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Spiritual aspects of yoga

A Yoga master once said, "The human mind is as restless as a monkey, drunk with the wine of desire, running blindly from one sense pleasure to the next. Stung with scorpions of jealousy, greed, and pride, it lashes out with furious hatred. So the greatest conquerers on earth are those who have conquered their own minds."

How can one calm the turbulent waves of the conscious and subconscious minds, and attain the indescribable peace and bliss of the super-conscious state?

Yogis have divided the levels of the mind into five layers, or kosas between the body and mind. In each layer there is a more joyful and expanded awareness; the higher layers contain vast reservoirs of energy and knowledge.

The goal of yoga and of life itself is to elevate the mind through these five layers until one achieves, or becomes aware of, the infinite, blissful Self within.

To begin to reach this state of consciousness, one must use the physical body and practice yoga positions.

Beyond all the layers of each individual's mind is the realm of spirit or infinite consciousness, the pure Self within. In the state of perfect peace, beyond all conflicts and contradictions of the lower mind dissolve. When one attains this state, even for a moment, one's entire existence is flooded with inexpressible joy.

People in the Western world sometimes do not realize their innermost self. They experience only the lower two layers of the mind- the conscious and subconscious. However, some individuals penetrate through these levels and touch for a moment the subtler, all-knowing super-conscious mind. Thus, meditation begins with the subconscious mind.

Meditation is a way to know oneself, to understand the meaning of life, and to be free from the material desires of power, wealth, possessions, and fame.

Meditation benefits everyone in many ways

When most people think of yoga, they think of physical exercise, but there's another important aspect: meditation. Two types of yogasanas, or yoga positions, exist: One is good for health and the other for meditation. A number of yoga positions help increase concentration through meditation. The positions are called the rabbit, knowledge, lotus, and ideation.

Meditation has several benefits. First, meditation techniques can help people breathe more deeply, which results in more mental awareness. People have the habit of shallow breathing. By breathing deeply, one takes in oxygen, which purifies blood.

Acharya Advayananda Avadhuta (Dada) became a yoga-meditation teacher in 1984 and practiced it himself since 1972. Meditation helped him with his classes to develop focus and memory. He reduced his sleeping hours from eight to six hours of restful sleep. He still does meditation every day for health, calmness, peace, and a better memory.
"I get good health, peaceful mind, and cosmic love through meditation," Dada said. "I get good physical and mental energy by deep relaxation breath techniques. I had recurring illness of fever for six months. Vegetarian diet, yoga positions, deep relaxation techniques, and meditation cured my fever, reduced stress and fear of failing my exams."

Second, meditation can help students achieve more effective study. In the classroom, sometimes a student's body is there but his mind isn't. Or, a student gets tired after studying too much. This effects a student's ability to study and his grade.

Susan Bhattarai, a nepalese nursing student at El Centro College has been meditating for the last three years. Meditation improved his Grade Point Average (GPA) from 2.00 to 3.65. He recommends that everyone participate in meditation to create positive energy.

Yoga promotes a healthy mind and body

Someone once said, "Health is wealth," which implies that if one has good health, one has a lot.

Yoga features more than 50,000 positions, but one needs only a few to achieve lasting health benefits.

The word yoga, a Sanskrit word, means to unite. It's the blending of body, mind, and spirit.

Yoga originated thousands of years ago. Over the years, many types of yoga were developed by different Yoga Gurus, or masters. Bikram yoga, Ayangar yoga, Raja yoga, Hatha yoga and Astanga yoga are some of those types.

Hatha yoga is the most popular in the United States and the Western world. All yogasanas (positions) are called Hatha yoga.

The Hatha yoga positions purify one's body. Raja yoga is geared more for purification of mind through meditation. Astanga yoga deals with both body and mind.

Several kinds of yogasanas are given names, such as lotus, snake, locust, and peacock postures, according to forms of flowers, animals and birds.

In order to perform them perfectly, one needs the guidance of competent teachers to avoid injury. After learning yoga positions, one can practice them individually at home.

Yoga has many benefits. According to yoga masters, regular practice can help a person balance the glandular secretion of hormones which can cure different diseases and emotional problems. Yoga can also make the bones and muscles stronger. One becomes physically relaxed, mentally stronger, and full of vigor by practicing yoga regularly.

Jay Wooldridge, Richland Yoga Club co-advisor, started taking yoga classes at Richland in April 2006. He uses a head-to-knee yoga position to prevent problems with knees and the plough position to prevent back pain when he planted trees and gardened.

"Yoga increased my body flexibility, released mental stress, and helped me for problem solving," Wooldridge said. "It helped me to cure back pain. I can sleep better after practicing yoga."

Report - Yoga Workshop at Funasia, Richardson Tx

“Yoga - a way of life” workshop (http://www.rajadhirajayoga.net/funasia-free-yoga-workshop-richardson-tx) was organized at Funasia on December 13, 2008. Ananda Marga Yoga Society and Funasia organized one day free workshop. The workshop covered all the aspects of daily life of spiritual aspirants: Meditation, Asanas, Kiirtan, Song, Dance and Food. The objective of this workshop was to generate awareness about the benefits of practicing yoga in our daily life.

The workshop began with spiritual music with Kamal on guitar and Ashish on the microphone. Then the stage was set for Ananda Marga’s monk Aca'rya Shubhacetana'nanda Avadhuta to start his presentation on “Yoga Anatomy”

Da'da' Shubhacetana'nanda, who devoted his life to serve the humanity, beautifully explained the cosmic circle, its evolution and how it relates to the development of human beings now. He explained how humans developed from the physical realm to become intellectual beings. He emphasized that now the movement has to be from intellectual to the spiritual level and this will be the “real” movement. In his simple words he explained how yoga is much more than physical exercise. Da'da' Shubhacetana'nanda talked about the importance of Yoga in everyday life and how it can help each one of us in achieving the mission of our life.

Independence Day Celebration at Pusan National University Korea

This programme was organized by Indian students and staff of Pusan National University, Korea on 15 th August 2008 on the occassion of Indian Independence day. Dada Shubhacintananda has delivered one lecture and performed Indian musical songs

Anand Marga In International Conference of UNICEF

This was a presentation of Prabhata Samgiita in the international conference of UNICEF in Gwanju, Korea.

There was an audience of 500 from 25 different countries. In the cultural program India was represented Dada Shubhacintananda with Vocal recital introducing Prabhata Samgiita. Dada was invited as RAWA artist from India.

Exemplary work done by AMURT Delhi Sector in Bihar Flood Relief

Exemplary work done by AMURT Delhi Sector in Bihar Flood Relief

On the occasion of Hundredth Medical Camp, AMURT distributed 217 blankets, 509 baby clothes, 225 Sariis and 735 sweaters & Jaikets in Flood affected area of Relief. AMURT also distributed fruits among the 200 children. 53 volunteers were awarded for rendering unparalleled service. More then 900 patients were treated by Dr. Ramewsh Mishra, Dr. JK Yadev, Dr. Ram Kumar along Dr. Yogendra along with 16 assistances. On this occasion local Mukhiya was present and they appreciated the work of AMURT

Dallas Akhanda Kiirtan

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