There are three important factors that should be considered to create a proper personal yoga practice that can be sustained.
To learn more about Yoga Stages check Yoga teacher training in Rishikesh.
The first stage of life: childhood, adolescence, and youth.
In general, during the first part of life, when one is growing up, the practice of yoga should help the correct development of the mind and body.
A solid practice of vinyasa krama, doing a series of carefully selected vinyasas, with synchronized breathing, will help to exercise all the muscles and joints of the skeleton.
This will stimulate both rakta sanchara ( blood circulation ) and prana sanchara ( circulation of prana or energy ).
In about 30 minutes, approximately 100 vinyasas can be done, including rest breaks.
In ancient times, even young children, when they began Vedic studies with Upanayana, would have to do pranayama mantra with Nadi shodhana. In one day they can do about 40 pranayamas or less. This will help reduce Tamas and clear the mental cobwebs and also effectively eliminate much of the waste products from the body. About 15 minutes of pranayama in a good yogasana, strictly following the guidelines of a competent and confident teacher, can be done daily.
Another practice that was performed even from an early age is some meditation procedure. Even children can do, for example, 108 repetitions of Gayatri mantra a day, in the morning ( Japa ). It helps young people to maintain a good concentration or ekagrata very useful during the early life of the student. Japa is a very effective way of training the mind to be able to concentrate easily, so as not to lose the ability or samskara to remain focused ( ekagrata ) and to be easily distracted ( vikshepa ).
yoga in the different stages of life
It is convenient to pay some attention to the yamas and niyamas, as well.
This is the general procedure that can be followed during the years of growth and is known as vridhi krama.
Some variations can be incorporated into this general method to meet individual variations :
But what about the weird young man who is interested in the philosophy of yoga? Sometimes you find a sixty-year-old boy who wants to learn the posture ( viparita vrikshasana ) as his grandson, while a young man can show enormous interest in the esoteric aspects of yoga, it can be kaivalya or jivan mukti. Such young people can begin to study the rich yogic literature available such as sutras, Samkhya karika, upanishads, and other books. Asanas, vinyasas, pranayama, Dharana meditation, Japa, and singing may be necessary for young people interested in philosophy, but they should begin to study these texts regularly and with intensity.
The middle part of life is important as it is when one achieves what can be achieved in life. Very rarely much is achieved in old age, take it from me. So the yoga that one practice must be useful to maintain good mental and physical health.
Hatha yoga is a complete system to maintain good health. The three aspects of Hata yoga, asanas, pranayama, and then mudras facilitate access to every part of the body.
Yoga is a sadhana sarvang a, a practice for all parts of the body, according to my Guru. It is able to benefit all parties ( sarvanga ).
So, in general, middle-aged people will do well to practice asanas (postures) with their vinyasas (movements), and then they will spend a good amount of time in static asanas and in some of them as sitting postures they can practice the proper practice of pranayama.
Pranayama is one of the most innovative yoga procedures. It is exhaustive and is especially useful for the two vital organs in the thoracic cavity, the lungs, and the heart, svasakosa, and hridayakosa.
It is also said to reduce tamas or laziness.
Next, one must practice mudras. The mudra viparitakarani is also an exceptional innovation of hatayogis: they are the classic investments, sirsasana or posture on the head, and s Sarvangasana or what is known as candle posture. In both asanas, the head is on the ground.
Staying in these positions for a significant amount of time, say five to fifteen minutes, is considered very beneficial. You can also take advantage of the investment and practice prolonged exhalation followed by mule bandha and uddiyana bandha for a short period of time.
In this way, fluids in the lower part of the body flow to the upper part. Cerebrospinal fluid moves to the head, and venous blood in considerable quantity returns to the heart due to gravity and bandhas.
The investments also help the various vital organs: the heart, lungs, and other pelvic organs, such as the uterus, return to their original position, and the bandhas help gently massages these organs and improve vascularization.
These procedures, asanas with vinyasas, pranayama, and static postures, especially investments and other powerful asanas such as paschimatanasana and Mahamudra, help access internal organs and help maintain their positional integrity and health.
According to my Guru, when internal organs move from their intended positions due to gravity, laxity, postural defects, they become less efficient and, in due time, get sick, and these investments and special asanas and bandhas could be Very useful for maintaining the health of different systems during middle age.
A few minutes of meditation will also help improve concentration.
In addition, singing and studying philosophy can be useful.
Therefore, this general approach is called stithi krama or health maintenance during adulthood.
Also, in this case, the general method may have to be modified for people with specific conditions. For example:
The latter procedures, which will be included in cikitsa krama or therapeutic approach, can be learned from a yoga therapist with the concurrence of the doctor who normally consults people today. The medical profession is more tolerant to yoga these days.
The krama that must be followed in old age will have to be different and is known as laya krama. People work less or retire completely during the last stage of life.
Asanas and simple vinyasas. A few rounds of pranayama and Japa will form the basic practice.
Yoga in the different stages of life
Singing and study, and an equally important contemplation on the concepts and truths set forth in texts such as yoga sutra and Vedanta, can bring considerable peace and tranquility to mind.
If one is inclined towards religion, prayer and bhakti yoga can be of great help to keep the mind at peace when approaching the end.