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Chogm Road, Saligao, Calangute, Goa, India
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Meditation

Meditation, is putting one's mind aside. People who claim that meditation is a discipline of the mind are far from right

Right word for disciplining of the mind is its crystallization. The ordinary mind of a common man or woman is most often in a chaotic state. Yogic discipline gives one a crystallized mind together with centeredness. And the more one's mind is crystallized, the more you draw closer to real self. For example, the crystallized mind can read somebody's thoughts, which the ordinary mind cannot dream of. Non-crystallized mind cannot read its own thoughts what to talk of reading somebody else's thoughts.

Scientists claim that even the most talented person uses only fifteen percent of his pranic energy the emphasis here is on the most talented individuals and not about everybody.

Albert Einstein perhaps used fifteen percent of his energy. The average, ordinary person never uses more than seven percent of his energy. Einstein by using fifteen percent became aware of many things which the ordinary persons would not be even aware of. It was claimed that during the period when he was alive there were only twelve people in then whole world who could understand his theory of relativity, which means that only twelve persons all over the then world could understand him exactly. If one is capable of using thirty percent of one's energy or even fifty percent of it who knows how vast the universe would then look to him.

  • Researchers found that meditation reduces blood levels of stress hormones, which are associated with poor health and aging.
  • Reduces levels of lactate, a substance related to high levels of anxiety
  • Lowers or normalizes blood pressure and pulse rate.
  • Lowers respiration, oxygen consumption, and metabolic rate.
  • Lowers abnormally high cholesterol levels.
  • Enhances immune system response.
  • Increases alpha brain-wave activity, which is present during times of creativity and relaxation.
  • May increase concentration, memory, and creativity
  • Is deeply relaxing and rejuvenating.

Some long-term meditators have been found to be five to twelve years younger biologically than they are chronologically, as indicated by their blood pressure, visual acuity, and hearing. New research shows that meditators have up to nearly 50 percent higher levels of a hormone called DHEA. Low levels of DHEA are considered to be a marker for exposure to chronic stress and for aging. High levels of DHEA are associated with reduced incidence of disorders such as heart disease, breast cancer, and osteoporosis.

Ujjayi pranayama

1.Ujjayi is often called the "sounding" breath or "ocean sounding" breath -
2.It involves constricting the back of the throat while breathing to create an "ah" sound thus the various "sounding" names.

When to do it
During asana practice
Before meditation
Anytime you want to concentrate


Benefits

  • Focuses the mind
  • Increases mindfulness
  • Generates internal heat

Dirgha Pranayama

Known as the "complete" or "three-part" breath, dirgha pranayama teaches how to
fill the three chambers of the lungs, beginning with the lower lungs, then moving
up through the thoracic region and into the clavicular region

When to do it

  • During asana practice
  • Prior to meditation
  • Prior to relaxation
  • Anytime you feel like it

Benefits
Promotes proper diaphragmatic breathing, relaxes the mind and body, oxygenates the blood and purges the lungs of residual carbon dioxide.


Simple Pranayama

Naadi Shudhi-purification of subtle perception paths
This pranayama is done sitting in padmasana posture.

Note: Early morning and late evenings are good time for the above practice.

Benefits
The benefits of above practice may be seen in 4 to 6 months time. This leads to purification of Nadi's. There are supposed to be 7.2 million nadi's in the body. This is very beneficial before sitting in meditation as it helps to improve concentration. It also lightens the body, improves brightness of eyes, and digestion system. It helps to reduce hypertension and anxieties

Benefits of pranayama

  • Massage the abdominal muscles
  • Tone up the working of various organs of the body.
  • Proper ratios being maintained between inhalation, exhalation and retention
  • It enhances life span of a person
  • It improves the self confidence
  • Helps in regeneration of new body cells
  • Back bending postures open the chest improving both lung and heart functioning.
  • Practice upper back bends and chest opening postures if it is harder to exhale

Pranayams: The Breathing Exercises of Yoga


Pranayama is defined as "the regulation of the incoming and outgoing flow of breath with retention."

Pranayama

  • "PRANA" Means BREATH "AYAMA" Nleans CONTROL
  • Five types of prana are responsible for various pranic activities in the body, they are Prana, Apana, Vyan, Udana & Samana.
  • Out of these Prana and Apana are most important.
  • Prana is upward flowing and Apanaa is downward flowing.Practice of Pranayama achieves the balance in the activities of these pranas, which results in healthy body and mind
During Pranayama

Inhalation (puraka) stimulates the system and fills the lungs with fresh air Retention (kumbhaka) raises the internal temperature and plays an important part in increasing the absorption of oxygen
Exhalation (rechak) causes the diaphragm to return to the original position and air full of toxins and impurities is forced out by the contraction of inter-costal muscles

Asthma and pranayama

Several studies have shown yoga to be a powerful adjunct therapy to reduce the frequency and intensity of asthma attacks as well as to decrease medication use_ Consistent practice of yoga postures and pranayama (breathing exercises) increases the lung's airflow, air capacity, stamina and efficiency. Pranayama cultivates the ability to maintain a relaxed and controlled breath that can prevent or reduce asthma attacks_
Breathing problems can be corrected by yoga through the practice of Pranayama_ Pranayama has various techniques that are designed for the maximum capacity utilization of the lungs - something tat most of us do not do.
Yoga and pranayama also help in regulating the temperature of the breath flow thereby solving a lot of problems related to breathing.

