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Yoga carving new personality

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Our ancestors knew fully well that not only the human body be kept in a healthy state, but the mind should also be sound. That was why they developed a faultless system of techniques which takes care of all the tissues of the body and their functions in a superb manner. Body health depends on two factors supply of adequate nourishment to it and quick removal of waste materials which are produced in the tissues as a result of biochemical activity.

This can be achieved only when every tissue functions properly. Each tissue gets the nutrients for its function form the blood flowing in the capillaries. Tissue cannot get proper nourishment if it remains inactive and waste materials are also not removed. The inactivity of tissue causes poor circulation of blood in it, and if such a situation continues for long, very little or no blood may flow through the tissue. Such a tissue loses its efficiency in due course of time.

If a tissue is subject to exercise or movement, by causing the muscles concerned to contract and stretch, the capillaries are pressed, and the tissue gets increased supply of blood, oxygen, and the nutrients. In rigorous exercises like running, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling., a particular muscle or a set of muscles are repeatedly contracted. This causes the muscles to develop in beautiful shapes due o an increase in the size of the muscles and addition or number of fibers to them. The more fibers, the more is the physical strength of a person.

I am thus that various skeletal muscles of the arms, chest, back, thighs, etc. are developed through rigorous exercises. Such exercises involve rapid contraction of muscles, called “phasic” or “isotonic” contraction. Contraction of muscle causes the bone to move around a joint as a fulcrum. Most of the yoga techniques don not, however, involve phasic contraction of the muscles. They cause static contraction, in which a muscle is maintained under a stretch or tension without causing repeated movements.

The yogic system involves the exercise of the skeletal as well as the deep-seated smooth muscles, which is not found in other forms of exercises. The muscles of the abdominal wall, pelvis, trunk, back, and chest, In fact abdominal viscera, neck, as well as muscles of the limbs are subjected to stretch in the various exercises. It is why the yoga techniques are of great significance for corrective and restorative purposes. A special characteristic of the yoga system is that it brings about changes in internal pressure on the various organs and glands. These exercises promote blood-circulation in various parts causing a sort of gentle massage to the organs.

Changing Personality

Yoga techniques is often taken to be only a scope for development of the body. Most of the people link it with postures (asanas). The techniques actually are concerned with changing one’s personality as a whole, by bringing about a revolution in one’s attitude, tendencies, emotions as well as the physiological processes underlying these. Physical postures are only the begiIn fact, physiological and psychological changes can be brought in personality through control of breath ad mind.

The yoga techniques for bodily health include three types of procedures, namely, the asanas, mudras, and cleansing acts.

The asanas were perhaps developed for the purpose of sitting comfortably for long durations in a state of peace and relaxation. This is clear from the mention of asanas in Upanishads, the Gita , the Yoga-sutra of Patanjali, and some other ancient treatises.

Later on, however, the physical aspects of the asanas were elaborated by the Hatha Yogis, and we find many simple as well as intricate postures mentioned in their literature. The names of the various poses are derived mainly from the resemblance of the posture with the appearance of various animals, birds, and sometimes other symbols like a tree, a lotus, a circle, and so on. It is said in the Gheranda Samhita, an authoritative text of Hatha Yoga, that there are as many asanas as there are species of living beings, and that 84 out of them are more in vogue.

The term “mudra” perhaps carries the same meaning as asanas. But sometimes a difference is also made between the two. For example, the Hathayoga Pradipika say that the practice of the asanas brings mental and physical steadiness and make for perfect health and suppleness of body, while the practice of mudra is undertaken to arouse dormant kundalini.
Purifying the mind

It is at this point that yoga comes to our rescue. It is well known that one has to purify his mind and thereby his intellect before he can reach the state of self-realization. Here it will not be out place to quote yoga sutra that an honest practice of eight parts of yoga removes impurities of mind and done proceeds to have Atma Darshan. Once the mind is pure, attachment, running after mundane objects , anger, jealousy, etc. are gone, and one can attain Mukti. Although very, very few people one in thousands can achieve the state of Mukti , still the importance of yoga cannot be dismissed altogether.

