Showing posts with label Yoga Practice. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoga Practice. Show all posts

RELIGION AND YOGA.

 



Philosophy taught from a physical standpoint might be seen as problematic. 

Philosophy has been associated with components of religion or else as something that has more to do with debate than demonstration in the modern yoga studio context. 



It's a good idea to start by examining the differences between religion and philosophy. 


Religions assume the presence of supernatural places, entities, and powers; religion claims the existence of supernatural things (Stark and Bainbridge 1985, 3). 

Belief in these supernatural beings does not have to be shown, and it may defy evidence. 

In contrast, one of the objectives of philosophy is that tenets be rationally deduced and the method by which it arrives at conclusions be provable. 

David Lewis-Williams and David Pearce develop a practical paradigm for explaining religion that, in many respects, is similar to a yoga explanation. 




Experience, belief, and practice are three mutually supportive components to explore. 


They claim that "religious experience is a series of mental states formed by the functioning of the human brain under natural and induced situations," and that individuals interpret these experiences as "kind of touch with otherworldly, but very real, worlds... 

"In the first instance, religious belief arises from efforts to codify this experience in particular social settings" (Lewis-Williams and Pearce 2005, 25–27). 



Beliefs give religious experience significance. 


The way beliefs are expressed — the specific rituals and symbology of the community in which they occur – is referred to as religious practice. 

These rituals are intended to guide individuals into religious experiences and to help them express their views. 

People may, for example, believe in the existence of a heaven and hell by visiting church on Sundays or that spiritual insight may be gained by taking a yoga class once a week. 

Because those in attendance share similar beliefs, the mystical experience is intensified and supported, and symbolism and rituals (an Om sign on the studio entrance; a cross on the church – kneeling to pray or putting the hands into namaste) are reinforced. 



Even if the most intense mystical experiences in religion and yoga are uncommon, these beliefs and practices give them legitimacy. 


Religion, on the other hand, gives definitive solutions, frequently backed up by a canon of written or oral scriptures, to challenging issues to which it presents hypothetical possibilities. 


Philosophers develop and test hypotheses in order to improve, disprove, or reify their subject's knowledge. 


Philosophical assumptions are evaluated by experience in physical yoga, and results are susceptible to change. 

The uniqueness of each experience is emphasized when the conditions of a yoga pose vary from day to day. 

The practitioner seeks to extrapolate – both about the uniqueness of the bodily experience and what this could entail – by constant exploration. 



Although Yoga has been put in a religious framework in previous assessments, there is nothing in yoga practice that requires believing in supernatural entities or that the supernatural exist (Eliade 1958, 363). 


While yoga and its physical philosophy share certain religious characteristics, such as references to heavenly or supernatural creatures, these are culturally particular (theistic) interpretations that are unimportant to the study of yoga and its physical philosophy (Jakubczak 2014). 

This is not to argue that religious ideas are unimportant to those who possess them; on the contrary, religious beliefs may help contextualize what a person experiences via yoga.





References & Further Reading: 



Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Sri Srimad and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya, 2nd Edition. New Delhi: Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, 2015.

Birch, Jason. “The proliferation of asana-s in late-medieval yoga texts.” In Yoga and transformation historical and contemporary perspectives, edited by Karl Baier, Philipp A. Maas, and Karin Preisendanz, 101–180. Vienna: Vienna University Press, 2018.

Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. The dance of Siva: essays on Indian art and culture.
New York: Dover, 1985.

Cooper, David E. “Introduction.” In Aesthetics: the classic readings, edited by David E. Cooper, 1–10. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

Eliade, Mircea. Yoga immortality and freedom, translated by Willard R. Trask. 
Princeton: Bollingen Foundation, Princeton University Press, 1958.

Herbermann, Charles, ed. “The Absolute.” In Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1913.

Jakubczak, Marzenna. “The purpose of non-theistic devotion in the classical Indian tradition of Sāmkhya-Yoga.” Argument, vol. 4 (January, 2014): 55–68.

Jaspers, Karl. The origin and goal of history, translated by Michael Bullock. London: Routledge, 1955.

Johnson, Williams J., translator. The Bhagavad Gita. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Lewis-Williams, David and David Pearce. Inside the neolithic mind. London: Thames and Hudson, 2005.

Mallinson, James and Mark Singleton. Roots of yoga. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

McGilchrist, Iain. The master and his emissary: the divided brain and the making of the Western world. New Haven: Yale, 2009.

Rama, Swami. The science of breath. Delhi: The Himalayan Institute Press, 1979.

Rama, Swami. Sacred journey: living purposefully and dying gracefully. Delhi: Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, 2002.

Rees, Martin. Our cosmic habitat. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Sinh, Pancham. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika: Sanskrit text with English translation. New 
Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1915.

Sinha, Phulgenda. The Gita as it was: rediscovering the original Bhagavad Gita. LaSalle: Open Court, 1986.

