Referensi Yoga

Senin, 30 Juni 2008

Yoga, Do Not Knock It Until You Try It

Are you one of those folks who have never tried yoga? How about one of those grown up teenagers who likes cow tipping and thought you might knock over your sister when she was doing yoga? Yes, I know that is fun isn't it? I have done this on many occasion and watched the silly looking humans fall right over indeed. Not bad, it is easy too; a little push and see ya, over they go. But really we should be very serious yoga is quite good for the soul, relaxation and de-stressing too. So, do not knock yoga until you try it. Now I have tried it so it is okay for me to make jokes, but if you have not tried it, you are barred from laughing or tipping over your friends who you think are looking quite silly while they do their "Yoga Thing."

So, why do yoga in the first place? Well for one it makes you feel good and practicing breathing is good for cardiovascular improvement. Such meditation makes you feel healthier and does wonders for your displacement and personality. There are many reasons why people who do yoga are healthier and it runs the gamut of reasoning from brain wave cycles to nerve response; temper management to handling stress; cardiovascular to healthy hearts. Some try it and do not like it, I for one. I am a long distance runner and would rather go run ten miles and get into a deep rhythm and I can tell you that is about the healthiest thing one can do. Now then when I describe this to friends who do yoga, they describe some of the exact same sensations. Interesting indeed, perhaps they have a better idea. After all jarring your knees and running up hills is not easy and they are said to get a greater benefit to the body without even going anywhere or exerting any energy? Wow, maybe yoga is not such a bad idea after all.

Many men will say; "Yogo is for girls" yet the professional athletes I know who do yoga are some of the top in their endeavors; why? Well because it works. So before you knock yoga, go read some books, try it out and see for yourself. Yoga is for everyone who is smart enough to understand why it works so well. Think on this, while you try it.

By Lance Winslow

True Essence of Yoga

Yoga is the most prestigious field of spiritualism. People think about 6 wheels (Chakras) or lotus flowers present in the spinal card, which are not seen by the eyes. They are imaginary and so they carry some inner meaning. When you say a face as a moon, fools search for moon in that face. But, wise people see similarity in the face and moon. Similarly, wheels and lotus flowers should not be searched in the spinal card. Spinal card is the main nerve, representing mind, which is the base of love.

All these wheels or lotus flowers are the bonds of love in the various relatives like parents, wife or husband, children etc. They are compared to wheels or the revolving whirlpools in the ocean, which attract a swimmer and drown him. Similarly, these love wheels are compared to lotus flowers, since the lotus flowers attract the bee by sweet fragrance and bind it. Similarly, these love flowers attract any one and bind them. "Kundalini" is the mind which is the energy travelling as waves like a serpent, should cross all these love wheels connected to 7th lotus flower in the head called "Sahasrara", which is Buddhi or intelligence that takes the decision, which is the firm love on God.

Bhagavat Gita is called as the main scripture of Yoga (Yoga-Sastra). Why there is not even single reference to these wheels or lotus flowers in anywhere in Gita or even in Upanishats? Since they are not real, they are not even mentioned. The author of the Gita was Krishna, who was called Master of Yoga (Yogeswara). Krishna also says that the real yoga was lost since long (Sa kaleneha mahata?.). This means that in the beginning, Sages in India knew the real yoga and loved God only crossing all their family bonds. In due course of time only, this true yoga was lost. Why? The middle age Indians were unable to cross their family bonds and so failed to succeed in Yoga.

They wanted to cover their in ability by twisting the very concept of yoga. The family bonds were removed from the concept and only wheels or lotus flowers are left fixed. Now, they close the eyes and say that they have seen the lotus flowers or wheels, which are only imaginary. Now they cross these wheels by their imaginary "Kundalini" and say that they have succeeded in Yoga. These blind teachers are also not to be blamed, because they were trained like that by their blind teachers. This misinterpretation was done long time back and hence, even at the time of Krishna, He told that yoga was lost since a long time.

We cannot catch those original culprits, who were the top most twisting masters and so the present tradition also cannot be blamed. Only rectification is the way left over. Some say that they see light, which is only an imagination. After all, the mind is a form of energy and on its concentration imaginary light can be imagined. Instead of such a week light, you better see a strong light with your open eyes. What is the use of these imaginary lights and colours, without achieving the Lord through your love, which excels the various worldly, loves.

