Body, Breath and Mind: The Three Tools of Yoga

Yoga is a natural process integrating the personality. It utilizes the natural reality that we are carrying with us. Our body, breath and mind are the reality of the moment. Yoga utilizes just this reality as the tools available to us to open other subtle dimensions of truth. Mental and physical health is the natural consequence of putting into use the body, breath and mind, the way they are meant to be used.  

Yoga

Yoga is a futuristic science of health and happiness, with a holistic vision relevant to the contemporary society. Yoga is a conscious process helping us to rise from our lower instincts to a level of normal discrimination and further elevating us to transcend normal discrimination to a calm and restful state of pure witness (ability to see the reality as it is).

Yoga not only works to bring fitness and vigor to the physical body, but also harness our breath, mental faculties (will, emotions) and expands our power of insight, vision and analysis. Yoga offers a holistic approach to life by skillfully working on body, breath and mind.

Body

The first level handling is at the body level where we employ techniques of physical relaxation. Simple asanas provide mastery over different groups of muscles by increasing the elasticity of muscle fibers and releasing tensions and stresses. The release of stresses at body level gives deep rest to all the organs and systems in our body.

Breath

The second level operation is slowing and balancing of breath. Practice of pranayama, regulates breathing and its rhythm, especially by slowing it down and also by introducing breaks between the breaths. It balances the flow of breath between the two nostrils. According to Yoga, there is close connection between the flow of respiration and the dynamics of mind. Slow breath calms the mind, enhances its clarity and bridges the gap between body and mind.

Mind

The third level handling is at the mental level. Practices of Pratyahara (sense withdrawal), concentration and meditation are used to bring clarity and calmness in mind. The rush of the senses towards their objects is brought under control by the technique of Pratyahara, where the senses start imitating the mind rather than their respective objects. Practices of concentration and meditation featured by single thought, slowness, wakefulness, expansiveness and energy conservation refines the mind to a great extent.

Thus we can summarize the principles of Yoga in three points:

  • Relaxation of all the groups of muscles
  • Slowing down of the breath
  • Calming of the mind

In this way Yoga forms a holistic perspective towards life and develops a wholesome personality.  

At Akshara Yoga School our teachers understand the methodology of Yoga to help you become a good yoga student and eventually a promising teacher.

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