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The 8 Branches Of Yoga

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You may consider Hatha Yoga either as a special subject in itself or as an adjunct to other forms of Yoga. Whatever your reason (and there can never be a bad reason for doing something good) Yoga can help you with your everyday problems on all levels. As you grow healthier and more relaxed you become more gentle, less inclined to fits of irritation and temper. Yoga provides the counter-weight so urgently needed to the ever increasing nervous, mental and physical tensions of our modern life.

All the exercises or asanas of Hatha Yoga are based on the formula of stretching, relaxing, deep breathing and increasing the circulation of the blood and the powers of concentration.

All the exercises or asanas of Hatha Yoga are based on the formula of stretching, relaxing, deep breathing and increasing the circulation of the blood and the powers of concentration.

Yogic culture is divided into eight sections.

1. Yama-ethics.

2. Niyama–religious observances.

3. Asana–postures.

4. Pranayama-breathing exercises and control of the breath.

5. Pratyahara-withdrawing of the senses from external objects.

6. Dhyarana–concentration.

7. Dhyana-meditation.

8. Samadhi-super-consciousness.

It is with 3 and 4 that this book is primarily concerned for these sections are the beginning of all Yoga without which you cannot hope to gain mastery over yourself and learn the secrets of the Universe.

According to the Yoga Shastras the Yoga asanas total the staggering number of 840,000, but the important ones number only 84. Of these I have described all but the most difficult. This is a book primarily for the Westerner and the beginner in Yoga and as such it does not contain postures suitable only to advanced students who are able to practise many hours a day.

The asanas included in this book will suffice to bring the health of the average person to a far higher level than hitherto experienced and, combined with the other practices described in this book, will open out a new horizon beyond the banalities of everyday existence.

Let me warn you that Yoga is another word for hard work, indeed some say it is all work and no play. That may be so, but all the same if you have read thus far your mind must be searching for something and if that something is Yoga then you will not be deterred by the mere thought of hard work. Rather you will glory in it for there is a sense of great achievement in self-discipline.

Yes, Hatha Yoga is discipline all the way. I can show you the path up the mountain but it is up to you to climb. With the best will in the world I cannot do the hard work for you. But if you choose this path all you need to follow it is determination. If you have it you cannot fail. If you lack it you cannot begin.

Article Extracted From “Be Healthy With Yoga” By Sonya Richmond

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