Affiliate disclosure: As an Amazon Associate, we may earn commissions from qualifying purchases

What Is Bigan Yoga? A Guide To Principles, Benefits, And Asanas

Discover the origins, principles, and advantages of Bigan Yoga. Learn the basic and advanced asanas, breathing techniques, meditation practices, and yoga philosophy in this comprehensive guide.

What is Bigan Yoga?

Bigan Yoga is a holistic practice that combines physical postures, breathing techniques, , and philosophical principles to promote overall well-being and self-realization. It is a traditional form of yoga that originated in ancient India and has been passed down through generations. Bigan Yoga focuses on harmonizing the body, mind, and spirit, allowing individuals to cultivate a deeper connection with themselves and the world around them.

Definition and Origins

The term “Bigan” originates from the Sanskrit word “Bhoga,” which means enjoyment or pleasure, and “Yoga,” which means union. Together, they signify the union of enjoyment and yoga, emphasizing the idea that through the practice of Bigan Yoga, individuals can find joy and fulfillment in their lives. The of Bigan Yoga can be traced back to the ancient yogic texts, such as the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, which provide guidance on various aspects of yoga practice.

Principles and Philosophy

Bigan Yoga is guided by a set of principles and a philosophy that underpins its practice. One of the fundamental is the belief in the interconnectedness of all things. Practitioners of Bigan Yoga understand that their actions and choices have an impact not only on themselves but also on the world around them. This philosophy encourages individuals to cultivate compassion, kindness, and empathy towards themselves and others.

Another principle of Bigan Yoga is the emphasis on self-discipline and self-discovery. Through regular practice, individuals learn to cultivate discipline in their lives, which extends beyond the yoga mat. This self-discipline helps individuals develop a greater sense of self-awareness and introspection, leading to personal growth and self-realization.

Bigan Yoga also incorporates the concept of balance and harmony. Practitioners strive to create a balance between effort and surrender, strength and flexibility, and stability and ease. This balance extends to all aspects of life, helping individuals find equilibrium in their relationships, work, and daily activities.

Benefits and Advantages

The practice of Bigan Yoga offers numerous benefits for both the body and the mind. Physically, regular practice can improve strength, flexibility, and overall fitness. The various asanas, or postures, in Bigan Yoga help to tone and strengthen the muscles, increase flexibility, and improve posture. Additionally, the practice of asanas can enhance circulation, boost metabolism, and promote overall physical well-being.

Bigan Yoga also offers mental and emotional benefits. The focus on breath control and mindfulness in Bigan Yoga helps to calm the mind, reduce stress, and improve mental clarity. Through the practice of meditation, individuals can develop a greater sense of inner peace, clarity, and emotional stability. This can be particularly beneficial for managing anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.

Furthermore, Bigan Yoga promotes a sense of connection and unity. By cultivating compassion and empathy towards oneself and others, practitioners develop stronger and more fulfilling relationships. The practice of Bigan Yoga also encourages individuals to connect with nature and the world around them, fostering a greater sense of environmental awareness and responsibility.

In summary, Bigan Yoga is a comprehensive practice that encompasses physical, mental, and spiritual aspects. Its in ancient India, coupled with its guiding and philosophy, make it a powerful tool for self-transformation and self-realization. The numerous benefits, both physical and mental, make Bigan Yoga a valuable practice for individuals seeking to enhance their overall well-being and lead a more balanced and fulfilling life.

Benefits of Bigan Yoga:

Physical Benefits Mental and Emotional Benefits Other Benefits
Improved strength and flexibility Reduced stress and anxiety Enhanced sense of connection
Toned muscles and improved posture Increased mental clarity and focus Greater environmental awareness
Improved circulation and metabolism Emotional stability and well-being Stronger and more fulfilling relationships
Increased physical fitness Enhanced sense of inner peace and calmness Personal growth and self-realization

Basic Asanas in Bigan Yoga

Bigan Yoga incorporates a variety of asanas, or yoga poses, to promote physical and mental well-being. In this section, we will explore three fundamental asanas in Bigan Yoga: Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose). These form the foundation of a Bigan Yoga practice and offer numerous for the body and mind.

1. Tadasana (Mountain Pose)

Tadasana, also known as Mountain Pose, is a simple yet powerful asana that helps in grounding and centering oneself. To practice Tadasana, follow these steps:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing forward.
  2. Distribute your weight evenly on both feet, feeling a sense of stability and balance.
  3. Engage your leg muscles and lift your kneecaps slightly.
  4. Lengthen your spine, imagining a string pulling you up from the crown of your head.
  5. Relax your shoulders, allowing them to roll back and down.
  6. Keep your chin parallel to the ground and gaze forward.
  7. Take slow, deep breaths, feeling a connection between your breath and your body.

