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The five paths of Yoga

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There are many different paths or systems of yoga, for example, mantra yoga, kundalini yoga, swara yoga, bhakti yoga, japa yoga, hatha yoga, etc. Each one leads to the same source, the same experience, just like the different roads that lead into a city or the different rivers that flow into the sea. All the paths of yoga aim at the elimination of the ego and lead to meditation. They can be broadly classified into five fundamental groups:-

 

  1. Karma yoga – path of action or activity
  2. Bhakti yoga – path of devotion
  3. Jnana yoga – path of enquiry
  4. Raja yoga – path of introspection
  5. Hatha yoga – path of balancing the physical, mental and pranic layer in the body

 

It is good to practice a combination of all the five paths, with an emphasis and zeal on the path that best suits the personality type, the being. These paths are all intimately connected and not separated in a rigid manner.

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga, the yoga of action, is the path or system of yoga for developing awareness through activity. It is the performance of actions done with intense awareness, non detachment from the action and non-attachment to the fruits of actions. It is not what you do, but the attitude and state of awareness in doing it. This intense, honesty based action leads to reduction of the power of the ego and to more effective and efficient action and performance. “Yoga is efficiency in action” – Bhagavad Gita. Every action should be lived and pursued with the greatest intensity.

 

It is important to develop the ability to do the work, and at the same time be a witness to the actions. When one is no longer the doer, but merely the instrument, then every action becomes spiritual and the work becomes super efficient. Work becomes meditation as the doer, the actions, the object become one – this is the real karma yoga.

 

Bhakti Yoga

This yoga path of devotion appeals to those have some form of belief or devotion. The bhakta channels his emotions towards devotion of the deity, guru, or other object. He is motivated by the power of love. Through prayer, ritual of worship, mantra chant, songs of devotion, thebhakta loses his ego as he becomes totally absorbed with the object. In the Bhagavad Gita, Krishna says – “a bhakta can worship me in any form; whatever form he chooses, i will justify and accept his devotion”.

 

Bhakti can be cultivated and there are many practices that will help one develop bhakti. But if you are not emotionally inclined, do not force yourself to follow this path.

 

When there is devotion towards an object, all the energy flows towards it, leading to one-pointedness of mind which comes from intense love and devotion. Intense bhakti will induce the joy of meditation.

Jnana Yoga

This is the path of enquiry, where one enquires into the absolute truth of who we are, and what we are experiencing. It focusses understanding the laws of existence. The jnani uses the powers of the mind to discriminate between the real and the unreal, the permanent and the transitory. One has to transcend logic and rational thinking to receive the answers in the form of revelations. The full realization of this truth brings enlightenment.

 

Raja Yoga

Raja Yoga, also known as the royal road. Patanjali’sashtangar yoga is also known as raja yoga. He divided the system of raja yoga into the eight limbs of yoga or ashtanga yoga. Yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyhara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi. It is the system where the physical and mental energies are turned into spiritual energies. It is the path of introspection where one becomes aware of and delves deep into the different realms of the mind – the conscious, subconscious, unconscious and superconscious with the purpose of becoming aware of the different aspects of the being. The chief practice is meditation.

 

Hatha Yoga

Hatha yoga is also known as the science of purification of body and mind. Swatmarama in his book Hatha Yoga Pradipika begins by saying, you should first purify the body. Then comes asana, pranayama and the practice of mudra and bandha. Self control and discipline starts with the body. Start with the body first instead of fighting with the mind first. In this way, it will be possible to develop deep meditation leading to samadhi.

 

Hatha yoga balances body secretions, hormones, breath, brain waves, prana so that the mind becomes automatically harmonious and ready for meditation. When the body and mind are cleared of impurities, the energy blocks in the nadis will be released, allowing pranic energy to flow to the brain. When kundalini energy ascends and reaches the sahasrara chakra or crown center, it is no more hatha yoga but yoga, which is the union of consciousness (shiva), with energy (shakti). Hatha yoga prepares one for the highest experience of raja yoga (samadhi). The ultimate goal of Hatha yoga is to bring about yoga.

 

In fact, hatha yoga is regarded as the first part of Raja Yoga. Intellect stands in the way of spiritual awakening; the practice of hatha yoga is most effective way of transcending the intellect because it works on prana and bypasses the mind in this way. Dormant areas of the brain are activated and one’s physical and mental potential begins to increase and manifest.

