Transform your Life with Yoga, Meditation and Loving-Kindness

LEVEL ONE – Raising Vitality, Strength and Awareness Complied with love by Dave West

 Himalaya Yoga 2007

The yoga tradition of the world is centred on the quest for enlightenment. This is when the veils of delusion are peeled away and the true majestic nature of our inner most Self is revealed, in all its glory. Love, compassion, generosity, dispassion, caring, friendliness and happiness all naturally blossom in everyday life. Yoga is mind, body and spirit flowing in perfect harmony with nature and the all creation. It represents awareness and silence, the stillness that can come in the mind. This is when the mind naturally begins to cease its constant vacillation between worry of the future or regrets of the past, when the whole awareness comes to the present moment. Such beauty and fullness is found there! Also termed by athletes and ‘being in the zone’, this natural state of awareness accompanies peak performance in all fields of human endeavour. That Presence is stillness inside, alertness, clarity of mind and peace, even in the midst of dynamic activity. Thus the human nervous system is far more effective, responsive, and action far more powerful. The information in this book is compiled directly from the Himalayas, from all my teachers, past and present, and from my own understanding of that wisdom. I pray that this new compilation reaches you with the blessings from God and all the holy beings, and assists you towards perfect health, inner peace and happiness. Take time from the hectic pace of modern living to experience the harmony of yoga through this book, combined with regular yoga and meditation classes from an experienced instructor and your own personal practice at home. Play relaxing music, burn natural incense and let the light of love shine clear in your heart. Dave West Bali 2007

 Himalaya Yoga 2007


com Email: info@himalaya-yoga. Strength and Awareness Complied with love by Dave West Himalaya Yoga aims is to provide authentic Himalayan wisdom and yoga training For your health and happiness.himalaya-yoga. Contents COURSE OVERVIEW ORIGINS OF YOGA DEVELOPMENT OF HIMALAYA YOGA INTRODUCTION TO YOGA TEN PRINCIPLES OF YOGA PRANA AND CHAKRAS KUNDALINI SALUTATIONS TO THE SUN RELAXATION ASANA YOGA FOR BEGINNERS – 30 MINUTES PRANAYAMA MEDITATION MANTRA YOGA CLASSES PROFILE REFERENCES Himalaya Yoga Website: www.HIMALAYA YOGA LEVEL ONE – Raising Vitality. and for the spiritual evolution of mankind.com Phone: +62 81 338 290 562  Himalaya Yoga 2007 3 .

wisdom and meditation. compassion. all systems are restored to radiant health.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 4 . Nepal and Tibet and is a gentle blend of Sivananda Yoga.raising vitality. depending on individual requirements. This assists you in developing a personal practice and holistic lifestyle. They develop love.developing awareness. The yoga masters of the Himalayas taught Dave that to live harmoniously the mind. encompassing mind. Yoga Nidra . Himalaya Yoga covers a range of Himalayan techniques and philosophies. This all helps to make the purification process deep-rooted and ensure success. Tibetan Yoga. Thus Lord Shiva gave Parvati the first teachings of yoga . Powerful breathing techniques recharge the whole system with prana . providing a strong foundation for advanced practice. wisdom and compassion inspiring self-discipline and spiritual living.BEGINNERS . Himalaya Yoga allows you to learn about your own body and mind. happiness and inner peace to your mind. He was taught to focus on health. By combing traditional yoga techniques with a transforming spiritual philosophy from the heart. giving guidance for peaceful. to the abode of the snows. glands and nerves. promoting strength and vitality.Himalaya Yoga Course Overview LEVEL 1 . strength and awareness. body and spirit must develop in a balanced way. toning the muscles and joints. This results in a comprehensive guide to the classical yoga techniques and philosophies from the Himalayas. Origins of Yoga A long.removing simple energy blockages in the mind and body. After travelling extensively in the Himalayan Mountains yoga instructor Dave West discovered and compiled many of these ancient yoga techniques. loving-kindness. sacred text of the Vedas. weight loss. long time ago in the Himalayan kingdom of Tibet. Dave was warned about ego and attachment to the body. Relaxation and meditation techniques bring inner peace to the mind allowing you to explore higher realms of consciousness. They recognized that every human being evolves in a different way according to temperament and capacity. the entire skeletal system. ignorant and evil people of the world. This ancient wisdom was recorded in the Tantric and Yogic Shastras. the internal organs. the spine. so that she could then teach and help the suffering. body and spirit and illuminates the path of self-discovery and enlightenment.basic mobility and flexibility. where Lord Shiva was seated in deep meditation. It was passed down from guru to student for thousands of years and on to our present day teachers. She pleaded with him to teach her the divine science of self-realization. legend has it that the goddess Parvati was so distressed by all the human suffering in the world that she climbed to the top of Mount Kailash. Pawanmuktasana . Asana . He used this knowledge to develop what he calls Himalaya Yoga. Himalaya Yoga brings health. They advocated everyone to emphasize the practice of certain yogas over others. By exercising every part of the body. he formed a powerful healing system for 21st century mankind. stillness.the path to enlightenment and liberation. Regular practice of these techniques will revitalize the body and mind by removing energy blockages and improving circulation.proper breathing and equanimity.life force energy. developing patience and gentleness. money. ten principles of yoga. your potential and limitation. loving-kindness. Meditation . Development of Himalaya Yoga Himalaya Yoga is inspired by the great yogi masters of India. acceptance. It releases tension and stress. Bihar School of Yoga and Kundalini Yoga. by combining Hatha Yoga with other forms of yoga. morality. mental and emotional relaxation Pranayama .physical.lifestyle re-evaluation. resistance to disease. body and soul. sex. holistic and spiritual living. food and sleep. Holistic lifestyle . Yoga is the oldest personal development system in the world.