I pity the foreigners, who are trapped in this false imaginary line of yoga, who are wasting their precious lifetime and energy. In fact, they are the best to succeed in yoga, if the reality of the yoga is exposed. Their family bonds are very weak and their love towards God is real, which is proved by their huge sacrifice of money to God's work. Money is the fruit of work and its sacrifice for God's work is "Karma phala tyaga" as mentioned in Gita. Again, the middle age Indians twisted this word "Karma phala tyaga" as sacrifice of the fruit of the work like praying God instead of sacrifice of money.

The reason was that these Indians were unable to sacrifice money to God due to their strong love on their children. Foreigners ask their children to earn after certain age. Indians store money even for ten generations and still continue to store only. Since prayers, meditation and knowledge are very much diverted to God, India was blessed by God with good language, good mind and good knowledge.

Since foreigners are good in sacrifice, God blessed them with good wealth. Even Indian spiritual centres were strongly funded by foreigners only. Swami Vivekananda cried, "Why my India suffers with poverty in spite of so much spiritual knowledge?" Sacrifice of money (Karma phala tyaga) and sacrifice of work (karma Sanyasa) put together constitute the God's service, which is the real Yoga (real proof of love) called "Karma yoga" in Gita. Foreigners are the best in this karma yoga and so they easily succeed in yoga. Throughout Gita, this karma yoga was explained as yoga and wheels or lotus flowers are not at all mentioned.

By Datta Swami

Eating Disorders And The Use Of Yoga In Prevention And Treatment

It was not so long ago that eating disorders, such as bolimia and anorexia, were thought to be purely the result of mental conditions. More recently, though, some physical factors have been attributed to these conditions. It is now thought that eating disorders can be triggered by a multitude of factors, in combination, including those of a psychological, behavioural, social, or biological nature.

How Can Yoga Help With Eating Disorders

As with many conditions, eating orders can better be dealt with through a calm and focused mind. Depression and low self esteem are problems often associated with eating disorders, and Yoga can help with both.

It has been proven that Yoga can reduce depression, restoring a state of balance and well being in the individual. Also, there are different yoga practices which encourage heightened levels of self esteem, and promote a positive view of your own body. These are crucial factors with eating disorders, and it has been shown that the application of yoga can significantly increase recuperation and healing. Through the elimination of self judgment, yoga establishes a strong connection between mind and body. This, of course, is the natural state of wellness. By re-establishing this strong connection, mind and body will work in harmony to repair the damage.

Regular yoga practice will increase the overall fitness level of the human body, improving the immune system and giving it a good chance of fighting illnesses. This is helpful with Anorexia, for example, because the sufferer's body will experience lower energy levels, and the condition reduces bone density.

In dealing with eating disorders, the yogic system identifies them as a problem related to the first chakra. There are different yoga poses that can be used to balance it: eg. staff, crab, full wind, and pigeon. By using grounding postures (eg mountain, goddess, standing squat and prayer squat) strength and courage can be increased. What these postures do is to re-establish the strong mind-body connections, and through that connection help overcome many physical obstacles. For anorexia sufferers, most of the yoga back bending poses help reduce depression, while forward bends can calm the spirit and reduce anorexia's effects.

Because the mental state has an important role in eating disorders, meditation can be used successfully to reduce negative and harmful thoughts and feelings. An active, well targeted, meditation practice should prove to be very effective. The yoga poses work best when external factors are shut out, and concentration is allowed to focus on your inner self. Giving special attention to breathing, and also to inner sensations, will transport you to a state of greater awareness and calmness. This new state will allow you to go on further to explore new concepts, and hopefully pursue new goals that may have been impossible before.

As with many medical conditions, being aware of the bulimia or anorexia problem, and showing a constant and strong desire to defeat it, is a great method to reduce their effect. It is likely that an early adoption of yoga practices would make the patient more aware of the problem, thus making a positive contribution to an early cure. However, these yoga techniques are more usually used in the recuperative stages of the illness. That is a pity because, as with all illnesses in which it can be beneficial, yoga works best in the prevention stage, when the negative effects are still low and easier to over come.

