Yoga and lifestyle medicine

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Shakti: power of Healing

Shri Yantra: the absolute unity of the Universe and the source of all energies

Shakti has many healing energies in nature from the qualities, properties and powers of everything that makes up nature but also up to the metaphysical.

Shakti is an important Sanskrit term. Several meanings are there. These different meanings are essential to understand how the powers of the universe work from the biological level to the cosmic level, that is to say of life and existence.

Shakti mainly means power or energy.

To be more specific, Shakti is a reference to the power of decision making, or execution.

In the West, Shakti is best known as the creative and transformative feminine energy of Nature and the Earth in general.

Shakti represents the special powers of Nature, the powers of the nature of the Self, Atma-Shakti, and the nature of the world or Prakriti Shakti.

Shaktis: the powers of nature

Shakti the power of nature

What places do nature’s Shaktis occupy in Ayurvedic treatment?

To obtain healing, it is necessary to have the knowledge and preparation to obtain healing.

We need to identify and use the right Shakti according to the condition and the context, which can change, in order to use the right force to heal.

Each object or force has a unique power of Nature

For example, Dahana Shakti is the power to burn and purify like fire. It is used for various purposes, good or bad, from cooking food to setting fire to a building.

Kledana Shakti is the hydrating, moisturizing, and nourishing power like water. She can also drown.

For there to be healing, the appropriate shakti must be activated to deal with or balance the pathology or disease.

Nature has many healing Shaktis contained in the 5 elements:

– the powers of the sky and the atmosphere,

– minerals, plants, herbs

– Food,

– mountains, rivers and forests.

Nature has many healing Shakti

It is important to also consider that everything that Nature offers must be used appropriately. As much as it has this power of healing but also of destruction if used clumsily.

Shaktis and Ayurveda

Our food has its nutritious properties which is called Anna Shakti.

Herbs also have their healing energy or Aushadi Shakti

If we take an example, spicy herbs like ginger, cinnamon, sage or tulsi have a diaphoretic (perspiration) effect, called Svedana Shakti. This is useful if we wish to practice sweat therapies that are particularly effective in countering Kapha dosha.

For the power of oleation or Snehana Shakti, oils such as sesame, coconut… are particularly used for effective massages against Vata dosha.

Plants have Ayurvedic energy which give special actions. For example, tastes or rasa can have heating effects (virya) or special actions called prabhava. They are also forms of Shakti.

I can still mention the Shakti rasayana with rejuvenating, healing and regenerative powers such as ashwagandha, shatavari, bala, amalaki, haritaki, … They help at the deepest level of healing and revitalization.

Anna Shakti: the nutritious properties of food

The forces of Shakti and its powers are also present at a more subtle level and described in Yoga and bhut vidya (Ayurvedic psychology). These forces we find in the mantras.

Kriya Shakti is related with the beej mantra Kreem and Goddess Kali and Akarshana Shakti with the beej mantra Kleem and Tripura Sundari Devi. Mantras have the power to shift energies and heal the mind and emotions.

Dhyana Shakti is the power of meditation derived from the force of concentration called Dharana Shakti.

All these Shakti forces are activated by the regularity of the practices, the detachment and the internalization of the spirit.

Shaktis of the healer

The healer must have this healing power to be able to help others towards lasting well-being.

It develops Prana Shakti or life energy through connection to cosmic Prana through Pranayama and sattvic living. This is how he receives the Shakti of healing.

It also needs strong ojas, which is the power of physical immunity, patience and calm which is Kshamatva Shakti.

To be a healer one must also be wise, experienced with a sattvic intellect (buddhi). It is the Prajna Shakti necessary for proper diagnosis and treatment.

The powers of Nature are within us and surround us. They are part of the whole Vedic science of the powers or Shakti of healing, which must be learned in order to be able to heal.

These healing Shaktis come to us from Nature called Prakriti, itself connected to ParaShakti or ultimate and universal force.

Healing Shakti come to us from Nature

References

Shakti and Shakta

Is Shakti Force?

Om Shakti

Control your emotions

Control your emotions if you want to stay healthy

Yogic practices are effective to control your emotions. It is a lifestyle and a strong understanding of your mind and body. You can still feel emotions, however through practicing yoga it can give you better control of your emotions by being aware of your imbalances and/or emotions and controlling them through asanas, pranayama and meditation to take control back.

Yoga and Emotional Dimension of Personality:

There are two kinds of emotions: positive and negative.

For example love, kindness are positive emotions, while anger and fear are personality development thoughts.

Similarly, our feelings and attitudes may be positive and negative.

For your self growth, emotional development, positive feelings, attitudes and emotions should be developed and negative ones should be controlled. The negative attitudes and emotions work as a mental blockages for the development of personality and conscious.

Yoga plays a critical role in development of positive emotions. It’s emotion therapy.

It brings emotional stability and helps to control negative ones.

Yogic practices such as yama, niyama, asana, pranayama, pratyahara and meditation help in emotional self-regulation.

For example, the principle of non-violence will protect us from negative emotions and develop positive feelings of love and kindness for ourself and others. Similarly, other principles like yama and niyama will help to develop positive emotions and attitudes in our personal and social life.

How Yamas and Niyamas teach you to control your emotions?

Yama (restraints) and Niyama (observance) are principles which need to be adopted always in our day-to-day life.

These can be considered as the universal codes of conduct that help us in following high standards in our personal and social life.

Principles of yama are concerned with one’s social life.

The principles of niyama are concerned with one’s personal life.

Yama and niyama are part of Ashtanga yoga and help for self growth.

The five principles of yama are:

  • Ahimsa (non-violence),
  • Satya (truthfulness);
  • Asteya (non-stealing);
  • Brahmcharya (abstinence)
  • Aparigraha (non-possessiveness, non-grasping or non-greediness).
Ahimsa principle

The five principles of niyama are:

  • Shaucha (cleanliness);
  • Santosha (satisfaction);
  • Tapas (austerity);
  • Swadhyaya (study of good literature and knowing about the ‘self’)
  • Ishwarpranidhana (dedication to the God/Supreme power/ what you believe).

Control and acceptance: the keys

It is important to have control of your body, you have to be conscious of all your senses, your mind, and your body inside and out.

You need to have an understanding of emotions and when and how they affect you. Feel emotions by not holding them back, however, you should not let the emotions take control of you either. You need to manage them, and yoga practice can help you do this.

Yoga is a spiritual science of self-realization, which means finding oneself through a spiritually journey.

People say they know themselves, but do they really?

Or do they only know their qualities, their idea of who they are?

I have spent a lot of my life just being happy, outgoing and suppressing sadness and anger. I surely did not have control of those emotions, but more of blocking/holding back.

Suppressing my emotions has caused me to be sick on the inside, and these emotions are retaliating and in force. The path of yoga and practicing has helped me to master my emotions and my well-being. It can assist you like an emotions therapy as well.

You can have a deeper understanding of your emotions and taking control back. Certain asanas can also help lift your spirit or the opposite by calming you down but you need to be guided properly if you have no body conscious.

Pranayama also assists with increasing or decreasing your mood through breath by acting on hormones and other physiological systems. You have a better balance and master yourself, mind and body.

Then, through meditation practice, proper and healthy diet, water, and general activities in your daily schedule you have understand the main tools to control your emotions.

Live with your emotions and avoid that your emotions make you live.

Everything is related between your guts and your brain. Meaning that if you have bas food intake then your brain functioning will reflect the quality of your food. 

Many people including myself, have blamed someone for my own feelings of anger, sadness or even happiness, but it’s your reaction, not their action that causes these emotions. The emotions can quickly change from one to another and even in a short turn around. With not having control of these emotions, you can hurt yourself, something or even someone else.

Feeling these emotions are natural but you must live with your emotions and avoid that your emotions make you live.

Knowing them, feeling them, accepting them and move onward, through asanas, breath, meditation diet and lifestyle. Once you have understood that and practice that, you will have control of your emotions.

But not only you will master your actions, your reactions and therefore feel more balance within.

If your emotions are running wild and you need balance in your life:

  • Check your diet
  • Look at your lifestyle and change what you need to change to be balanced
  • Look at your emotions
  • See how you feel inside
  • Accept them
  • Move on

Balancing poses and pranayama: what you need to practice.

These asanas and pranayama below will help bring calmness, balance and cleanse the mind and body.

You have to practice putting your consciousness and commitment onto the breath for each asana in a way to feel, experiences and receive the benefits.

Sorry, there is no solutions in this earth than to commit and work little on yourself if you want to get results. You don’t want to put efforts to master your life, then do not complain and undergo.

Asanas and pranayama help by bringing calmness, balance and cleansing the mind and body

What poses to practice?

Vrksasana (Tree Pose):

– balancing for a beginner and advanced.

– develops nervous balance and strengthens the legs, ankles, and foot muscles.

To begin, stand on your matt, even out the weight between both of your feet.

You then shift your weight from your left foot primarily on toyour right leg/foot.

Lift your left knee out in front and grab your shin with your left hand.

Open up your hips with moving your left knee out to the left side and having a straight alignment from the knee to your hips.

Keeping your hips open place your left foot on your inner thigh, calf or ankle, just not your knee. From here you can open your arms down by your body with palms facing forward and looking ahead. You can also put your palms together in prayer position or up to make branches with your arms and look to your thumbs or the ceiling.

Relaxed your shoulders, keep the back straight, balance on the 3 points of your foot and keeping a straight line from top to bottom and having an awareness of your pelvis with anterior or posterior tilts. Hold this position up to 2 min each side. When you are ready slowly lower your leg and shake the legs out and swap sides.

If your mood is low and you feel down, and you need a push for energy, backbends are what is needed. They are good for opening up and embracing life and life’s challenges.

Then which backbends?

I have chosen Ushttasana (camel pose).

  • Physical benefits with this pose are the extension of the vertebrae,
  • stimulation of the spinal nerves which relieving backache, rounded back and drooping shoulders.
  • Having the neck stretched tones the throat organs and regulates the thyroid.
  •  benefits the digestive and reproductive system, through the stretch in the stomach and intestines.

You would begin by sitting in vajrasana pose and then stand on your knees with arms by your side. Lean slowly backwards right-hand reach for the right heel and left hand reaching for the left heel.

Pushing the hips forward, keeping the thighs vertical and bend the head and spine backward as far as comfortable. Relax into the pose and the support is even through both arms and legs. Hold for up to 3min for a static pose and when you are ready to come back slowly release one hand at a time and transition into the counterpose balasana.

