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Yantra Yoga is one of the most ancient and important systems in the Tibetan tradition. The word Yantra itself has Sanskrit origins, but it carries various meanings in Tibetan culture. The Tibetan word for Yantra is Trulkhor, which literally means movement. This form of yoga therefore focuses on the importance of movement in coordinating or guiding the vital energy known as Prana. The teaching is also known as Nyida Khajor, which is actually the original title for this form of yoga. The Tibetan meaning for the word nyida is sun and moon, while khajor means union. The Three Aspects of Yantra Yoga In practising Yantra Yoga, you will need to use not just your body, but also your speech and mind. In using the body, you will perform several movements and get into various positions. In using your speech, you will use several pranayama techniques or breathing practises. And in using your mind, you will need to concentrate and visualize in a number of ways, the end goal of which is attaining the ability to go beyond thinking and judging with your mind. The premise is that when you are able to apply all three aspects of your existence, you will have the possibility of attaining real knowledge and a deeper understanding of your primordial state. When you are asked which of the three aspects is the most important, you would probably say that the mind is. While this may be true, it is often easier for us to gain understanding through our body because we can see, hear, touch, and relate to things at the material level through the physical body. But, the process becomes a lot more complicated when you aim to gain understanding on the level of energy. This is when your mental level becomes most important. The physical aspect is important because we cannot control energy without it, and energy is needed for us to control our mind. Therefore, in the practice of Yantra Yoga, the mind is like a king, energy is likened to the government, and the physical body is likened to the subjects being governed. By practising Yantra Yoga, you are balancing the three aspects of body, speech, and mind by working first on the physical level using the different positions and movements. There are several positions in the practice that are similar to those of Hatha Yoga, but the manner of getting into those positions and the point of view taken as you get into position is quite different. In this form of yoga, the position is one of the most important points, but it isn’t the main point. Movement is more important, and it is essential that you link breathing and movement as you get into each position. Remember that everything is linked in this form of yoga. Yantra Yoga Positions There are 108 main positions in Yantra Yoga, and these positions are divided into five groups. For each group, there are also five different breathing techniques to control the energy. It is essential to control the energy because that is the only way for you to become truly aware and enter into the real condition or nature of the mind.
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