Yoga Your Way To A Happy Vacation

Yoga Your Way To A Happy Vacation

There have been many studies into holiday stress. Sadly, those studies show that such stress does exist; that summer vacation can actually prove more stressful than the rest of the year. It is ironic that millions of people dream all year of that escape from the daily grind, only to transport that daily grind to other locations. Delayed flights at the airport; hotel rooms with a view of a builders yard; cold food that should have been hot; mosquitoes who pay you much more attention than the waiter and hotel manager. All examples of possible stress factors.

If you think about it, that is not surprising. Remember as a child when you first learnt to ride a bike? You were taught not to ride as fast as you can and then slam on the front brake? Stop too suddenly, and you will go flying over the handlebars; breaking hard and late at a crossroads could send you not only over the handlebars, but into the flow of traffic coming across. That sounds very risky and dangerous. So what were you taught to do? Anticipate the crossroads and apply the brakes slowly, in advance. Come to a gentle stop so that you can proceed, fully aware of the hazards.

Now compare that scenario with your hectic, stress filled life much of the year. Frantic pace, a constant succession of agitation and frustrations, pressures to meet deadlines, achieve quotas or whatever might be key to your job. Does that sound like your year? Throw in daily traffic jams, noisy traffic, crowded commuter trains and a succession of colds and flu in the winter, and millions of stressed out agitated people around you, and you become a stress-bike, hurtling towards that crossroads at top speed.

The day comes when you set off on your vacation. Can you really expect to slam on the brakes then and expect the year's stress to come smoothly to a halt, so that you can enjoy your vacation in a 100% relaxed mode? It really is no wonder that many people go hurtling into their holidays still in stress mode.

Now, take a step back. Think again of learning to ride a bike and apply the brakes slowly. You are doing two things: 1. anticipating a given fact, the approaching crossroads, and 2. trying to avoid falling off the bike, or in other words avoid a likely hazardous event.

Applying The Brakes To Your Stress Bike With Yoga and Meditation

The use of meditation before your vacation can help you to apply the brakes to your stress bike. In a state of calmness and relaxation, visualize all of the most likely stress inducing events that may spoil your holiday. Then, visualize yourself dealing with those events in a calm and relaxed way; not as you would the rest of the year. Do not forget, that knee-jerk stress is going to be left behind when you go on vacation.

If you do that regularly for the month leading up to your annual vacation, then you should be better prepared. You have already started to apply the stress-bike brakes well before the crossroads ie the vacation itself. Regular yoga exercises in the same period will also assist you in your preparation. You will be determined to have a relaxed holiday, regardless of what stress potential may be thrown at you.

Using Yoga During The Vacation Itself

You are now better prepared for the reality of your vacation, but when it comes along you will still be attacked by stress factors which could, if you allow them to, ruin a very lovely vacation. Holiday stress is real and it can seriously upset the enjoyment of your much needed vacation. You may face many situations where you could get angry during your holiday: poor service in restaurants and hotels, inclement weather, crowded beaches with all the sun loungers taken, noisy tourists keeping you awake all night; these are just a few examples. Yoga offers several methods of reducing the effects of such negative elements in the form of meditation, sakshin, pratyahara and pranayama.

Meditation is a recommended practice when holiday stress pressures become active. Having used meditation to prepare for this much anticipated holiday, you are now well geared up to using meditation during the holiday itself.. Meditation not only helps you prepare for any potential stressful situations, it is invaluable during the stressful events and after they have passed.

The detached state of consciousness, which allows you to get a better understanding of the realities around you, is referred to as sakshin. Pratyahara, on the other hand, is a state of peace obtained by reducing to a minimum all outside interferences. The mind gets calm and relaxed, focusing towards the inside of your own body. By using pranayama, you should be able to calm yourself in almost any difficult situation, by regulating your breathing and thus harmonizing the energies in your body.

Being prepared for any stressful occurrences is vital for a successful vacation. Anticipating a potential problem doesn't mean worrying about it before hand. It means that when the problem does occur you should already have a good understanding of why it happened. You will always get much better results by addressing an issue with a clear and calm head, rather then acting on an impulse.

