Three Principles of Yoga – Three Pillars Of a Harmonious Life. Logic Everywhere!

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Everyone in their life has faced some form of illogical behaviour of others or their own. Often, we waste our time, money and life resources unwisely. As a result, it seems we are constantly in short supply. Is it possible to find an inexhaustible source of strength and energy?

In the previous article, we tried to highlight the most important principle of Yoga — The Principle of Kindness. Let’s briefly recall what this is about.

The Principle of Kindness (Ahimsa) implies that we should try our best to do no harm to any living beings, unless absolutely necessary. When it is impossible to do no harm to a living being, we should follow our duty. This is the First principle that Yoga recommends to follow in order to achieve harmony with ourselves and the world around us.

Further, Yoga strongly recommends observing the Second Principle — The Principle of Effectiveness or Logic (Brahmacharya). According to this principle, we shouldn’t waste our energy or direct our consciousness on things that don’t lead us to the goals we have set in our work, studies, leisure or yoga. Before we get involved in any activity, we should ask ourselves whether it leads to our goals. If not, we should give it up ruthlessly.

Three Principles of Yoga are Three Pillars of Harmonious Life. It All Starts with Kindness.

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There comes time in life when we lose our way, and everything gets mixed or confused. Our own system of principles and beliefs, which seems pretty harmonious, falls apart. We start to doubt our own abilities, not being able to complete our tasks or achieve our goals. What should we do in this case? What’s the best way to stay focused without hurting ourselves and others? 

In our articles, we often mention the three principles of Yoga, which are the basis of its entire philosophy. People start practicing yoga when they intuitively understand the necessity for the application of these principles. Alternatively, they discover their simplicity and grandiosity and adopt them instantly, because the three principles of Yoga touch every single string of our soul. 

Patanjali On the Obstacles In Yoga

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In our lives, we often face a number of obstacles that prevent us from achieving our goals. In addition to the circumstances that we can not influence, there are those that are entirely dependent on us. It is in our power to manage our will, attention, effort, and time, and to make our goals and plans a reality.

In Open Yoga school, we believe that Yoga is life, and the laws in Yoga and in life are universal. The famous treatise “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” describes the main obstacles in Yoga practice. Knowing these impediments will make it easier to eliminate them. We will be able to achieve results faster and reach a new level of our development.

The Sutras describe nine factors: “physical illness, apathy, doubt, negligence, laziness, cravings, false perception, inability to achieve any stage of concentration, mental instability — these distractions of consciousness are obstacles.” Let’s look at each one in more detail.

The state of our body is so important that it can unsettle even experienced practitioners. Our body is a basis for all the processes that take place in all its systems, including in the mind. If something is wrong with the foundation, then every block will be unstable and it will lead to the destruction of the entire building.
Therefore, we should look after our body, satisfy its basic needs for physical activity, good nutrition, fresh air, take every possible care and listen to it, bringing harmony to every movement.

Apathy is expressed in indifference, in a detached attitude to what is happening, in the absence of a desire for any activity, a decrease in volitional activity. Apathy can be called a mental illness when a person does not want to focus on the practice and his/her consciousness seems to wander. It is very difficult to get over this condition and start practicing again. It usually happens after some tragic events and takes time to recover.

Harmony in yoga practice

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How often during the day do we make ourselves do something? Is it possible to have fun at the same time? Do we allow ourselves to relax and to enjoy the process often enough? How often do we feel harmony in our daily routine? And what does the word “harmony” mean?

The modern lifestyle with its technical progress obliges us to keep up to date. We need to move on, otherwise that same progress will throw us back in our development. This is unacceptable in terms of the evolution of both a single person and society as a whole.

While striving to succeed in life and to achieve our goals, we flog ourselves to death, day after day, year after year, and only very late in life — when we are too tired of this turf battle — we realize that we needed to slow down, look around and find the harmony inside us. It could be on the contrary a passive “go with the flow” attitude, with no pressure or any efforts.

Live easy!

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So often we hear phrases like, “It’s not a trifle!” or “The game is not worth the candle!” Should life be taken so seriously? Trying on different roles, do we become different, or does our personality remain unchanged? Which games are worth playing and which are not worth playing?

