Yoga Philosophy and Ayurveda as base for Yoga therapy

 نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Yoga Therapy and Menopause‬‏
 Yoga Philosophy and Ayurveda as base for Yoga therapy

To deal with menopause symptoms with Yoga Therapy tools we need to understand the Yoga and Ayrveda view of human structure.
 Nathamuni`s “Yoga Rahasya“ describes stages of human life.
Yoga practice is different for people in different age.

نتيجة بحث الصور عن ‪Yoga Therapy and Menopause‬‏
1. SRSTI KRAMA – period of active learning and growing. Girls were prepared for the future life. Asana part is the most important here (4:2:1)
2. STHITI KRAMA – period of stability – yoga is for good health and also for therapy if needed. Asana part is less and the main tool is pranayama (2:4:1). Prana stores our energy. In this period women have a lot of responsibility, a lot of things to do and not so much time for themselves. It is period of fertility and also menopause starts. Practice must give more energy and to maintain good health. Pranayama as a main tool helps to calm down very quickly giving stability instead of agitation.
3. LAYA KRAMA / ADHYATMIKA KRAMA – last stage of life, free of responsibilities, time for yourself, to observe what is inside of your heart, also preparation for leaving from this life. Yoga practice is more meditative. Asana and pranayama must be done in smaller parts (1:2:4)
Focus is different for every stage, but every stage prepares the next one. During the period of menopause most women still lead active lives, Stithi krama, with many responsibilities at work and many still have youngsters living at home. Teenage life and menopause in the same family may be a challenging situation. There could be possibility that there are small children in a family because nowadays women getting birth in middle age. They need to take care of their physical and psychological health.

Five elements
There are five elements (forms of matter) and three doshas as a base for human structure in Yoga and Ayrveda.
Earth (prthvi) – the solid state of matter, who`s characteristic attribute is stability, fixity or rigidity. Earth is stabile substances.
 Water (apa) – the liquid state of matter, who`s characteristics attributes is flux. Water is substance without stability.
Fire (agni) – the power that can convert a substance from solid to liquid to gas or vice versa. Increasing or decreasing the substance`s relative order. Fire is form without substance; it`s characteristic attribute is transformation.
 Air (vayu) – the gaseous state of matter who`s characteristic attribute is mobility or dynamism. Air is existence without form.
Space (akasa) – the field from which everything is manifested and into which everything returns; the space in which events occur. Space has no physical existence; it exists only as the distances that separate matter. 
These 5 elements condense to the Three Doshas: vata, pitta and kapha. (see table 1.)
Table 1. The five elememets and the three doshas
                               The five elements                     The three Doshas
Qualities and functions in the world
-----à Pitta

   ¯                                  ¯                                   ¯

VATA                         PITTA                         KAPHA
(Air)                            (Fire)                           (Water, Earth)

