Posts Tagged ‘yoga masters’

What is Prana?

Monday, June 20th, 2011

yoga teacher certificationBy Faye Martins

Prana can be defined as the life-infusing substratum of all reality. Prana is also the energy we feel within and around us. There is a lot of prana or life-force energy is raw food, nature, around large bodies of water and around Yoga masters who have enhanced their life-force or energy field through a consistent and dedicated Yoga practice. Another name for prana in Eastern traditions is Chi.

According to ancient yogic wisdom, as you experience deeper and deeper levels of meditation, you come into contact with the causal plane of existence. This causal plane of existence is the birthplace of pranic energy. This is also the plane of existence where the holographic blueprint of physical reality becomes manifest. As you enhance your pranic field through yogic practices, you will be able to more easily be in touch with and rest in this causal plane of existence.

Mystics of all different traditions do agree that there are higher levels of existence or reality that is comprised of pranic energy. Pranic energy itself can become manifest on the physical plane. In terms of yogic experience, practitioners who are fully infused with prana can suspend their breath indefinitely while staying in a state of oneness called samadhi. Some Yoga masters even claim to be able to live solely on the nourishment from the prana around them. Even if your goal is not to necessarily cease eating for long periods of time, being aware of the prana around you, as well as having an appreciation of the level of your own prana or life-force, will help to inform your Yoga practice.

Quantum physicists are discovering that prana or life force energy is comprised of very tiny, sub-atomic particles that hold packets of vibrating energy. In fact, the thoughts of the scientists conducting the experiments even influence the movement of these sub-atomic particles. There is a powerful lesson in this realization, our thoughts may have a far larger impact than we realize on the reality we find ourselves living within. Based on the current findings of quantum scientific investigation, the quality of our lives may be strongly affected by our habitual thought patterns. To create a life of beauty, meaning and abundance, it is necessary to hold in our consciousness positive and life-affirming thoughts. The enrichment of our pranic life force is a vital part of any Yoga practice because it can help us to vibrate at the level of the divinity all around us and bring us great happiness.

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Is Yoga More Than a Recent Phenomenon?

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

By Emily Taggart

You may think that yoga is a recent exercise craze, but in fact, this practice has been around for centuries. Experts have found yoga poses carved in stone that date back as early as 3000 B.C. However, that’s just what the physical evidence supports; in fact, scholars estimate that yoga has been around since what was literally the Stone Age.

You can see, then, that yoga has been used for its benefits almost since the beginning of time. The ancients had it right, too. Yoga’s proponents don’t just rave about its exercise benefits. Instead, it’s a holistic approach to body or mind and spirit wellness that keeps everything in balance and therefore healthy — and attractive, too.

The premise is that yoga focuses on the whole body as a structure. In addition, though, the mind and spirit are also incorporated, so that the three come together. Rather than focusing on overt strength or “muscle building” as other traditional exercises do (like weightlifting), yoga focuses on balance and flexibility as well as strength. It incorporates all three. Some yoga masters, in fact, state that those who have done traditional exercise programs like weightlifting are in fact very challenged by yoga because they don’t normally focus on balance or flexibility — nor do they focus on mind and spirit, either. Therefore, yoga is a holistic practice that makes you healthy, balanced, peaceful — and strong — by concentrating on the poses and incorporating other changes into your life as well.

Yoga’s history

Yoga’s history began with the Vedic period, where rituals and ceremonies were used to break free of the mind’s limitations; this is also the core of Hinduism.

The Vedic period was followed by the Pre-Classical Yoga period, and among the things it introduced were the Upanishad scriptures, which further the Vedic teachings. This was followed by the Classical period, which introduced to the Yoga Sutra, the first attempt to standardize yoga practices.

Finally, this was followed by the Postclassical Yoga period, today’s modern yoga. This practice focuses on living in the moment, proper relaxation and exercise, good nutrition, proper breathing, positive thinking, and meditation.

Yoga as exercise

What makes yoga today so successful as an exercise practice is its focus on core muscles. Because many of the “asanas” or poses specifically focus on core muscles, it also helps improve posture, which “opens up” the body and makes it easier to breathe, stand, and simply improve “flow.”

Yoga has always focused on “perfect alignment,” in which the spine returns to its natural positioning over time, as yoga is practiced. Because of yoga’s focus, relaxation must actually be achieved at the same time as the asanas are being performed, which can actually be a challenge to those who have only done traditional exercise. Nonetheless, this “relaxation and focus” is key to yoga’s benefits, and teach students concentration; as poses continue, focus can intensify to a meditative state.

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