From an early age, a child tries to imitate adults. During life, we play different roles: son/daughter, husband/wife, boss/subordinate, mother/father. Playing from birth, we lose an understanding of what we really are. We believe that the roles we assign to ourselves are ourselves. Although initially, an infant is pure, potentially he or she can play any role: rich or poor, healthy or sick, having a home or homeless. A child can learn more and more new roles, depending on the conditions in which he/she will live.

Theatre art helps to master new roles and play them on stage. It has been developing inseparably from society and human culture, reflecting the realities of society, and it was called to guide the viewer, to convey some insights. The audience, feeling the non-verbal message, was inspired by the mastery of the actor and avoided making personal mistakes moving forward. If the performance succeeded to reflect the real life on stage, it  made a strong impression.

It is never too early or too late to practice yoga!

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Yoga is a system of self-exploration that includes physical and mental exercises and helps to expand our freedom. When should we start practicing Yoga to make the process of engaging in practice as easy as possible and to build the habit faster? How can you understand that a person is ready for yoga classes? Is it possible to arouse interest in yoga in other people?

When we contemplate the idea of starting yoga practice, we choose a period when we can make a conscious decision, and have yoga classes on a regular basis.

The most important thing is to make yoga interesting
We can take interest in yoga at a very early age when we do not only know what yoga is, but also we do not even know how to put our thoughts into words. However, this will not be an obstacle for a young yogi. A child can look up to adults and take certain poses, getting to know the body and enjoying this activity. The child will repeat and copy much of what he or she sees at a yoga class of the adults and, over time, will be able to start independent practice. Such classes will be an excellent base for the formation of the habit!
It should be noted that young children switch their attention from one type of activity to another very fast. In one minute the baby reaches out for socks, and in the next moment he is following a cat or a toy. We, as parents, can engage these “distracting” factors, by using our child’s favorite toys, objects, and music for yoga practice, thereby turning yoga into an exciting game.

How much does the spirit evolution cost?

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Modern society provides us with many opportunities to expand our freedom. Subject to the influence of new trends, we wonder more and more where to invest our money to reach a new level of development and to evolve. Various trainings, seminars, mental and physical practices require financial investments. If we pay less — do we get lower quality knowledge, and if we pay more — does it guarantee our spiritual growth? Is it possible to get the desired effect at a discount?

We have to pay for everything in life!

A lot of people around us try to effectively “sell” themselves: scientific researches, quotations of celebrities, broadcasting of a lifestyle — all these are attempts to earn trust and loyalty of the consumer. Often under the guise of the teachings this information contains many illusions, not critically consumed by our mind. But the principle of «the more you pay — the better you get» does not work here.

Parents and children from yoga point of view

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Sooner or later every person starts thinking about starting a family, having kids and raising a new generation. Many new parents ask themselves: How should they bring up their children and what kind of personal example can they demonstrate? What does Yoga offer in this respect?

The questions of relationship, family issues, the advent of life are covered by the Kin yoga. The main idea of the Kin yoga: “There is nothing more valuable than life.” Understanding the grandness of life will allow us to dispel the illusion about ourselves, avoid a lot of conflicts and misunderstanding, and make a huge step towards our spiritual development.

Our parents gave us the most precious gift — our life, the possibility to develop spiritually and to realize ourselves. The fact that they gave us our body to manifest ourselves in this world deserves the endless respect and gratitude, regardless of the conditions in which we were born or the attitude of our parents towards us.

We know from the axiomatics of yoga that we all have equal Higher Self, which is all-mighty and absolutely free. At the same time, we all have an initial lack of knowledge and we have no idea of our tremendous dormant faculties. Our main task is to unlock this power in ourselves and in other people, including our children, by widening our freedom and the freedom of others.

How to get rid of importunate thoughts

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Has it happened to you that some thought was stuck in your head? You would willingly get rid of it, but it would not disappear as a troublesome fly. How can we escape unnecessary thoughts? Can we put  it under control?

Many of you may know the expression by Charles A. Hall

“sow a thought — reap an act,

sow an act — reap a habit,

sow a habit — reap a character,

sow a character — reap a fate.”

Every thought has consequences in real life. Forgetting about the importance of thoughts in our head, we admit uncontrollable emotions, reactions and events in our life. With time we can notice that we don’t like what is happening with us. We want to change the situation for the best. Yoga says that there is a solution — we should put our mind under control.

Games of Our Mind

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Going through life, sooner or later, a person begins to ask the question: What is the world? How do I perceive it and how do others see it? Is this the same idea, and what happens in my mind when I receive information from the outside? As always, in yoga there are keys to any locks. In this article, we will talk about what our mind is, how it works and what role it plays in the knowledge of the Universe and ourselves.

