Category Archives: yoga

Breathing Techniques One Week Online Training By Hari Kumar Moorthattil

Learn different types of breathing exercises and meditation. In this one week training, you can learn all the important aspects of breathing and how to master breathing techniques.

The importance of correct breathing has been recognized since the beginning of history. The Shaman, the wise men and which doctors of ancient times, used breathing techniques to induce trances or to improve performance. Correct breathing was still is considered to be vital for good health, in eastern medicine. It is also thought to be essential if one is to progress to the higher levels of skills in meditational and martial arts and in the achievement of the ‘asanas’ or postures taken up during T’ ai Chi and yoga exercise, for example. Today, it is generally recognized that correct breathing has an important role to play, in particular, in helping to reduce levels of stress as well as its signs and symptoms.

The environmental strains of modern urban life have made breathing techniques even more important than they have been in the past since the air that we take into our bodies is polluted with smoke and chemicals that can damage lung tissues. Polluted air is dangerously low in oxygen- vital for the physical and the mental health of the body- low in atmospheric ions that are linked with positive health.

Since it is impractical for the majority of us to start a new life in the less polluted countryside, it is vitally important that we breathe as efficiently as possible.

During inspiration (breath in) air is drawn into the lungs, where it fills tiny air sacs that are surrounded by a network of miniscule blood vessels. The blood then absorbs the oxygen and transports it around the body to supply every cell. As the oxygen is absorbed, the blood passes carbon dioxide- the waste product of energy releases from the cells back into air, to be removed from the body during expiration ( breath out)

Though we all breath by instinct, most people only use about half their lung capacity, the result being that the air sacs(alveoli) absorb too little oxygen, leaving an excess of carbon dioxide in the tissues which are reabsorbed by the blood. Conversely, panic or anxiety attacks, when breathing can become so shallow and rapid; a condition is known as hyperventilation- that the body expels too much carbon dioxide, are a problem for some people. With practice, though, breathing can be made more efficient, so that hyperventilation during anxiety can be avoided by controlled breathing, thereby reducing stress and leading to general well-being.

Breathing Techniques One Week Online Training By Hari Kumar Moorthattil

 

 

This course covers

Importance of breathing techniques

Why Oxygen is so Vital

What is incorrect Breathing

Correct breathing techniques

Breathing While Sitting

Breathing While Walking

What is the healing breath

The Re-energising breath

How breathing can be a tension-relaxer

Alternate Noe Breathing

The De-stressing Breathing

Pranayama The breathing exercises of Yoga

Importance of Healthy breathing

Benefits of Deep breathing

Secret breathing techniques that are used in ancient India Only for completely healthy people  that who are mastered the basic breathing techniques.


Breathing Techniques


Yoga And Psychology

Yoga And Psychology

  1. Yoga psychology as a basic science

 

Yoga psychology is both a positive and a normative science. As such it not only analyzes human personality and its growth, but sets normative ideals and prescribes techniques to achieve such objectives. Expansion of consciousness and making oneself the master of one’s mind are the broad objectives of yoga psychology.

 

The topographical aspect of mind as described by Freud, towards the end of the 19th century, in terms of conscious, subconscious and unconscious levels, was well-conceived in yogic literature thousands of years ago. It also emphasized that the vast area of our mind was unknown and dormant, which was called the level of nidra or sushupti (deep sleep). Going a step ahead, yoga accepts the fourth level – turiya, i.e., transcended consciousness or the superconscious mind. When the mind reaches such a height of sadhana, cognitions do not remain dependent upon the senses, the individuality is transcended, and the mind acquires equanimity. This is called awakening of the superconscious mind.

 

The psychodynamic aspect of the mind has been described in terms of the id, ego and the superego. Psychoanalysis emphasizes that in order to live a normal life, an optimum strength of ego is a must to counterbalance the forces of the id, ego and superego. It underlines that too strong an id makes a person impulsive and sociopathic, and that too strong a superego makes him mentally ill. But what happens when the ego becomes very strong and dominant? According to yoga psychology, in such a condition the individual becomes egoistic and develops ahamkara (pride) which is the root cause of all psychosomatic problems.

