MarmaYog FAQ

What is MarmaYog[a] ?

MarmaYog[a] is an concept practice based on the principles of Hath[a] Yog and Ayurved[a]. MarmaYog is composed of 2 terms Marma and Yog. Marma are explained briefly in test of Ayurved (Sushrut Samhita, a canon on Shalyatantra which can be co-related loosely to Surgery) as vital points in the body through which Prān[a](cosmic energy, vital breath) flows enabling healthy life. Any obstruction to the flow of Prāna causes diseases which may lead to prolonged illness, deformity and death. Yog refers to various Hath Yog practices in form of Āsan[a], Bandh[a], Mudrā and certain Kriya's(co-ordinated flows) which enable the practitioner to keep the flow of Prāna unobstructed through the Marma's and also enable healing

What are the origins of MarmaYoga in terms of documentation and tradition?

MarmaYog is not documented as exclusive through any treatise. However MarmaYoga has been practiced by many Highland Himalayan Hatha Yogi's and by Tamil Sittar (Siddhar) of  South India in an direct-indirect way to keep their bodies fit to bear extreme temperature variations and voluntary control of body urges to enable them to survive harsh conditions and meditate to reach higher levels of consciousness. The knowledge of Marma was very prominent in ancient India during wars and was only taught with strict discipline as hitting the Marma points inflicted severe damage on the enemy. With decline of Shalyatantra due to advent of Buddhism the knowledge of Marmas became obsolete only being transferred through oral tradition with very few documentation. The importance of Marma in Yog has been clearly mention by Sage Yajnavalkya as “yogi must proceed only after understanding the marmasthana, junctions of nadi and flow of vayu towards realization of atma (9.4)” . The Yajnavalkya Yoga through chapter 7 while describing pratyāhār gives description of 18 vital marma where prāna lies and drawing the prāna at will is considered the supreme pratyāhāra. It further describes of focussing Prāna at will at certain vital points and in an indirect form documents the practice of  MarmaYoga  Dr Sumit Kesarkar through his travel in the Himalayas and South India in his work of documenting highland herbs, use of Alchemy in (Rasashastra) and advanced Yogic practices carefully documented this various Kriyas and protocols with observation, dialogue and study with these Yogis and applied it in his clinical practice for 13 years. This activities have been a strong base of NLAM [] which is established to promote Ayurveda Rasashastra (Metallo-Mineral preparations)and Dravyaguna (Herb-Minerology) and promote subsequent education of Ayurveda concepts.

So MarmaYog is collection of various Yogic protocols, how is it taught ?

Based on the Ayurvedic concept of Marma and flow of Vāyu (Vāta) at its core foundations, A certain select Āsan[a], Bandh[a], Mudrā and Kriyā’s have been incorporated to create a complete sequence of Marmayog which a aspiring student must learn with proper modulations of breath and awareness. Each protocol in this sequence is collected from different Yogis as individual sequence of his/her practice or combination of few.

What is the aim of learning MarmaYog and who can study it.?

MarmaYog has two distinct approaches, therapeutic and spiritual. I will first explain the therapeutic part. MarmaYog education is put forth for those Yoga teachers who want to heal their clients on complete holistic levels. It is an therapeutic practice which enables Yoga teachers to heal without use of regulated herbs with minimal use of spices.

What education does MarmaYog incorporate ?

The education involves learning of Marma, Ayurveda concepts, Ayurveda pharmacological rules and practice of Hath-Yog sequences with an aim of developing a mindset towards healing through diagnosis and Marmayogic treatments individualized with diet and other protocols. For advanced practioner Marmayog āsana with bandha , kriyā and mudra helpd reach higher depths of consciousness and body control.It also includes study of MarmaYog snehan (massage).

How different is MarmaYog snehan (massage) to other prevalent forms of massage?

MarmaYog snehan incorporates fundamental rules of Ayurveda for its execution but it is different from conventional massages as it has its own unique flow of execution of energy pathways. Additionally the practitioner has to control his /her flow of Prāna through awareness and Bandh[a] while executing the massage which enables him/her to synchronize pressure and flow when dealing with Marma. MarmaYog massage has relaxing effect on the client and helps in tissue healing and regeneration.

How is MarmaYog useful for spiritual practices?

MarmaYog practices have been followed by many Yogis in Himalayas for their spiritual gain. Hence though MarmaYog for most parts is used as therapeutic practice, its teachings are dispersed on 2 levels. MarmaYog forms the base for higher spiritual practices of Hath-Yog and Tantr[a] and the practitioner who is interested in learning these protocols can build on the education at an advanced level.