Energy and Consciousness as instruments of cognition

Let us refresh some of the provisions of the Yoga Axiomatics, in order to understand the philosophy of this teaching. Every living-being in this world, has two powers: the power to change something, to create, to be active — in this case,  we use the concept of “Energy”; and the power to perceive, to overwatch, to realize — in which case we are talking about the Consciousness. These two aspects are the Prana constituents or the vital force that comes from a single source — a Higher Self, that is ever being, imperishable, almighty and omniscient.
Our Higher Self is in the state of Sat-Chit-Ananda, which respectively means “existence”, “consciousness” and “bliss”, connected into one. But, getting involved in the material world, it forgets about its true nature and considers itself to be its manifestations: body, emotions, habits, thoughts. Using Energy and Consciousness as tools, our Higher Self perceives the world and itself.

Chakras: a way to find out who you are!

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In the article “Where do chakras begin” we looked into the questions of what chakras are, how they manifested and what main ideas should be understood  before a closer examination of them. In this article, we will look into each chakra, find out what our manifestations they are associated with and how it is connected to the process of self-exploration.

The correspondence principle

The creation of the Universe was possible due to Maya, a specific power that makes one thing appear as something different, generating the illusion of duality. It emerged as a result of the primary vibration of the Absolute (the very cause of esse), that had declared His will to manifest. On one hand, Maya conceals the genuine nature of the Absolute and on the other hand, it allows Him to manifest in all forms of life and nature.

The importance of keeping good company

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There are many different people among our acquaintances. We communicate with some of them easily and with pleasure, others are hard to deal with. When we start practicing yoga we may notice that our social circle qualitatively changes and like-minded people, in whom we are interested, come to our life. There are more of them around us every day, but at the same time, there are those who we do not like. Why does this happen? Why are there unpleasant people around us? What does Yoga say about it?

Nobody is a “random guest” in our life!

According to the law of cause and effect, which is called karma, we do not have incidental friends. If there are people in our social circle who we dislike, it shows that our acquaintance with them resulted from our previous will expressions. Otherwise, we would never meet them, even if we were neighbors. We invited to our lives all those people, with whom we have to communicate, whether they are pleasant or unpleasant to us, and we did it ourselves, either knowingly or subconsciously. We generated situations and a series of events by our actions in the past, which led us to meeting these particular people.

The law of karma tells us that our surroundings is the reflection of our own actions. That is why the existence of unpleasant people in our life means that we have a negative karma. Whereas the company of like-minded people, who have similar interests and views with us, is our positive karma. In both cases, we created connections with these people by our own actions. In yoga axiomatics these connections are called associative links.

We committed ourselves to self-development, but not all our friends are going the same way. Nevertheless, we cannot just cut off all connections with those who came to our lives as part of our negative karma. The law of karma tells us to “work it out” in a kind way and “untangle this karmic knots”. Only by doing so, we shall avoid the same problem in the future. Otherwise, the situations will repeat as “Deja vu” and we shall meet people similar to those with whom we just cut the ties.

The soul is in pain, but yoga will help

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Have you ever felt pain, either physical or mental? Surely, each of us at least once in a lifetime had a feeling of physical or emotional discomfort of various degrees of severity. Have you ever wondered what exactly pain is? Where does it come from and is it possible to avoid it? We shall try to answer these questions from the yoga point of view.

Pain – is a physical or mental suffering, agony, distress, opposite to pleasure, an unpleasant feeling. It is also a reaction to this feeling, which is defined by certain changes, as well as by the act of willing to eliminate the painful factor. Pain is the condition, which any human being is trying to avoid by attaining the state of comfort.

Is it worth avoiding pain or can it be of any use to us?

“Suffering and pain is a challenge, a protective mechanism of life, directing our attention to the danger” Alexander Herzen

On the one hand we associate pain with something negative, hurtful, unpleasant. On the other hand it stimulates us, forcing us to move forward, to develop, and to find the ways to get rid of pain and change. So what is the origin of pain?

Life is everything!

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Life is the most important thing in the Universe. All living beings, from the simplest to the most complex, desire to bear life. They support life by giving birth and fostering a new generation of their own species.