 

This brings to the forefront the concept of the evolution of the mind as conceived in yoga psychology. Consciousness has a wider connotation in yoga. It may be sensorial, intellectual or psychic. Sensorial consciousness is based on sense experiences, whereas the intellectual consciousness is based on cues and their interpretation through the intellect. On the other hand, the psychic consciousness refers to the extrasensorial awareness and parapsychological experiences. Yoga presents vivid and sound meditation procedures for the attainment of this psychic consciousness or superconscious mind through the awakening of kundalini. The awakening of kundalini takes place through gradual activation of the seven chakras (psychic centres). They are mooladhara, swadhisthana, manipura, anahata, vishuddhi, ajna and sahasrara. The literature prescribes the conditions, precautions and methods of sadhana for stimulating the chakras and awakening the kundalini. Awakening of the dormant 90% of the mind and union of the kundalini shakti awakened in mooladhara with the pure consciousness of sahasrara is called self-realization. This evolution of mind through yogic sadhana is a gradual process. It brings balance and harmony in the personality and makes life blissful.

 

It is only recently that there has been a global interest in the quality of human life and psychological well-being. Psychological well-being has been conceived of by the psychologists in terms of happiness and satisfaction or gratification subjectively experienced by the individuals (Okun & Stock, 1987). This affective reaction of satisfaction need not be positively related to the objective conditions of life. One may be dissatisfied with life inspite of having plenty of material and family richness (Lawton, 1983). The psychological or subjective well-being is more a question of our own attitude and approach to life situations and events. Freedman (1978) has shown that cognitive processes such as aspiration, social comparison and adaptation level have much to do with it.

 

Long ago yoga psychology emphasized the role of positive cognition, thinking and approach for achieving pleasure and satisfaction in life. Yogic practices reduce negative thinking and negative emotion. Bhakti yoga and Ishwarapranidhana of raja yoga provide the useful techniques of dedication to God and offering prayers with a feeling to help build positive attitudes and self-confidence. The practices of shiva bhavana and maitri bhavana as described in Yoga Vashishtha are good techniques for combatting stress, anxiety, apprehension and hostility. Their psychotherapeutic significance has been established by a number of studies conducted earlier in Kashi Manovigyanshala at Varanasi. The SWAN model presented by Paramahamsa Niranjanananda is a good cognitive technique of self-appraisal. The four letters of SWAN refer to the Strengths, Weaknesses, Ambitions and Needs of individuals. They provide objective criteria of self-appraisal and parameters to evaluate progress in self-awareness and satisfaction.

 

The modern cognitive approach to life was well understood in yoga psychology. In the second sloka of his Yoga Sutras Patanjali defined yoga as control of the chittavrittis (modifications of mind). He mentioned the following five vrittis or cognitive modifications of mind. They are:

 

(i) Pramana – proof or valid cognition,

(ii) Viparyaya – illusion or invalid cognition,

(iii) Vikalpa – objectless verbal cognition,

(iv) Nidra – sleep or absence of all distinct cognitions, and

(v) Smriti – memory or recollection of past cognitions.

 

These vrittis, when related to narrow worldly gains and losses, become sources of affliction or pain and are called klista vrittis. But they can be transformed into aklista vrittis by making them positively and spiritually oriented. Patanjali has mentioned two broad methods of controlling the vrittis. They are (i) abhyasa (practice) of meditation and other yogic practices and (ii) vairagya (detachment).

 

The cognitive mental modifications of klista nature lead to pain and misery. Yoga psychology has enumerated five such basic distresses known as pancha kleshas. They are (i) avidya (ignorance or nescience), (ii) asmita (egoism), (iii) raga (attachment), (iv) dwesha (hatred) and (v) abhinivesha (fear of death). Patanjali has given an elaborate description of these kleshas and has underlined that avidya or false notion lies at the root of all other distresses. Avidya does not mean absence of knowledge, rather it means looking for wrong actions and ideas, which ultimately gives pain.

