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Pragya Yoga

posted Nov 22, 2009, 4:47 AM by Sanjay Saxena   [ updated Aug 2, 2010, 7:09 PM ]

Pragya Yoga - An Exercise for Healthy and Happy Life

Akhandjyoti » Magazine » 2007 » Jan-Feb 2007 » Pragya Yoga - An Exercise for Healthy and Happy Life
Revered Gurudev, Pt. Shri Ram Sharma Acharya, has pioneered a novel approach to yoga for a healthy and happy life, which is simple and suitable for the masses. He has named it “Pragya Yoga” – under the noble “Pragya Abhiyan” mission. 

The Indian sages - the Rishis, have guided practical ways for accomplishing a purposeful life. A life when lived as per the will of the Creator becomes a life united with yoga. The Rishis have given the formulae to evolve the unlimited powers (potentials) of human life. Ashtang yoga is one such formula for accomplishing healthy and happy life. Aasans constitute the first phase of Astang Yoga. Aasan refers to a specific posture (while keeping the body active internally). Our rishis had keenly observed the sitting and standing postures of different animals. They had studied the effects of different postures in the laboratory of their own bodies and developed specific Asanas that had rejuvenating effect on the entire body-mind-soul system. However, with the changing attitudes in the course of time, we became materialistic and this single-tracked commercialized civilization has raised several problems in our life. Therefore, it is quite difficult to perform all these Asanas in the present age. 

Gurudev, Pt. Shri Ram Sharma Acharya, has pioneered a novel approach to yoga for a healthy and happy life, which is simple and suitable for the masses. He has named it “Pragya Yoga” – under the noble “Pragya Abhiyan” mission. Shantikunj - an Aranyak of our times, which is situated in the lap of the Ganges and under the shadow of theHimalayas is a center for learning this comprehensive yoga. A brief description of this form of yoga is given below. 

Warm up exercise:To begin with, the fist is tightly closed and opened. Now wrists are moved inwardly and outwardly in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. This gives flexibility to the muscles and joints of the wrist. Then the elbows are folded and opened. The elbows are folded further and moved circularly in one direction and the other, as much as the joints of the shoulders allow. This circular motion provides exercise to the hands, shoulders and elbows together. Hands are moved once forward and next backward in the same way as the rudder is moved while rowing a boat. This provides excellent exercise to the arms and waist. 

Both hands are now stretched forward and then pulled inwardly; then moved clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. This simple exercise is very much helpful for patients suffering from stomach disorders. 

The neck is directly connected to all the nerves. Below the brain, it is the neck through which all nerves pass. Being seated in sukhasan the neck is moved circularly in clockwise and anti-clockwise direction. 
Pragya Yoga : This yoga involves all the three bodies (physical, subtle and causal) of a person. The Asan (physical exercise) rejuvenates body, Pranayam (breath control) strengthens mind and chanting in the heart of Mantra augments the will power. The sequence of exercises of this yoga is given below. 

Stand erect. Half-close the eyes and meditating on the brilliance of Lord Savita (rising sun) for a moment chant ‘Om’. With the faith that the subtle power of Savita is rejuvenating the body, mind and soul with each syllable of Gayatri mantra, follow the sequence of exercises given below. 

1. Tadasan: Chanting ‘Bhooh’ (in the heart i.e. to oneself) raise both the hands upward while inhaling gradually and deeply. Now stand on the toes. This benefits us in the case of weakness of the heart and blood disorders. (See Fig. 1 for posture.) 

2. Hastapadasan: Chanting ‘Bhuvah’, both the hands are brought downward from the posture of tadasan, while exhaling and the head is bowed down to touch the knees, with the palms trying to touch the floor. This removes gastric trouble and induces vital strength in the Ida, Pingla, and Sushumna Nadis. (See Fig. 2 for posture.) 

3. Vajrasan: Chanting ‘Swah”, toes are placed completely on the floor and haunches are set on the feet. The backbone should be erect and both palms placed on the knees. Breathe normally during this posture. This is helpful in digestion and cures gastric trouble and constipation and keeps the stomach light. (See Fig. 3 for posture.) 

4. Ushtrasan: Chanting ‘Tat’, inhale deeply, put knees on the floor and keep the feet straight on toes. The heels are held in by taking both the hands from the back side. The stomach is drawn upward and head is bent backward. This makes the heart strong and spinal column flexible. This also provides exercise to Ida, Pingla and Sushumna. (See Fig. 4 for posture.) 
5. Yogamudra: In this posture, chanting ‘Savituh’ exhale and clench together both the palms at the back and stretch upwardly. The head is kept downward so that the chest and the stomach touch the thigh. This posture removes severe gastric trouble, gives strength to digestive system and increases appetite. (See Fig. 5 for posture.) 

6. Ardh Tadasan: Chanting ‘Varenyam’ inhale deeply. Being seated in the posture of vajrasan, both the hands and eyes are raised upward. This is as useful as tadasan and cures the weakness of the heart and blood disorders. (See Fig. 6 for posture.) 

7. Shashankasan: Chanting ‘Bhargo’ exhale. Sitting in the posture of vajrasan both the hands are kept straight in front of the chest, palms touching the floor, while bending downwards; the stomach touching the thighs. This cures stomach problems and increases flexibility of backbone. (See Fig. 7 for posture.) 

8. Bhujangasan: Chanting ‘Devasya’ inhale deeply. From the previous posture, the body is moved ahead and head is raised upward like a snake’s hood. Eyes are kept looking upwards. This provides soothing exercise to the heart and the backbone. It also cures gastric troubles. (See Fig. 8 for posture.) 

9. Tiryak Bhujangasan: In the posture of bhujangasan, keeping the breath normal chant ‘Dhimahi’ and look toward the left. Then chant ‘Dhiyo’ and look toward the right. It increases flexibility of the waist. 

10. Shashankasan: Chanting ‘Yonah’ repeat step 7. 

11. Ardh Tadasan: Chanting ‘Prachodyat’ repeat step 6. 

12. Utkatasan: After tadasan, chant ‘Bhooh’ and breathing normally sit on the toes. Calves touching the thighs, place both the palms on the knees. This gives strength to calves and improves balance of the body. 
(See Fig. 9) 

13. Padhastasan: Chanting ‘Bhuvah’ repeat step 2. 

14. Tadasan: Chanting ‘Swah’ repeat step 1. 

15. Coming back to original position: Chanting ‘Om’ keep the hands stretched. Close the fists and bring the hands down energetically and stand erect. Breathe normal. 

If practiced sincerely, it may provide us the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of Ashtang Yoga. 
Akhandjyoti » Magazine » 2007 » Jan-Feb 2007 » Pragya Yoga - An Exercise for Healthy and Happy Life