“If not for the source, the river would dry up.” A proverb

The Universe, allowing us to be born, gives an opportunity to learn important lessons, and yoga gives various practical tools for their successful overcoming. However, to take advantage of these tools, we need a physical living body — the human body that we receive from our parents.

The circumstances under which we are born are different for everyone. Our parents at the time of our conception, no matter who they are in general, they are a manifestation of the male and the female qualities of the Absolute. Therefore our birth is the greatest chance for spiritual growth.

Yoga instead of smoking

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Everybody has a certain set of habits. Some of them affect us positively, others can only ruin our health and mood. How can yoga help us quit smoking? What does yoga recommend?

When a person makes a choice to start smoking once, it will be difficult to change it. There is a joke credited to the famous writer Mark Twain: “It’s easy to quit smoking — I’ve done it hundreds of times.”

Usually an inidual does not start smoking spontaneously; he or she even doesn’t know how to smoke! Many implicit reasons are pushing us to this act.

We know from yoga axiomatics that our «Higher self» have an absolute freedom: nobody and nothing have the right to restrict us. By nature we have an aspiration to express ourselves through the realization of our will.  When we do some form of actions, we implement free will. No one but us is responsible for these actions. If we demonstrate our freedom and restrict the freedom of other people, then we should be ready for consequences.

Yantra yoga. The cognition of the world through forms

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Our emotional state is closely connected with the forms around us. Home interior, city architecture, natural landscape — all of these affect us in a certain way. Why does one sort of images evoke in us a sense of calmness, peace, security, and contribute to the restoration of emotional balance, while other sort of images, on the contrary, causes oppression, hidden fear, tension, affecting negatively on our mental state?

Evolution of bodies — evolution of forms

The influence of forms on us is not accidental. Our bodies have evolved over many millennia. The simplest microorganism developed to the level of the human body under the influence of environmental conditions. Our Higher Self manifested by using the principle of form, and adapted to changing conditions from life to life. Every external influence and reaction to it were imprinted in the memory of our bodies and of our minds. Therefore, there is no “unpunished” perception of a form. Any form via associative connections inspires specific reaction, affects our physical and mental state, and guides our actions.

What do chakras begin with?

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Chakras … There is something mysterious and captivating in them … That’s why the interest in this topic has been growing recently. When we study the information from different sources, we can come to the conclusion that chakras are some kind of “a magic pill” that can change life for the better in an instant. However, the information is often contradictory about using this “pill”. Distortions arise in interpretations, which later turn into myths. In this article we will cover  the following questions: What are the keys to understanding chakras, provided by yoga and where should we start getting to know chakras.

The word “chakra” is translated from Sanskrit  as “a circle”, “a wheel” or “a disk”. The word “vortex” is used by the context of yogic practices, it’s reflecting the vortices of vital energy — prana. The word “padma” (lotus) can also be used in the same meaning.

A little bit of history

The earliest mention of chakras can be found in ancient Indian treatises such as: Upanishads, Gheranda Samhita, Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Shiva Samhita, Shat Chakra Nirupana. At the same time, the sources of classic yoga, which are based on the Vedas, did not focus on the description of chakras. All knowledge about chakras infiltrated into yoga purely from the tantras. It was the tantric traditions of Hinduism that played a major role in the formation of the concept of chakras.

Yoga And the Force of Habit

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Success in yoga is defined by the habit to practice regularly. Let’s see why a habit to practice is of key importance.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle

Forming the associative links

The theory of yoga includes the concept of associative links. Each of us has a Higher Self – our true ultramundane essence – however, due to Maya, we don’t realise it. Maya is something which, on the one hand, makes it possible for our Higher Self to manifest itself in this world; on the other hand, it generates the illusion that makes things appear as something different. As a result of this correlation, we associate ourselves not with what we really are, but with our manifestations. This is how our associative links are formed. The first associative link is Prana, the life force, which emanates from our Higher Self to our bodies, giving them life. Forming our bodies Prana divides itself into Consciousness and Energy, which diverge into two opposite extremes and create the principles (chakras) one after another. The path of divergence forms the so called Central Channel in our body – Sushumna.

The agony of creation, its origin and death

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In the previous article, we examined the main axiomatic statements in Yoga regarding creativity, its nature and the necessary components for the emergence of our creative inspiration. In this article we will analyze in more detail the questions: what inspiration is, why it is so ephemeral and why it disappears as suddenly as it appears. We will try to understand what brings us to “the agony of creation” and how we can work with it.

