Swami Vishnu-Devananda synthesized the ancient wisdom of yoga into five simple principles.
Through yoga asanas, postures, to promote strength and flexibility.
These physical practices help cleanse tone strengthen our precious physical body: the sun salutations prepares the body for asana, toning the spine and regulating the breath, while the Sivananda asana sequence works systematically on all the parts of the body, toning muscles and ligaments, and keeping spine and joints flexible.
Through breathing fully and rhythmically, and using all of our lung capacity to increase oxygen intake, we connect the body to the solar plexus, where tremendous potential energy (prana) is stored. Through specific breathing techniques this energy is released for physical and mental rejuvenation. Pranayama also cleanses and purifies the chakras and nadis, energy centres and nerve channels in the astral body through which prana flows.
Through physical mental and spiritual relaxation, we release tension in the muscles and the mind. In the hustle and bustle of life, our mind is continually bombarded with stimuli which causes us to be in the alerted ‘fight or flight’ pattern of response. As a result we are often spending much of our time in a state of physical and mental stress or tension, which is a great drain on our energy resources and a major cause of ill-health and tiredness. Relaxation allows us the space and time to let go, relaxing all the parts of the body, breathing more slowly and deeply, and allowing the mind to be calm like a still lake.
One that is nourishing and well-balanced, based on natural foods that keep the body light and the mind calm. Yoga diet is influenced by Ayurveda – the traditional indian system of medicine.
It teaches that all of existence- including animals, humans, land, food- originates in the interaction of three primal energies known as gunas – sattvas (harmonoius and balanced) tamas (static) and rajas (energetic). Sattvic foods are pure light natural foods-wholegrain breads/cereals, vegetables, fruits, nuts, water, dairy products. Tamasic foods are often rich and heavy causing inertia-processed food, alchohol, sugary foods, meats. Rajasic foods are high energy and stimulating foods such as caffeine, chilli, strong spices
positive thinking and meditation
Regular meditation brings peace and clarity – meditation is the practice of constant observation of the breath and mind – through observation we discover that waves of thought gradually lessen and the mind becomes still as a calm lake. In that calmness we may discover our true nature, presence of being, awareness… As Swami Vishnu has written: “…a beautiful flower grows slowly. One must wait for the blossom, the ripening of the fruit and the ultimate taste. The blossom of meditation is an expressible peace that permeates the entire being…”