Yoga is an Indian ancient science which is useful even today for people of any age, religion, country or in any profession. It is a science related to the body, mind and soul. It is not merely a set of physical exercises (asanas) as some people in the world believe.
Yoga has been divided into two parts. One is called “Ha” “Tha” Yoga (also written as Hatha Yoga)and the other is called “Raja Yoga”. The former is mainly related to the physical body and the latter to the mind.
“Ha” “Tha” is a technical word and not a Hindi word. These two letters mean two types of different energies within a body. “Ha” “Tha” yoga science believes that ailments or disorders are the result of imbalances of these two energies and the imbalances can be removed by Yogic Shatkarma, Asana, Pranayama, Mudra and Bandha.
Yogic shatkarma are highly effective cleansing processes for the physical and subtle bodies. At the same time, they are also simple and can be easily learnt. There are many methods described in the yoga scripture but today one needs to learn merely a few of them to stay healthy and young.
Asanas or yogasanas are a group of many simple and difficult physical exercises. One needs to learn a few of them to stay healthy and young according to one’s need, age, flexibility and strength. Difficult exercises are helpful to sportsmen, dancers, soldiers etc.
Mudras are also a group of asana but their method of doing is different. They are generally taught to only healthy persons.
Bandhas are also a group of a few simple physical exercises. They are highly effective in keeping body slim and healthy.
Pranayama is a science of regulation of the flow of pran. Pran is a technical word meaning an energy which keeps body and mind active, healthy, young and energetic. Pran has tremendous property to heal as well as to improve the quality of the functioning of both body and mind. Healing by pran is called Pran Upchaar in Hindi (also known as
Pran Therapy or Aura Healing or Pranic Healing or Reiki Healing or Energy Healing). This healing method has done wonders in removing various ailments and problems. Prana plays a vital role in transforming the mind and helps in opening doors for the realization of
the soul or Samadhi also. Kirlian photography has greatly helped in understanding the role of Pran in the functions of body and mind.
Since time immemorial asana, shatkarma, mudra, bandha, pranayama have benefitted innumerable patients by removing their physiological, psychosomatic and mental problems.
Raja Yoga aims at the attainment of the highest state of mind or Samadhi.
Maharishi Patanjali has written a beautiful book for this purpose “Yoga Darshan”. He says that one needs to practise eight steps in all for the attainment of Samadhi (merely knowing cannot help) and that is why his method is called Ashtang Yoga. Ashtang is a Hindi word meaning eight. These eight steps are Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama,
Pratyahar, Dharna, Dhyan and Samadhi. It is difficult to understand this book so one needs a teacher to understand the meaning, significance and techniques of these eight steps.
The article has been written by Pavan Jain, Yoga teacher and Aura healer ( also known as Pran therapist or pranic healer), Lucknow, India