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positive effect on body and mind:
Even in the first lesson everybody will experience the relaxing and energising effect of yoga. More than 18 million Americans now practice yoga, up from 6 million in 1994, according to a 1998 survey conducted by the Wall street Journal and NBC. Traditional Hatha Yoga includes some meditation, pranayama, energy work and asanas (postures). You will learn basic terms such as mudras, kundalini kriyas, bandhas and chakras. A fun and relaxing, yet challenging class for beginners, intermediate and advanced students, who want to get a taste of the over 5000 year old ancient Eastern practice for the body, mind and spirit. In "Hatha Yoga" you use your body, breath and mind to stretch, relax, energize and let go. It is beneficial for everyone of any age...from the healthiest to the ill. Some of it's benefits include:
*Reducing Stress and Increasing Relaxation
*Increasing Body strength, Stamina and Flexibility
*Stronger Mental Focus and Self Discipline
*Rehabilitating and Healing Injuries
*Increasing Health and Function of the Immune System
*Improving Posture and Muscle Tone
*Better Circulation and Oxygenation of the Blood
*Cleansing and Improved Function of the Organs
*A More Positive Outlook on Life
*Stronger Mental Clarity
*A Sense of Balance and Internal Harmony
Also, the following are some of the ailments proven to be relieved, reversed or even cured by yoga:
ACIDITY, HEARTBURN, INTOXICATION, ALLERGIES, ALZHEIMER'S, ANEMIA, ANGER, ANXIETY, NERVOUS TENSION, ARTHRITIS, ASTHMA, BACK PAIN, BRONCHITIS, CANCER, CARDIAC, HYPERTENSION, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE, CARPAL TUNNEL SYNDROME, CHRONIC FATIGUE, COLITIS, COMMON COLD, CONSTIPATION, DEPRESSION, DIABETES, EPILEPSY, EYE PROBLEMS, FACIAL WRINKLES, GASTRO-INTESTINAL DISORDERS, HEADACHES, MIGRAINES, HEMORRHOIDS, HEPATITIS, IMMUNIE DEFICIENCY, IMPOTENCE, STERILITY, INSOMNIA, KIDNEY STONE, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, MUSCULAR DISTROPHY, OBESITY, WEIGHT LOSS, OSTEOPOROSIS, PROSTATE ENLARGEMENT, SKIN PROBLEMS, SLEEP APNEA, SLIPPED DISK, SCIATICA, STIFFNESS, STRESS, STUTTERING, THYROID PROBLEMS, MENOPAUSE, MENSTRUAL CRAMPS, URINARY TRACT DISORDER FOR WOMEN, VAGINAL INFECTIONS, and many more...
Also, it is good to keep in mind that the proper "Diet/Nutrition" plays a VERY important role in the results you want to achieve, eventhough it is not essential to obtain benefits from yoga.
What is Hatha Yoga?
Hatha Yoga has four divisions or limbs: Asana (bodily postures), Pranayama (regulation of breath), Mudra (arrangement of fingers denoting mystic signs) and Nadanusandhana (hearing the inner sound). Practice of Asanas make the nerves light and soft and removes bodily diseases. After the practice of Asana, Pranayama and other processes of Yoga are taken up. Hatha yoga is one of the best-known yoga practices of western society. Practicing yoga is associated with establishing harmony, equanimity, balance. It has been well-publicized in mainstream media, recommended to patients by their doctors, and praised by its many practitioners.
Hatha is composed of the syllables Ha (sun) and Tha (moon). The breath that rises from the heart and goes out of the body, is called the Prana and is denoted by the syllable Ha. It is always warm and is, therefore, also called the sun. The breath that is taken in, is the Apana and is denoted by the syllable Tha. It is cool and is therefore also called the moon. The right regulation of the action of these, sun and moon, or Prana and Apana is Hatha Yoga.
Breath is life! Exchange of electrons. Flow of energy. Air is the primary nutrient. Survival without it is measured in minutes. It is so important that you do it without thinking. Your breathing is the voice of your spirit. It's depth, smoothness, sound, and rate reflect your mood. If you become aware of your breath and breathe the way you do when you are calm you will become calm.
Yogic breathing techniques are a vocabulary for communicating between the higher cerebrocortical (mind) brain, and the lower limbic and hind-brain autonomic structures. Conscious breathing initiates autonomic healing mechanisms.
Asanas (yoga postures) The Sanskrit word "asana" is derived from the root as which means to be present, to dwell in, to sit quietly, abide, to inhabit. Asana literally means to sit down or sit in a particular position. In the context of yoga, asana refers to the various postures or positions that are commonly identified with the practice of yoga such as the headstand (sirsha-asana), the lotus (padma-asana), etc. In order to perfect the postures, stretching is done. Regular practice at approximating the asanas and using breath and gravity to allow you to relax further into the pose is Hatha Yoga.
Paradoxically, by appropriately doing less, yoga enhances strength, flexibility and endurance. Accordingly, your body and mind become increasingly balanced and you will find that it takes less energy to move through your day. Yes, you really can do less…and get more.
Pratyahara, Dharana and Dhyana, Yoga Sutras of Patanjali
In my yoga classes I focus on techniques to get a clear mind and the ability to concentrate - which leads to a very deep meditation. If the asanas are too complicated the student becomes involved into extreme "physical" exercises and battles for years with the own body instead of learning deep relaxation, concentration and mediation as you can see it in most ashtanga studios around the world. Everybody is different, and extreme physical yoga is not the right way for everyone. In the gurukula system these postures have been developed to train 8 year old children, definitly NOT adults. Very often I see students lough about simple yoga asanas as they already can do first or second series of modern ashtanga yoga, but they still dont know the kriyas, yoga nidra, sanskrit, cleaning of nadis, tattwa shuddhi and never experienced a deep mediation. Then "yoga" becomes an addiction and people practise 6 days a week extreme physical techniques just to have a slimfit body.
Meditation, Siddhis, the breathless State
Yoga techniques may even lead to various siddhis (may be translated as "perfection", "accomplishment", "attainment", or "success") as well as all kind of kundalini experiences. The student might have lucid dreams, out of body experiences or paranormal activities. One might also experience the "breathless state" and samadhi. I teach kundalini vidya, you will learn about the most important nadis and experience the raise of kundalini, learn the 76 kundalini kriyas. Many students at this stage of sadhana (spiritual practise) experience OBE´s and manyfold stages of consciousness they never expected. Proper guidance is very important.
Picture: Vishuddha Chakra - 16 leaves and 16 sanskrit vovel sounds, vishuddha chakra is connected to 16 energy lines, (nadis)