A yogi who had also attained the goal of yoga jivanmukti – Jnaneswara also terms in his Anubhavamrita, yogic techniques as useless as the moon in the day time when compared with moksha. J. Krishnamurti in his commentaries on living (he is supposed to have reached the goal of yoga) ventures to notify that both those individuals who practice yoga and those who are pursuing to acquire worldly comforts do not differ much from each other.
They are both greedy, and nature ambitions. According to him the desire to free oneself from the cycle of birth and death is also a form of desire like other desires for worldly enjoyments.
Another version from Maitreyi Upanishad teaches us that the pleasure one gets through the pursuit of mukti is not real for the simple reason that it is not an experience of the state of emancipation.

But the techniques do help those who have not yet seen the light of mokskya. There is much weight in the argument that Mukti is not a state. Which can be acquired by following the instructions of others? It is without a doubt that a liberated person cannot make others liberated through his sermons. One can learn the process to proceed, but he/she has to himself/herself attain a state of awareness to understand oneself and the world. This naturally, needs a special effort to train mind the ability to look at anything as it is.
We may go through scriptures and come to know of the various processes t go ahead and hear sermons from sages and saints, thus learning intellectually about the state of Mukti, but the bridge between our steps and the state of Mukti remains.

Yoga helps an individual to control his inner self and live in peace with himself and the surroundings. Although science has made tremendous progress and managed the immediate environment, but has it given peace to mind? In fact, it’s one- sided development may one day prove disastrous. On the other hand, the problem of violence, aggression, and war can find a solution only if peace within oneself exists and that is the way of yoga. It is a science of personality and anybody who has learnt to live in peace with the environment is a yogi – a perfect individual thus says our saints.

But is it necessary to go through the yoga techniques t free oneself from the bondage of birth and death?
Some very renowned personage have put a question mark on the futility of going through various yogic exercise and attaining knowledge to reach a state of freedom from bondage. The great Adi Shankaracharya who snatched back the ancient Hindu religion from the clutches of Jainism and Buddhism has declared in his Viveka chudamani that the study of scriptures and the following the practices given therein has no use unless one reaches the state of Mukti. And once one attains that state, one has nothing to do with scriptures. To quote him:” A first – hand knowledge of the moon can be had not by seeing the moon by one’s own eyes. So is the case with mukti; it has to be experienced by trying to know what others have said about it.”

Yoga is the most ancient system of development of the body and the mind. It was practiced thousands of years ago in this country and is being carried out even today.
Some say Lord Shiva was its innovator. Our ancestors practiced it with remarkable success to maintain good physic and to keep mind tranquil.
Yoga has been an integral part of our Vedantic philosophy. Vedas, Upanishads and Ramayana talk about it. Lord Krishna also explained to Arjuna the secret of yoga in the Gita.
The science of yoga was was coming down to us from one generation to another by the word of mouth. Among the earliest sages who contributed in laying the foundation of yoga system was Kapil who lived in 700 B.C . He authored Samkhya philosophy. He was of the opinion that the answer to human problem lay in acquiring ‘Samyak Gyan’ – proper knowledge. Men face sorrow, according to kapil , because they lack proper knowledge about the spirit9self) and prakriti(nature). Once they ac uire that knowledge, they overcome pain, maintain mental equilibrium and attain peace with in.Teh question ‘who am I’ was always pondered over in India. But kapil’s philosophy was confined only to telling that men should acquire knowledge. He groped in the dark beyond that. He did not show the way to reach the ultimate good- how to realize the self.It was left to sage Patanjali(300 B.C.) show a method for obtaining the goal laid down by kapil. While Kapil laid stress on acquiring ‘gyan’, the Patanjali system deals with both the body and mind.The purusha has to do both the things simultaneously; he must acquire samyak gyan and also practice yoga to achieve an excellent body and a sound mind free from tumult. That way he will have a harmonious relationship between the mind and the body.
Yoga is a psychophysical system of exercises based upon the knowledge of the relation between the body and the mind. According to Sage Patanjali both the body and soul(spirit) play vital role in the transformation of the finite into the infinite. It is in fact a key reveal the mysteries of universal consciousness. It shows the way how men can conquer suffering, disease and death. It teaches how to stretch life span and enjoy a better living. We can also realize the self through asana, rhythmic breathing, concentration and meditation.