When a potentially stressful situation occurs, try to "step out" of your body and see yourself in that particular setting. Objectivity is hard to reach, especially when it comes to your own self, but it does help you to get a neutral perspective on things. Directing an action by the guidelines of an objective mind will prove more successful than jumping in head first into a situation. Expressions like "I couldn't help myself" should be constantly discouraged from your own vocabulary and thoughts. Take control of your inner self and you will have better control of what's outside your body in the surrounding world. You should first feel your body's reaction to an outside element and only react afterwards, when a clear judgment dictates what to do. Breathing techniques are of great help when it comes to relaxing an impulsive spirit and bringing calm to a particular event or situation.

Before you are able to take control of a situation, you need to intercept the actions of your subconscious mind. Initial responses are hasty, and are naturally very hard to avoid. But it is essential that, through practice, you are able to assert a constant feeling of control over your reactions. The first reaction to a negative element can be either that of fighting back or that of fleeing. In any of these two possibilities, a considerable amount of stressful tension fills your body, and it could be days or weeks before you manage to get over that one unfortunate event. That's your happy holiday gone. A far better alternative is to have a calm and balanced response, which has a chance of eliminating any sort of tension, before it even has a chance to spread.

Remember that most holidays are short and you don't want to spoil them by spending half of your time in a negative mood. After all, you are there to try to recharge your batteries, not to try to waste it on meaningless tensions.

If you find that this yoga and meditative approach, before and during your vacation, is successful, then maybe you will realize that you can control stress factors all year, not just during the annual summer vacation.

by Roy Thomsitt

Paths of Yoga I

With dozens of Hollywood celebrities following in their Guru's lotus footsteps and the sick Western commercial behaviour exploding Yogas popularity to a system that simply enhances people's health, Yoga remains a system of spiritual unity of mind, body and soul among millions of Indians and many others from Eastern beliefs, as it has been for over five thousand years. As a result, some forms of yoga have gained significant popularity outside India, particularly in the West during the past century.

Yoga is a form of mysticism that developed on the Indian subcontinent in the Hindu cultural context. The origins of Yoga are difficult to track due to the lack of recorded testimony. One of the closest meanings of Yoga comes from the Sanskrit word "Yuj" which it is generally translated as "union" or "integration" of the individual soul with the cosmos, or higher self.

Since the goal of Yoga dwells above any bodily consciousness, it has both a philosophical and a practical dimension to achieve that ideal state. On one hand, the philosophy of yoga manages the relation of both the individual soul and the cosmos. This universal philophy enjoins the practitioner to pursue his or her own path to enlightenment. And on the other hand, its practice can be any exercise or activity that approaches the yoga practitioner to self-realization.

Four Paths of Yoga

Special practical yoga techniques have been developed by experts in yoga. Traditionally, they have been classified into four categories or paths: the path of meditation (Raja Yoga), the path of devotion (Bhakti Yoga), the path of selfless service to the Divine (Karma Yoga), and the path of intellectual analysis or the discrimination of truth and reality (Jnana Yoga).

These Yoga techniques cover a broad range, encompassing physical, mental, and spiritual activities.

? Raja Yoga involves psycho-physical meditational techniques to attain experience of the truth and finally achieve liberation described in Hindu thought to be moksha. The basis of ashtanga yoga is the Yoga sutras (Sanskrit Verses) of Patanjali. We will consider the different aspects of yoga while remaining under the guiding principles of Patanjali's Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga). Raja Yoga is a comprehensive yoga system which deals with the refinement of human behavior and personality through the practice the Yama (restraint) and Niyama (disciplines); attainment of physical health and vitality through Asana (postures) and Pranayama (pranic breathing techniques); management of mental and emotional conflicts and development of awareness and concentration through Pratyahara (sensory withdrawal) and Dharana (concentration); and developing the creative aspect of consciousness for transcendental awareness through Dhyan (meditation) & Samadhi (absorption in the universal identity).

