Sep 252016
 
shiva

Anandamaya Kosha or Equanimity or Bliss

shiva

Anandamaya kosha

The fifth kosha is Anandamaya kosha. The Anandamaya kosha or ‘sheath made of bliss’, or ananda is in Yoga and Vedantic philosophy the most subtle or spiritual of the five levels of embodied self. 

It is not possible to exactly translate the word ananda; its meaning is closer to equanimity than bliss. There is unified experience and that experience does not change. It is peace, joy, and love that is underneath, beyond the mind, independent of any reason or stimulus to cause a happy mental reaction.

Taittiriya Upanishad says:

Hidden inside it (Vigyanamaya Kosha) is yet a subtler body, composed of pure joy. It pervades the other bodies and shares the same shape. It is experienced as happiness, delight, equanimity and bliss.

It further defines anandamaya kosha as having the shape or form of a person with love as its head, joy as its right wing and delight as its left wing, bliss as its trunk and Brahman as its support or foundation.

Anandamaya kosha is the most interior of the koshas, the first of the koshas surrounding the Atman, the eternal center of consciousness. It is the subtlest of the five koshas. In the silence of deep meditation, this too is let go of, to experience the center.

This is a state of mind which does not change, despite anything that happens in life. With that state of mind you can live with all the conditions of life. You are where you are, firmly rooted in your own self, but at the same time you can interact with everyone. You can do anything, but still not be affected. Death cannot change that experience; birth cannot change it; love and hatred cannot make your experiences swing. When your mind becomes steady in experience and does not fluctuate under any condition, that is ananda. So, anandamaya kosha means the kosha which comprises homogenous experience.

Satyam Loka, the plane of ultimate bliss, corresponds to anandamaya kosha, which is none other than pure consciousness. 

The anandamaya kosha is extremely important in yoga because it’s the final and thinnest veil standing between our ordinary awareness and our higher Self.

Moksha Gita says:

anandamaya-kosha

The Anandamaya Kosha or this bliss sheath is Avidya (ignorance), a modification of Prakriti (Nature). It is the effect of past deeds. It is endowed with changing attributes. It is Jada or insentient. Therefore you are not the Anandamaya Kosha. You are the witness of this sheath. Understand, therefore, that ‘I am not the Anandamaya sheath. I am Brahman.’

The Anandamaya Kosha is made of Mula-Agyana or the core-ignorance. It is the Karana Sharira or the causal body which is the substratum of all other sheaths which are external to it. Its three attributes or Dharmas are:

  1. Priya, or affection
  2. Moda, delight,  and
  3. Pramoda, , or intense happiness.

It is the indescribable, beginningless Avidya or ignorance, the nescience of the Atma, and is composed of Malina Sattva, or that state of Prakriti in which Sattva is predominated and sullied by rajas and tamas. It is inanimate, beginningless, but has an end in Atma-Gyana.

Prakriti, the cause of ignorance, is made up of three Gunas, and carries with her the reflection of that transcendent Reality, Satchidananda. This Prakriti is divided into two aspects, called Maya and Avidya:

  • Maya is Shuddha-Sattva-Pradhana or that state of Prakriti in which the principle of Purity or Sattva, predominates over the other two, Rajas and Tamas.
  • Avidya is Malina-Sattva or that state of Prakriti in which Sattva is predominated and sullied by the other two – Rajas and Tamas.

When that pure Intelligence, Chit, is reflected through Maya or Shuddha-Sattva, the reflected Consciousness is called Ishvara. It is one only, and controls Maya.
When that Chit is reflected in Malina-Sattva or Avidya, the reflected Consciousness is called Jiva. Due to the multifarious nature of Avidya, Jivas are too many, and being individualised and separated from one another, they are swayed by Avidya or ignorance. And this ignorance leads them to identification with the five sheaths and the three bodies. Thus, there is activity, pain and suffering for the Jiva.

The aspirant should endeavour to rise above the five Koshas to realise the identity with Pure Consciousness. 

From Vigyanamaya to Anandamaya Kosha

Ananda is steady state of being, no matter what circumstance arises. The state of wholeness, of integration with the moment and with yourself, encompasses the inner sheath of anandamaya. This bliss state is usually experienced in fleeting moments, but can remain for longer periods. Importantly, anandamaya is still a sheath, a layer that can be peeled back. When anandamaya is peeled away, we reach atman—our very center. Atman is our direct connection with the divine, with the essence of all that is. It is our pure consciousness.

Anandamaya pervades each of the previous outer sheaths, but is only experienced once we are able to peel the illusions of each sheath away to reveal our true nature. Anandamaya can be experienced in those moments when you are fully immersed in that which you are doing—when you no longer separate yourself from your experience.

The transition from Vigyanamaya to Anandamaya Kosha is such an important stage in the ascent of awareness that the Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras has devoted an entire section to this event, when the consciousness is able to perceive the four dimensions of time – past, present, future and eternity. Patanjali has termed this event when siddhis manifest as vibhooti. He calls it the accomplishment of yoga and has cautioned the aspirant against becoming distracted by this accomplishment. It is the state equivalent to paroksha anubhuti, or awareness of only one point without consciousness of one’s own self. Deepening awareness of paroksha anubhuti leads the practitioner to aparokshanubhuti, which correlates to the bliss of anandamaya kosha.

So, Vigyanamaya Kosha may be the conduit to Anandamaya Kosha. The experience of Vigyanamaya Kosha gives you a glimpse of what is in store for you as your awareness begins to experience equanimity, but the experience again drops due to the appearance and disappearance of vikshepa (distractions) and one-pointedness of mind. All siddhas and saints must pass through this stage before they attain enlightenment. The account of the forty days and forty nights when Christ encountered temptation before he experienced God, as well as tales of Buddha, where prior to nirvana he encountered the demons and bewitching damsels, indicate vikshepa.

When there is awakening in Vigyanamaya Kosha, siddhis begin to manifest. The practitioner becomes more intuitive and telepathic. He begins to know many things about people and events before they happen. He develops the power to read others’ thoughts or he may develop healing powers. A person exhibiting such powers could easily be mistaken for God, which perhaps many did who were unaware of the manifestation of siddhis through the power of yoga when there is awakening in Vigyanamaya Kosha.

Yoga clearly tells that you are not just the body you perceive with the eyes, nor are you just blood, bones, muscles, nerves, heart, brain and other organs that keep you alive. You are much more than that. In fact, what you see with the eye is sustained by what you do not see. This unseen part of you is composed of the five koshas as mentioned above. 

In the tantric tradition, spirit is often symbolized as Shiva, the transcendent Lord who is ever immersed in divine consciousness. Matter or energy is called Shakti, the Supreme Goddess whose divine body is this entire universe. They love each other with unspeakable intensity. Their supreme love is experienced in the Anandamaya kosha, where spirit and matter embrace each other.

Reaching Anandamaya Kosha

Anandamaya Kosha is revealed when we have come through the outer sheaths and have released any form of mind control over it. Anandamaya is a deeper experience than that which can be contemplated. Striving to reach anandamaya kosha in any other way directly is a futile attempt. 

We can help awaken Anandamaya Kosha through three practices:

  1. The first is seva, selfless service. This opens our heart to our innate unity with other beings.
  2. The second is bhakti yoga, devotion to God. This opens our heart to our unity with the all-pervading Divine Being.
  3. The third is samadhi, intensely focused meditation, which opens our heart to our own divine being.

When the identification with the sheaths ceases, the self realises the Infinite Being and gets liberated beyond death.

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Aug 082016
 

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Dr Jitender K Sahdev

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Apr 092016
 
Vigyanamaya Kosha

Vigyanamaya Kosha

Vigyanamaya Kosha

Vigyanamaya Kosha refers to the intellect or wisdom. Taittiriya Upanishad says: “Deeper still lies another body comprised of intellect – separate from the self comprised of mind, and self comprised of intuitive knowledge. It permeates the three denser bodies and takes up the same form. This one is also like the shape of a person like the preceding koshas. Those who establish their awareness here, free themselves from unhealthy thoughts and actions, and develop the self-control necessary to achieve their goals.  Tasye shraddhaiva shiraha, Faith is its head; hritam dakshinah pakshaha satyamuttarah pakshaha, righteousness its right wing and truth its left wing; yoga atma, yoga is its soul, and maha puchham pratishtaha, maha its foundation.” Koshas - The SheathsThis fourth kosha is Vigyanamaya Kosha. Vigyana means psyche or knowing or intellect, the faculty which discriminates, determines or wills. Vigyana is a Sanskrit word from the prefix vi, meaning special, and gyana, meaning knowledge or awareness, inner perception or experience. Gyana means knowledge but vignana is a specific knowledge which is acquired by shraddha, dharana, manyata (beliefs) and anubhuti (experience). We know that atma is immortal, imperishable and is different than the body. It is a part and parcel of brahman who is a form of truth, mind and bliss. But we have no experience of this reality. Vigyanamaya is the determinative knowledge (Nishchaya). This determinative knowledge (Adhyavasaya) is an attribute (Dharma) of the intellect (Buddhi). It is the determinative faculty which guides the mind and comes to right conclusion or determination. Vigyanamaya kosha or pragya (wisdom) sheath is part of sukshma sharira (subtle body). It is the sheath composed of intellect, associated with the organs of perception. It is the vehicle of higher thought, vigyana — understanding, knowing, direct cognition, wisdom, intuition and creativity. During sleep it gets involution or Laya along with chidabhasa or the reflection of Pure Consciousness. During waking state it is the doer. It is an effect like a jar and is inanimate. It shines in borrowed feathers. It borrows its light temporarily from its source, just as the moon borrows its light from the sun. It is not the eternal Self. Vigyanamaya Kosha rides on the wings of vairagya and viveka, and requires ichha shakti, kriya shakti and gyana shakti to realize.

This knowledge sheath, which seems to be followed by a reflection of the power of the chitta (mind-stuff), is a modification of prakriti (nature). It is endowed with the function of knowledge and identifies itself with the body, organs etc. This knowledge sheath cannot be the Supreme Self because:

  • it is subject to change
  • it is insentient
  • it is a limited thing
  • it is not constantly present

Vigyana has two meanings: external science and also inner experience. It is the sheath of wisdom that is underneath the processing, thinking aspect of mind. It knows, decides, judges, and discriminates between this and that, between useful and not useful. It is also the level of ego consciousness, meaning the powerful wave of ‘I-am-ness’. This ‘I-am-ness’ itself is a positive influence. 

Maha loka, the plane of siddhas and saints, is the foundation or support of vigyanamaya kosha. It is from here onwards that the superstructure of heightened awareness is constructed. If the siddhis which begin to manifest become the object of focus or enjoyment, then the Yogi will surely fall back to lower planes of consciousness. However, if he does not allow them to distract the awareness, especially when he is in a state of samadhi, then ascent of awareness to higher lokas known as janah, the realm of rishis and munis, and tapah, the realm of liberated souls, the jivanmuktas and videhamuktas, is definitely assured.

When the Yogi is in the state of annamaya kosha; he considers himself based on sex, age, characteristics and others. When he reaches pranamaya kosha, his assessment is based on guna (qualities) like – I am a musician, scientist, writer, fool, intelligent, rich, poor etc. When he reaches manomaya kosha the criteria shifts to swabhava (nature) like greedy, arrogant, atheist, theist, selfish, generous etc. When our attention is focused on these, we are considered to be in the third stage of atma-unnati (spiritual progress). When the Yogi reaches the fourth level of vignanamaya kosha, he starts experiencing that he is different from the physical body; he is not what his properties and nature depict – he is a part of Ishvara and imperishable, indestructible, immortal atman.

An atma-gyani is one, who has strong vishwas (faith) and complete shraddha in his experience of being the atman. He knows for sure that he is vishudha atman and nothing else. This body is my vehicle, prana is my weapon and manas is my slave. The interests of atman are different than the interests of physical body.

A major part of sadhana, or spiritual practice, is gaining ever increasing access to this level of our being. It is the level that has the higher wisdom to seek The Truth, to go within, in search of the eternal center of consciousness.

Subjective experience is a consequence of vigyanamaya kosha. Whatever you are dreaming is a projection of vigyanamaya kosha. Vigyanamaya kosha is related to a very unknown part of the universe and it is a link or sutra between the conscious mind, the individual mind and the universal mind. Universal knowledge comes to the conscious mind through vigyanamaya kosha. Vigyanamaya kosha does not depend on time, space and causation factors.

Dimension of Intuition

Vijnanamaya kosha transcends intellect and enters into the dimension of intuition, where the mind does not work. Mind and intellect do not function in vigyanamaya kosha. Each one of us operates at the level of instinct, intelligence, intellect and intuition. Till the level of intellect you are under the influence and in the field of manomaya kosha. It is when you are able to transcend intellect that you will experience an intuitive flash about something or the other. All of us have at some time in our life experienced this intuition, which comes in flashes due to a sudden contact with the vigyanamaya kosha. But we are not able to hold on to that state of awareness and once again regress to the level of intellect and intelligence.

Focus of Yoga is to master howto connect with this level of intuition and to use it as a tools, just like intellect, mind or intelligence. The practices of yoga are designed to take you to this point. 

Refinement and Development of Vigyanamaya Kosha

Like manomaya kosha, vigyanamaya kosha can be reached with regular yoga asana, pranayama, and meditation practices. Once there, we shall experience a deeper peace that comes by way of freedom from thoughts, actions, and speech. It is highly unlikely to maintain this awareness all the time. Rather, it should come in waves and flashes, gradually increasing over time until you are much less likely to get caught up in the daily dramas. As your yoga practice deepens, take notice of the subtle changes that occur and you will notice aspects of your awareness that exemplify the development of this kosha.

Mantra meditation helps tremendously. This soothes and balances, and helps release blocks of energy. Yogis who spend a great deal of time in meditation often have very little need for sleep, in part because their mental vehicles are functioning optimally. It is possible to develop Vigyanamaya Kosha through the following methods:

  • Tantra is specifically related to vigyanamaya kosha and can be used to develop it. Vigyanamaya kosha is inherent within you but it is hidden like energy is hidden in matter. You have to separate it; you have to release your vigyanamaya kosha to experience it.
  • Vigyanamaya Kosha rides on the wings of vairagya and viveka, and requires ichha shakti, kriya shakti and gyana shakti to realize.
  • Harmonious and supportive environment is an ideal diet for this kosha.
  • Take sattvic food. It helps keep all kosha healthy.
  • Practice meditation. Pranayama, mudras, pratyahara will help tune it up for meditation.
  • Mantra meditation has a positive influence on nadis. Chant or sing mantras suited to you. Beej mantras have a profound effect.
  • Practice mauna (noble silence). Try making meals in silence, or while chanting or singing uplifting mantras.
  • Releasing what you don’t need is as important as adding what you need; spend less time on the activities (or relationships) that are toxic.
  • Practice good intention and repetition; you can change the energy of your inner and outer environment.
  • Marma Therapy acts on marmas and can remove blocks.
  • Traatak, dhyana, dharna are very useful.

 When there is awakening in vigyanamaya kosha, siddhis (special powers/ skills) begin to manifest –

  • the practitioner becomes clairvoyant and telepathic; he begins to know many things about people and events before they happen, which come to him in the form of dreams, thoughts or visions.
  • he may be able to appear at many places to many people at the same time
  • he develops the power to read others’ thoughts and also to influence them
  • he may develop healing powers. His words, touch or glance can heal the deadliest of diseases which no doctor can cure.
  • In some exceptional cases, depending on the extent of his advent into the level of vigyanamaya kosha, he may even be able to resurrect life or enter another person’s body. A person exhibiting such powers could easily be mistaken for God!

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Nov 232015
 
Koshas

Pranayama kosha or Energy Body

Pranamaya Kosha Taittiriya Upanishad further says: “Inside this is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.”

This second dimension or kosha is called pranamaya kosha, the energy body, and is the first of the three layers of the Astral Body or Linga Shareera or Sukshma Shareera.

This second kosha is composed of prana, or chi, or ka, or pneuma, or mana, or life force. It is made up of 72,000 nadis, or astral tubes, through which prana, the vital energy, flows. Prana is a Sanskrit word meaning movement, motion or vibration. It is the vital force that produces the subtle vibrations related to breath, and which are the driving force behind the physical aspect of the senses and the operation of the physical body. Prana is the universal principle of energy. It is all the energies in the universe put together, which includes the forces of nature as well as the power within us. It is the life force that enters us at birth, stays and travels within the body and leaves us when we die. Pranamaya kosha is the vital life energy which organises the body parts and provides movement for mental and physical expression. It allows the invisible indweller, our True Self to be able to animate in the external world. At the same time, however, it allows the eternally still, silent center of consciousness to be mistakenly identified as the moving, visible physical body.

Prana is in constant motion throughout life. It is manifest not only in human beings, but also in animals, herbs or trees, oceans, mountains, minerals and bacteria. Even the tiniest part of an atom has prana. This prana is both, :

  • visible, and
  • invisible.

Visible prana manifests before you – wherever there is prana there is movement, growth, change and activity, and where there is no prana there is no activity. When we die the body dissipates because it has become completely bereft of prana. Visible prana is manifest right in front of you. After death the body dissipates because there is no prana in it. Also, if pranas are agitated or there is an imbalance, there is imbalance everywhere.

Prana is responsible for the action of the karmendriyas, the organs of action. Indriya means vehicle, tool or sense. Karma means action. There are five karmendriyas:

  1. feet,
  2. hands,
  3. vocal cords,
  4. urinary and
  5. excretory systems.

Through these five karmendriyas you perform five gross actions. Prana is responsible for the action of the karmendriyas, the organs of action – Prana is the force behind them. Also, there has to be coordination between the prana and the indriyas or sense organs. If there is too much prana, then children sometimes become hyperactive. Hyperactivity in the body is due to hyperactivity of the prana. In old age, we become slow due to lack of prana. Pranamaya kosha is the energy in annamaya kosha.

As per Vedic scriptures, there are five types of Prana, located in different parts of the body that support us. These five pranas affect energy through subtle channels. There five pranas are:

  1. prana,
  2. apana,
  3. udana,
  4. samana and
  5. vyana.

Vayus

These forms of prana control various functions in the physical body. For example, urination, excretion, insemination and childbirth are consequences of apana. Then there are five auxiliary or secondary pranas. 

According to the classical tradition, prana enters the womb in the fourth month of pregnancy. When an embryo is developed in the mother’s womb, it is part of the mother’s body and prana. After the third month, the independent or individual pranas manifest in the foetus. That is, from the fourth month, the mother’s prana and the prana of the embryo become two different pranas.

For both a healthy life and the practice of meditation, it is very useful, or essential that this level of our being be trained, regulated, and directed, so that it flows smoothly. In Pranayama and meditation, we become aware of Pranamaya kosha, explore it, and then go inward, to and through the other koshas. At a more realized level, boundaries fade away; every exhalation becomes another’s inhalation and every inhalation is another’s exhalation. This prana is a part of cosmic life. Each and every creature, each and every thing in this world is a part of cosmic life. Prana is the force or energy for all kinds of motion. A Yogi who has mastered the knowledge of Prana also gains mastery over all manifestations of powers in the cosmos. 

Refinement and Development of Pranamaya Kosha

Learning to direct and regulate prana is important to maintain health. The nerves and endocrine glands are the physical correlates of the pranic body’s nadis and chakras. Ayurveda says that health issues begin at energetic levels before manifesting physically.  Prana gets its nourishment through the air we breathe as well as the food we eat. The lungs and the large intestine are connected to each other. They both supply us with Prana, the lungs because they absorb the essence of the air, and the large intestine absorbs the essence and the nutrition of food. The Prana gets nourished, which in turn nourishes both the body and the mind. It is possible to nourish Prana through the following methods:

  • Pranamaya kosha is directly influenced through practice of pranayama. It is imperative to have an impeccable technique for Pranayama.
  • Take sattvic food. It helps energize Pranamaya Kosha.
  • Practice asanas with an awareness of the breath. 
  • Releasing what you don’t need is as important as adding what you need; spend less time on the activities (or relationships) that dim your inner light.
  • Practice good intention and repetition; you can change the energy of your inner and outer environment.
  • Practice mauna (noble silence). Try making meals in silence, or while chanting or singing uplifting mantras.
  • Mudras connect different nadis; their knowledge and practice can strengthen Prana.
  • Mantras have a positive influence on nadis. Chant or sing mantras suited to your Pranic body.
  • Marma Therapy acts on marmas and can be very helpful.
  • Traatak, pratyahara, dharana, dhyana also are very useful.
 

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Nov 222015
 
Jinfeng Wang

South London SAVY Yoga – Sukshma Yoga or Subtle Yoga

SAVY Yoga has been serving the city of London and surrounding areas since 2011 under the most qualified and experienced faculty in LONDON and CANADA, and one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in the WORLD! To serve the people of London in a better way, instead of serving some run-of-the-mill pseudo-yoga routines, we offer some very useful and healing, authentic Yoga/ Pranayama routines, ranging from gentle to very challenging Yoga, for the  beginner to the advanced student alike.

Here, we bring to you an introduction to Yoga classes being taught at our South London SAVY Yoga Studio.

Through demonstration, discussion and experiential movement, you will gain key understanding of proper postures and how to keep your body safe. As common sense dictates, one can function properly only if one is disease-free and is in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. So, for us, your health and disease-free state comes first of all. Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras, Marmas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana – our Yoga is much more than mere gymnastics and sauna! 

South London Yoga Classes at SAVY bring to you the taste, values and expertise of the true traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga from India. Inspired adherence to the eight pillars or steps of yoga bestow one with a calm mind and fit body and lead one towards attaining an emancipated life. In more physical or materialistic  terms, Yoga is more than capable of keeping one physically and mentally fit and disease-free. It has become the new hot and favoured way to sweat it out for better health. SAVY Yoga is a humble step in that direction.

Sukshma Yoga or Subtle Yoga

 Jinfeng Wang

Sukshma Yoga -The Yoga for Everyone, or Subtle Yoga, or Micro Yoga, is one of the most ancient and relatively little known form of Yoga. This is ‘The Yoga for Everyone’! These exercises are simple, short and subtle. They open up subtle energy channels and you can feel a palpable difference even in a very short while.

