Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Yoga for Peace and Power, Medical Yoga

Yoga for your Power and Peace, Medical Yoga    
Maureen Mason MSPT WCS, CCI, PYT-C


Part one of nine. October 2015, Yoga introduction. Celebrate Physical Therapy Month with us by learning some mind, body, and  spirit practices!

Yoga can be regarded as a philosophy and a lifestyle. Not a religion, but having tenants or sutras that are similar to religious disciplines. There are 8 limbs to the practice as written around 200 AD, by Patanjali:

The eight limbs, or steps to yoga, are as follows:
1.   Yama: Practice of universal morality, including non-violence to self and others, truthfulness, not stealing, restraint, and not coveting.

2.   Niyama:  Personal observances, including tapas: practices, seeking purity, and self-education and contentment.

3.    Asanas:  Body postures

4.     Pranayama:  Breathing exercises, and control of prana

5.     Pratyahara :  Control of the senses

6.     Dharana:  Concentration and cultivating inner perceptual awareness

7.     Dhyana:  Devotion, Meditation on the Divine

8.     Samadhi:  Union with the Divine

            In our modern busy culture, most people are familiar with the Asanas or body postures, and with the concept of meditation. But it is all foundation work for our spiritual development as human beings, so that we can be free of our ego and separation from the divine. You may call this bliss, a state of grace, this Samadhi. Quoting from expressionsofspirit.com:

“Samadhi refers to union or true Yoga. There is an ending to the separation that is created by the "I" and "mine" of our illusory perceptions of reality. The mind does not distinguish between self and non-self, or between the object contemplated and the process of contemplation. The mind and the intellect have stopped and there is only the experience of consciousness, truth and unutterable joy.” This is the 8th limb of yoga.

I wanted to share the foundation philosophy of yoga for body, mind and spirit, to allow people to see the process of cultivation of these habits that people follow for their development and enlightenment. Consider what you need for your life to be balanced, in body mind and spirit. Some individuals desire an athletic focused, physical challenge with yoga, with perhaps 3 minutes of rest or a mini mediation at the end. This is yoga for power. But you can also cultivate your own sense of peace, with sensory control and an awareness of your own perceptions and mindfulness. And you can cultivate a connection to the divine, Samadhi. Combine the varied disciplines of yoga for power and peace.
Here are two resources you may use for more detail.

Next up: Dhyana, meditation and uninterrupted awareness