? Bhakti Yoga is the Hindu term for the spiritual practice of fostering of loving devotion to God, called Bhakti. Traditionally there are 9 forms of bhakti yoga. Sravana (hearing of God's Lilas and stories), Kirtana (singing of His glories), Smarana (remembrance of His name and presence), Padasevana (service of His feet), Archana (worship of God), Vandana (prostration to Lord), Dasya (cultivating the Bhava of a servant with God), Sakhya (cultivation of the friend-Bhava) and Atmanivedana (complete surrender of the self). The nine modes of Bhakti are the ways in which a devotee attains the Supreme Ideal of life. A devotee can take up any of these paths and reach the highest state. The path of Bhakti is the easiest of all and is not very much against the nature of human inclinations.

? Karma Yoga focuses on the adherence to duty (dharma) while remaining detached from the reward. Karma means to do, action, including those acts done by the individual from birth to death. "Karma Yoga is the selfless devotion of all inner as well as the outer activities as a Sacrifice to the Lord of all works, offered to the eternal as Master of all the soul's energies and austerities," the Bhagavad Gita says. Following the practice of Karma yoga, an individual becomes true spiritual seeker and realizes his true nature as Atman and he lives in this world, works for this world and still stays untouched from the grossness of the mundane pleasures, thus doing immense good to the society while on his path to salvation and spiritual freedom.

The Swami Sivananda Yoga Venanda Center sums up karma yoga into five actions:

Right Attitude It's not what you do that counts, it's the attitude while doing it that determines if a job is a karma yoga job, i.e. a liberating job, or a binding job.

Right Motive Same as attitude. It is not what you do that counts but your real motive behind it.

Do your duty. Give your best. Give results.

? Jnana Yoga. This is the most difficult path, requiring tremendous strength of will and intellect. Taking the philosophy of Vedanta the Jnana Yogi uses his mind to inquire into its own nature. We perceive the space inside and outside a glass as different, just as we see ourselves as separate from God. Jnana Yoga leads the devotee to experience his unity with God directly by breaking the glass, dissolving the veils of ignorance. Before practicing Jnana Yoga, the aspirant needs to have integrated the lessons of the other yogic paths - for without selflessness and love of God, strength of body and mind, the search for self-realization can become mere idle speculation.

Jnana yoga teaches that there are four means to salvation:

Viveka - Discrimination: The ability to differentiate between what is real/eternal (Brahman) and what is unreal/temporary (everything else in the universe.)

Vairagya - Dispassion: After practice one should be able to "detach" themself from everything that is "temporary."

Shad-sampat - The 6 Virtues: Tranquility (control of the mind), Dama (control of the senses), Uparati (renunciation of activities that are not duties), Titiksha (endurance), Shraddha (faith), Samadhana (perfect concentration).

Mumukshutva - Intense longing for liberation from temporal limitations.

By Alma De la Cruz

Yoga is Unity

Experienced Yoga practitioners often feel discouraged when a naturally gifted dancer, gymnast, or martial artist, performs an advanced asana with little effort. As I have mentioned before, there are people with elongated joint capsules and their extraordinary range of motion is a gift. You and I may have to work at it, but the many rewards of Yoga practice are still there.

Yoga consists of many facets, and Asanas, are just one of the many parts of Yoga. Many students who have extraordinary flexibility admit they struggle with another part of Yoga - such as: The student who just can't calm down to meditate, balancing in asanas, Pranayama, Yogic Philosophy, and so on.

Unfortunately, I have seen many promising Yoga practitioners quit practicing Yoga, due to a competitive mind-set. Within their own minds - they were in competition with every student in the class and, possibly, their Yoga teacher too.

Remember that Yoga means "union." In simple terms, we can say union of mind, body, and spirit. There are many more explanations about union, but that could be a separate article. There are also many branches of Yoga and, therefore, many types of union, but competition is far from union.

Competition enhances the ego, and the ego is just a part of your personality. The ego resists union for its own survival. The ego is our social mask and does not want to share anything.

Remember, the next time you start to feel envious of another student or teacher - that is not union. If anything, it will hold you back from union and many more valuable contributions that Yoga can make to your life.

Feel free to visit our "brand new" forum that will be open to the public on July 6, 2005. You can find it at:

You will find a variety of Yoga and related topics to learn about. The moderators are Yoga teachers from various locations worldwide. Please feel free to visit and participate.