Sukshma Yoga can help you relax within a few minutes. Its effect penetrates subtle levels at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. This consists of gentle stretching and coordinated breathing, and breathing exercises, that result in deep relaxation. It includes easy exercises for the eyes, tongue and jaws, neck, hands, feet, knees, ankles and hips. In Sukshma Yoga the whole body, from head to toe, is treated, relaxed and rejuvenated. These exercises also stimulate, balance and energise the Marma points and Chakras. External and internal body parts undergo deep transformation in this type of Yoga. These are scientific exercises that not only make us strong and supple, but also help remove impurities from the body and improve the memory, concentration and will-power. Sukshma Yoga routine includes more of those physical yogic movements which almost all of the people would be able to do. Hasta mudras or hand postures are also included.

These classes are suitable even for those who have not done any form of yoga or exercise before and are afraid of trying yogic postures. The good thing about yoga is that there is something for everybody regardless of body weight, physical limitations/strength or flexibility. With the regular practice of these gentle movements you would be amazed to see how the yoga practice is helping you not only in making a difference in your lives but also helping in overcoming so many health issues. Regular practice of this type of Yoga ensures a long and healthy life. People of every age, make, fitness level,belief, faith can do and receive the benefits of these exercises that can be very comfortably and safely practised. These exercises also make you ready for getting deeper into yoga and meditation in a very gentle way.

Our Beginners’ Level I classes are based on Sukshma Yoga or Subtle Yoga. You can learn Sukshma Yoga at SAVY under one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in North America!

 You are most welcome to  learn this routine and stay healthy.

These special classes are offered regularly every month.

Here are required details of the classes:

  • Time: On Mondays: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
  • Where: SAVY International South London Studio at 119-D Exeter Road London ON N6L 1A4
  • Formats: 1 Class every week for One Month (4 Class package)
  • Batches: One batch per month.
  • Commitment: A commitment to complete the program without missing any class (except in an emergency). Missed classes will not be compensated in any way.
  • Cost: Total cost is $72 for one month program.

Please check the exact schedule and time below.

Established benefits of Yoga:

  • Improved General Health
  • Longevity
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Stronger Bones
  • Healthier Heart
  • Healthy Weight
  • Lower Stress Levels
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Lung Capacity
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Greater Sense of Balance
  • Better mind-body connexion
  • Better Sexual Function  & Libido
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
  • Relief from Chronic Back Pain and Neck Pain
  • Better over-all quality of life & much more…

The salient features of London Yoga Classes of SAVY Healing Yoga are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 500 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio  and studio setting – enjoy the character and warmth of the Victorian heritage building
  • Authentic Yoga at reasonable rates

Sign up today and live life to your full potential.

Call or email for any inquiries.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please also check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

 

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>*HST applicable on all payments. Conditions apply.

Nov 202015
 
Surya Namaskar

South London SAVY Yoga – Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations

SAVY Yoga has been serving the city of London and surrounding areas since 2011 under the most qualified and experienced faculty in LONDON and CANADA, and one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in the WORLD! To serve the people of London in a better way, instead of serving some run-of-the-mill pseudo-yoga routines, we offer some very useful and healing, authentic Yoga/ Pranayama routines, ranging from gentle to very challenging Yoga, for the  beginner to the advanced student alike.

Here, we bring to you an introduction to Yoga classes being taught at our South London SAVY Yoga Studio.

Through demonstration, discussion and experiential movement, you will gain key understanding of proper postures and how to keep your body safe. As common sense dictates, one can function properly only if one is disease-free and is in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. So, for us, your health and disease-free state comes first of all. Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras, Marmas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana – our Yoga is much more than mere gymnastics and sauna! 

South London Yoga Classes at SAVY bring to you the taste, values and expertise of the true traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga from India. Inspired adherence to the eight pillars or steps of yoga bestow one with a calm mind and fit body and lead one towards attaining an emancipated life. In more physical or materialistic  terms, Yoga is more than capable of keeping one physically and mentally fit and disease-free. It has become the new hot and favoured way to sweat it out for better health. SAVY Yoga is a humble step in that direction.

Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations

Surya Namaskar

The Sun is the source of all energy and the supporter of all life-forms. Culturally, in India, it has always been more than just a star and Indian culture respects and worships this powerful source of energy and the source of all life on earth as a deity. Surya Namaskar or Sun Salutations, an integral part of Surya Yoga, is one way Hindus have always paid respect to the “Sun god” and in turn gain enormous health benefits. Surya Namaskar, translated into English as Sun Salutation, is an age-old sequence of twelve asanas. The obvious characteristic of Surya Namaskar is the fact that it exercises the entire body. The Sun Salutation is a graceful, thermogenic, sequence of twelve postures performed as one continuous exercise. Each position is reverse of the one before, stretching the body in a different way and alternatively expanding and contracting the chest to regulate the breathing.

Sun Salutations or Surya Namaskar is yoga postures, breathing, mindfulness, meditation, bandhas, gaze, alignment etc – all rolled in one!

In India, Surya Namaskar has always been considered THE MOST COMPLETE EXERCISE ROUTINE!

Benefits of Surya Namaskar

Sun Salutations or  Surya Namaskar has many benefits and if done regularly can not only help you lose flab but can also help you prevent, and even combat, diseases. Here are a few benefits of this sequence:

  • Surya Namaskar, or Sun Salutations, ideally done facing the early morning rising sun, helps our body to soak in the benefits of the morning rays of the sun. Surya tratak practised at this time is most beneficial.
  • This is the best and most complete series of asanas to improve lymphatic drainage and circulation . Hence, it improves body immunity.
  • Regular practice of this series of asanas can also help you lose the excess belly fat.
  • The postures in Surya Namaskar stretch our muscles and help make our body very flexible.
  • The moves and postures of the asana help all our internal organs function better — the various poses regulate our blood flow, benefit the digestive system and makes it more efficient.
  • It helps combat insomnia as it relaxes the body and calms the mind.
  • It helps regulate menstrual cycles and makes childbirth easier.
  • This is known to facilitate blood circulation and thereby help hair growth and prevent hair problems.
  • It reduces anxiety and restlessness and enhances our strength and vitality.
  • Surya Namaskar benefits not just adults, but kids as well.
  • From a yoga point of view, it acts on Solar Plexus and regular practice of Surya Namaskar increases its size, hence increasing awareness and ‘gut feeling’ or intuition.
  • It acts on and balances all chakras and helps you achieve complete health.
  • The back and forth, up and down movements in Sun Salutations are fun and offer the opportunity to move playfully in the practice.
  • They warm up the body for the practice of more asanas.
  • Surya Namaskar improves cardiovascular function. Some studies have revealed that sun salutations provided the best overall benefit for the heart, specifically the left ventricle. For excellence of health, the left ventricle must relax very rapidly after each contraction and then again contract rapidly and forcibly, to push blood into aorta. Sun Salutations improve this function.
  • They bring the mind to a calm, serene yogic state.
  • They help to overcome motivation issues.
  • They keep your skills sharp.
  • Sun Salutation is a very complete exercise.  If you only have fifteen or twenty minutes to practice, doing Sun Salutations alone properly cover almost all the benefits of yoga postures.

The traditional format of Sun Salutations being taught at SAVY Studios helps you derive maximum benefits from this very useful yogic exercise. One feels so alive after just a few rounds of this!

You are most welcome to  learn this routine and stay healthy.

These special classes, with one hour of just Surya Namaskar, are offered regularly every month.

Here are required details of the classes:

  • Time: On Fridays: 9:30 AM – 10:30 AM
  • Where: SAVY International South London Studio at 119-D Exeter Road London ON N6L 1A4
  • Formats: 1 Class every week for One Month (4 Class package)
  • Batches: One batch per month.
  • Commitment: A commitment to complete the program without missing any class (except in an emergency). Missed classes will not be compensated in any way.
  • Cost: Total cost is $72 for one month program.

Please check the exact schedule and time below.

Established benefits of Yoga:

  • Improved General Health
  • Longevity
  • Anxiety Relief
  • Stronger Bones
  • Healthier Heart
  • Healthy Weight
  • Lower Stress Levels
  • Increased Flexibility
  • Lower Blood Pressure
  • Improved Lung Capacity
  • Improved Brain Function
  • Greater Sense of Balance
  • Better mind-body connexion
  • Better Sexual Function  & Libido
  • Lower Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics
  • Relief from Chronic Back Pain and Neck Pain
  • Better over-all quality of life & much more…

The salient features of London Yoga Classes of SAVY Healing Yoga are:

  • Comprehensive, authentic, world class teaching and knowledge-base in all aspects of Yoga
  • Authentic Ashtanaga and Vinyasa Yoga training based on true, traditional Yoga from India
  • Asanas, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dhyana, Kriyas. Chakras, Kundalini Awakening, Shatkarma, Marma, Mantra etc
  • Clear, concise, to-the-point instruction and individualized care
  • One of the most qualified, experienced, international faculty, well-trained in India with excellent teaching skills
  • Yoga School with highest ranking of RYS 500 – we train yoga teachers up to the highest rank
  • Yoga Therapy services for all diseases available
  • Wonderful, knowledgeable, stable, regular, supportive, warm, welcoming yoga community
  • Unique, specialized yoga classes – Sukshma Yoga, Vinyasa Yoga, Deep Stretch Yoga, Yoga for Face, Meditation Classes, Sun and Moon Salutations, Pranayama etc
  • Workshops on interesting Yoga topics from time to time
  • Delve deep into the field of Yoga – Keep learning and sharing knowledge
  • Suitable time of classes
  • Small size of even group classes
  • Small Class Yoga for smaller groups
  • Private sessions also available
  • Decent studio  and studio setting – enjoy the character and warmth of the Victorian heritage building
  • Authentic Yoga at reasonable rates

Sign up today and live life to your full potential.

Call or email for any inquiries.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please also check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

 

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>*HST applicable on all payments. Conditions apply.

Nov 182015
 

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

20140925_113756a

Taittiriya Upanishad says: “Human beings consist of a material body made up from the food they eat; those who care for this body are nourished by the universe itself.”

This first dimension or kosha is called annamaya kosha, the physical body or Sthula Shareera.

Anna means food. Satvik meaning of anna is ‘the essence of earth’. Water, food grains, fruits and vegetables are all the products of earth; from this, milk, ghee and flesh is made and all of this is considered anna. Physical body is made up of anna and it grows and gets strengthened with anna and later, after the death of physical body, merges with the earth. This outermost of the koshas is called the sheath of food, or Annamaya kosha. Annamaya kosha is the controller, cause, producer and consumer (sanchalaka, kaarana, utpadaka, and upbhokta) of physical body but is still different from physical body. Living at this level, man identifies himself with a mass of skin, flesh, fat, bones, and filth, whereas a man of viveka (discrimination) realizes his own Self as distinct from the physical body. Out of all koshas, annamaya kosha has the most dense and slow vibrational frequency. This body cannot exist without other koshas or bodies (the pranamaya, manomaya, vigyanamaya, and anandamaya koshas), yet for the most part, it remains barely activated in regards to its highest evolutionary potential. The physical body, the coarsest of sheaths in comparison to the faculties of the atma (the Self), is indispensable for evolution and Self Realization, because only within this can all chakras fully function.

This physical body is made up of the Panchmahabhutas – the five primordial elements, viz.,

  • Akash (vacuum),
  • Vayu (air),
  • Agni (fire),
  • Jal (water), and
  • Prithvi (earth)

This Annamaya Kosha passes through six stages:

  • birth,
  • subsistence,
  • growth,
  • maturity,
  • decay, and
  • death.

Gross body is simply the vehicle of all the other koshas during physical incarnation. Annamaya and physical manifestation of Pranamaya Kosh reside in Sthula Shareera or Gross (physical) body. Gross body needs gross food, drink and air which it gets from Annamaya and Pranamaya Kosha. At death the physical body perishes and its five constituent elements dissolve with the Source.

In Hatha Yoga practice, we train this aspect of ourselves, take care of it, and nurture it, so that we can both enjoy our external lives and go inward without it being an obstacle during meditation. In meditation, we become aware of Annamaya kosha, explore it, and then go inward, to and through other koshas.

Annamaya kosha can be sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. The word sattva means harmony, balance and tranquillity, where you create a balance between activity and peace. Rajas means dynamic, active, violent. Tamas means dull and inert. Through the hatha yoga shatkriyas, you develop a sattvic annamaya kosha and when annamaya kosha becomes sattvic, the emission of energy is much greater.

In modern science it is said that all the time, the whole day and night, physical bodies exchange energy with the surroundings. Of course, you cannot see it, but scientifically it has been seen that just like a pendulum swings, every body is emitting or throwing away atoms or sub-atomic particles, and receiving them. This activity gives rise to energy waves. The sattvic body creates longer-reaching waves, a tamasic body perhaps no waves at all, while a rajasic body has variable waves. 

When these atoms or sub-atomic particles leave your body and come back, there is a period of rest, just like when a pendulum when it goes to the left and then turns and goes to the right, there is a moment of rest. Similarly, when you do pranayama, between inhalation and exhalation there is a point of rest called kumbhak or shunyak, depending on when it comes. It is a very short period. In this short period, the body transmits energy which is sattvic, rajasic or tamasic. 

Refinement and Development of Annamaya Kosha

This is possible through the following methods:

  1. Proper diet: Sattvic foods, like a wholesome, lacto-vegetarian diet, provides nourishment for the body in an optimal way. The consumption of tamasic foods like meat, alcohol and drugs weakens our vitality and fills us with negative vibrations.
  2. Hatha Yoga Shatkriyas (The Six Procedures – Neti, Dhauti, Nauli, Vasti, Kapaal Bhaati, Traatak)
  3. Upavas (Fasting)
  4. Asana (Postures)
  5. Tatvashudhi 
  6. Tapashcharya

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

<

p style=”text-align: justify;”>Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Nov 172015
 
Koshas

Koshas – Yogic Sheaths of Our Being

Koshas

Over thousands of years, yogis used various practices of Yoga to experientially understand the way we are, and function, vis a vis this whole universe. One of the important basic concepts which helps us understand this is that of Koshas. The Yoga path of Self-realization is one of progressively moving inward, through each of those five levels, so as to experience the purity at the eternal center of consciousness, while at the same time allowing that purity to animate through our individuality. These five levels are called koshas, which literally means sheaths. Yoga defines our being as having five layers or sheaths, each one contained within the other, like peels/ layers of an onion, or Russian Dolls. These sheaths cover every aspect of our being, from the grossest to the subtlest. 

Yoga tells us that you are not just the body you perceive with the eyes, nor are you just blood, bones, marrow, muscles, nerves and the different organs that keep you alive. You are much more than that. What you see of yourself with the eye is sustained by what you cannot see; if the unseen part of you ceased to exist, the seen part of you would wither and die. This seen and unseen part of you is composed of the five koshas. The aim of all the practices of yoga, without exception, is to energize and awaken these koshas until ultimately you experience awakening in vigyanamaya kosha. That alone is the purpose of yoga. When we practice yoga – whether it’s asana, pranayama, meditation, mantra, or even karma yoga – we are having an impact on one or more of these layers of the body. The practices of yoga work to release blockages in the many layers of the body. Understanding these basic concepts helps us to figure out why sometimes we feel stuck in our practice, or feel that we are not making any progress.

Consciousness

Consciousness is the ultimate reality out of which mind and matter proceed. It is the state or quality of awareness, or, of being aware of an external object or something within oneself. It has been defined as sentience, awareness, subjectivity, the ability to experience or to feel, wakefulness, having a sense of selfhood, and the executive control system of the mind. Many philosophers believe that there is a broadly shared underlying intuition about what consciousness is.

At one time consciousness was viewed with skepticism by many scientists, but in recent years it has become a significant topic of research in psychology, neuropsychology and neuroscience. The primary focus is on understanding and determining the neural and psychological correlates of consciousness. In medicine, consciousness is assessed by observing a patient’s arousal and responsiveness, and can be seen as a continuum of states ranging from full alertness and comprehension, through disorientation, delirium, loss of meaningful communication, and finally loss of movement in response to painful stimuli. 

In Yoga, individual consciousness is considered a partial expression of cosmic consciousness. Essentially, cosmic consciousness and individual consciousness are one; only subjectivity separates them. Consciousness exists at various levels from minerals to man. Of all existing organisms that express themselves through behaviour, the human organism is the most highly evolved. It is capable of self-expression and the realization of The Truth beyond the realm of sensory perception. With the help of memory, imagination, intuition and discrimination, the human organism can understand laws inherent in nature and use them for growth and development.

Expression of Consciousness

When consciousness desires expression as an organism, it needs tools to control and work with the physical body. In general, we have two major aspects:

  • changeable, the feminine, and,
  • unchangeable, the masculine.

This is illustrated by the Shiva and Shakti as a playing couple, representing the masculine and the feminine aspects respectively.

Shiva and Shakti

Shiva, the masculine, represents the divine lover, and, Shakti, the feminine, represents the energy and the beloved. She wants to play a game. She creates a world of her own and invites Shiva inside. Shiva says that he is never changing, so he cannot live in Shakti’s ever-changing world! Shakti suggests, “You can be the centre of everything, and the centre never changes, everything around it changes. You can stay in your eternal bliss in the centre, and around you, I will put a network of my shakti (power) which will be a conduit between you and the outside world. That way you will not have to do anything – you can remain never changing and I can remain ever changing and we can have fun!”

Shiva agrees and the game begins…!

Pancha-Koshas – The Five Sheaths

Taittiriya Upanishad says:

  • Human beings consist of a material body made up from the food they eat. Those who care for this body are nourished by the universe itself.
  • Inside this is another body made of life energy. It fills the physical body and takes its shape. Those who treat this vital force as divine experience excellent health and longevity because this energy is the source of physical life.
  • Within the vital force is yet another body, this one made of thought energy. It fills the two denser bodies and has the same shape. Those who understand and control the mental body are no longer afflicted by fear.
  • Deeper still lies another body comprised of intellect. It permeates the three denser bodies and takes up the same form. Those who establish their awareness here, free themselves from unhealthy thoughts and actions, and develop the self-control necessary to achieve their goals.
  • Hidden inside it is yet a subtler body, composed of pure joy. It pervades the other bodies and shares the same shape. It is experienced as happiness, delight, equanimity and bliss.

In Yoga philosophy, the body, mind and spirit are understood as one continuum. Indian philosophers spoke about consciousness: the bodies as described above in Taittiriya Upanishad are known as koshas (sheaths). These five koshas are:

  1. Annamaya Kosha or Physical Sheath,
  2. Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Sheath,
  3. Manomaya Kosha or Mental Sheath,
  4. Vigyanamaya Kosha or Wisdom Sheath, and
  5. Anandamaya Kosha or Equanimity or Bliss

In some systems there is a sixth sheath, the hiranyagarbha kosha. According to Vedanta, the wise man should discriminate between atman (the self) and the koshas, which are non-self.

Expansion of Consciousness, the path of Self-realization in Yoga, is the one of progressively moving inward, through each of those layers, so as to experience the purity at the center of consciousness, while at the same time allowing that purity to animate through individuality. 

Koshas - The Sheaths

Koshas and Shariras

These five koshas belong to or co-relate with three bodies that constitute your being. These Tri-Shareera or three bodies are:

  1. Physical Body or Gross Body or Sthula Shareera which has only one layer of Annamaya Kosha
  2. Astral Body or Linga Shareera or Sukshma Shareera. Subtle Body is Astral Body except a part of Pranic Sheath. Every living being has an astral body. This is connected to the physical body by a subtle thread along which vital energy flows. When this cord is cut, the astral body departs and the physical body dies. The astral body is composed of three layers:
    1. Layer one: Pranamaya Kosha or Pranic Sheath, much subtler than the food sheath, it is often spoken of as the etheric double. It is made up of 72,000 nadis, or astral tubes, through which prana, the vital energy, flows.
    2. Layer two: Manomaya Kosha or Mental Sheath, comprising the automatic mind, as well as the instinctive and subconscious regions. This is where we carry on the automatic functions of our daily lives; it is very jumpy by nature, as it is constantly bombarded by inputs from the five senses.
    3. Layer three: Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Sheath, the intellect controls and guides the automatic mind. Discrimination and decision making take place here and pass down to the grosser sheath.
  3. Causal Body or Karan Shareera which has only one layer of Anandamaya Kosha. This  stores all of our karmas, samskaras and impressions of many, many incarnations is the one we encounter when we speak about awakening in vigyanamaya kosha.

 

The experiences of evolution through different ‘yonis’, pleasant and unpleasant, are stored in the vigyanamaya kosha. In order to step into the arena of spiritual ecstasy, you have to pass through this zone and face what is stored there eye to eye. You simply cannot avoid it, just as you cannot avoid your thoughts or your feelings and dreams. The practices of yoga can accelerate this process and accomplish this in a systematic and graded manner. It is only when the awakening occurs in vigyanamaya and that experience is stabilized, that the transcendental experiences of ecstasy and bliss related to anandamaya kosha arise in the consciousness.

In modern psychology, the causal body or karana sharira is known as the realm of the unconscious;  it may also be termed as psyche’ of man. You cannot know what is stored there until there is awakening in vigyanamaya kosha. When you experience awakening in manomaya kosha, you are still within the realm of buddhi or intellect. Everything that you experience will be within the fold of logic and reason and thus there is a degree of control of the experiences and their outcome. It’s in vigyanamaya kosha that you go beyond the level of the mind.

 

Kosha Attibutes

Every day you have three types of experiences:

  • The waking experience in which you experience through your senses and mind.
  • Dream, in which you do not experience through the senses, but through your subconscious mind.
  • Sleep, in which there is no knowledge of time and space, no knowledge about yourself or about anything in sleep, but when you get up in the morning, you know that you slept well the night before.

So every day, the individual self undergoes these three experiences alternately. Each experience relates to a particular field. Whenever your individual self goes to one particular field, realm, dimension or kosha, it has one experience, and as your individual self changes the kosha, it has another experience.