gentleness and determination yoga can make this change a positive one. Yoga is a journey of self-realization and self-discovery that cannot be bought by the hour. that is between one's individual consciousness and the Universal Consciousness. and over time you are different. This purifies the mind and body in preparation for meditation. Asthanga. India in 1887. that is yoga. it happens.V. our breathing. breath. Bhakti Yoga. emphasizing all aspects of human life. including our relationships with others. Following these simple points will make a positive change in all areas of your life. and whatever happens. Swami Sivananda recognized that every human being possesses and identifies with each of the following elements in different ways: Intellect.S. mind and spirit.g. Therefore. breathing and relaxation techniques. heart. body and spirit must develop in a balanced way according to individual temperament and capacity. body purification. our health. After receiving yogic instruction from a wandering monk he set up hospitals for the sick and needy in Rishikesh. our behavior. The true meaning of yoga is to bring about this change using systematic purification of the mind and body through moral. in accordance with individual temperament and taste. He became a medical doctor and served in Malay. going on to develop their own famous styles. Yoga is an evolutionary process and. Desikachar states that each of us has a different starting point depending on temperament. etc) and therefore as many different yogas. Progress on the path of Yoga depends on various physical and mental qualifications in an individual that have to be gradually cultivated and awakened. direct perception. if possible under the guidance of a qualified yoga instructor. steadiness of the body. enabling him or her to progress along the path to perfection. Dhammapada. mind. B. Hatha.K. Desikachar. All these qualifications are listed in a yogic text called the Gherand Samita. This careful observation will allow us to discover something new about ourselves. Bible. We should celebrate our individuality and accept our personal starting point. so that we know were we are going and how we are going to get there.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 5 . proper diet and proper thinking and meditation. Karma Yoga. Therefore practice yoga everyday. promoting peace and harmony in your daily life. you will come to understand that change is not a choice. This may objective may only be achieved if there is balance and harmony between mind and body. We begin where we are and how we are. realizing that we are made of body. Koran. These practices and experiences are the means to achieve perfection. Upanishads. lightness of the body and mind. spiritual physical and mental discipline.V. Modern yoga was influenced by the great yogi masters Sri Tirumalai Krisnamacharya and Swami Sivananda Saraswati.Introduction to Yoga Yoga is a practical system and universal philosophy designed to help you return you body and mind to radiant health. Swami Sivananda taught that to live harmoniously the mind. yoga refers to a certain state of consciousness as well as to methods that help one reach that goal or state of union with the divine. It cannot be given in a book or lecture. Krisnamacharya is considered the father of modern yoga and is responsible for pioneering the refinement of postures sequences combined with breath control. Yoga introduces us to ways of seeing that create opportunities for us to recognize ourselves better. Swami Vishnu-Devananda summarized the vast science of yoga into five points: proper exercise. Born in Mysore. and our meditation. as well as ashrams for the study of yoga and Vedanta. If we are to become complete human beings we must incorporate all aspects of ourselves. There are many techniques that can help you to attain this goal (read Bhagavad Gita. T. Although popular belief is that the Sanskrit word yoga refers to union between body. the more we become aware of the holistic nature of our being. Jnana Yoga and Raj Yoga which includes Tantra. Yoga helps to develop these required qualifications in the aspirant. Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. With patience. the traditional acceptance is union between the jivatman and paramatman. Each of us is required to pay careful attention to the direction we are taking. proper breathing. Pattabhi Jois both studied with Krisnamacharya as well as his own son T. Yoga helps each of us to attain what was previously unobtainable. They are. proper relaxation. you must experience it for yourself. happens.K. The actual practice of yoga takes each person in a different direction. and Kundalini. Two of his most famous students Swami Vishnu-Devananda and Swami Satyananda Saraswati later went on to expand the philosophy of Sivananda Yoga forming their own yoga centres and universities around the world. constitution and capacity. combining Hatha Yoga other forms of yoga such as Bhakti Yoga and Karma Yoga. India in 1888. Most of the yoga styles taught today throughout the western world are variations of Hatha Yoga which involves stretching. which can lead to enlightenment. determination. like nature. When we gain more understanding of ourselves and reach a point we have personally never been before. e. and to be unaffected by the woes of the world and life. Iyengar and K. Swami Sivananda was born in Tamil Nadu. Under the guidance of an experienced yoga instructor you can develop a personal discipline that trains the mind and body to become healthy and live in balance and harmony. detachment. This is achieved by regularly practicing yogic techniques in a systematic and progressive way. We should not compare or compete with others. and more. This all helps to make the purification process deep-rooted and ensure success. patience.K. women and children of all ages to reach their full potential. allowing men. The more we progress. It must be earned through diligent selfpractice. if you study it long enough. He therefore advocated everyone to emphasize the practice of certain yogas over others. body and mind.

teaches how to recharge the body and control our mental state by increasing and regulating the flow of prana . In Hatha Yoga proper exercise is given by the salutations to the sun and the asana. day by day.reduced sexual activity and thoughts. Deep relaxation leads into pratyahara – withdrawal of the senses – leading to inner awareness and greater concentration. POSITIVE THINKING AND DETERMINATION There are many obstacles on the path of yoga.energy centres.M. This brings steadiness and lightness to the body and mind. is the key to spiritual evolution. This will save huge amounts of energy and considerably decelerate the aging process. Take your time. Eat only foods that are easily digestible. systematic practice is essential. EXERCISE Try to exercise regularly for a healthy heart. avoiding pharmaceuticals and synthetic medicines except in emergencies. Take natural remedies for illness.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 6 . Regular. Positive thinking promotes mental health and helps to remove negative thoughts. This includes awareness of all thoughts. Complete sexual suppression is not necessary. BREATHING This means breathing fully and rhythmically through the nose. It is extremely important to have a strong determination to succeed while maintaining a positive mental attitude. leaving you as refreshed as after a good night’s sleep. keeping the spine and joints flexible. Concentration techniques help improve mental stability and awareness. Avoid fasting too much.yogic breathing techniques . but it should be reduced and controlled as much as possible.restraints on behaviour through universal moral commandments and self-purification through spiritual discipline. It carries over into all your activities and teaches you to conserve energy and let go of all worries and fears. advancing slowly but surely. as pain is signal to stop the practice. Hatha Yoga advises celibacy . and in time you will understand the need for patience and gentleness. Avoid over-eating. Try to go to sleep at 9 or 10 P. SEX Hatha Yoga teaches that sexual energy should be conserved and used for spiritual progress. reducing stress and tension in preparation for meditation. It is essential to drink plenty of water between meals.Ten Principles of Yoga DISCIPLINE To succeed in yoga one must have discipline. FOOD Eat a nourishing and well balanced diet. Advanced students should consider a purely vegetarian diet to enhance spiritual progress. and get up around 5 or 6 A. Rushing this process may result from not understanding basic concepts and theories and may cause many problems including physical and mental injury.conserved in the chakras . Meditation helps us to find inner peace and teaches how to become aware of the inner self. PATIENCE AND GENTLENESS Do not try to rush your progress. ultimately transcending all thought. which work systematically on all parts of the body. stretching and toning the muscles and ligaments. This keeps the body light and supple and the mind calm. with continuous mindfulness and awareness of every present moment. leading to complete absorption with the Divine. Hatha Yoga takes many years of discipline to achieve safe results. muscles and circulation with jogging. This is ample time to get a good night’s sleep and gives you enough time in the morning for yoga practice. Hatha Yoga does not utilize the transcendental experience of sexual union for the path to spiritual awareness. speech and actions. Discipline also means yama and niyama . and improving circulation and the flow of prana. in yoga nidra you are not allowed to sleep. truthfulness and celibacy. Avoid over-processed foods. making use of all not just part of your lungs to increase your intake of oxygen. CONCENTRATION AND MEDITATION Being in the present moment. ego inflation and exhaustion. Swami Sivananda says “To achieve the goal of yoga one must have constant spiritualization of all activities and cultivation of virtues such as non-violence. It will also help in reducing the great attachment that people have with sex and the material world. and maintaining a high standard of morality. giving a high resistance to disease. Never exert un-due force. based on natural foods. However. It is only necessary to have about 5 to 6 hours sleep per night but most people have 8 to 10 hours.” If you are not religious try to maintain mindfulness and constantly be in the present moment aware of all actions and thoughts. SLEEP Too much sleep makes the body lazy and weak and reduces the amount of waking time. swimming and asanas.M. Relax. RELAXATION The technique of yoga nidra {deep relaxation} releases tension and stress in the mind and body and rests the whole system. avoiding anxiety and depression through life’s ups and downs. Pranayama . especially during periods of intense practice. This helps to still the mind.vital energy .

