Articles by Ajaryans
Importance of Ashtanga Yoga

In terms of Ashtanga Yoga, it started back in the 20th century, and it was found that there were a few people who influenced it, including Krishnamacharya, Rama Mohan, Pattabhi jobs, and T.K.U Desikachar. It was Pattabhi who developed the main features of Ashtanga, but it was based on Hatha Yoga Ashtanga goal on benefits is to promote harmony within the individuals, to create a greater view of our own reality.

There are many others benefits of the practice of Ashtanga including increase ment clarity Strength, flexibility, decrease stress and balances body and mind. All these benefit come along with Patanjali`s eight limbs of Ashtanga.

These 8 limbs are:
  • Yama: how we relate to others and all moral lodes
  • Niyama: how we relate to ourselves, and our self-purification
  • Asana: how we relate to our body through yoga postures
  • Pranayama: how we relate to our breath and control the breath.
  • Pratyahara: how w relate to our sense organs, and how we withdraw the mind from the senses
  • Dharana : how we relate to our mind through concentration
  • Dhyana: how can we move beyond the mind through meditation of deep meditation
  • Samadhi: our deep realization via meditation absorption and union with the object of meditation and the essence of god.

Forth more, the 4 first limbs are linked directly with external cleansing practices, whereas the other 4 can be considered internal cleansing practices, control of mind.

These limbs ate interconnected, and each limb influence the next, for example, by practicing the physical postures, breath awareness and mindfulness should be carried out. Then the body will become steady and the mind will begin to experience clarity and peace.

Before taking this course I had never heard of Ashtanga yoga and now after studying it.

I believe that this is one of the most complete yoga practices, as it not only works our physical, but also our mind creating unification between body and mind. The ultimate goal in to achieve peace, good health, harmony and live incalmness.

In my opinion, the most important limb is Samadhi, the final stage where thee connection with god is aimed. In order to achieve this stage, all the other limbs should be practiced and you should have the total control of your mind and feelings of ignorance, egoism, likes and dislikes, and attachment to material things.

Thanks Patanjali for all these teachings. I am sure they will make my life a lot better!

  • Patanjali Yoga Sutra Paricaya BKS Iyengar, Moraji Desai Institute
  • Four chapters on freedom Swami Satyananda Saraswati Yoga Publication Trust
  • Ashtanga Yoga Practice and Philosophy Gregor Maehle

Role of Yoga in maintaining Holistic health

There is no doubt that the practice of yoga has a significant impact in maintaining Holistic health as whole.

The purpose of this paper is to explain the improving our physical and mental health. For that the paper will be divided into 2 parts. The first will cover the meaning of holistic health and the importance of keep in good health, and the second part of the essay aim to explore the practice of yoga and its benefits.

What I understand about the definition of holistic health is an integrated system including physical, mental, spiritual and emotional. It also takes into consideration the whole individual well being and the influences of social, psychological and environment that affect health. If one part is affected can influence in all others, as below:

It is essential to keep a balance between mind, body and spirit paying attention to the external influences.

People can live a life full of Joy, and love when they achieve and maintain this balance. They can also have a great impact in other’s people lives.

We need more love in the world; we need more people caring for each other and less competition and greed.

This is when the practice of yoga and its philosophies play an important role into society.

There are innumerous benefits of yoga which can improve our holistic health as a whole.

Briefly these benefits can be divided into physical and mental benefits as discussed in class:

Some examples of physical benefits are:
  • Improves fitness and concentration
  • Keep the body flexible
  • Works on various internal systems like endocrine,digestive,respiration, circulation, etc.
  • Decreases tension

Some examples of the mental benefits are:
  • Clams and disciplines the mind
  • Improve concentration
  • Give control of our emotions, and temper
  • creates a positive vibe/energy which in turn promotes a happierattitude

These mental and physical benefits can be achieved by people all ages, inclusive children. Pregnant women, disabled, overweight, and stress sufferers can regular practice.

Any types of deceases can be cured, and the all body function will begin to work in synergy. The energy will follow throughout the organs and systems.

For example, benefits can be seeing on the endocrine systems. Asanas combined with breathing can work and massage different glands and organs increasing their blood supply, this in turn increases the level of oxygen present on the organs improving their functionality.

As seeing in class, each Asana aims to promote a healthy body and also balance the mind.

Another way to promote a balanced system is via practicing Pranayamas. Controlling and regulating the breath has many benefit to the overall holistic health.

