Yoga Beginner’s Guide

What is Yoga ?

Yoga is a form of meditation that helps human self-knowledge and relaxes the mind and body with the right method of breathing. Yoga, It is a system designed to develop health and happiness, greater self-awareness and a higher sense of consciousness. Yoga improves health and well-being with regular practice of many different techniques such as postures and movement, breathing exercises, relaxation and concentration, self-questioning and meditation. When it comes to mental and physical relaxation, we better understand why we want to do Yoga.

What is the goal of yoga?

Yoga is a practice that aims at how people can meet with themselves, how they can distinguish between what is yours and what is not, and how they can move towards reality by maintaining their awareness of everything that is not real. The main purpose of yoga is to increase harmony to the body, mind and environment and to bring the mind to simplicity, clarity and peace.

How many steps does yoga consist of?

Yoga consists of 8 steps. These are moral codes or behaviors that allow us to live in harmony with ourselves and within society. We can say that this is the keys to a kind of happiness.

1- Yama

What is Yama

It is the universal moral rules that teach us to be moral. These rules are 5 in total.

  • Ahimsa, Don’t kill any creature.. In the philosophy of yoga, the first teaching of yoga is “non-violence”. “Okay, this point was easy, I’m already against violence!” you may be saying. I invite you to think again, if you think that you have not committed violence against people, all living things and this planet, especially yourself. In any way, even violence against human beings, animals and nature should be erased from our lives.
  • Bramacharya, Not to overdo it, not to fall for lust. In yoga philosophy, it is a word that means not to miss the measure. However, this word is perceived as avoiding sexuality, which has a different meaning over time. The person should be measured in all respects and increase his / her ability to control himself. Everything that is excessive is harmful, excessive sleep, excessive speech, overwork, overeating, it is important to balance this type of excessive habits. This is also a necessary merit in maditation. Let us come to the subject of sexuality, according to the philosophical thought system of Yoga, sexual energy is a great source of power hidden within the person. It should be measured in sexual use, this energy should be sent to the brain to a large extent, and it should be used to activate the brain more. Thus, one’s creativity and abilities emerge. It should not be perceived as giving up sexual desires. Problems that will arise when the natural flow is prevented will cause mental and physical pressure, and this will prevent progress in the path of Yoga. Therefore, it is important to establish a good balance.
  • Asteya, (Not to steal) We all steal. But in different ways… We are late to our meetings and stealing others’ time. We do our job sketchy and steal from the service we provide to others. If we are constantly negativity, we are stealing others’ life energies and happiness. Apart from material theft, we should also stay away from theft of thoughts and ideas. Asteya is an example of confiscating something you do not deserve or not delivering a loaned item on time.
  • Satya: Telling the truth means living the truth, seeking the truth. So true sincerity.. One has to be honest in his thoughts, behaviors and discourses both against himself and others. If a person is not right and honest, how can they expect this from the other person?
  • Aparigraha: Restraining ambition and selfishness means avoiding greed. Taking only what is necessary means not acting in your own interest. It reminds us that everything you accumulate throughout life is harmful, we need to trust life, believe in ourselves and be satisfied with what we have.

2- Niyama 

What is Niyama

The concept that determines our thoughts and behaviors and shows its own moral values ​​for strengthening our will, is the facts required in our Life to be positive and stay away from negative values. It is 5 behaviors that purify the relationship we establish with ourselves.

  • Saucha, Purity, Mental and physical cleaning

The first of niyama is Saucan, which means purity and cleanliness. Sauca has both internal and external aspects. External cleaning simply means keeping ourselves clean. Internal cleansing is about the healthy and free functioning of our body organs, as in the state of mind clarity. Asana or pranayama practices are the necessary tools to fulfill this inner Sauca. While asanas strengthen the whole body and remove toxins, pranayama cleanses our lungs, oxygenates our blood and purifies our nerves. But clearing the mind and its disturbing feelings such as grudge, greed, anger, lust, greed, vassaciousness and pride are more important than physical body cleansing.

  • Santosa, Satisfy and Enjoy Life

It evokes being humble and contented with what we have. Even when experiencing life difficulties, one is contented with one’s own lifestyle, to be peaceful. We must accept and try to be satisfied to “accept what is happening.” This means being happy with what we have, rather than being unhappy with what we don’t have.

  • Tapas, Minimizing wishes and desires, avoiding extra

It represents effort applied to body, mind, spirit and language. Thanks to body tapas, it is purified from harmful substances that disrupt the purity of the mind and body. The body is programmed to survive and it works for it. What we need to do is to help him continue his struggle with perfection. Tapas involves taking care of what we eat, what we drink, what we read, what we watch, what we think. It aims to make conscious nutrition a part of everyday life, as someone with an increased level of knowledge about their own needs. It is possible to contribute to the more efficient operation of both the digestive and excretory systems of the body with natural products as much as possible, balancing the nutritional needs of the body. Choosing to eat only when we are hungry and paying attention to taking what we need naturally, focusing the food slowly will also be one of our efforts to nourish our body. Tapas helps us to destroy all our desires that come our way while trying to achieve our goal.

  • Svadhyaya, ability to face, focus, self-knowledge

Meditation here means working, caring and getting information because if we take the word as adhyaya, adhyaya means working and reading. As a result, svadhyaya means something like self-study, self-reading. The concept appears in this sense both in the sutras of Patanjali and in Upanishad.

  • Isvara pranidhana, surrender to God and truth

Ishvara pranidhana is the last step of niyamas. Meaning of the word; it means to understand the existence of the real, the immutable, the absolute, and surrender to it. Knowing that everything comes from it and the return will come to it and comes from a source; it also makes a great contribution to the change of the person’s behavior patterns.

