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Sukshma-Vyayama — system of the physical and breathing exercises which helps to sequentially work out all joints of a body, to warm it up. This system has a strong purifying effect on energy body of a human.

To understand what Sukshma Vyayama is, how to perform it correctly and what kind of results it can bring, at the beginning we will translate this mysterious word combination. Sanskrit word Sukshmа means fine, delicate. Sanskrit word Vyayama means exercise and also can be translated as to exercise, stretch and to warm up.

When starting yoga asanas practice we face that for many incomprehensible Sanskrit names there are alternative Russian words «Virabhadrasana 3» turns into "swallow", "Sarvangasana" corresponds to a "small birch" which is well-known since childhood. By analogy the Sukshma Vyayama could be named (and it is often named like this) as articular gymnastics. Such simplification is not absolutely correct, as during the practice including work with breathing, fixation of attention - drishti, cleaning exercises - Kriyas, not only physical body is worked out, but also our energy body and it is difficult to wait for such effect after common therapeutic physical training.

Vyayama practices are widespread in India. If to observe traditions of various yoga schools - practically each of them offers a variant of exercises to prepare a body for more difficult practices. Sukshma Vyayama in tradition of Dhirendra Brahmachari is not a unique Vyayama complex as some people suppose. For example, in 1956 in Madras (nowadays Chennaj) was published the book of S.S. Aiyar «Yoga Vyayama Vidya» which also clears up essence of this practice. But Sukshma Vyayama in tradition of Dhirendra Brahmachari can be called as one of the fullest and substantial, and the most-known in the world.

The fundamental name of exercises of which practice consists characterises Vyayama essence in the best way: Sansktit word VikAsaka means opening, expansion, deepening. Vyayama is a work out of various body parts, removal of blocks and clips influencing both on physical, and on a mental level. The name of exercise specifies workable area: body parts, chakras, marmas (special energy points). For example, Kaphoni Shakti Vikasaka – is an exercise for workup, improvement of an elbow strength. In this case strength is the complex conception including force, endurance, mobility and flexibility.

The complex of Sukshma Vyayama exercises can be performed as a separate self-sufficient practice lasting one and a half or two hours, allowing to work out the whole body, or as a warm-up which will help to warm up muscles and joints before performance of asanas and will make Hatha Yoga practice more effective. Yoga- therapeutist appreciate Sukshma Vyayama advantages and possibilities at its true value and include some of elements in exercises sequence.

Uniqueness of this complex is safety from traumas and availability for different categories of people - both for young, and for elderly. Despite simplicity, exercises are very effective and can be performed by both healthy, and sick. If the condition of health does not allow person to practice asanas he can start with regular practice of Sukshma Vyayama which can gradually help to get rid of many illnesses. Sukshma Vyayama is an excellent complex for beginners who will prepare themselves for more difficult practices and for experienced yogis who can raise efficiency of their practice.

To motivate ourselves for regular Sukshma Vyayama practice, we will summarise positive effects of this system:

· removes blocks and clips in muscles, strengthens them;

· increases of flexibility ligaments;

· enlarges body mobility and makes it flexible and plastic;

· develops coordination and equilibrium;

· improves blood circulation and metabolism;

· strengthens immunity;

· harmonizes organism;

· increases vital lung volume;

· increases endurance;

· favours cleaning of Nadi;

· activates energy points (chakras);

· prepares for practice of more complex asanas and к pranayamas;

A little bit of history. We will observe visible Parampara of Sukshma Vyayama (Parampara is a Sanskrit word which means - a line of succession from a Teacher to a follower. Literal meaning of Parampara is «the continuous chain of succession». In Parampara system, the knowledge is passed on without changes from generation to generation). Unfortunately because of the absence of enough information we are not able to find sources of this tradition.

System of Sukshma Vyayama knowledge which was unknown in the west before that was extended by one of outstanding yoga masters of modern India, Dhirendra Brahmachari (1925-1994). He received Initiation into Sukshma Vyayama techniques from Maharshi Kartikeya, the prophet and sacred Indian yogin who was his Teacher. In the preface to the book "Yogic Sukshma Vyayama" Dhirendra Brahmachari wrote about his precious Guru:« I admired and admire the teacher, the greatest among yogi … the Great prophet and sacred Shri Maharshi Kartikeya was born in deeply respected and notable brahman family … He had brilliant aptitudes and knew almost about everything that is under the Sun. Deep knowledge made him the unique expert of human characters, of their abilities and possibilities … ». From Maharshi Kartikeya Dhirendra Brahmachari received a precept to spread knowledge about Sukshma Vyayama. The invaluable merit of Dhirendra Brahmachari is that he managed to accumulate knowledge in the convenient form, to make it open and understandable for wide audience. The book "Yogic Sukshma Vyayama" was one of the first books about yoga published in the USSR. The rather interesting fact from the biography of Dhirendra Brahmachari is that in 1960th, he came to the USSR as the expert to help Soviet scientists to investigate some techniques of yoga to find out possibilities to use them in preparation of cosmonauts.

Modern successors of Sukshma Vyayama tradition are disciples of Dhirendra Brahmachari - Bal Mukund Singh (India) and Reinhard Gammenthaler (Switzerland).

About Sukshma Vyayama exercises system in tradition of Dhirendra Brahmachari.

In school of Dhirendra Brahmachari the great attention assigns to cleaning techniques Shatkarmas, among them – to Vaman Dhauti (cleaning of gullet), various kinds of Neti (cleaning of nasopharynx), Kapalabhati. Sequence and details of these techniques performance are described in the book "Yogic Sukshma Vyayama".

To each concrete movement of a complex a breath or an exhalation corresponds. There are a lot of breath-holdings combined with movements what strengthens training effect. Bhastrika Pranayama uses often. This kind of breathing is very useful on a physical level, and also as energy component. To some exercises a certain orientation of attention concentration (dristi) corresponds that draws energy to a place in a body where consciousness is directed.

Sukshma Vyayama exercises should be performed in smoothly and consciously way. Complexity of exercises could be regulated by quantity of one movement repetitions, and also by changing time of pose fixing.

The whole body is worked out consistently during the succession of exercises.

The basic scheme of movement to work with body is from top to bottom (it is described in the book) - from a head to foots. Other methods could be applied such as from periphery to the centre.

Beside Sukshma Vyayama exercises also Sthula Vyayama is separately allocated. Sanskrit word Sthula means - dense, rough, it is system of strong influence which can be used as an addition to Sukshma Vyayama exercises. Sthula Vyayama has powerful influence on our body. These Vyayamas are recommended to advanced yogis.

Summarising the above information, we will point following things – yoga practice allows us to work out physical and energy bodies, gives us way to live more effective and conscious life, to move forward (instead of marking time or slide downwards).

There is a considerable quantity of various techniques of self-improvement, it is necessary to choose one that suits you best and practice regularly. Probably you will choose Sukshma Vyayama.


The author is Alena Chernyshova