Koshas and Lokas

The complete Gayatri mantra tells us about the relation of koshas and lokas:

Om Bhur  Om Bhuvah  Om Swaha  Om Mahah  Om Janah  Om Tapah  Om Satyam ||
Om bhur bhuvah swaha Tat suvitur varenyam  Bhargo devasya dhimahi  Dhiyo yo nah prachodayat || 

OM, the primordial sound, resides in all elements of the universe. It permeates the earth (bhuh), water (bhuvah), fire (swaha), air (mahah), ether (janah), intelligence (tapah)
and consciousness (satyam). We invoke and meditate on the glory of that Being who has produced this universe, may He enlighten our minds.

Lokas are the planes of consciousness one experiences as the awareness gains ascent from annamaya to pranamaya to manomaya to vigyanamaya. The sapta or seven lokas, as given in the above mantra are:

  1. bhu – earth
  2. bhuvah – water
  3. swah – fire
  4. maha – air
  5. janah – ether
  6. tapah – intelligence/ intellect, and
  7. satyam – consciousness

While bhu, bhuvah and swah, the earthly, intermediate and divine planes, are related to annamaya, pranamaya and manomaya koshas, maha, the plane of siddhas, janah, the plane of rishis and munis, and tapah, the plane of liberated souls, relate to awakening, stabilization and illumination of vigyanamaya. Satymais the loka of ultimate bliss or consciousness.

 

Koshas – Yogis Sheaths of our Being

Annamaya Kosha or Physical Body

Pranamaya Kosha or Energy Body

Manomaya Kosha or Mental Body

Vigyanamaya Kosha or Intellectual or Wisdom Body

Anandamaya Kosha or Bliss

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

Contact Us

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

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Nov 162015
 
drishti

Drishti – Focused Gaze in Yoga

drishti

Control of drishti, or gaze, has been taught in Yoga for thousands of years. On a simple level, drishti uses a specific gazing direction for the eyes to control attention. Focusing gaze helps in focusing mind. In every asana in yoga, students are taught to direct their gaze to one of nine specific points, but the full meaning of drishti isn’t limited to its value in asana. 

In Sanskrit, drishti means gaze; it can also mean a vision, a point of view, or intelligence and wisdom. The use of drishti in asana serves both as a training technique and as a metaphor for focusing consciousness toward a vision of oneness. Drishti organizes our perceptual apparatus to recognize and overcome the limits of ‘normal’ vision. One of the main purposes of yoga is to bring the consciousness to one point so that it isn’t constantly wandering from one thing to another. In every posture of the yoga series there is a drishti, or gaze, so that the mind remains focused and concentrated. A drishti encourages an inward looking attitude and discourages students from looking around the room or being distracted by non-yogic thoughts.

Incorporating drishtis into every posture is an advanced practice. Students usually master co-ordinated breath and movement (vinyasa) first and then gradually incorporate more bandha and drishti work into their practice. Sometimes in meditation and pranayama practices the eyes are held half-open and the gaze is turned up toward the third eye or the tip of the nose. In the Bhagavad Gita (VI.13), Krishna instructs Arjuna, “One should hold one’s body and head erect in a straight line and stare steadily at the tip of the nose.” When using the inner gaze, sometimes called Antaric Drishti, the eyelids are closed and the gaze is directed in and up toward the light of the third eye. As Iyengar says, “The closure of the eyes directs the sadhaka (practitioner) to meditate upon Him who is verily the eye of the eye… and the life of life.”

Throughout the history of yoga, clear, true perception has been both the practice and goal of yoga. In the Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna tells Arjuna, “You are not able to behold me with your own eyes; I give thee the divine eye, behold my Lordly yoga” (11.8). In Yoga Sutras, the classic exposition of yoga, Patanjali points out that in viewing the world, we tend not to see reality clearly, but instead get deluded by the error of false perception. This basic misidentification is called avidya (ignorance), and its counterpart, vidya, is our true identity. In Chapter II, verse 6, he says that we confuse the act of seeing with the true perceiver: purusha, the Self. He continues, in verse 17, to say that this confusion about the true relationship between the act of seeing, the object seen, and the identity of the Seer is the root cause of suffering. His cure for this suffering is to look correctly into the world around us.

Vipashyana or Vipassana

The correct use of tristhana – breath, bandha and drishti in yoga practice is said to bring us closer to reality and unleash the power of the five elements:

  • The element of earth is activated by moola bandha, producing foundation, stability and strength.
  • The element of water is found in the fluidity of flowing posture work, or vinyasa, and in the sweat produced by the practice.
  • The element of air is linked to by the continuous and uninterrupted flow of ujjayi breath in and out of the body and the feeling of lightness created by the application of bandhas.
  • The element of fire is found by connecting to the heat of the practice, particularly at manipura chakra and throughout the body.
  • The element of ether or space is found during the postures as students seek to open up the body and find new levels of stretch and flexibility.

Yoga brings about transformation on a physical, emotional, mental and energetic level. When the above elements are incorporated into a correct practice, the process of positive change starts. The positive transformation of the body and mind by yoga is seen as the fruit of practice and a reward for working with dedication and discipline at this demanding system of asana practice.

Drishti, or focused gaze, is a means for developing concentrated intention. It relates to the fifth limb of yoga (pratyahara) concerning sense withdrawal, as well as the sixth limb (dharana) relating to concentration.

Each yoga asana is associated with a particular dṛiṣhṭi. There are nine drishtis (when you count both Parshva Dṛiṣhṭis, left and right sides, as one). The practice of drishti develops concentration—and teaches you to see the world as it really is. 

Eyes are the doors which connect the inside mind to the outside world. If the eyes are totally fixed, the mind really stops; it cannot wander. The eyes are the most delicate. That is why they can be more tense than any other part, and with the eyes in tension, the whole mind is tense. The eyes are just doors to the mind. We are predominantly visual creatures. Where our eyes are directed, our attention follows. Our attention is the most valuable thing we have, and the visible world can be an addictive, over-stimulating, and spiritually debilitating lure. When we get caught up in the outer appearance of things, our prana (vitality) flows out and gets dissipated. Allowing the eyes to wander creates distractions that lead us further away from focus.

By controlling and directing the focus of eyes, and then of attention, we can control the focus of our mind.

Besides its use in asana, drishti is applied in other yogic practices. In the kriya of trataka, the eyes are held open until tears flow. This technique not only gives the eyes a wash but also challenges the student to practice overriding unconscious urges – in this case, the urge to blink.

Our eyes can only see objects in front of us that reflect the visible spectrum of light, but yogis seek to view an inner reality not normally visible. With practice, we become aware of how our brains let us see only what we want to see. Often our opinions, prejudices, and habits prevent us from seeing the reality. Drishti is a technique for seeing correctly the world around us. Used in this way, it becomes a technique for removing the ignorance that obscures this true vision, a technique that allows us to see oneness in everything.

Drishti types

Nine Types of Drishti

Angusthamadhye

For Anguṣṭhamadhye drishṭi, meaning ‘to the middle of the thumb, the practitioner looks to the thumb.

Examples of asanas which employ Aṅguṣṭhamadhye as their dṛiṣhṭi can be found in the Surya Namaskara vinyasas.

Bhrumadhye

The Bhrumadhye drishṭi, meaning ‘to the middle of the eyebrows/brow, has the gaze set at the ‘third eye’, which is right between the eyebrows. In order to do this, the eyes are closed half way. This purportedly stimulates the olfactory and optic nerves, consequently awakening the autonomic and central nervous systems. It soothes the cranial nerves and aids concentration, and helps awaken kundalini shakti.

It is advised that caution be taken as prolonged or incorrect practice may cause problems for the eye muscles or nervous system. Initial practice is often done for only seconds at a time, but is gradually increased.

An example of a vinyasa which includes the Bhrumadhye dṛiṣhṭi in its practice is Surya Namaskara.

Nasagre

The Nasagre drishṭi, meaning ‘to the tip of the nose’, has the eyes fixed on the tip of the nose. Purportedly strengthens the eye muscles.

Keep the body pose firm, in Padmasana if possible, and centre the gaze at the tip of the nose. In the later stages, it can be practised even with the closed eyes. The process of gazing at the tip of the nose without fluttering the eyelids, helps to achieve the concentration of the mind.

While learning it can be performed even for a minute or two at a stretch. Later, it may be practised for longer duration. 

This helps achieve the concentration of the brain fast and with ease.

Hastagrahe

The Hastagrahe drishti, generally meaning ‘the taking of the hand’ or ‘the putting of the hand to’, or (in the context of dṛiṣhṭi) ‘to the tips of the hand’, involves looking at the (usually extended) tips or palm of the hand.

Utthita Trikonasana, and its twisted partner Parivrtta Trikonasana are two examples of asanas which use Hastagraha dṛiṣhṭi.

Parshva

Parshva drishti, involves looking to the left or right side.

Urdhva

Urdhva drishti has the eyes pointing upwards, to the sky.

Nabhichakre

The navel is the center of focus for the Nabhichakre drishti, meaning ‘to the (magical) navel-circle’.

Adho-Mukha-Shvanasana uses the Nabhichakre drishti.

Padayoragre

Padayoragre drishti, meaning ‘to the tips of the feet’, is gazing to the toes.

Basis of Drishti

The source of drishtis in yoga is limbs 5 and 6 from the eight limbs of yoga. The 5th limb of yoga pratyahara concerns sense withdrawal. To avoid the delusion and suffering caused by preoccupation with sense objects as described in the Maitri Upanishad, sense withdrawal is practiced in order to help the practitioner become ‘centered’. According to tantric philosophy, keeping ‘centered’ madhya will eventually suspend the mind and prana, allowing recognition of bhairava, or device consciousness.

The sixth limb of yoga dharana (concentration), includes maintaining drishti during yoga practice in order to ensure dhyana (meditation) will occur.

Variation Between Styles

There may be differences between different styles regarding how drishti is practiced and which ones are used for specific asanas, however drishti is a primary part of Hatha Yoga, Gyana Yoga, Bhakti Yoga, and Raja Yoga traditions.

In Practice

As with many Yogic techniques, with drishti there is a danger of mistaking the technique for the goal. Dedicate your use of the body (including the eyes) to transcend your identification with it. So when you look at an object during your practice, don’t focus on it with a hard gaze. Instead, use a soft gaze, looking through it toward a vision of cosmic unity. Soften your focus to send your attention beyond outer appearance to inner essence.

In general, practitioners should use the various bahya (external) gazing points during more externally oriented yoga practices, including asanas, kriyas (cleansing practices), seva (the service work of karma yoga), and bhakti (devotion); use the antaric (internal) gaze to enhance contemplative and meditative practices. If you find yourself closing the eyes during any practice and focusing on the dramas or perplexities of life instead of being able to maintain a neutral, detached focus, re-establish an outer gaze. On the other hand, if the outer gaze becomes a distraction to your concentration, perhaps an inner-directed correction is necessary.

Constant application of drishti develops ekagrata, single-pointed focus. When you restrict your visual focus to one point, your attention doesn’t wander from object to object. Moreover, it becomes much easier for you to notice the internal wanderings of your attention and maintain balance in mind as well as body.

Drishti Gives The True View

A Yogi uses a vision comprised of viveka (discrimination between ‘real view’ and ‘unreal, apparent view’) and vairagya (detachment from a mistaken identification with either the instrument of seeing or that which is seen). Charged with yogic vision, we see our true Self. As we gaze at others, we perceive our own form, which is Love itself. We see their suffering as our own; our heart is filled with compassion for the struggles of all the souls. The yogic gaze emerges from an intense desire to achieve the highest goal of unitive consciousness, rather than from egoistic motives that create separation, limitation, judgment, and suffering.

Like all yogic practices, drishti uses the gifts of a human body and mind as a starting place for connecting with our full potential. When we clear our vision of the veils of habits, opinions, ideas, and their false projections about what is real and what is false, we gaze beyond outer differences toward the absolute Truth of internal oneness.

To delve deeper into this important topic in Yoga, please check different courses at SAVY. 

 Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn more about Yoga. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

 

Nov 152015
 
Sanskrit Names for Asanas

SANSKRIT WORD ROOTS OF ASANA NAMES

MAKING THEM EASIER TO UNDERSTAND

Sanskrit Names for Asanas

If you are not sure what to do when the teacher calls for “Utkatasana”, or, can’t quite tell “Hasta padangusthasana” apart from “Chaturanga Dandasana”, or,  not clearly visualising “Prasarita Padottanasana”, or can’t get your mouth around “Utthitta Chaturanga Dandasaana”, here is some help! 

What is in a Name!

Two basic things make identification of asanas (poses) easier:

String of Pearls

First, you must know that those long Sanskrit words are in fact like strings of pearls. This is something peculiar to Sanskrit. For example, Paschimottanasana has 4 words in it:

  • Paschima (West or backside of the body);
  • Utt (intense)
  • tana (stretch);
  • Asana (pose).

Learning to identify the smaller words within the long name makes it easier not only to recognize but also helps to pronounce.

Common Mother Language

The second important point is that, in English (as well as other languages), we use words that are distant cousins to Sanskrit.

According to linguists, there are nineteen families of languages in the world, and the languages of the western world have developed from one original tongue. No written record exists of this mother tongue, but strong similarities between words in different western languages, called Indo-European languages, point to a common origin. With the demise of Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), newer theories have come up, but here is an indicative chart according to accepted theories at present:

Sanskrit_Language Tree

Many opinions are afloat even about the age of the Sanskrit. The oldest form of Sanskrit is Rigvedic (or Vedic)Sanskrit; so, some estimates can be made about the age of Sanskrit from the age of Vedas. Various postulates in vogue are:

  • The modern linguists place the age of the first book of Vedas, the Rig Veda, at about 1800 B.C., placing Sanskrit at 3,800 years of age.
  • Astronomical references in the Vedas, however, provide some broad approximations that help date the beginning of the tradition. Some Vedic notices mark the beginning of the year at the vernal equinox in Orion; this was the case around 4500 B.C. This places Sanskrit at 6,500 years of age.
  • Atreya, a descendant of Hindu sage Atri, was a well-known Ayurvedic expert from 6th century BCE.  Having lived in India for many years, he stated in Practical Atreya, “Ayurveda has very old roots, long before recorded history. Hinduism is a much later manifestation of the Vedic culture. Theoral tradition states that the first of the Vedas was composed about 40,000 years ago. This comes from my personal (Atreya’s) dialogs with yogis and teachers in India.  The oral traditions are still very much alive in India, when valuable information is passed orally from teacher to student”. This account implies that Ayurveda, and Sanskrit, have existed for approximately 42,000 years.
  • Some Indian Vedic scholars believe that creation, and so, Sanskrit – the divine language, is more than 2 billion years old.

Even according to first postulate, the oldest languages of the Indo-European family are Sanskrit (1800 B.C.), Greek (800 B.C.) and Latin (500 B.C.) French is a direct descendant of Latin, and about half of English words come from French. The Anglo-Saxon side of English, related to German, is also part of the big Indo-European family. According to Indian scriptures, Vedic language, which is the mother of Sanskrit, is said to be the mother of all languages.

One day in yoga class, this very obvious link was pointed out to me. I was explaining to the students that the asana they were doing was Janushirasana, and further expanded that janu meant knee and shir meant head. One student pointed out immediately that in French, the word for knee is genou, and is similarly pronounced like janu. There are so many other similar sounding words in languages : mother is ‘matri’ in Sanskrit, brother is ‘bhrata’, mrta is Sanskrit for dead or corpse and, in French, mort means death or dead and then goes on into English to show up again in mortuary (a place for the dead). This is a long list….

The Names of Asanas

Sanskrit Alphabets

Since the late 19th century, Sanskrit has been written mostly with the Devanagari alphabets. However it has also been written with all the other alphabets of India, except Gurmukhi and Tamil, and with other alphabets such as Thai and Tibetan. The Grantha, Sharda and Siddham alphabets are used only for Sanskrit. Since the late 18th century, Sanskrit has also been written with the Latin alphabet. The most commonly used system is the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST), which was been the standard for academic work since 1912.

Devanagari alphabets for Sanskrit

Vowels and vowel diacritics (ghosha)

Sanskrit Vowels

 

Consonants (vyanjana)

Sanskrit Consonants

 

Conjunct consonants (sanyoga)

There are about a thousand conjunct consonants, most of which combine two or three consonants. There are also some with four-consonant conjuncts and at least one well-known conjunct with five consonants. Here are some of the commonly-used conjuncts:

Sanskrit Conjunct Consonants

 

Pronunciation.

Do your best, keeping in mind that intention is important. Sanskrit is an implosive language – when you say Sanskrit words, the sound vibrations influence marmas, nadis and chakras.

Pronunciation of Sanskrit alphabets can be guttural, palatal, cerebral, dental or labial:

Sanskrit Names

Word Roots for Names of Asanas

The word-roots for names of asanas are mostly from four categories:

  1. anatomy
  2. animals
  3. sages and deities, and
  4. shapes of objects.

Additionally, names of poses are further broken down into numbers and characteristics of the pose. As we get acquainted with some of these basic translations within the asana, then the longer names of asanas start to become easily comprehensible.

Anatomy:

  1. Pada: foot/ leg (pied in French means foot, while pedestrian in English denotes someone on foot)
  2. Hasta: hand
  3. Anguli: fingers
  4. Angustha: big toe
  5. Janu: knee
  6. Shira or Shirsha: head
  7. Mukha: face
  8. Karna: ear
  9. Jathara: stomach
  10. Anga: limb
  11. Bhuja: arm
  12. Sarvanga: (sarva) whole (ang) body
  13. Shava: corpse
  14. Prana: breath/ lifeforce
  15. Pashchima: west direction (back side of body)
  16. Purva: east direction (front side of body)

Animals:

  1. Shvana: dog
  2. Bheka: frog
  3. Baka: crow
  4. Ushtra: camel
  5. Go: cow
  6. bhujanga: snake/ serpent
  7. kapota: pidgeon/ dove
  8. kurma: turtle
  9. matsya: fish
  10. shalabha: locust/ grasshopper

Sages and Deities:

  1. Bharadvaja: a sage; also the father of famous archer, Drona, who trained the cousins who would later became rivals and fight the famous war Mahabharata, of which Bhagwad Geeta is an excerpt.
  2. Garuda: was the king of the eagles; Garuda once provided transportation and carried Lord Vishnu to the aid of devotee, Gajendra who was in a life threatening situation.
  3. Marichi: son of Brahma and grandfather of Surya the sun god.
  4. Matsyendra: Lord of the Fishes; a fish heard all the teachings when Shiva was imparting knowledge of Yoga to Parvati. Shiva gave him divine form to then spread the knowledge of yoga.
  5. Surya: Sun god
  6. Virabhadra: the great warrior who sprang to Shiva’s aid to seek revenge on his father-in-law.
  7. Nataraja: one of the names of Shiva, the lord of the dance.
  8. Hanuman: chief of the monkey army; one of Rama’s greatest devotees who came to his aid. Hanuman made huge leaps across the sea- first to find Sita and then to save Rama’s brother.

Shapes of Objects:

  1. Parigha: gate latch
  2. Hala: plough, plow
  3. Vriksha: tree
  4. Tula: scales
  5. Tada: mountain or Palm tree
  6. Setu: bridge
  7. Nava: boat
  8. Mudra: seal
  9. Dhanur: bow
  10. Danda: rod/ staff/ stick
  11. Chandra: moon
  12. Vira: hero
  13. Asana: pose/ posture

Numbers:

  1. Eka: one
  2. Dwi: two, both (dwa in Polish, pronounced dva)
  3. Tri: three (trois in French)
  4. Chatur: four (cztery in Polish, pronounced ch-terry)
  5. Pancha: five
  6. Shat: six
  7. Sapta: seven
  8. Ashta: eight
  9. Nava: nine
  10. Dasha or Dasham: ten

Characteristics:

  1. Adho: downward
  2. Urdhva: raised/ upward
  3. Utthitta: extended, stretched.
  4. Parivritta: revolved
  5. Baddha: tied/ bound
  6. Supta: reclining/ sleeping
  7. Uttana: (utt) intense, (tan) stretch
  8. Sthiti: stability
  9. Upavistha: seated
  10. Prasarita: spread out
  11. Ardha: half
  12. Salamba: with support
  13. Nirlamba: without support
  14. Kona: angle
  15. Pida: pressure

These are only some of the representative root words.

 Delve deeper into this and many more informative topics in Yoga.

Please check out different Yoga Education courses at SAVY.

Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to learn ‘Sanskrit for Yoga’. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

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Nov 142015
 
Chakrasana

CREATING RIGHT CONDITIONS FOR YOGA

Chakrasana

Yoga is about discovering your real inner self, about re-inventing or re-designing yourself. To achieve that, right conditions for Yoga have to be there. Yoga means you are moving towards expanding your consciousness, towards connecting yourself with the Super Consciousness or Super Intelligence. You have to create the necessary atmosphere to let this happen. When you were created the first time, it was not your choice – it happened from memory stored in inherited DNA! But now that you are reinventing yourself through Yoga, you can choose to go step-by-step, moving towards how you want yourself to be.

You expand your consciousness through Yoga. I’ve been asked many times how to do that – well, you don’t have to be explained when you are ready! This is something to be experienced. When you connect with the source of creation, you practically connect with a huge source of intelligence, the kind of intelligence that you won’t think is possible, which we mortals perceive as genius. To allow this to happen, there should be no obstacles. Some of the common obstacles can be removed easily. The Yoga teachings and methodology provided here have been perfected over thousands of years not only to optimize the benefits, but also to reduce any dangers and risks associated with awakening Kundalini Shakti prematurely. This approach helps avoid many of the difficulties involved with the premature awakening of Kundalini that one sometimes comes across. Please follow the following advice and feel the difference.

 

Cold Water Bath

Before beginning your practice, especially in the morning, it is better to take a bath with cold water which is about five degree Celsius lower than room temperature. This will open up the pores of your skin. This is important for practicing yoga because we want the cellular and energetic structure of the body to be charged with a different dimension. Also, it washes away the physical and emotional negativity accumulated over the preceding time. Why one person seems to be far more alive than the other is essentially because of energy. Once you are charged with energy, youthfulness stays for a very long time.

