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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Panca Kosa 9 - Basics of Yoga Therapy


Yoga is not something that you practice for an hour and then forget about. It is a way of life. The most important principle in yoga is that our nature is Anandamaya Kosa, or bliss. It means that we should consciously maintain a cheerful disposition. This is an important step in Patanjali’s astanga yoga as one of the niyamas. It means that we should not be bothered by successes or failures, praise or blame. Intellectually, we need to convince our mind that there is nothing more important than being cheerful. Everything else is secondary. The yogic philosophy says freedom is not just our birth right but is our nature. Nothing in this world can permanently take away our nature if we do not become ignorant. It is our ignorance which takes us away from our nature and we become vulnerable to even the smallest external stimuli.
Another area which can easily affect is the emotions.
Emotions are another area that affects our inner harmony. Generally, there are two categories of emotions we experience. One is soft emotions and the other is violent emotions. Anger, hatred, jealousy, greed, etc fall under the category of violent emotions and love compassion, wonder, appreciation, and forgiveness are soft emotions. We can see that soft emotions can make us blissful, satisfied, and peaceful. In addition they can also strengthen our immune system. On the other hand, violent emotions disturb our peace and harmony, create health problems such as high blood pressure, and disturb our sleep patterns, affect digestion, and several other such effects take place which lead to unpleasantness. Though we all have the experience of these emotions we are ignorant of some facts in connection with these emotions which are listed below.
I. Soft emotions are spontaneous and every child is born with these soft emotions.
II. On the other hand, violent emotions, such as anger, appear to be spontaneous but they are not natural they are triggered and prompted by the ego.
III. Soft emotions can strengthen our immune system and violent emotions can trigger immune imbalances.
IV. Sot emotions bring people together and the other break the relationships of people.
V. Love, compassion, and etc are the qualities of our mind and they actually do not depend on the outside world. But if we do not notice, they appear to be dependent on the world outside. This ignorance misleads us and we become attached to the external object or person. This attachment brings about misery and then one starts seeing the soft emotion as bad but he does not recognize that the attachment itself is bad.
VI. In soft emotions there are no expectations where as violent emotions are born out of expectations.
VII. Recognize and be in the state of soft emotions which is our health and is very therapeutical. Leave violent emotions consciously.


The human being has a capacity and innate quality to rise from the level of complaint to tolerance to acceptance to appreciation to development of respect. The degree of unhappiness and discomfort depends upon the amount of complaints we have. As we rise above the unhappiness, our degree of discomfort reduces accordingly. This fact leads to spiritual wellbeing.


1. When we are doing practices, one has to observe slowness and leisureliness and even if there is some kind of muscle pain initially, slowly one should be able to over come that and enjoy the practices.
2. Uninterrupted discipline of practices is necessary to see results.
3. While doing the practices we have to have inner awareness so that we have the opportunity to listen to our body signals. We need to respect these signals without over exerting ourselves while doing these practices.
4. The same rule namely the inner signals are respected and we should not perform Pranayama and meditation practices in excess.
5. Health is our nature, but anxiety about health takes us away from our nature.



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