Stark, Rodney and William Sims Bainbridge. The future of religion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Tarnas, Richard. The passion of the Western mind: understanding the ideas that have shaped our world view. London: Pimlico, 1991.

Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, translators. Siva Samhita. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1914–15.







YOGA AND AESTHETIC PHILOSOPHY.



Aesthetic philosophy is the study of sensuous experience, how we judge beauty, and how this affects our understanding of reality. 


"The term 'aesthetics,' which comes from the Greek word aesthesis ('perception,' was created in the middle of the eighteenth century by the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten. 

He intended 'the science of sensory knowledge,' yet the word was rapidly restricted to a specific area of sensory knowledge and regarded as 'the science of sensory beauty.'" Cooper, 1997, p. 1. 

Aesthetic appreciation, which is based on sensory processing, is critical for how physical yoga is used to discern material reality, but it also has implications for understanding the transcendent. 

The aesthetics of current physical yoga practice are examined here by comparing and contrasting two primary technical approaches: one that works with approximation stillness and the other that tries to achieve continuous fluid movement. 


The possibilities and propositions of yoga, which are founded on stillness, are well-represented in the literary canon, yet the exact strategies for achieving them are unclear. 


There is also a lot of literature on the nature of "activity," which has an impact on how yogic movement might be done. 


Stillness is often connected with asana and movement with vinyasa in contemporary yoga, and these words will be used interchangeably throughout to indicate which of these techniques is being explored. 


The historical concepts of yoga are undeniably essential, yet they may become an impediment to the live growth of yoga's practices and philosophy if they are examined without caution. 

Ancient writings' aphoristic form promotes interpretation, but these interpretations seem to be based on the idea that the serious issues yoga presents have already been fully resolved. 



Physical yoga discoveries are a necessary and ongoing search for new perspectives, informed by fresh and provocative information and subject to constant modification. 


This philosophical perspective provides the writers' experiences and understanding of yoga practice and teaching (since the 1970s). 


It presents a theory to explain these sensations and investigates them via a range of aesthetic and historical reflections on the nature of reality (later chapters give ways and strategies to research it). 

The mystical, old, and complicated philosophic traditions associated to yoga are rife with speculation and remain unsolved. 


Rather than abandoning the teachings of earlier generations of yogis, the aesthetic philosophy is a method of making sense of this intriguing argument from a contemporary, Western, scientific viewpoint.




References & Further Reading: 



Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja, Sri Srimad and Śrīla Bhaktivinoda Ṭhākura, Pure Bhakti: Bhajana-rahasya, 2nd Edition. New Delhi: Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, 2015.

Birch, Jason. “The proliferation of asana-s in late-medieval yoga texts.” In Yoga and transformation historical and contemporary perspectives, edited by Karl Baier, Philipp A. Maas, and Karin Preisendanz, 101–180. Vienna: Vienna University Press, 2018.

Coomaraswamy, Ananda K. The dance of Siva: essays on Indian art and culture.
New York: Dover, 1985.

Cooper, David E. “Introduction.” In Aesthetics: the classic readings, edited by David E. Cooper, 1–10. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1997.

Eliade, Mircea. Yoga immortality and freedom, translated by Willard R. Trask. 
Princeton: Bollingen Foundation, Princeton University Press, 1958.

Herbermann, Charles, ed. “The Absolute.” In Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company, 1913.

Jakubczak, Marzenna. “The purpose of non-theistic devotion in the classical Indian tradition of Sāmkhya-Yoga.” Argument, vol. 4 (January, 2014): 55–68.

Jaspers, Karl. The origin and goal of history, translated by Michael Bullock. London: Routledge, 1955.

Johnson, Williams J., translator. The Bhagavad Gita. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009.

Lewis-Williams, David and David Pearce. Inside the neolithic mind. London: Thames and Hudson, 2005.

Mallinson, James and Mark Singleton. Roots of yoga. New York: Penguin Books, 2017.

McGilchrist, Iain. The master and his emissary: the divided brain and the making of the Western world. New Haven: Yale, 2009.

Rama, Swami. The science of breath. Delhi: The Himalayan Institute Press, 1979.

Rama, Swami. Sacred journey: living purposefully and dying gracefully. Delhi: Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, 2002.

Rees, Martin. Our cosmic habitat. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2001.

Sinh, Pancham. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika: Sanskrit text with English translation. New 
Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1915.

Sinha, Phulgenda. The Gita as it was: rediscovering the original Bhagavad Gita. LaSalle: Open Court, 1986.

Stark, Rodney and William Sims Bainbridge. The future of religion. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.

Tarnas, Richard. The passion of the Western mind: understanding the ideas that have shaped our world view. London: Pimlico, 1991.

Vasu, Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra, translators. Siva Samhita. New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, 1914–15.







Yoga And Yoga Asanas - How Do I Start Doing Yoga At Home?




