Friday, June 30, 2017

Walking the Royal Road

There are many paths one can take on this adventure through the jungles of space and time, however in yoga they all start at the Royal Road. The Royal Road begins with 8 steps. These 8 steps lead one down a pathway of conscious transformation. The most difficult part is taking the first shaky steps on the path, but if you do perhaps someday it will lead you home.
Patanjali's 8 steps, called "The Yoga Sutras," lead aspiring yogis on the path of a beautifully balanced and holistic life. If one decides to embark on this journey, improved health, greater awareness and mental clarity are a few of the changes that will most likely occur. The further one travels along this road the more profound the changes. 
The Royal Road is a path that can lead to self-awareness. Focusing on becoming more mindful in our thoughts, words, and actions can help us to make better choices, and bring us closer to living an enlightened life. 
The following is a brief summary of the 8 steps. 
Yamas; moral restraints
Niyamas; moral observances
Asana; steady posture
Pranayama; control of vital energy through breath work
Pratyahara; releasing attachments
Dharana; concentration
Dhyana; meditation
Samadhi; self-awareness, enlightenment
The yamas and the niyamas are universal truths. The yamas are often considered "thou-must-nots" and are the guidelines of our relationships with others. The niyamas are "thou-musts" and they give us a foundation on which to build our relationship with ourselves. 
The next steps are asana and pranayama. Asana strengthens and purifies the body leading to radiant health. Pranayama, control of the breath, awakens vital energy which can lead to higher levels of consciousness. 
Practicing asana and pranayama may very well set you on the path to the Royal Road. The yamas and the niyamas can keep you steady and grounded on the path. Finally you may want to explore the inner world of pratyahara, dharana, dhyana and samadhi, that can ultimately bring about self-awareness, peace, and joy. 
Continuing on the path of the Royal Road will help us to develop awareness while keeping us focused on the journey, allowing life to expand joyfully.
The Sassy Seniors joined our adventure through the jungles of space and time. Our story; Walking the Royal Road. 
Science has now proven that yoga is good for the body and the MIND!
Scientist used to think that the brain always degenerated with age. However, now we know the brain and nervous system are continuously regenerating. The brain's ability to change is known as neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the brain's capacity to create new neural pathways.
Creating new neural pathways strengthen new ways of being. Areas of the brain that are active in cognitive function are active during movement. Yoga can help train the brain!
For seniors with memory care issues, focusing on the gentle movements of yoga; lifting the legs, opening the arms, flexing the fingers, and taking deep breaths help build new neural pathways. These simple movements enhance seniors' ability to perform daily activities, allowing life to expand joyfully.  
Om shanti

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