The method discovered and the experiences gained by ancient yogis, are eternal. They stand equally significant even today as they were thousands of years ago.
Yoga is not merely a science dealing with various body postures; it is, apart being a source of sound health, gives eternal peace of mind. A regular practice not only adds years to life but leads to a meaningful life.
The medical science, which has developed in leaps and bounds, has also reached the conclusion that without taking into account the mind, it is not possible to cure the body. Thus yoga unites body, mind and spirit.
Why was there the necessity to do yogic exercise? Our ancient sages had realized that life on earth was full of pain and sorrow. The body was a prey to all sorts of diseases and the mind was turbulent and wavering- unsteady. The old age was a curse. So they engaged themselves in finding a way out to get rid off them. And thus they found a way out. What was more desirable than yoga to obtain peace and sound health?
Yoga has been variously defined in our various scriptures. The Kathapanishad says yoga is a ‘stat of steadiness and full control over sense as well as mind and the intellect.’ As is well known it is tough to fix the mind at one place. It is always wandering around. The man is attracted towards worldly objects and desires to enjoy them. But a yogi’s mind is steady; he is not attracted by mundane objects.

Shevetaashvatara Upanishad tells us that a ‘yogi does not suffer from old age, disease and death. His body is healthy, mind free from old age, illness, and death. His body is healthy, mind free from greed and is peaceful. The mind and body both become pure.’
In Yogavasesta, yoga is described as an instrument ‘for reaching the other, shore of the stream of sorrow’.
In the Gita, the Lord(Krishna) himself says the state of yoga is a state of equipoise where a yogi is not affected by a pair of opposites. For him day and night, joy and sorrow, hot or cold, criticism or praise, etc. are all alike. He does not bear any desire. He has reached the state of happiness per excellence. He has realized that absolute truth after which nothing remains to be achieved. Although he continues to act, his actions are directed for the good of others; He does not look for rewards for his virtuous deeds. Thus he frees himself from bondage.

Sage Patanjali in his ‘Yoga Sutra’ has said ‘yoga is a state where one if free from thought and modifications of the mind are complete?’

According to “ Yoga Sutra’, one attains the state of oneness with the Supreme Lord only after mastering eight parts of yoga. And to reach that state one must have at least two conditions; One, practice; two, absence of any desire. Through constant practice, one has to make his mind steady by adopting various methods depending upon one’s temperament. There are different types of yoga to do so, each leading to the ultimate goal of acquiring ‘mokshya’ – freeing oneself from the cycle o birth and death.
The eight steps of yoga or limbs(Astanga Yoga), according to Patanjali, are Yama,niyama, asanas, pranayama, pratyahar, dharna, dhyan ana Samadhi. Yoga means to control and discipline; niyma means rules, method, and principles; asana relates to making physical postures; pranayama is kriyas with air, prayahar is avoiding undesirable, dharna is concentration, dhyana is meditation and Samadhi are contemplation.

Patanjali did not go into details about the eight types of yoga. Therefore more study of yogas. Therefore more study or research was necessary. The result of further studies was that they were grouped into different categories according to nature.
Bhakti yoga, Karma yoga, Jnana yoga and Hatha yoga.

Bhakti yoga: Very common among the people, this method of yoga is very easy to follow as it does not require any technical and comp-licated process nor any unique intelligence. It creates a feeling of security in man. He develops an unflinching faith that there is a superior power, i.e., God, which is all powerful and merciful and will come to his rescue in time of need, protecting him from harm. He on his part has to have an abiding faith that is attaining him is the ultimate goal of human life. He has to surrender himself, his desires and go on fulfilling his duty without expecting any results from Him. He has to go through scriptures, follow instruction therin, do good deeds and consider every being as a fragment of the Supreme Lord.

Karma Yoga: Karma is a Sanskrite word meaning action. There is no one from Brahma down to an insect that does not perform an action. One cannot live without action. Lord himself has said in the Gita that all beings who are controlled by Prakrti have to act. Even after attainment of the goal of yoga(mukti) on does not renounce acts. Gita tells us that those who perform actions with some motive and expect fruits from them get into bondage because of the attitude or intention involved in it. But a karma yogi is indifferent as he bears no desire. He is concerned only with doing his duty without any reservation and without expecting any return for his acts. But this yoga is tough to cultivate. The human mind is always wavering; it does not stay at one place. A man by nature
is attracted towards worldly pleasures; he wants to enjoy them. He always wants to have more and more of pleasure, wealth, objects or enjoyment, fame, and name.
A karma yogi has no such attitude. He utilizes his energy in doing good deeds. He has acquired peace within and without. He does not run after pleasures; it is the desires which run after him.