BINDU At the top back portion of the head Light . Chakras are vortices of pranic energy at specific areas in the body. The chakras are then able to absorb and store greater quantities of prana.Prana and Chakra The healing process of yoga not only operates on the physical and mental levels.ANAHATA In the spine in region of the heart Fire .AJNA In the midbrain behind the eyebrow centre Sound . allowing free movement of prana throughout the body. but also on the subtle or astral energy level. Central to Hatha Yoga is the cleansing and purifying of these subtle energy channels and awakening of the charkas through the movement of prana. which control the circulation of prana permeating the entire human structure. It is with the practice of yoga that these centres of energy may be awakened and cleansed. Thought .VISHUDHA In the spine at the back of the throat near the thyroid gland Air . Chakra is the ancient Indian Sanskrit word for wheel or vortex. On a physical level charkas correspond to the major nerve plexuses and endocrine glands in the body.MOOLADHARA At the perineum in the base of the spine between the anus and the genitals Grand Chakra System  Himalaya Yoga 2007 7 .MANIPURA In the spine behind the navel Water . These chakras contain our physical. Below is a list of the grand chakra system and their positions along the spine. psychic and karmic history. which correspond to nerves in the physical body. thus purifying and unblocking each chakras. In most people these chakras lie dormant or inactive. Sahasrara and bindu are not strictly chakras but have been included here for simplicity. Prana is the vital life-force energy that pervades the universe. mental.SWADISHTHANA In the spine approximately two fingers width above the mooladhara chakra Earth . The nadis cross at thousands of junctions in the body called charkas. Prana travels through the human body along thousands of subtle channels called nadis.SAHASRARA On top of the head Nectar . promoting vitality and strength.

Ida is represented by ‘tham’. Kundalini Yoga is for advanced students only and should never be attempted without guidance from a qualified instructor. resulting in the experience of higher planes of consciousness which is normally unobtainable. When Shakti is permanently united with Shiva in sahasrara. If pingala is dominant then the body will be restless. After several years of practising Hatha Yoga serious spiritual students may wish to work towards the awakening of Kundalini and spiritual enlightenment. also known as Shakti – primordial creative energy. It is along this channel that the major chakras of the body are located and is the main highway for prana in the body. When all the nadis are purified. to the ajna chakra in the mid. it stimulates the dormant areas of the brain. It rises through the other cha on top of the head and joins with Shiva – the seat of pure consciousness. Kundalini Yoga is beyond the scope of this handbook. prana is stimulated to flow through the chakras. Kundalini Latent cosmic energy known as Kundalini rests in the mooladhara chakra at the base of the spine. Together with each asana. the Sun. Do not expect overnight results. introvert and feminine. reducing the heart rate. Either side of the sushumna nadi are two nadis. requiring extreme discipline and proper guidance from an experienced teacher.brain. This is combined with unblocking the chakras. This is a very difficult process. Ida coincides with the parasympathetic nerves. constricting the blood vessels and decreasing respiration. which are equal and opposite forces within the body. pranayama and Meditation technique a particular point in the body is recommended for concentration. Pingala coincides with the sympathetic nerves. or lunar force. By directing the mind to specific regions of the body the effect of the particular practice is greatly increased. Pingala is active. Hatha Yoga is therefore a system of purification of all the energy channels in the body and mind. At this point Kundalini Yoga training may begin. Pingala is represented by ‘ham’. However. kras to sahasrara having a cooling effect and relating to the left nostril. extrovert and masculine. pingala and ida. having a warming effect and relating to the right nostril. It is these two nadis that give Hatha Yoga its name. With proper guidance and regular practice your health should slowly improve as you systematically progress through the techniques of yoga. or sometimes it is one of the Chakras. speeding up the heart rate. may be awakened with specific advanced yogic techniques. the flow of prana in pingala and ida is completely involuntary until yogic techniques control it. and when prana is flowing freely up along the sushumna nadi and throughout the body. But the path of Kundalini does not stop here. or as preparation for advanced Yogic techniques. the moon. and is symbolised by a sleeping snake. Sushumna nadi must be flowing for success in meditation. However it takes many years of dedicated practice and patience to purify the nadis and awaken the chakras. However. or a physical part of the body. which is selfrealisation and union with the Divine. Ida is passive. It has only been necessary to include this additional information in order for the student to fully understand the ultimate goal of all yogas. Yoga may be practised simply to bring health and peace into daily life. so that the flow of prana through the sushumna nadi becomes open giving balance and health throughout. so that neither the mental or physical faculties are dominant. If Ida is dominant then the mind will be overactive. It is these two forces that must work in harmony and balance for the mind and body to be healthy and for the sushumna nadi to flow.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 8 . behind the centre of the eyebrows. Hatha Yoga is designed as a gentle and scientific path to perfect health of mind. It may be the breath. dilating the blood vessels and increasing respiration. or solar force. It could take several lifetimes to achieve. The prime aim of Hatha Yoga is to bring about this balance in the flow of prana in the pingala and ida nadis. this latent cosmic energy. when all the chakras are open. body and spirit. By concentrating on one of the chakras while doing asana or other practices.The most important nadi in the body is the sushumna which joins the mooladhara chakra at the base of the spine.

It is recommended for practitioners to include surya namaskar as an essential and integral part of their Yoga program. Although these positions can vary from school to school. It is first mentioned in the Riga Veda and Yajur Veda. Therefore this practice is known as salutations to the sun. mind. Recognising the symbolism of the sun is a stepping stone to spiritual awareness and peace. the ancient scriptures of India. Each position is an asana in its own right. but the best is shavasana. These twelve positions flow gracefully and rhythmically into one another. These will be taught to you when your Yoga instructor feels you have perfected the positions. They new that without it there would be no life. Surya namaskar consists of five essential aspects which must be performed correctly to gain optimum results from the practice: PHYSICAL POSTURES There are twelve physical positions. RELAXATION This is not strictly part of surya namaskar. AWARENESS This is an essential element of surya namaskar. Surya namaskar is a dynamic sequence of twelve rhythmical and symmetrical positions that are synchronized with the breathing. The mantra may be repeated silently or aloud. and extra time should be spent perfecting this coordination. counteracting the preceding position. it is a necessary supplementary practice that should be done without fail on completing surya namaskar. Awareness of the body. knowing that the sun generates the heat and light necessary to sustain life. Any relaxation technique can be adopted. Each position is associated with either inhalation. the basic structure of surya namaskar is the same. Nothing is forced or unnatural. The mantras are evocative sounds and through their power of vibration have subtle. synchronicity. BREATHING The whole movement of surya namaskar from start to finish is synchronized with the breathing. pranayama and meditation practices. It symbolizes spiritual illumination. Ancient people worshipped the sun with awe. Breathing in rhythm with the twelve positions is an important part of this practice. for the breathing naturally corresponds to the pattern one would normally do in relation to the physical movement. as well as all the internal organs in the body. This is because it revitalizes the whole body. MANTRA There are specific mantras (mystical words or sounds of power) for each of the twelve positions. as well as helping to tone all the other systems of the body. the light in the darkness of ignorance. breathing and mantras must be maintained throughout the practice. It is neither an asana nor a part of traditional Yoga. flexes all the muscles of the body. breathing. and the word namaskar means salutations or worship. wisdom and knowledge. It loosens all the joints. exhalation or retention of breath. the spirituality which exists in all material things. but with full awareness. activates the respiratory and circulatory systems.Suray Namaskar – Salutations to the Sun The Sanskrit word surya means sun. The twelve positions systematically stretch and massage all the muscles and joints. rhythm and awareness. But the sun was not only worshipped because of its material nature and power. The twelve cyclic positions of surya namaskar represent the twelve phases of the sun each year as it passes through each of the signs of the zodiac. Without awareness the many beneficial results are reduced. yet powerful and penetrating effects on the mind and body. The sun has been adored since time immemorial. The sun is a symbol of rebirth into spiritual consciousness and immortality. But because it is such a wonderful practice it has been adopted into the techniques of Hatha Yoga by many teachers and gurus. The sun itself is a symbol. However. just as the sun dies each evening so it is reborn each morning. harmonizing the whole mind-body complex. removes all signs of sleep and is excellent for preparing the body and mind so that maximum benefits can be derived from the subsequent asana. It represents the essence.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 9 . massages the internal organs.