Forward bends are a good counterpose for backbends but also good for calming the emotions down. If you need to calm the mind, release anger or release ego these asanas will help.

Counterposes

Balasana (Childs pose) 

  • stretches and strengthens the back muscles and separates the individual vertebrae from each other, releasing the pressure of the discs, this pose also tones the pelvic muscles and sciatic nerve.

Sit in the vajrasana pose and widen the gap between your knees close to the width of your matt.

Fold forward putting your forehead on the mat and making a curve in the spine.

Stretch your arms out forward with your palms facing down and your stomach rest between your legs.

Push your tail bone down towards your feet and relax, holding this pose around 3min or to calm anger up to but no more than 10 min.

After back and forward bending you should do a spinal twisting asana.

Spinal twist

Meru Vakrasana (spinal twist) 

  • good for managing entangled knots and twists in your life.
  • give us the confidence and energy to learn how to deal with these problems.
  • good for the spine, and toning the nerves.
  • Alleviates certain types of backaches or neck pain.

Sitting with your legs out straight and back straight, bend your right knee and place your right foot on the outside of the left knee.

Breath in and raise your arms to the sky and on the exhale twist your body to the right.

Placing your left elbow on your right knee with your hand pointing up palm outwards and right hand flat on the ground behind you. On every inhale lengthen the body and exhale twist a little deeper. Holding each side up to 3 min, and when ready re-centre and change legs and twist to the other side.

After moving through some asana’s, pranayama and meditation should be added to the practice, or even on their own if required. They are useful for other ways to gain control of your emotions.

Which pranayamas to practice?

Many pranayamas are good for looking within and connecting with yourself deeply.

You can start by :

Nadi Shodhana should be practiced in each practice of pranayama to balance and purifying to form the basis for a successful practice of pranayama.

Nadi shodhan

Bhramari Pranayama (humming bee breath) is good for relieving stress and cerebral tension and helps alleviating anger, anxiety, insomnia, which increases the healing capacity of the body.

Bhramari Pranayama includes a meditative state by harmonizing the mind and directing the awareness inwards. The vibration of the humming sound creates a soothing effect on the mind and nervous system.

Sit in a comfortable seated pose hands resting on your knees. Back straight and body relaxed.

Raise the arms out to the side, bend the elbows, and bringing the index fingers to plug each ear.

Bringing awareness to the center of the head take a deep breath in through the nose and exhale slowly and controlled while making a deep steady humming sound like that of a bee.

The humming sound should be smooth and continue for the duration of the exhale.

The softness of this sound will vibrate at the front of the skull.

At the end of the round, the hands can stay or be lowered and raised again for the next round. This practice can be between 5-10 rounds for beginners and increase up to 10-15 minutes, if increased tension and anxiety can practice for up to 30 min.

If sitting down is not comfortable for you then meditation with movement is something you can work with.

What about meditation for your emotions ?

Walking meditation, another way to grow

One of the meditations of movement is walking, yes, just genal walking.

You can walk anywhere, your house, studio, garden, or the beach.

Anywhere you can walk without tripping can be used. This type of meditation is where you look on the ground just in front of yourself, so you can see where you are going, but having your awareness on your mind and body.

Keeping your body upright, aligned and dignified whilst being comfortable and natural, walk slowly and deliberate with each step.

Take each step by pressing the heel down first and flattering the foot and then lifting the other foot and step forward and place the heel on the ground following by flattening the foot and then taking the next step and repeat.

Just breath naturally (from the diaphragm) and focusing on the rhythmic flow of the breath during each step.

Walk around for at least 5min up to 15min focusing on your breath and your steps. This refocuses your thoughts away from any emotions that are causing you to feel sad, angry or even when you want to calm your pitta.

This meditation gives you the opportunity to look deep within and remember the Earth that sustains us and develop gratitude. Be mindful as possible by being aware of your body and the physical sensations in each step as you move.

Emotional balances from imbalance of doshas:

Knowing your ayurvedic constitution will help you to know what doshas imbalances you have.

You can use asanas to get your balance back for e.g. if you are having an imbalance with your pitta then twisting poses will help towards increasing pitta and forward folds to cool the pitta. Keep checking your dosha till you have a balance and this should help you have more control of your emotions also.

Yoga is a lifestyle and a strong understanding of your mind and body. You still feel emotions, however through yoga practice you have better control of your emotions, aware of your imbalances and/or emotions and controlling them through asanas, pranayama and meditation to take control back.

Wake up with love for yourself, your neighbor, and love for nature, whilst being aware of your emotions and practice what is needed to have control of your mind and body again.

Remember to just breathe, breath in deeply, and exhale completely.

Breath is the main part in charge of our homeostasis. If you are breathing badly, it will automatically impact negatively the state of your mind and system regulation in your body.

Conclusion

Emotions are temporary

Emotions come and go.

Simply become the witness.

Becoming the witness does not mean pushing away your thoughts and emotions; it means allowing them fully, giving them our full attention and awareness without believing that this is who we are.

Emotion takes place within us, yes, and you can even say that it is part of us, but it is not who we really are, and seeing that frees us to be able to fully experience an emotion.

When we are able to fully experience an emotion our world changes because the nature of life is that sooner or later everything changes.

We are not our thoughts.

What we resist persists

When you feel an emotion, don’t run away from it, don’t wallow in it.

Just give it space, feel the raw sensation in the body without stories, without involvement, just presence! This is the highest form of yoga.

If you can really do this, before you know it, the emotion will have changed or dissolved and you can feel the peace that comes from being the pure witness to all experiences.

I hope this gives you an idea of how to handle emotional pain in your yoga practice.

References

A study on effect of yoga on emotional regulation, self-esteem, and feelings of adolescents

Effect of integrated yogic practices on positive and negative emotions in healthy adults

Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life

Reasons, Years and Frequency of Yoga Practice: Effect on Emotion Response Reactivity

“I Just Find It Easier to Let Go of Anger”: Reflections on the Ways in Which Yoga Influences How Young People Manage Their Emotions

A study on effect of yoga on emotional regulation, self-esteem, and feelings of adolescents

Yoga For Osteoporosis

Women over the age of 50 are more prone to natural loss of bone mass

A specific Yoga protocol for osteoporosis fights it and helps prevent and reverse the condition effectively.

As with all other tissues, bone tissue regenerates. But osteoporosis results from an imbalance in the regeneration of new tissue.

Osteo” means bone and “porosis” means pores.

In osteoporosis, the bone structure becomes porous and bone mass decreases.

The consequences?

The bone becomes brittle, you are more prone to fractures and even on a simple movement or jerk.

In general, women over the age of 50 are more prone to natural loss of bone mass, and older women show a higher rate of bone mass loss as they age. The reason given is the decrease in estrogen after menopause. Estrogen is responsible for maintaining bone health in women.

Osteoporosis symptoms

Generally, there are no signs and symptoms in people with osteoporosis. They often realize this after a fall, therefore during a fracture. Osteoporosis is diagnosed by bone densitometry, a technique that involves checking the bone density in the hip and spine.

The precursor symptoms that may appear are slight back pain due to the appearance of microfissures in the vertebrae and the weight of the body may be the reason, the loss of a few centimeters in height and the appearance of kyphosis ( forward curvature of the top of the spine).

Wrists, hips and vertebrae are the most common first fractures due to osteoporosis.

Your vertebrae can weaken to the point that they crumple and collapse, which may result in back pain, lost height and a hunched posture

The rate at which we lose bone mass in the last years of life depends on the quality of the bones during our young age.

We therefore understand the importance of taking care of your body from an early age.

How to prevent osteoporosis?

This is about prevention. And it’s not for lack of telling you in my posts.

People who start exercising at an early age are less likely to develop osteoporosis later on.

A sedentary lifestyle is one of the most common causes of osteoporosis along with excessive alcohol consumption and tobacco use leading to loss of bone mass.

People with smaller frames (less bone tissue) feel the impact of osteoporosis more than those with larger bones, because smaller frames have fewer stores of bone mass to lose to osteoporosis. Reduced secretion of sex hormones in both sexes (estrogen for women and testosterone for men) can initiate the disintegration of bone mass.

In addition to age, which causes the natural decline in sex hormones in both sexes, the functioning of the prostate in men and of the breast in women can contribute to the decline in sex hormones in both sexes.

Overactive thyroid, parathyroid or adrenal glands can also lead to loss of bone mass leading to osteoporosis.

Osteoporosis can be prevented by including adequate amounts of calcium in the diet (dairy products, powdered eggshells, green leafy vegetables, soy, orange juice and fish with bones).

Vitamin D, through exposure to the sun, plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium.

Fractures due to osteoporosis can prove fatal for older people because in most cases they do not live beyond the first year after the fracture.

Yoga for osteoporosis

Is yoga good for osteoporosis?

Osteoporosis is the main cause of arthritis, this type of arthritis is known as osteoarthritis.

The loss of mass from the bony surfaces that meet at the joints makes joint movement difficult and painful. The friction between the two adjacent bones that form the joint becomes problematic.

How to practice

Yoga poses for bone health emphasize spinal alignment. Asanas are practiced that keep the spine straight in order to reduce the kyphosis that has set in due to osteoporosis.

As bone mass decreases in the vertebrae, they appear to collapse on top of each other and reduce the space between them. This limits the freedom of movement of the spine.

So focus on lengthening the spine while doing gentle yoga for osteoporosis. This recreates the natural movement and restores space between the vertebrae. A rigid spine is very likely to fracture at the slightest jolt it undergoes.

Yoga poses for osteoporosis include yoga asanas that bear the weight of the body on the arms and hands, to build bone density in the practitioner’s arms and hands.

To prevent osteoporosis with yoga and to treat osteoarthritis, gentle back extensions are practiced, lifting the chest and placing the spine in an arch towards the back.

That helps improve the density of bones that are affected by these movements.

The yoga asanas that are listed here under yoga for osteoporosis have been structured in an easy flow or a vinyasa flow to avoid any jerky movements.

Most fractures in osteoporosis patients result from a poor sense of balance. Transitions between yoga poses are performed appropriately with poses that challenge the balance of the practitioner.

Balance-enhancing yoga poses improve the strength of the balance center in the brain, which proves to be a boon in the later years of life when the sense of balance falls victim to the natural process. of ageing. Yoga poses designed for bone health are good for osteoporosis because they deliberately avoid extreme flexion and extension towards

Yoga Poses for Osteoarthritis

Here some of poses which can be practiced, all depends on your conditions and pathologies. These poses are only examples of what i can suggest during my yoga classes.

If need some help to build your yoga and healthylife style, click here for a free session.