Yoga Attire

Yoga is generally practiced barefoot. Clothing should generally be loose and comfortable. It is advisable to keep the shoulders and spine covered, so practicing without any covering the upper body is not recommended. This has to do with the awakening, flow and distribution of Kundalini via the 3 main energy channels (ida, pingala and sushumna) that lie in and along the spinal cord.

A blanket can be used to cover the body after Yoga, especially after meditation, during the relaxation period. Keep the body covered and warm. Most Kriyas are followed by a period of relaxation that is usually done in corpse pose (shav-asana) and during this time the body temperature tends to drop, so a blanket can be used to keep the body warm and comfortable.

Yoga With Full Awareness

Keep your full focus on what you are doing. Try to be as aware as possible of every posture and movement you are making during your practice. Check throughout your yoga session where your mind is; if it has wandered, gently bring it back and focus again on the poses and the breathing. This is the most essential requirement of yoga, regardless of whether you are a beginner or a master. In addition, if certain feelings or energies awaken within you, bring your attention to them and just observe them taking their course as you progress through your practice.

Breathing

There is no Yoga without Pranayama! Yoga significantly relies on the Science of Pranayama (breathing exercises). Unless specified otherwise, all breathing should be done through the nose. 

Jal Neti (washing the nostrils with saline water) is recommended for cleaning the nasal passageways to help maximize the benefits of pranayama.

Safety

Some Yoga Kriyas can be quite challenging and it is recommended to always do warm-ups first before doing these tough sets and asanas. There are several good easy kriyas and sets, which work very well as warm-ups to the tough kriyas. It is especially important to do spinal warm-ups as charging the cerebrospinal fluid within the spinal cord and brain assists in the flow of awakened Kundalini Shakti. Don’t overdo it. Try to walk the middle road. This goes for both – your overall practice and also for each kriya and asana you do. In other words, each exercise you do should not be too easy and not too hard, and your overall practice should be equally balanced, between being ridiculously ambitious or excessively easy. With regard to your practice, try to establish a steady, long-term daily practice, rather than doing 10 hours a day for 2 weeks and then nothing after that.

Use common sense. For the difficult asanas and exercises, ease off a little if you feel you are risking injury. Also, feel free to increase the relaxation time between exercises or reduce the time suggested for doing a particular exercise to suit your pace. Yoga practice is all about you and only you. It is not a competition. So, listen to your body and let your inner voice guide and direct you.

Yoga Teachings

It is immensely important to initially learn Yoga from a knowledgeable and experienced teacher, the Guru, who can ensure that the understanding is accurately disseminated. Safety is a big concern. If possible you should at least try to attend a few live yoga classes so that you can get a feel of the asanas and pranayamas. Guru is very important. Later on, in absence of Guru, the Guru within is always available to guide you.

Good literature and websites can also provide some guidance for practicing yoga.

When to Practice Yoga 

In general Yoga should be practiced in the early morning hours. Early morning is called Brahma-Muhurta in Sanskrit. It literally means ‘The Divine Time’. This is the time of the day when the spiritual energy on our planet is at its highest. The air at that time is fresh and contains the greatest amount of prana (cosmic life force). The mind is also fresh and unburdened with the worries of everyday life. This will help in the practice of concentration and meditation. This is the time of day when you are least likely to be distracted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The stomach is empty, which is necessary before practicing many of the Yoga asanas and pranayamas.

But if you can’t do your practice at that time, it is acceptable to practice at other times of the day as well. Choice and intensity of Yoga postures is better optimized to the designated time.

Where to Practice Yoga

It is important for the place where you practice Yoga to be neat, spacious and clean, but more importantly, it should be well ventilated. You can also use a fan to keep the air fresh, but make sure it is not pointed directly at you. Practicing outdoors is even better, although direct sunlight should be avoided.

Yoga Diet

Try not to eat at least 3 hours before doing your Yoga practice. While practicing yoga asanas, you should not only be on an empty stomach, your bowels should also be empty. Anything that is not the body should be out of the body if you want to move your energies beneficially. Though they act on the physical body, or the annamaya kosha, as well, Yoga practices are not mere physical exercises; they act at the energy bodies as well. To achieve that, nothing should be there other than your body. So, the food you put in or the waste you produced, both these things should be out.

Given that Yoga uses many different bandhas (body locks), pranayamas (breathing exercises), asanas and vigorous movement, you could be quite uncomfortable if your stomach or bowels are still full. 

Although Yoga in general recommends a Sattvic diet (foods that promote calmness and clarity), and not Rajasic foods (energetic foods that promote activity) or Tamasic foods (foods that promote heaviness and dull the mind), due to the nature of Yoga, including some Rajasic foods in your diet is permissible. Still it is recommended that the bulk of your diet be Sattvic. Sattvic foods are generally fresh and sweet such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, honey etc. Rajasic foods are generally spicy and stimulating, such as onions, garlic, eggs, fish, tea etc. Tamasic foods are fatty foods, stale food, meat, etc.

Yoga Kriyas are designed to force the organs, tissues, nerves and vessels to expel buried toxins out into the elimination systems of the body. So some time after any Kriyas or tough yoga set, one should drink plenty of water to help cleanse the body of the toxins and waste that have been released.

Keep Your Eyes Closed

Just closing eyes reduces 75% of alpha wave activity in brain. So, for us humans, shutting down the visual apparatus is quite important to quieten the mind. You see this world with your eyes, and you hold a lot of energy in your eyes. When eyes are closed, the outer world disappears. The eyes naturally close for any internal experience because the visual apparatus connects us with the outward. If you just close them, you can still hear, smell and feel, but much of the world is shut out. So, focus on internal experience happens best when your eyes are closed. When you’re doing Yoga, you want to internalize everything. So, keep your eyes closed during yoga.

Speaking

Not talking during the asana should not be just a norm in Yoga classes, it should be a rule! Asanas are dynamic meditation – because you are not yet capable of staying still, you’re doing something else to become meditative, that which is absolutely comfortable and stable is your asana. When your body is at ease, your mind is at ease and your energies flow freely, in complete vibrancy and balance. If you sit still, you are naturally meditative. To come to a state of natural meditation, the preparatory step is asana.

If you speak, many disturbances happen physiologically and energetically. You must never speak in postures because your focus, breath and what happens to your energy system are most important; otherwise you will disturb the system. If you have to speak, come out of asana and then do it. 

Using Mirrors/Listening to Music

Ideally, there should never be a mirror or music when you practice Hatha Yoga. This culture of using mirrors has come from body-building and gymnasia because, there, people want to admire their physical bodies. In yoga, that is not recommended at all. If you look at yogis, their physical structure is not like that of an athlete – they are quite ordinary; some are even plump! For Yogis, the only thing important to them is their consciousness which must grow. If you want to get the involvement of that which is the source of creation within you, your body, mind, and energy must be absolutely involved and aligned. And your mental focus is most important while practicing asanas.

Classical yoga demands aligning your body, mind and energy, and the innermost core. You have to give your one hundred percent for the source of creation, which we usually refer to as the divine, to yield. If you hold back or deviate a little, it will not be there for you.

Frequency of Practice

The Yoga Sutra says – sthira sukham asanam – an asana should be comfortable and stable. The goal of asana practice is to achieve a state where your asana is comfortable and stable; even if you remain in a posture for hours, it should stay the same, without eliciting any disturbances internally. That is when your perception starts expanding.

The intention of Hatha Yoga practice is to knead the body in such a way that we can remold it. So, whatever time you want to devote, should be done with one hundred percent involvement. In true spirit of Yoga, doing yoga every day or twice a week – that doesn’t really matter!

Human body is clay. Karma, or the established memory, makes it rigid. . It is because of this memory that the physical, physiological and psychological aspects becomes rigid. Through Yoga, we try to undo that. Then, you can shape it whichever way you want because the energies become fluid.

 Delve deeper into this and many more informative topics in Yoga. Please check different Yoga Education courses at SAVYJitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

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p style=”text-align: center;”>President and Director of Teaching

Please contact us to book your spot in our Yoga classes. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Sep 172015
 
SAVY Face Yoga

SAVY Face Yoga© 1 – Learn 7 Exercises

SAVY Face Yoga

FORGET BOTOX, FORGET ABOUT GETTING UNDER THE KNIFE

THIS IS THE ULTIMATE NATURAL FACELIFT!!!

MAKE FUNNY FACES AND GET RID OF WRINKLES AND SAGGING

CHANGE YOUR FACE, CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

YOU CAN NOW REGISTER FOR SAVY FACE YOGA© – 1 WORKSHOP

AND LEARN

7 – EFFECTIVE EXERCISES FOR YOUR FACE

Yoga is a process of enhancing one’s beauty – internal as well as external. Just by devoting some time daily, one can improve the natural charm. Everyone wishes to remain young and beautiful forever. The routine of SAVY FACE YOGA© – 1 is easy – we have put together some chosen exercises which can gently rebuild and boost your self esteem. They let you “tune in” to your body. Just spend some time to do them every day. This is a guided course for women and men of all ages. It benefits the body, the mind and the spirit. On a physical level, it teaches to invigorate and rejuvenate the face by strengthening muscles and revitalizing tissues. Firmness and elasticity of face is increased, adding volume and brightness to the skin and visibly smoothens and stretches out face wrinkles. More specifically, this fills and strengths lips, cheeks, cheekbones, eyes, forehead, jaw line and the neck. It visibly reduces puffy eyes, dark circles, saggy eyelids and double chin. You will achieve a full facial workout and energize the body.

SAVY FACE YOGA© – 1 is based specifically on:

  • Mukha Yoga (Face Yoga) exercises,
  • Asanas (Yoga Postures),
  • Mindfulness and Breathing Exercises,
  • Nada Yoga 
  • Kriyas
  • Mudras
  • Marmas (Indian Pressure Ponts), and more, 

All these offer immense healing potential, for the body, mind and spirit.

This routine can also be used as support for muscle rehabilitation, to reduce minor facial asymmetries and can be adopted as an alternative or as a supplement to plastic surgery and cosmetic medical treatments.

Confront time and become the author of your face.

Join this program and see the difference for yourself!

Learn and o these exercises regularly and feel the change. You will feel more confident about the way you look and the way you feel.

This could truly be a LIFE TRANSFORMING experience for you. Whether you are brand new to yoga or are a seasoned yoga practitioner, you will find this yoga program a truly rewarding experience physically, emotionally, medically, socially and spiritually.

SET ON A COURSE TO STREAMLINE YOUR FACE AND JAW-LINE

Let’s get started! You can do this!

The program will consist of a group-based practice led by a knowledgeable and experienced instructor.

Here are the details:

  • Location: 163 Concord Road London ON N6G 3H9
  • Formats: Three one-hour sessions
  • Days & Time:
    • Group Sessions: Thursdays, from 04:45 PM to 05:45 PM, or
    • Private Sessions: By appointment
  • Cost:
    • Group Sessions: $150 for all 3 group sessions (+HST), or
    • Private Sessions: $499 for all 3 private sessions (+HST) 
  • Commitment:
    • A firm commitment to complete the program without missing any class (except in an emergency). Missed  classes will not be compensated.
    • Be available for photographs before and after the practice.
    • In addition to the classes at studio, you should also follow the routine at home.
    • At the end of the one month program, continue the same practice at home or sign-up for further training. Continue this practice for better results.
  • Components of the full Program:
    • Asana (physical postures/stretching)
    • Mukha Yoga (Face Yoga)
    • Pranayama (breathing techniques)
    • Meditation
    • Self Marma Massage of important Marma Bindus
    • Nada
    • Yoga Nutrition advice based on Dosha
    • Pearls of Ancient Wisdom
  • Monitoring : To monitor improvement, you may get photographs taken before and after the practice.

The same program is also taught on one-on-one basis and online. Please book your appointment for consultation.

 Please check the schedule here:

Please contact us if you are interested. I would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming experience.

Jitender K Sahdev

 Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

Your Yoga Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc., Ph.D.,MD, MBBS, Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist /Yoga Teacher in London with over 51,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.  

Note : This program has not been evaluated by Health Canada, US Food & Drug Administration or the American Medical Association. This technology does not claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Medical advice must only be obtained from a physician or qualified health practitioner. Results may vary between individuals. There are no guarantees, expressed, or implied.You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises. The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation. This is an exercise program and the results may vary.

Do you want to take SAVY Face Yoga program further and help others with this routine? Check out our SAVY Face Yoga Teacher Training

You can get your ticket below: 

Do you want to take SAVY Face Yoga program further and help others with this routine?

Check out our SAVY Face Yoga Teacher Training:

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p style=”text-align: justify;”>Face Yoga Teacher Training

Aug 152015
 
Trauma Release Yoga Practitioner

Registration Open for Trauma Release Yoga Practitioner – Level 1A

Trauma Release Yoga Practitioner

 

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 OPENING OF REGISTRATION

OF

SPECIALITY

Trauma Release Yoga Practitioner – Level 1A

 30 HOURS PROGRAM

TRAUMA, PTSD, STRESS, 

AS WELL AS

OTHER MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES

WILL BE CREDITED TOWARDS RYT 500 or YOGA THERAPY 1000 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

 Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or

YOGA THERAPIST 1000

Or

Deepen their yoga practice and knowledge

Suitable for RMT’s, Naturopaths, Homeopaths, Social Workers, Physicians and others too!

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc. (Alternative Medicine), Ph.D. (Alternative Medicine),MD (Alternative Medicine), M.B.,B.S., Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher in London ON. A Surgeon by profession from India, he started his Surgical career in a Cancer Hospital in India and in his Surgical career over almost next three decades, performed thousands of surgeries. He utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

<

p style=”text-align: center;”>*Conditions apply.

Aug 012015
 
trauma

Trauma, PTSD, Stress, Mental Health and Yoga

trauma

Trauma literally means a physical injury, or a deeply distressing, disturbing emotional event. Emotional or psychological trauma is often the result of a physical injury, or an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved with that experience; it is the result of a real or perceived threat to life, or sexual violence. A traumatic event involves one experience, or repeating events with the sense of being overwhelmed that can be delayed by weeks, years, or even decades as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences. 

If the symptoms persist for more than one month, it is termed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Most people having experienced a trauma event will not progress to PTSD. Assault-based trauma victims are more likely to develop PTSD.  People who experience non-assault based trauma such as witnessing trauma, accidents, and fire events, are less likely to develop PTSD. Children, especially those less than 10 years of age, are less likely to experience PTSD after trauma. War veterans are more at risk for PTSD.

Trauma is a very common occurrence; according to an estimate, at least 1 in every 4 adults has suffered trauma at one or the other time in life. It is also one of the top five most costly health problems. This post discusses emotional or psychological trauma.

History

Trauma is as old as humans, although the diagnosis of post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD only made it into the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSMV) in 1980. War, rape, natural disasters and abuse are as old as humans, and so is PTSD. Called soldier’s heart in the American Civil War, shell shock in the First World War, war neurosis in WWII, combat stress reaction in the Vietnam War, sometimes loosely labelled nervous breakdown, diagnosis that was gradually reformulated as PTSD.

There fell in this battle of Marathon, on the side of the barbarians, about six thousand and four hundred men; on that of the Athenians, one hundred and ninety-two. Such was the number of the slain on the one side and the other. A strange prodigy likewise happened at this fight. Epizelus, the son of Cuphagoras, an Athenian, was in the thick of the fray, and behaving himself as a brave man should, when suddenly he was stricken with blindness, without blow of sword or dart; and this blindness continued thenceforth during the whole of his after life. The following is the account which he himself, as I have heard, gave of the matter: he said that a gigantic warrior, with a huge beard, which shaded all his shield, stood over against him; but the ghostly semblance passed him by, and slew the man at his side. Such, as I understand, was the tale which Epizelus told.

– Herodotus (6.117 – Rawlinson translation)

The ancient Greek historian Herodotus describes that warrior Epizelus experiences hysterical blindness, possibly an extreme form of PTSD. The Greek playwright Sophocles has devoted Ajax and Philoctetes to devastating descriptions of the post-battle breakdowns. The hero Ajax kills hundreds of farm animals, believing them to be his commanding officers, and finally commits suicide by throwing himself on the point of his sword. “What should I do?” cries the despairing Ajax. “The gods hate me, the Trojans loathe me, the Greeks despise me!” The victims of PTSD are known to be at increased risk for homicide and suicide even today. Chaturanga (four limbs of the armed forces), or chatur, is an ancient two player Indian strategy game which is the common ancestor of the board games chess, shogi, makruk, xiangqi and janggi. Four player version was called chaturaji. It was described as shataranja by the Arab scholar Abu al-Hasan ‘Alī al-Mas’ūdī as a tool for military strategy, but also for reliving old battles, perhaps as a form of exposure therapy!

A brief recapitulation of history of PTSD is:

  • 3000 BC (? 8000 B.C., or still older) –  The horrendous combat events described in the Mahabharata and the demeanor and death of the main warrior characters such as Jayadratha graphically illustrate the trauma and symptoms now recognized as PTSD.
  • 1900 BC – Egyptian physicians report hysterical reaction.
  • 8 Century BC – Homer in The Odyssey describes flashbacks and survivor’s guilt.
  • 730 BC – Homer’s great epic, The Iliad narrates a series of harrowing episodes of battle stress that were experienced by the ancient Hellenic combatants. He clearly paints the picture of the horror of war and trauma of combat. Achilles, the archetypal warrior, cries out in anguish and rage at the death and mutilation of his friend Patroklos. 
  • 490 BC – Herodotus writes of a soldier going blind after witnessing the death of a comrade next to him.
  • 3 -5 BC – Jataka stories in Budhism
  • 1597 – Shakespeare vividly describes war sequel in King Henry IV
  • 1600 – Samuel Pepys describes symptoms in survivors of the great fire of London.
  • 1879 –  Rigler coins term Compensation Neurosis
  • 1880’s  – Pierre Janet studies and treats traumatic stress. He describes “hysterical and dissociative symptoms”, inability to integrate memories, by “phasic nature” of suppression and intrusion.
  • 1899 – Helmut Oppenheim coins term  Traumatic  Neurosis
  • WW-I :  –  “Shell Shock”
  • WW-II :   -“Battle fatigue”, “Combat exhaustion”, and, again, “Traumatic Neurosis”
  • 1952 – Carl Jung analyses the psychological component of story of Job in Bible
  • 1980 – PTSD becomes a diagnostic category  in DSM

Careful research and documentation of PTSD began in earnest after the Vietnam War. The National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study estimated in 1988 that the prevalence of PTSD in that group was 15.2% and that 30% had experienced the disorder at some point since returning from Vietnam.

Cause

Stress, trauma or tension can happen due to many causes — a difficult or failed relationship, a financial hardship, a car accident, violence, an abuse, to name just a few. There is frequently a violation of the person’s familiar ideas about the world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity. This is also seen when a person feels violated or betrayed or disillusioned by some institution in unforeseen ways. Upsetting emotions, frightening memories, or a sense of constant danger may be the result. For most people, these symptoms are short-lived. They may last for several days or even weeks, but they gradually disappear.

But in some cases, the symptoms don’t decrease – one does not improve with each passing day. In fact, one may start to feel worse. The trauma may reflect in the body through the central nervous system. It may manifest as both emotional/ psychological as well as physical symptoms, ranging from flashbacks and anxiety, sensori-motor reactions as intrusive images, sounds, smells, body sensations, physical pain, constriction, numbing and even deep muscle patterns. These persisting trauma symptoms have the ability to derange one’s mental, psychological, biological, and social health.

An event will most likely lead to trauma if:

  • it is unexpected,
  • one is not prepared for it,
  • feels unable to prevent it;
  • happens repeatedly,
  • someone is intentionally cruel, or,
  • if it happened in childhood. 

This can also be caused by one-time events, such as a horrible accident, a natural disaster, or a violent attack. 

In case of a perceived or real threat, the first thing that happens is ‘sympathetic stimulation’, preparing the body for ‘fight or flight response. When the situation worsens further, in addition to changes in CNS, the ‘primitive dorsal vagus‘ elicits immobilization or ‘freeze‘ behavior; ventral vagus is connected with empathy, social communication and self-soothing behavior. 

Neuroendocrinology of Trauma

PTSD symptoms may result when a traumatic event causes an over-reactive adrenaline response, which creates deep neurological patterns in the brain. These patterns can persist long after the event that triggered the fear, making an individual hyper-responsive to future fearful situations. During traumatic experiences the high levels of stress hormones secreted suppress hypothalamic activity that may be a major factor toward the development of PTSD.

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is responsible for coordinating the hormonal response to stress. In PTSD, there is a maladaptive learning pathway to fear response through a hypersensitive, hyperreactive, and hyperresponsive HPA axis.

Low cortisol levels may predispose individuals to PTSD. People who suffer from PTSD have chronically low levels of serotonin, which contributes to the commonly associated behavioral symptoms such as anxiety, ruminations, irritability, aggression, suicidality and impulsivity. Serotonin also contributes to the stabilization of glucocorticoid production.

Low levels of dopamine can contribute to anhedonia, apathy, impaired attention, and motor deficits. Increased levels of dopamine can cause psychosis, agitation, and restlessness.

Hyperresponsiveness in the norepinephrine system can be caused by continued exposure to high stress. Overactivation of norepinephrine receptors in the prefrontal cortex can be connected to the flashbacks and nightmares. A decreased awareness of the current environment prevents the memory mechanisms in the brain from associating the flashback with the current environment.

Majority of reports indicate people with PTSD have elevated levels of corticotropin-releasing hormone, lower basal cortisol levels, and enhanced negative feedback suppression of the HPA axis by dexamethasone.

Neuro-anatomy of Trauma

Trauma

Three areas of the brain in which function may be altered in PTSD have been identified:

  • prefrontal cortex,
  • amygdala, and
  • hippocampus.

PTSD is considered a syndrome of deficient extinction ability. The amygdala is a heterogeneous brain structure implicated in processing of emotions and storing the emotional aspects of memories. The amygdalocentric model of PTSD proposes that it is associated with hyperarousal of the amygdala and insufficient top-down control by the mPFC (medial prefrontal cortex) and the hippocampus in particular during extinction. Studies suggest that therapeutic strategies that enhance IGF2/IGFBP7 signalling and adult neurogenesis might be suitable to treat diseases linked to excessive fear memory such as PTSD.

