There are a number of classical texts that Yoga teachers should become familiar with. Among them are the Gheranda Samhita, Shiva Samhita, and the Hatha Yoga Pradipika. It is believed that the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, written by Swami Svatmarama, is the oldest of these three texts.
There are a number of techniques that are covered within the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, such as – Asanas, Bandhas, Pranayama, Mudras, Dietary Suggestions, Shatkarmas, and more. What we realize, when reviewing the classical texts, is how much detail is given to the subject of self-care and holistic health.
It is easy to think that all the clever secrets of holistic health have recently been invented. However, many forms of asana, stretching, and exercise were around for thousands of years before the Hatha Yoga Pradipika was written.
If we want to draw any conclusions from the classical texts, in regard to our daily health, we might want to consider the following:
Relaxation and Meditation should become a daily ritual. At the same time, if you are experiencing bouts of insomnia, you may want to consider trying any number of relaxation techniques at bedtime. Personally, I tend to favor the stage-by-stage relaxation method. However, many people have success with body scanning relaxation, listening to relaxing music, and relaxation methods, based upon visualization.
It is extremely important that we keep our body clean. How much time do you see animals spend cleaning themselves? By this, we should at least be as clean as a cat, bird, or monkey. If you have ever had a chance to observe them, they spend a lot of time cleaning themselves.
The body also needs physical activity. No matter who we are – the energy in our body should be expelled in a constructive way. The body is, in fact, an organic machine, which is designed to be in motion. Too much sitting is not good for the hips, the skeleton, or the spine; add to this that sufficient calories are not burned by sitting the entire day.
Therefore, a daily routine of asanas, pranayama, walking, swimming, and other activities that you enjoy, should be performed with regularity. There are too many diseases, which can result from excessive sitting – such as, heart problems, high blood pressure, blood pooling into the lower legs, which results in clots – and many more ailments.
Finally, as mentioned within the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, there are foods which are considered injurious to a Yogi. At the same time, these foods are injurious to anyone. Albeit – diets have changed, and our knowledge of dietary benefits has improved immensely, over the past couple of centuries. Needless to say, eating wisely improves your chances of a better quality life.
© Copyright 2009 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500, has written many books on the subject of Yoga. He is a co-owner and the Director of Yoga Teacher Training at: Aura Wellness Center, in Attleboro, MA. http://www.aurawellnesscenter.com He has been a certified Master Yoga Teacher since 1995. To receive Free Yoga videos, Podcasts, e-Books, reports, and articles about Yoga, please visit: http://www.yoga-teacher-training.org/member-offer.html