Table Of Contents
Yoga Preparation.
Create a space designated for your Yoga practice.
Wear what makes you feel comfortable, and flexible.
Choose Your Postures and Sequences.
Make an attainable goal for yourself.
Breathe slowly and deliberately.
Success Tips & Pointers.







Yoga Preparation.



When approaching yoga from a holistic healing and preventive viewpoint, the following recommendations will assist you in self-care, pain reduction, and remaining on the healing path. 


Although it may be tempting to leap right into the postures and sequences, take a moment to examine the following topics. 




Create a space designated for your Yoga practice. 



As we practice, our surroundings may either help or distract us. 


  • It's beneficial to have a yoga refuge where you can focus on your practice. 
  • Don't stress about being flawless. 
  • There is no need for a separate room. 
  • You may choose a room corner or even a location outside. 
  • Distracting noises should be minimized or music should be played quietly. 
  • Turn off the TV or computer and place the phone in another room. 
  • Make sure the temperature is comfortable and that the lighting is pleasing. 



Invoke calm, peace, and pleasure by placing a plant or a painting with a word like "breathe" in your line of sight. 


  • If you are unable to shut a door, ask other family members not to disturb you. (Nap time may be the greatest option if you have small children.) 
  • Make sure you have enough of space to move about whether you're practicing on a yoga mat, carpet, or chair. 
  • Make sure the chair legs are securely fastened to a wall or put on a mat to prevent them from slipping. 




Wear what makes you feel comfortable, and flexible.



Students often inquire about how to dress for yoga. 


  • There's no need to buy anything new. 
  • Simply dress in clothing that allows you to move freely and breathe comfortably. 
  • Shorts or pants with an elastic waist work nicely. 
  • You can even do yoga in your pajamas. 





Choose Your Postures and Sequences.


Consider how you're feeling physically and emotionally right now, and search for poses or sequences that will help you in those areas. 


  • Do a mental rehearsal of the sequence to assist your mind and body connect to the motions during the real practice. 
  • Be kind with yourself: When we start anything new, there is always a learning curve. 
  • Remember that you are deserving of your time, and consistent practice will pay off in the long run. 




Make an attainable goal for yourself.



Allow for a few calm transitioning minutes after arriving at your practice location. 

  • Take a big breath in and then exhale slowly. 
  • Sit down and mentally check your whole body for any leftover stress. 
  • Allow it to go. 
  • Take note of your ideas. 
  • Simply guide your thoughts back to the present if your mind is attracted to tales from the past or plans for the future. 



To remain focused, give your mind an anchor, such as the supporting mental affirmations or goals given. 


"I now support my health via my practice," for example, or "My yoga is holistically helping my recovery." Develop a self-compassionate and self-care mindset. 





Breathe slowly and deliberately.



Breath awareness is the key to stress and pain management, as explained here. 


  • You breathe deliberately along with the movements of yoga. 
  • Yoga differs from stretching in that it focuses on the body, mind, and breath. 



Long, calm, mindful breaths can help to relieve tension and relax the stiffness, tightness, and guarding that occurs in our muscles when we are in pain. 


  • When our brain connects a bodily area with pain, we frequently revert to shallow breathing or even holding our breath. 
  • According to pain research, if we walk gently towards a place of acceptable discomfort with our breath and mental purpose, we begin to educate our brain to let go of movement anxiety and a knee-jerk response to pain. 




Success Tips & Pointers.



Here are a few additional pointers to consider as you begin your path of practicing therapeutic yoga at home: 


Have a supply of water on hand. 

  • It's critical to keep hydrated even while doing mild physical exercise. 

 

It is not essential to do yoga on an empty stomach; nevertheless, wait 20 to 30 minutes after having a big meal to prevent feeling lethargic. 

 

Gather the appropriate props for the postures or sequence you've chosen ahead of time. 

 

To maintain a comprehensive approach and a well-rounded yoga experience, switch up your sequences and postures on a frequent basis. 

  • Alternating upper and lower body routines, or alternate flexibility and strength workouts, for example. 

 

Keep in mind that yoga is a noncompetitive sport. 

  • Respect your present level of strength and flexibility, and know that consistent practice will result in therapeutic benefits, regardless of where you begin. 

 

• If you are in pain, work smartly. 

  • Consider if a certain movement is safe and whether you will feel at ease afterwards. 
  • It's OK if there's a little amount of pain. 

 

• Take a moment to notice how you're feeling in between sides or postures. 

 

•Check in with your breath on a regular basis. 

  • Calm yogic breathing, as explained here, is a sure indication of bodily and mental well-being. 
  • Whether you're breathing shallowly, holding your breath, or even hyperventilating, consider if you need to stop because the action is really hazardous and unpleasant, or if you're in a regular state of pain avoidance.





You may also want to read more about Yoga here.

You may also want to read more about Yoga Asanas and Exercises here.