References

Twelve-Minute Daily Yoga Regimen Reverses Osteoporotic Bone Loss

Effects of Yogasanas on osteoporosis in postmenopausal women

Yoga and Bone Health

Effectiveness of Pilates and Yoga to improve bone density in adult women: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Improve your vision with Trataka

For someone who practices traáč­ak properly from childhood, it is not necessary to wear glasses during his life

Regular practice of Tratak Kriya improve your vision. For someone who practices traáč­ak from childhood, it is not necessary to wear glasses during his life.

Tratak Kriya, simply Trataka or Tratakam, is one of the six practices of yogic purification (Shatkriya). It is used in Hatha Yoga and also in Tantra yoga practices. 

Trataka: the concept behind the practice

Blinking in the waking state is common to all animals. When you stare at an object, blinking occurs on its own. Tratak is the practice of staring at an object without blinking until tears flow. The ancient sages of India incorporated it into the system of yoga.

Blinking is the act of Prana, the life force. The activity of Prana is directly related to the activity of the mind. When Prana moves, the mind also moves. Likewise, when Prana stops, the mind also stops.

There are five types of Prana which deal with the main functions of the body and also five types of sub-Prana which deal with auxiliary functions.

Kurma is one of the five auxiliary Pranas or Sub-Pranas. The main function of Kurma Prana is blinking. Blinking occurs automatically when Kurma is active. If we stop blinking, the Kurma stops working. Therefore, the mind also ceases to function. This is the concept behind the practice of Tratak Kriya.

What types, practices and benefits of traáč­ak?

The eyes, one of the 5 senses, by which the spirit experiences the exterior, that is to say the material reality, presents the graphic and visual details of this external reality to the spirit.

All five senses (nose,  smell, skin, touch, tongue, taste, ears, sound and eyes, sight), generate a vision of the outside world. They present the same reality but from their individual point of view.

Spirit constructs the final reality by convincingly overlaying this five-pronged information on the same perception: outer reality.

The real eye is the bundle of nerve cells known as the optic nerve located between the retina and the brain where the actual image is constructed using signals received by the externally visible oval-shaped eyeballs.

The eyes are the most important sensory organ for man since 80% of the information collected in his environment, essential to his survival, is received by the eyes.

It is therefore very important to provide proper care and maintenance of eye hygiene.

Yoga offers a number of techniques that describe ways to keep the eyes healthy for as long as one lives.

I invite you to practice the techniques regularly to take advantage of the resulting benefits.

What is Trataka?

As already said, but repeating is learning 😉, Trataka is a yogic cleansing (a shatkarma) and tantric meditation method that involves staring at a single point such as a small object, blackhead, or candle flame. It brings energy to the third eye (ajna chakra) and promotes various psychic abilities.

This consists of central fixation of the sight, looking at or focusing the sight on any object.

The mind has an important role in what we see. The eyes only follow thoughts. It is possible to read a multitude of feelings just by looking the eyes from someone.

To do Trataka, the mind must be trained to focus for longer intervals of time in order to keep the gaze fixed on an object.

How to practice Trataka:

Light on the candle

You can use those objects cited below to fix your gaze:

  • on the flame of a candle,
  • a point,
  • the sun
  • the moon,
  • the vegetables,
  • the Om symbol,
  • a circle,
  • the tip of his nose
  • etc.

There are approximately 36 items that can be used to perform Tratak. The safest are the moon, the flame of the candle and contemplation of the thumb.

Ideally, Trataka is best done in the morning or evening on an empty stomach.

If you’re a beginner, you might be able to keep your eyes open without blinking for 15 seconds or so. After a while, you may increase this as stamina allows. Some people will moon gaze for ten or fifteen minutes without blinking.

Look at the sun : Surya Tratak

The sun is a great source of Prana, life energy. Looking at the sun provides a lot of Pranic energy.

It is necessary to start the practice at the FIRST RAYS OF THE RISING SUN or at the rays of the setting sun. Only two or three minutes in the first rays of the sun are recommended. More than that, you risk incurring harmful radiation.

When you look at the sun, imagine that the pranic energy is coming from the center of the sun towards your eyes in a straight line and filling your body with Prana. Imagine that your body shines like the sun full of Prana. Similarly, imagine that your exhale reaches the center of the sun and you inhale directly from the center of the sun. It heals every cell in your body.

Moon glazing:

The moon itself is a powerful meditation object because of its influence on the subtle psychic energy and dream functions. People who are very sensitive tend to be quick to notice this.

Moon gazing can be practiced on a clear night, very beneficial during full moon nights.

Keep your eyes relaxed, do not stare too hard, and avoid blinking as much as possible throughout the observation period.

Why gazing at the moon is good for the eyes?

In Ayurvedic medicine, moonlight is believed to help heal and soothe the body.

The moon gently energizes, in contrast with the sun’s sharp brightness. Moonlight exposure is thought to also relieve anxiety and stress and improve relaxation by prompting the natural release of melatonin.

Ayurveda holds that moonbathing (or moon gazing) may have particular benefit for females, since the moon is thought to help increase fertility and lead to more regular menstrual cycles.

  • Relief from insomnia
  • Remarkable concentration abilities
  • Correction of eye problems such as myopia, farsightedness and the early stages of cataracts (I haven’t verified this, but it’s a common claim)
  • Development of the third eye and intuitive abilities
  • Deep relaxation and many of the other benefits you receive from meditation

How to contemplate the flame of a candle?

Contemplating the tip of a candle flame is another way to practice Trataka.

A simple wax candle or basic lamp with a wick immersed in ghee or any oil will suffice.

Sit in any meditative posture: Siddhasana, Sukhasana, etc.

  • Place a lit candle 40-50 cm in front of you in line with the eyes, not at any angle to them, the neck should not turn to either side.
  • Adjust according to your needs and comfort. A dark environment will help focus on the flame better
  • Keep the flame at eye level.
  • The candle should be placed directly in front,
  • The flame must be stable and not waver (avoid drafts and wind).
  • Close your eyes and try to focus on the breath for a moment to be in the present.
  • Keep the body relaxed, straight and the spine straight
  • Fix the gaze on the smallest possible area at the end of the flame and stabilize the gaze with the will. The quality of the gaze is inversely proportional to the area on which the gaze is fixed
  • Keep your eyes relaxed and avoid blinking (the eyes will naturally adjust to the glare in a while) as much as possible until they become watery.
  • After which close your eyes for a while and try to create the afterimage of the flame in the closed eyes.

The clarity of the after image depends on the quality of concentration with which the gaze has been practiced.

Once the image disappears, take a few breaths with your eyes closed and then open them slowly

Apply the heat generated by your previously rubbed palms to your closed eyes to further relax them

Start with a minimum duration of one minute, then gradually increase to ten minutes or whatever is comfortable according to your abilities.

Advantages of staring at the candle:

  • Eyesight is improved
  • Eye muscles are strengthened
  • Improves concentration, intelligence and memory
  • Prepares the mind for meditation as it induces deep focus and concentration
  • Improved self-confidence, willpower and patience. What makes you efficient and productive in whatever is undertaken
  • The mind slows down, calms and leads to inner peace
  • Decision making becomes positive due to improved clarity of thought.
  • All mental afflictions are alleviated with improved attitude.
  • Alleviates insomnia or induces drowsiness, effective tool in the fight against headaches
  • Relieves daily stress

Gheranda Samhita even mentions acquiring the ability of clairvoyance as one of the benefits of candle contemplation.

How to contemplate the tip of his nose?

Light on the candle

Nasikagra Trataka is looking at the end of your nose.

One can sit in any comfortable posture, keeping the spine and neck straight.

Now fix both eyes on the tip of the nose for one to two minutes. Repeat this several times, taking rest intervals with your eyes closed in between.

Look between the eyebrows or Bhrumadhya Trataka

Sit comfortably with your torso and neck straight.

Fix the gaze between the center of the eyebrows for one to two minutes, then relax the eyes by keeping them closed for a few seconds. Repeat this operation several times.

This eye exercises technique is also known as Shambhavi mudra.

Looking between the eyebrows stimulates the olfactory and optic nerves which in turn energize the central and autonomic nervous systems.

The brain is soothed and generates a feeling of calm. Then, the mind and the eyes are closely linked, the state of the mind is reflected in the eye movements: a restless mind will also have a restless eye and vice versa. It also helps activate the Ajna Chakra.

Look at the right shoulder: Daksinajatru Trataka

Look at his right shoulder (look at the end of the right collarbone). Keeping your body straight, your neck steady, fix your gaze on the tip of your right shoulder. Take care that the neck does not move or twist towards the right shoulder as only the eyeballs turn towards it. Stay in this position for a minute to two minutes before closing your eyes to relax them.

Look at the left shoulder: Vamanjatru Trataka

The left shoulder gaze is done in the same way as explained above for the right shoulder gaze, the only difference being that here the gaze is fixed on the left shoulder instead of the right shoulder .

With regular practice you will achieve a certain level of efficiency and stability in these practices.

The last four Trataka practices can be performed in a sequence with equal durations.

What to do or not to do after trataka?

  • Wash the eyes with cold water to stimulate blood circulation after the Trataka is finished.
  • Do not use any externally applied eye medication after practicing Trataka
  • Contraindications
  • People with schizophrenia should avoid doing Trataka or do it only under the guidance of an expert.

Conclusion

Trataka sessions improve working memory, spatial memory, and spatial attention.

Tratak is just the outside help you need to focus your mind.

If you pass the Trataka, the next steps will unfold on their own.

If you meditate on a specific object consistently, the object reveals itself. Such is the power of meditation.

The Trataka kriya makes it possible to achieve this.

Regular practice of Tratak Kriya gives you healthy and shiny eyes. For someone who practices traáč­ak from childhood, it is not necessary to wear glasses during his life. The sight becomes comparatively sharper than that of those who do not practice. For a person who wears glasses, the number of glasses will not increase.

Through the practice of traáč­ak, a practitioner can activate the chakras and raise the Kundalini. But this requires the advice of a guru.

Similarly, many siddhies can be attained during the traáč­ak sadhana. This may vary from practitioner to practitioner. However, he should not give them importance. Likewise, it should not be practiced for the purpose of reaching the Siddhies. They become the cause of distress rather than doing good.

Accomplished yogis can perform Shaktipat and cure disease by performing Tratak on the diseased part of a person.

References

Effect of trataka on cognitive functions in the elderly

Effect of Trataka (Yogic Visual Concentration) on the Performance in the Corsi-Block Tapping Task: A Repeated Measures Study

A clinical study to evaluate the efficacy of Trataka Yoga Kriya and eye exercises (non-pharmocological methods) in the management of Timira (Ammetropia and Presbyopia)

Response to “trataka and cognitive function”

What is Panchakarma treatment?