Tadasana not only improves posture and body alignment but also helps in developing focus and concentration. It can be practiced as a standalone pose or as a starting point for other asanas.

2. Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend)

Uttanasana, or Standing Forward Bend, is a rejuvenating asana that stretches the hamstrings, calves, and hips while calming the mind. Follow these steps to practice Uttanasana:

  1. Stand in Tadasana, with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Exhale and gently bend forward from the hips, keeping your spine long.
  3. Allow your head and neck to relax, releasing any tension.
  4. If possible, place your palms or fingertips on the floor beside your feet. If this is challenging, you can bend your knees slightly or use blocks for support.
  5. Focus on lengthening your spine with each inhalation and deepening the stretch with each exhalation.
  6. Hold the pose for several breaths, feeling a gentle release in the back of your legs.

Uttanasana not only stretches the muscles but also calms the nervous system, relieving stress and anxiety. It can be a wonderful pose to practice in the morning or after a long day to help relax the body and mind.

3. Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose)

Bhujangasana, or Cobra Pose, is a gentle backbend that strengthens the back muscles and opens the chest, promoting flexibility and vitality. Here’s how to practice Bhujangasana:

  1. Lie on your stomach with your legs extended, feet together, and toes pointing backward.
  2. Place your palms on the mat, slightly below your shoulders, fingers spread wide.
  3. Press the tops of your feet into the mat and engage your leg muscles.
  4. Inhale and slowly lift your head, chest, and upper abdomen off the mat, using the strength of your back muscles. Keep your lower abdomen and pelvis grounded.
  5. Roll your shoulders back and down, opening your chest and lengthening your neck.
  6. Gently gaze forward or slightly upward, without straining your neck.
  7. Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the stretch in your spine and the energizing effect on your body.

Bhujangasana not only strengthens the back and core muscles but also stimulates the digestive organs and improves circulation. It can be practiced as part of a warm-up sequence or as a standalone pose to invigorate the body and increase focus.

By incorporating these basic asanas into your Bigan Yoga practice, you can experience improved posture, increased flexibility, and enhanced mental clarity. Remember to listen to your body and modify the poses as needed to suit your individual needs and limitations. As you progress on your Bigan Yoga journey, you can explore more advanced asanas and deepen your practice.

Breathing Techniques in Bigan Yoga

Breathing techniques play a vital role in Bigan Yoga, helping practitioners achieve a state of mindfulness and connect their mind, body, and spirit. By focusing on the breath, individuals can enhance their overall well-being and experience a deeper sense of relaxation and inner peace. In this section, we will explore three fundamental breathing techniques in Bigan Yoga: Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath), Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing), and Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath).

1. Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath)

Kapalabhati, also known as Skull Shining Breath, is a powerful breathing technique that cleanses and energizes the entire body. The word “kapalabhati” is derived from the Sanskrit words “kapala” meaning skull and “bhati” meaning shining or illuminating. This technique involves rapid, forceful exhalations through the nose while keeping the inhalations passive. The forceful exhalations create a pumping action in the abdomen, helping to expel stale air and toxins from the lungs.

To practice Kapalabhati, find a comfortable seated position with your spine erect. Take a deep breath in, filling your lungs with fresh air. Then, forcefully exhale through your nose, contracting your abdominal muscles to push the air out. Allow the inhalation to happen naturally without any effort, and then repeat the forceful exhalation. Start with a slow pace and gradually increase the speed as you become more comfortable with the technique.

The benefits of Kapalabhati are numerous. This technique not only improves lung capacity and oxygenates the blood but also stimulates the digestive system and detoxifies the body. It invigorates the mind, increases mental clarity, and helps to relieve stress and anxiety. Regular practice of Kapalabhati can also improve concentration and focus, promoting a sense of overall well-being.

2. Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing)

Anulom Vilom, also called Alternate Nostril Breathing, is a balancing and calming breathing technique in Bigan Yoga. This practice involves inhaling through one nostril and exhaling through the other, alternating between the left and right nostrils. The word “anulom” means with the grain or natural order, and “vilom” means against or opposite. This technique helps to balance the flow of prana (life force energy) in the body, harmonizing the left and right hemispheres of the brain.

To begin Anulom Vilom, sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Place your right thumb on your right nostril, gently closing it. Inhale deeply through your left nostril, filling your lungs with fresh air. Once you have fully inhaled, release your right thumb and place your ring finger on your left nostril, closing it. Exhale slowly and completely through your right nostril. Continue this pattern, inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through the right, then switching sides. Aim for a smooth, steady breath without any strain or force.