Though the ultimate goal of hatha yoga practice is preparation of the body and mind for the higher conscious states, it also plays a very important role promoting mental and physical health, and has been used succesfully by yogis and rishis for eliminating diseases. Illness in the body and mind is a state of disharmony in the energy systems. Hatha yoga has proved to be successful as a therapy in reversing cases of chronic ailments like high blood pressure, asthma, diabetes, rheumatism, hysteria, back pain. The practices in Hatha Yoga which consist of theshatkarmas (cleansing), asanas,   pranayama, mudras and bandhas balance the energies in the body, healing the body and mind.

 

Several reliable yogic literature texts provide us the foundation for the practice and philospophy of hatha yoga. The well known texts are Hatha Yoga Pradipika by Yogi Swatmarama, GorakshaSamhita by Yogi Gorakhnath, GherandSamhita by Gherand and Hatharatnavali by SrinivasabhattaMahayogindra. All these texts are said to have been written between the 6th and 15th century AD. There are also some references to hatha yoga in the Upanishads and the Puranas as well as the SrimadBhagavatam.

 

Swatmarama is remembered for his treatise Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a direct, practical and technical handbook of hatha yoga. In this book he reminds all that all hatha yoga practices serve only for the attainment of raja yoga. The great sage Gorakhnath told his disciples that hatha yoga is the science of the subtle body, the means through which the body’s energy can be balanced; it is also the way the dual nature of the mind can be balanced.

 

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History of Nithya Yoga

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Nithya Yoga is the system that was taught directly to Paramahamsa Nithyananda by a great yogi from his birth town, Tiruvannamalai in South India. Yogiraj Yogananda Puri (lovingly known as Raghupati Yogi), was the teacher responsible for preparing Nithyananda’s body and mind for enlightenment through the Nithya Yoga system. Nithyananda was under Raghupati Yogi’s care and guidance from the age of three to thirteen.

It was only after enlightenment that Nithyananda understood that he had received his training and initiation into the Science of Yoga and other spiritual matters from a yogi who had experienced the consciousness of Patanjali, the great sage who is considered the Father of Yoga, who compiled the Yoga Sutra.

In the introduction of his first Yoga Spurana Program in Vancouver, BC Canada during the YOGAM Tour 2009, Nithyananda shared:

‘I feel I have too much to talk about, too much to share, because I myself am a yogi. From a very young age, the first path I started travelling was the path of yoga. Now, everything I do, the shadow, smell and presence of yoga is always there’.

Paramahamsa Nithyananda was taught Nithya Yoga by Raghupati Yogi in the sacred prescints of Arunachaleshwara Temple itself. He was taught daily in a small stone pillared hall known as kritika mandapam.

The hall is filled with approximately 21 stone pillars. Nithyananda was taught one of the deepest truths of Patanjali by Raghupati Yogi in relation to these pillars. Apart from making him do very traditional yogic practices like asana, pranayama, dhyana, mudra , Raghupati Yogi used to ask the young Nithyananda to go into deep meditation, set an intention and climb the pillars. Nithyananda recalls, ‘He used to make me climb up and down using only one hand. He used to tie the other hand behind my back! I never understood why Raghupati Yogi made me do such a practice; I did not think it had anything to do with yoga. But it was here that Raghupati Yogi taught me the deepest truths of yoga’.

Raghupati Yogi delievered one of the core teachings of Patanjali to Nithyananda and that was, ‘The mind creates the body’. He would say, ‘With whatever intention you make your body active, that intention, that experience gets deeply recorded into your muscle memory’. Therefore by putting me in deep silence and then moving my body intensely to climb the pillars, the experience of that silence was inserted into my muscle memory and there after, that silence started radiating through my body.

AYURVEDA AND YOGA

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Relationship of Yoga to Ayurveda

Yoga and Ayurveda are complementary as they are interrelated and interconnected; both springing from the same well of concern for human health and well-being.
Though, while Ayurveda is more restricted to the body – and, to a certain extent the mind – Yoga extends to the emotions and Spirit as well. The human constitution depends on a particular configuration of humors (doshas) that influence the body’s functioning and structures growth requirements.

