YOGA

Today, more than at any other time in the history of humanity, people in the West are facing stresses and  tensions that are beyond their control. Thousands and thousands are turning to tranquillizers, sleeping pills, alcohol and so on in a vain attempt to cope. In 1957 I arrived to America, sent by Master, Swami Sivananda. My Master said: “Go, people are waiting. Many souls from the East are reincarnating now in the West. Go and reawaken the consciousness hidden in their memories and bring them back to the path of Yoga.”

Yoga, the oldest science of life, can teach you to bring stress under control- not only on a physical level, but on mental and spiritual levels too. The human body can be compared to a car. There are five things that any automobile needs to run properly, whether it is a Rolls Royce or a rusty old car – lubrication, a cooling system, electric current, fuel and a sensible driver behind the wheel. In Yoga, the asanas or postures lubricate the body. They keep the muscles and joints running smoothly, tone all the internal organs, and increase circulation without creating any fatigue. The body is cooled by complete relaxation, whilst pranayama or yogic breathing increases prana, the electric current. Fuel is provided by food, water and the air you breathe. Lastly, you have meditation which stills the mind, the driver of the body. By mediating, you learn to control and ultimately transcend the body – your physical vehicle.

Anyone can practice yoga, no matter what their age, condition or religion. Young or old, sick or fit – all can benefit from this discipline. After all, everyone has to breathe, whatever their walk of life. And we all get arthritis if we eat the wrong  food. You can learn to mediate on a flower, the Star of David or the Cross just as well as on Krishna or Rama. The object of concentration can be different but the technique remains the same. The first yogis sought answers to two fundamental questions – ‘How can I get rid of pain?” and “How can I conquer death?” They discovered that through asanas you can control the physical pain, through pranayama the emotional pain and through meditation you can come to a real understanding of who you are. Free from false identification with name and form, you can transcend the body altogether and find the Self which is immortal. So you see, though Yoga begins with the body altogether and find the Self which is immortal. So you see, though Yoga begins with the body, it ends by transcending it.

In conclusion, I would like to tell you all that Yoga is not a theory but a practical way of life. If you have never tasted honey, no matter how often I tell you that honey is good for you, you won’t understand until you try it. Put Yoga into practice and you will see the benefit for yourself. – Swami Vishnu Devananda

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Today, more than at any other time in the history of humanity, people in the West are facing stresses and  tensions that are beyond their control. Thousands and thousands are turning to tranquillizers, sleeping pills, alcohol and so on in a vain attempt to cope. In 1957 I arrived to America, sent by Master, Swami Sivananda. My Master said: “Go, people are waiting. Many souls from the East are reincarnating now in the West. Go and reawaken the consciousness hidden in their memories and bring them back to the path of Yoga.”

Yoga, the oldest science of life, can teach you to bring stress under control- not only on a physical level, but on mental and spiritual levels too. The human body can be compared to a car. There are five things that any automobile needs to run properly, whether it is a Rolls Royce or a rusty old car – lubrication, a cooling system, electric current, fuel and a sensible driver behind the wheel. In Yoga, the asanas or postures lubricate the body. They keep the muscles and joints running smoothly, tone all the internal organs, and increase circulation without creating any fatigue. The body is cooled by complete relaxation, whilst pranayama or yogic breathing increases prana, the electric current. Fuel is provided by food, water and the air you breathe. Lastly, you have meditation which stills the mind, the driver of the body. By mediating, you learn to control and ultimately transcend the body – your physical vehicle.

Anyone can practice yoga, no matter what their age, condition or religion. Young or old, sick or fit – all can benefit from this discipline. After all, everyone has to breathe, whatever their walk of life. And we all get arthritis if we eat the wrong  food. You can learn to mediate on a flower, the Star of David or the Cross just as well as on Krishna or Rama. The object of concentration can be different but the technique remains the same. The first yogis sought answers to two fundamental questions – ‘How can I get rid of pain?” and “How can I conquer death?” They discovered that through asanas you can control the physical pain, through pranayama the emotional pain and through meditation you can come to a real understanding of who you are. Free from false identification with name and form, you can transcend the body altogether and find the Self which is immortal. So you see, though Yoga begins with the body altogether and find the Self which is immortal. So you see, though Yoga begins with the body, it ends by transcending it.

In conclusion, I would like to tell you all that Yoga is not a theory but a practical way of life. If you have never tasted honey, no matter how often I tell you that honey is good for you, you won’t understand until you try it. Put Yoga into practice and you will see the benefit for yourself. – Swami Vishnu Devananda

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