Yogic exercises will help the mind and body :
Yogic exercises help both men and women to acquire-and retain-mental and physical fitness. The body and mind are closely inter-related, and if the body is sick, then mind becomes sick too. And if the mind is not sound, the body suffers. Hence, by giving attention to both, Yoga accomplishes much in the preservation of health.
There are scores of poses in Yoga, many of them difficult and the rest, fortunately, easy to perform Most of the illustrations here fall under the latter group, and the few that are really difficult and can not be tackled by a beginner are described as such.
Pranayama or or a controlled breathing forms an integral part of Yogic practice . A great deal can be accomplished for the health of body and mind through correct and full breathing.
Before starting Pranayama proper, it is advisable to strengthen the breathing apparatus, by easy breathing exercises. One of these is to close with the right nostril with the right thumb, and blow out all the air through the left nostril.
Then close the left nostril with the thumb and inhale as much fresh air as possible through the right nostril. Practise this 4 or 5 times a day near an open window. In 20 to 30 days, the organs of breathing will be fairly well disciplined.
Stand-by of Yogic Practice-To start with this pose, called posterior bending or Paschikmatasana, is to gain the knack necessary to perform more exacting poses. It makes the spine supple and removes abdominal fat.
“Go up,” says Vidwan Mahadeva bhatta, and up goes the abdomen. This raising of the diaphragm or Uddiyana is stated to be capable of retaining the youth of the performer for a long time. It cures constipation and indigestion also.
Isolation of muscles, is one of the features of Yoga poses.This one, seperating the central muscles of the abdomen, is particularly in favour of Yoga students. It has effects similar to Uddiyana and also stimulates the nerves.
Comfortable position :
A good and comfortable position is necessary to practise 22 Pranayama. Squatting with cross with crossed legs in the lotus pose or Padmasana is suggested.
One single round of Pranayama consists of four seconds of drawing in the air., 16 seconds of holding it in, and eight seconds of exhaling it. (It is not safe for a beginner to attempt to master breath-retention with out proper guidance, and he should there fore, learn it from some one competent to teach it)
These poses were given by Vidwan C. Mahadeva bhatta, a disciple of Pro. T. Krishnamacharya, of ‘Sri Yogashala’, Jaganmohana palace, Mysore. This institution has 70 students and is patronised by H. H. the Maharaja of Mysore.
A few final precautions :
Do Pranayama before meals. Have a seperate room for it. Bathe before entering the room. Clean thoughts are essential, and the suggested ones are “Let all things be happy : let all things be peaceful. “
Avoid anger. Place flowers and burn incense in the room and do not allow inside it, persons with thoughts which conflicts with yours.
Worship of Sun :
WORSHIP OF SUN CALLED Suryanamaskar, is also performed by Vidwan Mahadeva Bhatta, and a few poses of it are given here.
Suryanamaskar is best performed early in the morning at sunrise-after a bath. It is advisable to do it in the open.
This exercise expands the chest, strengthens the lungs and increases the vital capacity. Sufferers from indigestion and constipation benefit considerably. Being simpler than Yoga, Suryanamaskar is ideal for persons with undeveloped bodies.
One round of Suryanamaskar is performed thus :
Stand with arms raised, palms together as though saluting (Hindu form) and head tilted backward. Then bend down and place the palms on the ground (As in picture)
Lie down next allowing the weight of the body to rest on the arms and straighten the arms -at the same time raising the chest.
Then lower the chest and raise the waist so that the posture assumed is like an inverted ‘V’. After this lower the body and resume position. No.2 and No.1 A start may be made with the 10 rounds and gradually increase to 50.