- Atyahara – Excessive Eating
- Pratyasa – Physical Exertion
- Prajalpa – Talkativeness
- Niyamagraha – Rigid Rules / Fanatical Ritualism
- Janasanga – Association with Wrong People
- Laulyam – Fickleness of the Mind
- Atyahara – Excessive Eating
1. Atyahara – Excessive Eating
According to the yogic rules of diet, the food should be sattvic in nature (vegetarian, fresh, nutritious, appetising, soft, well lubricated and easily digestible), taken at regular intervals and eaten in such quantity that 1/2 of the stomach is filled with the food, 1/4 liquid and 1/4 should remain empty for good digestion.
2. Pratyasa – Physical Exertion
Yoga asanas, pranayama and meditation are for bringing about more awareness of the body and mind as well as recharge the practitioner with vital energy – and not the other way round… There is a difference between sport exercises and yoga postures. Sports use the body to achieve specific goals regardless of whether it is good for the body or not. Yoga is for the body, so make sure that you practice with full awareness. The aim is to purify yourself and bring energetic harmony so that you become ready for the more subtle meditation practice.
3. Prajalpa – Talkativeness
We are not aware how much energy is used up for talking. It is very easy to spend hours in continuous chatter, however it does have an effect on our body and psyche. In yoga we pay particular attention to not entertain the gossip or speaking untruth. Mindless negative chit chat about other people, complaining or lying is having a bad impact on our body and mind. From the other side remaining silent for some time of the day can increase the level of our awareness and help us stay restful.
4. Niyamagraha – Rigid Rules / Fanatical Ritualism
Being rigid in any sense is opposite to being sensitive and responding adequately to unique situations. Fanatical ritualism where enthusiasm is lost creates stagnation. Mindless following of rules for the sake of rules and not for the purpose they were meant to serve is erroneous and can retard progress or even take backward.
5. Janasanga – Association with Wrong People
Other people have an impact on our thoughts and beliefs. We exchange the energy with those with whom we spend time. If we aspire to bring more awareness in our lives then it is advisable to seek the company of like-minded people interested in self-growth. Associating with those who have low levels of energy – due to negative moral conduct or junk food, alcohol and drug abuse – drains us out too. Keeping positivity and high energy level is a necessary prerequisite for successful yoga practice. Spending time in the company of good people, who take responsibility for their lives and seek self-development is very conducive for our own realisation. In Buddhist tradition very similarly one of the 3 jewels that protect the meditation practitioner is called “sangha” – the monastic order or company of the people walking the same path.
6. Laulyam – Fickleness of the Mind
Volatile, ever changing mind that is unable to keep the focus on the practice on a long-term basis is a great obstacle indeed. Yoga practice requires time. Physical body requires time to get purified and strong. The mind needs time to find stillness and silence. Our behavioural habit patterns took life time or even life times to form. To change the state of affairs from negative to positive takes years or even decades. If we want to go deep in any art or science we need to practice and study for many years. Persist in that one field to gain proficiency to reach a higher level. If for one day we are doing a thing to only change our mind and start doing something else the next day we wouldn’t be able to achieve anything. According to the teachings of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali the practice is supposed to be maintained for a long time (dirgha kaal).