The Five Points of Sivananda Yoga
The classical teachings of yoga and the essence of living a yogic lifestyle are summarized into five universal principles, otherwise known as The Five Points of Sivananda Yoga. These principles provide the framework for a life of optimal physical health, mental awareness and spiritual growth.
- Proper Exercise
- Proper Breathing
- Proper Relaxation
- Proper Diet
- Positive Thinking and Meditation
Most forms of exercise today usually cause the body to be fatigued, tight, out-of-breath or strained. In fact, many of them insist that you should feel pain in order to validate its success. A good yoga practitioner, on the other hand, completes a session of yoga poses, feeling relaxed, yet full of radiant energy. This is mainly due to the fact that the poses are meditatively held for a certain period of time and combined with deep abdominal breathing.
Regular and consistent practice of the Sun Salutation and the 12 Basic Postures activate the body’s pressure points and focus on the spinal column which is the base of the body’s central nervous system. This not only contributes to a strong, toned body, but also increases flexibility, massages the internal organs and enhances the flow of prana.
The majority of people today use only a fraction of their lung capacity and breathe in a shallow manner. Conversely, full yogic breathing makes maximum use of the lung’s capacity by involving the clavicular, intercostal and abdominal areas.
In addition to bringing oxygen to the blood and brain, proper breathing exercises such as Kapalabhati and Anuloma Viloma rid the lungs of stale air, revitalize the body and control the prana. By gaining control of your prana, you gain control of your mind. Pranayama, therefore, is the science of breath control.
It may be surprising to know that people who carry tension in the body, mind or spirit can still get a full eight hours of sleep without actually relaxing. Proper relaxation is a process that is deeper than sleep and those who practice it achieve peace of mind, good health and abundant energy.
Savasana, or the Corpse Pose, is practiced several times within a basic session of Sivananda Yoga. It helps to release both conscious and subconscious tension in the body (physical relaxation); eradicate the mind of negative thoughts and vibrations (mental relaxation); and detach yourself from the confines of your own ego (spiritual relaxation).
Everything should be done in moderation and the same applies to food and drink. A yogic diet is lacto-vegetarian and sattvic, meaning it consists of pure, natural and nutritional food choices. These include fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, herbs and spices, milk, legumes, nuts, seeds, honey and herbal teas.
A proper diet also refers to the way that you approach food. Preparing meals with love and attention, eating for the purpose of nourishment instead of emotion, expressing gratitude, consuming consciously and avoiding overindulgence ensures the purity of both body and mind.
Positive Thinking and Meditation
The last, but not the least, of the five points in Sivananda Yoga is positive thinking and meditation. Everyone is capable of it; the key is to get out of your own way. By following the Twelve Principles of Meditation, you train your mind to focus on one point and therefore become still enough to understand your own true nature.
Negative thoughts and vibrations only hinder this blissful state of meditation. So, to contribute to a profound sense of peace and oneness with the universe, keep a positive, happy, creative and humble outlook on life; partake in activities such as silent walks in nature and joyous singing; be open to continuous self-improvement; and finally, learn from the philosophies of great minds.
My girlfriend has talked about this type of yoga in the past and I kind of ignored her but after reading your article it seems that it’s a way to have a more positive life. I might join her as it seems beneficial 🙂
Practising yoga with a partner only deepens the relationship!
Wow when i visited your site, it really calmed me..i know that sounds weird but everything from your logo and theme, was very refreshing and fits your niche really well. As for the five points of yoga i absolutely agree that all the points mentioned such as diet and proper breathing all go hand in hand.
Thank you for the feedback Jazzy, much appreciated!
Great article, thank you!
These are all good things to think about. I must admit that I struggle with the last point.
Finding a balance in all these areas are very important and something everyone should strive for.
It is indeed! And you’re welcome Vicky!
I love the five principles of living. The explanation of the difference between sleep and relaxation has me thinking.
Also the harshness of traditional exercise makes it difficult to do the older you get. I see people doing Yoga into their 80’s. I can see myself doing it more and more as I get older.
That’s the beauty of it. Yoga is a way of life that can be adopted at any age, by any person.
You really break down the principles of Yoga in this very simple but equally informative post. I love Yoga, but I have only engaged in the exercise and breathing aspects (in other words generic yoga). It is nice to see that there is a lot more to this and I would love to explore it in more depth. Thanks for sharing. Loved your post and site. This is one site I know I will be coming back to frequently.
