Category Archives: Yoga Concepts

Shatkarma – Purification Techniques in Hatha Yoga

The Shatkarma or the six purification techniques in Hatha Yoga are designed to make the body strong and healthy. ‘Shat’ means six and ‘Karma’ here means a method or technique. Shatkarmas are considered preparatory steps towards higher practices of pranayama and meditation.

Tribute to the Ancient Yogi Shiva

Tribute to Ancient Yogi Shiva

Prayer to Adi Yogi, Lord Shiva

Om Tryambakam Yajamahe
Sugandhim Pushtivardhanam
Urvarukamiva Bandhanan
Mrityor Mukshiya Maamritat

This is the Mrityunjaya mantra of Lord Shiva which translates as:

“OM, We worship the three-eyed Lord Shiva, who is the fragrance of Life and nourishes our health. O Lord, just as a cucumber when ripe is freed from the vine, release us from attachment and death; and grant us the nectar of immortality.”

What is Yoga ?

International Day of Yoga. What is Yoga?

Yoga is one of the six main systems of Indian philosophy called Shad-Darshanas. Yoga is a philosophy as a well as a practical science. The Yoga system of philosophy has been existing from ancient times, but it was  codified by Maharishi Patanjali in his classical treatise, today known as Patanjali Yoga Sutras. So, what is Yoga? 

Yogic Breathing – The Art of Natural Breathing

Yogic Breathing

Yoga and breath are deeply connected. When performing asana, pranayama and meditation, the correct breathing is essential to get the full benefits of the practice. Yogic breathing is finding your natural breath.

Mudra – The Psychic Gestures in Yoga

Mudras are important practices in yoga. Mudra means a “sign” or a “seal” in Sanskrit. Mudras are various yogic gestures or positions using the fingers, hands, eyes or other parts of the body to channelize energy in a certain way. It can indicate a certain inner state of mind.

Bandha – The Yogic Locks

Bandha or a yogic lock enables a yogi to block and direct the flow of pranic energy in certain way to change the energy pattern in the body. Bandhas not only modifies the flow of pranic energy through the nadis (energy meridians), but also modifies the flow of nerve currents in the nervous system and blood flow through the blood vessels.

Niyama – Self Discipline in Yoga

Niyama in Yoga Sutras is the second step in Ashtanga Yoga, the eight fold limbs of Yoga. ‘Niyama’ deals mostly with our internal self-discipline rather than external ethical behavior. Yoga tradition has given much importance to development of a balanced personality before taking up higher practices of yoga. 

Yama – The Ethical Restraints in Yoga

Yama in the Yoga Sutras is the first step in “Ashtanga Yoga” or the eight limbs of Yoga. Yama deals mostly with our external ethical behavior. Yoga tradition has given much importance to developing a balanced personality before taking up higher practices of yoga.

Ashtanga Yoga – The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Ashtanga yoga comprises of eight steps towards perfection mentioned in the Yoga Sutras. There are many classical texts on yoga. The process of yoga is dealt with even in the Vedic texts – Yoga Tatva Upanishad, Yoga Shika upanishad, Yoga Chudamani Upanishad, etc. to mention a few.

But one has to understand that yoga is what is called a “prayoga sastra” or a practical science. It is more about techniques to evolve the human consciousness, rather than a mere philosophy. In that sense, it was Maharishi Patanjali who expounded the science of yoga in systematic way, in his Patanjali Yoga Sutras.