Ayurveda uses preventive and curative therapies, the Panchakarma is one of those. It uses also other various methods for purification and rejuvenation.

Ayurveda is more than just a healing system; it is a science and a proper art of living that helps to achieve longevity. It can guide each individual in the right choice of diet, lifestyle, and exercise to restore balance in body, mind, and consciousness, thereby preventing disease from gaining a foothold in the system.

Kizhi ayurvedic treatment

Panchakarma is a treatment program for the body, mind and consciousness, which cleanses and rejuvenates.

It is practiced individually to precisely meet the needs of one’s Ayurvedic constitution and specific disorders of the mind. It therefore requires observation and supervision.

The Panchakarma therapy principles

The treatment begins with pre-purification measures called Snehana and Svedana, then cleansing methods, Shodan are applied.

It is based on Ayurvedic principles that creation is made up of 5 main elements. Each of these 5 elements is present in greater or lesser proportions and includes a range of qualities that manifest themselves in a more or less obvious way in each individual and depending on the situation. The five basic elements are ether, air, fire, water and earth.

The combination of these elements constitutes the three doshas (tridosha): Vata, Pitta and Kapha, and their balance is unique to each individual.

  • Vata: a combination of ether and air,
  • Pitta: a combination of fire and water.
  • kapha: a combination of water and earth, are called the tridosha.

These are the three humors or the three organizations of the body, which also derive from consciousness.

Each individual constitution and mind temperament is determined by the proportions of these three doshas at the time of fertilization meaning that when the embryo is formed, the constitution is determined.

When this doshic balance is disturbed, it generates disorders causing symptoms and eventually leads to disease.

Each individual constitution therefore has its own unique balance according to its own nature (vata, pitta and kapha or VPK).

This balance of VPK is the natural order. When this doshic balance is disturbed, it creates an imbalance.

Health is order; disease is disorder.

Order is the state of health, as defined by Ayurveda. It exists when the digestive fire (agni) is in a state of balance; bodily humors (vata, pitta and kapha) are in balance, the three waste products (urine, faeces and sweat) are produced and eliminated normally, the seven bodily tissues (rasa, rakta, mamsa, meda, asthi, majja and shukra/artava ) function normally, and the mind, senses and consciousness work harmoniously together.

When the balance of these systems is disturbed, the process of disease (disorder) begins.

The doshas according to their balance or imbalance:


Doshas and the elements

Vata (air+ether) in balance: great agility, dry hair and skin, thin body, creative, energetic, flexible, excitement, new experiences

Imbalanced vata: hypertension, constipation, weight loss, weakness, arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, digestive problems.

Pitta (fire+water) in balance: perfect digestion, luminous complexion, good appetite, precise, quick-witted, direct and frank.

Pitta out of balance: itching, indigestion, excessive body heat, burning sensations, irritable temper, arguments.

Kapha (earth+water) in balance: great endurance, wide and soft eyes, strong body, soft skin, loyal, patient, stable, understanding.

Kapha out of balance: oversleeping, overweight, suffers from asthma, depression, diabetes, resistance to change, stubborn.

Benefits of Panchakarma

  • Eliminate toxins and toxic conditions from your body and mind.
  • Restore your constitutional balance by improving your health and well-being.
  • Strengthen your immune system and become more resistant to disease.
  • Reverse the negative effects of stress on your body and mind, slowing down the aging process.
  • Bring deep relaxation and a feeling of well-being.
Doshas balancing treatments

Purvakarma : the pre-purification measures:

Before the purification processes begin, it is necessary to prepare the body to promote the elimination of toxins. These two procedures are called snehan and svedana.

Snehan is oil massage. The oil is applied all over the body with a specific massage to move toxins to the gastrointestinal tract. Oil massage also makes superficial and deep tissues soft and supple, helping to eliminate stress and nourish the nervous system.

Snehan is administered daily for three to seven days.

Svedana is sweating or perspiration. It is practiced every day immediately after the snehan. A herbal concoction can be added to the steam to further loosen the toxins from the individual. Svedana helps liquefy toxins to direct them into the gastrointestinal tract.

After three to seven days of snehan and svedana, the body is ready to receive the method or methods of panchakarma given according to the constitution and disorders of the individual.

Cleaning methods: shodanas

  • Vamana
  • Virechan
  • Basti
  • Nasya
  • Rakta Moksha

Vamana: Vomiting Therapy

When there is congestion in the lungs causing repeated bouts of bronchitis, colds, coughs or asthma, the Ayurvedic treatment is therapeutic vomiting, vamana, to remove the kapha causing excess mucus. Often this also releases pent up emotions that have been held in the kapha areas of the lungs and stomach along with the accumulated dosha. Once the mucus is released, the patient will feel relief instantly. Congestion, wheezing, and shortness of breath are likely to go away and the sinuses will become clear.

Therapeutic vomiting is also indicated in chronic asthma, diabetes, chronic cold, lymphatic congestion, chronic indigestion and edema. After vamana, it is recommended to rest, fast, smoke certain herbal cigarettes, and not suppress natural urges (i.e. urination, defecation, gas, sneezing, cough). If vamana is administered correctly, the person should feel relaxation in the lungs, be able to breathe freely, have lightness in the chest, clear thinking, clear voice, good appetite and all symptoms of congestion will disappear.

Virechan: Purgation therapy

When excess bile, pitta, is secreted and accumulated in the gallbladder, liver and small intestine, it tends to cause rashes, skin inflammations, acne, chronic bouts of fever, vomiting of bile, nausea and jaundice. The Ayurvedic literature suggests in these conditions the administration of a therapeutic purgation or a therapeutic laxative. Purgatives help relieve excess pitta that causes biliary disorders in the body. In fact, purgatives can completely cure the problem of excess pitta. When purgatives are used, the patient should not eat foods that aggravate the overriding mood or unbalance the three humors. 

Basti: Enema Therapy

Vata is a very active principle in pathogenesis (disease). If we can control vata through the use of basti, we have come a long way towards the root cause of the vast majority of disease. Vata is the main etiological (causal) factor in the manifestation of diseases. It is the driving force for the elimination and retention of feces, urine, bile and other excreta. Vata is mainly located in the large intestine, but bone tissue (asthi dhatu) is also a site for vata. Therefore, drugs administered rectally have an effect on asthi dhatu. The lining of the colon is related to the outer covering of the bones (periosteum), which nourishes the bones. Therefore, any drug administered rectally penetrates deeper tissues, such as bones, and corrects vata disorders.

Nasya : Administration nasale

The nose is the doorway to the brain and it is also the doorway to consciousness. The nasal administration of drugs is called nasya. An excess of bodily humors accumulated in the sinuses, throat, nose or head is eliminated through the nearest possible opening, the nose.

Prana, vital force in the form of nerve energy, enters the body through the breath carried out through the nose. It is found in the brain and maintains sensory and motor functions. Prana also governs mental activities, memory, concentration and intellectual activities. A dysregulation of prana results in malfunctioning of all these activities and produces headaches, convulsions, memory loss and reduced sensory perception.

Nasal administration, nasya, is therefore indicated for prana disorders, sinus congestion, migraines, convulsions and certain eye and ear problems. Breathing can also be improved by nasal massage. For this treatment, the little finger is dipped in ghee and inserted into the nose. The inner walls of the nose are slowly massaged, going as deep as possible.

This treatment will help to open the emotions. (The tissues of the nose are tender and for this application the nail must be kept short so as not to injure the delicate mucous membranes). Since most people have a deviated septum, one side of the nose will be easier to enter and massage than the other. The finger should not be inserted by force. The massage should be done by slow penetration, the finger moving first clockwise, then counterclockwise. In this way, the emotions stuck in the airways will be released. This treatment can be used morning and evening. This way breathing patterns will change as emotions are released and eyesight will also improve. 

Rakta Moksha: Ayurvedic blood purification

Toxins present in the gastrointestinal tract are absorbed into the blood and circulate throughout the body. This condition is called toxemia, which is the root cause of repeated infections, hypertension, and some other circulatory disorders. This includes repeated attacks of skin disorders such as hives, rashes, herpes, eczema, acne, scabies, leucoderma, chronic itching or hives.

In these conditions, in addition to internal medication, elimination of toxins and purification of the blood are necessary. Rakta moksha is also indicated for enlarged liver, spleen and gout. Pitta is produced from the disintegrated red blood cells in the liver. Thus, pitta and blood have a very close relationship. An increase in pitta can pass into the blood, causing toxicity, and therefore many pitta-genic disorders. Drawing a small amount of blood from a vein relieves the tension created by pitta-genic toxins in the blood. Leeches have been used as an alternative to bloodletting. Bleeding also stimulates the spleen to produce anti-toxic substances that help boost the immune system.

Toxins are neutralized, resulting in a radical cure for many blood-borne diseases. Certain substances such as sugar, salt, yogurt, acid-tasting foods and alcohol are toxic to the blood. In the case of certain blood disorders, these substances must be avoided to keep the blood pure.

For rakta moksha treatment other than bloodletting, there are blood purification practices involving herbs, gemstone therapy, or colored water therapy. For any rakta moksha treatment or related alternative treatment, it is beneficial to refrain from consuming yogurt, salt, sugar, alcohol, marijuana, sour and fermented foods.

What lifestyle and diet during therapy

Ayurvedic diet

At each stage of panchakarma therapy, certain lifestyle and diet guidelines should be followed. It is important to rest and remain calm to receive the full benefits and effects of the therapy.

One therefore avoids all strenuous exercise, sexual activity, late nights, loud music, television and other stimulating experiences.

This is also a great time to observe one’s thoughts and experiences during this time.

Meals are designed to support the cleansing process. As the toxins return to the gastrointestinal tract, the power of digestion is further slowed down. Kitchari is one of the adequate food techniques, very easy to digest, which nourishes all the tissues of the body, and excellent for the regeneration of cells. It helps in the detoxification and cleansing process.

Kitchari is a seasoned mixture of rice and mung dal, and is the basis of the Ayurvedic way of life. Basmati rice and mung dal both have the qualities of being mild and refreshing with a sweet aftertaste. Together they create a balanced diet; an excellent combination of protein and is tridoshic.

Conclusion

Panchakarma is a very technical Ayurvedic treatment and requires the proper guidance of a highly trained and knowledgeable Ayurvedic practitioner.

It cannot be undertaken alone with information from an article or a book.

