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Yogasanas are inseperable part of yog and tantrasadhana (mystic practices). Although they are being used only for physical purposes only however their usage for mental and spiritual development is in no way less. Moreover in some of the realms theses are very essential for the mental and spiritual development. Loosing balance between the mental and physical abilities physical advantages are lost in some cases. This subject have been established under the mention of human-anatomy related principles explained in Yoga and Tantra.

 

Explanation of life in (as per) Yogic philosophies

Animate soul is the learned authority and the mind is the performer. The senses on the impulses of mind interact with the external world and perform activities or thereby equips the mind with intellect by the interaction with the external (exoteric) objects. Due to this dual activity the senses are known in two different forms as learning instruments (organs) and working instruments (organs). Eyes, Ears and reproductive organs are conducive organs (working organs). Even the vitality of soul is treated as one of the senses because the root of different activities (carried out) by other senses is because of the vitality of the soul (accumulation of vitality or life). The animate soul is the resultant of all these activities. Just like an object can not have its reflection in absence of a mirror in the same way the mind can not sustain in absence of the animate soul. The other cohesion of the soul and mind is in the form of powerhouse. The animate soul indirectly controls the mind. The activities of mind is not feasible in the absence of senses or in case of faulty senses. Hence the existence of mind and its activities are dependent on both the animate soul and the senses as well. According to the yogic philosophies of India it is said that the life is an outcome of particular balance among the physical, mental and spiritual powers (energies). The health of a human is dependent on the balance among these three powers (energies). Human body is made of very subtle and complex mechanisms so that it carries out the most of activities of the mind. The higher state of body and mind help a person to attain self-realization.

The mystic (tantrik) explanation of mind

According to the yogic-mystic physical anatomy a human is the aggregated form of accumulated activities because it consists the reactive impressions (sacraments) in the form of seeds. The expression of these impressions happens through fifty (odd) instincts. The sages has named them as religion(dharma), economy(artha), kam( desire), moksha (liberation), disobedience(avagya), incognizance (murchha), prashraya (support), avishwas (distrust), sarvnaash(destruction), kroorta (cruelty), lajja (shame), Pishuntaa(back biting), irshyaa (jealousy), sushupti (semi-consciousness), vishad (sorrow), Kashaya (astringent) trishna (delusion), moh (attachment), ghrina (hatred), bhay (fear), aashaa(hope), chinta(worry), cheshta (striving), mamta(compassion), dambh(pride), vivek (discretion), vikalta(desperate), ahankar(ego), kapat(conspiracy), vitark(right discussion), anutaap(tension), shadaj(the first note in music) rishabh (the second note) gandharv, pancham dhaivat, nishad, om, hum, phat, waushat, vashat, swaha, namah, vish(poison)l amarta(immortality), apara(material), para (immaterial). The pace of these instincts being indoteric (directed towards inside) and exoteric(directed towards outside) multiply (twofold) and count to hundred. The reason behind the restlessness of mind is its pace directed in hundred (odd) directions.

The mind is not the only base for spiritual development but the physical health is also dependent on mind. On one hand the will power balance is disturbed by the carrying the burden of pendulum motions of the dejected mind. On the other hand the senses too become weak by carrying imbalanced burden of the mind. The imbalance between these tri-directional powers(energies) is the reason behind those who can not strictly observe the physical obligations.

Ashtanga Yoga and Asanas

To maintain this balance of mind there is aprovision of certain processes in the Tantrik (mystic) –yogic systems which is known as Ashtanga yoga. Laymen feel uncomfortable with the name of Ashtanga yoga and tantra but these processes are not so designed that it is difficult for the laymen to implement the same in their lives. To my personal knowledge millions of people are using these practices comprehensively. The householders and renounced both are involved in these practices and both receive its advantages in their respective areas.