Dry                              Oily                             Oily
Light                           Sharp                           Heavy
Cold                            Hot                              Cold
Clear                            Light                           Smooth
Mobile                         Liquid                         Static
Subtle                          Intense                                    Slow
Rough                         Fluid                         Soft
Irregular                                                          Slimy                                                              
Figure 2. The important qualities of the three doshas
3.3.1. Health, disease and Three Doshas
Ayrveda’s seers isolated three forces which are particularly important, because they permit us to understand associations that exist between seemingly unconnected casual pathways and manifested symptoms within an organism. These forces are called the three doshas. The word dosha means “fault,” “mistake,” “imperfection,” although the doshas are paradoxically forces that both preserve an organism`s balance and rhythm when they are themselves balanced, yet will disturb its harmony when they are disturbed. Like prana, these three doshas are invisible forces which can’t be directly perceived. Only their actions can be demonstrated, through the bodily substances, which are their vehicles. These include (but are not limited to) nervous impulses for vata, bile for pitta, and mucus for kapha.
These three doshas are condensations of the five mahabhutas - the five “great elements”
·         Vata, the body`s principle of kinetic energy, is in change of all motion in the body and mind.
·         Kapha, the principle of potential energy, is the stabilizing influence in the living being; it also lubricates and maintains.
·         Pitta, which is in charge of all transformation in the organism, controls the balance of its kinetic and potential energies.
The three doshas pervade the body, working in every cell at every instant, but they concentrate themselves in those tissues in which they are particularly required:
·         Vata is particularly active in the brain, nervous system, the heart, colon, bones, bone marrow, lungs, bladder.
·         Pitta concentrates in the brain, liver, spleen, small intestine, endocrine glands, skin, eyes, blood.
·         Kapha is most prevalent in the brain, joints, mouth, head and neck, stomach, lymph, pleural cavity, pericardial cavity and fat.
Each of the doshas has five varieties, or subdoshas. Although these subdoshas tend to act as if they were distinct entities, they are merely specializations of the three doshas, created by Nature to perform specific tasks.
·         The five kaphas are manifest in body lubricants, including stomach mucus, pleural and pericardial fluid, saliva, synovial fluid, and cerebrospinal fluid.
·         The five pitas appear in transformative substances, including the digestive juices, haemoglobin, melanin, rhodopsin, and various neurotransmitters.
·         The five vatas divide the body into spheres of influence according to the direction of their motion: forward and back in the chest, upward in the head, circular in the digestive tract, outward and inward in the periphery, and downward in pelvis.
Even though they are imperceptible to our senses, the three doshas are still forms of matter. They are more conscious matter than is the matter that makes up the body, which allows them to influence the body efficiently, and they are less conscious than prana, the thinking mind, and the emotions. These higher structures can therefore efficiently control the doshas – but only in those people who have carefully aligned their prana, thinking mind, and emotions with the higher consciousness of the soul and the spirit. Others tend to align their awareness’s with what is going on their bodies – which allows them to fall prey to imbalance of the dosha forces.
Vata, pitta, and kapha are “waste products” created during the subtle metabolism of the higher forces that are prana and its associates, tejas (the universal fire that discriminates and digests, also called agni) and ojas (the subtle glue that integrates body, mind, and spirit together into a functioning individual). Proper elimination of these physical wastes helps to maintain healthy levels of the doshas within the body: urine is vehicle for removing the kapha force, sweat carries away excess pitta force, and defecation expels excess vata force. When an organism is healthy, little waste is produced; when it is poor health, waste will accumulate. This is one of the main reasons why those who possess good health tend to amass more of it, and those who are sick will usually get sicker until they change their ways.
Like all other substances, the three doshas also possess qualities, and their increase or decrease in your system depends upon the similar or antagonistic qualities of everything you ingest – physically, energetically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
All substances and all activities increase and decrease the three doshas according to their qualities. In particular, it is almost always the case that anything dry increases vata, anything hot increases pita, and anything heavy increases kapha, for vata is the only dry dosha, pitta the only hot dosha, and kapha the only heavy dosha. If we wished to express this reality in awareness terms, we might say that vata communicates dryness to the organism, that pitta`s message to a person is heat, and finally, that kapha proclaims heaviness throughout the being.

