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Surya Namaskar – A Great Exercise













Suryanamaskar

The Suryanamaskar Yoga Postures

 

STEPHEN KNAPP – Many people in the West look for the best exercise routine to help them stay in shape. Here is something that has been around for thousands of years and has withstood the test of time. It strengthens the body, circulation, the breathing, and keeps the body limber and in shape. And you can have this completely free of charge, without a fitness coach, by simply using the following instructions.

“Surya Namaskar” is Sanskrit which means obeisance or prostrations (Namaskar) to the sun (Surya). It implies that one rise before sun rise in order to do this exercise or pay obeisance to the rising sun. This is around 5 to 5:30 AM. Of course, this exercise is good no matter what time you may use it, but it is best done while the stomach is empty, before eating. It is a yogic exercise which consists of ten particular postures, one following another, in a fixed, cyclic order to ensure improvement and good health in one’s digestion, agility, rejuvenation, beauty and longevity. It will also help one lose weight and trim the waist. There is no equipment to buy, or membership to a gym or fitness club that must be purchased. You just need a little space in your apartment or home. If, however, you begin to feel short-breathed or dizzy, then take a break. Also, pregnant women should not practice it, but can continue it during their period because it can help digestion and the flow of energy and outflow of waste needed at this time.

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A Brief Intro to Yoga













Yogie

 

THOMAS T. KLUGH – The western world thinks of yoga as sitting and breathing exercises. While sitting and breathing are part of yoga, they are only two branches of a larger system that makes up yoga. The teaching of yoga comes from India. Patanjali (200 B.C.) put his teachings into sutra form. The yogic system is called Ashtanga Yoga (ashta = eight; anga = limb; yoga = to link to) and it consists of:

1. Yama: things you shouldn’t do
2. Niyama: things you should do
3. Asana: sitting postures
4. Pranayama: breathing exercises
5. Pratyahara: restraining the senses
6. Dharana: concentration
7. Dhyana: meditation
8. Samadhi: trance; to go into

The first four: yama, niyama, asana, and pranayama together are called Hatha yoga. Hatha yoga is how most westerners understand yoga. “Hatha” means “to force”. The idea is that our bodies have become decrepit due to slovenly living and we need to force ourselves back into shape.
The last four: pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi together are called Raja, or Kingly yoga.

Some students go through the eight limbs one at a time. Most westerners are only interested in sitting and breathing exercises. Ideally, it’s best to have a qualified teacher who can take you through all eight limbs simultaneously. Such a great teacher is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada.

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How to Spiritualize Your Busy Life and Why?













Stephen Knapp

Stephen Knapp

STEPHEN KNAPP – How to spiritualize our lives is easier to explain than why, especially when we are so busy with numerous responsibilities or goals that we face everyday. After all, if we are already so busy, why should we feel that we need to spend more of our time in spiritual pursuits? Where are we going to get the time and how is that going to help? This is a common excuse that many people use to justify the reason why they have no time for spiritual practice. However, there are points we need to consider.

Individual Benefits

1. Everyone wants to find joy and happiness. For what other reason are you working or studying? We are working to acquire money, security, a better future for ourselves or our family, or to make improvements in our occupation. Yet, we need to clearly understand that spirituality is the key to real happiness. And by that I mean the happiness that reaches the soul, and not that which merely occupies the ever-changing demands of our mind and senses. It is through spiritualizing our lives that we can change our attitude to joy, and not look at things with the humdrum attitude of “Another day, another dollar” or something similar. This is not unusual because we often see that without spirituality life becomes empty and without real purpose or any deep meaning. By adding spirituality to our lives, it often improves our attitude and is reflected in every other area of our life, including job performance, relations with others, family cooperation, our flexibility, the way we handle problems or inconveniences, and the way we may even inspire others to do the same.

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Becoming Free from Sex Desire













Stephen Knapp

Stephen Knapp

STEPHEN KNAPP – The greatest happiness for the soul starts with complete freedom: freedom from misery, unhappiness, suffering, freedom from the dictates of desires, and, ultimately, freedom from being trapped in a material body. But what keeps us ensnared in such a condition are the desires for sensual and mental pleasures. And the hardest freedom to attain is freedom from sex desire.

Yoga is for attaining this kind of complete freedom. However, this means freedom from material desires of all kinds. If you are still entrapped by the idea of needing your sensual, emotional, or mental desires fulfilled, then you are far from being free, mentally, intellectually, and certainly not spiritually. In other words, if you still have desires for the pursuit of sensual or mental pleasures and happiness, then you are still a servant of your mind and senses. You are still a slave to the dictates of your mental and sensual impulses. You are still bound by the golden chains of the temporary illusion of chasing after pleasing the senses. They may be golden chains, but they are chains nonetheless. So how is that freedom? And how are you ever going to attain complete spiritual freedom with such desires creeping up and trying to tell you what you should do?

It is, however, one thing to have your mind on the loose giving you all kinds of weird ideas and desires for happiness. But it is another thing to be controlled by them and act them out. Sometimes the mind just goes crazy, but the intelligence knows better than to pursue such desires or ideas. This is called controlling the lower self by the higher self. This is not real freedom, but it is also far from being a complete slave under the command of the mind and senses. But the hardest desire to be free from is the desire for sex. Complete spiritual freedom includes freedom from sexual desire.

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Dispelling the Fear of Death













Stephen Knapp

Stephen Knapp

STEPHEN KNAPP – It is natural to feel fear of the unknown. In regard to death, this fear may be of what might happen during the process of dying, such as the pain of a terminal illness, nausea, vomiting, or even fearing abandonment by those around you. The fear of death may also be perpetuated by the sadness of the family around the dying person, or the hopelessness of the doctor, or the nurses who feel they may have failed to keep the person alive. However, it is through death that the dying person can be released from the great burden of the diseased body.

Death is not an enemy, it is a natural fact of life, a stage of our existence, and a transition or doorway between planes of reality. Death has its own harmony with nature just as a tree loses its leaves every fall. We don’t feel that it is unjust or that the tree failed to stay fully alive when it goes dormant through the winter. It is natural. Neither should doctors and nurses feel they have failed if after every endeavor a patient dies. Actually, it may be better to let a person take the opportunity to die peacefully rather than trying to force him or her to remain alive in a suffering body. In other words, it can be better to make peace with death than try to conquer it.

The process of dying can be rough, but it is temporary. The best thing to do is to focus our consciousness as much as we can in a way that will help us reach the highest realm possible after death. Of course, it always may be a little sad to leave our home and loved ones, but if we are going to a bigger and more beautiful home, then what is there to be sorry about? It is joyful to be going to a better place. This sort of joy will also help divert our attention from any pain we may be feeling.

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Hare Krishna Hare Krishna Krishna Krishna Hare Hare Hare Rama Hare Rama Rama Rama Hare Hare  ॐ हरे कृष्णा हरे कृष्णा कृष्णा कृष्णा हरे हरे। हरे रामा हरे रामा रामा रामा हरे हरे॥ ॐ