Swami Vivekananda proclaimed 'each soul is potentially Divine. The goal is to manifest this Divinity within, by controlling Nature external and internal. Do it either by work or worship, psychic control or philosophy; by one or more, or all of these and be free.' The systematic methodology of unfoldment of this inner potential Divinity, by moving towards Self-perfection is referred to as Yoga by Sri Aurobindo. Yoga is thus a process by which the Animal-man ascends through the stages Man-man, Super-man and the Divine-man. In this process, the limited, narrow, selfish thinking completely changes and takes the shape of an integrated, all-encompassing, selfless character expressed by equanimity. This state of Divinity or Self-perfection is the state of pure consciousness, maximum creativity and bliss. Hence, the movement towards THAT through Yoga is a delightful, blissful process. Since every individual or society is always striving to achieve greater happiness, bliss, creativity and higher mental faculties, Yoga clearly is the real solution, both for individual fulfillment and social harmony.
Divergent are the methods of Yoga. Unless one sees the underlying unity and harmony, one is apt to lose track amidst diversities. Once the insight into the "Unity in Diversity" develops, the truth about the comprehensive nature of Yoga emerges. This central note of harmony was emphatically sounded in the speeches of Swami Vivekananda. He called for men with muscles of iron and nerves of steel. Sri Aurobindo laid stress on a comprehensive growth of personality, at the physical, mental, intellectual, emotional and spiritual levels. The present courses on Yogic practices offered by the Kendra are tailored for an all round development of the physical, mental and vital components of man.
First, some loosening and stretching exercises called Sithilikarana Vyayama are introduced which helps to make the body supple and flexible so that they aid in Asanas that are designed to conserve the energies and transform them to subtle forms of mental energies. The Asanas also provide a means to develop an inner awareness thus aiding in calming down the mind. The Cleaning Techniques, "Kriyas" help to bring about a balanced functioning of the body, thereby purifying the subtle 'Nadis'. These techniques prepare the individual for practicing Pranayama, Mudras and Bandhas.
This booklet of instruction introduces only some of the aspects mentioned above and is by no means exhaustive. While it covers no theoretical ground, the material is purely instructive in nature meant to help people in the practice of loosening exercises, these practices one gets a preparatory training for pursuing higher techniques leading to states of increasing harmony and bliss.
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