3- Asana

What is Asana

Concept showing yoga movements and yoga postures.

Asanas give health, beauty, strength, endurance, lightness, brightness, nervous calmness and happiness. The fruit of the practice of Asana is spiritual awakening, awareness and freedom from all dualities.

Initially, Asanas should be done slowly, without straining the body. The benefits of making asanas correctly and regularly are:

  1. Spinal flexibility increases
  2. Joints are moving and flexing
  3. The muscles strengthen, relax, rejuvenate and take plenty of oxygenated blood.
  4. The functions of internal organs and glands are in order
  5. Immune system is strengthened
  6. Lymphatic system and metabolism come alive
  7. Circulation and blood pressure become normal and balanced
  8. The nervous system calms down and strengthens
  9. The texture is fresh and alive
  10. Urinary system comes alive
  11. The digestive system is made healthy
  12. Reproductive system is in balance
  13. Respiratory system is strengthened
  14. The whole body comes alive and strengthens
  15. All organs work harmoniously

At Asana, postures make the spine work in various ways, flexing, softening and making it healthy. The central nervous system is fed and strengthened with oxygenated blood. Body exercises stretch joints, strengthen and lengthen muscles, stimulate and stimulate internal organs. It releases blocked energy, the body becomes energetic and alive. All body, organs and muscles are washed with nutrients, oxygenated blood and bioenergy. Each cell is purified, renewed and revitalized. Respiratory, nervous, cardiovascular, circulatory, digestive and excretory systems are healthier and work efficiently. The brain functions are regulated, the mind becomes sharp, stress is relieved and fatigue is eliminated.

4- Pranamaya

What is Pranamaya

The right breathing exercise.

Prana means energy of life in air and air. patch means controlling or directing. In yoga, it is used to cleanse the blood, send plenty of oxygen to the cells, get rid of toxic substances, increase concentration, get rid of stress and tension, and feel good and energetic.

Pranayama is one of the cornerstones of yoga. Proper breathing is vital in many respects and provides numerous benefits. Pranayama teaches us to breathe right. When applied regularly, it increases concentration. It helps our body and mind to be comfortable and calm.

How to do Pranayama

  • The right nostril is closed with the thumb of the right hand.
  • All breath is exhaled through the left nostril, then breathed through the same nostril.
  • At the deepest point of the breath, the left nostril is closed with the index finger of the right hand and exhaled through the right nostril.
  • In the same position, breath is taken through the right nostril. At its deepest point, the nostril is closed with thumb and exhaled from the left. In this way, at least 3 more rounds should be continued.
  • It should start with exhalation.

5- Pratyahara

What is Pratyaha

the way to reach inner peace, the method of controlling one’s Senses, getting rid of feelings and emotions.

Pratyahara means retreat. The word Ahara means nutrition, Pratyahara, on the other hand, is translated as the self-withdrawal of what feeds the senses. In yoga, the term Pratyahara refers to the withdrawal of senses from adherence to external objects. This can be seen as the practice of non-attachment to sensory distractions, while the person is constantly returning to the path of self-realization and reaching inner peace.

Pratyahara, that is, the retreat of the senses, means that the 5 senses have stopped interacting with the objects. With the perception of 5 senses ceased, pain, happiness, heat, cold, etc. loss of all worldly concepts occurs. Just as you sleep, your senses are withdrawn and you do not tend to perceive objects; You will experience this situation consciously when the pratyahara phase is completed. In short, it is a phase of consciousness freed from the misleading of the senses.

6- Dharana

What is Dhanara

In Dharana, the aim is to focus the mind’s attention on a fixed being and make it stable and stable.

When you are busy with a job, there is always the danger of turning your attention away from the job at hand. Your mind turns to something other than the work in front of you, and in the end you completely forget the work you have done. This is a problem for everyone. Here yoga and meditation practices are necessary to ensure that people can see what is right in front of them.

Dharana means the unaffected concentration of the mind. The basic idea is to keep concentration or concentration of attention in a direction. When the body becomes stronger with asanas, the mind is purified by pranayama fever and the senses are controlled by pratyahara, sadhaka reaches the sixth stage, Dharana. The mind person concentrates on a single point or a task he is fully engaged in. The mind must be calmed to achieve this full concentration.

7- Dhyana

What is Dhyana

The form of meditation that does not focus on just one thing but covers everything.

Dhyana means worship or deep and abstract religious meditation. It is a state of complete contemplation. It involves concentrating on a focus point in order to know the truth about it. According to this understanding, when someone concentrates his mind on an object, the mind takes the shape of that object. Therefore, when a person focuses on the divine, it reflects more and recognizes its nature better.

8- Samadhi

What is Samadhi

the state of tranquility where the mind is integrated gradually by meditation.

The last step on the eight-story path of Yoga is to reach Samadhi. Samadhi means to merge, to merge. In the case of Samadhi, the body and perceptions are immobile, as when the person is asleep, but the mind and mind are alert as they are awake, the person has gone beyond consciousness.

These eight steps of Yoga show the logical way to result in physical, ethical, emotional and psycho-spiritual health. Yoga does not try to change the person, instead it allows the state of natural health and integration in each of us to become reality.

What are the Benefits of Yoga?

  • Provides mental relaxation
  • Provides strengthening of metabolism
  • By breathing correctly, it increases the Oxygen level.
  • Reduces stress and gives mental comfort
  • Provides focus
  • Allows the body to gain flexibility
  • It allows you to get rid of chronic pain.
  • Strengthens reflexes
  • It strengthens the joints and corrects the posture disorder.
  • Regulates blood flow
  • It calms the nerves
  • Increases self-confidence
  • Prevents depression
  • It takes tiredness
  • It helps to relieve discomfort such as insomnia and headache.

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