People in the country automatically exercise their bodies and relax their minds. The following advice and precautions should be carefully observed before beginning. This process must be done slowly to avoid any symptoms that may result from rapid elimination. walking and swimming are excellent exercise. on a mat or blanket. a few rounds of surya namaskar will quickly restore the lost vitality. increasing by one round every week. SLEEP It is not advisable to do surya namaskar before sleeping because it activates the entire body which is the opposite of the desired effect for sleeping.. both mentally and physically. Beginners should start with two or three rounds. TIME OF PRACTICE Although surya namaskar is traditionally practiced at sunrise facing east and at sunset facing west it can be practiced at almost any time of day and in any place. PLACE It is best to practice in the open air. There is no other exercise that surpasses it. PAIN Do not strain yourself by doing more rounds than your body will comfortably handle. If fever or boils occur. as it helps to remove any sleepiness and loosen up the body in preparation for your asana practice. as well as feel an intimate relationship with everything around them. It is highly recommended that surya namaskar is incorporated into your daily Yogic program. This is because the first twelve positions are repeated except that in the second half of the round the left leg is extended backwards instead of the right leg. LIMITATIONS There are no sex or age limitations. Ladies are also advised not to practice it during menstruation as a precautionary measure. ladies should not practice surya namaskar after their fourth month of pregnancy. high blood pressure. surya namaskar consists of awareness on physical movement. Later the mantras can be learned and synchronized with each position. Twelve is a healthy number to do. gradually becoming adjusted to the increased exercise. but they do not exercise the body as effectively as surya namaskar. Running. ILLNESS Do not practice surya namaskar if you are ill because at this time all the energy in the body needs to be internalized to heal and remove the ailment. but this depends entirely on the health of the individual. as long as you can remain aware of the positions. Eventually you will find a natural tempo that will come automatically after several months of practice. Surya namaskar is ideally practiced before doing other asana. Face the sun at sunrise or sunset to absorb the healing energy of the sun. In the final form. Pain is treated by the yogi as a stop signal. coronary ailments and any other serious illness should seek professional medical advice before commencing surya namaskar. helping to remove emotional disturbances.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 10 . breathing and mantras. No special preparations are necessary except that the stomach. breathing and the mantras. At the slightest signs of exhaustion stop the practice and relax the body. concerning yourself with only mastering the sequence of physical movement. Only when all the movements are performed automatically are you ready to begin synchronizing them with the breathing. It is equally relevant to surya namaskar. SEQUENCE You should first familiarize yourself with the twelve positions. reduce the number of rounds. The main reason is lack of peace of mind and exercise. but it can be continued after childbirth. Pain should never be endured with the practice of yoga. Surya namaskar is the answer especially if performed in conjunction with other yogic practices. all welded together in an integrated whole. Shallow breathing and incorrect mantras should be avoided and these may be signs of going too fast. NUMBER OF ROUNDS This depends on the health of the individual and the time available. One full round consists of twenty-four positions. It is urban people who suffer from the majority of diseases. bowels and bladder should be empty. TEMPO You may do surya namaskar as fast or as slow as you choose. The breathing and mantras remain unchanged. If you feel tired during the day. ONE COMPLETE ROUND The twelve positions constitute half a complete round.Surya namaskar is a panacea for those people who live in cities and towns and who find insufficient time and opportunity to take adequate exercise. slipped disc. RESTRICTIONS People suffering from sciatica. PURIFICATION Surya namaskar is a powerful method for removing toxins from the body. However.

The hatha yogis found that specific body positions open the energy channels and psychic centres. You can experience this balance in every asana you do. Erich Shiffmann suggests that sensing where your edges are and learning to hold the body there with awareness. The main thing to understand is that there is no such thing as a completed or ideal position. is an obvious violation of the body. It will be future orientated. moment to moment. This is a very freeing idea. stretching and toning the muscles and joints. If you don’t go far enough there is no challenge to the muscles. Your skill in yoga has little to do with your degree of flexibility or where your edges happen to be. Each posture is an ever evolving. The body. We have a rough idea of how deep we should be able to go into a stretch. A large part of the art and skill of asana. and how long we should be able to stay. in Hatha Yoga it means something more. Your interest in an asana is a function of your attention edge. promoting deeper meditation. This also allows the student to sit comfortably and relaxed for extended periods of time. can be called “playing the edge. as non-resisting as possible. Asanas work on all levels. Going too far. Swami Swatmarama states that asanas are tools to higher awareness. Therefore in Raja Yoga. You can then comfortably press you edges open. the present being only a stepping stone to the future. The process of sensitively flirting with your edges and achieving perfect energy flow is not merely the means to achieve the pose.” The body’s edge in yoga is the place just before pain. Pain tells you where the limits of your physical conditioning lie. no stretch. your yoga practice will be permeated with the effort of going somewhere else. Asanas exercise every part of the body.” This is a large part of what you will be doing in your practice. The Yoga Sutras. and little possibility for opening. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. They found that developing control of the body through these practices enabled them to control the mind and energy. This gap produces a feeling of conflict and frustration. The length of your stay in an asana is determined by your endurance edge. restoring all systems to radiant health. they help to direct prana (vital life-force energy) to different parts of the body depending on which asana is being practiced. breath. Asana are basically a series of physical stretches and steady postures that have been inspired by meditation and the close examination of nature. what we should look like while we are there. How far you can fold forward. However. This place in the stretch is called your “edge. no intensity. and person to person. and your yoga practice in general. for example. not only on the body’s frame.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 11 . Yoga is a way of exploring these limits. but also through the conditionings that have accrued through the years. to go any further hurts and is actually counterproductive. an ability necessary for mediation. Somewhere in between these two points is a degree of stretch that is in balance: intensity without pain. resulting in radiant health. then you would be somewhere other than where you are. physical. If practised regularly the whole system can be toned and revitalised. strenuous without strain. asanas are practised to develop the ability to sit comfortably in one position for an extended period of time. working.Asana According to Maharishi Patanjali. Your body is limited in its movement not only through its genetic makeup. but not pain itself. This allows you to focus the mind with one-pointed concentration. Although many people practice asana only for physical health. so that you can sit quietly and comfortably without pain or discomfort from the body. We are often more aware of where we aren’t than of we where we are. providing the stable foundation necessary for the exploration of the body. it is the pose. the spine and the entire skeletal system. Edges are marked by pain and define your limits. The ideal state for practicing asana is to be as willing and relaxed as possible. This practice becomes one of being relaxed and willing at your deeper edges. mind and spirit can all become steady with the practice of asana. This is what the physical aspect of yoga is fundamentally all about. asana is the third limb of Raja Yoga. but also on the internal organs. It about how sensitively you play your edges. lies in sensing just how far to move into a stretch. Normally we have an idea of how the asana should be. If this is the case. In this context. Patanjali gives a concise definition of asana: ‘Sthiram sukham aasanam’. so that one part of you is not in opposition to another. moving with its soft subtle shifts. glands and nerves. no matter where they are. and this isn’t necessarily easy. And you will miss being present. Your edges and limits will change as a by-product of this exploration. constantly moving energy phenomenon that is different form day to day. use without abuse. increasing the possibility of both physical pain and injury. mind and higher states and should therefore be practiced first on the path towards spiritual progress. It’s difficult to stay relaxed in the midst of a high-intensity stretch. Patanjali equates asana to the stable sitting position for meditation. mental and spiritual. and that if you were truly doing yoga properly and were a good and evolved person. that where you are and who you are is insufficient. with deep concentration and awareness. When held for sufficient periods of time. meaning ‘that position which is comfortable and steady’. In his famous work. is limited by your flexibility edge. you will change. however. they are primarily intended to prepare the body to sit in meditation.

