Acharya Hari's books​

What is Yoga?

Ultimate Solution of most problems faced by Humanity:

Yoga is a practice and way of life that everyone can benefit at any age. It is free from boundaries of any place, time, caste, creed, religion, dress or display, ahead of their times, uplifts our consciousness and makes life purposeful. It is a blessing of nature and a divine remedy for each and every one including the elderly facing ageing and retirement, youth stuggling to progress in life, housewives in taking care of children and home, working mothers in maintaining their career, executives who need to work hard to stay successful in life and anyone facing stress and tension in life.

Yoga is an effective system for permanently solving the universal problem of terrorism. It is capable of pacifying the youth, understanding them and bringing them into mainstream of life. Yoga is defined as “योगःकर्मसुकौशलम् – yogaḥ karmasu kausalam.” It means focussed working by every human being to achieve Excellence. It suggests that do your activities in such a focussed and perfect way that nothing should remain to add to it. When everyone works in this spirit, there is no need to have more than what you worked for or deserved besides their work keeping everyone busy and healthy. It will stop the mad race for materialistic gains or comforts and everyone will be happy and satisfied. It is such a simple solution for most of our problems.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth.

The origins of yoga have been speculated to date back to pre-Vedic Indian traditions, it is mentioned in the Rigveda, but most likely developed around the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, in ancient India’s ascetic and śramaṇa movements. The chronology of earliest texts describing yoga-practices is unclear, varyingly credited to Hindu Upanishads and Buddhist Pāli Canon, probably of third century BCE or later. The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali date from the first half of the 1st millennium CE, but only gained prominence in the West in the 20th century. Hatha yoga texts emerged around the 11th century with origins in tantra.

Yoga gurus later introduced yoga to the west, following the success of Swami Vivekananda in the late 19th and early 20th century. In the 1980s, yoga became popular as a system of physical exercise across the Western world. Yoga in Indian traditions, however, is more than physical exercise, it has a meditative and spiritual core. One of the six major orthodox schools of Hinduism is also called Yoga, which has its own epistemology and metaphysics, and is closely related to Hindu Samkhya philosophy.

Many studies have tried to determine the effectiveness of yoga as a complementary intervention for cancer, schizophrenia, asthma, and heart disease. The results of these studies have been mixed and inconclusive, with cancer studies suggesting none to unclear effectiveness, and others suggesting yoga may reduce risk factors and aid in a patient’s psychological healing process.

General Guidelines, Precautions, Best Time & Place for Yoga Practice

“Indeed, one attains immortality by awaring the Consciousness through every experience. Through one’s self one attains power, through Knowledge one attains immortality.”   

                                                                    – Mantra-4, KENA Upanishad-II, Vedas

The yoga schedule has been designed for optimal health to all age groups and significantly for seniors. Easy to do kriyas, pranayama, meditation and cleansing are practiced stepwise with upgradation of repetitions and speed according to capacity in the supervision of Yoga Guru. One need to join the Yoga Practices without waiting or thinking any more. It is simply beneficial and beneficial from every angle. Every area of Yoga is reasoned and logical as a Divine Science. For effective results, it is mainly activity that matters. Instead of too much questioning one must wait for reasonable time and results will itself be the reply for most of the questions.  Then after 120 days of practice, the body, brain and soul will be doing a lot of mutual talking due to their integration, ongoing changes and enjoyment. It will turn into a consistent joyful life style handling any issue logically and successfully with understanding that life means pairs of ups-downs, happiness-sadness, profit-loss and so on.

Yoga for Optimal Holistic Health is Slow, Relaxed, to Capacity & Free from Competition. Many people get injuries while doing yoga and aerobics. So, one needs to be careful while doing it. If a bone, muscle or any other part is stretched more than its capacity it may lead to dislocation, muscle pulls or something even more severe too.

Jerky and sharp movements are hints for precaution against some mistake taking place. Any area still managing to be toned up, controlled & relaxed need to feel comfortable by releasing its tension.

Yoga is not merely a physical exercise. Yoga practice must be in relaxed, smooth, slow and to capacity that produces feel-good chemicals. Theseare vital for our well-being, keeps heart and blood pressure normal due to normal deep and easy breathing, maintains free and timely flow of energy, provides vitality and relaxation to entire body and its organs. Neuromuscular connection of brain and body is maintained. 

Practice of Yogic Life Styles aim at integration of body, mind and soul through its systems of self-investigation, self-transformation and self-realization. Asanas and Pranayama make our body and mind strong and flexible which help in Meditation for higher spiritual attainments.

Yoga practice does not necessarily involve any equipment or studio. It requires focused activities of body in coordination with mind. Synching of thoughts and actions integrates our body, mind and soul resulting in holistic health. It is achieved by practicing in slow & smooth way with precision, at the start of the day in early morning, to our capacity, in a natural open environment, with normal temperature and atmospheric pressure to prepare for excellent performance at work during the entire day. 