 

These kleshas give rise to various psychological and psychosomatic problems. Yoga psychology explains them and their management on the basis of the attachment-detachment model of mental health. Asakti (attachment) and vairagya (detachment) are the two extreme points on the same scale of a continuum with anasakti (non-attachment) being in between the two. Asakti means attachment with worldly affairs and things. Literally, it means narrowing the area of consciousness. This leads to raga, dwesha and ahamkara which manifest as insecurity, possessiveness, aggression, anxiety, depression and other mental and psychosomatic problems. Vairagya is the height of the nivritti way of life which is too difficult to be achieved by normal householders. It is the ideal mode of life set by the saints and rishis. Yoga psychology prescribes anasakti as the middle path to enjoy lasting happiness and peace without being involved and disturbed by asakti. An elaborate description of the asakti-anasakti model of mental health has been presented by Bhushan (1994).

 

As regards methods of study, looking within is the primary method of understanding yogic experiences. This is different from the ordinary method of introspection used in psychology. Visualization, awareness and witnessing the images in a neutral manner with drashta bhava are the keys of yogic meditation and sadhana.

 

The principle of homeostasis or balance is central in yoga psychology. It holds that any sort of imbalance in the physical, psychological or pranic system creates problems and disorders and the cure lies in rebalancing it. Another scientifically sound concept is acceptance of individual differences. Yoga psychology presents a clear description of different types of human personality and prescribes different yogic practices for them. The most important one is based on the three gunas of sattwa, rajas and tamas. These gunas are largely acquired and so through them a desired transformation in attitude and personality is possible by yogic practices.

 

  1. Yoga psychology as an applied science

 

The relevance of an academic discipline lies in its utility and application in finding solutions to the problems facing the individual and society. From this viewpoint, yoga psychology has special significance. Some of the issues and areas in which it has important applications are mentioned below.

 

  1. Promoting health

Yoga believes in total health. But it does hold that health has three integrated aspects, i.e., physical, psychological and spiritual. We cannot think of good health by taking care of one aspect and ignoring the other ones. The fact is that if we ignore the mental or the spiritual aspects, physically also we cannot remain healthy. Each aspect of health influences the other. Total good health means physical fitness, mental ability and spiritual verve. Yoga stands for both physical and mental well-being and higher spiritual attainments. Thus it presents a wider spectrum than the modern viewpoint of psychosomatics. Good illustrative books are now available which discuss in detail the possible effects of yogic asanas, pranayamas, pratyahara and meditation techniques on the body, mind and expansion of consciousness (e.g. Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati, 1993; Swami Satyananda Saraswati, 1996; Motoyama, 1979). Tracing the link between yoga and oriental medicine has concluded that yoga is based on the holistic knowledge of different aspects of a person’s being.

A good number of studies have established the beneficial effects of meditation and other yogic practices in managing anxiety (Jangid et al, 1988; Sharma & Agnihotri, 1982), depression and other types of neurotic disorders (Jaug, 1975; Nagarathna & Nagendra, 1980). They have been found equally useful in treating stress-related psychosomatic disorders like diabetes (Divekar, 1982), tension headache (Sethi et al, 1981), hypertension and schemic heart (Swami Karmananda Saraswati, 1982; Ornish, 1990). Studies have been conducted to examine the effects of yogic practices on neural functioning, including the ANS and brain waves (Ramamurthi, 1977; Varma, 1979). However, more well-designed experimental research is needed to examine the physiological basis of the different yogic techniques. Similarly, the psychotherapeutic use and rationale for the effects of specific asanas, pranayamas and meditation techniques, like antar mouna, ajapa japa, chidakash dharana, etc. needs to be confirmed through planned experimental studies. There is also the need to review and integrate the findings of research conducted at a large number of centres in different places.

According to yogic theory, diseases develop because of imbalance in the psychosomatic and pranic systems. The yogic practices restore the balance and remove the toxins from the nadis and the body systems. The same practices help build a defence against disease and promote healthy living. The practice of hatha yoga has special cleansing and balancing effects on body and mind.