Gyan yoga or Raja yoga: This yoga is followed by intelligent devotees. All other methods also ultimately lead to this yoga. But it is a complicated process and can be achieved by persistent practice of mental discipline. It seemed when Patanjali spoke of yoga to be made of eight parts in his ‘yoga sutra,’ he was referring to this method. He says fove of the method are external and three internal.Yama and Niyama mean one should avoid indulging in speaking lies, stealing, amassing wealth beyond one’s requirement and cultivate the habit of keeping the body and mind clean and remain contented with his position.Asana and Pranayama come under Hatha yoga.Pratyar is described as an aversion to mundane desires and non-enjoyment of sense-objects. The other parts are related to the process of concentration.I f these eight pieces are faithfully and sincerely practices for a reasonable length of time, impurities of body and mind meltdown and one attains knowledge which ultimately liberates him from bondage. This yoga also called ‘dhyan yoga’ or ‘Ashtana yoga’-lays emphasis on concentration of mind. The Gita desribes it in its sixth chapter in detail.

Hatha Yoga: The world’s most ancient art to keep fit physically and mentally, being practiced in India (asana, pranayama , mudra,etc.) to seek health , happiness and wisdom to attain self-realization, is made up of two words-HA and Tha, the former meaning Surya or the sun and the latter Chandra or moon. Yoga is the union of the two, according to some leading yogis. It is a system of psychophysical excerxises.Asanas is carried out to make spine elastic and strengthen the nervous system. They not only give strength to mind but provide an insight into the hidden powers of the spirit, strengthen will-power and ultimately raise a person to the state of self-realization.

Hatha yoga unites the sun and the moon. Sun is prana the life force. It carries out the function of blood circulation and respiration.
The moon –apana- performs the function of removing impurities from the body. The two forces let the life pushed forward. The prana(vital force) regulates the movements of stars, planets and the sun and the moon; it courses trhough wind, manifests in froms of energy like electricity, magnetism, light, heat, radio waves, and is seated in the heart of beings.
The moon is situated in a region above the hard palate and perhaps exudes a fluid which percolates down and si swallowed by the sun- located near the navel. It is due to the swallowing up of this elixir by the sun that old age and death come, Hatha yoga brings about the union of the two asanas.
Hatha yoga is a means to establish universal peace and harmony as well. As is well-known peace in the world depends on upon the unity of individuals, and unless anger, hatred, greed, desire for worldly pleasures are done away with through the observance of yoga, there will be no desire to establish peace in the world,

Swatmarama says in his Hathayoga Pradipika;” hatha yoga is a stepping stone to Raja yoga (Gyan yoga).’

What yoga stands for and who is a real yogi?
Most of the people do not understand their meaning. Many individuals acquire some powers or siddhis and try to impress people with demonstrations like stopping moving cars, walking on fire or water, etc. Yoga Sutra is very explicit that such misuse of power through display is a distraction in the path of samadhi.

A yogi biologically is like any other person. He feels hunger, thirst, sleepy and needs rest like others to keep the body going. But the difference lies on the psychological plane. He is not allured by the worldly objects. He goes on working for the good of humanity. He uses his sense-organs but is not swayed away by sensations.

We would do well here t quote jnaneshwara, a master of yoga, from his Anubhavamrita:
“The yogi may respond to life experiences, but he is unaffected or undisturbed within. He yogi reacts passively to whatever confronts him in life. His passivity and peace are not disturbed by whatever he does and while his sense organs are used, his Samadhi remains undisturbed with in.
Adi shankaracharya, who had, we are told, reached the state of jivanmukti, describes a yogi thus:’ He is sinless, unsmitten by desires, peaceful like a fire that has consumed its fuel, and being himself in a state beyond death and sorrow, helps others mercifully and compassionately.’

“For a yogi,” says Yoga vasishta. “Who has found the treasure of eternal happiness and whose intellect has stopped running after the objects of enjoyment; even the greatest empire on the earth is nothing more valuable than a dry leaf that is to be shed. Such a person, even with a single coin in his possession, still gets the pleasure that can hardly ever be obtained by an emperor”.

The yogi of al yogis-lord Krishna –has himself described in the Gita who a yogi is. He says a yogi’s mind is not engaged in craving, and he is peaceful with himself and the world. He is not affected by external factors, is like an ocean which is undisturbed when rivers pour water in it. A yogi treats every being as alike, is the feeling of attachment and takes all opposites hot and cold, joy and sorrow, etc. in his stride.

But can such a state be attained by anybody?