What topics does one aim to learn in Marmayog?

Marmayog builds on foundation of Ayurved and Hath-Yog. Its study includes fundamentals of Ayurved, concept of Vāyu, the knowledge of Marma, Darshan-shastra, Yog literature, Bandha, Mudra, Kriya, āsana all amalgamating into one conceptual form. The training includes knowledge and application of Dravyguna (herbs), Ayurved Pathya (application of  yogic diet) and introduction to Ayurved Rasashastra (alchemy, metallo-mieral preparations) along with its synergism with modern medicines to enable a healer to practice therapeutics. This knowledge would be dispersed in condensed syllabus form to suit different type of students.

Does MarmaYoga education incorporate distinct levels of teaching?

Yes, MarmaYog would be taught in 3 distinct levels;

  1. From its core fundamentals to enable a practitioner to use it therapeutically. This includes students from Ayurved background who want to study fundamentals of Yog and  likewise students from Yog background who want to study the fundamentals of Ayurved.

  1. Yog teachers from other backgrounds who want to understand the concepts of Marma in their own practise and implement it for their well being and their students. Marmayog education serves as an additional layer to deepen your own practice of Yog

  1. Very select students would be taught the entire advanced protocol based on the core fundamentals of Marmayog. This education would be based on one-to-one training (guru-sishya parmapara). These students who learn the knowledge in entire form would be Authorized to teach other students.

So MarmaYog education will have levels of Certification?

Yes, students who learn the therapeutic foundations would be certified to practice it as an art but not teach. Yog teacher from different backgrounds would be allowed to implement the sequence and teach to a level they have been trained to do so.  The students who undergo the complete advanced modules would be Authorized to teach Marmayog from its core foundations. The details of each level would be made available on request

Does MarmaYog practice requires to follow strict timings?

Timings are very important in MarmaYoga as its core practice is based on flow of Vāyu (Vāt[a] dosha). Ayurveda principles help us understand the natural flow of Vāyu in the body and MarmaYog uses these principles for healing in terms of exercises , diet and certain herbs

How different is it from current Yoga practices ?

Contemporary Yoga can be divided in 2 types,

a)breathing based Hath-Yog.

b)Strenuous practice based Hath-Yog.

MarmaYog is completely different from prevalent practices of Yoga. Contemporary practice on broader scale aim at making the body healthy and flexible through use of individualized or proprietary sequences which need to be practiced on daily basis. MarmaYog is therapeutic practice which enables a Yoga teacher to heal people through Ayurveda principles and knowledge of its physiology. Additionaly it helps Yog teachers from contemperory backgrounds to understand their practice on fundamentals of Ayurved and Marma and help gain finesse and balance in their āsana. The advanced Kriyā’s help increase coordination and develop higher levels of consciousness.

Can I learn MarmaYog if I am following or practicing other form Yog ?

MarmaYoga gives all the health benefits of conventional Yog. Anyone can implement and learn Marmayog if it is approached with the right frame of mind. Marmayog adds to the balance of a practitioner making him/her aware of the fundamentals of Shārir (body) on grounds of Ayurved and Marma which is an integral part of Yog.

Can I practice MarmaYog and other forms of Yog simultaneously?

If you are someone who is undergoing MarmaYog therapy it is better not to practice till your ailment is under control. When learning MarmaYog as a student it would be left to the discretion of the MarmaYog teacher whether other forms of Yoga can be practiced since MarmaYog follows an concept of flow of Vāyu and to raise awareness about it the other forms of Yog maybe stopped or continued in moderation. As a MarmaYoga practitioner one must practice other Yoga with his/her own understanding the core concepts of Vāyu and how its effects the body.

I am an Ashtanga/Iyenger Yog practitioner and teacher. Will Marmayog concepts benefit me ?

MarmaYog builds on foundation of Ayurved and Yog. Each Yog practitioner at some point of time in his/her life requires to know the concepts of Ayurved for their own growth as Yog practitioners and therapist. MarmaYog is an advanced protocol and immensely benefits Yog teachers from any background to enhance their knowledge and implement it as the advanced Kriyā’s become easy to assimilate due to their own background. It also help gain knowledge and awareness about the higher stages of Ashtanga Yog as Pratyāhār, Dhāran with awareness of energy circles in form of Marma. Performing Asana with the awareness of Marmas raises the levels of consciousness practices and also help understand injures and heal them.

Where can I learn more about MarmaYoga education?

MarmaYog education is transmitted through Authorized MarmaYog therapist and teachers who have learnt this in one to one interaction (guru sisya parampara). You can find their details on the MarmaYog Educators page on this website.

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