There are several misconceptions about yoga. The major among them is the common cliche “Getting our body in to difficult poses”. Yoga actually means ‘Union’, realizing that the individual and the cosmos are not different. There are 8 limbs of yoga, one of those is Yogasana or the physical postures.
The 8 stages of Yoga are:[starlist]
1) Yama – Universal Moral Commandments
2) Niyama – Disciple and purifying the self
3) Asana – The postures and the physical activity
4) Pranayama – A systematic and rhythmic control of breath
5) Pratyahara – Withdrawal of mind from exterior temptations
6) Dharana – Concentration and Focus
7) Dhyana – Meditation
8) Samadhi – Super-consciousness[/starlist]
One can be a true yoga guru only when he masters all the 8 limbs of yoga. Until then he can just be a guide and consultant.
Yoga for Beginners:
Patanjali, a great yoga guru says that there are 9 reasons for a beginner to give-up his yoga practice. Even after 1000s of years these factors are relevant.[checklist]
- Sickness – Which disturbs the physical body and prevents the aspirant from practicing yoga
- langour or lack of motivation to work on the body
- Self doubt and indecision
- Failure to attain continuity
- Instability of mind and lack of concentration
- Illusion and false knowledge. [/checklist]
A beginner should hence try hard and avoid these things to start with. The way to achieve it is Sadhana (constant practice), all the important literature on yoga emphasize sadhana. There are several yogis, who did the same sadhana for 12 years or more before being initiated by their gurus. Success in yoga is not achieved through mere theoretical reading (in today’s context attending yoga workshops and watching dvds); it can only be achieved through continuous practice for months (if not years). It is for this reason a lot of emphasis is given to yogasanas (the poses).
There are more than 100,000 yogasanas and it is impossible to cover everyone of them, in this section we will publish articles on specific yoga and pranayama. We will also see how to tackle a specific disease or ailment through yoga.