Friday, 22 July 2016

Always be a Yogi – Koala Yoga and the way to sleep

This is the way one should be sleeping. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of visitors, I am impressed to see this Koala at Currumbin* Wildlife sanctuary is sleeping with its body perfectly balanced between the tree branches. This is the way to sleep. Like a yogi who is deep meditation, and nothing else can disturb him.
In Bhagavad Gita, Chapter 6 Verse 46, this is what Lord Krishna advises Arjuna that, 
Koalas at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary

A Koala at Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
"A yogi is greater than the ascetic, greater than the empiricist and greater than the fruitive worker. Therefore, O Arjuna, in all circumstances, be a yogi”.
Generally, the moment word Yogi is heard, people take it to be someone who had given up everything in life, wearing orange clothes, leading a secluded life, of course with a long beard, one who can bend his body in any direction etc.
But, Lord Krishna in the very next verse 47 gives his opinion about the best or highest of all the yogis.
“yoginām api sarveṣā
 mad-gaten
āntar-ātmanā
 śraddhāvān bhajate yo mā
 sa me yukta-tamo mataḥ
Translation
And of all yogis, the one with great faith who always abides in Me, thinks of Me within himself, and renders transcendental loving service to Me—he is the most intimately united with Me in yoga and is the highest of all. That is My opinion”.
Further on from the Chapters and at the conclusion of Bhagavad Gita, we understand that Arjuna becomes the greatest yogi by performing his duty as a devotional service to the Supreme Lord, which is called bhakti-yoga and is considered as the ultimate perfection of all Yogas.
The word Yoga has its roots in a word called Yuj, which means to connect with the Supreme God. So, the ultimate purpose of any yoga is to connect to the supreme reality. Talking about Koala Yoga,the word Yoga today has become synonymous with a particular body posture but, in reality it is only one part called Hatha Yoga where a number of yoga poses are incorporated taking the inspiration from the nature like, Birds, Animals,trees, Reptiles and even Aquatics.(Hatha Yoga inturn is a branch or limb of Astanga Yoga which consists of Eight limbs called Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara,   Dharana,Dhyana and ultimately Samadhi).
Here is a list of some Yoga poses:-
Downward Facing Dog (Adho Mukha Svanasana): Benefits are flexibility, reduce stiffness and tension.
Cat Pose (Bidalasana): Useful for for increasing spine flexibility
Fish Pose (Matsyasana): Useful to relieve congestion in the nasal passages.
Cow Face Pose (Gomukhasana): Good for the spine (posture) and stretches both the legs and the arms.
Cobra Pose (Bhujangasana): An excellent pose to open the chest and also strengthens the spine.
Pigeon Pose (Rajakapotasana): Stretches the upper legs, increasing flexibility.
Crow Pose (Bakasana): Crow Pose is an invigorating and satisfying balancing act.
Peacock Pose (Mayurasana): This pose is good for balance and strength, but also aids the inner organs.
Eagle Pose (Garudasana): Stretching for the upper body.
Crocodile Pose (Makarasana): Excellent resting pose for relieving stress and tension.
Scorpion Pose (Vrischikasana),Frog Pose (Bhekasana),Camel Pose (Ushtrasana),
Turtle Pose (Kurmasana) etc.
* (http://www.cws.org.au/ Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary is a heritage-listed    zoological garden at 28 Tomewin Street, Currumbin, Queensland, Australia)