Yoga 'Vitamins' : Sticks of Fire

Yoga 'Vitamins'

If you're developing a dedicated yoga practice, you have surely heard of the yamas and niyamas of Patanjali's classical yoga, which include such virtues as ahimsa (nonharming), satya (truthfulness), and samtosha (contentment). Lesser known are the "yoga vitamins," as B.K.S. Iyengar named them in The Tree of Yoga. These five partner virtues, set forth in the Yoga Sutra, reinforce the classical practice of yoga and generate an abundance of good karma for the practitioner.

The first vitamin is sraddha, usually translated as faith. But many interpreters of Patanjali have also translated it as many other things - 'trust and confidence'(in the rightness of what you're doing and in the sympathy of the divine), 'firm conviction'(which is free of doubt), 'positive attitude'(even in the face of momentary setbacks), 'acceptance'(of traditional teachings and the words of your teacher), and 'sweet hope' in the ultimate success of your practice. In Sanskrit, sraddha is a feminine word, suggesting that faith is gentle and supportive. Indeed, the sage Vyasa, who is credited with writing the oldest surviving commentary on the Yoga Sutra, said that faith is: "benevolent like a mother; she protects the yogi." When the practitioner holds to faith, the mind becomes tranquil and, as Vyasa concluded, "strength gathers in him."

Such strength is known as virya, the second vitamin. Virya is usually translated as 'energy' or 'vitality', the sort that comes from knowing you're doing the right thing. But it's also characterized as 'courage', 'strong will', 'enthusiasm', 'stamina', and 'dedication'. As virya gathers in the practitioner, said Vyasa, "intentness attends upon him."

'Intentness' is one interpretation of the Sanskrit word smrti, the third vitamin. Usually, smrti is simply translated as memory, but in this context, it's better understood as mindfulness. What are you supposed to be mindful of? Some commentators talk about the practice of constantly minding the more palpable aspects of your life experience: your body, the contents of your consciousness, your surroundings, your breath. Others interpret mindfulness as a diligent remembrance of and reflection on the true nature of the Self. Still others believe that memory also includes the recollection of what you've studied in yoga scripture. In any case, mindfulness focuses the energy of consciousness and so serves as a prelude to meditation. According to Vyasa, - "At the presence of intentness, the mind, free of disturbance, becomes harmonized and established in samadhi."
Samadhi, the fourth vitamin, is a highly technical term in classical yoga that literally means 'putting together'. It ultimately allows the practitioner, said Vyasa, to "perceive things as they really are."

This perception of things as they really are leads to the fifth and final vitamin, prajna , which is actually the goal of yoga practice. It roughly means 'knowledge', but Patanjali wasn't talking about knowledge in a worldly sense, of course. The great 20th-century sage Sri Aurobindo defined the term prajna as the 'knowledge that unites' all the loose ends of one’s self in the Self...


jindi said... 3:54 AM  

Ayurveda is a holistic healing science which comprises of two words, Ayu and Veda. Ayu means life and Veda means knowledge or science. So the literal meaning of the word Ayurveda is the science of life. Ayurveda is a science dealing not only with treatment of some diseases but is a complete way of life. Read More
"Ayurveda treats not just the ailment but the whole person and emphasizes prevention of disease to avoid the need for cure."
Ayurvedic Medicine has become an increasingly accepted alternative medical treatment in America during the last two decades.
Benefits of Ayurvedic Medicines
* By using ayurvedic and herbal medicines you ensure physical and mental health without side effects. The natural ingredients of herbs help bring “arogya” to human body and mind. ("Arogya" means free from diseases). The chemicals used in preparing allopathy medicines have impact on mind as well. One should have allopathy medicine only when it is very necessary.
* According to the original texts, the goal of Ayurveda is prevention as well as promotion of the body’s own capacity for maintenance and balance.
* Ayurvedic treatment is non-invasive and non-toxic, so it can be used safely as an alternative therapy or alongside conventional therapies.
* Ayurvedic physicians claim that their methods can also help stress-related, metabolic, and chronic conditions.
* Ayurveda has been used to treat acne, allergies, asthma, anxiety, arthritis, chronic fatigue syndrome, colds, colitis, constipation, depression, diabetes, flu, heart disease, hypertension, immune problems, inflammation, insomnia, nervous disorders, obesity, skin problems, and ulcers.

Ayurvedic Terms Explained

Dosha: In Ayurvedic philosophy, the five elements combine in pairs to form three dynamic forces or interactions called doshas. It is also known as the governing principles as every living things in nature is characterized by the dosha.

Ayurvedic Facial: Purportedly, a "therapeutic skin care experience" that involves the use of "dosha-specific" products and a facial massage focusing on "marma points."

Ayurvedic Nutrition (Ayurvedic Diet): Nutritional phase of Ayurveda. It involves eating according to (a) one's "body type" and (b) the "season." The alleged activity of the doshas--three "bodily humors," "dynamic forces," or "spirits that possess"--determines one's "body type." In Ayurveda, "body types" number seven, eight, or ten, and "seasons" traditionally number six. Each two-month season corresponds to a dosha; for example, the two seasons that correspond to the dosha named "Pitta" (see "Raktamoksha") constitute the period of mid-March through mid-July. But some proponents enumerate three seasons: summer (when pitta predominates), autumn, and winter (the season of kapha); or Vata season (fall and winter), Kapha season (spring), and Pitta season (summer). According to Ayurvedic theory, one should lessen one's intake of foods that increase ("aggravate") the ascendant dosha.


andrewgosnell1980 said... 7:36 PM  

I have heard so much information about Yoga and I agree with them for saying its the best way to relieve stress and etc. And now knowing that Yoga vitamins is truly astounding. Great thanks! Turbulence Training

kaney said... 10:38 PM  

as soon as you were old enough to understand words, your parents started telling you to eat your vegetables so you would get enough vitamins. Perhaps as a child you took a daily vitamin - perhaps you still take vitamin supplements. It is common knowledge that vitamins are necessary to maintain a healthy body. But what are vitamins, why do we need them, and where, specifically, do they come from?

UltraMeal Calm PRT

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