Pranayama /Prana are the universal principle of energy. Swami Sivananda has pointed out that is through the power of Prana that the ear hears, the eye sees, the skin feels, the tongue tastes, the nose smells and the organs perfumes their respective functions. Furthermore, Prana makes the blood pump from our heart into the arteries and has an great impact on our excretion and secretion function.

All these points mentioned above are inter related with our holistic health

In my own experience of practicing Pranayama in class for 1 week, has already started to alter not only some functions of my body but also has had an impact on my thoughts and energy levels. The body functions I can feel that my digestion system is working better, more regularly (maybe the curry is also helping ), and I have been sleeping deeply and restful, No doubt that the Asanas are also improving and helping on the digestion system, on the sleeping patterns, body and muscles toning.

I am losing weight improving my posture and I am more flexible within this one week!

In terms of mental benefits, I am happier, full of energy and positive thoughts, calm and relaxed, I am more focused, controlling my emotions and feeling great!

I can firmly say that the practice of yoga and Pranayamas daily is changing my life and I will keep practicing it for as longer as I can.

It will be also rewarding be able to teach others about its many benefits. I just hope that I can keep this state of mind when I go back to the “normal “world, back to work and to the busy routine (I am not looking for it at all) all these knowledge will be with me for forever!

Illustrate the flow of digestive Systems and explain the functions of liver and pancreas in digestion process as well as the effect of yoga practices on digestive system

This paper will be dived into 4 sections. The first section will describe the main characterizes of the digestive system, and then will briefly describe the function of pancreas and liver. the third section aim to explain how yoga can improve the digestion process.

It has been found on the research that the flow of digestive system starts on the mouth, by the ingestion of food. The digestive system consists of approximately 32 feet of tubing that starts at the mouth and ends at the anus.

The process occurs in stages:
  • Ingestion of food
  • Digestion of food into the mouth and small intestine
  • Absorption into the small and large intestine
  • Assimilation: transportation of the rest of the food
  • Rejection: undigested foods are expelled.

Throughout this process, the food passes down the esophagus, and then to the stomach. Is in the stomach where the food is mixed with acids and enzymes to be digested.

After the stomach, muscles push the food to the small intestine where there is a breakdown of milk, protein and fats by the gastric juices.

Then the food travels to the duodenums where it is further digested, going to the jejunum and small intestine where absorption of proteins, sugars, mineral, glycerol, parts, vitamins and glycoside occurs. This is an important part of the digestion as it is where the goodies will be passing on to the bloodstream.

TheRemain food called faeces moves to the rectum for defecation.

These organs should work in completely balance to promote our general health, physical and mental balance each organ plays an essential role during the digestion process.

For example, the liver and pancreas are also part of the system.

The liver is located above the stomach. Its main function is to produce bile for the absorption of fats, cholesterol and vitamins D and D.

And there are many others functions performed by the liver:
  • Store vitamins B12, A and D
  • Break down chemicals
  • Destroy red blood cells
  • Manufacture protein, and purify the blood.

As important as the liver, is the pancreas. The pancreas is located behind the stomach and its main function is to produce some enzymes. These are:

  • Insulin (which helps the glucose to be taken into body cells)
  • Pancreatic juices (which neutralize the gastric acids, spill fats, splits starch to maltose, and then maltose to glucose, and split protein

Now the characteristics and the process of the digestive system have been presented, the following part of the paper will discuss the benefits of yoga on the digestive system.

In my own experience the practice of yoga has definitely improve the function of my digestion system. The regular practice of yoga can help in cleansing and keep the abdominal area in good health. Not only Asanas, but also Pranayamas .

The practice of yoga can improve drastically most of abdomen diseases such as:
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Constipation
  • Colitis
  • Gastro- Enteritis
  • and obesity

And consequently this contributes to a healthier and happier life.

There are a few yoga practices that can directly impact on the abdomen area. For example,Padahastasana, mareechasana, Pindasana, among others. These massage the abdomen area and improve the function of the all system.Combined with asanas, practice of Pranayamas, for example, nadisodhan or bhramari can also help in increase the oxygen in cells and in turn, improve digestion.

To conclude, I believe that regular practice of yoga, combined with a balanced diet and meditation have a major play in improving the digestive system.

It is important maintain a health digestive system to achieve happiness in life, and appreciation of life without pain.

Question 4—

Schools of yoga

It has been found on the literature that the subject on the types of yoga schools can be very broad. It seems that there are different approaches to the types of schools depending on western or Indian tradional.

