Friday, September 28, 2007

Fruitful Benefits of Teaching Yoga

Fruitful Benefits of Teaching Yoga
Job Satisfaction:
Every challenging occupation yields some sort of satisfaction, butthe fitness professionals industry had an amazing 85% jobsatisfaction rate according to an Idea Health & Fitness survey. In the same survey, 98% of those interviewed felt that "My workgives me a feeling of personal accomplishment."
Lack of personalsatisfaction is the most frequent reason why people leave a job. These statistics make it obvious that this is an extremelyharmonious atmosphere to work in.
For many of us who worked in the corporate world and shifted intothe health and fitness industry, the energy felt in a health club,ashram, or wellness center is similar to being on vacation.
There's always something to do, but the job itself is verygratifying. Rewards of Helping Family, Friends, Students, and Co-workers Your self esteem improves as you find solutions for the painmanagement of others, ailments, fitness, stress management,positive thinking, etc. The list goes on, as you continue your own journey of selfimprovement, but the feeling of gratification you get from helpingsomeone find the right path, is beyond words.
You will always remember: That student who reaches their ideal bodyweight, the physically impaired student who finds that they, too,can live a better quality life, and the student who leaves yourclass without the headache or backache they came in with.
Your Own Health
As a practitioner of Yoga, you have become more aware of your dailyups and downs. You monitor your breath, posture, moods, diet, andexercise on a daily basis. As a Yoga teacher, you are setting an example to your students andteaching them to live a quality life. This path will enable you tolive longer and live better.
There is no Shortage of Work
When the working world is in the "9 to 5" mode, you have manyopportunities with Corporate Accounts, The Fitness Industry, SeniorCenters, Medical Centers, Referrals, etc. This is when you canteach them, with any free time you have. Once I became totally self-employed, there were more daytimeoff-site Yoga teaching opportunities than I had time for in ageographic area that has many active Yoga teachers and studios. One of my best students, who became a Yoga teacher through ouron-site program, inherited an area that I could no longer servicedue to time restraints. The object is to contact them. I have mentioned this in previousnewsletters, but this is where your post cards come in handy if youdon't have a personal referral.
Continuing Education
Yes, learning new things keeps your mind stimulated and healthy. You will never tire of subjects to study, explore, and investigate. There are so many facets of Yoga, that one life span, is just notenough time to learn it all. It's not a race, but it is a journey. You will find friends,colleagues, and students who are on the same path. This makesgiving, receiving, and sharing a wonderful thing along the way. Time You will have time to stop, think, breathe, relax, or meditate. You can always fill your plate beyond its limits, but you no longerhave to.You can determine whether or not you will be stuck in trafficduring rush hour. You decide what hours you will work and whatdays you have off. You will come to the realization that your timeis your own.
Independence
Everyone wants control of their own life, but very few achieve it. Being in business for yourself, can help you control your owndestiny and that of your family.Sure there are limits to what one person can accomplish, but it isbetter to try than to have never tried.
Success
No matter what you want, if you write down your short-term andlong-term goals, you will make great progress toward them.You should keep these goals in a place where you can see them dailyand visualize yourself accomplishing your goals. You should bespecific about time frames and ethical methods used to meet them. You can even use them in meditation.Review your long-term goals at least once every season and everyyear.
Review your short-term goals daily. You will see yourselfmake rapid success in this way.Lastly, goals do not have to be material at all. For example: Youmay want to start teaching Yoga in a year, and the following year,get a part-time Yoga teaching position. This type of goal settingis realistic and beneficial to mankind. That is the key - If you choose a goal that will benefit others,you will surely achieve it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Simple exercises with Great Benefits

SIMPLE EXERCISES BUT WITH GREAT BENEFITS
General guidelines:

· In the beginning mentally prepare yourselves for doing these exercises-Mind set
· Be calm, cool and relaxed without any strain or stress.
· Concentrate your attention on what you are exercising – Awareness.
· Close your eyes whenever possible to ensure better awareness.
· Early morning (5-7A.M) and evening (5-7P.M) and before meals are the proper time.
· Have only loose clothes, - upper wear and underwear to permit free movement.
· Try to adhere to the same place and same time to practice.
· Select airy, neat, noise and pollution free place.
· Have a mat or sheet on the floor.
· Do these exercises without taxing the body too much- Do not be stiff.
· Do what is possible perfectly and not necessary to do all in one Go.Relax the system for a few minutes after each of these exercises – Relaxation /