They are also known to influence emotional and psychological reactions. A healthy body demands a balance of factors; for instance, as external conditions change, dietary changes may be necessary to maintain good health. Further, as Yoga affects the human constitution, balancing the entire system, physical, mental and emotional, you can use different Yoga techniques to benefit different doshas.

Introduction to Ayurveda

Ayurveda is translated as ‘ayur‘ (life) and ‘veda‘ (knowledge of or science). It is commonly known as the ‘Science of Life’. Ayurveda is the natural healing system which originated out of India over 5000 years ago. Ayurveda is a healing gift that has been given to us from the ancient enlightened Vedic culture. It is the system for maintaining optimal health through adherence to natural rhythms and cycles. Ayurveda employs a variety of natural means to bring harmony to the physiology including diet, herbs, spices, minerals, exercise, meditation, yoga, mental hygiene, sounds and smells.

The Rig Veda is the oldest of the four Vedic scriptures and contains the main concepts regarding Ayurveda.  It speaks about three cosmic powers associated with Wind, Fire and Earth and how these primal forces relate to the three psycho-physiologic constitutions of man known as Vata,Pitta and Kapha.

From the five elements, the three doshas are derived—Vata,Pitta, and Kapha. Known as mind-body types, the doshas express particular patterns of energy—unique blends of physical, emotional, and mental characteristics.

In Ayurveda, health is defined as the dynamic state of balance between mind, body, and environment. It is possible for each of us to achieve and maintain a vibrant and joyful state of health by identifying our mind-body type and then creating a lifestyle that sustains and nurtures our unique nature.

Yogic nutrition

Sattvic Way of Eating

 

What is the best time to eat

Ayurveda says that in our manipura region (navel region), we have what is known as digestive fire (jataraagni). This jataraagni is closely related to the sun. When the sun is out, it means your digestion is functioning at its optimum. Always aim to eat your meals between sunrise and sunset (not before or after).

Eat light, sattvic and pure foods for breakfast – fresh squeezed juice, fresh fruit etc.

Our jataraagni is at is strongest when the sun is at its highest in the sky (at approximately 1pm). It is best to eat our largest meal between 12pm and 2pm.

The evening meal should again be light and best eaten before the sun goes down for the day.

Presentation

Devote at least half an hour to eat and digest each meal (1.5 hours per day for eating is not much).

Remember that one fourth of your food is taken through the eye (sense of seeing) so serve your dish on a beautiful plate – you are worth your best cutlery! It is also a nice practice to set the table you are eating at decoratively.

 

Gratitude

Say a small prayer before eating your food. It doesn’t have to be too elaborate, simply just say a small thank you for the food that you have and that is about to become part of your body.

Fragrance of the food

Bring your face toward the food and inhale the fragrance of the food. Enjoy the different aromas of the food. Allow this sense to be filled.

Touch the food

Touch the food with both hands and all fingers, feel the textures.

All five fingers have minor chakras. Therefore, when we touch the food, we send a signal to our digestive system that you are about to ingest food.

Eating the food

Let the first morsel be a sacred act to yourself.

Chew the food 32 times – or until food is pulp in the mouth. We do this for two reasons. The first is, when you chew the food slowly, your system has time to understand that enough food has been eaten. You won’t overeat when you chew the food slowly. The second reason is, when you chew the food well, the digestive process begins in the mouth itself where the enzymes in the saliva can start to break down the food. When the food reaches your stomach, it does not have to work so hard to breakdown all the food. Breaking down food in the stomach takes more energy than running around your street block. That is why we feel very tired after eating food.

Have positivity when you are eating and digesting your food

Leave some room

You should only fill three quarters of your stomach.

Leave the final quarter for some water and air.

Small sips of warm water can be taken during meal. Never drink cold drinks during a meal as they can weaken your digestive fire.

Leave a complete half an hour after your meal, than you can drink a full glass of warm water if it is required.

One can sip water throughout the day. It greases the system and breaks down what is known as ama which is residue of your digestion.

Sit in vajrasana to help digestion

Sit in the vajrasana position (sitting on your heels, knees and feet together) for 3 – 5 minutes after a meal.

This position can help the food to digest as a lot of blood will be brought to that area.

