Swami Sivananda’s Five Points of Yoga

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Anyone who has stepped foot in a yoga studio understands that the practice of yoga is a lot more than exercise. But with so much information about yoga as a spiritual discipline and way of life, the whole thing can get pretty confusing. Even the yamas and niyamas can seem overwhelming.

Sivananda Yoga Center and Vedanta Center have given me the best and most simple instructions. These guidelines are simple to follow and easy to comprehend.

According to Swami Sivananda, following a yoga lifestyle requires five fundamental principles:

Proper Exercise

Regular exercise is beneficial for your health. Swami refers to the proper exercise as yoga asanas. He says that a well-balanced, consistent asana routine can provide your body with everything it needs.

Yoga is a total-body workout, unlike other forms of fitness like weight training or running. It improves flexibility and helps to stimulate the endocrine systems. Exercise improves sleep, reduces stress, and keeps the immune system in good shape. Cardiovascular system work improves heart muscle strength, blood pressure, and circulation throughout the body.

Every day, practice your yoga postures!

Proper Breathing

The practice of pranayama is referred to here. Breath control is the key to controlling prana or energy. Exercises such as Anuloma Vioma and Kapalabhati (breaths of fire) can stimulate the nervous system and detoxify the cardiorespiratory (through the removal of gaseous waste). They also condition us to maintain a calm, steady breath in times of emotional or physical stress.

When the mind is calm when the breath is calm.

Proper Relaxation

Savasana, or proper relaxation, is the relaxation that occurs between asanas.

When the body is relaxed in a supine posture while still maintaining consciousness, the internal balance (homeostasis) can be reset. Savasana, when practiced in asana classes, allows the body to relax and is more effective at healing and repairing itself.

A well-planned day, healthy meals, and regular asanas will help you achieve a good night’s sleep. It takes planning and practice to be able to fall asleep quickly and stay asleep all night.

Sleep is often taken for granted. People push limits all day long, consume caffeine in the evening or afternoon, eat heavy meals too close to bedtime, and do not give their brains and bodies enough time to relax before going to sleep. They wonder why they can’t sleep, and their mind is constantly busy.

Relaxation is not a luxury but a necessity.

Proper Diet

This principle relies on the simple choice of foods that are Sattvic.

What are Sattvic Foods? These foods are plant-based, fresh, and whole. The portions are moderate and restricted to two or three meals per day. A proper yogic lifestyle is designed to nourish the body and mind without emotional eating or bingeing.

Self-Study and Positive Thinking

We seek the truth by asking questions.

Swami Sivananda encouraged all his students to keep asking questions and to seek answers in order to understand themselves and the world better. This fundamental truth teaches us compassion for all living beings and awareness of our environment. It also inspires a desire to continue seeking peace and understanding.

In this case, positive thinking is paramount. With a positive outlook, always seek truth and bring joy to others with kind words and deeds. What is the point of learning if you are going to suffer? Be childlike, but not childish. Smile at everyone you meet.

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