Sivananda Classical Hatha Yoga Teacher - Pretti Bulsara
THE FIVE POINTS OF YOGA
The Yogi sees life as a triangle; the body undergoes birth, growth, change, decay and death. The growth period reaches a plateau at about 18 – 20 years. In the first years of life, the “youthful period”, the rate of cell rejuvenation (anabolic) exceeds the rate of cell decay (catabolic). The body then maintains an equilibrium from the age 20 until around 35, when the decaying, or catabolic process, begins to gain precedence. The body starts its decline, resulting in “old age” with its accompanying ills and despairs.
However, the Yogis say that we were not born merely to be subject to pain, suffering, disease and death. There is far greater purpose to life. But, the spiritual investigation of life’s purposes requires keen intellect and strong will, products of a healthy body and mind. For this reason, the ancient sages developed an integral system to retard the decaying process, and keep the physical and mental faculties strong. This system of Yoga is a simple, natural programme involving five main principles: Proper Exercise, Proper Breathing, Proper Relaxation, Proper Diet, and Positive Thinking and Meditation.
Yoga is a life of self-discipline based on the tenets of “simple living and high thinking”. The body is seen as a temple or vehicle for the soul, and has specific requirements which must be fulfilled for it to function smoothly. An automobile requires five things: a lubricating system, a battery, a cooling system, the correct fuel, and a responsible driver behind the wheel. This body-vehicle also needs:
1. Proper Exercise: acts a lubricating routine to the joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and other parts of the body by increasing circulation and flexibility.
2. Proper Breathing: aids the body in connecting to its battery, the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy is stored. When tapped through specific Yoga breathing techniques (Pranayama), this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation.
3. Proper Relaxation: cools down the system as does the radiator of a car. When the body and mind are continually overworked, their efficiency diminishes. Relaxation is Nature’s way of recharging the body.
4. Proper Diet : provides the correct fuel for the body. Optimum utilization of food, air, water, and sunlight is essential.
5. Positive Thinking and Meditation: puts you in control. The intellect is purified. The lower nature is brought under conscious control through steadiness and concentration of mind.
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