My first taste of Yoga was over 40 years ago, at the age of 7, in a martial arts school setting. I have continued to study martial arts until this day and I have four teaching certificates in four different martial arts. Now I teach both Martial Arts and Yoga.

I began to seriously practice Yoga (under Laura Foster) over twenty years ago due to martial arts competition related injuries. Laura was a skilled & knowledgeable teacher of Restorative Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Laya Yoga. After training with her for 3 years, she certified me as a teacher in 1987. I became certified as a Master Teacher (Guru) on September 15, 1995, after teaching over 5,000 hours under her wing. Shortly afterward, Laura retired at age 90.

Positive Energy

Cultivating positive energy: Most of us who study Yoga have been taught that an abundance of Prana (vital air or vital energy), can be found at the ocean, lakes, large open fields, and in the mountains.

Although the air is different, this same energy can be found where people assemble for a positive reason. For example: when people assemble to meditate or pray.

You can feel it in your home, at a church, mosque, temple, shrine, ashram, seminar, martial arts hall, etc. This is when people bond in a mass for the common good. The energy can be used to help humanity and our little planet for the best. You can project this energy outward by acts of kindness every moment of your life. This is not to say, you allow yourself to be abused. You can be kind to everyone who comes into your life, without becoming a "doormat."

You have influence over a limited number of people who you see in a day. Why not make every contact a harmonious and positive experience?

Some examples would be:

Stop making foul gestures, becoming angry, and swearing when another driver on the road has irritated you.

Don't take advantage of respect with anyone.

Treat everyone as special - no matter what their economic status.

In regard to your next question: What is the mystery behind attracting positive energy?

To be honest, there isn't one, but I will give you the formula.

Firstly, you have to realize that you have infinite potential, and it comes from within. You also have unlimited potential from the outside, when you engage in prayer, and meditation, on a daily basis. Prayer and meditation will positively charge you, and you will contribute to the benefit of others as a result of it.

In turn, all of this helping of others will result in finding people around you who are more than willing to give you a helping hand.

The following ideas will cultivate positive energy around you.

Make it a point to wake up in the morning with excitement and say hello to everyone you come into contact with. This goes for the security guard, janitor, maid, garage attendant, cashier at the store, and anyone you may overlook in the course of your day.

Stop criticizing your family members, co-workers, friends, and associates.

Be diplomatic first, before giving any advice.

Let your family know that you love them everyday.

Be sincere and treat everyone as important.

Take time to give to people. This doesn't have to be expensive. You could give a sincere compliment, a card, a letter, or flowers. Become a trustworthy partner with family, friends, co-workers and associates.

Set goals - whether they are tangible or not. It is a healthy practice to have goals at any age. The final results will be that your positive energy will attract positively charged personalities and successful people will seek you out. If this is a major change for you, it will not happen overnight.

Let me share a related Zulu saying: "Patience is an egg that hatches great birds."

Why should you become an eternal optimist?

Every one of us has a choice. When you fall down, you must pick yourself up. You can't blame life's hurdles or obstacles - you have to find solutions to get over, around, under, or through them.

Focus on your past achievements and learn to be happy with yourself. Everyone has failed, at some point, but we must constructively learn from our past experience.

Your individual approach, to life's daily obstacles, is the gateway to success or failure. Therefore, success is a matter of choice.

Building Positive Energy

In relation to what most of us see as possible - success is unlimited. When primal man first discovered fire, could he imagine the concept of a forge? When modern man discovered the forge, could he imagine sky scrappers?

To build positive energy for pursuit of common goals and success, you need a support group. Find and seek out like-minded people.

My first taste of Yoga was over 40 years ago, at the age of 7, in a martial arts school setting. I have continued to study martial arts until this day and I have four teaching certificates in four different martial arts. Now I teach both Martial Arts and Yoga. I began to seriously practice Yoga (under Laura Foster) over twenty years ago due to martial arts competition related injuries.

Laura was a skilled & knowledgeable teacher of Restorative Hatha Yoga, Raja Yoga, and Laya Yoga. After training with her for 3 years, she certified me as a teacher in 1987.

Referensi Yoga