Amygdala can also pre-empt neo-cortex through amygdala hijack; an amygdala hijack exhibits three signs: strong emotional reaction, sudden onset, and post-episode realization if the reaction was inappropriate.In human studies, the amygdala has been shown to be strongly involved in the formation of emotional memories, especially fear-related memories. During high stress times, the hippocampus, which is associated with the ability to place memories in the correct sequence and context of space and time, and with the ability to recall the memory, is suppressed. This suppression is hypothesized to be the cause of the flashbacks that often affect people with PTSD. When someone with PTSD undergoes stimuli similar to the traumatic event, the body perceives the event as occurring again because the memory was never properly recorded in the person’s memory. 

The maintenance of the fear involved with PTSD has been shown to include the HPA axis, the locus coeruleus-noradrenergic systems, and the connections between the limbic system and frontal cortex. The HPA axis that coordinates the hormonal response to stress, which activates the LC-noradrenergic system, is implicated in the over-consolidation of memories that occurs as a result of trauma. This over-consolidation increases the likelihood of one’s developing PTSD. The amygdala is responsible for threat detection and the conditioned and unconditioned fear responses that are carried out as a response to a threat.

The LC-noradrenergic system has been hypothesized to mediate the over-consolidation of fear memory in PTSD. High levels of cortisol reduce noradrenergic activity, and because people with PTSD tend to have reduced levels of cortisol, it is proposed that individuals with PTSD fail to regulate the increased noradrenergic response to traumatic stress. It is thought that the intrusive memories and conditioned fear responses to associated triggers is a result of this response. Neuropeptide-Y has been reported to reduce the release of norepinephrine and has been demonstrated to have anxiolytic properties in animal models. Studies have shown people with PTSD demonstrate reduced levels of NPY, possibly indicating their increased anxiety levels.

Amygdala

The basolateral nucleus (BLA) of the amygdala is responsible for the comparison and development of associations between unconditioned and conditioned responses to stimuli, which results in the fear conditioning present in PTSD.

fear

The BLA activates the central nucleus (CeA) of the amygdala, which elaborates the fear response, (including behavioral response to threat and elevated startle response). Descending inhibitory inputs from the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) regulate the transmission from the BLA to the CeA, which is hypothesized to play a role in the extinction of conditioned fear responses.

The Vagus Nerve

The vagus nerve (X cranial nerve) is a primary component of the autonomic nervous system. The word vagus means “wandering” in Latin. The words vagabond, vague, and vagrant come from the same root. The vagus nerve is known as the wandering nerve because it has multiple branches. This is one of the major nerves that goes to the brain. By stimulating the nerves, you can cause upstream changes in the brain without having to go into the brain.

Visceral Supply

Polyvagal theory outlines the structure and function of the two distinct branches of the vagus, both of which originate in the medulla. Each branch is associated with a different adaptive behavioral strategy, both of which are inhibitory in nature via the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS). The sympathetic-adrenal system is involved in mobilization behavior; vagus nerve acts opposite to this. According to polyvagal theory, these opposing systems are phylogenetically arranged.

Trauma Release

Dorsal Vagal Complex (DVC)

The dorsal branch of the vagus originates in the dorsal motor nucleus and is considered the phylogenetically older branch. This branch is unmyelinated and exists in most vertebrates. Also known as the ‘vegetative vagus’, it is associated with primal survival strategies of primitive vertebrates, reptiles, and amphibians. Under great stress, these animals `freeze` when threatened, conserving their metabolic resources.

Vagus

The dorsal vagal complex (DVC) provides primary control of sub-diaphragmatic visceral organs, such as the digestive tract. Under normal conditions, the DVC maintains regulation of these digestive processes. However, prolonged disinhibition can be lethal for mammals, as it results in apnea and bradycardia.

Ventral Vagal Complex (VVC)

A more sophisticated system with increased neural complexity evolved in mammals. This enriched behavioral and affective responses to an increasingly complex environment. The ventral branch of the vagus originates in the nucleus ambiguus and is myelinated to provide more control and speed in responding. It is also known as the “smart vagus” as it is associated with the regulation of sympathetic “fight or flight” behavior in the service of social affiliative behaviors. These behaviors include social communication and self-soothing and calming. In other words, this branch of the vagus can inhibit or disinhibit defensive limbic system, depending on the situation. The VVC provides primary control of supra-diaphragmatic visceral organs, such as the esophagus, bronchi, pharynx, larynx and heart. When vagal tone to the heart’s pacemaker is high, a baseline or resting heart rate is produced. In other words, the vagus acts as a restraint, or brake, limiting heart rate. However, when vagal tone is removed, there is little inhibition to the pacemaker, and so rapid mobilization (“fight/flight”) can be activated in times of stress, but without having to engage the sympathetic-adrenal system, as activation comes at a severe biological cost.

Vagal Tone

In order to maintain homeostasis, the central nervous system responds constantly, via neural feedback, to environmental cues. Stressful events disrupt the rhythmic structure of autonomic states, and subsequently, behaviors. Amplitude of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA) is a good index of PNS activity via the cardiac vagus. That is, RSA is a measurable, noninvasive way to see how the vagus modulates heart rate activity in response to stress. This method is useful to measure individual differences in stress reactivity.

Research has shown that amplitude of RSA is an accurate indicator of the efferent influence of the vagus on the heart, and is widely used for this purpose. Since inhibitory effects of the VVC branch of the vagus allow for a wide range of adaptive, prosocial behaviors, it has been theorized that individuals with greater vagal tone are able to exhibit a greater range of such behaviors. On the other hand, decreased vagal tone is associated with illnesses and medical complications that compromise the CNS. These complications may reduce one’s capacity to respond to stress appropriately.

Chronic ‘freeze‘ reaction due to stress or unresolved trauma adversely impacts physical vitality and health:

  • chronic tension patterns cause pain commonly in the neck/shoulder and lower back regions
  • typical muscle patterns mainly in jaw, neck, throat, shoulders, diaphragm, pelvis and hamstrings
  • adrenal fatigue occurs which in turn inhibits the immune system
  • the ‘rest, digest and relax’ function of the Parasympathetic Nervous System never gets a chance to act
  • digestive system is impaired; endocrine system is disrupted causing imbalance of growth hormones and reproductive hormones
  • the body pH becomes acidic and promotes inflammation.

All of this leads to a variety of secondary illnesses including high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, gastrointestinal problems, respiratory illnesses, immune disorders, to name just a few.

Trigeminal Nerve

The trigeminal nerve (V Cranial Nerve) is the fifth paired cranial nerve. It is also the largest cranial nerve. It is responsible for sensation in the face and motor functions such as biting and chewing. Its name derives from the fact that each trigeminal nerve (one on each side of the pons) has three major branches: the ophthalmic nerve , the maxillary nerve , and the mandibular nerve. The ophthalmic and maxillary nerves are purely sensory, and the mandibular nerve has sensory (or “cutaneous”) and motor functions. The trigeminal nerve originates from three sensory nuclei (mesencephalic, principal sensory, spinal nuclei of trigeminal nerve) and one motor nucleus(motor nucleus of the trigeminal nerve) extending from the midbrain to the medulla.

Trigeminal

The ophthalmic, maxillary and mandibular branches leave the skull through three separate foramina:

  • superior orbital fissure,
  • foramen rotundum and
  • foramen ovale.

The ophthalmic nerve carries sensory information from the scalp and forehead, the upper eyelid, the conjunctiva and cornea of the eye, the nose (including the tip of the nose, except alae nasi), the nasal mucosa, the frontal sinuses and parts of the meninges (the dura and blood vessels). The maxillary nerve carries sensory information from the lower eyelid and cheek, the nares and upper lip, the upper teeth and gums, the nasal mucosa, the palate and roof of the pharynx, the maxillary, ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses and parts of the meninges. The mandibular nerve carries sensory information from the lower lip, the lower teeth and gums, the chin and jaw (except the angle of the jaw, which is supplied by C2-C3), parts of the external ear and parts of the meninges. The mandibular nerve carries touch-position and pain-temperature sensations from the mouth. Although it does not carry taste sensation (the chorda tympani is responsible for taste), one of its branches—the lingual nerve—carries sensation from the tongue.

The two basic types of sensation are touch-position and pain-temperature. Touch-position input comes to attention immediately, but pain-temperature input reaches the level of consciousness after a delay. Touch-position information is generally carried by myelinated (fast-conducting) nerve fibers, and pain-temperature information by unmyelinated (slow-conducting) fibers. Touch-position and pain-temperature sensations are processed by different pathways in the central nervous system. This hard-wired distinction is maintained up to the cerebral cortex. Within the cerebral cortex, sensations are linked with other cortical areas.

The complex processing of pain-temperature information in the thalamus and cerebral cortex (as opposed to the relatively simple, straightforward processing of touch-position information) reflects a phylogenetically older, more primitive sensory system. The detailed information received from peripheral touch-position receptors is superimposed on a background of awareness, memory and emotions partially set by peripheral pain-temperature receptors.

As the trigeminal nerve has reciprocal projections to the nucleus tractus solitarius, the locus coeruleus, and the reticular formation, its role is implicated in mood regulation and anxiety disorders.

Pelvic Splanchnic Nerves

Pelvic splanchnic nerves or nervi erigentes are splanchnic nerves that arise from sacral spinal nerves S2, S3, S4 to provide parasympathetic innervation to the hindgut. The parasympathetic nervous system is referred to as the craniosacral outflow; the pelvic splanchnic nerves are the sacral component. They are in the same region as the sacral splanchnic nerves, which arise from the sympathetic trunk and provide sympathetic efferent fibers. They contribute to the innervation of the pelvic and genital organs. The nerves regulate the emptying of the urinary bladder, control opening and closing of the internal urethral sphincter, influence motility in the rectum as well as sexual functions like erection. They contain both preganglionic parasympathetic fibers as well as visceral afferent fibers. In the distal 1/3 of the transverse colon, and through the sigmoid and rectum, and the cervix in females, the pelvic splanchnic nerves supply parasympathetic function, including transmitting the sensation of pain. The proximal 2/3 of the transverse colon, and the rest of the proximal gastrointestinal tract is supplied its parasympathetic fibers by the vagus nerve.

 

Symptoms of trauma

Following trauma, people react in different ways, experiencing a wide range of physical and emotional reactions. Traumatic event is an ABNORMAL event and all reactions to it are NORMAL reactions.

Common physical symptoms of trauma can be: insomnia or nightmares, easy startling, racing heart, aches and pains, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, edginess and agitation, muscle tensions. Common emotional and psychological symptoms of trauma can be: shock, denial, or disbelief, anger, irritability, mood swings, guilt, shame, self-blame, feeling sad or hopeless, confusion, difficulty concentrating, anxiety and fear, withdrawing from others, feeling disconnected or numb. People who have lost a loved one may go through a grieving process. These symptoms may last from a few days to a few months, gradually fading as you process the trauma. But even when you’re feeling better, you may be troubled from time to time by painful reminders.

Diagnosis

Trauma, specifically Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), is diagnosed based on signs and symptoms, a physical examination and a thorough psychological evaluation. 

PTSD Mnemonic

E – Event/experience (threatening to life or physical integrity of self or others)

R – Re-experience (flashbacks, nightmares etc)

A – Arousal (anxiety, startling, hyper-vigilance, irritability)

A – Avoidance (of things, places, images etc. reminiscent of event)

D – Duration of more than one month

Criteria for PTSD are given in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

DSM criteria for PTSD

Diagnosis of PTSD requires exposure to an event that involved or held the threat of death, violence or serious injury. Your exposure can happen in one or more of these ways:

  • You experienced the traumatic event.
  • You witnessed, in person, the traumatic event.
  • You learned someone close to you experienced or was threatened by the traumatic event.
  • You are repeatedly exposed to graphic details of traumatic events (for example, if you are a first responder to the scene of traumatic events).

You experience one or more of the following signs or symptoms after the traumatic event:

  • You relive experiences of the traumatic event, such as having distressing images and memories.
  • You have upsetting dreams about the traumatic event.
  • You experience flashbacks as if you were experiencing the traumatic event again.
  • You experience ongoing or severe emotional distress or physical symptoms if something reminds you of the traumatic event.

In addition, for more than one month after the traumatic event you may:

  • Try to avoid situations or things that remind you of the traumatic event
  • Not remember important parts of the traumatic event
  • View yourself, others and the world in a negative way
  • Lose interest in activities you used to enjoy and feel detached from family and friends
  • Feel a sense of emotional numbness, feel irritable or have angry or violent outbursts
  • Engage in dangerous or self-destructive behavior
  • Feel as if you’re constantly on guard or alert for signs of danger and startle easily
  • Have trouble sleeping or concentrating

Your symptoms cause significant distress in your life or interfere with your ability to go about your normal daily tasks.

For children younger than 6 years old, signs and symptoms may include:

  • Reenacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play
  • Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event

Seeking professional help

Everyone heals at his or her own pace and recovering from a traumatic event may take time. Professional help is indicated if even after months one is still experiencing symptoms. 

One should seek professional help if one is:

  • Suffering from great fear, anxiety, or depression
  • Unable to form close, satisfying relationships
  • Having trouble functioning normally at home or work
  • Experiencing disturbing memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
  • Trying to avoid more and more things that remind you of the trauma
  • Feels emotionally numb and disconnected from others
  • Using alcohol or drugs to feel better

Trauma treatment in Modern Medicine

Trauma freezes you in a state of fear and hyper-arousal and disrupts natural equilibrium. In PTSD, nervous system gets stuck in that traumatic state. Successful trauma treatment must re-establish your sense of safety and remove this imbalance.

Trauma treatment and healing entails:

  • Discharging ‘fight-or-flight’ or ‘freeze’ emotions
  • Processing trauma-related memories and feelings
  • Learning how to regulate strong emotions
  • Rebuilding the ability to trust other people

Different treatment options available in Modern Medicine are:

Psychotherapy

Several types of psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, may be used to treat children and adults with trauma. Some types of psychotherapy used in trauma treatment include:

Validation. Validation of the devastating impact of their initial trauma is the most healing thing. This relieves the burden of shame and guilt often associated with abuse.

Exposure therapy. This behavioral therapy helps you safely face what you find frightening so that you can learn to cope with it effectively. One approach to exposure therapy uses “virtual reality” programs that allow you to re-enter the setting in which you experienced trauma.

Somatic experiencing uses body’s unique ability to heal itself. This focuses on bodily sensations rather than thoughts and memories of the traumatic event; that gets you in touch with pent-up trauma-related energy and tension. Natural survival instincts take over from there, safely releasing this energy through various ways of expression like shaking, crying, and other forms of physical release.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is psychotherapy that emphasizes disturbing memories as the cause of psychopathology. This 8-phase therapy incorporates some elements of CBT with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation. These back-and-forth eye movements unfreeze traumatic memories, and resolve them.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you process and evaluate your thoughts and feelings about a trauma. Cognitive-behavioral therapy doesn’t treat the physiological effects of trauma; however, it can be helpful when used in addition to a body-based therapy such as somatic experiencing or EMDR.

Expressive therapy. Expressive therapies, expressive arts therapy or creative arts therapy, is the use of tactile, visual or other creative arts like Art Therapy, Music Therapy, Dance/ Movement Therapy, Drama Therapy, Poetry Therapy, Play Therapy, Sandplay Therapy, Multimodal Therapy etc as a form of therapy. The process of creation is emphasized rather than the final product. Expressive therapy can heal through use of imagination and the various forms of creative expression.

 

 Medications. Most medications do not have enough evidence to support their use. Symptomatic medication – anti-anxiety, anti-depression, sedatives, may be prescribed for emotional trauma patients. Several types of medications can help improve symptoms of trauma:

  • Antidepressants. These medications can help symptoms of depression and anxiety. They can also help improve sleep problems and concentration. The selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) medications sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil) are approved by FDA.
  • Anti-anxiety medications. These drugs also can improve feelings of anxiety and stress for a short time. Because these medications have the potential for abuse, they are not usually taken long term.
  • Prazosin. If symptoms include insomnia or recurrent nightmares prazosin (Minipress) may help. It may reduce or suppress nightmares in many people with trauma.

Nerve Stimulators

Vagal Nerve Stimulator (VNS). Scientists have discovered that artificial Vagus Nerve Stimulation (VNS), through electrical impulses via a surgically implanted pacemaker like device, shows promising results in reducing depression, anxieties and even conditions such as epilepsy, obesity, PSTD, OCD(obsessive-compulsive disorder) and PD (Panic Disorder). VNS has also shown positive effects in promoting weight-loss as the signals to the brain of ‘fullness’ are more easily transmitted. The VNS device is sometimes referred to as a ‘pacemaker for the brain’. It is placed under the skin on the chest wall and a wire runs from it to the vagus nerve in the neck. VNS Therapy is designed to prevent seizures by sending regular, mild pulses of electrical energy to the brain via the vagus nerve. These pulses are supplied by a device something like a pacemaker. This is approved by FDA.

Trigeminal Nerve Stimulator (TNS). TNS can be delivered via the non-invasive external trigeminal nerve stimulation (eTNS) system or the minimally-invasive subcutaneous trigeminal nerve stimulation (sTNS) system for problems including epilepsy, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Lennox-Gastaut syndrome (LGS), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and ADHD (attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder). It works by sending signals in through the trigeminal nerve into the brain stem. From there, the signals can influence the activity in the centers of the brain that produce serotonin and norephinephrine, and also send signals to the anterior cingulate, the amygdala, the areas of the brain that are very important for things like emotional regulation and anxiety. This is still an investigational method. 

Trauma self-help strategy

Break the cycle. When you feel anxious, take a brisk walk or jump into a hobby to re-focus.

Do not stay alone. Isolation makes things worse. Connecting to others will help you heal; so, make an effort to maintain your relationships and avoid spending too much time alone.

Support. Ask for the support if you need. Turn to a trusted family member, friend or a professional counselor.

Participate. Try to do normal things with other people that have nothing to do with the traumatic experience. Make the effort to reconnect.

Support group. Join a group of people with similar problems. Being with others who are facing the same problems can help reduce your sense of isolation, and hearing how others cope can help inspire you.

Volunteer. Volunteering can be a great way to challenge the sense of helplessness that often accompanies trauma. Remind yourself of your strengths and reclaim your sense of power by comforting or helping others.

Stay grounded. Have a structured schedule to follow. Stick to a daily routine, with regular times for waking, sleeping, eating, working, and exercise. Make sure to schedule time for relaxing and social activities, too. Break big tasks into smaller, manageable steps. Take pleasure from the accomplishment of achieving something, even it’s a small thing. 

Find activities that make you feel better and keep your mind occupied (reading, taking a class, cooking, playing with your kids or pets), so you’re not dedicating all your energy and attention to focusing on the traumatic experience.

Allow yourself to express your feelings . Acknowledge your feelings about the trauma as they arise and accept them. Accepting your feelings is part of the grieving process and is necessary for healing.

You may want to go outdoors and find a peaceful place. 

Take care of your health. A healthy body increases your ability to cope with stress from a trauma. Get plenty of sleep. After a traumatic experience, worry or fear may disturb your sleep patterns. A lack of sleep can make your trauma symptoms worse and make it harder to maintain your emotional balance. Go to sleep and get up at the same time each day and aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night.

Avoid alcohol and drugs as their use can worsen your trauma symptoms and exacerbate feelings of depression, anxiety, and isolation.

Exercise regularly. Regular exercise boosts serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals. It also boosts self-esteem and helps to improve sleep. For maximum results, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of activity on most days.

Eat a well-balanced diet. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. While you may be drawn to sugary foods for the quick boost they provide, complex carbohydrates are a better choice. Foods rich in certain omega-3 fats—such as salmon, walnuts, soybeans, and flaxseeds—can give your mood a boost.

Reduce stress. Making time for rest and relaxation will help you bring your life back into balance. Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or deep breathing exercises. Schedule time for activities that bring you joy—favorite hobbies or activities with friends, for example.

Helping someone in trauma

Helping a loved one who has suffered a traumatic or distressing experience may be tough, but your support can be a crucial factor in their recovery.  

  • Be patient and understanding. Healing from emotional or psychological trauma takes time. Don’t judge.
  • Offer support to get back into a normal routine. That may mean help with collecting groceries or housework, for example, or simply being available to talk or listen.
  • Don’t pressure your loved one into talking but be available when they want to talk. 
  • Help your loved one to socialize and relax. Encourage them to participate in physical exercise, seek out friends, and pursue hobbies and other activities that bring them pleasure. Take a fitness class together or set a regular lunch date with friends.
  • Don’t take the trauma symptoms personally. Your loved one may become angry, irritable, withdrawn, or emotionally distant. This may be a result of the trauma and may not have anything to do with you or your relationship.

Helping a child

Following trauma, a child may show regression, tendency to take the blame, disturbed sleep or helplessness.

Regression. Many children may regress to an earlier stage, when they felt safer and more cared for. Younger children may wet the bed or want a bottle; older children may fear being alone. It’s important to be patient and comforting if your child responds this way.

Take the blame. Younger children tend to think that it must be their fault. Be sure the child understands that he did not cause the event.

Sleep disturbance. Some children have difficulty falling asleep, or wake frequently, or have troubling dreams. You can give your child a stuffed animal, soft blanket, or flashlight to take to bed. Try spending extra time together in the evening, doing quiet activities or reading. Be patient. It may take a while before your child can sleep through the night again.

Helplessness. Let them know that it’s normal to feel scared or upset. Your child may also look to you for cues on how they should respond to traumatic events so let him or her see you dealing with symptoms of trauma in a positive way.

Alternative Medicine

Yoga, including Meditation, can be a lifesaving healing technique for trauma and PTSD patients. Yoga helps by addressing deeply ingrained stress in the body and mind. By releasing held tension through yoga postures, breathing exercises, meditation practices etc, physical and emotional trauma stored even at autonomic level can be released. A somatic approach helps ease the feelings of helplessness, fear, arousal, and disconnection that can arise for trauma patients. Meditation acts at CNS level.

