and body are free of toxins. When the sense organs are withdrawn from objects that cause unwanted thought waves to arise, the mind is more easily stilled.


Fixing the mind exclusively on one object of concentration cultivates focus, creating the conditions necessary for your thought waves to go in one direction instead of in many different directions. When you stop identifying with your thoughts and the fluctuations of the mind, you come to rest like a lotus flower floating tranquilly on the surface of a pond. The mind completely merges with the true self, the all-pervading pure consciousness that exists in us all, which is who we really are. Traditionally the sutras are compact aphorisms that are designed for easy oral transmission, so Patanjali simply did us all the favour of writing them in a volume for posterity. This new deluxe printing of these timeless teachings is a treasure to be read and referred to again and again by seekers treading the spiritual path. When we feel stiffness, tension or pain in the spine, legs, hips or hands it brings our awareness to areas of the body that need our loving attention. When practiced appropriately, over time, pra?ayama cultivates a steady mind and a higher state of awareness. So take some time each day to turn off your television and phone, close your eyes and just be. The object of concentration can be anything, from an external object such as a candle flame or a point on the floor, or something internal such as the breath or a mantra. At this point you go into a time warp and merge with consciousness, no longer aware of your body or the external world. Reaching a state of samadhi is what we are working towards and is an attainable goal in this lifetime. In this way, we are able to unblock the blockages and go back to our natural state – free movement, empty mind, connection on all levels. Our children will always have more pure insides than us, our physical practise will never match theirs. The classic Sutras (thought-threads), at least 4,000 years old, cover the yogic teachings on ethics, meditation, and physical postures, and provide directions for dealing with situations in daily life. In this way we work towards creating a supple healthy body and pure mind that can sit comfortably in meditation.
It also expands the prana that pervades the body through the nadis, strengthening our aura or energy field.


On the mat, particularly during balances, it is helpful to have a ‘drishti’ or point of focus where the gaze rests (a) so that you don’t fall over, and (b) to focus and engage the mind so you can move into a state of deep concentration. The mind is clean, and with clear perception can reflect your soul or true self, happy and free. So keep up your practice and make time each day to tune into the divine presence that is you, and all around you.
Na?i sodhana or alternate nostril breathing is suitable for the beginner and advanced student alike.
Simply closing your eyes in tadasana or when bringing your head to your knee in seated poses such as janu sirasana or pascimottanasana, promotes inner focus and a quiet mind. This is why we naturally trust children, they are inherently good and natural and pure and without alterior motive. The highest level of yoga then is threefold: living long, living healthy and passing away naturally and without pain. It clears the nadis known as ida (feminine energy) and pingala (masculine energy), promoting a calm, clear and balanced mind. With consistent practice over time, pratyahara happens automatically during yoga practice; your awareness moves within, unaffected by the external world. If you’ve ever tried balancing on one leg while stretching the other toward the ceiling, you will know it is near impossible with an agitated mind!
Asanas also purify the network of subtle energy pathways in the body known as nadis, and improve the flow of energy or prana.
Using drishtis, where appropriate, intensifies concentration, a necessary precursor for meditation.



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