The state of supreme inspiration in Yoga is called bhava!

Whether we have bhava or not is directly related to the level of our prana. Since we do not fully realize ourselves and do not control the flow of prana, our state of bhava is unstable and can be as easily lost as it appeared. It’s like some sort of an instant flash — it dawned on us and immediately scattered! If during this period we did not have time to realize our brilliant idea, to give the idea a form, then it can rest in the “standby” mode for quite a while until the next insight.

The agony of creation, its origin and death Part 1

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Realizing a creative idea, quite often we are confronted with a situation where at first, everything goes “like clockwork”, and then at some point, we get stuck and can’t move forward. This state is sometimes called “the agony of creation”. Why does it happen? Why, in some cases, we can easily bring our ideas to life and in others, we are fighting over them and cannot find a resolution? What is the nature of creativity and what does it depend on? We will try to understand these questions by resorting to the teachings of Yoga.

Creativity is not intrinsic to art only!

Strangely enough, even if we don’t consider ourselves creative natures — we don’t write manuscripts, music, poetry and we don’t create masterpieces of art, it doesn’t mean that we can’t feel the “agony of creation” because creativity is not an exclusive privilege of artists. Developers, engineers, inventors, scientists, mathematicians and even doctors — anyone who creates something or makes a new discovery may face this difficulty. We all know the funny story of how Newton struggled for a long time over the discovery of his law, until one day an apple fell on his head — and it dawned on him!

The secret to fullness of life

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Most of us, tired of a drab existence, strive to change our place and surroundings to experience novelty and diversity. But at some point, we realize that we have already explored a lot of things in the outside world and we surrender to a feeling of monotony. Wherever we go, sameness follows us everywhere. Even traveling to other countries, we eventually lose interest in them. The world seems to become small, predictable and boring. The scenery changes, but we see the same familiar picture of the mundane behind it. How to learn to continuously experience the fullness and diversity of life? What do we need for this? Yoga will help find the answers.

“As, dear, the birds come home to the tree to rest, so, verily, all this comes to rest in the Higher Self. The Higher Self is the basis and the reality of this Universe.” Prasna Upanishad

Turning dreams into yoga practice

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Did you ever wonder why we dream? Why is it important not to reduce our sleep time? How can we  benefit from sleeping? How can Dream Yoga help us?

“Life and dreams are leaves of one and the same book.” Arthur Schopenhauer

Everybody has dreams. Sometimes they are vivid and sometimes we can’t even remember them. And it does not depend on body fitness level, views on life, hobbies or how well trained our mind is. However, some people believe that real life “happens” only while we are awake. Dream yoga will teach us how to change our attitude towards the state of sleep so that we use this time meaningfully.

Should we reduce our sleep time?

Those who believe that time spent asleep is not effective, start to reduce their sleep time, sometimes bringing the amount of sleep to critically low values. Thus, a person can be very tired when they are awake. Over time, chronic lack of sleep begins to adversely affect both mental and physical conditions:

Cleanliness is a recipe to a successful practice

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We all know about the importance of keeping our body clean. But it is equally important to maintain the inner cleanliness. What does the cleanness of the inner Universe mean? What recommendations does yoga give for impurities elimination?

A well-known proverb says “Cleanliness is godliness!” It can be paraphrased as «Cleanliness is  a secret to a successful practice!» It is believed that there is nothing clean or dirty, there is something appropriate or inappropriate in yoga. The same factor in different situations can be both clean and dirty, such as sand on the table and sand in a sandbox. The trouble is, we often cannot distinguish one from the other.  We clog our structures, body and mind with inappropriate factors.

Yoga offers a variety of practices, which help to break down barriers, clean the way to ourselves and remove all improprieties from our structures.

Four Goals in Life

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What is the meaning of my life? What goals should I pursue? What are the values that lead to human fulfillment? These questions are so old, and every generation tries to find the answers in the context of its own reality. Religions, philosophical schools, scientific communities have different perspectives, but there is no ultimate answer. We are free living beings and a single predefined formula for all just wouldn’t work.

In a nutshell, everyone wants to live a fulfilling life and feel that she or he is needed; achieve and maintain a certain status and material comfort; and enjoy the pleasures this lifestyle offers.

All goals in life can be reduced to four. The average person naturally aspires to the first three, regardless if she or he is tormented by existential questions and in search for the meaning of life, or not.

