Music: 4Gopinath, a prayer of Srila Bhaktivinoda Thakura
A SHORT INTRODUCTION AND ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS REGARDING YOGA PRACTICE
What is Yoga?
Yoga is improving the strength and health of one’s physical, mental and emotional existence. It’s the oldest known way to work out and stay fit improving the state of muscles, inner organs, skin, senses, emotions and mental function of the body. It has more than 6000 years of existence with its origin in India where it is practiced as part of daily life. It’s recognized as a science for preventing illness, healing and preserving health. In many countries in Europe it is even used in hospitals & certified clinics for rehabilitation and general healing after surgery or accidents. When practiced correctly and patiently, it improves the state of physical & mental health and consciousness to an extremely high level.
What are Asanas?
They are poses or movements used in Yoga practice from simple stretches and relaxing exercises to very demanding balance and strength challenging movements. As in all exercise, one improves throughout training and reaches a higher level both physically and mental.
Is Yoga a Religion?
No! Yoga is “Borderless” and does not look at any nationality, race or religion. Yoga is based not on judging anything but on improving the understanding and acceptance of oneself and others as they are, in order to reach a higher state of consciousness to the benefit of all in the universe. The word Yoga means union.
What are the Chakras?
The Chakras are the different energy centers of the body. The 7 main ones are situated along the spinal cord and several minor chakras are placed throughout various parts of the body, usually close to the lymphs. These are stimulated and directed to balance during Asana practice, Pranayama and Meditation.
What is Vinyasa?
It’s when you move from one Asana to another, creating a flow of movements that increase blood circulation, improve breathing and strengthen the muscles, balancing the energy in the human body and vitalizing the whole physical & mental nervous system. It is also very beautiful to watch as a pattern of emotions occur when it’s performed; it can easily be compared to art on its highest peak.
What is Pranayama?
It’s the different techniques and methods of breathing used during Asanas and it is also used in meditation, for cleansing & vitalizing the energy in the body.
Can anyone practice Yoga?
Yes! Regardless age group, sex, physical capabilities and/or orientation of life style, Yoga is for everyone who wishes to overcome their personal limits, to progress in all matters, physically and mentally. There is no discrimination in true Yoga and it’s never too late to start. In yoga we don’t count years of life, but the amount of breaths in life.
Is Yoga suitable for Men?
Definitely Yes! In many countries Yoga is even male dominated. Any men who practice seriously Kung Fu Karate, Aikido, Judo or other Martial Arts, also practice Yoga to improve their strength, energy control and breathing technique. Most top athletes in the whole world today, practice Yoga as it improves the results of performance. In modern civilizations men have adopted Yoga & Meditation into their daily life to improve concentration, increase working skills, and relieve stress and tension.
What are the Bandhas?
They are the internal energy valves which when activated allow the energy to flow through them activating the dormant potential of the embodied spirit. Although commonly called locks, bandhas instead of preventing the outward flow (dissipation), direct the internal energy flow to irrigate the nadis (energy channels) and activate the body’s energy. Bandhas are used in conjunction with asana, pranayama, visualization and meditation practice and act as a powerful support.
Does Yoga improve my sex life?
Yes! To an high level. There are special Healing exercises for couples and people that suffer from low or unbalanced erotic energy. Never forget that Yoga first of all is balance and health according to nature’s laws and that the aim is always peace within oneself and all that surrounds us.
“The Heart is a thousand stringed instrument that can only be tuned with Love.” ― Hafiz