Yoga is a form of exercise that helps in a variety of circumstances such as strengthening the bones, body, muscles, etc., calming the mind and body, etc. Similarly , another form of yogic exercise known as the Ananda yoga helps in self – realization. Self – realization also called self – actualization is the concept of understanding ‘ fulfillment of oneself ’. Ananda stands for happiness and hence the term Ananda asana stands for exercises that help achieve happiness.
Self – realization is the deed of knowing who ‘ I ‘ as a person am’ ; the true potential of oneself and the worth of being. All these realizations lead to true eternal happiness. It is finding the truth of who we are and what we are meant to do. This is hence very important in finding peace and purpose of existence. And as mentioned previously, this kind of self – realization and peace can therefore be brought by it by simply practicing Ananda yoga.
Ananda yoga a yogic exercise performed for higher awareness is based on the Yogoda’ s Satsanga society of India teachings and Yoganada ‘s self – realization fellowships. Ananda yoga is said to bring you back to your spiritual essence by reinforcing rise in awareness and consciousness.
Exercises that fall under Ananda yoga
Ananda yoga is a category of yoga that encompasses a specific number of yogic exercises to be performed in a specific controlled manner. There are some routine poses that are to be performed along with spiritual reading and meditation.
Bhujangasana or the cobra pose
The cobra pose is commonly known as the reclining back pose. This is one of the poses that also comes under the Surya Namaskar along with contributing greatly towards achieving self – realization, it also helps in strengthening the back and the vertebral column and helps gain an erect posture. While in the posture, breathing improves and hence one can concentrate on the breaths being taken that help in calming the mind which is the goal of Ananda yoga. The bhujangasana resembles the hooded serpent thus the derivation of the name.
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Lay flat on the ground with our chest facing downwards. Keep your hands near your chest/ abdomen. And now slowly pick yourself upwards and towards the front. Focus on your breathing and come back to your original position.
Bhujangasana has to be performed approximately 8 – 10 times and have proper steady breathing along with positive attitudes about existence and awareness.
Vrkasana (vrikshasana) or the Tree pose
Vrkasana or the tree pose is the balancing pose. This asana is done in the standing position. The tree pose not only helps with balancing but also with improving body posture alongside playing a role in Anandasana. Vrkasana is mainly focused of intense breathing and achieving a mitigated state from the worries and stresses of job, study, etc.
Stand erect and firm on a mat. Standing on one leg, raise the other perpendicularly and place it on the thigh of the other. Now as you are lifting your hands upwards from the side, breathe in and hold your breath. While releasing your breath, lower your hands and come back to your original position.
As in bhujangasana, deep and intense breathing with the correct holding posture is said to be extremely beneficial.
Balasana or the child ‘s pose
The balasana or the child ‘s pose is commonly referred to as the resting pose. The child ‘s pose is done in the kneeling position and is a form of the modern yogic exercises. This pose helps the mind relax and rest. This yogic pose is usually the last pose performed in most of the yoga regimens. It is also said to help enhance blood flow.
Kneel back and sit on your mat with your legs spread. Rest your belly between your thighs and your forehead on the floor raise your hands above your head. Breathe and let your body relax following your mind.
The balasana must be done in complete silence while blocking out any thought especially pessimistic thought. It must be carried out is a calm noise free environment.
Padmasana or the Lotus pose
The padmasana is an extremely popular type of yogic pose. This is usually a traditional pose in the Hindu, Jain and Buddhist cultures and hence is performed very often. It is a sitting type of pose. Along with helping in meditation, it also helps in strengthening of ankle and knee joint and is in many cases used for pain relief and motion flexibility.
Sit with your right leg (foot) on your left thigh. Now do the same with your left foot. Do not force yourself to do more than your body can handle. Rest your palms on the bent knees and breathe deeply. Focus on your breathing.
While performing the padmasana, one must experience a positive attitude and positive energy. It is beneficial if the asana is started with realization/ speculation before getting into the relaxation and positive phase.
Salamba Bhujangasana or the Sphinx pose
The salamba bhujangasana is a modification of the bhujangasana. The shinx pose similar to the cobra pose helps improve spinal strength and structure. It stimulates abdominal organs and helps expand shoulders and chest making one feel more confident and less doubtful about themselves or the situation. The salamba bhujangasana is said to help increase confidence thus create a mountain of positive energy and trust in ones being and existence making the process of self – realization easier and more powerful.
Lay flat on your mat with your belly facing downwards. Keep your hands right next to your ears. Pick your head up from your shoulders and breathe slowly throughout the process.
It is extremely essential that the person focus on his/ her being, breathing and have a positive vibe during this particular pose.
Along with the suggested yogic exercises, meditation and self – speculation is extremely imperative. One must also bear in mind to have a positive attitude towards life and the situations of life. You must always be optimistic and reflect on your being with a positive vibe.