The secret of a Fruitful life


THE SECRET OF A FRUITFUL LIFE
The secrets of a progressive and fruitful life is to be inwardly ever linked with God, linked with the Cosmic Being.
When there is no connection, when you cut yourself off from the source of your being, then your life will be full of pain and suffering, misery and fear, and negativity will prevail.
If you want to put an end to this, the only way is to link yourself with God, who is your source, your origin. Keep that connection either through enquiry and discrimination, or through enquiry and discrimination, or through constant unbroken rememberance of God and devotion, or through meditation and continuosly thinking about Brahman, or through worshipfully dedicating all activities to Him. Then, day by day, your spirit will begin to unfold. It will grow, develop, progress, expand and you will attain divine experience.
So remember that seperation from God is the root cause of all human miseries. Put an end to this; seriously strive after that supreme state of being constantly in a state of oneness, attunement with the Supreme and overcome the sorrows of samsara.
May God bless you.
-SWAMI CHIDANANDA

Some Quotes

Quotes: The only thing that stands in the way of your spiritual realization is your own mind or the ego. It is precisely in order to see that this obstacle is removed, and that one reaches the precious goal of human life that one comes to yoga.
Serve. Love. Give. Purify. Meditate. This is the central teaching. Make a firm determination to uproot selfishness. If each individual tries to fulfill the dictates of yoga in the fullest possible manner with perseverance and determination, then the declaration that man’s nature is Satchidananda will come out of the book and illuminate you in actual experience. You will be an ocean of bliss.
The path of Love is the right royal road that leads to the abode of immortality and eternal bliss- where time cannot exercise its destructive power, where illusion cannot show its face. Love is the clear and open way to God.
There is no virtue higher than Love; there is no treasure higher than Love; there is no knowledge higher than Love; there is no path higher than Love; there is no religion higher than Love. Because love is truth, love is God. This world has come out of Love, this world exists in Love, and this world ultimately dissolves in Love.
Take a broad view of things. Ignore the faults of others. Joyfully bear with the eccentricities of other people. Be great and noble minded in whatever you do.
Consider no one inferior to you. Praise others. See good in all. Treat the lowliest creatures with respect.
Bear insult patiently. Calmly bear injury, suffering, failures and disrespect. Do not be elated by praise, pleasure, success and honor.
Every moment remember that death awaits you. Never fail to fulfill your duties.
DO IT NOW-not tomorrow or the day after, but now itself. Opportunities come and go. Be vigilant. Use every opportunity for service. Don’t wait for something to come your way. Create opportunities for service. Be aggressive in doing good.
Don’t run after the shadowy toys of name and fame. Name and fame are illusions. They are mere vibrations in the air. Nobody can earn an everlasting name in the Maya plane. Care for the everlasting Reality only.
Give, give and give. This is the secret of abundance. Share what you have with others. Don’t be miserly. Delight in the joys of others.
Become a person of high moral principles. Live a life of righteousness. Its sweet fragrance will be all around you.
Realize the infinite bliss. You are born for higher things. A glorious brilliant future is awaiting you. Do not think of the past. Purify. Concentrate. Reflect. Meditate. March forward. Find thy rest in the Supreme Soul.
The Lord is everywhere. Feel His presence everywhere. His eyes belong to everything. His hands protect all. Trust in him. Take refuge in His sweet name. You need not despair. You need not be afraid of anything.
In this way you will march through the gates of immortality into the kingdom of God. You will achieve great success in this life.

Monday, September 24, 2007

SEVEN-FOLD SELF CULTURE BY SWAMI SIVANANDA

SEVEN-FOLD SELF CULTURE BY SWAMI SIVANANDA
(a) An ounce of practice is better than tons of theory. Practise Yoga,Religion and
Philosophy in daily life and attain Self-realisation.
(b) These thirty-two instructions give the essence of the Eternal (Sanatana Dharma) in purest form. These are suitable for modern busy householders with fixed hours of work. Modify them to suit your convenience and increase the period gradually.
(c) In the beginning take only a few practicable resolves which form a small but definite advance over your present habits and character. In case of ill health, pressure of work or unavoidable engagements, replace your active Sadhana by frequent rememberance of God.

