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#248349 - 04/23/06 05:03 PM Yoga
Timeless Offline

Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 22
I just wanted a lil space to talk and share comments on Yoga, i know there are many different kinds, so who uses this with their martial arts ? Toughts, experience, tips, and genenral chat.

Couldnt make ma mind up what threas to put this under, so maybe a MOD can move it if need be.


#248350 - 04/24/06 07:35 PM Re: Yoga [Re: Timeless]
mouli Offline

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 97
Loc: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Hi Timeless,

Yoga is ofcourse a very good thing that needs to practiced, not only in MA but also in our daily lives of the normal people. Anyway it depends on the individual intrests.
Many people think that being strong is good. I do accept but being healthier is even good. Yoga helps you to lead a healthy life.
Yoga is like a ocean. Its a step by step process.
If you are looking from MA perspective, yes there are so many asanas(postures) and exercises that help you to excel in MA.
I saw in a program in Discovery channel long back that the Shaolin monks practice Yoga.
The indian wrestlers incorporate Yogic movements when they do Rope climbing and other exercises.
It helps you to gain flexibility and have a clear mind.
These are just a few. There are so many things that you can gain through Yoga. This place would not be enough to discuss all.
Basically there are Eight kinds of Yoga:
1. Bhakti Yoga
2. Karma Yoga
3. Jnana Yoga
4. Raja Yoga
5. Mantra Yoga
6. Laya yoga
7. Tantra Yoga
8. Hatha Yoga
There is also the Kundalini or kriya Yoga.

let me know if you need any info on these.


#248351 - 04/24/06 07:55 PM Re: Yoga [Re: mouli]
Blaise Offline

Registered: 01/05/06
Posts: 38
Vinyasa Yoga, too.

And Ashtanga. But I took this class once and they were like yeah Ashtange=Raja and that mad intense yoga you see advertized isn't really Ashtange. But I dunno. I might be lying.

#248352 - 04/25/06 10:54 AM Re: Yoga [Re: Blaise]
Timeless Offline

Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 22
Thanks for the list...
Yeah its kinda confusing with all the diff types.
What kind of yoga do the Shaolin practise? Is it Zen Yoga ?

I want to take up one of the Yogas along side my martial arts, meditation and stretching to increases flexability as well as Personal/ Spiritual gain.

What u recomend ?

#248353 - 04/25/06 03:49 PM Re: Yoga [Re: Blaise]
mouli Offline

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 97
Loc: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Hi Blaise,

Not many people teach Ashtanga Yoga.
To know about it, Please do read below.