Panchakarma is an individual process personalized to one’s constitution, physical and mental disturbances, disease and therefore requires close observation and supervision.

To rejuvenate and cure, join me ine the Ayurvedic panchakarma retreat. all the details here

Om Dhanvantari Namah

References

Ayurveda and Panchakarma: Measuring the Effects of a Holistic Health Intervention

Effect of panchakarma and Ayurvedic treatment in postpartum rheumatoid arthritis (amavata): A case study

An integrated therapy approach for the management of obesity-associated disorders: A case report

Effect of Vasantic Vaman and other Panchakarma procedures on disorders of various systems

Efficacy of panchakarma in sandhivata w.s.r. to knee arthritis

Efficacy of virechana karma in the management of obesity and hypothyroidism: A case study

Best calcium supplement: natural and without dairy

Searching for the best calcium supplement?…They are an effective (and inexpensive) source of calcium to make your bones stronger and further improve health.

Eggshell: calcium supplement

Calcium is essential for the following processes:

  • Formation of bones and teeth
  • Contraction of muscles
  • Normal function of many enzymes
  • Blood clotting
  • Normal heart rhythm

So, the next time you decide to crack a few eggs to make a delicious omelet or bake a cake, make sure you don’t scrap those eggshells! Save them for later use!

Role of calcium in the body

About 99% of the body’s calcium is stored in the bones, but calcium is also found inside cells (especially in muscle cells) and in the blood.

The body precisely controls the amount of calcium in the cells and blood. It moves from the bones into the blood when necessary to maintain a constant level of calcium in the blood.

In case of insufficient calcium intake, this can lead to osteoporosis (vitamin D and calcium deficiency).

To maintain a normal level of calcium in the blood without weakening the bones, we need to consume at least 1,000 to 1,500 mg of calcium per day.

The level of calcium in the blood is regulated mainly by two hormones:

  • Parathormone
  • Calcitonin

Parathyroid hormone is produced by the four parathyroid glands, located behind the thyroid gland in the neck.

When blood calcium levels decrease, the parathyroids produce more parathormone.

When blood calcium levels increase, the parathyroids produce less hormone.

Parathyroid hormone:

  • Stimulates the release of calcium into the bloodstream from the bones
  • Decreases the elimination of calcium in the urine by the kidneys
  • Stimulates the absorption of calcium by the digestive tract
  • Stimulates the activation of vitamin D by the kidneys, which in turn increases the capacity of the digestive tract to absorb calcium

Calcitonin is produced by certain thyroid cells. It lowers the level of calcium in the blood by slowing down, but only slightly, the breakdown of bone.

Milk and calcium: the debate

Milk and the actual debate

Calcium from milk is generally the reference food, with an absorption efficiency of 20 to 40%, depending on the calcium status of the individual. The absorption efficiency of most plant sources is as good as or better than that of dairy products, except when they have high concentrations of oxalic acid or phytic acid.

But many calcium-rich plants are also rich in oxalates, such as spinach, rhubarb, chard, beets, soybeans, legumes, almonds and many others.

Too much oxalate in the body can interfere with the healing of injured tissues and joints.

One of the principles of Ayurveda is to apply balance… a little of everything without excess.

If you digest dairy products, consume milk containing only the ÎČ-casein A2 type (goat’s or sheep’s milk) as the ÎČ-casein A1 in conventional cow’s milk products is inflammatory.

It is understandable that the main reason for this is the intensive breeding practices and the inadequate feeding of the animals in order to produce a large volume of milk without quality and harmful to the proper functioning of the body.

If you do not have access to quality dairy products, sardines with bones, anchovies, turnip or mustard greens, rutabaga, kale Lancinato are rich in calcium and low in oxalates.

But in case of intolerance to dairy products in particular, these intakes may be insufficient.

What happen in case of calcium deficiency:

A calcium deficiency increases the level of parathyroid hormones which regulate the blood calcium level, drawing from the bones if necessary. Increased parathyroid hormones are linked to depression, fatigue, thirst and frequent urination, muscle weakness, constipation, digestive pain, impaired concentration, increased sensitivity to histamine, etc.

Histamine is secreted by certain cells in the body, mostly white blood cells. It is released when the body is in contact with a foreign element such as an allergen. It also regulates the secretion of gastric acid, controls the level of attention and the function of wakefulness. So histamine does have its uses, but if it gets too much, the body will tell us.

The magic of the egg:

Since calcium supplementation is not always well supported, the use of eggshells can be a very good alternative. Some researches suggests that the calcium in eggshell powder is better absorbed than pure calcium carbonate, making it an effective calcium supplement.

Eggshell powder has antirachitic effects, increases bone density and stimulates cartilage growth. It is suitable for the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

It contains about 40% calcium, with each gram providing about 380 mg of calcium. This means that between 2 and 2.5 grams of eggshell can be enough to satisfy your needs, i.e. half an eggshell.

The magic of eggs

Eggshell powder is a natural source of :

  • calcium
  • strontium and fluoride

Which can have a positive effect on bone metabolism. Strontium is used in some medicines against osteoporosis. The eggshell membrane is mainly made up of proteins in the form of collagen, which could help against joint pain.

The eggshell membrane :

  • contains glucosamine,
  • chondroitin sulfate and hyaluronic acid.

It could be a new effective and safe therapeutic option for the treatment of pain and inflexibility associated with joint and connective tissue disorders.

Eggshell membrane may also have benefits for skin health and slow aging by improving calcium metabolism.

It could reduce triglyceride levels by altering the composition of the gut microbiota, be effective in managing obesity.

This means that the shell membrane should also be consumed to get the best benefits.

As always, it is best to choose eggs from hens raised in good conditions, away from pesticides, other pollution and fed naturally.

How do you do it?

Making eggs powder for calcium intake

Use your eggs as you normally would and rinse your shells, removing any white that may remain but you can leave the membrane that contains nutrients. Then store them in the carton until you have enough.

Boil your eggshells for 10 minutes in filtered water. Skim off any foam that forms.

Drain the shells on paper towels to dry them. Then spread them out on a baking sheet and put them in the oven at 200 degrees for about 20 minutes to sterilize them. The idea is not to brown them.

You can then grind the shells into powder using a coffee grinder, mortar or pestle and store it in a glass jar, away from air, heat and moisture.

One teaspoon contains about 800 to 1,000 mg of calcium. It is best to spread the dose over several meals to improve absorption. You can mix the powder directly into your meals.

Voila the turn is played.

References

Eggshell calcium in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

Calcium supplementation for prevention of primary hypertension

Eggshell membrane: A possible new natural therapeutic for joint and connective tissue disorders. Results from two open-label human clinical studies

Beneficial effects of natural eggshell membrane versus placebo in exercise-induced joint pain, stiffness, and cartilage turnover in healthy, postmenopausal women

Effects of Eggshell Membrane on Keratinocyte Differentiation and Skin Aging In Vitro and In Vivo

Eggshell membrane powder lowers plasma triglyceride and liver total cholesterol by modulating gut microbiota and accelerating lipid metabolism in high‐fat diet‐fed mice

Chicken eggshell as suitable calcium source at home

Eggshell calcium in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis

Ayurvedic winter care

Winter is usually cold, then a specific winter ayurvedic care is always useful. Therefore, Vata Dosha had begun to increase erlier depending on climate conditions and your lifestyle. Winter and Vata doshas possess the same qualities: cold, dry, roughness…

Ayurvedic winter tips

So, if you already have a number of qualities Vata in your constitution, you risk getting out of your zone of balance and triggering pathologies linked to this excess. It is also important to get to know yourself. And to observe what is happening around you to preserve your balance and be in good health.

Now, what are the characteristics of winter? And how to preserve its balance at this time of year…

Observe

To spend a healthy winter according to the principles of Ayurveda, it is first necessary to observe. What is happening around us in this season? What is happening around us has an impact on us (and vice versa).

What happens in winter?

Nature puts itself to rest to regenerate and prepare for renewal with the onset of spring.

After the last rains, at the end of autumn, the cold dries out the soil and begins to harden. Feeling the cold coming, the sap of the trees begins to descend from the branches and the trunk to concentrate at the level of the roots. At the same time, some animals begin to store up and/or prepare to hibernate.

Less supplied with sap, the leaves of the trees dry out little by little. They turn red and finally fall, leaving the branches of the trees bare ready to spend the winter. Leaves cover the ground. Thus protected from the coming frosts, the seeds can patiently wait for milder days.

According to Ayurveda, the coolness and droughts brought by winter cause matter to contract and shrink. Only the essential remains, the structure.

Winter is the time to go back to basics and regenerate before restarting a cycle.

Take this time for rejuvenate

So, Winter is the time to regenerate, to take the time to come back to yourself first. Once we clear our minds, our ideas become clearer. It then becomes possible to go to the essential, that is to say to take stock of the year that has just passed. A report allows us to assess our current situation, and to refine our objectives or even re-evaluate them for the coming year.

We live in a context that distances us more and more from natural cycles and their intrinsic intelligence. Between the beginning of autumn and the first day of winter, the nights become longer and longer. The longest night is on the day of winter, at the time of the solstice. As we have artificial light, luminous screens (and we still make the time change), we become less and less sensitive to natural rhythms, and by extension to our biological rhythms. It asks us to reduce our activities to regenerate us when necessary, to prepare us for a new cycle in harmony with nature, with ourselves.

Ayurveda: a key for health and longevity

Ayurveda is the “science of life” and its purpose is to provide the keys to health and longetivity to carry out our Dharma, that is to say, to realize ourselves.

And by observing nature and its cycles, we can realize that longevity and health depend on simplicity, common sense and our ability to exercise discernment: determining the opportune moments to act, rest, sleep, reflect, speak, be silent, etc.

It would never occur to a seed to start germinating in the dead of winter, because that is precisely when it is least likely to germinate. For the seed to germinate, certain conditions must be met and favorable, and the seed knows when it can begin to germinate because it has this intelligence of life which crosses us and animates us just as much. It is up to us to learn to listen to it by sharpening our sense of observation and developing our awareness of belonging and contributing to something greater than ourselves.

Simple things to do in winter:

These are seasonal practices (in Sanskrit Ritucharya, from Ritu : season and Charya: practice, routine) intended to help reduce Vata Dosha which is on the rise at this time of year. The Ritucharya is an integral part of the Ayurveda in the same way as the Dinacharya, or everyday gestures.

Here are some tips specifically dedicated to winter:

Take the time to do nothing, to rest, to take care of yourself to regenerate.