I found in some of the western books there is a tendency of classifying the schools as:

Hatha, power, Iyengar, kriya, Sivananda, ashtanga and others.

In the other hand, it was found on traditional Indian books that the schools of yoga are:

Hatha, mantra, laya, Jnana, kundalini Bhakti karma and Raja.

The purpose of this paper will be to explain the different types of yoga schools according to Indian approaches. The features and benefits of each school will be briefly discussed as following:

  • Hatha/Raja Yoga

Hatha can be considered the mother of all other yogas. Hatha and Raja yoga are linked in a way that one depends on the other, Hatha is the path for Raja.Raja is the supreme yoga, the yoga of mind and senses and consists of the 8 limbs of yamas, niyamas, asanas, pranayamas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.

Hatha yoga is more the physical side of yoga, consists of asanas and pranayama in general once the body and mind is in control then students can move to Raja Yoga. Before explaining the other types it is important to mention that all yogas schools have the same objective or aim, that is self- realization, state of liberation, illumination, enlightenment, union with god or divine.

Continuing with the types of schools of yoga, Jnana, karma, bhakti, mantra and kundalini will be explained below:
  • Jnana Yoga

Basically, Jnana yoga is one path for knowledge and wisdom. It calls for self study and comes by meditation and detachment, but to achieve this knowledge students need to learn to listen, to think and understand and deeply concentrate on meditate. They can practice while walking or eating, there is no need to do asanas and they are already in SamadhiState.

  • Karma Yoga

Selfless that is how we can describe Karma Yoga.

Practiced by Gandhi and mother Tereza, aim to stop the “I” one of the roots that causes suffering.

The path of action is achieved by selfless service to others.

And by doing god actions, good thing will come to you, and the other way around.

These are 3 types of Karma Yoga.
  • Samchita karma: which is the accumulation of actions.
  • Prarabdha: energy from past life/karmas.
  • Agami: fruit of action to be experience in the future.
  • Bhakti Yoga

Some argue that Bhakti yoga is the path for devotion and worship of the divine and this path is open to everyone rich or poor, uneducated and educated. The devotee should make absolute self-surrender.

He develops, devotion to Lord by chanting, singing, remembering his name and his presence, worshipping him, loving him, praying for him and studying the Holy Scriptures.

  • Mantra Yoga

We are having the pleasure of learning Mantra Yoga with Prajit. In class we practice Mantra Yoga by chanting repetition.

One example is the Chakras Mantra:


Or the Ganapa thaye mantra:


Ganapathaye vara ve varada sarvajanme

Vashama naya swana

I found this technique a great way to concentrate, in order to clear the mind, and because of the devotion factor attached to the chanting. I could feel a good energy and vibrations going around me.

  • Kundalini Yoga or Laya Yoga

This last type of yoga is related with the chakras. It basically aims to balance the energy on the body in order to establish balance, harmony and purification of the chakras. The chakras are:
  • Muladhara: Root center located at the cross center
  • Svadhistana: sacral chakra located at the cross center
  • Manipura: Solar plexus chakra located at the naval center
  • Anahata: or heart chakra at the heart center
  • Vishuddha: or communication chakra located at the neck/ throat
  • Ajna Chakra: the third eye, the inner eye or the command chakra.

And the highest the Sahasrara chakra. All the chakras are connected and the energy follows from one to another to generate spiritual power/ energy.

This energy is call Kundalini.

In conclusion, I found very interesting to learn about these different types of yoga schools. In my opnion, all types of schools are inter related/inter connected and one can`t be effective without the influence of the other, and each one has its different benefits and purpose.

I believe that each student should see an experience Baba or Guru in order toFind which school is more suitable for their particular need, taste, temperament, life style and believes I personally tend to like Hatha Yoga because emphasis on the 8 limbs of yoga. However, I can also identify with Karma, Bhakti and Kundalini types of yoga. The reason being that I enjoy serving others and help people by doing volunteer activities and working on the field of human resources. Where I spend most of the day involved and solving people`s problems without expecting anything back.

With Bhakti Yoga, I do love and devote to god every time I pray I grow up in a family with different religions, Christianity, Buddhism, Spiritualism, and others, so I learnt to respect their fundaments and love only one superior energy/god.

And so, I do agree that our body is made of not only of material (body, skin) but there are energy chakras or even the koshas in which we need to project a good energy and to finally achieve liberation.

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