Pragya Yoga- Introduction
The set of ancient practices, techniques, methods, and habits that originated in ancient India collectively are known as Yoga. Yoga was originally a technique to enhance and increase spirituality, become closer to God, control the emotions, and keep the body healthy. Much time has passed since the formation of yoga, now the original technique is very much diversified. People started adding their own touch and flavor to the technique, hence it resulted in the various new forms, methods with same number of applications. Such a unique development in the yoga sector is Pragya yoga.
Pragya yoga was developed by Sriram Sharma Acharya. He was born on 20th September in 1911 in India. From the early age he was immersed in the study of yoga and practice of the yogic teachings. He from that age was involved with yogic gurus, and researched the yoga science very deeply. Since then, he travelled to Himalayas many times, met the sages, researched, and mastered the yoga. He in his lifetime has accomplished much in the field of yoga, he also had authored many books on all aspects of life in addition to Pragya yoga. With his efforts, research and dedication yoga science possessed Pragya yoga.
Pragya yoga is the method derived by the acharya after studying many forms of yoga. They go through various selective sadhanas, to master the Pragya yoga as intended by its creator. Pragya yoga includes the comprehensive teaching of all major forms of yoga. Bhakti yoga, Gyan yoga, Hatha yoga, Raja yoga, Karma yoga, Tantra yoga and Mantra yoga collectively forms Pragya yoga.
Pragya yoga begins with the offering of the eternal devotion to the almighty with the Bhakti yoga. The first step of yoga is the devotion to the higher self. We devote ourself to the universe and the almighty who made everything. The devotion is started with the help of the one of the most supreme Hindu mantras in the world- The Gayatri mantra.
Gyan yoga is the yoga of knowledge. Gyan is everything, Gyan is the thing that makes the humans special in the world. Even the animals have the physical body some even like ours but Gyan is the thing that makes us different from them Gyan is transferred either by the help of the guru or self-learning and research.
Karma yoga, is the yoga of action and work. The karma is done without expecting anything in return. When krama is done without any greed and with whole heart devoting to almighty, it reaps the best fruits. Everybody that is part of the universe has their own karma, even the non-living beings and the planets and space bodies have their karma.
Raja yoga is one of the purest forms of yoga knowledge. It is said that the most special of the people have the ability to master the Raja yoga. It is the yoga that governs over the mind and emotions. The person who practices the Raja yoga can get over their emotions and control the mind in the perfect way. Yogis and sages use Raja yoga to control and make their mind their servant. It is due to the same reason they are beyond greed and corruption.
Hatha yoga.is the yoga that governs over breath and physical body. Breath is the life in all of us, the moment breath leaves the person’s body their soul leaves the boy. Hatha yoga is the yoga that uses the breathing techniques to enhance the body physically and spiritually. By controlling the breath many impossible changes can be made into the body.
Manra yoga, is the form of yoga which uses the chanting of the mantra to balance the energy within oneself and obtain higher spirituality. The use of mantra to achieve something, this type of method has been used since ancient times. There are thousands of mantras with attachment to specific deity and with unique features. In the Pragya yoga, we use Gaytri mantra to perform the yoga and each posture is associated to one fragment of the mantra.
There are sixteen postures in Pragya yoga, and all these postures are related to the Gayatri mantra. The postures are complete and yield full result when they are use collectively as one with the Gayatri mantra.
The sixteen postures are as follows:
Tad asana- The first position
It is the first posture of Pragya yoga. To perform Tad asana, one should first stand straight and remain stable in their feet. Tad asana relates to om bhuh of Gayatri mantra. Chant “om bhuh” then raise both hands upward while inhaling the air continuously and deeply. Then look upward the sky and hold the breath inside. All these actions should be done continuously while chanting the mantra.
Advantages of Tad asana:
- It is known to keep the heart strong and healthy.
- It removes impurities from the blood.
- When Tad asana is continuously practiced, constipation and the problems related with the bowl moments ceases to exist.
- It provides a sense of calmness to the mind and gives courage to the person who practices it continuously in their lives.
Pad Hast asana- Second position
The mantra associated with the second position is “Om Bhuvah”. Chanting this mantra bring your hands down from Tad asana then slowly bend the body downward with the front facing. Then bring your hand at the same level as your feet’s. You should try to touch the ground with your palms and knee with your head.
Advantages of Pa Hast asana:
- This posture enhances the strength of the body by powering Susma Nadis and pin galas.
- This posture of Pragya yoga is known to remove gastric problems.
- It also sheds down the extra unwanted fat of the waist region.
Vajra asana- Third position
“Om Swah” is the third mantra of third position of Pragya yoga. Now, fold the knee and make the seat for the body with the feet. The backbone should be kept erect. Then place both hand in the knees to rest.
Advantages of Vajra asana:
- It helps to relax and get rid of the tension.
- It helps with hernia and other intestine relate problems such as gas and constipation.