It helps to remove gas and prevent bloating. If you get the urge to belch or pass wind, that is what the posture is designed to do, so try not to suppress these urges.

The posture will help you to feel light and energized after the meal.

Never lay down or sleep after a meal. If you want to gain weight, than this is a 100% guaranteed way to put on weight; sleeping after food

Ayurvedic Constitutional Test

Body Structure and Appearance

Vata                               Pitta                             Kapha

Frame Tall or short, thin; poorly developed physique Medium; moderately developed physique Stout, stocky, short, big; well developed physique
Weight Low, hard to hold weight, prominent veins and bones Moderate, good muscles Heavy, tends towards obesity
Complexion Dull, brown, darkish Red, ruddy, flushed, glowing White, pale
Skin texture

&

Temperature

Thin, dry, cold, rough, cracked, prominent veins Warm, moist, pink, with moles, freckles, acne Thick, white, moist, cold, soft, smooth
Hair Scanty, course, dry, brown, slightly wavy Moderate, fine, soft, early gray or bald Abundant, oily, thick, very wavy, lustrous
Head Small, thin, long, unsteady Moderate Large, stocky, steady
Forehead Small, wrinkled Moderate, with folds Large, broad
Face Thin, small, long, wrinkled, dusky, dull Moderate, ruddy, sharp contours Large, round, fat, white or pale, soft contours
Neck Thin, long Medium Large, thick
Eyebrows Small, thin, unsteady Moderate, fine Thick, bushy, many hairs
Eyelashes Small, dry, firm Small, thin, fine Large, thick, oily, firm
Eyes Small, dry, thin, brown, dull, unsteady Medium, thin, red (inflamed easily)

green, piercing

Wide, prominent, thick, oily, white, attractive
Nose Thin, small, long, dry, crooked Medium Thick, big, firm, oily
Lips Thin, small, darkish, dry, unsteady Medium, soft, red Thick, large, oily, smooth, firm
Teeth & Gums Thin, dry, scaly, rough, crooked, receding gums Medium, soft, pink, gums bleed easily Large, thick, soft, pink, oily
Shoulders Thin, small, flat, hunched Medium Broad, thick, firm,
Chest Thin, small, narrow, poorly developed Medium Broad, large, well or overly developed
Arms Thin, overly small or long, poorly developed Medium Large, thick, round, well developed
Hands Small, thin, dry, cold, rough, fissured, unsteady Medium, warm, pink Large, thick, oily, cool, firm
Thighs Thin, narrow Medium Well-developed, round, fat
Legs Thin, excessively long or short, prominent knees Medium Large, stocky
Calves Small, hard, tight Loose, soft Shapely, firm
Feet Small, thin, long, dry, rough, fissured, unsteady Medium, soft, pink Large, thick, hard, firm
Joints Small, thin, dry, unsteady, cracking Medium, soft, loose Large, thick, well built
Nails Small, thin, dry, rough, fissured, cracked, darkish Medium, soft, pink Large, thick, smooth, white, firm, oily

Waste Materials / Metabolism

Urine Scanty, difficult, colourless Profuse, yellow, red, burning Moderate, whitish, milky
Feces Scanty, dry, hard, difficult or painful, gas, constipation Abundant, loose, yellowish, diarrhea, with burning sensation Moderate, solid, sometimes pale in color, mucus in stool
Sweat/Body Odor Scanty, no smell Profuse, hot, strong smell Moderate, cold, pleasant smell
Appetite Variable, erratic Strong, sharp Constant, low
Taste preferences Prefers sweet, sour or salty food, cooked with oil and spiced Prefers sweet, bitter or astringent food, raw, lightly cooked,without spice Prefers pungent, bitter, astringent food, cooked with spices but not oil
Circulation Poor, variable, erratic Good, warm Good, warm, slow, steady