1. HEALTH CULTURE
1. Eat moderately, take light and simple food. Offer it to God before you eat. Have
a balanced diet.
2. Avoid chillies, garlic, onions, tamarind etc., as far as possible. Give up tea, coffee, smoking, betels, meat and wine entirely.
3. Fast on Ekadasi days, take milk, fruits and roots only.
4. Practice Yoga Asanas or physical exercises for fifteen to thirty minutes everyday. Take a long walk or play some vigorous games daily.

2. ENERGY CULTURE
5. Observe silence (Mouna) for two hours daily and four to eight hours on Sundays.
6. Observe celibacy according to your age and circumstances. Restrict the indulgence to once a month. Decrease gradually to once a year. Finally take a vow of abstinence for whole life.
3. ETHICAL CULTURE

7. Speak the Truth, Speak little, speak kindly, speak sweetly.
8. Do not injure anyone in thought, word or deed. Be kind to all.
9. Be sincere, straightforward and open hearted in your talks and dealings.
10. Be honest. Earn by sweat of your brow. Do not accept any money, thing or favour unless earned lawfully. Develop nobility and integrity.
11. Control fits of anger by serenity, patience, love, mercy and tolerance. Forget and forgive. Adapt yourself to men and events.

4. WILL CULTURE
12. Live without sugar for a week or month. Give up salt on Sundays.
13. Give up cards, novels, cinemas and clubs. Fly from evil-company. Avoid discussions with materialists. Do not mix with persons who have no faith in God or who criticise your Sadhana.
14. Curtail your wants. Reduce your possessions. Have plain living and high thinking.

5. HEART CULTURE
15. Doing good to others is the highest religion. Do some selfless service for a few hours every week, without egoism or expectation of reward. Do your worldly
duties in the same spirit. Work is worship. Dedicate it to God.
16. Give two to ten percent of your income in charity every month. Share what you
have with others. Let the world be your family. Remove selfishness.
17. Be humble and prostrate yourself to all beings mentally. Feel the Divine
Presence everywhere. Give up vanity, pride and hypocrisy.
18. Have unwavering faith in God, the Gita and your Guru. Make a total self-
surrender to God and pray : “Thy will be done : I want nothing” .Submit to the
divine will in all events and happenings with equanimity.
19. See God in all the beings and love them as your ownself. Do not hate anyone.
20. Remember God at all times or, atleast on raising from bed, during a pause in work
and before going to it. Keep a Mala in your pocket.

6. PSYCHIC CULTURE
21. Study one chapter or ten to twenty five verses of the Gita with meaning, daily.
Learn Sanskrit atleast sufficient to understand Gita in original.
22. Memorise the whole of the Gita, gradually. Keep it always in your pocket.
23. Read the Ramayana,Bhagavata, Upanishads, Yogavasistha or other religious
books or on holidays.
24. Attend religious meetings, Kirtans and Satsanga of saints at every opportunity.
Organise such functions on Sundays or holidays.
25. Visit a temple or place of worship atleast once a week and arrange to hold kirtans
or discourses there.
26. Spend holidays and leave periods, when possible, in the company of saints or
practice sadhana at holy places in seclusion.

7. SPIRITUAL CULTURE
27. Go to bed early. Get up at four o’clock. Answer calls of nature, clean your mouth and take a bath.
28. Recite some prayers and Kirtan. Practice Pranayama, Japa and meditation from five to 6’o clock. Sit on Padma, Siddha, or Sukha Asana throughout, without movement, by gradual practise.
29. Perform your daily Sandhya, Gayatri Japa, Nithyakarma and worship, if any.
30. Write your favourite Mantra or Name of the God in a notebook for ten to thirty minutes, daily.
31. Sing the Names of God (Kirtan), prayers, Stotras and Bhajans for half to one hour at night with family and friends.
32. Make annual resolves on the above lines. Regularity, tenacity and fixity are essential. Record your Sadhana in a spiritual diary daily. Review it every month and correct your failures.