Yoga is an essential part of life on earth to cure oneself of physical and mental ailments. The cause of diseases, it is by now well known, are the faulty ways of living, bad habits, the absence of proper knowledge of things, improper food, etc. The malfunctioning of the body causes an imbalance in the body, and so one gets sick.

To keep a disease free body and mind, human beings on earth have been adjusting themselves from time to time to the prevailing environment. They have to see that the environment in which they live remains congenial. Atmospheric pressure, temperature, presence of gases like oxygen and nutrients are essential for sustaining life on earth. Physiological –internal –environment like body temperature, fluids in the body, functioning of various organs, development of body are equally necessary. Psychological factors like likes and dislikes, different beliefs and fear also affect human beings on earth.

But, contrary to our wishes, it is not necessary that environment is always helpful or favorable. Often it becomes so hostile that human beings suffer pain and misery. That is why our ancestors thought over the problems of fellow beings, did researchers and out came sciences , philosophies, and political and religious activities. All these were aimed at reducing tension and human misery.
All those who have the desire to practice yoga techniques have to consider certain factors before proceeding. If those factors are ignored, the results may be harmful to the practitioner. For example, if a person has been suffering from some bodily disorder, it will not be prudent to undertake yogic exercises. That might produce a harmful effect.
Therefore, the foremost consideration is that the person must be having regular health. At the same time he has to be aware of the date of conducting exercises, the place, dress during the exercises, duration of practice, diet the intake of water, etc.

Physical condition: As has already been mentioned above, yoga technique should not be undertaken if the body condition is not normal. Yogic exercises have hair effect n delicate organs of the body like heart, brain, lungs, etc. they might get harmed if the physic is carrying some disease. Therefore, this factor should be borne in mind before practicing yoga. NO doubt yogic exercises are very beneficial, but one should be advised to consult an expert before undertaking them. Here again, on should be cautious that the teacher has a scientific attitude and has not taken the job to mint money only.

Place: the place where yogic exercises are carried out should be an open place where no one disturbs the proceedings. The surrounding should not be noisy. If performed indoors, the area should be well ventilated and free from noise. Exercises like breathing and concentration are practiced individually. Any conversation, mental activity, listening to music, etc. should be done away with to avoid the distraction of mind and to conserve energy. Yoga should be practiced on the floor. In the Gita the Lord recommends that a grass carpet is spread on the ground; it should be covered with a deer hide over which a clean linen cloth is spread. The seat should be comfortable for sitting for long durations while meditating.

Age is no bar to practice yoga so is sex or religion or faith or physic whether stiff, tense or overweight. Even children below the age of twelve can adopt simple poses but after consulting experts. Relaxing exercise can be undertaken by all.
A word of caution; young and old should avoid undertaking activities which result in too much stress on the body parts. Women, in particular, should not practice some exercise during menstruation and pregnancy, although some of them could be carried out. In fact, there are some exercises which correct disorders during menstruation and pregnancy.
Time suitable for activities. : Morning time between 4.am to 6.am before breakfast is the most appropriate time for undertaking yoga exercises. In the evening it can be between 6.p.m and 8 p.m. But exercise should be conducted when the stomach is empty. An interval of three to four hours should be given after eating. A gap of half an hour after drinking water, tea or juice is also a must. If morning or evening times are not suitable to an individual, one can choose his or her time, But the time should be the same every day. Exercise can be undertaken only once in 24 hours. One more point of note: One should not eat immediately after practice is over. Light food can be taken after half an hour and complete meal after one hour.

Body formation

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Science tells us the body of human being is formed by the union of two microscopic structures-the sperm (the male gamete) and the ovum(the female gamete). Sperms are produced in the genital system of the male parent and when man and woman unite, one sperm only unites with the ovum in the body of the female parent. The union between them results in a single cell called “zygote”. Zygote develops in size in the womb of the mother. This single cell divides itself giving birth to various complex organs. The child at the time of birth is only a mass of innumerable cells arranged into various groups (tissues).

Human body consists of five main types of tissues –the epithelial tissue, the connective tissue, muscles, nerves and bones. The epithelial tissue is the inner as well as the outer surface of various organs and glands in the body and protects them. Various secretions in the body like the saliva, digestive juices, and hormones of the endocrine glands are supposed to be produced in the epithelial tissue. The connective tissue fills the gaps between other tissues. It contains stored fat and gives support to various organs. The storage of fat provides energy at the time when the intake of food is reduced or stopped. It is due to this that we can live without food for some weeks. Muscles, about 500 in number, give shape to the body and help in performing various movements. The strength of the body depends upon their development and that is why a strong person has well developed muscles while a weak one has poorly developed ones.