the stretch should be immediately terminated. Do not to attempt advanced asanas without proper preliminary exercises and warm-ups over several years. during and after asanas. Asana should be performed slowly with complete awareness of the body. Beginners may find their muscles stiff at first. but after several weeks of regular practice they will become surprisingly suppler. PAIN Never exert undue force or strain. preferably outside in a beautiful garden or natural environment. wristwatches and jewellery from your body. For best results asana should be practiced everyday with patience. INVERTED STRETCHES Do not do inverted stretches if you have eye problems or head and neck injuries. RESTRICTIONS People who have fractured bones and those who are suffering from any chronic disease like ulcers. CLOTHES During Yoga it is best to wear loose. BEFORE STARTING Take a cold shower. If you experience pain in any part of the body. bladder and intestines should be emptied. breathing and mind. After asanas practice savasana for at least 10 minutes. If there is any reason why you feel you should not practice yoga. you should first seek advice from a qualified medical practitioner. should seek professional medical advice before commencing yoga. AWARENESS Asana should be performed slowly with full awareness of the body. Though any person may start to practice asanas. BREATHING Always breathe slowly and deeply through the nose. COUNTER-POSE Every stretch should be followed by an equivalent counter-pose. This will ensures that all the joints are open and loose. they only become truly effective and beneficial when performed in the proper manor after correct preparation. Early morning practice is recommended. calm and quiet. Drink plenty of water after yoga. Seek medical advice. or any mental or physical condition or restriction. and the muscles are warm and relaxed. Practice in the shade. USE A YOGA MAT Do not use a mattress which is spongy or filled with air. where it is clean. tuberculosis or hernia. co-ordinating the breathing with the stretch.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 12 . This will greatly enhance the effect of your yoga practice. but never after sunbathing. light and comfortable clothing. RELAXATON Relax the mind and body before. breathing or spiritual centres. Before commencing remove spectacles. EMPTYING THE BOWELS Before starting yoga the bowels. EMPTY STOMACH The stomach should be empty. Pain is treated by the yogi as a stop signal. mind. or 5 to 10 rounds of surya namaskar – salutations to the sun. forward bending followed by backward bending. The ground should be clean and flat. i. Do not begin yoga until at least 4 hours after a heavy meal. WARM-UPS Always do 10 to 20 minutes of simple warm-ups before starting asana. Blankets are also good. gentleness and determination.e. IMPORTANT Take it really slowly at first. Asana should never be attempted without proper guidance from a qualified instructor.The following advice and precautions should be carefully observed before practising asana. Women should not practice inverted stretches during menstruation or pregnancy. This can be done by practicing the pawanmuktasana series – basic flexibility and removal of minor energy blocks. PLACE OF PRACTICE Should be in a well-ventilated room.

30 minutes Ref: The Heart of Yoga by T.Himalaya Yoga Yoga For Beginners .K. 6 times 6 times Pranayama 2 Alternate Nostril Breathing 12 times  Himalaya Yoga 2007 Website: www. 6 times 7.himalaya-yoga.V.com E-mail: info@himalaya-yoga. Desikachar 6 times keep legs straight 6 times 5.com Phone: 081 338 290 562 13 .

It is not necessary to listen to all the instructions. If the mind is tense. It is a systematic method of inducing complete physical. confusions and oscillations. so they are repressed. profit/loss. From time to time these explode. it will relax the whole body and mind. This is pratyahara.Relaxation Proper relaxation and release from stress and tension is one of the chief concerns of Hatha Yoga. For absolute relaxation you must remain aware. yoga nidra should be ideally performed after asanas. angry or irritated. This is because we are unable to express our emotions freely and openly. just keep your mind moving from point to point and be aware of every experience. It is not possible to relax these tensions through ordinary sleep or relaxation. These are only sensory diversions. Throughout our life. Sleep is not regarded as relaxation. success/failure. In the deep state of relaxation that results. Most people do not know how to sleep. stiffness and general tension in the body are great obstacles to the practice of yoga nidra. Even  Himalaya Yoga 2007 14 . tension is released. the stomach will also be tense. When the mind is fixed on a centre. In sleep their mind runs on and their body is tense. the nervous system and endocrine imbalances. They wake up feeling lethargic. and read a newspaper or switch on the television. MUSCULAR TENSIONS These are related to the body itself. But the underlying cause behind man’s abnormal behaviour lies in the accumulated tensions on the mental plane. It is a state of sleepless sleep where one is on the borderline between sleep and wakefulness. We should learn the scientific way of sleeping. Relax in Savasana – corpse pose Yoga nidra is a powerful technique in which you learn to relax consciously. a beer or a cigarette. It is a method of introspection that has been used by yogis since time immemorial to bring them face to face with the inner self. and establishing harmony in all facets of our being.e. People feel they are relaxing when they collapse in an easy chair with a cup of coffee. The mind is a whirlpool of fantasies. In psychic sleep we contact our inner personality to change our attitude towards others and ourselves. and the resulting tensions become more and more deeply rooted. and upon waking up you will feel refreshed and energetic. Therefore. i. The sleep will be deep. This is yoga nidra. The technique of yoga nidra begins in savasana and should last about twenty minutes. unrested and doze on for half an hour longer. These are easily removed by the deep physical relaxation attained in the state of yoga nidra. Yoga nidra is the science of relaxation which enables each of us to dive deep down into the realms of the subconscious mind. practice yoga nidra just before sleeping. mind. the whole circulatory system will also be tense. contact with the conscious and unconscious dimensions occur spontaneously. but the consciousness is functioning at a deeper level of awareness and is often described as psychic sleep or deep relaxation with inner awareness. Often we refuse to recognise them. True relaxation is actually an experience far beyond all this. They fall asleep thinking over some problem or anxiety. It is a vicious circle of events resulting in sickness and ill health. It is not necessary to concentrate. If you try to concentrate you will obstruct the natural flow of awareness which takes the mind deeper into the Self. the experiences registered by our consciousness are accumulated in the mental body. The mind should be totally taken up in following all the instructions. And if the stomach is tense. blood and energy are drawn to it and this causes withdrawal of the senses at that centre. EMOTIONAL TENSIONS These stem from various dualities such as love/hate. MENTAL TENSIONS These are the result of excessive mental activity. fewer hours will be needed. During yoga nidra one appears to be asleep. affecting our body. but a method such as yoga nidra can tranquillise the entire emotional structure of the mind. In yoga nidra the physical centres of the body become introverted. behaviour and reactions. Pain. happiness/unhappiness and are more difficult to erase. we often attribute that condition of the mind to some superficial cause. in fact it is natural to miss some of them. Instructions will be given from a tape or teacher to become aware of the breath. the state of dynamic sleep. thereby releasing and relaxing mental tensions. In this threshold state between sleep and wakefulness. mental and emotional relaxation. the mind becomes clear and thoughts are more powerful. When we are sad.

