Swami Niranjanananda taught in Brittany in 2006 that his guru, Paramahamsa Satyananda’s approach to yoga had as its main theme the cultivation of the personality; personal growth by transforming negative human attributes into positive ones. This can be done by personal practice – yoga sadhana.
Yoga is a spiritual path but should not be confused with religion.
Swami Niranjanananda likened yoga practice to taking capsules. He prescribed 5 Yoga capsules daily. He said “I believe that of the 24 hours in the day we can devote one hour to our development and growth. We divide that one hour into 10 minute blocks".
Some of you may not yet have encountered all these practices but be patient and they will be introduced.
Capsule 1 on awakening
- Maha mitrunjaya mantra x 11 – for wellbeing and health. It is the mantra of healing body, mind and emotions.
- Gayatri mantra x 11 – for mental fitness. It awakens the centres of wisdom. It balances the hemispheres of the brain and awakens our intuitive sense and understanding.
Mantras chanted in the morning go deep into the subconscious and sow the seeds of a positive sankalpa (resolve) for the day ahead.
Capsule 2 Asanas – to balance, vitalise and stretch the body – 10 - 15 minutes
Depends on level of experience. Suggestions:
- For beginners or people with health needs - Pawanmuktasana energy block release
- For more experienced
- Palm tree pose x 5
- Swaying palm tree x 5
- Waist twist (kati chakrasana) x 5 each way
- Surya namaskar 3 rounds – a. normal breathing
-b. holding each position for 3 breaths (or chanting the mantras)
5. Inverted asana e.g. shoulderstand (if no contra-indications)
- Or a “capsule” from a class practice handout
Capsule 3: Pranayama – 10 mins (or 2 x 5 mins)
Then, during the day at work (or whatever keeps you busy) whenever you feel tired and exhausted you practise pranayama. If you can, choose a specific time as it’s always good to have a regular time- say, just before lunch. You can decide to watch the breath and deepen the breathing so that you are filling the bottom part of the lungs, through the movement of the diaphragm. That could take just a few seconds, at any time.
Capsule 4: late afternoon – “power nap” – short yoga nidra
- One rotation of consciousness around the body
- Then awareness of either abdominal breath x 25 OR So-Ham mantra between navel & throat
Capsule 5 – before sleeping – meditation 10 minutes
e.g. review and analyse the day mentally while watching the breath. Or, if you know it, you could light a candle and chant the Shanti Path 3 times:
Asato ma sat gamaya From the unreal lead me to the real
Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya From the darkness lead me to the light
Mrityor ma amritam gamaya From death lead me to immortality
Sarvesham svastir bhavatu May all beings dwell in happiness
Sarvesham shantir bhavatu May all beings dwell in peace
Sarvesham purnam bhavatu May all beings attain oneness
Sarvesham mangalam bhavatu May all beings attain auspiciousness
Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu May all happiness be unto the whole world
Aum shanti shanti shanti OM Peace peace peace
Do these practices daily Monday to Friday.
On Saturday do jala neti + kapalbhati followed by a meditation practice 20-30 minutes
On Sunday – day off