The muscles are of three types- the skeletal, the smooth and heart muscle. The skeletal muscles(or voluntary one) are attached to the bony framework. The smooth muscles are the walls of the hollow visceral organs like the stomach, the bladder, the intestines, etc. and the blood vessels and lungs. These muscles cannot be contracted voluntarily, and are thus called involuntary muscles. The heart muscles(cardiac muscle) are composed of a special kind of strong fibers as heart is the only organ which never stops working from birth to death.

The nervous system tissue performs the function of conducting stimuli from various body parts to the brain and impulses in the reverse direction. Those which carry the stimuli caused by pain, pressure, temperature, etc. towards the spinal cord or brain are called “afferent” ‘or’ “sensory” nerves, while those carrying impulses from the spinal cord or the brain to some muscle or organ, are called “efferent” or “motor” nerves.

Bones give shape to body

The bones, more than 200, shape the body. The framework formed by them is known as skeleton. Without them, the body would have been a mere mass of the tissue. They are there to protect delicate parts of the body and make its movement possible. They may be either hard or soft. The soft ones are called”cartilage”. The nasal septum which divides the nose into tow nostrils, the external ears, the end portions of the ribs and chest bone, are some of the examples of cartilage which makes bending or extension of those parts possible.

The backbone is not a single piece, but is composed of a chain of different pieces called the “vertebrae” . Vertebral column has 33 vertebrae. The first seven are called cervical because they are in the neck. The next 12 are dorsal. Then 5 are lumbar. Below these are 5 sacrum and the last is coccyx formed by 4 vertebrae. Through the hollow of the vertebrae column passes the spinal cord.

That is why; it is possible for human beings to bend the back forward or backward and to the sides. The large bones are hollow from inside. That has two advantages, namely, first, that increase the strength of the bones , and secondly, it reduces their weight.
The bones of the upper and lower limbs are connected to the trunk at the shoulder and at the pelvis. The upper limb has arms, forearm and heads and lower limb has thighs, legs and feet.

Cell, the smallest but the basic unit of our body, has a nucleus and jilly-li9ke cytoplasm. This very nucleus is responsible for hereditary qualities in man.

A cell has a life common with the whole body and also an individual life. It is the unit of which the body is made up. The cell gets wear and tear while one works and is repaired by rest and by nourishment through food and drink and oxygen. A drop of blood, it is said, has about 5,000,000 cells. They are made up of protoplasm.

Blood constantly supplies oxygen and essential nutrients to the cells and carries away waste products.
The various functions in the human body can well be compared to those being carried out in a complicated machine. Rather, the human machine is very much more complicated than the machines we know of or work on because the former consists of physical as well as physiological factors. For keeping the body in perfect working order, so many functions have to go on hand in hand.

A group of organs in the body is busy acquiring food, its digestion, assimilation and utilization in the body; another group has the duty to supply nutrients to every part of the body and collect waste materials from all over. Yet a third group is engaged in throwing out of the waste form the body. A fourth group of organs obtains oxygen and supplies it to every tissue and organ. All these functions are helped by a fifth group of organs called the “endocrine glands”. Yet an overall control of all the functions going on in the human body in co-operation with one another is the business of a separate group of organs. These various groups are the digestive, circulatory, excretory, respiratory, endocrine, and the nervous systems. Herein in brief is the working of these systems to understand the influence of yogic exercises on human organism.

Digestive system

Mouth, pharynx, food pipe, stomach, duodenum, small and large intestines are parts of this system. The human body needs carbohydrates, proteins, fats, mineral salts and vitamins to get energy and get going. Carbohydrates we get from cereals, potatoes and sugar. Proteins are provided in ample quantity by pulses, dried nuts, eggs, meat, fish, milk etc. Meat, eggs, fish give fat to the body. Minerals like calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, sodium, iodine, etc are already present in human body. And vitamins are obtained from fruits, vegetables ,milk etc.

Besides these, the human body needs water to maintain temperature at normal state .Saliva secreted by salivary glands, blood, pancreatic and bile juices provide ample quantity of water to the body.

When one starts eating, teeth cut food into pieces into finer form and are moistened by saliva so that it goes down the throat. The food then passes through the pharynx to the stomach where it remains for about two hours and is processed by digestive juices secreted by stomach walls. Then it passes to duodenum. Those juices break down fats, proteins and carbohydrates and they get assimilated in constituents and the remaining part goes to large intestine assimilated part of food is stored in liver and passed on to various organs through blood.