Beginners should start very slowly increasing gradually over periods of months and years. Next comes relaxation on the plane of feelings and emotions. and in the fragrance of a flower. The prime purpose of pranayama is to absorb and store up as much prana as possible by the regular practice of specific pranayama techniques. which follows after securing the steadiness of posture or seat. A steady mind is the prerequisite for concentration. allowing deeper concentration and meditation. The excess of prana is stored in the brain. This helps release mental tensions. If the breath is steady and calm. the nose smells. the skin feels. to feeling it as a stream of silver liquid. The consciousness can go as far as you can lead it. but with regular practice you will find it easier. although they have the same starting point. the mind thinks. all these and many more have their origins in prana. talking. At this point the mind is very receptive to positive thoughts and suggestion. At first it will take a long time to completely relax. Each pranayama exercise consists of three distinct processes. etc. PURAKA KUMBHAKA RECHAKA Inhalation of the breath Retention of the breath Exhalation of the breath The ratio of puraka. In yoga nidra you must disconnect the sensory channels and still maintain awareness. prana is the link between the physical and astral bodies. just as the storage battery stores up electricity by regular charging. water. It is at this point that profound changes can be made to our inner personality. Feel its life-giving energy revitalizing and strengthening your mind. the mind and prana. In yoga nidra the important thing is to expose your self to the instructions of the teacher and to view any experiences that arise with total awareness and detachment. from the elementary form of plant life to the developed form of animal life.” But you do not have to wait for complete mastery of asana before practising pranayama. tiger or elephant. anxious or stressed. In Yoga Nidra you must not sleep but remain relaxed. The teacher’s voice will then give you a resolve that will change you at a deep level i. loss of semen. in the radiance of a fire. the astral body separates from the physical body resulting in death. followed by a visualisation of healing images. moving. When the voice of the teacher brings you out of yoga nidra do not attempt to make any sudden movements.e. and so on. But they are totally different sciences. the instructions of the teacher will still work on the subconscious mind as the conscious mind withdraws. The supply of prana to the body and mind is particularly abundant in the breath and is received by the nervous system and nadis. In the smile on the face of a child. the eyes see. Allow yourself to gently readjust to the outside world with slow movements of the body. prana is expended by thinking. body and spirit as it travels around your entire being. The man who has in his store an amazingly large supply of prana radiates vitality and strength all around. You can practice pranayama and asana side by side. Then return your awareness to simply watching the breath. meditation and spiritual evolution. many people think it is a form of hypnosis.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 15 . from an amoeba to a man.if you are dreaming of something else. It is through the power of prana that the ears hear. Because yoga nidra brings about a state of sensory withdrawal. You are then able to transcend the barriers of your personality and go to any depth or height. cool and smooth. Patanjali Maharishi defines pranayama as follows: “Regulation of breath or the control of prana is the stoppage of inhalation and exhalation. In hypnosis you are led into a state of deep sleep where the brain becomes completely shut down and the capacity of consciousness is limited. from the lowest to the highest. so to will you have to tame this prana gradually. air. It is one of the ways of entering the state of pratyahara . It is therefore extremely important to learn and perfect the techniques of controlling prana. This is achieved by the control of the breath with specific breathing exercises. If the breath is unsteady. It is prana that shines in your eyes. You will be instructed for your awareness to travel throughout the body. This is because there is an intimate connection between the breath. the tongue tastes. systematically relaxing all parts.withdrawal of the sensory channels. “I will achieve total health” or “I will awaken my spiritual potential”. the mind is unsteady. restless. This is the aim of yoga nidra. solar energy. writing. Pranayama The Sanskrit word pranayama literally means ‘control and regulation of the life force’. kumbhaka and rechaka varies according to the strength and capacity of the practitioner. By pranayama you can also increase mental energy and develop thought control and thought-culture. the mind is steady and calm. Then whatever is being spoken will be imprinted on it. Prana or vital life-force is found in all forms. It is recommended that when visualizing the flow of prana. Prana is supplied to human beings by food. from the ant to the elephant. When prana is cut off or absent. If you can control the breath you can control the prana. just as it takes a long time. However. It does not matter if you are disturbed. If you can control the prana you can easily control the mind. In this way the technique of yoga nidra can be used to train the body and mind to completely relax and awaken divine faculties. chakras and nerve centres and is supplied to the body as required. from the digestion of food to the melody in music. patience and perseverance to tame a lion.

and before meditation. PLACE OF PRACTICE Should be in a well-ventilated room. RELAXATION Throughout the practice the body should be as relaxed and calm as possible. A cross-legged position provides a firm base for the body and makes a triangular path for the flow of energy. Remember to keep the spine. When the breath is regulated. A Yogi practices regulation of breath to establish harmony. Pain is treated by the yogi as a stop signal. STEADY POSTURE Sit in a comfortable. bladder and intestines should all be empty. where it is calm and quiet. PRELIMINARY EXCERCISES All techniques and exercises will have an easy variation for beginners. If this is not possible try sitting on a chair. Do not jerk the body during the exercises. BREATHING Each pranayama technique has specific instructions on exactly how to breathe. in the cold. The air in the room should be fresh so that you may freely breathe oxygen. For maximum benefit try to follow each technique carefully and accurately. with spine and neck held erect but not tense. WARNING Panayama should never be attempted without guidance from a qualified instructor. the breath will be moving within the nostrils.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 16 . Relax the face as much as possible throughout the practice. PAIN Pain should never be endured with the practice of Yoga. Early morning practice is recommended. tobacco or any other material. The following advice and precautions should be carefully observed before commencing pranayama. The fruit of regulation of breath is kumbhaka. This is very important as the lungs are very delicate and any misuse may easily cause them injury. Breathing should be through the nose unless specific contradictions are given. arteriolosclerosis or any other serious illness should seek medical advice before commencing pranayama. or in air that is dirty. Do not twist the face muscles while practicing kumbhaka. EXTERNAL DISTURBANCES Cover the body with a blanket or comfortable garment so that external disturbances such as insects or cold may be avoided.Swami Sivananda says “There is neither rhythm or harmony in the breathing of worldly-minded persons. when there is harmony. STRAIN Strain should be avoided. It is very important that these preliminary exercises are successfully performed and understood before the advanced exercise is attempted. RESTRICTIONS People suffering from heart disease. blood pressure disorders. Do not practice in a strong wind. It is equally relevant to asana. The breath stops by itself when kevala kumbhaka {absolute and pure retention of breath} follows. Keep the body still without jerking. SEQUENCE Pranayama should be practised after asana and yoga nidra. STOMACH Bowls. smoky or smells bad. If outside. steady posture. Regulation of breath and kumbhaka are of tremendous help in the practice of concentration and meditation. Then Samadhi {super conscious state} supervenes. If you feel dizzy. You may injure yourself if you do not follow this advice. The mind becomes quite steady. choose pleasant surroundings like flowers and trees. or while smoking cannabis. stop practising and rest for at least 10 minutes and seek proper guidance. neck and head erect and centred to assist the flow of prana along the susumna nadi. respiratory disorders. The breath should not be retained for longer that is comfortable. SHOWER Do not take a bath or shower for at least half an hour after finishing pranayama exercises. faint or chest pains at any time. It is extremely dangerous to practice pranayama during illness.