Tai Chi. Also called Chinese Yoga, this has benefits similar to Yoga.

Marma Therapy. Marma Therapy has a great vata calming effect. Marma points act through changes in blood flow and levels of neurotransmitters in the brain and spinal cord. A good Marma Therapy plan can be very helpful.

Massage therapy. Yoga and Ayurvedic massages, based on Marma points, have wonderful relaxing and healing effect. Even western massages – deep tissue massage, or Swedish massage, can reduce your heart rate, relax your muscles, improve range of motion in your joints and increase production of your body’s natural painkillers. It often helps relieve stress and anxiety.

Homeopathy. Homeopaths claim amazing results in PTSD! In classical Homeopathy, treatment for chronic ailments is constitutional. For acute cases, especially in case of a holocaust or a natural disaster, using Genus Epidemicus may suffice. A few remedies will most likely be very frequently required for the majority of the population. In a case of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or a hurricane, the majority of relatively healthy people are going to respond with the picture of a limited number of remedies, e.g., Arsenicum, Ignatia amara, Aconitum, Arnica, Stramonium etc. The response to the remedy is claimed to be very dramatic and satisfying to both the patient and the practitioner.

Prognosis

With proper therapy, prognosis for PTSD is good. It depends upon the severity and length of time a person has suffered from the disorder. Psychotherapy can change brain chemistry. There are significant risks to a person with PTSD if they do not receive treatment – they may stay in a hyper-aroused state, further damaging their brain. Irritability, anxiety, or numbness may interfere with their ability to love and to work. Suicide is also a risk with untreated PTSD.

Yoga and Ayurveda in Trauma, PTSD, Stress and Mental Health

PTSD fits the Ayurvedic understanding of vata invading majja dhatu and manovahasrotas (mind channels). After witnessing or experiencing the trauma, the individual develops a set of vata symptoms that include repeatedly re-experiencing the trauma. Hyperarousal is an important vata condition leading to disproportionate responses to stimuli, e.g., startling. 

Watch for symptoms of vata ojo vyapat (invasion of vata into ojas), such as extreme fatigue, memory issues and reversal of the diurnal cycle (awake at night and sleeping during day). However, because the amygdala is involved with anger as well as fear, there may well be a strong pitta component or even pitta ojo vyapat. Appropriate diet and lifestyle suggestions should thus be individually tailored within the prakriti-vikriti paradigm. The usual triad of diet, lifestyle and herbal therapies form the mainstay of chikitsa; other treatment interventions include oil therapies and Vedic stress reduction techniques like yoga and meditation.

Less is more, this applies especially to PTSD clients. So, move slowly.

Panchakarma Therapy

ayurved

Pre-purification Measures namely ‘snehan‘ and ‘swedan‘ are very useful to balance ‘Vata‘ and to loosen the toxins. Snehan is the herbalized oil massage. This oil is applied to the entire body with a particular type of massage. Swedan is sweating and is given immediately following the snehan. A herbal decoction may be added to the steam to further enhance effect. This also provides a deeply soothing and balancing  effect to the entire nervous system. The motion of massage creates heat  and friction which enhances circulation and helps cleanse.

Diet and Nutrition

Sattwik food is preferable. Rajasik food leads to more activity and tamasik food leads to an increase in greed, anger, etc. Most of vegetarian food is sattwik; you can start with decreasing the percentage of non-vegetarian food in your diet. Concept of xenohormesis also favors vegetarian diet.

PTSD patients should have:

  • Vegetable juice and soup
  • Carrot, cucumber, beetroot juice
  • Cooked vegetables like squash, zucchini and pumpkin
  • Spices like cumin, coriander, ginger, asafoetida, garlic, fennel and turmeric.
  • Green salad with a dressing of lemon juice and a little salt
  • Khichadi (recipe made by cooking rice and mung dal)
  • Desi Ghee (clarified butter) or Olive Oil.

The following should be avoided:

  • Eating hot, spicy and fried foods, sweets, foods like brinjal, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, okra and potatoes.
  • Too much tea, coffee, alcohol, white sugar, chocolate, cocoa.
  • Sleeping during the day and staying up late at night 
  • Too much worry, anxiety, fear, stress and grief.

Ayurvedic Herbs

ayurved med

Ashwagandha is always useful where there is vata in majja dhatu and is known to increase dopamine levels, mitigating the over-activation of the amygdala. Bacopa or Brahmi can be used to help regulate serotonin production and can be combined with other nervine and adaptogenic herbs. These should be taken under the guidance of an expert Ayurvedic physician. Some bhasmas, which are prepared on the principle of potentization, can also be used to strengthen ‘nerves’.

Marma Therapy and Yoga/ Ayurvedic Massages

Therapeutic Massages

Therapeutic Massages

Vata soothing oil therapies that are valuable in PTSD include abhyanga with dosha specific massage oil such as Vata Massage Oil and shirodhara using Shirodhara Oil which contains nervine herbs such as brahmi, Bhringaraj, Ashwagandha and skullcap. Shirodhara has been shown to help normalize serotonin and noradrenaline levels and reduce anxiety and is traditionally said to remove vata from majja dhatu. Sarvangadhara or pizhichil with sesame oil can also be used to calm vata and normalize majja dhatu. Also, specific Marma points can be used for achieving specific results.

Therapeutic Yoga in Trauma

Yoga has always had a lot to offer. I’ve always called it a science beyond nano-science! Yoga and Yoga-based practices (YBP’s) have sparked new activity in new scientific research and one sees evidence of so much new research coming out of study of YBP’s – newer theories, newer bodily mechanisms, newer approaches to therapy, newer explanations! Yoga-based interventions have been associated with measureable changes in physiological parameters, perceived emotional states, and cognitive functioning. The scientific community should be careful and diligent in placing the credit of all these newer finds where it actually belongs.

Effective treatment for PSTD is possible through Yoga Therapy and we offer world-class Yoga Therapy services at SAVY under Dr Jitender K Sahdev. The real route to PSTD recovery lies in non-drug approaches that act on nerves, brain through asana, pranayama, meditation etc. And that points to the real solution. Lifestyle, and mind-body approaches that help with PSTD have something in common – they all help restore a balance of neurotransmitters in the brain and central nervous system. They are not just as effective as medication, but almost always safer and much less expensive. Efforts should be made to increase the Sattvic quality of mind.

Research indicates that a healthy vagus nerve is vital in experiencing empathy and fostering social bonding, and it is crucial to our ability to observe, perceive, and make complex decisions. Areas of distribution of trigeminal nerve and pelvic splanchnic nerves may also be utilized to achieve the same purpose. Tests have revealed that people with impaired vagal activity have also been diagnosed with depression, panic disorders, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, panic disorders, violent mood swings, fibromyalgia, early Alzheimer’s and obesity. 

Through its array of asanas, drishti, pranayama, hasta, kaya, netra, adhaar mudras, bandhas, kriyas – neti, dhauti, nauli, basti, kapal bhati, and tratak, dhyana and more, with stimulation and healing effect on Vagus Nerve, Trigeminal Nerve, Pelvic Splanchnic Nerves, LHPA Axis, and even Neo-cortex, Yoga offers much less intrusive, non-invasive and natural way to maintain and regain health!

Asanas

Deep stretching is known to have a positive effect on PSTD. Some helpful poses are:

  • Tadasana,
  • Utkatasana
  • Sarvangsamasana
  • Halasana
  • Viparitakarni,
  • Bhujangasana,
  • Virbhadrasana,
  • Badha Konasana
  • Setubandhasana
  • Shavasana or Yoga Nidra

More of Vata reducing routines will be helpful. Regular practice of different postures should be done. Progressive deep relaxation, i.e., shavasana (corpse pose) brings about relaxation. At SAVY, we offer specialized TRY (SAVY Trauma Release Yoga) program specifically designed for PSTD.

Pranayama

According to Vedic scriptures, there is no disease which cannot be conquered through breath. Pranayama also creates a state of restful alertness in mind and body. Pranayama exercises like:

  • Deergha Pranayama
  • Visham Vritti Pranayama
  • Mahat Pranayama
  • Ujjayi,
  • Bhastrika,
  • Kapaal Bhaati,
  • Anulom Vilom

are some of the exercises which can help in PSTD. All this must be undertaken strictly under proper guidance. Some clinical studies done in India have shown very positive results. Dr Sahdev’s Breathe and Heal Therapy, is one of the most effective and the safest breathing and mindfulness Yoga program specifically designed by a doctor for therapy.

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Mudras

Hasta mudras attack the very root of problem; they address the issue of imbalance of five elements. Done for a minimum 45 minutes a day, they can be very effective.

yoga mudra

These are some of the representative mudras:

  • Gyan Mudra
  • Vata-nashak Mudra
  • Anjali Mudra
  • Apana Mudra
  • Apana-Vayu Mudra
  • Prana Mudra

Shambhavi mudra, one kind of drishti, is very effective vagal stimulant. It should be learnt under an expert.

You should be able to notice the difference within a week. Mudras of the body, base, tongue, eyes etc form an integral part of our Yoga Therapy program. You can also join a specialized course on Hasta Mudras.

Meditation

Meditational therapies help the prefrontal cortex send calming messages to the amygdala. Both relative and absolute practices are important. Relative level practices may be more useful initially; relative practices include visualizations, affirmations, aspirations and relaxation practices. Visualizations work directly on the limbic brain and practices using words work on the prefrontal cortex. Visualization can include creating an image of a safe space and picturing oneself being there and relaxing. This sends messages of safety and relaxation to the limbic system. Affirmations can include positive phrases which help reprogram the prefrontal cortex to send healthy messages to the amygdala. Similarly, an aspiration practice can be used and combined with the breath. This practice helps the prefrontal cortex and limbic system to function normally. Once the mind is calmed by the use of relative practices, absolute practices such as vipashyana (mindfulness meditation) can be introduced. These practices help us see beyond the trauma by deepening our understanding of the impermanence of all phenomena. They have also been found to regulate prefrontal activity in favour of positive emotions.

Shatkarma

The six detoxifying procedures of Yoga:

  • Neti,
  • Dhauti,
  • Nauli,
  • Basti,
  • Kapaal Bhaati, and
  • Traatak

if done with proper technique, can be very helpful. Learn these under expert guidance at SAVY.

Lifestyle and Daily Routine

One of the most important factors is to have a lifestyle that does not disturb the natural body rhythm. When we eat, sleep and exercise in fluctuating and disturbing patterns, the body loses its natural cycle. Regularity in daily life can be extremely effective in reducing Vata imbalance. Expert Yoga Nutrition guidance is available at SAVY and should be availed. 

TRY (SAVY Trauma Release Yoga) 

SAVY Trauma Release Yoga

 

SAVY offers this very effective and systematic approach for trauma, PTSD, stress and mental health. It teaches how to release deep chronic tension and stress, has immediate impact for most people, and can be integrated into a simple daily routine to help restore a sense of inner peace and emotional resilience. It is easy to learn and easy to practice. Benefits includes:

  • Stress/Anxiety/Trauma/ Depression Relief
  • Better emotional resilience
  • Easing of neck/ shoulder/ low back pain or tension

These techniques induce healing at the deepest levels of body and mind. 

Visit us at SAVY Studio for your individualized Therapeutic Yoga guidance and overall well-being.

You can book your appointment here.

 

 

If you have genuine interest in helping and empowering people with health issues, this program is especially for you! 

Click on the image below to know details:

DBE logo2

HEALING THROUGH BREATHING

NATURAL, SAFE, DRUG-FREE, EFFECTIVE

Note : DSBH Therapy ®, MBH Therapy® or TRY® has not been evaluated by Health Canada, US Food & Drug Administration or the American Medical Association. This technology does not claim to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Medical advice must only be obtained from a physician or qualified health practitioner. Results may vary between individuals. There are no guarantees, expressed, or implied.

You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new therapy or exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises or undertaking any therapy program.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation. 

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p style=”text-align: justify;”>‪#‎holistic ‪#‎complementary ‪#‎alternative #brain #naturally #breathingexercises #mindfulness #meditation #yoga #fibromyalgia

Jul 192015
 
MUDRA VIGYAN

Registration Open for Mudra Vigyan – The Science of Yoga Gestures Level I

MUDRA VIGYAN

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 OPENING OF REGISTRATION

OF

SPECIALITY

Mudra Vigyan – The Science of Yoga Gestures Level I

30 HOURS PROGRAM

Learn and experience  the science behind Hand Gestures.

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 or YOGA THERAPY 1000 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

 Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or

YOGA THERAPIST 1000

Or

Deepen their yoga practice and knowledge

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc. (Alternative Medicine), Ph.D. (Alternative Medicine),MD (Alternative Medicine), M.B.,B.S., Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher in London ON. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

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Mar 112015
 
SAVY YOGI

Featured SAVY Yogi of the Month – Aricia Haywood

Aricia Haywood

My name is Aricia.

SAVY YOGIBadha Parsvokonasana

I’m a 23 year old west coaster (from Victoria BC).

DSC_0008aTadasana

DSC_0011aUttanasana

I have been practicing yoga on and off from about the age of 8.

DSC_0015aUtthitta Hasta Padangushthasana

Growing up, I saw Yoga as a big part of my mother’s life.

DSC_0017aGarudasana

I faded in and out of my own personal practice.

DSC_0021aVeerbhadrasana I

Approximately two years ago I found a new appreciation for yoga while searching for anything that would help my anxiety and to help me with the stresses of everyday life.

DSC_0026aUtthitta Parsvokonasana

I was searching for something to calm my mind and heal myself with. I found it in yoga.

DSC_0030aParivratta Trikonasana

I usually practice moderately active flow style yoga, but have experimented with hatha, hot yoga, bikram, ashtanga, kundalini and other styles.

DSC_0040aPaschimottanasana

After almost two years of practicing (almost) every day, I decided it was time to take my practice to a new level, and begin to share yoga with those around me so that I can help others find what I found in yoga.

DSC_0042aParivratta Janushirasana

DSC_0055aParipurna Navasana

I flew across the country, in February, to a bitterly cold and snowy London, to attend SAVY international’s two-week yoga teacher training program to become a registered yoga teacher.

DSC_0064aUshtrasana

The training was fascinating, all-encompassing and in depth.

DSC_0068aParighasana

DSC_0078aSalamba Sarvangsamasana

The instruction was very encouraging, and really helped me to understand physical postures and find confidence in poses that I never thought I would progress in.

DSC_0080aKarnapeedasana

DSC_0085aJathara Parivritti

DSC_0089aBhujangasana

During my training I grew to appreciate the depth of yoga, its history and philosophy.

DSC_0094aEk Pada Adhomukha Shvanasana

DSC_0100aChaturanga Dandasana

DSC_0102aBakasana

DSC_0106aParshva Bakasana

DSC_0122aEk Pada Chakrasana

At the end of two weeks, exhausted, inspired and frozen solid, I dragged myself onto the airplane that would take me home, inwardly beaming at my accomplishment.

DSC_0124aVashishtasana

DSC_0128aUtkatasana

DSC_0129aChakrasana

DSC_0130aAdhomukha Vrikshasana

DSC_0132aAshtavakrasana

I left SAVY feeling inspired, confident and super-excited to share yoga with those around me.

 

A note from the President’s desk

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

 March, the month which marks the beginning of spring, is here! The March equinox on the 20th or 21st marks the astronomical beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. The name of March comes from Latin Martius, the first month of the earliest Roman calendar. It was named for Mars, the Roman god of war who was also regarded as a guardian of agriculture and an ancestor of the Roman people through his sons Romulus and Remus. His month Martius was the beginning of the season for both farming and warfare. 

In this now very popular Featured SAVY Yogi of the Month series, we present SAVY Yogis who have been learning the right kind of true, traditional yoga with correct techniques, have done wonderfully well for themselves and are a guiding light and a source of great inspiration for others.

In this month marking the onset of spring, it’s my pleasure to introduce Aricia Haywood, our new savvy SAVY Yogi  for the month of March. She completed her RYT 200 Yoga Teacher Training with me in February, 2015 and is a Yoga Alliance, USA registered Yoga Teacher now. She’ll be completing her DSBH Breathing Educator (DBE-I) training soon. A dedicated and devoted Yogi to the hilt with the freshness of a blossoming spring flower, a bold explorer who loves to meet challenges head on, she is blessed with a compassionate heart, a strong, sinewy, lithe, sculpted and flexible yoga body and a steely grit. She braved the merciless freezing cold and dipping temperatures to come and join us here at SAVY for Registered Yoga Teacher Training and ruffled the brutal February cold weather in London with the whiff of freshness and warmth of spring air all the way down from Victoria, BC! Always up to the demands of the rigorous, intensive training and the ruthless 16-hour routine for two weeks straight she chose to join us for, she seemed to thoroughly enjoy every moment of her encounter with the intense challenges and met each one of them head on! Her attitude, devotion and professionalism made the extreme weather conditions look like nothing more than a mere minor inconvenience. She had done traditional yoga before and enjoyed her re-encounter and rediscovery of authentic traditional yoga at SAVY Studio. She showed a very keen interest in learning new yoga poses. She is an avid learner of her new-found passion of Yogic breathing exercises and newer meditation techniques, and what they can do for her. Day in and day out, she worked her way through the routines with great dedication. She has a keen sense of inquiry, is quick to learn, came out with flying colors in the training, and is bound to do great for herself. She is certainly going to be a source of enormous inspiration for her future students.

All the best, Aricia! Keep it up.

Jitender

Mar 082015
 
Integrated Anatomy and Therapeutics

Registration Open for Integrated Anatomy and Therapeutics

Integrated Anatomy and Therapeutics

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

OPENING OF REGISTRATION

FOR

Integrated Anatomy and Therapeutics

 95 HOURS PROGRAM

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Understand Human Anatomy, Physiology, Energy Bodies

Range of Movements, Chakras, Archetypes, and more

Deepen your understanding of Yoga

And How it affects the Five Sheaths

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or deepen their yoga practice

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

You’ll be training under the most qualified team of Yoga Teachers in Canada. Director of Teaching – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc., Ph.D.,MD, MBBS, Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist /Yoga Teacher in London with over 51,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. A Surgeon by profession from India, has a special interest and a much deeper understanding of Human Anatomy and Therapeutics. He utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He offers Yoga, Yoga Therapy and Ayurveda services in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

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p style=”text-align: center;”>*Conditions apply.

Jan 172015
 
Hand Postures

Yoga Science of Hand Gestures – Hasta Mudra Vigyan

Hand PosturesMudra‘ means a seal! In Yoga, one can make mudras with hands, eyes, whole body etc. All these mudras work in harmony with other healing methods and, done regularly, can have wonderful healing effects. Therapy with mudras offers very effective results. It works through the energy system of the body – nadis, chakras, marmas. Hasta Mudras are the gestures made with hands.

 

Our hands gestures express our inner feelings and deeper consciousness.We see mudra used, though in a crude form of common hand gestures, every day: we make an ‘o’ when things are OK, or give a ‘thumbs up’ sign, and we express peace by raising the index and middle fingers, which can express the opposite if the hand is reversed! This is one of the greatest secrets in yoga, right at the tips of your fingers! You can take your yoga practice and even your health to a completely new level by touching your finger-tips in some particular way. These particular finger positions are called ‘hasta mudras’, or hand gestures, or energy seals.

Hasta Mudras or hand  gestures allow you to direct the developed awareness of the vital energy (prana) within your body. By using mudras in your yoga and meditation practice, you can facilitate healing, balance your energy levels, focus your mind, and deepen your meditation. Holding a mudra, or hand position, during an asana practice brings a powerful and profound steadiness and focus to your practice. You can even control your breath through mudras. Mudras can generate a strong psychic effect upon the inner being and facilitate spiritual advancement.

The hand and finger positions of mudras or hand gestures make important connections in the nervous system and stimulate specific energy pathways (nadis). It is also said that mudras increase energy and blood circulation to different parts of the brain, to important nerve junctions and glands.

Early yogis mapped out the hand areas and their associated reflexes which relate to the different areas of the body and brain. These areas of the hands and fingers also affect emotions and behaviors. By curling, stretching, crossing and touching fingers to other fingers and areas of the hand we can effectively communicate with the body and mind.

Certain mudras in yoga control the involuntary physiological processes and the breathing. Mudras accomplish this by uniting various marma points in the fingers that in turn activate different areas of the brain as well as the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.

One example is when you join your hands together palm-to-palm in Namaste or Anjali mudra; this brings marmas together and nerve circuits in the head and the upper part of the body in the vagus nerve system are united together. This produces a physiological response that induces calmness and a deeper breath.

Your hands are essentially an energy map of consciousness. Each finger has a quality that it represents and stimulates. In traditional yoga,

  • the little finger represents tamas (inertia)
  • the fourth or ring finger represents rajas (activity, action, passion);
  • the middle finger represents satva (purity, peace)
  • the index finger represents the atma or individual soul; and
  • the thumb represents the Parmatama or Supreme soul.

The fingers also affect the elements of the body, the chakras, the major organs, and even planetary energies.

Perhaps the most basic mudra in yoga is accomplished by touching the thumb and the index finger together to form Gyan Mudra, or the seal of wisdom. You can also say that this mudra symbolizes the union of the individual soul (index finger) with the Supreme soul (thumb).

There are hundreds of mudras in yoga, yet mudras are rarely taught extensively in yoga classes. You can facilitate healing, expand your consciousness, relax your mind, and improve psychological conditions by simply touching your fingers and hands together. Mudras are easy to perform at any time, although sitting in the lotus position and focusing on the healing is desirable. Although mudras can be used for healing certain ailments, regular practise of mudras will contribute to your overall good health and can be used as a preventive measure. Continuous practice of the mudras will produce changes in your body using pulse centres on parts of your hands, which trigger certain healing processes.

Mudras are performed with both hands at the same time, unless otherwise specified. ingers should remain comfortable during the procedure and not held stiffly or tight.

The science of Mudra Vigyan is amazing. Mudras can be quite effective in some illnesses like: Shunya Mudra for ear ache, Apan Mudra for urinary infections, Mritsanjiveni Mudra for heart attack are some of the examples.