Circulatory system.

This system includes heart (which pumps the blood to variou
s parts) and blood vessels (which carry the blood from heart and back to it again). The heart is the only organ which goes on functioning incessantly from birth to death/ It has four compartments. The upper right compartment receives impure blood from the body and sends for purification to the lungs. The purified blood from the lungs goes to the upper left compartment and thence to the lower left one,. From where it is pumped to all parts of the body through arteries, their branches and sub branches. These sub-branches divide further into capillaries which are very thin walled. The capillaries ramify into various muscles, organs and tissues. Due to the thinness of their walls, the capillaries allow the nutrients and oxygen in the blood to come out of them, and be supplied to the tissues. In return, the carbon dioxide and other waste materials from the tissues diffuse into capillaries. Minute sub-branches of veins and is ultimately returned to the heart. The veins have to raise the blood from the lower extremities, pelvic region, trunk and abdomen against the force of gravity. This is done with the help of valves situated in the veins.

Human blood has nearly 90 percent water, in which red blood corpuscles,, the white blood cells , and the blood platelets float. The R.B.C.s contains scarlet colored substance hemoglobin which carries oxygen. The W.B.C.s acts an s defense force. They fight foreign cells such as bacteria and other microorganisms which if allowed to infest the body can cause many diseases. The blood platelets help in the coagulation of blood, when it comes out of the blood vessels due to cuts and wounds. The circulatory system thus supplies nutrients to various parts of the body and collects waste materials from them, maintains body temperature at the normal level, and supplies oxygen to every part and collects carbon dioxide.

Respiratory system

This system starts from the nose and is composed of the larynx the windpipe (trachea), its two branches (called “bronchi”) and the lungs. Its function is to make available oxygen to the body. Life can not go on without biochemical processes which in turn, cannot go on without energy. This energy is received from the food we eat, especially the carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.

The end products of these constituents supplied to each tissue to blood. The energy stored in these products can be used for purpose of life activity of any tissue but only through oxidation. In this process oxygen combines with the substance containing energy, and releases energy along with water vapor and carbon dioxide. This process has to go on continually in every living tissue.

Thus it is clear hat we cannot live without oxygen for more than a few minutes. The carbon dioxide produced in the process of oxidation is poisonous gas and must be removed from the body as quickly as possible It is collected in the blood flowing in the capillaries.

Co2 removal: we inhale air into the body through the nose. It goes to the larynx and then to the windpipe. The windpipe is divided into two branches, one of which goes to the left lung, and the other to the right one. The branches get further divided in the lungs. At the ends of the minute sub-branches are borne the air sacks or cells (alveoli) which are surrounded by capillaries, through which the blood flows from the heart to the lungs, and back again to the heart. The wall of the air sacks is absorbed in blood in the capillaries, and the carbon dioxide and water vapor from the capillaries enters the air sacks.

Lungs expanded and contract during respiration because they are formed of elastic tissues. They are contained in “thoracic cavity” which is protected on all sides by the ribs. The base if this cavity is made by a dome-shaped band of a muscle called the “diaphragm” , which plays an important role in respiration. The cavity below the diaphragm is called the abdominal cavity”. The cavity accommodates organs like the stomach, duodenum, liver, pancreas, kidneys and intestines.

Thus wee see respiration process consists of inhalation, exhalation and pause. During inhalation the thoracic cavity increases in volume due to an elevation and extension of the ribs, along with a descent of the diaphragm downward. The lungs expand due to this and air rushes in through the nose to fill the vacuum created thus. The lungs then contract automatically after a while due to their elastic recoil expelling some amount of air during exhalation. The is followed by pause, and then another round of inhalation and exhalation takes place. Carbon dioxide and water vapor are got rid of through exhalation.

Excretory system

Kidneys, ureters, bladder, urethra, skin and the large intestines form the excretory system. Kidneys (two in number) are situated in the abdominal cavity of the two sides of the body. They have a network of very minute tube like structures through which blood
Is strained and the unwanted materials like extra amount of water, salts, waste products and other biochemical processes are separated from the blood. Urine which is formed goes down from the kidneys through two tubes called the ureters to the bladder. The urine is passed out of the body through a duct called urethra.

