“Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.”
The History of Yoga
The word yoga is derived from the root word “yuj” meaning “to add,” “to join,” or “to unite.”
Although yoga can mean to yoke or to concentrate, it’s a physical, mental, and spiritual practice that originated in ancient India.
It’s believed to be first developed in the sixth or fifth centuries of BCE.
Despite the many types of yoga schools, practices and goals, the two most famous are Hatha yoga and Rāja yoga.
The phrase “yogas chitta vritti nirodha” means to control or quiet the joined consciousness of the various forms of mind-field.
It’s important to acknowledge all your thoughts and let them drift away during the practice of meditation.
The goal is not to suppress these thoughts but to accept them and slowly train the mind, body, and soul to be calm over time.
The oscillation of thoughts in the mind can be controlled and flattened out over time by repetition practice of training the mind.
The goal through dedicated practice (Abhyasa) of yoga is to achieve self-actualization using non-attachment (Vairagya).
In the late 19th and early 20th century, yoga came to the West as a popular form of physical exercise.
However, in addition to the physical aspect, yoga also included meditative and spiritual aspects of Indian traditions.
The Objective of Yoga
Moksha meaning liberation is the goal of yoga.
The five principal meanings of yoga include:
- The goal of yoga practice.
- Discipline method to meet the goal.
- Techniques of controlling the mind and the body.
- Specialize in particular techniques of yoga such as hatha, mantra, and laya.
- Resemble the systems of philosophy or one of the schools.
Within the powerful practice of yoga, it allows:
- Meditative gateway for discovery and removal of dysfunctional conception and cognition. It also allows the release of suffering, salvation, and inner peace.
- Expansion and rise of one’s consciousness to be coextensive with everything and everyone.
- The comprehension of permanent (transcendent) and impermanent (chimerical) reality through enlightened consciousness and omniscience.
The Four Immeasurables
You cultivate wholesome attitude towards all sentient things through meditation on the Four Immeasurables (sublime states of mind) of loving kindness, compassion, appreciate joy, and equanimity.
To achieve present and future happiness for you and others, you must remove cruelty, jealousy, ill will, and craving through the practice of meditation.
Loving kindness counters ill will and is the sincere attitude to wish happiness for someone regardless of your relationship with the other person.
Compassion counters cruelty and is the unwavering wish for others to be free from suffering from pain or sickness.
Joy counters jealousy and is the unself-centered wholesome attitude of rejoicing happiness and virtues of all sentient things.
Equanimity counters attachment and aversion and is your attitude viewing all living beings as equals regardless of their level of relationship.
Energize Your Morning
Having a stable morning yoga routine can quickly kickstart your day.
After a long restful night of sleep, your muscles feel tight and rigid in the morning.
The goal of a consistent yoga practice in the morning is to strengthen and stretch all the major muscles groups in your body.
A simple ten to fifteen-minute practice of Ashtanga Sun Salutation (surya namaskar) can open and warm up those large muscle groups.
Although there are many forms of Ashtanga Sun Salutation, this eleven step form A is more than enough to engage the breath and awaken the body.
Listening to meditative music while performing this sequence can boost your relaxation feeling.
To protect your hands and knees, you can perform the following sequence on a yoga mat or a soft surface.
- Start by taking in five deep breaths in a standing position at the front of the mat with legs shoulder-width apart and hands by your sides.
- Inhale as you slowly reach your hands straight up into the air and clasping at the top while lifting the upper body from the waist.
- With bent knees, exhale as you fold your upper body forward hinging from the waist as you reach for the mat with your hands.
- Inhale as you lift the upper body halfway up while keeping your back and legs straight to make a 90-degree angle.
- Exhale as you fold forward with bent knees and slowly place your hands on the mat and on the outsides of your feet.
- Step your legs back one a time to a plank position and engage your core and leg muscles while actively pressing on the mat with your hands.
- Your heels are pushing back while your head is leaning forward for a full body stretch forming a straight from head to heel (Please modify with knees on the mat if necessary). Take five deep breaths in this position.
- Move the body slightly forward so that your wrists are slightly behind the shoulders and exhale as you slowly lower yourself down (knees on the mat if necessary) hovering just a few inches above the mat.
- Inhale as you push yourself up lifting the head and chest while maintaining the legs a few inches above the mat going into an Upward Facing Dog Pose. Your head can be facing forward or lifted up. Only hands and the tops of your feet are on the mat actively pushing you up.
- Take five deep breaths in this position.
- Exhale as you roll over the toes and drive your hips up and back while pushing with your hands into a Downward Facing Dog Pose.
- The head is relaxed and resting between the biceps.
- The fingers are widely spread and pressing against the mat as your shoulders are relaxed and close to the ears.
- The body should look like an upside-down V.
- Feel free to bend your knees to drive your hips higher into the air, then slowly straighten your legs by setting your heels down toward the mat (they may not touch the mat).
- Bend one knee at a time (“walk out your Downward Facing Dog”) if you have tight hamstrings. This is especially true in the morning.
- Take five deep breaths in this position.
- Slowly walk your feet towards your hands at the front of the mat and inhale as you lift the upper body up halfway with a straight back and legs, making a 90-degree angle (same as step 4).
- Now with the body slightly warmed up, exhale as you fold the upper body forward with straight legs (bend knees if required) hinging from the waist to reach for the mat with your hands (same as step 3).
- Slowly lift your upper body up one vertebra at a time with the head coming up last as you standing up tall back to the starting position.
Repeat this sequence for two to three times and you will feel highly energized!
This is similar to the morning yoga routine that works for me.
Afterward, a short intentional meditation session can set clarity and purpose for your day.
Create a morning yoga routine that you enjoy!
Please share this article with anyone who you think may find it useful.
If you have any questions and/or comments on creating a morning yoga routine, please leave a comment below or send me an email.
Want to become a stronger version of yourself?
Start here with your gift!