General Characteristics

Activity Quick, fast, unsteady, erratic, hyperactivity Medium, motivated, purposeful, goal seeking Slow, steady, stately, strong, good
Strength/

endurance

Low, poor endurance, starts and stops quickly Medium, intolerant of heat Endurance, but slow in starting
Sexual nature Variable, erratic, deviant, strong desire but slow energy, few children Moderate, passionate, quarrelsome, dominating Low but constant sexual desire, good sexual energy, devoted, many children
Sensitivity Fear of cold, wind, sensitive to dryness Fear of heat, dislike of sun, fire Fear of cold, damp, likes wind and sun
Resistance to disease Poor, variable, weak immune system Medium, prone to infection Good, prone to congestive disorders
Disease tendency Nervous system diseases, pain, arthritis, mental disorder Fevers, infections, inflammatory diseases Respiratory system diseases, mucus, edema
Reaction to medications Quick, low dosage needed, unexpected side effects or nervous reactions Medium, average dosage Slow, high dosage required, effects slow to manifest
Pulse Thready, rapid, superficial, irregular, weak/like a snake Wiry, bounding, moderate/like a frog Deep, slow, steady, deep, rolling, slippery/ like a swan

Mental Factors and Expression

Voice

Low, weak, hoarse High pitch, sharp, moderate, good Pleasant, deep, good tone
Speech Quick, inconsistent, erratic, talkative Intelligent, penetrating, critical Slow, steady, dull
Mental Nature Quick, adaptable, indecisive Intelligent, penetrating, critical Slow, steady, dull
Memory Poor, notices things easily but easily forgets Sharp, clear Slow to take notice but will not forget
Finances Earns and spend easily Spends on specific goals, causes or projects Holds on to what one earns, particularly property
Emotional tendencies Fearful, anxious, nervous Angry, irritable, contentious Calm, content, attached, sentimental
Neurotic tendencies Hysteria, trembling, anxiety attacks Extreme temper, rages, tantrums Depression, unresponsiveness, sorrow
Faith Erratic, changeable, rebel Determined, fanatic, leader Constant, loyal, conservative
Sleep Light, tends towards insomnia Moderate, may wake up but will fall asleep again Heavy, difficulty in waking up
Dreams Flying, moving, restlessness, nightmares Colorful, passionate, conflict Romantic, sentimental, watery, few dreams
Habits Likes speed, traveling, parks, plays, jokes, stories, trivia, artistic activities, dancing Likes competitive sports, debates, politics, hunting, research Likes water, sailing, flowers, cosmetics, business ventures, cooking

TOTAL                        Vata  ………………    Pitta  …………….…     Kapha …………

Putting Ayurveda into Practice

Waking up

Rise Early (before 4:30am)

Declare completion

PanchaKriyas

Eye wash, JalaNeti (Sutra Neti for advanced yogis), natural evacuation & enema,

Drink neem juice or lemon juice on empty stomach

ThailaKriya – Oil Pulling

Cleaning Tongue and Brushing Teeth

Oil Massage

Bathing – Be inside your boundary when you bathe. Let your mind be where your

body is, full awareness of the sensations

Moving – Any practice of Hatha Yoga

Being mindful with every movement throughout your day

Mindful Eating – Practice ‘Mindful Eating’ at every meal

Sit in vajrasana after meal

Vata

(require oils that are heating and lubricative)

Pitta

(require oils that are cooling)

Kapha

(require oils that are heating and invigorating)

Sesame

Almond

Jojoba

Wheatgerm

Coconut

Sandalwood

Almond

Sunflower

Sunflower

Sesame

Safflower

Mustard

Corn

What is eN-Fitness?

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FitnessSM is a unique approach to integral fitness, combining modern bodybuilding science with traditional Hatha Yoga techniques and brand new insights in the truths of yoga and kundalini awakening.
This fitness program is designed to sculpt your body consciously, awakening the tremendous potential energy in every human being, what yoga refers to as kundalini shakti.

The effects of kundalini awakening are measurable, including the massive increase in mitochondria energy production, the powerhouse in every cell of the body. The increase in mitochondria energy leads to amazing health recoveries, and is a key to anti-aging.

The new yogic body is capable of sustaining, expressing and radiating higher energy levels and higher frequencies of consciousness, which has a direct practical application in one’s life, improving health, attracting wealth, the right relationships, and providing a clear enlightened understanding of the body-mind and spirit.

eN-Fitness has been carefully designed with minute detailed research down to the cell level. So every motion, every action of the different parts of the body has been researched thoroughly. Which actions, gym exercises directly contribute to the kundalini awakening, cellular energy increase, has been individually studied by Paramahamsa Nithyananda personally on himself as well as the hundreds of program participants who hail from various countries worldwide. eN-Fitness thus clearly outlines which gym exercises, which of the thousands of asanas give the maximum and quick benefit to the practitioner.