Types of Pranayama Breathing Exercises

Surya-Bhedana (Right-nostril breathing)

This refers to an exercise in which one inhales through the right nostril and exhales through the left, holding the inhaled breath as long as possible before exhaling. Although one may eventually develop an ability to do this without using the fingers to close either nostrii, beginners, at least, should expect to use their fingers. You may close your nostrils in any way you choose to; but the traditional technique has become standardized as follows. After pressing the index and middle fingers of the right hand against the palm of that hand, use the thumb to close the right nostril and the ring and little fingers to close the left nostril. Left-handed persons may reverse this procedure. When both nostrils are open, the fingers rest on the bridge of the nose. during asthma attacks. Practice forward bends and lower back bending poses if it is more difficult to inhale. Inverted postures drain excess mucus from the lungs and balance the immune system. A general yoga practice reduces stress, physical tension, and muscle tightness and increases overall feelings of well being by activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

General Principles of Pranayama:
  • Breathing Exercises should never be pushed to the point of weariness or exhaustion Exercises should not be repeated too often.
  • They should not be merely mechanical.
  • There should be no hurry or haste.
    Attention should be concentrated on the exercise while it is being performed
  • There should always be variety and change in the exercises. Exercise should always be gentle and nonviolent.
  • Breathing should not be jerky or irregular, but smooth, steady and continuous.

Bhramari pranayama

  • the bee breath
  • soothes the nerves and calms the mind
  • Inhale through both nostrils, taking a slow deep breath in. Exhale through both nostrils using the throat to make a soft "eeee" sound, like the buzzing of a bee. Do 5-10 rounds, making the buzzing bee noise louder as you progress, but do not strain.
  • Variation: Block off the right nostril with the thumb using visnu mudra (as in nadi sodhna pranayama) and inhale through the left nostril using Ujjayi pranayama. Exhale through the left nostril using the throat to make a soft "eeee" sound, like the buzzing of a bee. Block off the left nostril and repeat on other side, practicing for 5-10 round

Benefits

  • It also helps in improving concentration. It is also known as door step tomeditation. In public meditation, the humming sweet sound, generated out of this pranayama from different people sitting around, help increase concentration
  • It helps reduce anger and fear..

Pranayama is a key methodology towards good and balanced health. It is advisable that the starters must do it under guidance until they become perfect. Note: Everybody can do this pranayama including BP and heart patients

Bhastrika

In Sanskrit, Bhastrika means bellows. Just as a blacksmith blows his bellows rapidly, the same way one has to blow the breaths.

  • Sit in a calm meditative posture with straight backbone. Inhale breath with force and speed from both nostrils. The stomach and chest will balloon up and shrink fast too.
  • Practice this for ten times_ Inhale deep, retain the breath, as long as comfortable
    and exhale. This will complete one round. One can easily go unto ten rounds.
  • Take 2-3 deep breaths after each round to avoid tiredness.
  • This type of Pranayama leads to high speed circulation of blood with increased
    heat.
  • The benefits are plenty. Inflammatory diseases of the nose and chest, asthama, gas wind etc. can be cured or prevented It creates extra strength in the body. If combined with Kumbhaka,•it regenerates vital energy of the body. It also purifies the nervous system.


Note: Patients of hypertension and heart should not practice this.

Sitali (Beak tongue pranayama)

  • Fold the tongue like a tube lengthwise and push it out of mouth
  • Inhale, through the tongue with a hissing, Siiiiiiiiii, sound. Both the cheeks
    swollen like balloon with breath retained as long as comfortable.
  • In order to help hold breath, one may lower chin so as to touch throat.
  • Lift up the chins, and release breath slowly through nostrils.
  • The remaining breath may be vented out through mouth.
  • Practice this for six times. This can be done even while standing.

Sadant (Breath through teeth Pranayama)

  • Press the upper teeth on the lower ones. Slowly breath in through gaps of teeth's with a hissing sound like Siiiiiiiiii. While breathing in, feel the coolness of air
    taken in. Allow the breath to stop automatically.
  • Exhale through both nostrils. Repeat the cycle as much as one can do, comfortably.

Benefits:
Both Sitali and Sadant are cooling pranayama. The cool feelings helps to calm down the mind by removing tension and anxiety. The respiratory system becomes more vigorous. It helps to reduce pyorrhea and hypersensitivity of gums. It is particularly useful during summer season. These Pranayama may not be practiced in extreme winter and humid weather.

Nadi shodhan

  • alternate nostril breathing
  • balancing, calming, anti-anxiety, and very relaxing
  • Place the right hand in Vishnu Mudra (forefinger and middle finger bent towards the palm; thumb, ring, and pinkie in the air). To do one round: close off right nostril with the thumb and inhale into the left nostril; close left nostril with ring and pinkie fingers, open the right nostril and exhale through the right, then inhale into the right nostril; close the right nostril, open the left, and exhale through the left nostril. Continue, doing 5-20 round

Yogasana

Yoga means Health
Maintaining balanced lifestyle Development
Balance
Progress
Peace
Soul consciousness

Maharshi patanjali, described asana STHIRASUKHAM ASANAM..
Gives stability to the body
Gives sense of well-being


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