We seek happiness, delight and enjoyment and therefore, we are looking for the right way of living, an occupation where we find satisfaction and the true purpose in life. This path, where one has the sense of calling, belonging and harmony is called dharma.

Feedback. Three things that impressed me at IOYU

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When I decided to study at IOYU, I didn’t have any clue what was waiting for me. We are familiar with the main approaches in the educational process from the early days of school and barely anything changes at a later stage. “Learning is just learning” – but this is so only at the first glance. So, what have I discovered since I started studying at International Open Yoga University (IOYU)?

Academic load

First, I believed that studying to become a yoga teacher is a hobby and is for leisure. The enrollment at IOYU broke this stereotype. I could not understand, that the subject of yoga and self-development, which seems to be simple, easy and pleasant, requires hard work. This work assumed strict discipline towards myself, honesty, organization, continuous self-development, at times some routine and so on.

The educational system at Open Yoga University turned out to be a kind of filter that outcasts “unwanted” people from the university. If you are not interested in devoting all your free time to Yoga, to reading and listening to lectures, watching videos, passing tests, writing reviews and reports on every occasion (i.e., sharing knowledge further), sooner or later, you will get tired of it and will be expulsed. The worst case is that you come up with excuses why you and Yoga don’t get along, trying to justify your unwillingness to work hard on yourself.

Restrain yourself today for a better tomorrow

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Many have probably heard about the amazing abilities of some yogis, who sometimes do things that seem strange and even absurd from the outside. Some sleep on nails; others starve themselves for several days or even weeks; the third ones retreat from society for a long time in search of solitude in caves. The truth is, they undergo this uneasy experience for a reason. It happens that, a person wants to change some aspect of their life but cannot solve this problem by usual means. According to the teaching of Yoga, practicing asceticism can help in cases like this.

What is asceticism?

We have the ability to feel joy and use the energy of pleasure for our physical and spiritual development. This is our natural ability inherent in us from birth. The possibility to derive pleasure from food, from the contemplation of nature, from communicating with the loved ones, is a gift offered to us by mother nature herself. However, if we are accustomed to just enjoy everything, then this leads to serious dissonance in our life and causes excessive slack, laziness and inertness. We waste our resources on unnecessary emotions and cannot concentrate on a task. We do not have enough strength or ability to focus even to properly fulfill our daily activities.

Yoga is the key to yourself

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Where does self-exploration begin? Many people start this journey by inquiring what their mission or destiny is. Some people discover their path immediately, for others it remains a secret for a long time. Guidance by other people impedes us from hearing our inner voice. There are many training courses on similar topics that help us recall our mission, which is concealed in childhood memories. “When you were little, what were you most interested in?” This is the most common question asked by experts. But, even remembering our childhood preferences, we cannot be sure that this is our real mission. Can Yoga be the key that unlocks the potential inherent in each of us? We will approach this subject in this article.

We are all products of our childhood

A child’s mind is still pure. Children are closer to the original state of harmony; they feel rather than think. Playing, children get to know themselves and the surrounding world and realize what is more interesting for them and what brings them joy and satisfaction. At various stages, we experience joy in different activities. Only as adults, we gain enough experience to find out the meaning of our life. However, as adults, we tend to forget the state of joy that was driving us in the childhood; we tend to move away from our true Self. Indeed, we get smarter and become more aware, but at the same time we start to have doubts. Perhaps this happens due to the upbringing: for example, our parents insist on us becoming a doctor when we have the talent of a pianist. Or we are influenced by society, where it is prestigious to be a lawyer, a politician or a businessman.

Getting stronger with yoga!

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As it often happens, the inner weakness destroys our plans, our health and our life. At times, the following thoughts come to our mind: “This is not for me, I cannot do it.” Where does this lack of self-confidence come from?

Our past failures raise doubts about our own abilities. We perceive any personal mistakes as a proof of our inadequacy, and become confident that next time nothing is going to work out.

Do you recall the endless attempts of little kids to stand on their two feet and walk? It is hard to imagine that they consider themselves losers every time when they fall. They see the goal and do not notice bumps and bruises.

“Great strength of body is the gift of nature.” Bias

If we falter once, we tend to choose the path of weakness rather than strength. Eventually we develop a habit to demonstrate weaknesses of our personality. On the contrary, by demonstrating our strong points, we take the path of power and develop a habit of living from the position of strength.