Every cell of the body has a powerhouse of energy called mitochondria. It is directly related to the body’s health and aging process. If the mitochondria energy production is increased, it leads to significant physiological and psychological transformation, including anti-aging, healing, permanent cure for depression, expand creative power, increased productivity, awakening the non-mechanical parts of the brain, and ultimate Inner Awakening.

eN-FitnessSM- updates the age-old tradition of Yoga with a modern approach. Developed by Paramahamsa Nithyananda, a Supreme Yogi with a deep understanding about the reality of our lifestyles today, eN-FitnessSM is the ideal physical practice for enlightened living.

Whether you are young or senior, eN-FitnessSM can rejuvenate your whole body, mind and being and allow y

ou to experience health, higher energy levels, and the deep fulfillment of inner peace and joy.

eN-Fitness : http://www.nithyananda.org/program/en-fitness

Sculpting Enlightened Bodies

You are about to experience the most astonishing and holistic fitness program in the world! eN-FitnessSM is a unique approach to integral fitness, combining modern weight-training with traditional Hatha Yoga techniques and the eternal truths of yoga. This fitness program is designed to prepare you for the Inner Awakening, to prepare your body to experience and radiate your innermost potential energy, your inner bliss, Nithyananda. In today’s world, our minds are extremely agitated, and strongly impacted by the stressful environment. Our sedentary bodies are used to diets containing unnecessary fats, sugars, chemical substances and hormones. Modern human beings have evolved into a completely new species, with obesity, diabetes, heart diseases becoming prevalent in the general population. Rishis, Masters, and enlightened beings throughout the ages have all tapped into an unlimited reservoir of energy through time-tested techniques of meditation, yoga, kriyas, mantras, worship, prayers and so on. These enlightened beings have designed thousands of ways to connect consciously with the higher energies of the Cosmos. Again and again, enlightened souls happen on the planet to revive and update the science of enlightenment. eN-FitnessSM is a body-based spiritual practice specially designed by Paramahamsa Nithyananda to meet the needs of today’s society. With eN-FitnessSM, you will reclaim your yogic body, focus the mind on higher achievements, and establish your inner space in a deep fulfillment and bliss!

The Science of eN-Fitness

Prana, which is the life force behind movement, can also be described as the binding force of the universe. It is said that all birth and death in the universe are a result of prana. Our very life is the expression of this energy. Our bodies not only consist of flesh, blood and bones, but also subtle energy centers and channels, chakras and nadis. These make up our energy bodies. Science has shown the presence of energy bodies, which form auras that can be detected by Kirlean photography. When the chakras and nadis are open and flowing, we feel good, joyful, fulfilled, blissful! This is what you can learn in our LBP level 11. But to further expand this blissful feeling, the body needs to be prepared. This is where eN-FitnessSM comes in.

What is NithyaKriya?

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NithyaKriyas are a series of yogic healing processes revealed by Paramahamsa Nithyananda (www.nithyananda.org/nithya-kriyas). They are unique in that, while the knowledge and techniques are drawn from the most authentic, and sacred yogic scriptures of India, the specific combinations are expressed from the personal experiences of Paramahamsa Nithyananda, from his personal research and development, with the aim of curing and providing preventive care for various physical and mental ailments.  He had trained under powerful yogis and mystics right from childhood, and has been a practitioner of the mystical yogic sciences that have practically disappeared from modern yoga texts.

These NithyaKriyas preserve and deliver the original yogic practices which are born out of millennia of research and development, the contribution of innumerable enlightened yogis who have dedicated  their lives to enriching the world with this science. According to the teaching methods laid out by legendary yogis like Gorakhnatha and Matsyendranatha, the individual asanas and pranayama techniques are sacred and must not be tampered with, and the combinations of techniques required to produce the desired effect are to be received by the learner from his own personal guru (Hatha Yoga Pradipika). True to Vedic culture, these fathers of modern yoga have left the door wide open for the continuous updating of this ancient science.
Most popular NithyaKriyas

– Cure for obesity
– Cure for addictions
– Cure for anxiety
– Cure for aging
– Cure for depression
– Cure for diabetes
– Cure for anger
– Cure for migraines
– Cure for skin problems
– Cure for rapid recovery from illness

List of all Kriyas : http://www.nithyananda.org/nithya-kriyas

What is Yoga?