Initially meditation brings peace and calm to your life. This is known as pratyahara . plannings. Completeness is being right here. We realize that the mind is made up of wants. You must purify your whole being and practice regular meditation. These basic concentration and awareness techniques allow us to notice the qualities of the mind and how it works. Concentration merges into meditation. the aim of practicing meditation is to awaken the dormant areas of the brain. we’ve got to learn to stop. During meditation all worldly thoughts are shut out from the mind. When there is wanting in the mind. A yogi may use Om or a candle. you are taking the wrong direction in life.withdrawal of the senses. These techniques take you to the inner most recesses of the soul. By reaching such a state of deliberateness without effort. Wanting is seeking elsewhere. and the Supreme Universal Spirit. The concentration techniques of Hatha Yoga are aimed at purifying and preparing the mind for the higher stages of meditation attainted through other forms of yoga. The fruit of meditation is pure consciousness and complete absorption with the Divine.Meditation Yoga is a practical system for personal development that helps you return you body and mind to health. In yoga. The next stage is concentration exercises known as dharana. this universe.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 17 . This stage is called dhyana. You have within yourself tremendous powers and latent faculties of which you have never really had any conception. The philosophy of yoga teaches that with this profound awareness and devotion to the goal of enlightenment and nirvana. We discover for ourselves the subtleties and impermanence of this mind. In order to find ourselves. We see that things can be a certain way without needing to be acted upon or judged or even pushed aside. Concentration is holding the mind on to a particular object for a defined length of time. and promote harmony in your daily life. Traditionally. or hold on to. The main difference between the different meditation philosophies and therapies around today is the object of concentration that allows us to develop this awareness. This is true happiness. etc. This is true health. This is achieved by developing a personal discipline so sure and a spirit so true that one can afford to be utterly spontaneous. accepting the ever changing universe as it is. known as God. They can simply be observed. no duality between You . without expectation or attachment to the outcome. If for example. completely mindful of all thought. for all the nerves in the body are directly or indirectly connected to the brain. in order for sushumna nadi to flow. this body. that moment feels incomplete. With regular practice the layers of the mind are peeled away. When we experience the depth of wanting in the mind there follows a great joy. Meditation is the unbroken flow of thought of the object. This state is known as Samadhi. This is meditation. Meditation is awareness. When you are hurrying around too quickly. we can release ourselves from the cycle of birth. Meditation is an important part of this process and should always be practiced at the end of your yoga session. Training the mind to liberate itself from wanting and desire. Meditation begins with the withdrawal and emancipation of the mind from the control of the senses. This you must experience for yourself. with its reaching and desiring for that which we do not have now. allowing you to discover for yourself deeper realms of consciousness. speech and action. to be content in the moment. death and rebirth and transcend to the higher levels of existence. And this you can not buy with all the money in the world. where there is no separation. You are One with the Universe. Being mindful in the present moment. measurings. super-conscious and a super-human state of illumination and enlightenment. Seeing the scope of our wanting shows us how deeply and subtly dissatisfaction has created our personal world. desires. with regular training and the daily practice of techniques such as yoga and meditation. Zen uses contemplations on nature and emptiness to discover the ultimate truth. from thinking that all our wants have to be satisfied. experiencing each and every moment with full awareness. there is a part of the world you can not see. This is inner peace. transcending the mental and physical worlds. When we let go of this wanting we realize that there doesn’t need to be anything to grasp for. this life. Hatha Yoga is based on the principle that one can become aware of higher states of mind by manipulating the different forces and systems in the physical body. right now. and this seeing frees us from much grasping. it is only when you stop and look at things clearly that you can revise your direction and take a more proper course. You must develop your will and control your senses and mind.the individual human spirit. one can permanently be in the present moment. This is because we see how wanting obscures the present. If want to you awaken these dormant powers and faculties you must practice Hatha Yoga for many years. We can simply be. Any stimulation or manipulation of the nervous system will surely have an effect on the mind. judgements. But perseverance and dedicated practice will lead to a deep sense of selfawareness. that we have to compulsively respond to everything that arises in our mind. with non-attachment. To realize that there is nothing to hold onto that brings lasting satisfaction shows us there is nowhere to go and nothing to have and nothing to be – and that’s freedom! Allowing us to strive towards our goals and dreams with wisdom and love. a Buddhist may use the breath.

Regularity conditions the mind to slow down its activities with the minimum of delay. Do not move the body unless it is absolutely necessary. However. i. When the state of tranquillity prevails during meditation. If this is not possible try sitting on a chair. If you chose to have an alter or focus point. keep it clean and furnished with fresh offerings like flowers and natural incense. REGULARITY Regularity of time. In six months the peace and purity of the atmosphere will be felt. If the mind persists in wandering do not force it to be still. co-ordinating the repetitions with the breathing. At first you may become frustrated by your lack of progress. Place your hands in a specific mudra to control the subtle energies in the pranic body. Remember. thus cultivating a more spiritual life. DURATION Begin practising meditation with ten-minute periods and increase by five minutes per week. brain waves and breathing will slow down as concentration deepens due to a steady posture. pranayama and concentration exercises prior to meditation. Do not attempt deep meditation with out proper preparation and guidance from a qualified instructor  Himalaya Yoga 2007 18 . This helps to steady the mind and encourage concentration. with spine and neck held erect but not tense. It is far easier to practice meditation when the body can sit quietly and is fully charged with vitality and strength. This is truly man’s greatest adventure. BEFORE BEGINNING Command the mind to be quiet. new mode of thinking and acting and a new view of the universe. There are many techniques for meditation. place and practice are very important. A cross-legged position provides a firm base for the body and makes a triangular path for the flow of energy. Try to prolong the meditation for as long as possible. new vibrations. RESTRICTIONS People suffering from mental problems should seek professional medical advice before practising meditation. Be determined. If you chose to use a mantra speak to your yoga teacher. mental and spiritual healing. If this is not possible designate an area especially for meditation only. or Om may be used. new cells. new avenues and new channels are formed. Before beginning meditation it is best to have a proper attitude and environment and to have sufficiently prepared yourself through asana and pranayama. Be aware of every thought and physical sensation but do not be attached to them. MANTRA Mantra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘the thought that liberates and protects’. The mind will settle down more quickly when time and place are established. Simply disassociate from it. The whole mind and nervous system are remodelled. With regular practice your body will become adjusted and more comfortable. Concentration develops with regular practice. Throughout the practice the body should be as calm as possible. steady posture. WARNING After you have been regularly practising meditation for several months or years considerable changes begin take place in the mind. It will gradually slow down. A mantra may be repeated out loud or mentally. At first the mind will wander and jump around. The following are certain practical points regarding the basic techniques of meditation. It is recommended that you to eat less food. The chanting of a mantra is used to focus and concentrate the mind. new sensations. reduce sexual activity and reduce the hours of sleep. STEADY POSTURE Sit in a comfortable. As meditation is repeated the powerful vibrations set up will be lodged in the room. it is a matter of acting in the world with love and compassion. midday and sunset. twice per day. desires and pleasures of the senses. materialism. and watch it as though you are watching a movie. The most effective times are sunrise. Metabolism. but in coming back. but will eventually become concentrated. brain and the nervous system. It is difficult to focus the mind when it wants to jump about as soon as you sit down for concentration. MEDITATON ROOM Try to have a separate room for meditation. Any comfortable position will do. and to invoke the deity of the mantra to bring physical.For advanced students on the path of spiritual evolution it is suggested that you give less importance to the physical world. Relax as much as possible. A mantra is a word or group of words form any philosophy or religion that contain powerful healing vibrations within the syllables of the words. the purpose of yoga is not in running away from the world. do not neglect your obligations to family or employer. do not disturb the mind. It is not just a matter of gaining enlightenment. Do not try to get up from your seat. a new heart. It is therefore recommended to practice asana. It is recommended to practice meditation for one hour. You will have a new mind.e. at sunrise and at sunset. The place of meditation and mental state should all reflect a readiness to turn inward. New nerve-currents. new feelings. along with the concentration of prana. It will be up to you to choose the one that suits you most.

