The Yoga is a philosophy of life. It tells you how to maintain good health, Physical and Mental. The great sage 'Patanjali', was the exponent of Yoga. He stated that the mind's fluctuating behaviour should be kept under control to achieve physical as well as mental health. Yoga is one that controls wavering of mind and frees it from all tensions. Yoga has got its roots in Vedas of ancient India. Indians used yoga as a tool for this eternal purpose. 


Yoga may be classified into two types: Physical yoga and Mental yoga. Physical yoga is for purifying the body. This will take care of health to your body fit. Mental yoga is for purifying the mind. This will take care of mental health and frees one from any kind of stress, strain, and mental conflicts. 


Physical Yoga:


Physical yoga, which comprises of Kriyas (detoxification/purification techniques) and Asanaas (physical postures). A lot of postures are discussed in standard works. Every one can not practise those postures, since they are very difficult to follow and should be practised under strict supervision of a guide. In all the postures, Surya Namaskaaras (Sun salutation: Bow of greeting to Lord Surya) are rather a group of 12 very important postures to be practiced by every person. They are very useful in preventing the ailments and shaping up the body. 


We are presenting those postures here. These postures should be practised with empty stomach, either at dawn or dusk. They should be practised smoothly with a relaxed mind and body, by staying at least 20 seconds in each posture. The first 6 postures will be repeated again thus forming 12 postures.


1. Pranamaasanam: Stand before the Sun, close your eyes, fold both the hands near your chest as in namaskaara.  

  

2. Utthitahastaasanam: Get both of your hands up as much as possible, bending your trunk slightly and bend your neck back and see up.    


3. Paadahastaasanam: Exhaling slowly, bend your body down and touch your knees with forehead. Place your hands at the side of feet.    


4. Aswasanchalanaasanam- Right: Get your left leg back, and bend your right leg forward. Right leg knee should be in between two hands. Look up and inhale slowly. Put your head back as much as possible.    


5. Parvathaasanam: Inhaling slowly, lift up your trunk and place your head between your hands. Put your body in the shape of a bow or a hill. In this posture, the feet should touch the ground horizontally. Dont lift up the heels.    


6. Saashtanganamaskaarasanam: Lie down, and place your chin, chest and palms on the ground and shoot up your trunk. Breath normally.    


7. Bhujangaasanam: Straight your legs horizontally on the ground, lift up your head and trunk.    


8. Parvathaasanam: Exhale slowly and lift up your trunk in the form of a bow. (See posture 5).    


9. Aswasanchalanaasanam- Left: Get your right leg back, bend your left leg forward. (This is like posture 4, but doing with left leg). 

   

10. Paadahastaasanam: Exhale slowly when bending down and touch your knees. (See posture 3).    


11. Utthitahastaasanam: Stretch your hands up and look at top. (See posture 2).   

 

12. Pranamaasanam: Stand straight in namaskaara pose. (See posture 1).    



Mental Yoga:


Mental yoga comprises of desciplined life, mastering the mind and soul and liberating the human soul from all these worldly sorrows. There are various stages in Internal yoga, but the most important are: 


Praanaayaama(controlling the life force), Dhyaana(meditation) and Samaadhi(spiritual absorption). 


Praanaayaama: 

This is for full intake and use of oxygen. Every breath is composed of life force entering our body. We generally breath from the chest. We should breath fully from the belly, so that maximum air can be taken in the lunge and thereby maximum Oxygen goes to the blood stream. When you are inhaling, see that your stomach should come up and when you exhale, see that your stomach should go in. Inhale and exhale like this for atleast 15 minutes a day. This is called 'diaphragmetic breath'. Use your right hand thumb to close the right nostril and the little finger to close the left nostril. First of all exhale through left nostril fully and slowly (close right nostril) and slowly inhale through the same nostril. Do this for 3 times. Then close the left nostril. Now exahale and inhale with right nostril for 3 times. Then close the right nostril. Do it with left nostril. Like this do for atleast 15 minutes. This is called 'alternate nostril breathing'. See that every time, the duration of exhale is equal to the duration of inhale. 


Dhyaana(Meditation):


Dhyaana means focussing our mind on an object, and thus controlling its distortions. Sit calmly in a relaxed posture like Padmaasana (See below), keep your back and neck straight, look straight horizontally, and close your eyes. Rest your hands on your knees. Just relax your body parts, dont feel any tension in any part of your body and start observing how your breath is entering your nostrils and how it is going out. Your concentration should be on your breath at your nose tip only. When it is going into your stomach, where it is ending, and again where it is starting. Do it for at least 10 to 20 minutes. 


Samaadhi:


This is the ultimate goal of a yogi. A person who practises praanaayaama and dhyaana properly for some time, will get greater awareness that he and the world is one and the only one. He feels his presence in every atom of the external world. He sees sorrow and happiness are nothing but same. His soul is elevated from all these worldly affairs. This state is called Samaadhi.