Panca Maya Model
We are not just a physical, physiological body, but we have different kind of energy levels, different components that make us human beings. We all are unique individuals, changing dynamically all the time, which is an important fact to accept. During menopause changes occur on all levels. Understanding these layers through Yoga philosophy may clarify situation in life to many women.
As human beings we all have five important domains, levels, layers, structures in yoga philosophycalled Panca Maya. Panca = five, Maya = domain, that spreads and moves everywhere. The layers are interconnected, what happens in one level influences the others. The five layers are: Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vijanamaya and Anandamaya. (Taitrya Upanishades chapter two).
Annamaya is the physical, physiological part of us. It has weight, shape and texture, it is gross and definable. Annamaya is nourished with food. It has seven dhatus, which are fundamental support structures for our body. The whole system of dhatu is to produce the best seed in order to sustain life. Matter has a time limit, consciousness has not, body has a time limit and consciousness knows it.
Annamaya is the container of all the other mayas and needs some warmth to work. It does not need to be perfect in shape, but good in function; it’s more important how it works than how it looks. In one maya exist the others.
Evolution of the human system:
According to modern science, nerves start from the brain and spinal cord. According to yoga, nadis are similar to nerves, but they start from the base of spine, the muladhara. The nadis carry prana to every part of the human body. Brain comes later than the mula. Our first feelings and sensations come from there; our fundamental feelings are older than our brain. Mula is the source; it’s a single cell having all the layers in it. The most predominant layer is prana; it is energy and sensations.
Our energy is depending on what is in the mula, in the earth that we came from. How our early sensations were, challenging or easy, give an impact on how our system evolves. But we are not fixed - we are changing. Energy depends also on the space that we have, space in our heart. We have to give importance to our past, but always remember that the past is not fixed, we can work to change it by changing our attitude.
We all have a similar amount of energy, but we have clouds that are on the way, this happens in every cell of our body. The space is different, it’s significant how much space you feel you have inside you, and do you feel free or tight. Mula is partly energy and matter. This combination of matter and space determine mula, it’s always changing.
Annamaya leads to Pranamaya, our energy level. Food we eat gives us energy. Pranamaya is changing according to many things like seasons or depending on the task we are going to do: we can have a lot of energy for one job, and none for another one. In the Pranayama level we have five fundamental pranas: Prana, Apana, Vyana, Samana and Udana.
Prana is responsible of breathing, how we get energy. It is the chest area, lungs. Prana is that which is distributed to every layer of the body, it’s the nourishment we have after digesting.
Apana is lower abdominal region, responsible for elimination and also for pregnancy. Energy depends on how our physical and emotional elimination works. Often we are stuck with emotions, we cannot let go.
Sometimes we hold our emotions, we don’t want to let go, and we reject elimination. Sometimes we don’t want to receive compliments, we reject prana.
Vyana is the distribution channel that has to work well. If something is blocking it is affecting prana and apana, depending on where the knot is.
Sometimes we don’t have control of what we get, but we can influence what we do with it.
It is important to have Prana and Apana in balance:
        Elimination                     Nourishment
        Apana                                Prana                        IN BALANCE
        Exhale                                 Inhale
        Prithvi                                Akasa
Samana is responsible for digesting physiological and psychological elements; it is situated in the navel area. Udana in throat area is responsible for communication.
We cannot increase prana, but we can let it flow more smoothly, by taking away obstacles we can regulate its flow. That will give us more space, take away the tightness, the constriction = dukha, and give balanced flow to prana, more space = sukha.
When we get more space in the heart we have sukha, nothing is an obstacle. If we enjoy what we are doing there are no obstacles. The obstacles are not outside, but inside us. Our knots can be anywhere in our body. There are certain places in the body that hold energies. If knots are in the navel area, the energy is not flowing smoothly, it gets suppressed, and we feel very tired, the distribution of prana is prevented.
The Prthvi and Akasa of our ancestors influence our Mula. Prana is defined by the space Prthvi allows, if its structure becomes tight flow of prana is narrower. Nadis take prana through the channels to every level of the body. When we get older we become drier, Vata starts to dominate and the passage gets drier, matter limits space. We need to maintain the liquidness of our body. We get loss of prana if the structure is rigid. In burn out the whole system dries out. Importance of what structure brings us, what it does to the space inside us.
Prana brings lightness to every part of our body. That light is already within us. Prana switches on the light. When something is light it feels warm. When there is warmth, prana flows. Warmth is also at the emotional level, it’s happy, relaxed, alive, pleasantfeeling, which makes our potential manifest, and our creativity and memory will improve. The movement of prana is fine when you feel warm, not only by temperature.
Follow the breath, concentrate on prana, doing the movement with the flow of prana. Quality of prana is revealed through quality of breathing.
Prana is life force. The subtlest element it manifests in is space. The element of space has a function, expansion and contraction. Breath is in every cell, expanding and contracting. Prana is conscious breathing.
Manomaya is our intellectual level, mental faculty, learning and remembering things, for us to behave in the world. In this philosophy, the mind is a function, present in every part of our body; it’s not an organ. We remember because of our memory (smrti). Smrti is related with patterns (samskara). We all have our own mind, mental faculty, our patterns are established in our memory. Some issues we learn consciously and some come unconsciously, much cultural behaviour is received unconsciously, and sometimes we realise it when we are abroad in a different culture. Smrti and samskaras are strongly connected. Memories are linked with associated feelings and habits. In Manomaya we observe and develop habits. Asana is a new pattern for body where function is more important than form. With yoga we try to replace one samskara with other and smrti can be replaced with other.
Vijnanamaya is our fundamental behaviour, our personality, our deeper patterns form fundamental base for our behaviour. This level includes our samskaras, our habits. It has also our vasanas - impressions from our past that influence us. Some impressions leave a big mark inside us; others pass quickly, depending on the incident and our sensibility. What the act is not as important as how we take it. Vasanas influence our samskaras, our deep behaviours and our strong patterns. With yoga we can find tools for change; to change our attitude, to grow out of our difficult experiences, to let them become lighter. Our predispositions  - svabhavas for situations are different and they are very difficult to change.
Mahat influences vijanamaya. Mahat has Vasana and Svabhava in it. To balance our mahat, we need faith, Sraddha, conviction and support that hold us. Sraddha is something valuable, which is lifting us.
In vijanamaya we have our conviction to life. The more positive Sraddha we have, the easier it makes our life. Intense sraddha leads us to confidence and not to fear. Every person in this world has access to Sraddha. It is a gift of survival, individual and collective. Sraddha is the sunlight in us that we have to follow.
Anandamaya is the deeper domain of emotions. We have to resolve Vijanamaya to reach Anandamaya. Sraddha generates fire, Agni. Changing samskaras from negative to positive requires heat, unless we have heat, we cannot transform. In Anandamaya we have our fundamental feelings, we don’t know it in its full capacity. It is impossible to repeat in any form, or to remember or to put in words. It is experience. It is beyond senses.
All of this Panca Maya is a matter of manifest but we are not only manifest beings. We also have the unmanifest in us, the self, purusa, which is the sixth layer, Cinmaya, our life force. In that we are all the same, it is unmanifest and it is not changing.

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