Krishnamacharya's Yogasanagalu Pages 12-13
Third step is the asana. People who make sincere efforts to practice the first and second steps (limbs) as much as possible, no matter what the conditions are will have the authority to go into the 3rd step that is “Asana.”
Depending on how strong one practices detailed aspects of the 2nd and 3rd limbs, so fast will they experience the corresponding benefits. In yoganga, no practice will go to waste. However, one should practice daily at an appropriate time with devotion, sincerity and respect and without going against how it was taught by the guru.
Especially those who want to start practicing the two yoganga’s “Asana” and “Pranayama” without following the aforementioned niyamas, following drawing charts and practicing on their own freewill will not receive benefits but may also be responsible for tarnishing the name and bringing disrepute. Unlike other practices, yoganga sadhana not only nourishes muscles. It benefits body, musculature, and mind and according to the age of the practitioner improves the active energy, extends life, eliminates diseases, provides stability of the mind, comprehension of subtle reality and self knowledge.
Body exercises can be divided into two types: Sarvanga Sadhana and Anga Sadhana.
The system which provides vigorous motion to one section of limbs while providing limited or no activities to other section is called Angabhaga Sadhaka. I haven’t expanded on this since the current generation of youth may well imagine the examples that I am referring to.
Examples of well known body exercises that are classified under the Sarvanga Sadhaka are: Talinkhana, Garudi, etc. From these body exercises one can achieve more than necessary strong and bulky muscles resulting in impaired brain function and in these individuals respiration (inhalation and exhalation) will be irregular, but never even.
- In yoganga sadhana we don’t see these (above mentioned) irregularities and with regular practice all organs will become strong. How is that? When practicing asanas, we need to maintain deep inhalation and exhalation to normalise the uneven respiration through nasal pasages.
- In yoga positions where eyes, head and forehead are raised, inhalation must be performed slowly through the nostrils until the lungs are filled. Then the chest is pushed forward and puffed up, abdomen tightly tucked in, focusing the eyes on the tip of the nose, and straighten the back bones tightly as much as possible. This type of inhalation which fills the lungs signifies Puraka.
- In yoga positions where eyes, head, forehead, chest and the hip are lowered, we have to slowly exhale the filled air. Tucking in tightly the upper abdomen, the eyes must be closed. This type of exhalation is called Rechaka.
- Holding the breath is called Kumbhaka.
- We have to discontinue laughter and shouting hard. Reason? Lungs become weak and you will start losing prana shakti.
- Do not hold the urge to urinate or defecate before, during or after practice. Holding will lead to putrefacation of excreta internally therefore leading to diseases.
- Before practice and immediately afterwards no type of food must be taken.
- Foods that are very hot, sour, salty, bitter and smelling bad must be given up.
- Liquor, smoking, women (outside of marriage), eating fire must be rejected by the practitioner.
- Private parts must be held with appropriate attire during practice.
- It is said that these Niyamas must be followed by the yoganga practitioners in Patanjali yogashastra, Hathayoga pradipika and many other texts is mainly for our benefit and not for our misery. By practicing these Niyamas, our ancestors used to live without too much worry and have brought enormous fame and glory to the country of Bharata.
The art of yoga which had been in hibernation for some reason, has seen a resurrection due to encouragement by some very important people and it is the responsibility of the young boys and girls to make it a success. Unlike other practices, yoga practice does not require spending money on various apparatus. Unnecesssary food or drinks are not required. Expensive clothing and attire are not needed. Big buildings are not necessary. Differences in caste, creed, young-old, men-women do not matter. However, deep desire, faith, courage, perseverence, Satvic (pure) and limited food - these are required. There is simply no reason why this yoganga sadhana which provides so much benefits and is so simple must be given up by us, impoverished Indians.
While Foreigners have come to the growing yoga shala supported by Sri Maharaja, taken photos of the drawing charts and displaying it in their countries, it is not right that we sit still and do nothing.
Bharata, which is the home of all philosophical/spiritual sciences, we have it our hand to ensure that others don’t become teachers of our youth. This amazing system is not being practiced along with spiritual sciences with the help of a Guru, but is being abused by some of us is very unfortunate.