20 Important Spiritual Instructions

Twenty Important Spiritual Instructions:
1. Get up at 4.00 AM daily. Do Japa and Meditation.
2. Take Sattwic Ahara. Do not overload the stomach.
3. Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana for Japa and Dhyana.
4. Have a separate meditation room under lock and key.
5. Give in charity one-tenth of your income or ten paise per rupee.
6. Study systematically one chapter of Bhagavad Gita.
7. Preserve Veerya (the vital force). Sleep separately.
8. Give up smoking, intoxicating drinks and Rajasic Food
9. Fast on Ekadasi days or live on milk and fruits only.
10. Observe Mouna for two hours daily and during meals also.
11. Speak truth at any cost, speak little, sweetly.
12. Reduce your wants. Lead a happy contented life.
13. Never hurt the feelings of others. Be kind to all.
14. Think of the mistakes you have done (self-analysis).
15. Do not depend upon servants.
16. Think of God as soon as you get up and when you go to bed.
17. Have always a Japa Mala around your neck or in your pocket.
18. Have the motto- “Simple living and High thinking”.
19. Serve the Sadhus, Sannyasins, poor and sick persons.
20. Keep a daily spiritual diary. Stick to your routine.

Prayer

PRAYER:SLOKAS
BEFORE PRANAYAMA / BEFORE FOOD
OM………….OM……….. OM
SAHANA VAVATU, SAHANOV BHUNAKTU
SAHA VEERYAM KARAVAVAHAI
TEJASVINA AVAIHITAMASTU
MAHID VISHA VAHAI
OM SHANTHI…………. OM SHANTHI………….. OM SHANTHI
Let us be together, Let us eat together, Let us produce the energy together, Let there be no limit to our Energies, Let there be no ill feeling among us, OM………peace, peace, peace.

AFTER PRANAYAMA
OM………..OM……….OM
ASATOMA SATGAMAYA
TAMSOMA JYOTIRGAMAYA
MRITYORMA AMRITAM GAMAYA
OM………….. SHANTHI……………..SHANTHI…………SHANTHI

Lead us from untruth to truth; From ignorance to enlightenment. From death to immortality.
OM……………SHANTHI………….SHANTHI………SHANTHI

OM PURNAMADAH PURNAMIDAM PURNAT PURNAMUDACYATE
PURNASYA PURNAMADAYA PURNAMEVAVASISYATE
Completeness is that, completeness is this
From completeness, completeness comes forth.
Completeness from completeness taken away
Completeness to completeness added,
Completeness alone remains.
UNIVERSAL PRAYER

O! Adorable Lord of mercy and love
Salutations and prostrations unto Thee
Thou art Satchidananda
Thou art Omnipresent, Omnipotent and Omniscient
Thou art the in-dweller of all beings
Grant us an understanding heart
equal vision, balanced mind
Faith, Devotion and Wisdom
Grant us inner spiritual strength
To resist temptations and to control the mind
Free us from egoism, lust, greed, anger,
hatred, and jealousy
Fill our hearts with divine virtues
Let us behold Thee in all these names and forms
Let us serve Thee in all these names and forms
Let us ever remember Thee
Let us ever sing Thy glories
Let Thy name be ever on our lips
Let us be abide in Thee for ever and ever
-Sri Swami Sivananda