Skin gets rid of excess salts and water in the blood. This is done by minute glands called sweat glands, situated under the skin. When the blood flows through the sweat glands they separate some salts and water along with some other unwanted materials from the blood. The separated fluid comes to the surface in the form of sweat and evaporates. This helps to keep the body temperature normal.

Endocrine system

There are many glands in the body situated at various places. Important among them are the pituitary, the pineal (both in the head), the thyroid, the parathyroid (both in the neck), the thymus(in the thoracic cavity), adrenals, and the sex glands(in the abdominal cavity). These glands do not have any ducts to carry hormones(fluids) and they are also called ductless glands. The hormones produced in the endocrine glands mix directly in the blood flowing through them and are thus made available to different organs and tissues of the body .The hormones(e.g pituitrin, thyroxin, adrenalin) are essential for a proper development of the body and are concerned with the functions like metabolism, and the lungs and so on. Their deficiency as well as excess may lead to many disorders.

Nervous system

This is the main system controlling the various departments of an organized unit. It has two main divisions the “central nervous system” and the autonomous nervous system”. In the former are brain, the medulla, the spinal cord, and the nerves while the latter consists of two chains of knot like structures called “ganglia”, running along the two sides of the backbone. The automatic nervous system controls the functions of heart, digestive organs, kidneys, endocrine glands etc.

The brain is divided into tow main parts, namely, the large brain (cerebrum) and the small brain (cerebellum). The large brain has various specified areas where specific stimuli (e.g. those concerning sight, smell, hearing, taste and touch, etc.) are received and registered, as well as the individual’s response to them are decided. The phenomena o
memory, emotions, consciousness, etc are also controlled by it. The small brain maintains the balance of the body coordinates in the movements of various body parts. Centers which control the action of the heart and the lungs are situated in the medulla.

The spinal cord is a rope-like mass of nervous tissue running from the medulla

downward through the backbone. It has branches on both sides spread all over the body. They send stimuli toward the spinal cord as well as impulses from the brain or the controlling centers to the organs and tissues. They are respectively called the “sensory” and “Motor” nerves.

Pitta and Kapha-naashak mudra

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Pitta+Kapha-naashak mudra

This mudra helps to overcome any ailment of a person having a Pitta+Kapha mix constitution.

 

How to do Pitta+Kapha nashak mudra

Pitta+Kapha-naashak mudra

Method: This mudra is formed by
1. Joining the tips of the thumb and the ring finger and
2. Applying the tip of the little finger to the base of the thumb.

Duration: 45 minutes every day, either at one stretch or in three parts(i.e., for 15 minutes, thrice a day).

Precaution: People with a pronounced Vata constitution should practice this mudra in moderation if at all.

I think this mudra is helpful for you.Also, read my book “Complete Hand Mudras.” It will give you more information about mudras read more

Maatangi mudra,How to do,duration,precautions

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Maatangi mudra is very useful to attain inner harmony.Practising this mudra helps you to achieve peace with your inner self and with the surroundings.

 

How to perform Maatangi mudra:

Maatangi mudra

This mudra is formed by interlocking the hands and keeping the middle fingers straight and touching each other like in the picture.

Impact of maatangi mudra:

Maatangi mudra directly affects the hypothalamus.

Benefits and healing properties of Maatangi mudra.
The hypothalamus is the primary autonomous part of the nervous system; This mudra helps to establish a state of balance in the body.

This the best mudra to relieve tension.

Maatangi mudra is very effective in relieving the pains in the organs of chest and abdomen.

20 minutes of practice is enough to get instant relief from pains and 5 minutes each in the morning and evening to get internal harmony.

This Mudra can be performed by anyone or anytime .

I think this mudra is helpful for you.Also, read my book “Complete Hand Mudras.” It will give you more information about mudras read more

Vaata+ kapha nashak mudra

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Vaata+Kapha)-naaashak mudra

 

This mudra helps to overcome any ailment of a person having a Vaata+Kapha mix constitution.

How to do Vata+Kapha Nashak Mudra

 Vata+Kapha Nashak Mudra

 

This mudra Is formed by applying the tips of the index and the ring fingers to the base of the thumb.

Duration: 45 minutes every day, either at one stretch or in three parts(i.e., for 15 minutes, thrice a day).
Precaution: People with a pronounced Pitta constitution should practice this mudra in moderation if at all.

I think this mudra is helpful for you.Also, read my book “Complete Hand Mudras.” It will give you more information about mudras read more