 

  1. Developing positive attitudes and feelings

Everyone wants to be happy and to enjoy life, but because of our faulty approach and negative feelings we often carry fear, apprehension and suffer agony in life. Verma (1988) has proposed a dual factor theory of mental health according to which the factors or conditions contributing to positive and negative mental health are different. As such, the absence of certain factors contributing to negative set and health does not lead to positive mental health. Yogic practices help develop psychological well-being by providing the insight to perceive positive aspects in individuals and events, thereby developing positive affect, pleasure and satisfaction. Understanding and practising the principles of karma yoga reduces the magnitude of expectation and consequential frustration.

A study conducted recently under the guidance of Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati (1996) by the extension wing of Bihar Yoga Bharati, Munger, on a total of 1140 prisoners of 24 jails in Bihar is worth mentioning here. Yoga training was provided to the convicts in three spells, each of 15 days duration. Pre and post comparison of data indicated that the prisoners who participated in all three programs reported as physically fitter and mentally happier. There was a substantial reduction in their negative emotions such as anger, anxiety and depression, as well as in interpersonal conflicts. Better sleep and mental peace were also reported. Ninety-six prisoners who were addicted to tobacco and smoking bidis took a sankalpa (resolve) to give up the habit, and surrendered their tobacco, bidis, etc. to the yoga teacher. To what extent the psychological and behavioural modifications are sustained is the subject of a follow up study which the Institute is carrying out. Encouraged by the results of the yoga training, the Government of Bihar has taken a policy decision to introduce yoga training in all the 82 jails of Bihar on a regular basis. With this objective, 136 life convicts, selected on the basis of their yogic skills and aptitude, have been given Yoga Teachers Training Courses by qualified sannyasins of Bihar School of Yoga, so that they may now act as yoga teachers to provide yoga training in the jails on a regular basis.

 

  1. Improving concentration, abilities and skills

Most of our problems in life are on account of cortical excitations, and the flickering and fluctuating nature of the mind. Selected yogic practices enhance the mental alertness, creative ability and learning capacity of individuals (Swami Muktananda Saraswati, 1982). This has received support from the recent findings of a research report undertaken on young scientists by Shelvamurthy (1996). The results indicate that, compared to the control group, the experimental group of young scientists who were given yoga practices performed better in concentration, memory, cognitive management of situations, stress management, coping with hot and cold conditions, etc. Such findings provide a basis for the introduction of yogic practices in different training programs. The initiative taken by the Central Government and many State Governments to introduce yogic training for school students is in the right direction.

 

  1. Promoting a congenial organizational climate and work proficiency.

Recent experience of introducing yogic practices in management programs shows that it may serve as a good relief in reducing organizational stress and in promoting a congenial work climate. The practice of yoga nidra, certain selected asanas, pranayamas and meditations are useful to relax and quieten the mind (Bhole, 1981; Datey, 1978; Singh et al, 1978). They can be conveniently introduced in an organizational setup to promote alertness, congenial feelings, job satisfaction and work proficiency.

 

  1. Combatting social problems.

Certain studies like that of Kaul (1993) have shown that selected yogic practices are beneficial in managing drug addiction and alcoholism. Similarly, violence, group conflicts and prejudices prevail in society mostly on account of ego problems and emotional instability. As stated earlier, since the yogic practices are capable of reducing aggression and negative feelings, and are helpful in quietening the mind, they serve as important tools to combat many problems. The experience of conducting yoga programs in jails (referred to above) provides convincing data on positive transformations in feelings, attitudes and expectations of the convicts in the jails and improvement in their interpersonal relationships. The principles of yoga psychology can, therefore, be used as corrective measures for promoting desirable social behaviour and minimizing many social problems based on distrust and hatred. The yogic literature says that a predominance of tamas, which often creates social problems, is minimized and transformed into rajas or sattwa dominance by yogic practices. This theoretical assertion needs more experimental verification and proper application.

 

  1. Promoting the self.

Yoga is not only a curative and preventive measure for diseases and social maladies, but also a promotive science of the human personality. The practice of meditational techniques brings a qualitative change in human personality and they are capable of taking the self to a higher level. Expansion of consciousness, development of extrasensorial capabilities and samabhava, coupled with feelings of non-attachment are some of the characteristic features of a realized person. The self at this level of psychic development is called ‘sarveshwar’. This is a blissful life in which individuality is transcended and the mind acquires complete equanimity.