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The word yoga, as commonly understood in the West, refers to the practice of asanas or postures. This asana practice known as Hatha Yoga, is the basis from which other schools of yoga developed.  More on Hatha Yoga is described in the section below.

Yoga means different things to different people.  Perhaps, you are overweight and practice yoga as a form of exercise to have a beautiful physique, or you have an ailment, and look to yoga practice for healing, or you suffer from stress and anxiety, and yoga is your tool to induce mental calmness and peace of mind. You may have unsatisfactory relationships at home and work and look to yoga to improve the quality and depth of your relationships.  Or, you may look to yoga to help you find the meaning of your existence.  Yoga can help in all these areas as  yoga benefits the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual components in us.

However, the ultimate goal of yoga is to prepare the body and mind for experiencing the higher states of awareness and consciousness, to open our eyes to new possibilities and new ways of thinking and living.  Good health, wealth, peace of mind, contentment and clarity of mind are all the side effects of the regular practice of yoga. It help man find maximal happiness and fulfillment in life, no matter what their  religious or belief system may be. The emphasis will be on your personal effort and practice as that will develop your sensitivity and awareness to both your internal and external surroundings.

Yoga is an ancient science, a most valuable inheritance, and essential in today’s society.  It is a science to prepare and train the body and mind to experience the awakening of the inner potential bioenergy – the Kundalini Shakti.  This Kundalini energy when awakened, will activate the non-mechanical parts of the brain and the deeper strands of DNA, allowing one to experience extraordinary energy, clarity, calmness, creativity, and ultimately, the experience of Completion, Enlightenment, Samadhi, or Nithyananda, eternal bliss. In the process, this energy awakens our dormant powers which will support and guide us to manifest our reality,  living creative and fulfilling lives.

The word yoga is also commonly defined as  “union”,  a union with the divine.  It has also been defined as “uniting”.  It is the uniting of the Shiva the conscioiusness at the sahasrara, with Shakti, the kundalini energy which ascends up the sushumna to the sahasrara.  When this ultimate union occurs,  yoga happens.

Balance Your Energies

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The ancient sages and rishis of India understood that all of creation is essentially energy. Furthermore, they understood that this energy can take on different forms. One being the intellect. As a driving force in this world, the intellect can be a powerful tool. In the same manner, sex, also an energy, can be used for creation. However, many times it may feel that these two energies are at war with each other. We desire something, yet our intellect, or mind, tells us we should not have it. The ancient yogis understood that essentially, these conflicts arise out of a simple imbalance in energies. If too much of our energy is centered around sex, then our intellect suffers, and likewise, if we are too intellectual, then we become almost stale, lifeless beings.

The rishis not only understood this, but provided a solution as well, which was rooted in ancient sciences. According to yoga, a human being’s spine is like three hollow tubes, within which life energy flows. In Sanskrit, these tubes, or channels, are known as nadis. The nadis are not visible to the naked eye because they exist not in the physical body, but in the more esoteric, subtle body which may be influenced through meditation or yoga. The ancient science dictates that the energy flow within the nadis will directly affect a person’s mental, emotional, and higher spiritual states. Depending on which way the energy may be flowing at any one time, a person may be centered in the intellect or in the sexual center at the root of the spine, or even a combination of the two. An intellect-centered person will naturally be dry and rooted completely in logic. This energy, ultimately culminating in the head, flows through the ida nadi, located on the left of the center nadi (middle tube). In contrast, a sex-centered person might be materialistic, centered around desires and fantasies. This sex energy travels through the pingala nadi, located on the right of the center nadi, downwards towards the base of the spine.

With the right guidance, however, the energy flow may be “redirected” to the center, or sushumna nadi. When this happens, a person will no longer be affected by these two energy states, as they have transcended them.

If this redirection in energy happens, the energy will reach the crown center at the top of the head. Not only is this essential for balancing out the energy from the ida and pingala nadis, but, more importantly, activation of the sushumna nadi is associated with higher cognitive functions and spiritual awakening.