It is important to give room for error. “Everybody can make mistakes.” “Only those who do nothing make no mistakes.” A mistake is just a sign that we need to change direction, nothing more. If we remember this and fill our mind with the thoughts about our own power, it will help us to keep our mistakes in perspective.

Every gesture has a meaning

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One of the first manifestations of a human being in this world and one of the earliest ways of interaction with the Universe is a sound – the first cry of a baby, or child’s cooing, which translates into words and speech in the course of time.

Every day we see and use thousands of symbols: we greet each other, say “good bye”, blow kisses, pray, thank, bow, menace, adopt different poses reflecting our state of mind or physical condition. We often think nothing of the symbols, they seem so simple and common. Is it really so, and what is the role of symbols in our life?

Symbols are some kind of a language, that had been formed long before we started using words.

Symbols can represent an idea, or a conventional sign for a concept or an event. Any idea materialized in a physical form will become a symbol.

In ancient times symbols were used instead of words for communication between people of different nations and races. While words could sound differently and have different meanings, a symbol was understood by everyone in the same way. The appropriate use of symbols and the knowledge of traditions made it possible to bring together total strangers.

Caste system in modern life

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  1. Introduction

  2. How to apply  the notion of caste in our daily life

  3. Castes

  4. Gunas

  5. Conclusion

All of us have certain qualities that correspond with our perception of the world. Some like to work with their hands and make some useful things for other people. Others are capable of bringing a group of people together to achieve a common goal. They make excellent managers. Some of us are very good at reaching out to people and kindling people’s minds to explore new knowledge. Why are we so different?


Each person is a combination of certain qualities and experience, that make up three groups of bodies of varying density. Therefore, we can exist in three states according to our tendencies: active, passive or the state of clarity. In Vedic philosophy these states correspond to three gunas: Radjas, Tamas and Sattva. These states are common to all people, however, in different combinations and proportions. The combination of Gunas determines the way people live, think and act.

Harmony In Breathing Is Harmony In Life!

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Why do some people feel happy and others don’t? Some of us are strong, full of energy and luminous and others are passive, sluggish, dull and uninteresting. Why are some people successful in all matters and achieve their goals within a short time, and for others things fall apart, whatever they do? Why do some people succeed in building the desired world around themselves, and others only look on the dark side of things and don’t understand how to change the situation?

Prana — Life Force

According to Yoga teaching, each of us is Atma, or a Higher Self a part of the highest and ultimate Absolute, that gave birth to this world. Our Higher Self manifests itself in this world by two abilities: the ability to perceive something and the ability to do and to change something. And the driving force behind these abilities is Prana or the potency of life. Prana is the ability to manifest ourselves in this world, it is what develops and transforms our existence.

How Does Prana Function Inside Our Body?

The effect of Prana in our body can be compared with the work of a good manager in a large company, who knows all the processes and can do the job of any expert. If there are many bright managers in a company, the company grows, develops and thrives. If there are few people like this, a company can fall apart even if the external conditions are good. So, in case of an enterprise, the relevant slogan is “The personnel is everything”, and in case of our body the relevant slogan is “Prana is everything”. Prana manages the flow of energy from food and water, it “repairs” our body, helps it to recover if it doesn’t function right. Prana gives us health, physical strength, it awakens our intellectual abilities and creativity.

How to increase mental strenght

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As it often happens, the inner weakness destroys our plans, our health and our life. At times, the following thoughts come to our mind: “This is not for me, I cannot do it.” Where does this lack of self-confidence come from?

Our past failures raise doubts about our own abilities. We perceive any personal mistakes as a proof of our inadequacy, and become confident that next time nothing is going to work out.

Do you recall the endless attempts of little kids to stand on their two feet and walk? It is hard to imagine that they consider themselves losers every time when they fall. They see the goal and do not notice bumps and bruises.

“Great strength of body is the gift of nature.” Bias

If we falter once, we tend to choose the path of weakness rather than strength. Eventually we develop a habit to demonstrate weaknesses of our personality. On the contrary, by demonstrating our strong points, we take the path of power and develop a habit of living from the position of strength.

It is important to give room for error. “Everybody can make mistakes.” “Only those who do nothing make no mistakes.” A mistake is just a sign that we need to change direction, nothing more. If we remember this and fill our mind with the thoughts about our own power, it will help us to keep our mistakes in perspective.

