Yoga and Total Health — June 2017

(Barré) #1

Note: if you are not able to touch the knee or the ground at the first round, do not
strain yourself as you may harm yourself. With practice, when the suppleness of
the spine starts increasing, you will gradually be able to reach the final pose.

Yoga Mudra, besides giving posterior stretching to the spine, also benefits all
the other parts of the body. Yo g a means complete and Mudra means symbol. Yo g a
Mudra is therefore the symbol of the completeness of body parts and is thus called
the‘‘Symbol of Yoga’. Some parts get more benefit than others, but all parts get
some benefit, whether they are situated in the lower or the upper levels, or whether
they are internal or external.

Asanas are attitude bound and by being in a certain Asana we can cultivate a certain
attitude. Creating mental conditioning which encourages positive mental states is
one of the important goals of yoga. For example, achieving a sense of surrender,
humility, faith, acceptance of a larger reality and objectivity are the attitudes
connected with Yoga Mudra and are very helpful as a part of the conditioning process.

While doing Yoga Mudra it is important to observe what feelings you are generating.
There should be a feeling of ‘letting go’, humility and surrender. Remember that
you are resigning to the will of the Absolute and that is Vairagya. Only when you
resign can you develop will power and inner strength. Forward bending brings
detachment, Vairagya. In most cultures, bending the head down is considered as an
act of surrender, humility and respect. Regular practice done consciously, with the
right attitude, can help one to develop such worthwhile traits useful in daily life, as
well as for inner spiritual growth.

Smt. Hansaji explains: In an Asana like Yoga Mudra there is fixity of posture
accompanied by an attitude of surrender. The one who gets into the Asana is
internally involved in attending to slow bending, exhalations, release of muscle
tension, concentration on the point of contact of the head with the floor and the
concentration of the Asana in a static repose with slow inhalations and exhalations
going on. While doing this Asana, the mood is of humility, relaxation and peace.
The mind is set free and consciousness expands. Such a state leads to the healing of
diseases, less problems in relationships and a stronger immunity.

Dr. Jayadeva explains in his talk on Yoga Sutra I-23 “Ishvara-Pranidhanat-Va”
(surrender to God), that until there is a shake up in our life and we come to a point
when we can totally submit everything and let go all our anxieties, attachments and
expectations, only then there is a weakening of the ‘I-Sense’, only then humility
starts prevailing. Then the mind becomes stable, steady and one-pointed, leading to
one’s progress.

(Precaution: Persons with serious physical / mental health conditions should not attempt
practices without professional guidance. Persons with moderate to mild health conditions
should learn suitable and simpler variations of yoga techniques. All yoga techniques which
involve exercise to the muscles or lungs should be practiced before meals.)
(Extracts from talks and publications of The Yoga Institute)

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