Ashtanga Yoga is a system of Yoga recorded by the sage Vamana Rishi in the Yoga Korunta, an ancient manuscript "said to contain lists of many different groupings of asanas, as well as highly original teachings on vinyasa, drishti, bandhas, mudras, and philosophy".
Ashtanga Yoga literally means "eight-limbed yoga," as outlined by the sage Patanjali in the Yoga Sutras. According to Patanjali, the path of internal purification for revealing the Universal Self consists of the following eight spiritual practices:
Yama [moral codes]
Niyama [self-purification and study]
Asana [posture]
Pranayama [breath control]
Pratyahara [sense control]
Dharana [concentration]
Dhyana [meditation]
Samadhi [contemplation]
The first four limbs—yama, niyama, asana, pranayama—are considered external cleansing practices.Defects in the external practices are correctable. However, defects in the internal cleansing practices—pratyahara, dharana, dhyana—are not correctable and can be dangerous to the mind unless the correct Ashtanga Yoga method is followed
The definition of Yoga is "the controlling of the mind" [citta vrtti nirodhah]. The first two steps toward controlling the mind are the perfection of yama and niyama. However, it is "not possible to practice the limbs and sub-limbs of yama and niyama when the body and sense organs are weak and haunted by obstacles". A person must first take up daily asana practice to make the body strong and healthy. With the body and sense organs thus stabilized, the mind can be steady and controlled. With mind control, one is able to pursue and grasp these first two limbs.
To perform asana correctly in Ashtanga Yoga, one must incorporate the use of vinyasa and tristhana. "Vinyasa means breathing and movement system. For each movement, there is one breath. For example, in Surya Namskar there are nine vinyasas. The first vinyasa is inhaling while raising your arms over your head, and putting your hands together; the second is exhaling while bending forward, placing your hands next to your feet, etc. In this way all asanas are assigned a certain number of vinyasas" ("Ashtanga Yoga").
"The purpose of vinyasa is for internal cleansing" ("Ashtanga Yoga"). Synchronizing breathing and movement in the asanas heats the blood, cleaning and thinning it so that it may circulate more freely. Improved blood circulation relieves joint pain and removes toxins and disease from the internal organs. The sweat generated from the heat of vinyasa then carries the impurities out of the body. Through the use of vinyasa, the body becomes healthy, light and strong ("Ashtanga Yoga").
Tristhana refers to the union of "three places of attention or action: posture, breathing system and looking place. These three are very important for yoga practice, and cover three levels of purification: the body, nervous system and mind. They are always performed in conjunction with each other" ("Ashtanga Yoga").
Posture: "The method for purifying and strengthening the body is called asana". In Ashtanga Yoga, asana is grouped into six series. "The Primary Series [Yoga Chikitsa] detoxifies and aligns the body. The Intermediate Series [Nadi Shodhana] purifies the nervous system by opening and clearing the energy channels. The Advanced Series A, B, C, and D [Sthira Bhaga] integrate the strength and grace of the practice, requiring higher levels of flexibility and humility. Each level is to be fully developed before proceeding to the next, and the sequential order of asanas is to be meticulously followed. Each posture is a preparation for the next, developing the strength and balance required to move further" (Pace). Without an earnest effort and reverence towards the practice of yama and niyama, however, the practice of asana is of little benefit.
Breathing: The breathing technique performed with vinyasa is called ujjayi [victorious breath], which consists of puraka [inhalation] and rechaka [exhalation] ("Ashtanga Yoga"). "Both the inhale and exhale should be steady and even, the length of the inhale should be the same length as the exhale" ("Ashtanga Yoga"). Over time, the length and intensity of the inhalation and exhalation should increase, such that the increased stretching of the breath initiates the increased stretching of the body. Long, even breathing also increases the internal fire and strengthens and purifies the nervous system ("Ashtanga Yoga").
Bandhas are essential components of the ujjayi breathing technique. Bandha means "lock" or "seal". The purpose of bandha is to unlock pranic energy and direct it into the 72,000 nadi [energy channels] of the subtle body. Mula bandha is the anal lock, and uddiyana bandha is the lower abdominal lock ("Ashtanga Yoga"). Both bandhas "seal in energy, give lightness, strength and health to the body, and help to build a strong internal fire" ("Ashtanga Yoga"). Mula bandha operates at the root of the body to seal in prana internally for uddiyana bandha to direct the prana upwards through the nadis. Jalandhara bandha is the "throat lock", which "occurs spontaneously in a subtle form in many asanas due to the dristi ("gaze point"), or head position". "This lock prevents pranic energy [from] escaping and stops any build-up of pressure in the head when holding the breath". Without bandha control, "breathing will not be correct, and the asanas will give no benefit" ("Ashtanga Yoga").
Looking Place: Dristhi is the gazing point on which one focuses while performing the asana ("Ashtanga Yoga"). "There are nine dristhis: the nose, between the eyebrows, navel, thumb, hands, feet, up, right side and left side. Dristhi purifies and stabilizes the functioning of the mind" ("Ashtanga Yoga"). In the practice of asana, when the mind focuses purely on inhalation, exhalation, and the drishti, the resulting deep state of concentration paves the way for the practices of dharana and dhyana, the six and seventh limbs of Ashtanga Yoga.
Instruction in pranayama can begin after one has learned the asanas well and can practice them with ease. "Pranayama means taking in the subtle power of the vital wind through rechaka [exhalation], puraka [inhalation], and kumbhaka [breath retention]. Only these kriyas, practiced in conjunction with the three bandhas [muscle contractions, or locks] and in accordance with the rules, can be called pranayama". The three bandhas are "mula bandha, uddiyana bandha, and jalandhara bandha, and they should be performed while practicing asana and the like". "When mula bandha is perfect, mind control is automatic" ("Ashtanga Yoga"). "In this way did Patanjali start Yoga. By using mulabandha and by controlling the mind, he gradually gained knowledge of Yoga".
Practicing asana for many years with correct vinyasa and tristhana gives the student the clarity of mind, steadiness of body, and purification of the nervous system to begin the prescribed pranayama practice. "Through the practice of pranayama, the mind becomes arrested in a single direction and follows the movement of the breath". Pranayama forms the foundation for the internal cleansing practices of Ashtanga Yoga.
The four internal cleansing practices—pratyahara, dharana, dhyana, and samadhi—bring the mind under control. When purification is complete and mind control occurs, the Six Poisons surrounding the spiritual heart [kama (desire), krodha (anger), moha (delusion), lobha (greed), matsarya (sloth), and mada (envy)]—"will, one by one, go completely" (Stern and Summerbell 35), revealing the Universal Self. In this way, the correct, diligent practice of Ashtanga Yoga under the direction of a Guru "with a subdued mind unshackled from the external and internal sense organs" eventually leads one to the full realization of Patanjali's Eight-Limbed Yoga.

Sorry for the long msg..I thought of sharing it.


#248354 - 04/25/06 04:08 PM Re: Yoga [Re: Timeless]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6666
Loc: Amherst, MA
I know very little about this subject, and hope you don't mind me adding my two cents.

I'm not sure, but I thought 'yoga' kinda meant 'union with god'. I know many people do the simpler ones for the health benefits, and I do a few positions for warmups before a kobudo class. As for the Shaolin, any type of yoga they would have done would have been from a Buddhist perspective...not the Indian/Hindu list from above. (Same stuff, but different paradigms and goals.)

#248355 - 04/25/06 04:37 PM Re: Yoga [Re: Timeless]
mouli Offline

Registered: 12/29/04
Posts: 97
Loc: Chennai, Tamilnadu, India
Hi Timeless,

I dont remember as to what kind of Yoga were the shaolin monks do. I watched that program long back and I'm sorry I cannot recollect. I dont think there is anything as Zen Yoga.
As for the other thing, you must understand onething.
Yoga is like a step by step process.
To understand more clearly, its like grading from one belt to the next belt in a karate or TWD class. Its not like, you can choose between Karate or TWD. Are you getting what I'm trying to say here.
To achive higher level of mind control, first you must train your body. So being healthier and stronger is the first thing. For this, you must learn Hatha Yoga.You 'll be learning various asanas (postures), breathing techniques. You can achieve good strength, flexibilty and health which is absolutely necessary for MA.
Feel free to ping me if you need any more info.
I think I can throw more light into it.

#248356 - 04/28/06 12:23 PM Re: Yoga [Re: mouli]
Timeless Offline

Registered: 12/17/05
Posts: 22
Ive been lookin up some postures and stuff, if u know any good sites , plz send me the links.
I also came across chakras which seemed interesting, as i also do Chi Qong exersizes daily.
I kind of stray away from religion , as i follow tho Dao, but i like some of the Philosophy around Yoga, could you shed some light on how the postures and ideas relate?
I understand its a step by step process, but im keen to learn, with the fact itll help with ma MA, spirituality ect
Ill be travelin to India in the near future so maybe i can seek places to learn there also.


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