The practice of Anulom Vilom offers numerous to both the physical and mental well-being. It helps to purify the nadis (energy channels) in the body, promoting balanced energy flow. This technique enhances respiratory function, improves lung capacity, and purifies the blood. Anulom Vilom also calms the mind, reduces stress, and increases mental clarity. Regular practice of this breathing technique can improve focus, enhance memory, and bring about a sense of inner tranquility.

3. Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath)

Ujjayi Pranayama, also known as Victorious Breath, is a powerful breathing technique that creates a soothing sound resembling ocean waves. The word “ujjayi” means victorious or conquering, referring to the control and mastery achieved through this breath. Ujjayi Pranayama involves gently constricting the back of the throat while breathing in and out through the nose. This constriction creates a slight resistance to the air, causing a gentle hissing or whispering sound.

To practice Ujjayi Pranayama, find a comfortable seated position and relax your body. Take a deep breath in through your nose, allowing the air to fill your lungs. As you exhale, slightly contract the back of your throat, creating a gentle restriction in the passage of air. This will produce the characteristic sound of Ujjayi Pranayama. Continue breathing in this manner, focusing on the sound and the sensation of the breath moving in and out of your body.

Ujjayi Pranayama offers various , both physical and mental. It helps to regulate and deepen the breath, improving lung capacity and oxygenation of the blood. This technique warms the body from within, increasing internal heat and promoting detoxification. Ujjayi Pranayama also calms the mind, reduces anxiety, and promotes a meditative state. It can be particularly helpful in balancing the energy and concentration during asana practice, allowing for a more focused and centered experience.

Advanced Asanas in Bigan Yoga

In Bigan Yoga, advanced asanas take practitioners to the next level of physical and mental strength. These postures require a deeper focus and concentration, challenging the body and the mind in unique ways. Let’s explore three advanced that can take your Bigan Yoga practice to new heights.

Sirsasana (Headstand)

Sirsasana, also known as the Headstand, is often called the “King of Asanas” due to its numerous benefits and the sense of empowerment it brings. This inversion posture strengthens the upper body, particularly the arms, shoulders, and core muscles. It also improves blood circulation to the brain, enhancing mental clarity and focus.

To practice Sirsasana, start by kneeling on the mat and interlacing your fingers. Place the crown of your head on the mat, forming a tripod with your forearms and head. Slowly lift your knees off the ground and straighten your legs, coming into an inverted position. Keep your core engaged and breathe deeply as you hold the pose for a few breaths, gradually increasing the duration as you gain strength and stability.

Bakasana (Crow Pose)

Bakasana, commonly known as the Crow Pose, is an arm balance that requires both strength and balance. It strengthens the wrists, arms, and core muscles while also improving focus and concentration. As you balance on your hands, you cultivate a sense of stability and control, both physically and mentally.

To practice Bakasana, begin in a squatting position with your feet hip-width apart. Place your palms firmly on the mat, shoulder-width apart, and spread your fingers wide. Slowly shift your weight forward, lifting your heels off the ground. Bend your elbows slightly and bring your knees onto the back of your upper arms. Engage your core muscles and lift your feet off the mat, finding balance on your hands. Hold the pose for a few breaths, gradually increasing your endurance over time.

Natarajasana (Lord of the Dance Pose)

Natarajasana, also known as the Lord of the Dance Pose, is a graceful and challenging backbend that combines strength, balance, and flexibility. This asana opens up the chest and shoulders, stretches the thighs and hips, and improves overall body coordination. It also symbolizes the balance between effort and surrender, encouraging practitioners to find harmony within themselves.

To practice Natarajasana, begin by standing tall with your feet hip-width apart. Shift your weight onto your left foot and bend your right knee, bringing your heel towards your glute. Reach your right hand back and hold onto the outer edge of your right foot or ankle. As you inhale, lift your right foot upwards, simultaneously extending your left arm forward. Find your balance and gently arch your back, opening your chest towards the sky. Hold the pose for a few breaths, feeling the stretch in your quadriceps and the expansion in your heart center.

Incorporating these advanced asanas into your Bigan Yoga practice will not only challenge your physical abilities but also deepen your connection with your body and mind. Remember, it’s important to approach these poses with patience and respect for your body’s limits. Allow yourself to progress gradually, listening to your body and honoring its unique journey.

In the next section, we will explore the profound practice of meditation in Bigan Yoga, delving into different techniques that can help you cultivate mindfulness and inner peace.