Cocconing: winter is the best season to regenerate

Review the major events of the year and take stock to define, redefine or refine our objectives, identify new perspectives based on new developments. Sorting out what is no longer necessary to lighten up and leave room for novelty, which allows you to continue to evolve.

Practice cocooning.

Staying warm in a warm environment surrounded by people we love. As the outside temperature drops in winter, it requires extra effort from the body to maintain its balance. I’m mainly thinking of profiles Vata and Kapha (Above all Vata) which are more sensitive to cold than Pitta.

Practice meditation and Pranayama.

In the morning after waking up, or at the end of the day after work, meditation and Pranayama (breathing techniques, if you want to know more I have developed an Ayurvedic diet, posture and dinacharya program adapted to each constitution) allow you to reduce stress, promote good concentration, have a good night’s sleep best quality.

And as Vata Dosha is increasing in winter, it is recommended to practice meditation and Pranayama to help balance the mind and body (since Vata Dosha manages the regularity of cycles and the nervous system) which will have an impact on our state of health.

Massage, be massaged, self-massage with hot oil.

Abhyanga (massage of the whole body with hot oil) is particularly indicated in winter, because of the alliance between oil and heat which are of opposite quality to Vata Dosha which is in excess at this time of year. Then, massage brings a multitude of benefits to the body and the mind.

In the morning before the hot shower, it is highly recommended to give yourself hot oil self-massages. The oil/heat combination is your best ally against the cooling and drying caused by an increase in Vata Dosha in this season.

Drink hot water with lemon or not when you wake up.

It is a particularly comforting gesture when you wake up. In addition, hot water combined with lemon juice cleanses the body and helps stimulate the immune system. Be careful, lemon is not suitable for all constitutions and can sometimes not be digested correctly causing an imbalance of the doshas.

And you might as well make your body’s work easier by eating and drinking food and liquids at the same temperature as your body, i.e. around 37°C.

Practice the Jal neti and Nasya.

Jala Neti is a daily gesture that makes sense in winter, a season when ENT problems are legion. Jala means “water” and neti means “cleaning”. It consists of cleaning the nostrils with warm salt water (at body temperature). After cleaning, it is advisable to cover the nostrils with medicinal oil (such as Anu Tailam or Gritam, medicinal butter to which plants have been added) to protect them from external aggressions. This gesture strengthens the nervous system and the entire ENT area.

Eat cooked foods.

In general, avoid foods based on white sugar, white wheat flour dairy products and too much fat, to maintain your digestive fire and promote good digestion and assimilation.Vata who is the settler. Also to promote good digestion and good assimilation, it is preferable to eat cooked food in winter, especially for people who have a number of characteristics Vata and bring drought to the motherhouse of Vata, raw foods aggravate Vata.

Do gentle and stretching exercises.

Our body works a little slower in winter because we tend to exercise less, to move less. The evenings are short, and the nights longer. Therefore, take the time to soften your body by doing gentle exercises. Avoid intensive sports that will tend to grow back Ama (undigested food waste accumulated in the body) in the deep tissues.

How to handle Christmas time?

Chrismas dinner

So many delightful meals or desserts are made on offer over Christmas that it is hard not to over-indulge and accumulate. The problem is that the toxic waste-product of incomplete digestion accumulates in your body.

This period is tempting to eat sweets that can lead you to over-eat and have snacks at irregular times. This is promoting the build-up of Ama. If this process is not controlled, channels of your body can become clogged up and your immune system weakened.

Moreover, with Ama in your body, you will feel fatigue, lethargy, lack of energy and lack of appetite. Stiffness of joints, respiratory issues, allergen reactions, occasional constipation or weight gain can also be experienced.

So, what can you do to avoid Ama? 

Keep your digestive fire (Agni) burning!

Overindulgence in all those rich Christmas treats will overload your digestive Agni. With an efficient agni you will break down food properly and nourish your cells efficiently without creating toxins. Then it will purify your body from metabolic wastes. If not you get weakened and so does the rest of your body.

And when Agni is strong your body is able to digest food efficiently without creating toxins. The point is to “avert the danger yet to come,” and avoid creating the seeds of future illness.

How to keep your Agni strong? 

Eat your main meal at midday

Most of the time Christmas celebration takes place for dinner. According to the natural laws of your digestive cycle, Agni is at its highest, and you are more able to digest rich, high-nutrient food, at midday. So try and schedule your Christmas lunch between 12 noon and 2pm.

A big meal in the evening will impair your digestive system and can also disrupt your sleep. 

Avoid this by eating a light easily-digested supper at least three hours before going to bed.

You can live Ayurveda easily in your daily life and according to your doshas. Learning ayurveda will help you to know yourself so much better, deal with your common ailments and become your own healer.

This program has a common basis modules with yoga teacher who wants to learn. So it is accessible to everyone. 

Moreover, you learn to understand, to listen, to feed your body according to its needs. (Learnings, diets, rituals, pranayamas, yogas, pharmacopeia
 adapted to your constitution
). 

I also invite you to leave your comments and share your experiences


Hoping that these few tips will help you spend a healthy winter
I am at your disposal for any additional questions. This list is not exhaustive and there are many other gestures and rituals adapted to our doshas. This is already an excellent start.

I wish you wonderful celebrations and take care.

Julie

Powerful mind control techniques

Prana (your breath) and your mind are intricately linked. If you control your prana you will control your mind and you can handle everything.

The only condition, and this is true for everything in order to get results, is your involvement in the practice.
The more you listen to your ego, the less impact it will have on your mental and physical health.

And the more you know your ego, the more you can act on it to manifest the benefits of these practices on your body and mind. And only then will the transformation take place.

Pranayama and yogic technics to control your mind

When prana (breath) moves, chitta (the mental force) moves.

When prana is without movement, chitta is without movement.

By this (regularity of prana), the practitioner achieves stability through the exercises mainly by the retention of the breath.

Prana and mind: the keys to work

You can control the different layers of your mind with yogic practices

Fluctuation of one, prana or mind, means fluctuation of the other. When either the mind or prana becomes balanced the other is steadied.

Hatha yoga says: control the prana and the mind is automatically controlled. While Raja yoga, which helps to achieve inner peace, meditation or dhyan, and stress relief, says: control the mind and the prana becomes controlled. These are two different paths of yoga but both are equally effective.

The mind is equated with a wild monkey, jumping here and there. Because of this inborn tendency it is very difficult to hold it still. Without consciousness of it and methods to relief these often erratic waves.

Mind control with the yoga path

Stress draining you down. Become Yoga to handle.

Hatha yoga focuses on the well-being of the physical body and includes all the asanas. Asanas improve flexibility and posture, immunity, improves physical strength and body -mind counsciousness.

Hatha says let the mind be, concentrate on the autonomic body functions and vital energy, and the mind will become quiet by itself. When the nervous impulses are steady and rhythmic, the brain functions are regulated and the brain waves become rhythmic.

Without discipline and self involvment you can’t have any grip on it.

Disturbed Breath lead to internal disfunctions

The breathing process is directly connected to the brain and central nervous system. It is one of the most vital processes in the body system.

Breathing is not only an autonomic functional system, it is the only function of the autonomic nervous system over which we have control. It is also the only doorway to access to our patterns and traumas to modify and heal them. An incredible tool to IMMEDIATELY deactivate the monkey mind and access the emotions that fuel mental chatter, limiting beliefs and self-sabotage.

So now you undertsand why breathing properly is important to fight and heal from stress, anxiety and traumas.

How is it possible not to pay attention to our breathing? It is simple because breathing is automatic.

Breathing process also has some connection with the hypothalamus. It works directly on your autonomic system to seamlessly manage such functions as your heart rate, blood pressure and body temperature. It also works by releasing hormones that direct other hormones or other glands to manage other bodily functions like sleep, mood, emotional responses, muscle and bone growth and sexual drive.

The hypothalamus is responsible for transforming perception into cognitive experience. Erratic breathing sends erratic impulses to this center and thus creates disturbed responses.

There are also certain areas of the nasal mucous membrane which are connected to the visceral organs. When impulses coming from the nose are arrhythmic, the visceral organs, particularly those connected to the coccygeal plexus, respond in the same manner, arrhythmically. The coccygeal plexus is a nerve plexus near the coccyx bone.

So you understand that by being disturbed, these organs again send irregular impulses to the brain and cause more disharmony and imbalance. This cycle is continuous.

Awareness: the first step to change your mind

By becoming aware of the nature of the breath and by restraining it, the whole system becomes controlled.

When you retain the breath you are stopping nervous impulses in different parts of the body and harmonizing the brain wave patterns. In pranayama, it is the duration of breath retention which has to be increased. The longer the breath is held, the greater the gap between nervous impulses and their responses in the brain. When retention is held for a prolonged period, mental agitation is curtailed.

it exists more than 200 Pranayama to heal or regulate specific conditions. It is usually considered to be the practice of controlled inhalation and exhalation combined with retention.

However, technically speaking, it is only retention and inhalation/exhalation are methods of inducing retention.

Retention is most important because it is a longer period prana’s assimilation, and allows more time for the exchange of gases in the cells i.e. oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Patanjali (author of two great Hindu classics: the first, the Yoga-sutras, a categorization of yogic thought organized in four volumes with the titles “Psychic Power”, “Yoga Practice”, “Samadhi” (state of deep contemplation of the Absolute) and “Kaivalya” (separation); and the second, the Mahabhashya (“Great Commentary”) further says that retention of breath after expiration removes the obstacles to yoga.

Yoga is the union of the two poles of energy within us and during retention the poles come closest together. Breath retention must be developed in order to stop the fluctuations of the brain and mind so that a more expansive type of experience can develop.

Yoga is transformative

When you go further into yoga, there comes a time when you have some control of the mind so you can dive deeper within yourself.

When you practice mantra or meditation, the fluctuating mental waves create a barrier between you and the object you are trying to focus your awareness on.

So how to control the mind?

Use breath technics to control the mind

For many, many centuries, people have known that through pranic restraint you can control the influxes of the mind and through mental restraint you can control the influxes of prana, but various spiritual systems have been debating which is the best method to harness the two energies and induce unity.

Christ and Buddha said the same thing : “Lead a good life and your mind will be controlled.” Of course what they said is true, but people today are exposed to so many disturbing external factors that this approach does not work.

There are many good, charitable, pure-minded and compassionate people, but if you ask them to sit quietly, still the mind and meditate, they can’t do it.

Yama and niyama can help but difficult for modern day and support man. These disciplines has to be integrate in addition but not enough to be a very powerful method for developing mind control.