You’re welcome Mimi. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Hope to hear from you often!
Very informative article on yoga! I think that the proper diet part is the most important. Here in the U.S., our food is killing us! I am usually most tired after eating..
Anyways, thanks again for the article. Now I just got to put some of it in practice…lol. Proper relaxation would probably be the hardest one for me. 🙂
Take a look at some of the superfoods you can easily add to a western diet. If you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything! Happy practising, Jeff!
We do need all of those principles. However, I don’t know much about yoga. I will try to search about it more, how to practice it.
Thank you very much for your article.
You’re welcome Erna!
Very beautifully written..simplified and accurate! Pleasure to see you are taking Yoga and meditation to the common people around the world. This is indeed the most beautiful task and contribution to our universe. Loved every article of yours.. so keep it up. Yoga was always my part of physical life but meditation gave a 360 degree change in my outlook in last five years. Will surely endorse your this step to all my friends.
Love n grace….
Thank you for the kind words Aarti. So glad you enjoy Body Mind Light!
It’s no accident that I came across this site today. I really need a better way to manage stress and emotions. I’ve looked into this before, my daughter has been doing this for years. I guess I am not sure where to start. Can you recommend a starting point for beginners? Maybe the 12 basic poses? Thanks.
A good starting point will always be to sign up for yoga classes. Under the guidance of a certified instructor, you’ll be sure to start off on the right foot! Happy practising, Scott!
The Five Points of Sivananda Yoga Are the 5 ways of living a yogic lifestyle. The first step is proper exercise. Most exercise today leaves people out of breath, strained, and tired. After a yogi completes his poses, he feels relaxed yet full of energy. The poses are meditative combined with deep abdominal breathing. This increases flexibility, creates a toned body, enhances the flow of vital energy and massages the vital organs. Yoga exercise is great for cancer patients, it’s not hard on the body and creates an environment for cancer to not thrive.
The second step is breathing correctly. Most people breath very shallow, and through yoga learn to use maximum lung capacity, which revitalizes the body and brings more oxygen to the brain. Bringing more oxygen to the brain not only helps your body revitalize but it also helps keep it more healthy. Oxygenating you body and its cells keeps away cancer.
The third step is better relaxation. And through a session of Sivananda yoga what is called the corpse pose is used a few times throughout the session, and it releases conscious and subconscious tension in your body, helps detach yourself from your ego, and helps eradicate your mind of negative vibrations and thoughts.
The fourth step is proper diet, which first states everything should be done in moderation. A yogic diet is lacto vegetarian which means they eat milk products, fresh fruits, veggies, whole grains, honey, legumes, nuts, seeds, and herbal teas. It is of course eating slowly, with gratitude, not overindulging, and preparing meals with love and nourishment in mind. A diet such as this, especially if you are eating raw fruits and veggies is also great for cancer patients.
The fifth step is positive thinking and meditation. During meditation you are to focus on one point, become still, and focus on your true nature. Negative thoughts hinder this, so acknowledge them, let them pass, then turn them into positive thoughts. You need a creative, humble, positive, joyful outlook on life that focuses on consistent learning and self-Improvement while staying at peace within yourself. Meditation and positive thinking had also proven to help cancer patients.
Hi! Delightful article with loads of knowledge and insight. I practice meditation myself for the past year now and have witnessed substantial benefits that you can’t really buy. Awareness is the big one for me. Also, ego is another one that will keep us from abundance. I wish meditation and yoga was taught in school from our childhoods. Imagine where society would be if we were handed meditation from early life? We are all one, at the end of the day.
Well said, Robby!
First of all I love your little logos that go with each idea. Did you make those? They are perfect. Wanna share with all my friends!
Next thank you for the very quick but important lesson. I have just recently gotten into Yoga and learning more about it helps me to find my why and keep doing it until I feel like a real yogi. its true that leaving a yoga class doesn’t feel like I have had a full on workout all the time but I know that my body is getting stronger and thats whats important. As a teacher do you still take a lot of classes from other teachers?
Thanks Molly! I didn’t make the logos, no, they are from other digital artists!
With regards to your questions: Yes! As a teacher, its extremely important that I keep learning. I do still take classes and learn from other teachers on a regular basis. There will never be a point where I would feel like I have learned everything. There is always room for more and always opportunities to improve and grow. 🙂