Swami Vishnudevananda used to convey his teachings through the Five Point Yoga System. He was one of the first yogis to bring ancient Yogic traditions to West. He was called “The Aviator” because he flew over Soviet Berlin during the cold war while waving a message of peace and tolerance.
This system is not a variation on classical Yoga, but a way to help us understand it. By learning about these five points, we can appreciate how they become one.
“Yoga” means “union,” and it is the union of these five Points:
Asanas are physical exercises or postures. They enhance the flexibility, strength, and toning of all parts of the body. It includes muscles, joints, tendons, and ligaments. It also improves circulation.
For many people, Yoga and Asanas are the same things. This misunderstanding happens only because they are not aware there are other disciplines involved.
( You can look good and feel comfortable in your yoga leggings while practicing asanas. If you like the look above, you can get it here.)
Pranayama comes from the Sanskrit words “Prana,” which means “vital energy,” and “Yama,” which means “control.”
Pranayama is the name given to yogic breathing. We can also call it conscious breathing.
No one needs to be taught to breathe to survive, so Pranayama is a technique used to increase energy, relieve stress, and improve sleep quality through more efficient breathing.
3) Deep relaxation
Deep relaxation is an intermediate step for meditation. It also brings incredible benefits as being more focused, and reduce stress.
To achieve deep relaxation, you need to use Pranayama. Leaving your mind blank and breathe deeply through your nose does the trick.
The most well-known asana for deep relaxation is Savasana or Corpse Posture. It is very simple at first sight because it seems to consist only in lying down, but getting your body and mind to relax fully may be challenging.
4) Vegetarian diet
Yogis practice the “do no harm” philosophy. Therefore, killing or hurting animals is not part of the Yogic lifestyle.
Adopting a vegetarian diet means eating natural foods the body can digest fast and easily. When you have a heavy meal, the body spends a lot of energy and fluids in digesting. You can feel sleepy and even sick after eating too much.
Instead of eating processed foods, meat and sauces (ketchup, mustard, BBQ, mayonnaise, etc.), they recommend using natural spices like cardamom, cumin, turmeric, and Himalayan salt. Spices both bring out the food flavors and help you heal from the inside out.
5) Positive Thinking and Meditation
Positive thinking and meditation are related, but they are not the same. Meditation is practiced a certain time a day while positive thinking should be our habitual state of mind.
It is important to have a positive mind state because it will help us relieve the stress our daily lives bring. Everything that happens has a lesson in it, we will always be grateful for new experiences and try to find the silver lining.
Do you see how these five points work together? Without meditation and deep relaxation, you will not find peace in your mind. You will get tress will make you sick.
If you don’t get more flexible and practice Asanas, your body will weaken. And if you eat processed foods loaded with sugar, your body will also get unwell.
The goal is to prepare our bodies and minds to reach enlightenment, and it can only be achieved when our bodies are clean and our spirits happy.