The body is designed for physiological healing

However, sciences and researches have demonstrated (see studies below) that through pranayama, mudras, bandhas and postures regulate the prana and the mind can be brought under control.

Many spiritual traditions, including Sufism, Buddhism and Hinduism, has already, long time ago, discovered that by focusing on the breath, you still the mind, develop one-pointedness and gain entry into the deeper realms of the mind and consciousness.

It exists a large pranayama’s and yogic practices to heal different pathologies or to follow a spiritual path to open skills.

Breathing gives us the ability to control our mental emotional state, it is a door to the subconscious mind to modify and heal patterns.

Aware of your conditions now?

And conscious that your health is your priority?

Without it you are mentally, psychologically and professionally reduced.

Do you want to learn? Get a free call with me to grow? Click here

References

Exploring the Therapeutic Benefits of Pranayama (Yogic Breathing): A Systematic Review

Exploring the therapeutic effects of yoga and its ability to increase quality of life

Effects of various Praáč‡ayama on cardiovascular and autonomic variables. 

Sudarshan Kriya Yogic breathing in the treatment of stress, anxiety, and depression. Part II–clinical applications and guidelines

Effect of Sheetali pranayama on cardiac autonomic function among patients with primary hypertension – A randomized controlled trial

Immediate effect of Kapalbhathi pranayama on short term heart rate variability (HRV) in healthy volunteers

Yoga breathing, meditation, and longevity

Effect of pranayama breathing technique on asthma control, pulmonary function, and quality of life: A single-blind, randomized, controlled trial

Effects of Yoga Respiratory Practice ( Bhastrika pranayama) on Anxiety, Affect, and Brain Functional Connectivity and Activity: A Randomized Controlled Trial

How yoga improve your brain?

Do you want to improve your brain functions and abilities?

Read this.

Improve your life with your brain

Nowadays, yoga acts as an alternative therapy or medicine for improving brain function. Several scientists have applied yogic practices to reduce brain disorders, nerve diseases and cognitive impairment

The yogic intervention increases the potency of the alpha, beta and delta bands in the frontal, central, parietal, occipital and temporal lobes, while it increases the potency of theta band only in the occipital lobe and the potency of the gamma band in the frontal lobes and slightly in the temporal lobes.

Ok, that’s all well and good, but what does it mean concretely?

Structure of your brain

Human nervous system

The frontal lobe

Basically, the frontal lobe functions with reasoning, planning, problem solving and cognition.

The parietal lobe 

It is associated with visual perception, recognition, information processing and spatial reasoning.

The temporal lobe and occipital lobe

It is related to memory and the processing of verbal and auditory signals. And the occipital lobe with the processing and recognition of visual space

After yoga practices, scientists found a 19.31% increase in delta, a 5.04% increase in theta, a 15.40% increase in alpha, and an 18.68% increase in gamma wave coherence, while beta wave decreases by 1.67%

Asana, pranayama and meditation practices activate alpha, beta and theta waves which influence perception, memory and mood. Delta wave coherence is associated with higher states of consciousness, and increased alpha wave coherence influences wakefulness and alertness

What are these brain waves frequencies?

Delta (0.1 to 3.5 Hz)

The lowest frequencies are delta. These are less than 4 Hz and occur in deep sleep and in some abnormal processes. It is the dominant rhythm in infants up to one year of age and it is present in stages 3 and 4 of sleep.

It tends to be the highest in amplitude and the slowest waves.

We increase Delta waves in order to decrease our awareness of the physical world. We also access information in our unconscious mind through Delta. Most individuals diagnosed with attention deficit disorder, naturally increase rather than decrease Delta activity when trying to focus.

The inappropriate Delta response often severely restricts the ability to focus and maintain attention. It is as if the brain is locked into a perpetual drowsy state.

Theta (4-8 Hz)

The next brainwave is theta. Theta activity has a frequency of 3.5 to 7.5 Hz and is classed as “slow” activity. It is seen in connection with creativity, intuition, daydreaming, and fantasizing and is a repository for memories, emotions, sensations. Theta waves are strong during internal focus, meditation, prayer, and spiritual awareness. It reflects the state between wakefulness and sleep and relates to the subconscious mind.

Theta is believed to reflect activity from the limbic system and hippocampal regions.

Theta is observed in anxiety, behavioral activation and behavioral inhibition. When the theta rhythm appears to function normally it mediates and/or promotes adaptive, complex behaviors such as learning and memory. Under unusual emotional circumstances, such as stress or disease states, there may be an imbalance of three major transmitter systems, which results in aberrant behavior.

Alpha (8-12 Hz)

Alpha waves are those between 8 and 12(Hz). Good healthy alpha production promotes mental resourcefulness, aids in the ability to mentally coordinate, enhances overall sense of relaxation and fatigue. In this state you can move quickly and efficiently to accomplish whatever task is at hand.

When Alpha predominates most people feel at ease and calm.

Alpha appears to bridge the conscious to the subconscious. It is the major rhythm seen in normal relaxed adults and present during most of life especially beyond the thirteenth year when it dominates the resting tracing. Alpha rhythms are reported to be derived from the white matter of the brain.

The white matter can be considered the part of the brain that connects all parts with each other. Alpha is a common state for the brain and occurs whenever a person is alert (it is a marker for alertness and sleep), but not actively processing information.

Alpha has been linked to extroversion (introverts show less), creativity (creative subjects show alpha when listening and coming to a solution for creative problems), and mental work.

When your alpha is within normal ranges, we tend to also experience good moods, see the world truthfully, and have a sense of calmness.

Alpha is one of the brain’s most important frequency to learn and use information taught in the classroom and on the job.

Alpha-Theta training can create an increase in sensation, abstract thinking and self-control. Alpha allows us to shift easily from one task to another.

Effects of Training: can produce relaxation, inner-awareness of self, mind/body integration, balance, centering, healing, mind/body connection

Electroencephalogram

Beta (above 12 Hz)

Beta activity is ‘fast’ activity. It has a frequency of 14 and greater Hz. Beta activity reflects desynchronized active brain tissue. This wave usually seen on both sides in symmetrical distribution and is most evident frontally.

It is generally regarded as a normal rhythm and is the dominant rhythm in those who are alert or anxious or who have their eyes open.
It is the state that most of brain is in when we have our eyes open and are listening and thinking during analytical problem solving, judgment, decision making, processing information about the world around us.


Also, Beta would represent overdrive or hyperdrive in our car scenario.
The beta band has a relatively large range, and has been divided into low, midrange and high.


Effects of Training: produce relaxed focus, improved attentive abilities, mental ability, focus, alertness.

Gamma (above 30 Hz)

The subjective feeling states is thinking and the integratation of thoughts with high-level information processing, and associated with information-rich task processing.

Gamma is measured between 30 and 44 (Hz) and is the only frequency group found in every part of the brain. When the brain needs to simultaneously process information from different areas. A good memory is associated with well-regulated and efficient 40Hz activity, whereas a 40Hz deficiency creates learning disabilities.

So how yoga and its practices improve your brain anf life?

Yoga improve brain and body functions : how and which technics?

Yoga is also an important method to stimulate theta activity associated with anxiety and memory.

Kriya based yoga practice showed a 40% increase in alpha and theta waves primarily in the parietal region.

The practice of Asana meditation increases alpha and theta brainwave activities which reduce anxiety.

Meditation also increases frontal alpha coherence, which reflects improved frontal lobe integration that improves cognitive flexibility, intelligence, and emotional stability.

Regularly practiced yoga thus increases overall brain wave activity, which decreases anxiety and increases the ability to concentrate

Likewise, yogic practices greatly increase alpha activity which improves relaxation, better perception and calmness and relaxation of the mind.. Asana and pranayama considerably increase the activity of alpha waves during yoga sessions. 

The beta wave increases cognitive skills after a yoga session and reduced emotional exhaustion, state of anxiety and fatigue and linked to increased sensory awareness.

Yoga increases gray matter volumes in the temporal and frontal lobes and the increase in the amygdala function, which produces positive effects on mental health and improves overall cognitive functions, an improvement in tasks associated with selective attention, concentration, visual processing ability and improved sensory motor activity. It proportionally contributes to memory. 

Which acts as an alternative therapy to reduce neurological disorders, and an increase in positive mood and perception.

It improves autonomic flexibility by modulating the parasympathetic system. Parasympathetic responses include an increase of digestive enzymes, decreased heart rate, constriction of bronchial tubes in lungs, and more relaxed muscles


The practices of agnisara, nauli and bhastrika, alters the pattern of the electroencephalogram around the somatosensory and parietal areas of the cortex cerebral.

Meditation Alters Brainwave Activity

Meditation allows us to access to inner capacities

The frequency of brainwave activity is altered depending on the state of consciousness and state of mind during meditation. 

Yoga nidra

The practice of yoga nidra is the intermediate stage of wakefulness and sleep, and this stage of the brain produces alpha waves. 

During the yoga nidra session, beta activity is slowly replaced by alpha activity.

This has a positive effect on cognitive and affective processes. Researchers observed increases in slow alpha in intermediate meditators, while advanced yoga meditators showed the emergence of rhythmic theta waves.

Yoga nidra produces alpha dominance in the brain and is characterized by mental relaxation, improved frontal integration, cognitive flexibility, intelligence, and emotional stability.

Meditation

The practice of yoga meditation increases alpha activity.

Scientists have examined that the practice of yoga meditation increases the alpha and beta values ​​of approximately 90% of practitioners, reflecting a state of extreme relaxation that increases alertness to the outside world.

The practice of Nadabrahma meditation greatly increases the alpha wave, which reduces stress and anxiety associated with centering and healing with a mind-body connection. While the beta wave physiologically correlates alertness and activity and aids in general activation of mind and body functions.

Kriyas

Sudarshan kriya also increases the alpha band. The practice of meditation increases alpha and theta waves, relieves stress while increasing memory and concentration, external sensory and motor processing performance, arousal, cognitive flexibility, and mind-body coordination

Scientists have also examined that 10 years of advanced vipassana meditation practice significantly increases gamma power in the parieto-occipital electrodes. Basically, the practice of meditation activates the cingulate gyrus, the thalamus, and the orbital and inferior frontal cortices.

The practice of voluntary meditation increases cognitive performance, while the practice of vipassana meditation increases the concentration of gray matter in the brain.

The practice of Rajyoga meditation reduces neural network activity related to attention, orientation, memory and emotions.

Researchers have reported that meditation improves various cognitive functions, including attention, memory, fluency, executive function, processing speed, and creativity, which positively affects brain function.

