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Guru Gorakshnath

‘Go’ in Sanskrit means earth and ‘raksha’ means to protect. It is believed that the earth protected the boy so he was called Gorakshnath. There are many stories about his birth and birth place. Some believe he was born in Punajb region, while others claim he was born as Buddhist. Though he is known as the disciple of Matsyendranath, there was around three centuries gap between his and Guru Gorakshnath’s period. Natha is a religious sect that follows the teaching combination of Shaivism, Buddhism and Hatha Yoga. It is said that Guru Matsyendranath was the one who founded Natha Sampradya (sect) but the natha sect flourished during Gorakshanath saga. City of Gorakhpur is named after Gorakhnath. India and Nepal have many ashrams and temples devoted to teaching of Gorakshnatha. Gorakshnath, was, a well-travelled yogi of his time; so you will observe that each region in India including Nepal has own theory of his birth. He is also known as the founder of “kanphata yogis” who followed Hath Yoga in a spiritual way. You will come across many Kanphata yogis in Himalyan region today too. Rishi Gorakshnath’s contribution to Hatha Yoga and Natha traditions is just invaluable. The Shiva Samhita sees the potential of asana in each living creature on this earth. It is believed that there are 84 lakhs of species. Lord Shiva has listed 84 essential Asanas in...

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Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha

‘Asana Pranayama Mudra Bandha’, can be considered as one of the essential modern yoga manuals for Hatha Yoga. This book was published by Bihar School of Yoga in 1969. The author Swami Satyanand Sarswati who was initiated by Swami Sivananda Saraswati has given details which a sincere yoga follower would love to know. This book is for a yoga student who has been practicing  yoga regularly from 2-3 years, will be very happy to go through it as he will find interesting dimensions of his Hatha Yoga practice.  On the other hand, a beginner, will find it quiet heavy.   The verses from ‘Hatha Yoga Pradipika’ of Swatmarama, the most ancient reference book on Hatha Yoga in the beginning of each section makes you realized that as the yoga follower you are taking ahead the thousand years old science, moreover a way of life. This book introduces Hatha Yoga practice in a very simple and profound way. The major section of the book has been devoted to asanas. Swamiji has explained each and every asana with their significance, limitations and how to perform it under the categories of beginners, intermediate and advanced. Many Hatha Yoga followers are more aware of Asanas but Hatha Yoga is much wider concept. Swami Satyanand Saraswati explanation of Pranayamas, Bandhas, Mudra and Shatkramas takes you further deep in physiological yoga. Though Haha Yoga is...

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Golden Milk

Number of serving: 1 Size of serving: 1 cup or 1 small glass Ingredients: warm one cup cow milk, 1/4th to half tsp of turmeric powder as per your taste, one tsp honey Preparation Time: 5-10 minutes The Preparation Method: Boil the milk. When it is boiling add turmeric powder. Take it off the heat in 2-3 minutes once turmeric added. Let it turn from hot to warm. Now add honey. Whisk with spoon. Now have it warm. You can add 3-4 strands of saffron if you like it. Benefits: Good to induce sound sleep, stress bursting drink. Turmeric is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant so it is used to heal wounds faster. It is very good for skin. Your bones are strengthened as milk has good quantity of calcium. Honey is natural cough syrup, and also antioxidant. Honey nourishes your skin, helps in managing...

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Samkhya Philosophy

There are very few yoga followers who are aware that the Yoga has its roots in Samkhya philosophy. Nyaya, Vaisheshika, Samkhya, Yoga, Mimansa and Vedanta are six orthodox systems of Indian philosophy. Samkhya provides a metaphysical base for yoga. In the BhagawadGita, Samkhya and yoga are described, “ignorant, not sages, speak of Samkhya and Yoga is different adaptation of both disciplines”. Samkhya in Sanskrit literally can be translated as the number. Samkhya explains the components of human being, the whole srishthi (the whole universe including animate and non-animate objects.) It decodes the secret of the creation of Universe focusing on both macro and micro elements. According to Samkhya system the universe has 25 elements—inclusive of gross and subtle elements. The universe is created by Prakriti and conceptualized by Purusha. Purusha in Sanskrit can be literally translated as the male. But the significance of Purusha is miles beyond this meaning. In Smakhya, it is known as the Vishesh Purusha. It can be understood as the God, or higher almighty or Universal consciousness. Purusha cannot create anything without prakriti. And Prakriti alone cannot create. The presence of Purusha puts prakriti into action. It can be said that Purusha has design and structure on his mind which is put into reality by Prakriti. Prakriti & Gunas Purusha doesn’t change with the time or space. It doesn’t carry any substance, form or characteristics....

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Kriyayoga: A Path to Pure Potential

The second chapter of Yoga Sutra–the reference book for yogis, begins with this yoga sutra. It underlines the importance of pure potential which each one of us carries within us. When we start using more pure potential of ours, the life unfolds very unique dimensions of our being. Knowing self in completely different perspectives escalates our growth in every aspect of life.   The adaptation of kriya yoga practice (consisting of tapas, swadhyaya and ishwarpranidhan) can help us realize our fuller potential. Patanjali defines kriya yoga as the action plan that can help the person to discover innumerable possibilities of progress as per his dharma (duty). A person has to fulfill many dharmas in his life; if you are a teacher your dharma is to endow your students with knowledge and wisdom in a greater possibility. As the student your dharma is to absorb as much knowledge as possible. A teacher can be student as well as teacher. So one person has to fulfill dharmas of both. Our duty is not only limited to certain works or professions, one has to play important role in family and the community too. Practicing dharma is not an easy task. If you want something best come to you, you need to put up your best efforts in your task. Tapa (Disciplined Efforts) kriya yoga is made up of three components;  tapa, swadhyaya and ishwarpranidhan. Tapas means clarity...

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