Meditation in Bigan Yoga

Meditation is a fundamental aspect of Bigan Yoga, offering practitioners a pathway to inner peace, self-awareness, and spiritual growth. In this section, we will explore three specific types of meditation commonly practiced in Bigan Yoga: Mindfulness Meditation, Loving-Kindness Meditation, and Transcendental Meditation. Each of these techniques has its unique approach and , allowing individuals to cultivate a deeper connection with themselves and the world around them.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation, also known as Vipassana Meditation, is a practice that involves paying non-judgmental attention to the present moment. It encourages individuals to observe their thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations without getting caught up in them. By cultivating mindfulness, practitioners develop a heightened sense of awareness and become more attuned to the present.

During Mindfulness Meditation, one focuses on the breath as an anchor to the present moment. By bringing attention to the inhalation and exhalation, individuals can train their minds to stay present and avoid getting carried away by distractions. This practice allows one to observe thoughts and emotions as they arise, without judgment or attachment.

Mindfulness Meditation has been scientifically proven to have numerous benefits for both mental and physical well-being. Regular practice can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, while also improving concentration, memory, and overall cognitive function. It can also enhance self-compassion and empathy, leading to healthier relationships and a greater sense of interconnectedness with others.

Incorporate Mindfulness Meditation into your Bigan Yoga practice by finding a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or lie down. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice the sensation of the breath entering and leaving your body. Whenever your mind wanders, gently bring it back to the breath, without judgment. Start with short sessions and gradually increase the duration as you become more comfortable with the practice.

Loving-Kindness Meditation

Loving-Kindness Meditation, also known as Metta Meditation, is a practice that cultivates feelings of love, compassion, and goodwill towards oneself and others. It involves repeating specific phrases or intentions to foster a sense of universal love and interconnectedness.

The practice of Loving-Kindness Meditation begins with directing loving-kindness towards oneself. One may silently repeat phrases such as “May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.” By extending love and compassion towards oneself, individuals can develop a strong foundation of self-care and self-acceptance.

Once a sense of self-love is established, practitioners then extend these feelings towards loved ones, acquaintances, neutral individuals, and even difficult people or enemies. The intention is to cultivate a boundless sense of love and compassion, recognizing the inherent worth and dignity of all beings.

Loving-Kindness Meditation has been shown to have profound effects on emotional well-being and interpersonal relationships. Regular practice can increase feelings of happiness, reduce negative emotions such as anger and resentment, and enhance empathy and compassion towards others. It also fosters a sense of interconnectedness and promotes a more inclusive and harmonious society.

To practice Loving-Kindness Meditation, find a quiet and comfortable space where you can sit or lie down. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind. Begin by directing loving-kindness towards yourself, repeating phrases such as “May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I live with ease.” After a few minutes, extend these feelings towards others, starting with loved ones and gradually expanding to include all beings.

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation, often referred to as TM, is a technique that involves the use of a mantra to transcend ordinary thinking and access a state of deep relaxation and inner peace. It is a simple and effortless practice that can be easily learned and practiced by anyone, regardless of age or background.

During Transcendental Meditation, individuals sit comfortably with their eyes closed and silently repeat a mantra. The mantra is a specific sound or phrase chosen by the practitioner, given to them by a certified TM teacher. The repetition of the mantra helps the mind settle down and enter a state of deep restfulness.

The practice of Transcendental Meditation allows the mind to experience a state of transcendence, where thoughts become less dominant, and the individual connects with their innermost self. This state of deep relaxation has been found to have numerous benefits, including reduced stress and anxiety, improved focus and concentration, and increased creativity and self-awareness.

Transcendental Meditation is unique in that it does not require concentration or control of the mind. It is a gentle and effortless practice that allows the mind to naturally settle into a state of deep stillness. Regular practice of TM can lead to a wide range of , including improved physical health, enhanced emotional well-being, and increased spiritual growth.

To practice Transcendental Meditation, it is recommended to receive instruction from a certified TM teacher who can guide you through the process and provide you with a mantra that is suitable for you. With regular practice, you can experience the profound benefits of TM and cultivate a deeper connection with your inner self.

Yoga Philosophy in Bigan Yoga

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

The practice of Bigan Yoga encompasses more than just physical postures. It is rooted in a comprehensive philosophy known as the Eight Limbs of Yoga. These limbs serve as a guide for practitioners to achieve a holistic and balanced approach to life. Each limb builds upon the previous one, leading to self-realization and spiritual growth.