 

Conclusion

 

In short, yoga psychology has important applications in managing psychological, psychosomatic and social problems as well as in promoting and transcending the self. It provides theoretical models and practical tools and techniques for their verification. However, many of the observational and theoretical assertions need experimental verification and re-interpretation in a changed context. Selection of yogic techniques for different purposes and individuals is a difficult task. It demands a long-term, detailed plan by devoted individuals and institutions. The cooperation of all those psychologists having an interest in the area is solicited.

Why you should go for yoga workout ?

 

Why you should go for yoga workout ?

Yoga workout is considered to be one of the most enduring exercises programs. It works more than jus toning the muscles and burning the calories. It assists in strengthening the body as well. It assists in deep breathing and confers relaxation to mind as well. There are different kinds of yoga workout which are beneficial to a person.

 

Benefits of Yoga Workout

 

Yoga workout is highly beneficial for you if you are suffering from diabetes. This workout assists in preventing the level of high cholesterol or high blood pressure in the body. It also reduces the risks of cardiovascular diseases. It confers flexibility, strength, and awareness of body and mind. If you have problems of arthritis, yoga workout helps you in staying strong and flexible without putting additional stress on the joints. It boosts energy levels of the body. It also renders relaxation to mind. These workouts are beneficial in keeping the body in shape.

 

Areas It Targets

 

The yoga workout targets different parts of the body which are inclusive of arms, legs, back and glutes. You can enhance the strength of arms by practising yoga workout on a regular basis. You can procure relief from a soring back with the aid of yoga workout. The workout works effectively on different sides of the legs such as thighs, hips, and quadriceps.

 

Yoga workout plays an indispensable role in improving flexibility. It is considered to be one of the well renowned aerobic exercises that are beneficial in improving health. It helps in holding the body in a well-balanced pose. People of all ages can get benefitted by these exercises. Some of the most popular yoga workout are inclusive of Hatha, Vinyasa, Power, Ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar. These exercises have been highly preferred by people for more than 5000 years ago. It is recognized to be an accomplished workout of body and mind.

Yoga Therapy Rejuvenating in a simple and effective way

Yoga is a universal health booster we have heard and seen around. It comprises Yogic Kriyas, Asanas, and Pranayama. Yoga connects our inner soul to the universal soul. Regular practice of yoga promotes circulation and also energizing and stimulating endocrine glands. We all know that yoga is helpful to maintain our body and enhancing our health. Thus, optimizing our physical and psychological health.

 

Yoga therapy also known as yoga-chikitsa is a treatment with yogic exercise, practices, and diet. Yoga therapy heals and rejuvenates human body and mind as a whole.

 

Yoga therapy treats many physical and mental diseases. The main practices in yoga therapy are Kriyas, Asanas, Pranayama, and Massage. Alongside, few dietary and lifestyle measures are a compulsion.

Yoga Therapy Rejuvenating in a simple and effective way

Kriya

 

Kriyas are a series of techniques which cleanse inner body and mind. Kriyas remove the toxins and the blockages in physical and mental levels. These ultimately open the routes of heart, nerves, body, energy and mind.

 

Kriyas In Yoga Therapy

 

 

  •  Basti: Digestion disorders, augments skin complexion.
  • Jalaneti: Cold, cough, headaches, migraines, nasal issues and sinusitis.
  • Kapalabhati: Asthma, bronchitis, enhances inhalation, blood purification, pleurisy, tuberculosis, strengthens nerves and brain.
  • Nauli: Controls diabetes, improves immune system and eliminates lethargy
  • Vamana Dhouti or Kunjal: cleansing stomach for excessive bile, constipation, and gastric troubles. Relieves headaches, nervous weakness, chronic cold, and asthma. Constipation, chronic bronchitis, gastric problems, headaches, nervous weakness, and stomach illness.

Kriya cleanses a lot of regular impurities that are accumulated in the body. These cleanse our body, there upon enhancing the digestive system, physical and mental energy levels.