- Bood supply to the mid portion is also improved with Vajra asana
Ustr asana- The fourth position
This position uses the mantra “Tat”. To perform thin position, stand on the knees with the toes resting on the ground. Then bend backward slowly, try to rest the palm of the hand on the feet of the either side. Now, inhale deeply and try to look backwards.
Advantages of Ustr asana:
- Good exercise of the mid-section of the body like chest, stomach and hands.
- The spine will be strengthened.
- Healing of the back problems.
- Makes the heart strong.
Yoga mudra- The fifth position
The mantra for yoga mudra is “savitur.” To do this position, exhale the air and sit into the Bajra asana position. Now, bend forward with the hands in the back raising. Now, bend as much as you can and try to reach the ground with the forehead.
Advantages of Yoga mudra:
- This practice activates Manipura chakra.
- It improves the metabolic activities within the body.
- It helps the people with severe gastric problems.
Ardha tad asana- The sixth position
The mantra for this position of Pragya yoga is “Varenyam.” To do this sit in the similar position as that of the Vajra asana, then raise both hand above the head chanting the mantra.
Advantages of Arha tad asana:
- It increases blood flow in the heart.
- It makes the person courageous by strengthening the heart.
- Gives the muscle of hand and neck a nice toning.
Sashank asana- The seventh position
“Bhargo” is the mantra for tis asana of Pragya yoga. For this posture at first sit in the similar position of that of Vajra asana, then keep both hands stretched above the head. Now, slowly bend towards the ground. Make the stomach tough the thigs and the head touch the ground.
Advantages of Sashank asana:
- It removes constipation and makes the muscle more powerful.
- It‘s main area of impact is the digestive system. It keeps the digestive system efficient.
Bhujanga asana- The eighth position
“Devasya” is the mantra of the eighth position of Pragya yoga. For this posture, lie backwards and lift the chest region using the hands. The knees and thighs should touch the floor. Then, maintaining this position look towards the sky.
The advantages of Bhujanga asana are as follows:
- It strengthens heart, back and spinal cord of the body.
- It is also good for the liver and kidneys.
Tiryak Bhujanga asana left- The ninth position
The mantra of this posture of Pragya yoga is “Dhimahi.” For this posture, start with being in the posture of Bhujanga asana, then bend the head to the left side of the body to see the left heel. After few seconds return the head to normal position.
The advantages of Tiryak Bhujanga asana left are as follows:
- Good for spinal cord
- Enhances the muscle flexibility of the body.
- Strengthens the back side of the body.
Tiryak Bhujanga asana right- The tenth position
The mantra of this posture of Pragya yoga is “Dhiyo.”For this posture, start with being in the posture of Bhujanga asana, then bend the head to the right side of the body to see the right heel. After few seconds return the head to the normal position facing forward.
The advantages of Tiryak Bhujanga asana right are as follows:
- Well-toned muscle of the back and stomach region.
- The body strength and hand muscle will grow stronger.
- Good for heart and spinal cord.
Shashanka asana- The eleventh position
The mantra for the eleventh position of Shashanka asana of Pragya yoga is “Yonah.” The step and posture of the eleventh form of the Pragya yoga is the exact same of that of its seventh form. Moreover, it also has the same benefits to the body.
Ardha tada asana- The twelfth position
The mantra for the twelfth position is “prachodayat.” The step and posture of the twelfth position of Pragya yoga is the exact same of that of its sixth position. Also, it’s advantages are same.
Utkat asana- The thirteenth position
The mantra for the thirteenth position is “Bhuh.” Now, stand on the toes, also the heels of the foot should not touch the ground. The calves of the body should touch the hip, sit in that position. Then bring out the hand at the front side, in the cheat. Then make the hand position at the posture of namaste. The back should be in the erect position and the berating should be uniform.
The advantages of Utkat asana are as follows:
- It strengthens the calves of the body.
- The muscles of the body are strengthened.
- The body enhances its balance sense.
Padhast asana- The fourteenth position
The mantra for the fourteenth position of Pragya yoga is “Bhuvah.” Now, the step and posture of the fourteenth form is exact same of that of it’s second form. Moreover, it also has the same benefit and advantage to the body.
Yoga mudra asana- The fifteenth position
The mantra for the fifteenth position of Pragya yoga is “Swah.” The posture of the fifteenth position is same of that of the fifth position. The posture has the same impact on the body and activate the Manipur chakra.
Returning to the original position- Sixteenth position
The mantra for the final position of Pragya yoga is “Om.” The sixteenth mantra Om is chanted to complete the sixteen steps of the Pragya yoga. By, chanting the mantra Om the body is relaxed and every position is retracted. The person lets his body become still without movement and feel the energy.
These sixteen postures and mantras complete the one cycle of Pragya yoga. A person can do one cycle and stop or even can do more than one cycle. There is no restriction to how many cycles of Pragya yoga one can do at one time. If you can do more than one cycle you definitely can. However, if you are a beginner trying to perform the Pragya yoga, one cycle is enough for you.