Mantras are mystical combinations of sound that were realised by sages and rishis during stages of deep meditation.Salutatons to great guru Padmasambhava. A mantra is a word or group of words that contain powerful healing vibrations within the syllables of the words. Parsis. day and night. Hare Hare Through my deepest devotion to the Lord God Krishna. we meditate upon thy splendour.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 19 . or Mother of Jesus. the mantra is repeated automatically without strain or effort. the chosen mantra has to be repeated over and over again with effort of will and full awareness. Krishna Krishna. Om Ah Hum . Mantra is a Sanskrit word meaning ‘the thought that liberates and protects’.From the hearts of all the holy beings. Hare Krishna. which may be directed for the benefit of the one who uses it and for that of others. by your blessings and gifts may we reach perfection and enlightenment. Hare Ram. Eventually after continuous and dedicated practice. The mantra acts as a pathway between normal states of consciousness and super consciousness.Creator of the universe. When using a mantra. speech and mind. Hare Hare. this individual human spirit is one with the universal supreme consciousness.We pray for love. Ram. One does not need to be a Hindu or a Buddhist to make use of a particular mantra. speak to your Yoga instructor. Granth Sahib. may I be free from karma and reach enlightenment. the mantra may be repeated aloud if you become drowsy. It becomes an integral part of the individual’s being and needs absolutely no conscious effort. The mantra spontaneously manifests itself and becomes an integral part of the mind. promoting harmony in all parts of the human being. the seat of pure consciousness. Om Namah Shivaya . repeat it mentally and co-ordinate the repetition with the breathing. wisdom and compassion and may we all reach self-realization like the jewel in the lotus. The devotee is gradually converted into a living centre of spiritual vibration. Namu Myoho Renge Kyo Glory to the Lotus Sutra. If you do not have a personal mantra.Mantra Many cultures and religions make use of mantras. Devotees of Christ may use the name Jesus or Hail Mary. and guide us in the right direction. The mind vibrates with the sound of the mantra. Hare Ram. Om Bhur Bhuvah Swha. Although mental repetition is stronger. Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum . Tat Savitur Varenyam. The following is a small selection of mantras commonly used in the Himalayas: Om . Sikhs and Muslims may select a name or mantra from the Zend Avesta. Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi. Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayat Creator of the universe. This awareness and concentration prevents the mind from thinking of other things. May thy radiant power illuminate our intellects. or Om may be used. in which sound vibration joins with thought vibration and there is no awareness of meaning. for the mind is rendered calm and concentrated.Salutations to Lord God Shiva. destroy our sins. or Koran respectively. Om Mani Padme Hum . This is a very powerful way of approaching meditation states. Sanskrit. may we receive thy blessings on our body. Repetition will lead to pure thought. During the early stages of Yogic practice. but may also be in any language. It repeats itself spontaneously with every breath. The chanting of mantras activates and accelerates the creative spiritual force. Their importance is to focus and concentrate the mind and to invoke the deity or healing power within the mantra. Ram. It is usually in the sacred language of ancient India. Never change the mantra unless instructed to do so. Hare Krishna.

in order to awaken the main energy channel in the spine known as sushumna nadi.  Himalaya Yoga 2007 20 . especially in the west. the stretching techniques of Hatha Yoga. ‘Ha’ and ‘Tham’. for it is by love alone that we may create a brotherhood of man between the various nations of the world. We should be learning how to exercise self-control and preserve a positive attitude towards life. where the combination of physical. It states that the goal of yoga is to control the mind and body in order to achieve a state of absolute peace where there is neither imagination nor thought. it is important to maintain this feeling of equanimity and mindfulness throughout our day. With proper guidance. the spine and the entire skeletal system. It is in this way that yoga leads us to universal love. The branch of Yoga known as ‘Ha-tha’ deals mainly with strengthening and purifying the body and mind. mental and spiritual techniques are extensively documented. not only on the body’s frame. In a yoga class we are not only healing our self and the world around us. focusing manly on asana. over 5000 years old. have taken the original teachings of yoga out of context. this becomes our permanent and spontaneous state of being. toning and revitalizing the muscles and joints. Most beginners come to yoga classes wanting physical health and relaxation. whether physical or intellectual. Many yoga instructors do not prioritize the true spiritual goal of yoga. Eventually. with regular practice. as a healthy mind and body is the absolute prerequisite for all human endeavours. This is mainly due to our attachment to the body. resulting in purification of the mind and body. Yoga classes should teach us how to live a balanced life and avoid uselessly squandering our energy. Thus. advanced students can go on to the spiritual science of yoga. However. Initially this is achieved by exercising every part of the body. the ancient Indian texts. Hatha Yoga and its many variations. In a yoga class we should be learning the science of human evolution. glands and nerves. sun and moon. but also on the internal organs. Yoga is regarded as the divine science of life.Yoga Classes Many commercial yoga classes. Without proper guidance this results in attachment to the desire of having the perfect body. competition and ego inflation. the essence of yoga is much more than just stretching. so that we can know what its like to be in harmony. working. practicing meditation and higher consciousness lifestyles. has become the most popular and accessible form of yoga available today. but also practicing being in harmony and balance. Yoga classes should bring hope and self-confidence to all those who are disappointed with their materialistic life. revealed to enlightened sages of India through self-exploration and the study of nature. When the class is over. Hatha Yoga is therefore the perfect starting point for all forms of yoga. It is considered even older than the Vedas. restoring all systems to radiant health. yoga can bestow divine powers and super-intuitional knowledge resulting in enlightenment and liberation. It signifies that these techniques are designed to purify and balance the solar and lunar energies in the chakra body. or are inextricably bound up in all sorts of problems. Hatha Yoga was first documented in the fifteenth century by Yogi Svatmarama. so that our whole life becomes harmonious and healthy. and not just a few painful stretches.

V. Gyasto The Ancient Secrets of the Fountain of Youth by Peter Kelder The Spirit and Practice of Moving into Stillness by Erich Schiffmann Himalaya Yoga Website: www.himalaya-yoga.K.K.com Email: info@himalaya-yoga.com Phone: +62 81 338 290 562  Himalaya Yoga 2007 21 . I am currently teaching at several resorts in Bali and head of the sports department at Sunrise International School. Tibetan Buddhism and meditation.S. becoming a yoga instructor in 1998. Iyengar Yoga Sutras of Patanjali translated by B. I have recently returned from Japan where I studied Zen Meditation and Japanese language.S.Profile Dave West – Himalaya Yoga Instructor “I lived in the Himalayan Mountains with the great yogi masters for 3 years and studied Sivananda Yoga and Bihar School of Yoga for over 12 years. Thailand and Indonesia.K. In India my guru taught me that each of us has our own starting point and it is here that we begin our personal journey to health.K. happiness and beyond…” References Sadhana by Swami Sivananda Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha by Swami Satyananda Saraswati The Heart of Yoga by T. Australia. I have since returned to India and Nepal several times to advance my personal practice studying Kundalini Yoga. Iyengar The Joyful Path of Good Fortune by G.” “I see myself as a down-to-earth practitioner carrying the light of yoga around the world for all those who are interested in benefiting from the healing powers of this ancient art. Indian philosophy. America. I have taught yoga in England. Desicachar Yoganjalisaram by Tirumalai Krishnamacharya Light on Yoga by B.

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