Ashtanga yoga comprises yam, niyam, aasan, pranayam, pratyahar, dhaarnaa, dhyan and Samadhi like processes. Yama-niyama are related to the social life of a person. In general language this may be termed as karma sadhana (action based meditation). Asanas are apparently physical and mental process but indirectly its beneficial effects is also observed on the spiritual awakening. Pranayam is little physical but specially mentally spiritual activity. Pratyahar is mental and spiritual process and dharnaa and dhyana can be treated as entirely spiritual process. Its related to intellectual meditation (practices) and devotional meditations (practices).

Relationship between asana and mind

Asana and pranayama are intimately related and are complimentary to one another. The three types of energies can be balanced with its help. All these activities are related to the eight chakras (cycles) situated in the body. According to the modern science the focus of these cycles (chakras) are on certain glands. These chakras have been named as Mooladhar, Svadhisthaan, Manipur, Anaahat, Vishuddha, Aajnaa, Guru and Sahasrar charka. These cycles are located around the pelvic, plexus, caroted, equigastric, mendula, olbaegata and brain. These cycles have been conceived in the form of lotus and the number of petals symbolizing the mind have been determined. Four petals in mooladhar, six in svadhsthan, ten in Manipur, twelve in Anaahata, sixteen in Vishuddha, two in Ajna chakra and one thousand petals in Sahasrar have been conceptualized. These instincts are said to be very crucial for the all round development of the practitioner by way of physical-men-tal and spiritual processes which are simple exercises. This is why in the Patanjali Yogsutra 2/46 the asanas have been defined in the form of ‘sthirsukhmasanam’. Immobilization and comfort both are related to the body and mind and according to the yogsutra (2/47) the perfection in asanas is through prayatnshathilyaanantsabhaa pattibhyaam’ which means that by the pacification of nature(instincts) and contemplation on the eternal (Supreme soul, the God) the asanas can be perfected. This is approved even by the commentary of Vyas. When the asanas are perfected then the attacks and counter attacks of the dualities do not affect a person. Like – ‘tato dvandvo naabhighaatah’ (Yogsutr 2/48). In this way the asanas are used to develop the mental powers and to attain the spiritual powers.

After the circulation of the harmones, many of their miraculous applications can be witnessed. I have experience of a few asansa which when exercised on the licentious person started changing his nature after just three days. Some teachers (acharyas) furthers this to such a point that some asanas which are meant for the men only if exercised by women it will start developing the manly traits in them. In some (men) limited growth of beard and moustache refer to the weakness of certain chakras(cycles) where there is improper circulation of harmones. Even on these subjects if proper asanas are excercised then their deficiency can be removed. Thus the asanas are used for the physical, mental and spirtitual development of men. It is not that the use of asana is justified for just one aspect (only). Their application should be for physical-mental and spiritual all the three aspects. This is why the practice of asanas needs to be carried out under the supervision of the yogis as mentioned in the yogic-tantrik scripts.

Types of Asanas

There are four ways to carry out the asanas- by laying, sitting, standing and in the inverted positions meaning the head bottom, leg up position. The asanas carried out in standing position are difficult and not beneficial for the cardiac or chronic patients. For such persons the mudras are used so that their various cycles are stimulated through various mental processes (activities). The asans done in the lying position are normally beneficial for all persons. It has no unnecessary pressure on the heart. When a learned practitioner teaches a asana then he absolutely keeps in the mind (takes care of) the heart and brain. The asanas performed in the inverted position are normally not beneficial for the householders, for those who have weak muscles and for those who have irregular diet.

Proper arrangement for the asanas

Keeping the multidimensional aspects of asanas in mind it can be said that there is no age limit for certain types of asanas. But normally the practitioner above the age of 16 and below the age of 45 get the proper benefits of asanas because in this state (of age) the glands or various chakras (cycles) receive the power to circulate harmones. The asanas being a glandular exercise are most suitable to perform at this age but yoga can be practiced during the entire life. By practicing asanas at the young age the agility and diseases both can be avoided.

By strictly observing the principles of asanas, diet and sleep a yogi becomes ageless and immortal.

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