  1. Yama – The first limb focuses on ethical principles and moral conduct. It includes concepts such as non-violence (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), non-stealing (asteya), celibacy (brahmacharya), and non-greed (aparigraha). By practicing these principles in daily life, individuals cultivate compassion, integrity, and self-discipline.
  2. Niyama – The second limb emphasizes self-discipline and self-care. It comprises practices such as cleanliness (shaucha), contentment (santosha), self-discipline (tapas), self-study (svadhyaya), and surrender to a higher power (ishvara pranidhana). These practices help individuals cultivate inner strength, self-awareness, and gratitude.
  3. Asana – Asanas, or physical postures, are the most well-known aspect of yoga. They help develop strength, flexibility, and balance in the body. In Bigan Yoga, specific asanas are practiced to improve overall health and well-being. Some basic asanas include Tadasana (Mountain Pose), Uttanasana (Standing Forward Bend), and Bhujangasana (Cobra Pose).
  4. Pranayama – Pranayama refers to breath control techniques. It involves regulating and channeling the breath to enhance energy flow and promote mental clarity. Bigan Yoga incorporates various pranayama techniques, such as Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath), Anulom Vilom (Alternate Nostril Breathing), and Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath).
  5. Pratyahara – Pratyahara is the withdrawal of the senses from external distractions. It involves turning inward and cultivating inner awareness. By practicing pratyahara, individuals can detach themselves from sensory distractions and direct their attention inward, preparing for meditation.
  6. Dharana – Dharana refers to concentration or focused attention. It involves training the mind to concentrate on a single point, such as the breath, a mantra, or an image. Through dharana, practitioners develop mental clarity, focus, and the ability to control wandering thoughts.
  7. Dhyana – Dhyana is the state of meditation or sustained focus without distraction. It is the uninterrupted flow of consciousness towards a chosen object of meditation. In Bigan Yoga, various meditation techniques are practiced, including mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and transcendental meditation.
  8. Samadhi – Samadhi is the ultimate goal of yoga, often described as a state of blissful union with the divine. It is a state of profound meditation where the individual experiences a sense of oneness and transcendence. Through dedicated practice, one can attain self-realization and liberation from the cycle of birth and death.

The Concept of Ahimsa (Non-violence)

Ahimsa, or non-violence, is a fundamental principle in Bigan Yoga. It extends beyond physical violence and encompasses all forms of harm, whether through actions, thoughts, or words. Practicing ahimsa involves cultivating compassion, kindness, and respect for all living beings, including oneself.

By embracing ahimsa, individuals learn to live in harmony with others and the environment. It encourages them to resolve conflicts peacefully, promote social justice, and protect the natural world. Ahimsa also extends to one’s inner thoughts and self-talk, promoting self-acceptance and self-love.

In Bigan Yoga, practitioners are encouraged to apply ahimsa on and off the mat. This means being mindful of their actions, words, and thoughts, and choosing non-violent alternatives whenever possible. By embodying ahimsa, individuals create an environment of peace and acceptance within themselves and the world around them.

The Role of Meditation in Self-realization

Meditation plays a crucial role in the journey of self-realization in Bigan Yoga. It is a practice that allows individuals to quiet the mind, cultivate inner stillness, and connect with their true essence. Through regular meditation, one can explore the depths of their consciousness and gain insight into their thoughts, emotions, and beliefs.

Meditation is a powerful tool for self-reflection and self-discovery. It helps individuals develop self-awareness, emotional resilience, and a deeper understanding of their innermost desires and aspirations. By observing the fluctuations of the mind without judgment, practitioners can cultivate a sense of detachment and find inner peace.

In Bigan Yoga, various meditation techniques are employed to suit different individuals and their unique needs. Mindfulness meditation involves focusing on the present moment and observing thoughts and sensations without attachment. Loving-kindness meditation cultivates feelings of compassion, love, and kindness towards oneself and others. Transcendental meditation uses mantras to transcend the thinking mind and access deeper states of consciousness.

Through consistent meditation practice, individuals can experience profound transformation and spiritual growth. It helps them realize their interconnectedness with all beings and awaken their true potential. By integrating meditation into their daily lives, practitioners can cultivate a sense of inner peace, clarity, and purpose.

In conclusion, the philosophy of Bigan Yoga encompasses the Eight Limbs of Yoga, guiding practitioners towards self-realization and spiritual growth. The principles of ahimsa promote non-violence and compassion towards all living beings. Meditation serves as a powerful tool for self-reflection and self-discovery, leading individuals to a deeper understanding of themselves and the world around them. By embracing these philosophies and practices, individuals can embark on a transformative journey towards holistic well-being and inner peace.

Leave a Comment