Basis

Our body is composed of five elements – earth, water, air, fire and ether (space). These five elements also form cosmos. These five elements have assigned functions in our body to keep it healthy. After intensive research, Indian sages found that Hastamudras (hand gestures) are very important, for keeping a balance in the energy the flow among the five elements. All five fingers regulate the five elements of body.

 Hasta mudras

These are as follows–

(a) Thumb – Fire element

(b) Index finger – Air element

(c) Middle finger – Space or ether element

(d) Ring finger – Earth element

(e) Little finger – Water element

Fingers in Vedic Astrology

According to Vedic Astrology, the Jupiter (index) finger, when long, indicates a love of power and command over others; when short, it denotes a dislike of responsibility and lack of ambition.

The Saturn (middle) finger, when long, indicates prudence, love of solitude and a reserved, studious disposition; when short, it denotes frivolousness and a general lack of seriousness in all things.

The Sun (ring) finger, when long, indicates a love of the beautiful, a desire for celebrity status and fame; when excessively long, the tendency towards notoriety, speculative risk-taking, the love of money and gambling; when short, it denotes a dislike for all these things.

The Mercury (little) finger, when long, indicates mental power, a grasp of languages, and the power of expression, especially in speech; when short, it denotes difficulty in speaking and expression of thoughts; when crooked, with an irregular Head Line, it denotes a handicapped mentality.

Hasta mudras are helpful in maintaining good health and getting relief from diseases. Joining the tips of the fingers or pressing by thumb, regulate and balance respective elements in the body. Its daily practice can keep oneself healthy for life. It has tremendous healing power and if practiced properly, even major diseases can be cured. It also offers happiness and spiritual attainments.

How to perform hand mudras

Mudras in general are actions of hands and fingers that can be performed at any time in any way, like sitting, standing, walking or travelling though maximum benefit can be derived by doing them in sitting posture: especially in sukhasana (easy pose), vajrasana, or padmasana. If you have time constraints, you can even perform them in installments.

Timing and duration for mudras

Initially, mudras should be performed for at least 10 minutes and then can be extended to 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Here are some guidelines for performing Mudras:

  1. Balance, Decrease, Increase :
    • Touching the Tip of the Finger and Thumb Balances the Element represented by the Finger.
    • Touching the Finger Tip at the base of the Thumb Decreases the Element.
    • Touching the Thumb Tip to the base of the Finger Increases the Element.
  2. A light contact between the tips of the thumb and the fingers is sufficient, you need not apply pressure.
  3. Fingers not actively involved in the Mudra should be straight.
  4. Whenever possible, perform the Mudra with both hands. Mudra can be performed with one hand when there is problem on opposite side.
  5. Mudras can be Practised anytime, anywhere.
  6. Mudras can be performed by anybody, facing any Direction. Mudras are universal.
  7. Chanting of Mantras [eg: Aum, Gayatri, Om Namah Shivaya] with Mudras gives better results.
  8. Suitable dietary advice can reinforce the benefits of Mudras.
  9. For therapy, the specific Mudras are to be practised for 50 minutes, followed by Prana Mudra.
  10. Prana , Apana , Prithvi and Gyana Mudra can be practised for unlimted time . Other Mudras must be practised till the problem persists.

 

Here are some representative Hasta Mudras or Yogic Hand Gestures:

Gyan Mudra or Mudra of Knowledge

Gyan Mudra

Method:

Join tips of index fingers and thumb and keep three fingers straight. Keep your hand at your folded knee, remember to keep palm facing up. Put a little pressure on joined tips and rest of the hand would be in relaxed position.

Effect:

Mudra of knowledge – it connects you with universal knowledge. The tip of thumb correlates to the pituitary and endocrine glands. When you press these centers with the index finger the two glands work actively.

Time duration:

Practice it for 20-30 minutes every day.

Benefits:

Enhances memory, sharpens intellect, enhances concentration and prevents insomnia. When practiced regularly, it will relieve psychological disorders like hysteria, anger, depression etc. It also prevents headache, loss of sleep, tension, anxiety, depression and fears. It helps in spiritual attainments.

 

Prithvi Mudra or Mudra of Earth

Prithvi Mudra

Method:

Tip of the ring finger touches the tip of the thumb with the other three fingers stretched out.

Specialty:

Reduces all physical weaknesses.

Time duration:

Has no particular time duration. You can practice it any time you want.

Benefits:

  • Helps to increase weight for weak life-force people
  • Improves the complexion of skin and makes the skin glow
  • Promotes body functionality

 

Varuna Mudra or Mudra of Water

Varuna Mudra

Method:

Tip of little finger touches the tip of thumb with the other three fingers stretched out.

Specialty:

Balances the water content and prevents all diseases which come due to lack of water.

Time duration:

Has no specific time duration. Can be practiced according to convenience.

Benefits:

  • Retains clarity in blood by balancing water content in the body
  • Prevents the pain of Gastroenteritis and Muscle Shrinkage

Vayu Mudra or Mudra of Air

Vayu Mudra

Method:

Keep the index finger on the base of the thumb and press with the thumb keeping the other three fingers straight.

Specialty:

Prevents diseases that occur due to imbalances in the air.

Time duration:

The practice of this mudra for 45 minutes reduces the severity of disease in 12 to 24 hours. For better results practice for 40-60 days.

Benefits:

  • Relieves Rheumatism, Arthritis, Gout, Parkinson’s disease and paralysis without any medicine
  • Useful for Cervical Spondilytis, paralysis of the face, and pressure on nerves in neck
  • Relieves gas pressure in the stomach

Shunya Mudra or Mudra of Emptiness

Shunya Mudra

Method:

Keep the middle finger at the mount of Venus and press with the thumb.

Specialty:

Reduces the dullness in the body.

Time duration:

One can practice this for 40 to 60 minutes daily until relieved.

Benefits:

  • Relieves an earache within 4 or 5 minutes

Useful for the deaf and mentally challenged

 

<

p style=”text-align: center;”>Learn more about Mudras with specialized course of Mudra Vigyan:

MUDRA VIGYAN

 

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

Jan 162015
 
Vipashyana or Vipassana

Vipashyana or Vipassana or Breath Awareness Meditation

A part of Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Therapy (DSBH Therapy)

Vipashyana or Vipassana

Vipashyana, or Vipassana, or Breath Awareness Meditation, comes from the source of Yoga, the Vedas – the books of knowledge.

Rig Veda, handed over for thousands of years from generation to generation through shruti, and written in 1700 BC (?), mentions the technique of Vipashyana and is full of praise for Vipashyana in Mandala 10, Sukta 187, Rik 4 :

यो विश्वा॒भि वि॒पश्य॑ति॒ भुव॑ना॒ सं च॒ पश्य॑ति ।

स नः॑ पर्ष॒दति॒ द्विषः॑ ॥

yaḥ ǀ viśvā ǀ abhi ǀ vi-paśyati ǀ bhuvanā ǀ sam ǀ ca ǀ paśyati ǀ

saḥ ǀ naḥ ǀ parṣat ǀ ati ǀ dviṣaḥ ǁ

Yo vishvabhih vipashyati bhuvanah sam cha pashyati

sa nah parshadati dvishah.

One who practices Vipashyana in a perfect way, comes out of all aversion and anger – the mind becomes pure.

Vipashyana is a Sanskrit word. ‘Vi’ in Sanskrit is equivalent to the Latin ‘dis’.” ‘Pashya’ in Sanskrit means ‘to see’. The ‘vi’ in vipashyana may then mean to look into, look through or to see in a special way.’ The ‘vi’ can also function as an intensive, and thus vipashyana may mean ‘seeing deeply’. 

In Budhism, a synonym for ‘Vipassana’ is paccakkha (Pāli); this is a deformed sound of ‘pratyakṣha’ in Sanskrit,  which means ‘right in front of your eyes’, or, ‘what is very obvious’, refers to direct experiential perception. Thus, the type of seeing denoted by vipashyana is that of direct perception, as opposed to the knowledge derived from reasoning or argument. Its nature is a clarity of mind.

Mahatma Budha, a well-known exponent of this Yogic technique of Vipashyana, popularized this technique through his teachings. Bhante Henepola Gunaratana, a Sri Lankan Theravada Buddhist monk defined Vipassanā as:

Looking into something with clarity and precision, seeing each component as distinct and separate, and piercing all the way through so as to perceive the most fundamental reality of that thing”

Pranapanasmriti, or prAnapanasmriti (Sanskrit) , or Anapanasati (Pali) is mindfulness of breath. This is a core meditation practice which is simpler than, and a stepping stone to, Vipashyana. Pranapanasmriti or Anapanasmriti comes from Sanskrit word roots Prana (upward breath) + Apana (downward breath) + Smriti (memory, or to remember, or to be mindful of). So, this reminds one to focus on, and remember, or be mindful of, the breath! This is a part of most mindfulness programs based on breath awareness. But one has to practice these to derive the benefits; mere knowledge of the techniques is not enough!

More references to breath awareness meditation in Vedic literature and the importance of breath can be found here.

The Practice of Vipashyana or Vipassana or Breath Awareness Meditation

We humans are subject to innumerable limitations. We are imprisoned in the body and the stratosphere of the earth itself. We are slaves to the inevitability of sickness, age, and death – we have to face it at one or the other time. There is no-one who really controls his life fully, attains all his goals, and knows no setbacks of any kind! Meditation shows the way to self-awakening, the way to freedom from suffering and limitation.

We have lost awareness of our true Self through awareness of external objects, and become habituated, even addicted, to objective consciousness. Meditation shows us the way to remembrance and restoration. Meditation is the process of re-centering our awareness in the principle of pure consciousness which is our essential being. By focusing on breath – the meeting place of body, mind, and spirit, we can reverse our consciousness.

The breath is connected with body, emotions and mind – breath is calm when the body, emotions and mind are calm, and agitated or labored when these are agitated or labored. That is why we exhale heavily when we feel exhausted and inhale enthusiastically when feeling energized or exhilarated.

Breath exists on all planes of manifestation. Breath is external manifestation of Prana, the vital force. Breath is gross Prana. Breath is Sthula (gross), Prana is Sukshma (subtle). By exercising control over this breathing you can control the subtle Prana inside. Control of Prana means control of mind. Mind cannot operate without the help of Prana. The vibrations of Prana produce thoughts in the mind. Mind works because of Prana – it is Prana that sets the mind in motion. It is the Sukshma Prana that is intimately connected with the mind. Prana is the connecting link between annamaya kosha on one hand and manomaya kosha, vigyanamaya kosha and anandamaya kosha on the other hand, or, matter and energy on the one hand and consciousness and super consciousness on the other.

Koshas

By sitting with closed eyes and letting the mind become easily absorbed in observing and experiencing the movements of the breath, we expand our consciousness to meet the eternal Super Consciousness. We start with awareness of the ordinary physical breath, but that awareness, cultivated correctly, leads us into higher awareness which enables us to perceive the subtle movement behind the breath. Perception moves from subtle to subtler, to the subtlest.

From Consciousness to Super Consciousness

According to Yoga philosophy, all that is manifest came into being consequent to imbalance in sattwa, rajas and tamas, and Prana is the essence of all that is manifest. Prana is present all over the universe both in macrocosm and microcosm. Prana is the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe, the sum total of all the forces in nature, the sum total of all latent forces and powers which are hidden in men and which lie everywhere around us. Proper flow of Prana in our bodies assures their healthy state.

Prana is a subtle energy arising from rajo guna. It works as an interface between gross and subtle body, enabling all the psychophysical functions. This sometimes leads to confusion of prana with jiva. Though closely connected, prana is witnessed by the jiva which is floating in prana in the heart cavity. Prana’s movement leads to jiva’s identification with the gross body. Mundaka Upanishad says (3.1.9):

esho anur atma cetasa veditavya yasmin pranah pancadha samvivesha
pranais cittamsattvam otam prajanam yasmin vishuddhe vibhavatyesha atma

“The atomic soul can be perceived by perfect intelligence as floating in the five kinds of life airs (prana, apana, vyana, samana and udana). When the consciousness (that pervades from the soul through the entire body) is purified from the contamination of the five kinds of material airs, its spiritual influence is exhibited.”

The breath is the evolutionary force which causes us to enter into relative existence and manifest therein until we evolve to the point where we are ready to return to our original status, purified. To turn back from the multiplicity of relativity and return to our original unity we must center our awareness in that primal impulse to duality which is manifesting most objectively as the process of our physical inhaling and exhaling. These seemingly two movements are in reality one, inseparable from one another, and together are capable of leading us back to the Super Consciousness. Through our full attention focused on the entire process of inhalation and exhalation, we become immersed in the subtler levels of that alternating cycle, moving into deeper and deeper levels until we reach the originating point.

Mindfulness and Breathing-Based Healing – Vipashyana, or Vipasana, or Breath Awareness Meditation (BAM)

MBH breath awareness from Jitender K Sahdev

Simple and easy

Breath Awareness Meditation is simple and easy because it goes directly to the root – loss of awareness. The root cause of suffering lies in the memories of the past, or the plans of the future. Awareness of breath brings us back to the moment. Also, Breath Awareness Meditation is so natural and spontaneous that it teaches us about itself–the actual practice, its meaning, purpose and effect. The more we practice, the more our spiritual intuition comes to the fore and becomes our instructor. Breath is your teacher!

Stages of Development

  1. Bring your awareness to the upper lip or below the nostrils. 
  2. Observe the breathing in and breathing out in the fixed area of the upper lip or below the nostrils. 
  3. Maintain your attention in this area and gently bring your awareness back to this area if you are distracted. 
  4. Be a neutral observer.  Notice the temperature of the breaths, sensations below the nostrils or upper lip, and the rhythm while simply observing them.
  5. If you are not able to maintain your awareness in the fixed area, then:
    1. In the first stage, you can use counting to stay focused on the breath. After the exhale you count one, then you breathe in and out and count two, and so on up to ten, and then you start again at one.
    2. In the second stage, you subtly shift where you breathe, counting before the inhale, anticipating the breath that is coming, but still counting from one to ten, and then starting again at one.
    3. In the third stage you drop the counting and just watch the breath as it comes in and goes out.
    4. In the final stage the focus of concentration narrows and sharpens, so you pay attention to the subtle sensation on the tip of the nose where the breath first enters and last leaves the body.

The practice of Breath Meditation

  1. Sit comfortably, relaxed, with back and neck straight. 
  2. If you wear glasses, take them off.
  3. Place your left hand with palm facing up on your lap and place your right hand (palm up) on top of your left palm. Or, place your hands on your knees or thighs, palms up or down, or resting, one on the other, in your lap. 
  4. No background music – silence is the utmost important.
  5. Turn your eyes slightly downward and close them gently. Just closing your eyes reduces your brain-wave activity by about 75%, thus helping to calm the mind.
  6. Your mouth should be closed so all breathing is done through the nose. This, too, aids in quieting the mind. Mouth closed, jaw relaxed, so the upper and lower teeth are not clenched or touching one another, but parted a little.
  7. Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply three or four times, feeling the inhaling and exhaling breath moving in and out through your nostrils.
  8. Now breathe naturally and easy, keeping your awareness at the fixed spot, or on counting, as the case may be, feeling the breath as it flows in and out of your nostrils. Do not follow the breath in and out of your body, but just be aware of the breath movement sensation at the fixed spot.
  9. Keeping your awareness at the one spot, breathe naturally and calmly, observing the sensation of the breath moving there throughout all your inhalations and exhalations. This enables you to enter effortlessly into witnessing your breath.
  10. Do this for the rest of the meditation, letting your awareness rest gently on the breath at the chosen spot, and feeling the sensations of the breath moving there. After a while it may feel as though the breath is flowing in and out the spot more than the actual nostrils, or you may not feel the spot at all – just the breath moving at the location of the point. That is perfectly alright, but the focus of your attention should be only at that point–not somewhere else either outside or inside the body.
  11. Let the breath be. If the breath is naturally long, let it be so. If it is short, let it be so. If the inhalations and exhalations are of unequal length, that is just fine. Let the breath be natural and unforced, and just observe and experience it. In time, your breath will become more subtle and refined, and slow down. Sometimes your breath can become so light that it almost seems as though you are not breathing at all. At such times you may perceive that your inhaling and exhaling are more like a magnetic pull or flow in and out instead of actual breath movements. This occurs as the subtle life force (prana) that produces the breath switches back and forth in polarity from positive to negative. It is also normal for your breath awareness to move back and forth from more objective to more subtle and back to more objective.
  12. Sometimes the subtle breath is silent, but at other times you will inwardly “hear” the breath making sounds as it moves in and out. These will not be actual physical sounds, but very subtle mental sounds. They may be like the sounds made by forceful or heavy inhalation and exhalation; whatever they may be, just be calmly aware of them while staying centered on the breath.
  13. The breath is a kind of barometer of the subtle energies of body and mind. Sometimes it is very smooth, light and easy, and at other times it feels heavy, even constricted, or clogged, sticky, ragged, uneven, and generally uncomfortable and somehow feels ‘not right’. When this occurs, do not try to interfere with it or ‘make it better’. Rather, just relax and be calmly aware and let it be as it is. If you do this, the problem in the subtle energy levels which the breath is reflecting will correct itself and the breath will become easy and pleasant.
  14. In Breath Meditation we only focus our awareness on the breath at fixed spot, and not on any other point of the body. However, as you meditate you may become aware of one or more areas of your body at different times. Stay centered on your breath.
  15. Thoughts, impressions, memories, inner sensations, and the like may arise during meditation. Be calmly aware of all these things in a detached and objective manner. Let them come and go as they will, but keep your attention centered on the tip of the nose and your breath moving there. Be indifferent to any inner or outer phenomena. Breath Meditation produces peace, awareness and quiet joy in your mind as well as soothing radiations of energy in the physical and subtle bodies. Be calmly aware of all these things in a detached and objective manner–they are part of the transforming effect of meditation, and are perfectly alright, but keep your attention centered on your breath. Even though something feels very right or good when it occurs, it should not be forced or hung on to. It is not the experience we are after, but the effect.
  16. If you find yourself getting restless, distracted, fuzzy, anxious or tense, just inhale and exhale slowly and deeply a few times, feeling the inhaling and exhaling breath moving in and out through your nostrils, at the same time feeling that you are releasing and breathing out all tensions. Then resume meditation as before. Relaxation is the key to successful meditation practice.
  17. Keep in mind that Breath Meditation basically consists of being aware in a relaxed and easy manner of your breath as it moves in and out at the fixed spot.

At the end of your meditation, keep on being calmly aware of your breath moving in and out of your nose as you go about your various routine activities. In this way you can continue in the calm and clear state of meditation.

In between, in your meditation, it is good to check three things:

  1. Am I aware of the chosen spot?
  2. Am I continuously experiencing the movement or energy-flow of the breath at or in the chosen spot?
  3. Am I aware of the breath movement throughout the entire duration of each inhalation and exhalation?

These are the essential points of Breath Meditation.

Recommended Frequency and Duration:

  1. Week 1: 10 minute meditation – 2 times a day (morning and evening)
  2. Week 2: 20 minute meditation -2 times a day (morning and evening)
  3. Week 3: 30 minute meditation – 2 times a day (morning and evening)

 

Certification Test:

For Certificate (for CEU’s or DBE), you can apply for online Certification Test. Please contact office for the Certification Test Request Form. Completed form is to be submitted along with,

  • Certification Test Fee ($120, plus HST), and,
  • Log sheets with one week practice record.

Please download Log sheets by clicking at the links:

 

Please click here to go to Free Mindfulness and Breathing – Based Healing E-Course (A part of DSBH Therapy) Post

 

Primordial Sound Meditation

Please click here to visit Primordial Sound Meditation post.

Got a problem? – Just GROW*!

Click here to check this program.

 

To learn more about mindfulness and breathing based free e-course and the science behind it, and to attend live workshop, please contact us.

 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

Jan 132015
 
Face Yoga Teacher Training

Registration Open for SAVY Face Yoga Teacher Training

– The First Canadian Face Yoga Teacher Training Program

 Face Yoga Teacher Training

ANOTHER FIRST IN CANADA

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

OPENING OF REGISTRATION

FOR

CANADA’S FIRST

SAVY Face Yoga Teacher Training

 30 HOURS PROGRAM

LEARN HOW TO TEACH THE ULTIMATE NATURAL FACELIFT!!!

TEACH PEOPLE HOW TO MAKE FUNNY FACES AND GET RID OF WRINKLES AND SAGGING

CHANGE THEIR LIVES, CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

Add a new life skill to your business

Teach Face Yoga classes, workshops and one-to-one sessions

As a dedicated Face Yoga session or as an addition to your work

Apply it in Your Practice

Many people are increasingly looking for ways to naturally improve the health of their faces.

Join this rapidly growing trend

And learn how to teach Face Yoga to your future and/or existing clients.

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

CREDITS WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 PROGRAM

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

WEEK-END PROGRAM STARTING ON

*FEBRUARY 27, 2016

Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or deepen their yoga practice

Or just learn a new life skill

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Yoga Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc., Ph.D.,MD, MBBS, Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist /Yoga Teacher in London with over 38,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfill your aspirations! 

Payment plans available.

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

*Conditions apply.

Jan 062015
 
GROW

Got a problem? – Just GROW *

GROW

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, and drink it!

Problems give you a chance to GROW *

A chance to GROW * bigger than, and out of, your problem.

Have you ever had any situation, when you felt totally hopeless?

Haven’t there been times when you felt all was slipping out of your hands?

Don’t worry! Don’t get scared! Don’t stop!

Enhance your problem-solving skills

Just GROW *!

In a Nutshell

This practice shows you how to GROW* bigger than, and out of, your problem.

This practice will help you come back to, and stay in, the present moment.

GROW* shows you a way to create space and reconnect with your natural wisdom and resilience.

Don`t expect any particular result. Just remember the word :

GROW *

G – Get out, detach, disengage

Disengage Physically or Mentally

Disengage from the situation physically by moving away, or detach mentally by focusing on yourself.

Make a quick mental note of how you are feeling. (You can use HaBiTT* from DSBH Therapy.)

