Ashtanga Yoga

Ashtanga('Asht' means eight - 'anga' means limbs/steps) YOGA is the eight-fold path to obtain the control of the body and the mind. The eight angas (literally limbs) are the steps or stages of the path. The study of the first four steps is external limbs (Bahir-anga). And the last three limbs are the inner limbs (Antar-Anga), Pratyahara- the fifth limb is the bridge between them.

o Yama (Restraints)

o Niyama (Observances)

o Asana (Bodily postures)

o Pranayama (Control of bio-energy)

o Pratyahara (Control of senses)

o Dharana (Concentration)

o Dhyana (Meditation)

o Samadhi (Trans-consciousness)

Bahiranga is a Sanskrit term which means ‘external’ or ‘outside’. In the 8-fold path of yoga, it is associated with the first 4 limbs, that are- Yama, Niyama, Asana & Pranayama. Pratyahara is the fifth limb that acts as a bridge connecting the external to the internal. We will start with Yama which teaches social restraint to help us excel. There are five Yamas given by Patanjali, these are considered the personal virtues of the individual. Let’s understand what each of these Yamas stands for 1. Ahimsa (Non-violance), 2. Satya (Truthfulness), 3. Asteya (Non-stealing), 4. Brahmacharya (Energy moderation), 5. Aparigraha (Non-hoarding)

Things to remember:

  • An appropriate time for practicing Yoga is in the morning. It is the time when the mind is fresh, calm, and the body movements can be performed with considerable ease.

  • To practice Yoga, choose a place which is calm, quiet, ventilated, dust/moisture and distraction free.

  • Before you start Yoga, it is suggested to drink a glass of lukewarm water, clear your bowels and bladder; as well as all the mucus from the nostrils and throat.

  • Like all other work outs, one must begin with easy postures, thereafter can advance to the tough ones.

  • Be methodical and systematic. Over eating/fasting as well as stale food should be avoided.

  • It is suggested to take breaks in between if a particular step or exercise proves tiring.

  • Yoga clothing should be loose and as comfortable as possible. Form-fitting cotton/Lycra pants and shirts are the best.

  • Remember and try to keep your mouth closed and inhale and exhale through the nose.

  • Yoga mat must be made of some a comfortable material.

  • Yoga must energize and not cause weariness and depression

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