51 Days Yoga Consciousness Series 2nd May-21st June 2021

Namaste All My Yoga Yaatris! May Yog Bless You!

Knowledge of Yoga is infinite, boundless and timeless. “Learning Yoga is an everlasting journey that leads you within and Within is where you find the world of immortal bliss”. –Mitraasha

The idea behind running this 51 Days Yoga Consciousness series is to proffer my modest learnings and share the divine pearls of Yoga science with people at large. Let’s have a conjoint intent to learn, implement and extend the wisdom of Yoga with a positive co-action and harmonious reverberation amongst each other.

Mind-Body Alliance

Medical science limits it’s approach majorly to the physical body and so does Psychology to the mind. This proposition often controls the wholesome discernment of a human personality, arising many problems and hindering the extension of probable help. 

Contradictory to the above mentioned stratagem, yoga considers a person more holistically and as a whole. It believes, for proper understanding, a person has to be regarded, studied, observed and interpreted in entirety. One’s body, physical actions, motives, emotions, mind etc are very finely attached to each other and impact each other greatly. Understandably, efforts in discerning only a part that may be physical and ignoring the emotional, and/or mental outlook would inevitably leave with misjudgements about the root issue concerning the person. Hence yoga regards a human being as a complete unit incorporating Body (Muscles, Senses, Organs of action, Nervous system), and Mind (feelings, emotions, motivations, thoughts, desires, states of consciousness). Any manoeuvre of the body doesn’t occur on itself in utter seclusion or being unassociated with the mind. Similarly mental affairs too largely rely on the physical state of the being. Physical deeds and mental acts both influence each other greatly. 

Yoga strongly maintains that there is an immanent design, aim and intent to the existence of living beings and that is the expansion of human consciousness to the whole. Spreading the knowledge of Yoga is a sentient effort towards the same purpose.

Although at an endogenous level it may happen normally, but otherwise one has no control over how the mind is influencing and bringing changes in the body. Yoga substantiates that it is comparatively challenging to overpower the mind and by that means dominate the body. On the contrary, the body is rather easier to master and hence, Yoga tries to achieve control of the mind by working on the body.

Bhavas

Comprehending how Buddhi or intellect works is where this education initiates its way and ends in transforming it to the highest. As per yoga each physical postures instigate a particular state of mind which further is found to be accompanying certain feelings. Different yoga asanas, Pranyama, Kriyas, Mudras, bandhas, Dharana etc., help to form different mental states. The impact of Trigunas influences the running of Buddhi in the form of some traits. These feelings or states are known as Bhavas. Most yoga techniques aid in initiating positive mental states corresponding with the positive traits or Bhavas.

Bhavas are eight in number out of which four are appraised as positive and other four are considered as negative, because of respective Sattva and Tamas impacts of them. These traits attribute specific penchant to buddhi basis which it thinks in a certain way. The constant shifting of gunas also has a moving effect on Buddhi and it keeps oscillating in between these traits. That is why we alter our beliefs about the same things time and again subject to the dominance of the trait. 

Under the influence of the Kleshas and Antarayas, usually a person may perpetuate more of a negative mental state, retaining negative feelings in the form of negative Bhavas. Negative Bhavas cultivates harmful feelings and emotions like fear, guilt, anger, apprehension, egoism, infatuation, excessive attachments. That further develops stress related ailments and psychosomatic disorders. Autoimmune disorders wherein the metabolism is severely affected are caused by negative mental states and negative emotions. Diseases like Diabetes, Cardiac problems, High Blood Pressure/Hypertension, Asthma, Mental disorders, Depression etc are all largely fostered because of negative Bhavas. 

Yoga’s objective is to cultivate and establish strongly the four positive bhavas in thoughts and feelings by various yogic techniques like Asana, Pranayama, Mudras and Bandhas etc. 

All Bhavas – The Traits of Buddhi (Intellect)

The four positive and four negative Bhavas are as follows: 

The positive traits: – 

Dharma ––Virtue 

Jnana ––Wisdom 

Vairagya ––Detachment 

Aishwarya ––Strength 

The negative traits: – 

Adharma ––Vice 

Ajnana ––Ignorance 

Raga ––Attachment 

Anaishvarya ––Weakness 

Before I discuss these bhavas in detail here, I would like to share a beautiful concept brought up by The Yoga Institute of India which wonderfully incorporates Bhavas in Yoga practice. I will share about that in detail at the end.

Dharma- It is that trait of mind, which sustains and protects life.

Interpretation: Duty, Virtuous Action

Aspects: Regulation, Regimen, Self-direction, Readiness, Steadiness, Allegiance, Responsibility

Techniques: Meditative postures.

Gyan (Jnana from Sanskrit)- Wisdom, knowledge of Self or right knowledge. 

Interpretation: Knowledge, Self-awareness, Adeptness, Percipient

Aspects: Coordination, Concentration, Synchronization of breath and movement, Focus, Balance

Techniques: Twists, Lateral and Upward stretches, Balancing postures, Pranayama, Concentration practices.

Vairagya: Detachment, it is that state of mind where nothing whatsoever can distract, disturb or even cause a desire.

Interpretation: Lack of bias, Disengagement, Objectivity

Aspects: Humility, Letting go, Total surrender, Tranquility

Techniques: Forward bending, Relaxation postures.

Aishwarya-Strength, Power, Achievement, It is acquisition of physical, mental, moral and spiritual excellence. 

Interpretation: Conclusion, Attainment, Realization 

Aspects: Self-reliance, Endurance, Steadfastness, Conviction, Self-esteem

Techniques: Backward bending postures, Kriyas.

Incorporating bhavas in yoga practice

The practice of dharma, jnana, vairagya and aishvarya aid self-development and a pragmatic evolution of your character, whereas the negative bhavas abrogate the favourable outcomes leading to turmoil. 

Each and every work that you do in life, irrespective of how small or big it may be, cohesive presence of the four positive bhavas always circumscribe. Thus besides its role in every other aspect of life, they are interwoven in all yoga techniques to facilitate you to comprehend their impact on your overall mind–body–spirit complex. The dominance of any one bhava in a particular practice is usually more obvious than the others, making that one bhava prime while the other bhavas act as auxiliaries. 

The bhavas subsist within the practice of pranayamas and kriyas too. Jnana bhava is central to the practice of the pranayamas whereas aishwarya bhava pervades in the practice of the kriyas, with the other bhavas enacting ancillary roles. 

When performed in this manner, the results of any yoga practice transcends to the physical, emotional, ethical, spiritual and sensual levels of a being.

Each practice inculcates all these elements entwined within to make it a wholesome practice. When the bhavas are inculcated into the physical practices, the mind works in collaboration with the body to give a holistic and intense experience, more than when a technique is practised in isolation making it nothing but an acrobatic workout.

Thought of the day: “You cant go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending” – C.S. Lewis

Link to day 09: Sequence and Guidelines to the practice of Yogahttps://kreately.mars-cdn.com/51-days-yoga-consciousness-series-2nd-may-21st-june-2021-mitraasha-day-09-sequence-and-guidelines-to-the-practice-of-yoga/

Link to day 11: Shat Karmas/Shat-Kriyas/Purification Techniques https://kreately.mars-cdn.com/day-11-shat-karma-shat-kriyas-purification-techniques-mitraasha/

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