Pranayama is used to control, direct, and measure breath through various techniques. Because prana, the life force energy, rides the breath, pranayama has remarkable powers of transformation.
weight loss through yoga
Many body functions are directed by the autonomic nervous system and operate without our control. Other physical actions are consciously directed by our thoughts and intentions. Breath is one function that is in between, straddling both the automatic and conscious systems. The body breathes perfectly well without any conscious direction, but we can also intervene and control our breathing. This gives us the potential to influence the life force energy within our bodies.
The Yoga Sutras consider pranayama, along with asana, to be the most effective means of purifying the body and mind. Both produce heat (tapas) the inner fire of purification. The subtle energy channels of the body, the nadis, are cleansed of obstructions to the vital force. This promotes healthy balance within the body and stimulates the higher centers of consciousness. Pranayama soothes and calms the mind. This reduces cravings.
Moving into and holding various configurations of the physical body as part of the practice of yoga is called asana. When people in the West think of yoga, this narrow range of the total discipline commonly comes to mind. In Sanskrit, ‘asana’ translates as seat or ‘seat next to the teacher’, expressing the need to be comfortable in the body before other learning can commence. Asana practice improves health, strength, flexibility and balance. The lymphatic system of the body needs movement and the flexing of muscles to propel lymph fluids through the body. All the components of the body need to be exercised to maintain optimum function. Without stimulation they tend to atrophy.
Asanas help to clam the mind and temper emotions. Challenging the physical body helps the practitioner connect with the other levels of self. Because of the rapid ability of the physical body to reflect change, it demonstrates the capacity to change on deeper unseen levels. The physical body is our home in this reality. Memories can be stored in our tissues. Asana is a way of strengthening the will and exploring our psychological makeup, creating a balance between our material and spiritual existence.
Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus page 73
We should talk about the yogic worldview a little. Many aspects of modern science are rediscovering some of the concepts yoga revealed long ago. A yoga master sees everything as part of an Absolute, Supreme Awareness, Universal Consciousness. At some point this Absolute shattered into innumerable particles so minute and so broadly dispersed that the individual parts no longer recognize themselves as part of the whole. This mirrors modern science’s Big Bang Theory, verified by the Hubble Telescope.
WEIGHT LOSS THROUGH YOGA, JEWEL IN THE LOTUS
What modern science recognizes in the evolutionary processes of life forms, yoga sees at all levels. Energy turns into matter and matter becomes more complex. Matter aggregates as life forms evolve, until that consciousness finally becomes aware of its origin and the grand process it has experienced. This is where you are at this moment.
WEIGHT LOSS THROUGH YOGA, JEWEL IN THE LOTUS
Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus Pages 9 & 10
Your yoga practice reveals the aura permeating this highest level of chakra consciousness as an electric neon violet purple.
A violet-purple hue permeates this highest chakra
Focus on the hue, listen to the prevailing tone and bask in the Divine. Feel total love and acceptance, knowing this is a perfect universe that is so vast, with so many dimensions, that we can only begin to perceive a most minute portion. It is terribly egocentric to think somehow we, humans are the peak of evolution. In the vastness of the universe, worlds innumerable support what life forms? The diversity on this small planet is so huge, and existence is so varied and miraculous.
Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus page 158
Where did it come from, this yoga that is going to answer all my questions, tune me to the universe, and transform me, body, mind and soul? The historical answer is still a mystery. However, one explanation based on archaeological discoveries is widely accepted. In the 1920’s ruins of a civilization were discovered along a no longer existent river system in the region that is now Northern India and Pakistan. Three thousand years before the birth of Christ, this civilization had complex urban centers with running water and underground sewage systems.Their language, Sanskrit, is the root of all the Indo-European languages. Among the ruins were found many statues depicting what we now associate as being yoga postures. Postures are a part of the yoga tradition that asks the practitioner to look within. This yoga tradition believes the universe is mirrored in each of us. Nature has a working set of solutions that is used on ever greater or lesser scales for everything, as our recent appreciation of fractals demonstrates. To understand something on a scale within our perceptual range allows us to imagine solutions to questions above or below that range. The yoga postures, asanas in Sanskrit, are only a part of yoga. Yoga as practiced in the West has placed most of its emphasis on the practice of asanas. Most Westerners think of yoga as a system of physical exercise, but it is much more. Yoga asks us to look within, to relax into our selves, to know ourselves. With complete understanding of the self comes complete understanding. This ‘looking within’ is as old as the human ability to wonder. In that sense, our origin is the beginning of our embrace of yoga. One broad definition of yoga is the art and science of living. Yoga practice allows understanding to unfold. Other people may help by suggesting techniques for self-exploration, or how and where to look, but all the insights come from your observations. All the answers are your answers. You diligently explore your own direct experience. No faith is required.
Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus, pages 8 and 9.
I am a child of light
I love light
I serve light
Light is in me
Protecting, illuminating. supporting, sustaining
I AM LIGHT
The daily practice will take approximately half an hour each morning after you become familiar with the routine. It is important you do it each morning even if ill. If you don’t get enough sleep, still get up early enough to do the practice. If, for some reason, you can’t do it immediately upon waking, do it as soon thereafter as possible. If by chance you come out of a daydream and realize you’ve missed a day, get started again right away. This is your chance for a new life.
You don’t need much space. On the floor beside the bed, in the kitchen, on the lawn — anywhere there’s enough space to lie down flat with your arms and legs spread and stand up with the arms extended above your head will do. A designated space is good, but don’t let any little irregularity upset your practice. You don’t need any tools. You carry everything you need with you everywhere you go.
Think of the effort and expense people go to: seeing hypnotists, counselors, diet doctors and personal trainers and joining weight loss clubs and gyms. How many diet books are published each year? What invasive, expensive medical procedures are you being offered, and at what risk? Think of the clothing you wear because you are overweight, the opportunities you’ve missed, and the multitude of daily inconveniences you suffer every hour of every day. Think of the way society would have you feel about yourself if you hadn’t already developed an iron will. Yoga is going to work for you, because you are motivated to make it work.
Weight Loss Through Yoga, Jewel in the Lotus — page 13
Yoga Nidra allows the individual to interact consciously with Universal Consciousness, the source of everything. Intention is planted in Universal Consciousness and that intention manifests itself in our real world. We all drift to the margins of Universal Consciousness from time to time. We relax enough that individual consciousness starts to dissolve into the sea of All. With awareness and training we can visit the source of the origins of our reality and help to form the future. We reclaim that portion of the Divine in everything that is the Creator.
Immersed in the Sea of Universal Consciousness