The human body can be compared to an instrument, and like any instrument, it works best when used properly. The vedic rishis created manuals on how to use this instrument to its full potential through yoga and meditation. By this meditation, one can transcend the first two nadis and awaken the center nadi, ultimately leading to a flowering of a higher spiritual consciousness.

The steps are as follows:

Before doing anything, first mentally scan the spine in order to visualize it easily during the meditation.
Sit straight and close your eyes.
With spine erect, visualize it (the spine) as a lotus thread; a small, thin, thread of light that travels from the base of the spinal cord all the way to the top of the head.
Keep your attention on this thread of light. Visualize the energy flowing from the root center all the way to the crown. What you are visualizing is the sushumna nadi, or center nadi. Let your whole awareness be on this nadi.
Do this for 21 minutes a day for at least 10 days. After 10 or 11 days the center nadi will be activated and the energy flow within all three nadis will be balanced.
This leads to awakening of intelligence, energy, and makes experiencing the ultimate possible.

Taken From Nithyananda’s Shiva Sutra Talks

Nithya Dhyaan

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Nithya Dhyaan is a 35-minute meditation designed by Nithyananda to unclutch from the mind and move beyond it. It cleanses and energises the vital energy centers or chakras in the body, which are responsible for the swaying emotions and stored negative memories. It brings intense awareness into the system to awaken the inner intelligence. The meditation causes an experience of a growing explosion in consciousness that can steer a person towards a life of totality and completion.

Nithya Dhyaan is a technique that gives a seeker what he needs to balance himself and be in complete harmony with his body, mind and spirit. It enables him to harness the inner intelligence and to excel in the inner and outer worlds.

STEP 1

vajrasana

Please be seated in a yogic posture called Vajrasana. Sit on your mat on the floor with both your legs stretched out. Next fold both the legs, one after the other at the knees and rest your posterior on your heels with your toes turned outward. This is Vajrasana. With open palms, place your hands on the thigh joint where it meets the hips, with your thumb pointing backwards and the remaining four fingers pointing forwards as if you are holding your hips. You can use a cushion or a rolled towel under your ankles. Sit comfortably with your head, neck and spine in a straight line.

Now close your eyes and breathe chaotically for 7 minutes. Breathe intensely and non rhythmically. Your entire upper body should move as you breathe. However, do not over-strain yourself. If you have had a recent surgery or have a medical problem or if you are pregnant, please do this step carefully, with the level of intensity that feels comfortable.

STEP 2

Continue to sit in Vajrasana. You now need to form the ‘chin mudra’. A mudra is a symbolic gesture of the hands and fingers. Place your hands on your knees. Your hands with open palms should be facing upward. Let the tip of the index finger touch the tip of the thumb, as if forming a circle. The three other fingers, arms and the hands remain relaxed.

Now, hum intensely for 7 minutes. Breathe in deeply and as you exhale create a humming sound from your navel. Your mouth should be closed. You will feel a vibration starting from your lips and mouth. Be relaxed. Do not strain yourself. If you have had a recent surgery or have a medical problem or you are pregnant, please do this step carefully, with the level of intensity that feels comfortable.

STEP 3

You may now sit cross-legged on the floor if you wish to or continue to sit in Vajrasana. Now, for 7 minutes, take your awareness through each of the body’s seven energy centers, called chakras, starting from the Mooladhara Chakra or Root Center which is the base of the spine to the Sahasrara Chakra, which is the Crown Center. (See figure)

When you meditate on each chakra, feel intensely that:

> the chakra is pure
> the chakra is filled with energy
> the chakra is overflowing with bliss
> the chakra is radiating Nithyananda, or eternal bliss

STEP 4

For 7 minutes just be unclutched in silence. Be a witness to whatever is happening inside you and around you. Do not suppress your thoughts. Do not follow your thoughts. Just watch your thoughts as an observer.

STEP 5

For the last 7 minutes remain in a deep mood of gratitude. When your whole being overflows with gratitude, you commune with the existential energy. You may chant the Guru Pooja Mantra or just listen to the mantra and offer your gratitude to Existence and to your Guru. Offer your gratitude with your whole being.

Adapted from Paramahamsa Nithyananda’s teachings