“Nobody knows the extent of his strength until he has tried.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

The important point: do not focus on weaknesses!

Is it possible to lose weight by practicing Yoga?

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People start practicing yoga for different reasons. Some are looking for answers to spiritual questions; others are motivated by the desire to get into shape or to lose weight. When you choose yoga for losing weight, the following questions arise: “Is it possible to lose weight by practicing yoga? Is it necessary to become a vegetarian? How quickly can I get a result?” Let’s refer to some theory of Yoga in search of answers to these questions.

Yoga as a self-exploration system

To start with, let’s remind ourselves of what is yoga. Yoga is a self-exploration system based on the method of harmony and two main yoga principles — not doing any harm and using common sense.

In the process of self-exploration, it is possible to achieve any targets, including the acquisition of a beautiful slim body. But this is more like a “free application” to everything else, what yoga is able to reveal in a person. The main purpose of Yoga is reaching an unconditional freedom. Regular exercises bring our body into a natural, harmonious, ideal condition, making it free from any pressure and strain.

How to live to the fullest?

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Human development nowadays is very fast. We have to perform a large variety of tasks, process a huge amount of information and try hard to succeed in different areas of our lives. It seems impossible to achieve all goals and objectives without forcing ourselves and without losing out on our health and happiness.

Each of us has a different level of health and wealth, some of us see the world in shades of grey whilst for others it looks colorful and bright. Some people achieve their goals easily and quickly and it could take years for the others to progress towards even modest objectives. What do all these differences depend on? Is it possible to become healthier and more successful?

According to Yoga, each of us has a Higher Self, which is absolutely free, Almighty and All-knowing. It manifests itself in cosmosphere as prana. The word “prana” translated from Sanskrit means “breath” or “life”. It is also called “vitality”. In Yoga it is recognized that prana pervades the Universe, although it is invisible to the eye. In this world we can see and perceive different objects, amend them, as well as change ourselves.

The ability to spot the objects, therefore “freezing” or forming them is called the principle of Consciousness, and the ability to transform and change these objects is the principle of Energy. The mixture of these two principles represents prana.

Can we solve many problems at the same time?

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In modern society, people are often faced with multitasking. Solving several problems at a time became normal and watching those, who succeed in being all over the place, we admire them and think, that it is effective. But is it right? What is multitasking? Where did this behavior pattern come from? Is it possible to become the modern Julius Caesar? What advice does yoga give us?

We can find the definition of this term in computing: «Multi-tasking is an attribute of an operating system or a runtime environment to provide the possibility of parallel processing of different actions.»

Multitasking is not a quality of a person. But sometimes, it seems that a person is solving different problems at a time, like a computer, processing different actions simultaneously.  However, it is not as it looks. The attention of people is just switching from one subject to another.

Today the representatives of many professions, for example, a secretary or operator, always face the problems, which need simultaneous solving. In such a regime, the attention splits up between incoming information flows, but the concentration on every problem is seriously reduced. Just think, not for nothing, it is forbidden to speak on the phone while driving.

Egoism — a helper or an obstacle

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What is it — our Ego? Is there a difference between “Ego” and “egoism”? What is a fine line between reasonable individualism and fanatical satisfying of Ego’s desires? How can we get rid of pandering to selfish desires?

In our life we got used to taking ourselves as a personality with certain characteristics that distinguish us from other people. The fact of self-awareness as an individual produces a complex of associative connections, called “Ego”.

But occasionally we fixate on our features, and grasp at the slightest chance to show our individuality. It seems to us, that if we stopped acting this way, we would dissolve in the crowd, lose ourselves, and end up our existence. Would we?

How to expand our freedom in the right way

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Is human a free being, or are we entirely governed by the laws of our universe? How is the freedom of a person realized in the modern world? How does Yoga recommend to use our freedom?

In our everyday life we face with certain laws and mechanisms, which effect on all levels of our bodies, starting with physical and finishing with more subtle, emotional and mental bodies.

Everyone has a different level of freedom.

Someone is healthy, rich, powerful and can manifest in the world strongly. Someone is less free, he can own almost nothing, the rate of his manifestation is much lower. In this way, everyone of us is free for some percent right now, but for some percent is determined by the results of the past actions.

Let us determine the word “freedom”. Freedom — is a possibility to manifest the will, the absence of any limits and restrictions, unlimited possibility for actions without sufferings.