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Yoga

Yoga and Ayurveda are two sides of the same coin – the path to mental and physical well-being through a long and healthy life, to achieve this one must harness the healing power of both Ayurveda and Yoga, along with meditation. We at Manaltheeram embrace this to the full striving to offer our customers the best preventive health care in the world and a way to peace and lasting happiness, this is well known and has seen us receiving visitors from far and wide. Through Ayurveda, Yoga & Meditation these visitors gain what they are seeking, an escape from the stress of work and busy lives and entry into the calm, balanced inner peace these ancient therapies reveal. The word ‘Yoga’ is derived from the Sanskrit root ‘yuj’ meaning ‘to join’, ‘to yoke’ or ‘to unite’. The practice of yoga leads to the union of individual consciousness with universal consciousness leading to an enhanced sense of self awareness. Essentially a spiritual discipline, yoga is based on an extremely subtle science which focuses on bringing harmony between mind and body. It is an art but uses science to achieve healthy living, adopted by many who will strongly advocate its benefits
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The most important and most famous purveyor of yoga was the great Sage Patanjali, the author of the treatise ‘Yoga Sutras’. He may have been the first to record the yoga principles, which have since been passed orally from generation to generation over many years.
Yoga is perhaps world’s first system to recognize the interconnection and interaction between body and mind along with the healing power that this union has. The main purpose of yoga is to isolate the mind of all thoughts, worries and fears, and to increase the strength and flexibility of the body. This is achieved through physical poses, breathing techniques and meditation, these can be altered to tailor techniques to the different body types ensuring effective treatment for all. Regular practice of yoga can help keep stress and tension at bay and facilitate the mind to a state of well-being and peace. Along with the healing effects benefits include better sleep patterns, relief from fatigue, clearer skin complexion and a youthful vitality.
Ayurveda and Yoga are science sisters. While Ayurveda is mainly concerned with the health of the body and the mind, Yoga also deals with mental health issues as users focus more on self-awareness and the immediate needs of the body. Yoga exercises help with their preventive and curative effect to bring the neurohormones and the metabolism of the body in a natural order and balance and improve endocrine metabolism. This practice gives relief from stress and stress-related disorders in a natural way and with lasting effect. All roads for physical well-being, mental peace, harmony and moral elevation meet in Yoga. The art of living a healthy and contented life, it is among the six systems of Indian philosophical thought. Mastering Yoga demands a steady graph of perseverance, persistence, dedication and total surrender from the person seeking it. See what Patanjali says in ‘Yoga Sutras’ about the eight-fold path for liberation from pain and suffering. He indicates that yoga is not simply an exercise but should be a way of life which is revealed by the eight paths or more clearly described limbs as they intertwine as the branches of a tree or weave through all facets of your life.
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Yama (five restraints)

Is concerned with social behavior and how you treat those around you, the moral principles are as follows:

  • Ahimsa (non-violence); Do not harm in thought or deed
  • Satya (truthfulness); Tell no lies
  • Asteya (non-covetousness); Do not steal
  • Brahmacharya (non-sensuality); Don’t be self absorbed (celibacy is not required)
  • Aparigraha (non-possessiveness); Don’t be greedy
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Niyama (five observances)

Is concerned with how you treat yourself

  • Shaucha (Purity); by following the five yamas, keeping clean, treat your body as a temple
  • Santosha (Contentment); be happy with what you have, cultivate contentment and happiness
  • Tapas (Austerity); restrain your body, speech and mind, direct them to higher spiritual aims
  • Svadhyaya (Self-study); of the ancient texts of relevance to you
  • Ishvarapranidhana (Surrender to God); be devoted to whatever you hold as divine

These plus a further two elements offer control over the physical body

  • Asana (Discipline of the physical body or posture)
  • Pranayama (Control over bio energy through respiratory action - breathing)

Known as external or Hath Yoga these elements must first be mastered before moving onto internal or Raja Yoga simply because the average person is unlikely to be able to accomplish Raja Yoga without having skills in Hath Yoga. Raja Yoga includes:

  • Pratyahara (Withdrawal of the senses inwards through abstraction or meditation)
  • Dharna (Concentration – focus on one point or image)
  • Dhyana (Meditation – leading to heightened awareness)

The goal of the eightfold paths is Samadhi (Self-realisation), this is a state of absolute bliss where you and the universe are as one. This enlightment once attained can last forever.

Take a look at a few poses or Asanas.

  • Bhujangasana- Cobra Pose
  • Dhanurasana- Bow Pose
  • Padmasana- Lotus Pose
  • Sarvangasana- Shoulder Stand
  • Savasana- Corpse Pose
  • Sirsasana- Head stand
  • Vajrasana-Thunderbolt Pose

Yoga Do’s and Don’ts

  • Start practicing Yoga under the guidance of an expert.
  • Keep the instructor informed about any medical condition you have.
  • Do not try hard on the workouts to cause injuries.
  • Set a pace you are comfortable with.
  • Never perform Yoga immediately after food.
  • Always practice yoga in a peaceful surrounding with plenty of fresh air

MEDITATION

Meditation is a practice where by focusing the mind a high concentration level is achieved which calms and clears the thoughts and takes one into the inner depths of the mind, achieving a state of true enlightenment. The road to enlightment consists of three phases - dharana (concentration), dhyana (meditation) and samadhi (enlightenment). Dhyana can be reached by fixing attention for a long time to any particular cause. Prolonged meditation eventually leads to Samadhi or enlightenment but takes practice and guidance to achieve, for this you need the wisdom and experience of a meditation guru. At Manaltheeram, yoga and meditation are taught by highly experienced guru’s who have honed the art of meditation and are ready to pass on their knowledge to interested individuals.

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