Introduction to Yoga

INTRODUCTION TO YOGA
Yoga is a light which, once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame.The practice of yoga aims at overcoming the limitations of the body. Yoga teaches us that the goal of every individual’s life is to take the inner journey to the soul. Yoga offers both the goal and the means to reach it.
Yoga is an ancient art based on an extremely subtle science, that of the body, mind and soul. The prolonged practice of yoga will, in time, lead the student to a sense of peace and a feeling of being at one with his or her environment.Good health results from perfect communication between each part of the body and mind; when each cell communes with every other. Although yoga is essentially a spiritual science; it leads to a sense of physical and emotional well being.
Asanas are based on the three basic human postures of standing, sitting, or lying down. But they are not a series of movements to be followed mechanically. They have a logic which must be internalized if the pose is to be practiced correctly. Most types of exercise are competitive. Yoga, although non-competitive, is nevertheless challenging. The challenge is to one’s own will power. It is a competition between one’s self and one’s body.
Yoga minimizes the impact of stress on the individual. Yogic science believes that the regular practice of asanas and pranayama strengthens the nervous system and helps people stressful situations positively. Yoga is the union of the individual self with the universal self. Asanas, one of yoga’s most significant tools, help the sincere student develop physically and spiritually. The ancient sages believed that if you put your whole heart into your practice, you become a master of your circumstances and time.
The mind is the vital link between the body and the consciousness. The individual can live with awareness, discrimination, and confidence only once the mind is calm and focused. Yoga is the alchemy that generates this equilibrium.
The basic tenets of yoga are described in the form of “eight limbs” or “steps” described by the sage,Patanjali.These are aphorisms, explaining the codes of ethical behavior which will ultimately lead to self-realization.
Prana is the life-force which permeates both the individual as well as the universe at all levels. It is at once physical, sexual, mental, intellectual, spiritual, and cosmic.Prana,the breath, and the mind are inextricably linked to each other.Yogic science recognizes that spiritual health is activated by a system of chakras or ‘nerve’ centres, said to be located within the spinal column. Cosmic energy lies coiled within these chakras and has to be awakened for self-realization.
The tradition of the guru, or master, and the yogi, or disciple, is an ancient one. All learning from generation to generation has been handed down this way. The guru must be compassionate, yet exacting. The yogi must be sincere and dedicated.Yoga asanas cover the basic positions of standing, forward bends, twists, inversions, back bends, and lying down. The 23 classic poses must be practiced with physical coordination, as well as intelligence and sincerity. An asana is not a posture which you assume mechanically. It involves thought, at the end of which a balance is achieved between movement and resistance.
Source: YOGA-B.K.S.IYENGAR

Swami Vivekananda proclaimed “Each soul is potentially divine.The goal is to manifest this Divinity within, by controlling Nature- external and internal. Do it either by work or worship, psychic control or philosophy, by one, or more, or all of these and be free. The systematic methodology of unfoldment of this inner potential Divinity, by moving towards Self-perfection is referred to as Yoga by Sri Aurobindo. Yoga is thus a process by which the Animal-Man ascends through the stages Man-Man, Super-man and the Divine-man. In this process, the limited, narrow, selfish thinking completely changes and takes the shape of an integrated, all-encompassing, selfless character expressed by equanimity. This state of Divinity or Self- perfection is the state of pure consciousness, maximum creativity and bliss. Hence, the movement towards THAT through Yoga is a delightful, blissful process. Since every individual or society is always striving to achieve greater happiness, bliss, creativity and higher mental faculties, Yoga clearly is the real solution, both for individual fulfillment and social harmony.
Divergent are the methods of Yoga. Unless one sees the underlying unity and harmony, one is apt to lose track amidst diversities. Once the insight into the ‘Unity in Diversity’ develops, the truth about the comprehensive nature of Yoga emerges. This central note of harmony was emphatically sounded in the speeches of Swami Vivekananda. He called for men with muscles of iron and nerves of steel, Sri Aurobindo laid stress on a comprehensive growth of personality at the physical, mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels. The present course on Yogic practices is tailored for an all-round development of the personality to a certain extend.
First, some loosening and stretching exercises called Sithilikārana Vyāyāma are introduced which help to make the body supple and flexible so that they aid in Asanas that are designed to conserve the energies and transform them to subtle forms of mental energies. The asanas also provide a means to develop an inner awareness thus aiding in calming down the mind. The cleansing techniques, ‘Kriyas’, help to clean the respiratory, circulatory, nervous and digestive systems and bring about a balanced functioning of the body, thereby purifying the subtle “Nādis”. These techniques prepare the individual for practicing Pranayama, Asanas and Meditation.

This booklet of instruction introduces only some of the aspects and is by no means exhaustive. Through these practices one gets a preparatory training for pursuing higher techniques leading to states of increasing harmony and bliss.

YOGA: An Instruction Booklet, A Vivekananda Kendra Publication

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