 

Yoga Asanas 

 

Asanas are yoga poses that stretch and strengthen the physical body. These poses also enhance and open the chakras in the body.

 

Major Asanas In Yoga Therapy

 

  • Ardhamatsyendrasana: Treats obesity, dyspepsia, asthma, diabetes and also helps in the abdominal organs.
  • Bhujangasana: Removes weakness of abdomen and reproductive system in women. Treats asthma, cervical spondylitis, bronchitis and eosinophilia.
  • Chakrsana: increases lung capacity, strengthens arms, knees, and shoulders.
  • Shavasana: Soothes nervous system and controls blood pressure.
  • Shirasana:  Augments circulatory, digestive, excretory, endocrine, nervous and respiratory systems.
  •  Sarvangasana: Treats bronchitis, dyspepsia and digestion issues.
  • Padmasana: Treats digestive and heart disorders.
  • Halasana: Treats Arthritis, asthma, myalgia, rheumatism, lumbago, tensions in back, spinal & neck.
  • Makarasana: Relives from hypertension, mental disorders, and heart diseases.
  •  Pavanamuktasana: Strengthens abdominal muscles, stomach, spleen, and pancreases.

Practicing Asanas relax the body and connects to a deeper state of mind. The augmented physical and mental benefits reflect in our daily life.

 

Pranayama

 

Pranayama is all about inhalation and exhalation in concentrated and regulated manner, thereupon enhancing the flow of energy in our body. A person becomes conscious and is active in the present movement with the regular practice of pranayama. By improving the flow of energy, Pranayama removes blockages, purify and prevents disorders.

Major Pranayama’s  In  Yoga Therapy

 

  • Anuloma-viloma: Cures asthma, cold, cough, chronic headache, and insomnia. Strengthens lungs and calms the nerves.
  • Bhramari: Good for ears, eyes, nose, mouth and enhances the complexion.
  • Bhastrika: Good for abdominal viscera and lungs.
  • Sheetali: Cools body and mind. Enhances digestion, circulation and body temperature.
  • Ujjayi:  Clears nasal passage. Improves functioning of thyroid gland and respiratory organs.

 

Pranayama is practiced in lotus pose or any other comfortable pose with back and head kept straight. It should be practiced on a regular basis. Pranayama takes less time and also enhances the breathing and brings oneself into the present. Pranayama is also known to release stress and tensions in an instance.

 

Conclusion

Now you all have understood the aspects and benefits of yoga therapy. Yoga therapy calms down the mind relax the body and enhance our spirits. These things would lead you to do great work in your daily life. Practice and spread, let the world understand and enjoy the yoga therapy.

 

Ubhaya Padangusthasana (Both Big Toes)

Ubhaya Padangusthasana

Ubhaya Padanguthasana

It is also called as “Both big toes pose.” Meaning of Ubhaya Padangusthasana is given below;

 

The meaning of  Ubhaya is both; Pada means foot and Angusthasana meaning is big toe.  In this yoga pose, you have to take both of your big toes with both of your hands.  You have to enter this yoga pose from an inverted posture with a roll; the rolling motion may have to take the time to “master” be patient with the procedure and remember to focus your breath, in time you will feel the movement and roll up smoothly to the balance.

How to do Ubhaya Padangusthasana

 

First of all, you have to lie down on the back, then move the hands beside the body

and legs stretched. Inhale and raise the body up
in Sarvangasana. As you exhale, keep the toes
above the head and don’t bend the knees
( Hala Sana posture) . Hold the big toes with
respective hands. Inhale, come up and
balance the body on hips keeping knees
straight. Take a few normal breaths. Exhaling,
roll back to Hala Sana posture. Inhaling, lift the
legs to come to Sarvangasana. Now exhale and
come back to normal lying posture.

Benefits of Ubhaya Padangusthasana:

1.Prevents a hernia.
2.Relieves severe back ache
3.Tones abdominal organs
4.Improves digestion
5.The pelvic organs receive a rich supply of blood.
6.Helps in building concentration.

Precautions

women should not practice it during pregnancy and menstruation.