Long-term meditation significantly improves information processing speed, while practicing OM meditation also improves mental alertness.

Pranayama alters brain wave coherence

Practicing Pranayama has many benefits on health

Pranayama techniques increase both alpha and beta activity at the very beginning of practice, which increases awareness and relaxation at the same time. In everyday life, beta activity decreases and alpha activity increases when the person is conscious and awake from daily activities, and this pattern reverses when the person relaxes and falls asleep.

Pranayama practice increases theta power which is associated with decreased activity in the brain’s arousal system and the process of falling asleep. Such a practice improves the state of relaxation with a reduced level of anxiety

During such practice, the brain has been found to remain deeply focused with a higher level of mental awareness

Yoga alternate nostril breathing also increases spatial memory scores.

Two months of Sheetali and Sheetkari pranayama are beneficial for body and mind. This indicates that the brain is calm and quiet in a relaxed state with less anxiety. Pranayama practice produces an alpha dominance in the electrical pattern of the brain, which is primarily associated with mental relaxation.

The practice of Nadi sodhan pranayama also increases the power of the alpha and beta band with an increase in the activity of the alpha powers, improving relaxation and cognition, thus leading to a healthy and stress-free life. It increases alertness, wakefulness and excitement, concentration, visual acuity and normal waking state of mind.

Scientists have found that pranayama helps improve the balances between the right and left hemispheres which attribute to circulating neuropsychological functions.

Regular pranayama practice therefore increases cognitive performance, brings relaxation and improves spatial memory performance.

Respiratory regulation improves performance in spatial memory, visual memory, and verbal memory. The processing of sensory information at the thalamic level is facilitated when practicing pranayama.

Yoga improves cognitive function

Yogic intervention increases cognitive performance and better perceived cognition. One study found that practicing hatha yoga for 6 weeks improves working memory and attention shift ability in healthy older adults.

It increases positive mood, short term memory and decreases pain perception, improves various cognitive functions: improved performance, neural activity, active attention and executive functions.

Yogic practices and real facts

Yoga, pranayama, asanas, and meditation improve verbal skills, reaction time, hand-eye coordination, speed, accuracy, and neural performance, develops memory, perception and attention span and activates dormant areas of the brain, while replacing useless memories with useful ones.  

Likewise, asanas, kriyas, mudras, bandhas and the practice of meditation develop consciousness, intellectual efficiency and somatic functions.

The practice of yoga meditation improves the state of consciousness, mental activity and the feeling of well-being and responsiveness. Therefore, yoga improves cognition and overall brain functions.

All studies, directly or indirectly, have shown that yoga is beneficial on brain wave activity. In the human body, the brain is the supreme coordinator that regulates all kinds of movements and functions. 

Activation of the theta wave reduces anxiety, improves short-term memory and influences the process of memory construction and reduces nervousness.

The theta wave also provides heightened intuition, healing of the body and reprogramming of the subconscious mind.

While the increase in beta band power indicates a higher level of alertness and improved engagement task and improvement in various cognitive abilities such as memory, attention, concentration and reaction time.

The increase in alpha and delta power indicates synchronization of brain activity with greater alertness.

Additionally, improved alpha power indicates greater mental silence, tasks requiring memory and imagination, while a high frequency of alpha is primarily associated with centering , healing and improving the mind/body connection.

Alpha and theta can be interpreted as signifiers of heightened attention. It specifically representing internalized attention as well as indexing states of relaxation. Delta wave is basically associated with the deepest state of consciousness, while enhanced gamma power indicates a higher level of consciousness and awareness, where our mind and body reach a new emerging energy.

Conclusion

Practive to get the changes in you

These studies demonstrate the beneficial roles of yoga in improving brain wave activity, better cognition, improved neuropsychological function, and overall brain function

Yoga is positively correlated with overall brain network resilience and efficiency. 

These results reveal the possibility of increasing mental resilience, slowing the functional decline of the brain proving that yoga plays an undeniable role in improving brain and physical activity.

As you may have read, intentionally changing brainwave levels through stimulation has many benefits.

Successfully tested in university settings on student panels and used in hospitals for therapeutic purposes, brainwave stimulation helps to strengthen memory and the immune system. Just like alternative medicine, it is recommended in cases of insomnia, stress, anxiety…

Even if brain training relieves many nervous pathologies, it should not be forgotten that it is aimed at any individual wishing to develop his or her cerebral capacities.

From the artist to the meditator to the office worker, everyone will find considerable benefits.

Especially when the brain enters into resonance and consciousness in the most powerful information processing place of the brain: our unconscious.

So what are you waiting for to start and finally take care of yourself with natural and proven methods


Take a look on studies.

To practice with me: book a free session here

References

EEG based interpretation of human brain activity during yoga and meditation using machine learning: A systematic review

A study on improving physiological and psychological personalities of the students by Vethathiri Maharishi’s nine-center meditation using electroencephalography

EEG paroxysmal gamma waves during Bhramari Pranayama: a yoga breathing technique

Effect of Yoga on Cardiovascular Autonomic Reactivity in Essential Hypertensive Patients

EEG signal based classification before and after combined Yoga and Sudarshan Kriya

Fluid intelligence and brain functional organization in aging yoga and meditation practitioners

EEG alpha and theta oscillations reflect cognitive and memory performance: a review and analysis

Herbal Smoking: benefits and recipe

Herbal smoking or Dhoomapana

Herbal smoking or Dhoomapana is one of the daily routine advices by Ayurveda.

Why?

It is sometimes used for preventive and therapeutic purposes especially to treat or to prevent the appearance of diseases located above the shoulders and due to the increase of kapha and Vata.

After Pancha Karma, Dhoomapana help toget rid of any residual doshas from the sinuses. It kindles Agni /digestive fire and improves the appetite and eyesight, makes the mind attentive, and has an affinity to the heart, lungs, brain and sinuses. 

It balances Vata and Kapha Dosha.

On average, you should smoke 3-4 times a day.

Indications that you are practising Dhoomapana wrong are dry cough and chest pain, and overdoing Dhoomapana can cause nose bleeds and mental confusion, So with all things – moderation is best!

When to do it?

After sneezing, yawning, defecation, urination, having sex, surgical operation, laughing, brushing teeth, taking bath, having food, vomiting.

How to do it?

  • sit straight, attentive, with mouth open and inhale the smoke through each nostril alternatively. While inhaling from one nostril, close the other.
  • should be done thrice (inhale and exhale smoke at the same time).
  • Inhale the smoke by nose first if the imbalanced doshas are localized in the nose and head.
  • Inhale the smoke by mouth first and second nose if the imbalanced doshas are localized in the throat and head
  • Let out only through the mouth; if let out through the nose, it produces loss of vision.
  • Smoking should be done thrice, with three times inhaling and three exhaling alternately.

Simple herbal blends recipes for your dosha:

Herbal blends for Dhoomapana

Tridosha recipe:

  • Take Guggulu, pound it well.
  • Add neem, turmeric, saffron and black gram.
  • Make it into the form of a wick.
  • Add ghee for lubrication.

If you burn this wick, it should easily catch fire and yield smoke.

If guggulu is not available, you can simply make the combination using the other herbs like cited below, as per availability, put on a hot pan and inhale the smoke.

You can also use any of the following common available herbs / combination of herbs

Guggulu, musta (Cyperus rotundus), vetiver, varanga, saffron, black gram, barley, sesame seed, fat, marrow, muscle- fat and ghee, rose, chamomile, cardamom, cinnamon, thyme.

Building blend for Vata Types: bala, ashwagandha, vidari and licorice and a drop of ghee (pacifies vata increases Kapha).

Pacifying blend for Pitta types: rose, sandalwood, saffron. (pacifies Pitta

Cleansing blend for Kapha Types: Clove, Cinnamon, Cardamon.

For insomnia: add poppy seeds and nutmeg.

To study, add Brahmi: 1-2 drops of Brahmi ghee improves cellular intelligence.

For lungs cleaning and reduce harshness, you can add mullein to your blend, it burns slowly and it is soothing the throat, cleans the lungs, activates lymph circulation in the chest and the neck. It is also diuretic and encourages expectoration

For normal situation

Vata Herbs are: tagara, dashamoola, Tulsi or basil, thyme.

Pitta Herbs are: chamomile, lotus, Rose, sandalwood.

Kapha Herbs are: Manjistha Musta, Saffron, thyme, licorice. 

Signs of proper herbal smoking

  • Clarity of mind, clarity in thinking process
  • Clarity in throat, abscess of mucus collection in throat
  • Clarity in sense organs
  • Lightness of head

Benefits of smoke therapy

Herbal smoking balances Vata and Kapha Dosha

The combination of herbs will be done according to your needs, disorders and can be done in case of cough, dyspnoea, rhinitis, disorders of voice, bad smell of the nose and mouth, hair loss, discharges, itching, pain in ear and nose, loss of function of the ears, mouth and eyes; headache, migraine, eye pain, toothache, excess drowsiness, strengthens sense organs, excess sleep,…

What precautions should I take:

Inhalation of smoke should not be done if you are suffering from:

  • Bleeding disease: nasal bleeding, menorrhagia
  • On purgation treatment or enema
  • Ascites, intestinal obstruction
  • Diabetes, urinary tract disorders
  • Blindness
  • Flatulence, bloating
  • Diphtheria
  • Injured in the head,
  • Anemia and jaundice
  • Those who have kept awake at night.

What you feel if you do it wrong?

Impairment of voice

Presence of Kapha (phlegm) in the throat and heaviness of head

If you smoke herbal in excess,  palate, head and throat will get dried up and become hot. You can feel thirsty; you can feel dizziness and hotness in sense organs.

Also, if you doing Dhumapana at improper time or in excess it can leads to

  • bleeding disease,
  • blindness,
  • deafness,
  • excessive thirst
  • burning sensation
  • fainting
  • delusion.

You can see that all these are symptoms of Pitta increase. For this, cold regimen should be taken and cooling herbs as well.

If such troubles occur due to untimely and over smoking, you need to change your intake and have to do it properly.

In case of such symptoms you can use ghee because it will help to relieve burning sensation, and excess of dryness caused due to wrong herbal smoking.

Practice Nasya (nasal drops) with Anu Tailam or sesame oil. It helps to soothe the inflamed nasal mucosa and to strengthen sense organs.

Collyrium and demulcent drinks are prescribed.

If you follow what has been said, there is no reason for unpleasant symptoms.

References

An effective Ayurvedic herbal smoking technique for prevention and treatment

Ascertaining Classical Approaches of Ayurvedic ‘DHUMPAN’

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