Yogic Code of Conduct

Yama and Niyama prescribed in Patanjali’ Ashtanga Yoga as first and second   limbs are the Yogic Code of Conductor as Ethical Guidelines for Self-discipline and Regularity. These are ethical guidelines or responsibilities to be observed for true benefits of Yoga, Yama towards others and Niyama towards ourselves. Asanas, Pranayama and Meditations are 3rd, 4th and 7th limbs respectively.

Yamas are restraints and Niyamas are observances. These are considered to be pre-requisites for further Yogic practices. These reflect the timeliness and principles of living in nature – peace, compassion, awakening and awareness. For optimum benefits follow Yama-Niyama, keep your body and brain relaxed and practice according to your capacity and comfort. If unable to do any Kriya / Asana, do not force on yourself, simply feel your limits and improve step-wise. Anyone with physical conditions like heart, spinal and arthiritis should consult one’s physician before practicing Yoga.

A few dietary guidelines can ensure that the body and mind are flexible and well-prepared for practice. A vegetarian diet is usually recommended. For a person aged over 30 years, two meals a day should suffice, except in cases of illness or very high physical activity or labour.

A Yoga practitioner should follow the guiding principles given below while performing Yogic practices:

Precautions Before Practice

  1. Saucha means cleanliness – an important prerequisite forYogic practice. It includes cleanliness of surroundings, bodyand mind.

  2. Yogic practice should be performed in a calm and quiet atmosphere with a relaxed body and mind.

  3. Yogic practice should be done on an empty stomach or light stomach. Major food may be taken 90 minutes before and light meal before 30 minutes of starting yoga practice.

  4. For adequate energy, consume small amount of honey in lukewarm.

  5. Bladder and bowels should be empty before starting Yogic practices.

  6. A mattress, Yoga mat or folded blanket should be used for the practice.

  7. Light and comfortable cotton clothes are preferred to facilitate easy movement of the body.

  8. Yoga should not be performed in state of exhaustion, illness, in a hurry or in acute stress conditions.

  9. In case of chronic disease, pain or cardiac problems etc a physician or Yoga therapist should be consulted prior to performing Yogic practices. Pranayama and holding of breath or Kumbhak is to be avoided by those with Hypertension (HBP), Glaucoma or other eye problems and some serious medical conditions. 

  10. Yoga experts should be consulted before doing Yogic practices during pregnancy and menstruation.

Precautions During Practice

  1. Practice sessions should start with a prayer or invocation as it creates a conducive environment to relax the mind. Prayer is food for our soul.

  2. Yogic practices shall be performed slowly, in a relaxed manner, with awareness of the body and breath.

  3. Do not hold the breath unless it is specially mentioned to do so during the practice.

  4. Breathing should be always through the nostrils unless instructed otherwise.

  5. Do not hold the body tightly. 

  6. Do not jerk the body at any point of time.

  7. Perform the practices according to your own capacity.

  8. It takes some time to get good results, so persistent and regular practice is very essential.

  9. There are contra-indications or limitations for each Yoga practice and such contra-indications should always be kept in mind.

  10. Yoga session should end with meditation/ deep silence / Shanti-Paṭha.

Precautions After Practice

  1. Bath may be taken only after 20-30 minutes of practice, if not taken already or needed again due to sweating etc.

  2. Food may be consumed only after 20-30 minutes of practice except light intake milk, juice, water, coffee or tea etc.

Best Time and Place for Yoga Practice

Yoga Kriyas and Asanas practised in the open nature in the morning at Brahma-Muhurta i.e. 96 minutes before the sun rise strengthen the body and calm the mind. Then think of Sun representing Vishnu, the Preserver of Life and the Sun Salutation in the morning is a ritual cleansing practice. Yoga practice is under the guidance of Shiva who is the First Yogi to attain Divinity. Brahma-Muhurta time during Vata phase of early morning is the best time for Meditation as mind is inherently still at this time which allows the soul to shine and brings closer to divinity. Whatever one thinks at that time, materialises due to the dedicated and focussed Karma and the blessings of the Nature and Gods. 

There is a saying that sleeping early and waking up early is good for your health. It is scientific. You actually have an amazing & precise biological clock ticking inside your body. It is based on space, time and subtle energies surrounding us being according to the postion of our planets and stars. It helps to regulate various body functions including sleeping time. From 11pm to 3am, most of the blood circulation concentrates in the liver. Liver gets larger when filled with more blood. This is an important time when body undergoes detoxification process. Throughout the day, liver neutralizes and breaks down the accumulated body toxins. However, if we don’t sleep at this time, our liver cannot carry out this detoxification process smoothly. Unfortunately, we won’t have any time to actually detoxify your body. These toxins will accumulate in our body over time. We know what happens next.

From 3am to 5am, most blood circulation concentrates in lungs. We should exercise and breathe in fresh air. Take in good energy into the body, preferably in a garden. At this time, the air is very fresh with lots of beneficial negative ions. From 5am to 7am, most blood circulation concentrates in the large intestine. We should pass out all unwanted poop from your large intestine to prepare your body to absorb more nutrients throughout the day. From 7am to 9am, most blood circulation concentrates in the stomach. We should have breakfast which is most important meal in a day. Make sure that we have all the required nutrients from our breakfast. Not having breakfast causes lots of health problems for us in the future. That’s the way to start your day.