R – Return to your breath

Bring awareness to your breath

  • Gently bring your focus to breath & stay with your breath. (You can also do DAB* from DSBH Therapy.)
  • Feel the light play of the air on nostrils. Stay focused on your breath. (You can use ATTRACTS* from DSBH.)
  • Breath will help get you to the present moment and to tune in to a state of calm awareness.

O – Observe objectively

Get a bird’s eye-view

  • Do a quick simple body scan – are you feeling tight? Loosen up consciously! (You can do LaSeRS SCAN*.)
  • Then, observe what is happening around: sight, sound, smell etc. Stay calm and detached.
  • Mentally rise to get a bird’s eye view of the situation and analyze components of the situation.

W – Wit and wisdom

Continue with detachment

  • Stay detached, curious, open, calm and resourceful.
  • Make a list of what you observed and analyzed, and prioritize.
  • Use your wit to conjure up new possibilities/ solutions/ remedies, plan steps and proceed to implement.

You will see yourself GROW * bigger than, and out of, your situation!

Get introduced to the concept of GROW * with FREE MBH E-COURSE!

Join  Mindfulness and Breathing – based Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Therapy (DSBH Therapyto learn full details of this power-packed program!

We’d love to hear from you.

<

p style=”text-align: center;”>You can pre-order your copy of the book Got a problem? – Just GROW *! Coming soon!

 

GROW, HaBiTT, DAB*, ATTRACTS* and LaSeRS SCAN* are the topics included in full Mindfulness and Breathing – based Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Therapy (DSBH Therapy).

Individual workshops are also offered. Copyright pending.Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

Dec 272014
 
Mindfulness and Breathing Based Healing

MINDFULNESS AND BREATHING-BASED HEALING TECHNIQUE (MBH) – FREE E-COURSE

(Mindfulness and Breathing E-Course based on Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Therapy)

Mindfulness and Healing 

We are so excited to present this Mindfulness and Breathing E-Course to you!

What is this Mindfulness and Breathing course about?

What do Mindfulness and Breathing do? As science has shown, the function of frontal cortex (FC) involves intuition, long term memory, the ability to recognize future consequences resulting from current actions, the choice between good and bad, the override and suppression of socially unacceptable responses, and the determination of similarities and differences between things or events. The frontal lobes play an important role in retaining memories associated with emotions derived from input from the brain’s limbic system and modify those emotions to generally fit socially acceptable norms.

Executive functions of optimal intelligence, functionality and wellness have been specifically linked to a highly active and energized DLPFC (dorso-lateral pre-frontal cortex, a part of frontal cortex). DLPFC, together with other connected areas of the brain, is assumed to be important in working memory and executive function, including the regulation of thinking and action: the dorsal pathway, which is primarily supported by the parietal cortex, attempts to ascertain which responses should be executed, called the how system. The ventral pathway, which is significantly supported by the temporal cortex, attempts to characterize the features and attributes of the stimuli in the environment, sometimes called the what system.

Mindfulness and Breathing-based Healing (MBH)

Practiced and perfected by Yogis in India for thousands of years, the techniques of yoga asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), dhyana (meditation) and other techniques were handed down from generation to generation. These techniques have a profound positive effect on health. Several scientific studies have already corroborated their significance and more studies are pouring in with each passing day! A recent study on effect of meditation in breast cancer patients has confirmed the effect of meditation on chromosomes.

There is a scientific, time-proven and natural way to activate, awaken, energize and sustain high cerebral as well as DLPFC functioning: this method of meditation and contemplation based on mindfulness, breathing exercises, and more, involves systematic awareness of all levels of our being, including actions/senses, body, breath, mind, finally resting in the awareness of the Self, which becomes one with the universal consciousness. This mindfulness and breathing based  ‘Breathe and Heal’ Therapy has been developed on the basis of ancient yogic wisdom combined with modern methodology of scientific research and clinical investigation. Based on proven techniques, more work is on and is being scientifically verified; it is in complete agreement with both, yoga and medical wisdom.

Based on effective mindfulness and breathing techniques, validated by the stringent test of time and the millions who tried them, and backed and refined by my almost three decades of clinical experience in main-stream Medicine, Surgical Oncology, Neurosurgery and other Super Specialities at premier medical institutes in India, study and work in other Alternative Medicine and Yoga, and an input of thousands of hours of educated and qualified clinical research and its deep analysis in India, these breathing and other techniques have been proved to actually deliver! It is a true breakthrough course based on yoga as a neuro-endo-physiological science for integral/holistic personal transformation. Professionals experienced and well-versed in yoga resonate the same, and recognize its potential for consciousness and transformation work.

Benefits

Practiced diligently, Mindfulness and Breathing-Based Healing e-course will take you towards complete balance in body, mind and spirit. Helping you overcome physical, psychological and mental ailments is one of the main objectives of the course; more awareness and awakened living, increased intuitive creativity and enhanced higher brain functioning can be some of the advanced benefits of this course. Eventually, this method of meditation and contemplation leads to expansion of consciousness and awakening to the ever peaceful, joyous center of your being. This can help with relationship issues, conflict, anger, PTSD, communication, addiction etc. It can help you find your voice and identify, understand and work through barriers that keep you stuck. The benefits are unlimited….

This introductory  free e-course course on Mindfulness and Breathing-Based Healing is designed to be the beginning of that journey, and to the fact that yoga really is the way towards greater, expanded consciousness. Some of the benefits are:

  • Anxiety Reduction
  • Stress Management
  • Better Focus, Concentration & Memory
  • Better Creativity
  • Speed Learning
  • Positive Attitude
  • Confidence Building
  • Management of Depression, other Mood Disorders
  • Energy Boosting
  • Physical Health
  • Psychic Development
  • Sleep Improvement

As a physician with almost three decades of experience in Medicine and more than that in Yoga and Yoga Therapy, I have been really impressed with the results I could get with these techniques. It’s my mission to share my experience and knowledge with one and all, especially students and also my colleagues in Health, Yoga, Holistic Health, Alternative Medicine, Mental Health, Addictions Recovery, Life Coaching and Leadership fields.

Who is this course for?

This free e-course is for everyone!

This  free e-course is designed for professionals as well as layman.

  • Yoga Teachers
  • Yoga Teacher Trainees
  • Those who are planning to opt for Yoga teaching as a career
  • Serious as well as non-serious students of Yoga
  • Health Professionals and all those related with Health field
  • Medics and Paramedics
  • Executives/ Office-goers/ Administrators
  • Students
  • Anybody interested in maintaining/ regaining good health

Credits

  • This five-hour course will be credited towards non-contact hours in DSBH Breathing Educator-MBH Program (DBE-MBH).
  • Yoga professionals can apply for a certificate for non-contact CEU’s at a non-refundable fee of $120 (+HST). For this, along with the fee, you can submit the practice sheet and a one page description of what you learned and how you will be incorporating what you learned into your life.
  • Professionals from other fields should check with their regulatory bodies first. To get a certificate they can follow the same procedure as Yoga professionals.

Joint Ventures

In the coming times, we are going to train more and more people in these Mindfulness and Breathing –based Healing techniques, set up joint ventures with yoga clinics, hospitals, studios, schools, organizations etc. If you are interested, we would love to hear from you.

Go to Free Mindfulness and Breathing – Based Healing E-Course (A part of DSBH Therapy) Page

If you would like to learn more about this healing course and the science behind it, and would consider certification, please go to the page and register.

 To participate in an In-Studio or Online Workshop of MBH/ DSBH-I, please click here

Or Contact Us

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

Dec 132014
 
YOGA FOR BREAST CANCER TEACHER TRAINING

Registration Open for Yoga for Breast Cancer Teacher Training

YOGA FOR BREAST CANCER TEACHER TRAINING

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 OPENING OF REGISTRATION

OF

SPECIALITY

Yoga for Breast Cancer Teacher Training Program

 30 HOURS PROGRAM

FOR BREAST CANCER PREVENTION

AS WELL AS

BREAST CANCER CARE

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 or YOGA THERAPY 1000 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

 Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or

YOGA THERAPIST 1000

Or

Deepen their yoga practice and knowledge

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc. (Alternative Medicine), Ph.D. (Alternative Medicine),MD (Alternative Medicine), M.B.,B.S., Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher in London ON. A Surgeon by profession from India, he started his Surgical career in a Cancer Hospital in India and in his Surgical career over almost next three decades, performed thousands of breast cancer and other surgeries. He utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

*Conditions apply.

Dec 122014
 
Ilio-Psoas

Registration Open for Ilio-psoas – Seat of the Spirit Teacher Training

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 

OPENING OF REGISTRATION

 

OF

SPECIALITY

Ilio-psoas – Seat of the Spirit Teacher Training

 35 HOURS PROGRAM

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

WEEK-DAY PROGRAM STARTING ON

*JANUARY 29, 2015

Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or deepen their yoga practice

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Yoga Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc., Ph.D.,MD, MBBS, Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist /Yoga Teacher in London with over 35,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

*Conditions apply.

Dec 112014
 
oga Dance Teacher Training

Registration Open for SAVY Yoga Dance Teacher Training

 

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 

OPENING OF REGISTRATION

 

OF

SPECIALITY

SAVY Yoga Dance Teacher Training

 95 HOURS PROGRAM

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

WEEK-DAY PROGRAM STARTING ON

*MARCH 26, 2015

Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or deepen their yoga practice

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Yoga Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc., Ph.D.,MD, MBBS, Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist /Yoga Teacher in London with over 36,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. As a student, he won many dance competitions and received many awards in dance. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

*Conditions apply.

Dec 092014
 
Chair Yoga Teacher Training

Registration Open for SAVY Chair Yoga Teacher Training

Chair Yoga Teacher Training 

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

OPENING OF REGISTRATION

OF

SAVY Chair Yoga Teacher Training

 30 HOURS PROGRAM

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 PROGRAM

Learn and Apply it in Your Practice

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

 

Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or deepen their yoga practice

REGISTER NOW!

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Yoga Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc., Ph.D.,MD, MBBS, Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist /Yoga Teacher in London with over 38,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfill your aspirations! 

Payment plans available.

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

*Conditions apply.

Dec 042014
 
Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training

Registration Open for SAVY Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training Program

 Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 

OPENING OF REGISTRATION

 

OF

SPECIALITY

SAVY Yoga for Seniors Teacher Training Program

 85 HOURS PROGRAM

WILL BE COUNTED TOWARDS RYT 500 PROGRAM

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

WEEK-END PROGRAM STARTING ON

*JANUARY 4, 2015

Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered

RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or deepen their yoga practice

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Your Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc. (Alternative Medicine), Ph.D. (Alternative Medicine),MD (Alternative Medicine), M.B.,B.S., Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist and Yoga Teacher in London ON, with almost three decades of experience as a practicing Surgeon and  over 38,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

<

p style=”text-align: center;”>*Conditions apply.

Dec 012014
 
Diksha

SAVY Yoga Mentorship Program

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Announce

 

OPENING OF REGISTRATION

 

OF ONE OF THE

 

MOST COMPREHENSIVE

 

SAVY YOGA MENTORSHIP PROGRAM

 

IN THE WORLD!

World-Class Yoga teacher training in Canada

Under one of the top qualified faculty!

 

Join and immerse yourself in the sea of knowledge and practice!

Information and Registration Session

By Appointment

INTERVIWS IN
*DECEMBER, 2014

Open to anyone looking to become a

Yoga Alliance Registered RYT 500 Yoga Teacher

Or

Acquire Better Teaching Skills

Or

For Teaching Practice Hours

Or

To deepen their yoga teaching practice

SAVY International Inc. is an RYS 200, and RYS 300 Yoga School

Registered with Yoga Alliance, USA

(We provide YTT in Yoga Retreats all around the world also)

We also offer RYT 200, RYT 500, Yoga Therapy, Breathing Educator and many other course.

Work  with  our  amazing  SAVY Yoga Guardians who  will  lovingly  and  skillfully  help  you  develop  deeper as a  student and teacher of Yoga. You’ll receive development and mentoring support as well as learn key ways to teach from your heart, attract from your deepest intention and create a flow of well-being, prosperity and joy for yourself and your Yoga community.

SAVY International Inc. has cultivated a reputation as a centre of professional, inspiring, compassionate yoga and wellness studies. We have the best teachers who have a true love of yoga and live its teachings day in and day out.  Our teachers understand and appreciate the importance of every student and feel compelled to provide exceptional service to achieve complete customer satisfaction.

Your Yoga Teacher Trainer – Dr Jitender K Sahdev E-RYT 500, RCYT, RPYT, D.Sc., Ph.D.,MD, MBBS, Fellow in Surgery and Surgical Oncology, is a Yoga Therapist /Yoga Teacher in London with over 35,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience. A Surgeon by profession from India, he utilizes Yoga as a stand-alone as well as complementary therapy for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more…. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades. He is a Yoga Therapist in Canada.

Join now and attend upcoming training programs!

ENROL BEFORE

DECEMBER 31, 2015

 

Program Objectives

The vision of this program is to support you in your endeavour to integrate and enhance the theory and practice of yoga as you experienced it in your teacher training. The core of the program offers you accountability, support and guidance through various assignments, tasks and responsibilities.

The Mentorship Program offers graduates of any 200-hour Teacher Training a unique and exciting opportunity to continue learning and to practice and live yoga as active members of a thriving yoga community. By joining our Mentorship Program, you will become a critical part of a practicing larger Yoga community.

You can also join optional 100 Hour Yoga Teaching Practice Package to fulfill Yoga Alliance condition to register as RYT 500 after you complete the course.

 

The salient points of Registered  and Inexpensive Yoga Teacher Training at SAVY are:

Join NOW and fulfil your aspirations! 

For schedule and any more details of the course, please contact Studio.

Register now!

Please click here and go to the relevant section on the page.

Click here to learn more about choosing your Yoga Teacher Training wisely.

Click here to know about our other Yoga Teacher Training courses.

*Conditions apply.

Nov 022014
 
RYT 200

SAVY’s London Yoga Teacher Training – Most Affordable

SAVY International Inc. is a registered RYS 200 and RYS 300 Yoga Alliance Teacher Training School and a Private Educational Institution certified with the Federal Government of Canada. RYT 200 and RYT 500 Teacher training students will receive an official tuition fee receipt and an official education and textbook credit for income tax purposes.

Join One of the

WORLD’S BEST YOGA TEACHER TRAININGS

SAVY Yoga Studios Proudly Introduce

THE MOST AFFORDABLE

RYT 200 PROGRAM

IN THE WORLD!

A great opportunity especially for students from 

London, Sarnia, Chatham-Kent, Kingston, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, GTA and surrounding areas!

NOW, ALSO

THE MAXIMUM NUMBER OF COURSES TO CHOOSE FROM!

That means more convenient dates for you!

SAVY 200 (RYT 200) is an unparalleled opportunity

To acquire a profound understanding of the yogic system

And the proficiency to teach Yoga.

Sets you on a path to Personal Growth, Inner Peace and Understanding

World-Class Yoga Teacher Training in Canada

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Sep 102014
 
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Nov 112013
 
Universe

Origin of World – The Creation Story

Creation Story

Where did we come from? Where did this universe come from? Why is our Universe the way we see it to be? And what will ultimately become of it? These are the fundamental questions which have long been intriguing mankind even from the pre-historic era. The journey towards understanding the creation has been long. Since the 1929 discovery that Universe is expanding, man has made some significant steps in understanding how the Universe began and how it must have evolved to be what it is today. We know this: galaxies and clusters of galaxies formed from tiny fluctuations in the early Universe. We can measure these fluctuations by mapping the cosmic background radiation and relate them to the structures which we observe today.

The picture of universe we see today is more complete and much richer. The cosmos is said to have begun 13.7 billion years ago with the big bang. A fraction of a second after the beginning, the universe was a hot, formless soup of the most elementary particles, quarks and leptons. As it expanded and cooled, layer on layer of structure developed: neutrons and protons, atomic nuclei, atoms, stars, galaxies, clusters of galaxies, and finally super-clusters. The universe has so far been discovered to host 100 billion galaxies, each containing 100 billion stars and probably a similar number of planets. Galaxies themselves are held together by the gravity of the mysterious dark matter. The universe continues to expand and indeed does so at an accelerating pace, driven by dark energy, an even more mysterious form of energy whose gravitational force repels rather than attracts.

All this is amazing, intriguing and mind-boggling! However, we are now discovering that the concepts about origin of universe given in the old Sanskrit text Rig Veda also seem to stand the scrutiny of scientific minds. The parallels between Rig Veda Creation Story and what is being theorized by modern day physicists and confirmed by modern science are astoundingly and astonishingly similar. How and what could have led to the discovery of these scientific facts by the sages who did not even have any sophisticated instruments at their disposal except their well-developed consciousness? We need to have an honest peep into what they said and understand their way of working to get an idea of the greatness of their work and put things in the right perspective.

Rig Veda Creation Story does not talk about any external creation or creator. The universe is a result of manifestation of Para-brahman, the supreme consciousness. Hence, there is nothing externally created.

Rig Veda Creation Story professes there are times when the universe takes form and times when it dissolves back into nothingness. The in-between times are known as the days and nights of Brahma, the Hindu god of creation.

It is interesting to note that Rig Veda in its 10th Mandala explains beautifully the concept in a Suktha called Nasadiya Suktha.

Rig Veda 10:129 – Nasadiya Suktha

Neither existence nor nonexistence was there. Neither matter nor space around. What covered it, where it was and who protected? Why, that plasma, all pervading, deep and profound?

Neither death nor immortality was there. And there was neither day nor night But for that breathless one breathing on its own. There was nothing else, surely nothing.

It was darkness concealed in darkness. And an uninterrupted continuum of fluid. Out came in material form and shape. That one lying deep inside, on its own intent.

In the cosmic mind, all pervading. Desire, the primal seed made its first appearance. And the wise men, seeking deep in their heart; could see the link between ‘that is’ and ‘that is not’.

Reins of the link, a grid of crisscross lines, Holds all the seeds and mighty forces, Microcosmic forces within And macro forces out above.

Who really knows, who can declare. When it started or where from? And where will the creation end? Seekers and sought entered later – And so who knows when all this manifested?

That one, out of which the creation came, May hold the reins or not, Perceiving all from above, That one alone Knows the beginning – may not know too.

Before time began there was no heaven, no earth and no space between. A vast dark ocean washed upon the shores of nothingness and licked the edges of night. A giant cobra, Sheshanaga, floated on the waters. Asleep within its endless coils lay the Lord Vishnu. He was watched over by the mighty serpent. Everything was so peaceful and silent that Vishnu slept undisturbed by dreams or motion.

From the depths a humming sound began to tremble, Om. It grew and spread, filling the emptiness and throbbing with energy. The night had ended. Vishnu awoke. As the dawn began to break, from Vishnu’s navel grew a magnificent lotus flower. In the middle of the blossom sat Vishnu’s servant, Brahma. He awaited the Lord’s command.

Vishnu spoke to his servant: ‘It is time to begin.’ Brahma bowed. Vishnu commanded: ‘Create the world.’

A wind swept up the waters. Vishnu and the serpent vanished. Brahma remained in the lotus flower, floating and tossing on the sea. He lifted up his arms and calmed the wind and the ocean. Then Brahma split the lotus flower into three. He stretched one part into the heavens. He made another part into the earth. With the third part of the flower he created the skies.

The earth was bare. Brahma set to work. He created grass, flowers, trees and plants of all kinds. To these he gave feeling. Next he created the animals and the insects to live on the land. He made birds to fly in the air and many fish to swim in the sea. To all these creatures, he gave the senses of touch and smell. He gave them power to see, hear and move.

The world was soon bristling with life and the air was filled with the sounds of Brahma’s creation.

However, a wicked demon appeared and stole the world. He threw it far out into the cosmic ocean.

Vishnu quickly killed the demon and changed into animal form to rescue the world. Brahma was delighted at the world’s safe return from the depths, for he was then able to finish his task of forming the land and all living things.

But one day, this Universe, like all others before it, will be wiped out when Lord Shiva, the destroyer, grows angry with the world’s evil. At this time, he will dance Tandava – his ferocious dance of destruction and once again there will be a time when nothing exists but Brahman.

 

Now, let us compare all this idea in Rig Veda Creation Story with the current Cosmological findings.

Beginning of Time

Cosmology: There is no physics. Theory cannot account for conditions existing or not existing

Rig Veda: Neither existence nor nonexistence was there; Neither matter nor space was there;(1st two lines of 1st Verse)

10-32 seconds after Big Bang

Cosmology: The inflationary mode ends, having made the universe smooth and almost homogenous. Matter, anti-matter, and radiation are a bubbling opaque stew.

Rig Veda: And an uninterrupted continuum of fluid……(2nd line of 3rd Verse)

10-4 seconds after big bang

Cosmology: Universe expands. Matter and anti-matter annihilate each other. There is slightly more matter and this excess comprises the matter in the universe today forming galaxies.

Rig Veda: ….. Out came in material form and shape That One lying deep inside, on its own intent(Last 2 lines of 3rdVerse)

 

In the sixth verse, it says – who will know and who can declare when and where from it all started since we, the seekers were not there and also the causative forces were not present. They came later.

Even gravity broke away from the presumed unified force later. Veda makes it clear that so long you are in search of the causative forces only, you will not get the answer.

Oscillating Cosmos

There is a theory in the scientific world envisaging a cosmos that oscillates forever passing through infinite number of moments of creation in a never-ending cycle of birth, death and repetition. This has the advantage of being able to answer the question – What preceded the explosion?

Veda also says that this creation and its ending is a repetitive cycle.

End in darkness

Modern cosmology, on the basis of available evidence, envisages the end will come in darkness. Beginning follows the end.

Veda describes the beginning in the same way – darkness concealed in darkness was the state of things.

Herbert Reeves, the famous astrophysicist, after discussing about the primordial force of Big Bang and subsequent distinct forces like gravity, asks a relevant question: “Did not the universe, somewhere, aim at achieving self-awareness through the creation of human mind?” (His article in Figaro-Magazine of February 1983)

The answer is available in Rig Veda for all thinkers of all ages. The answer does not limit human beings only, but extends to all animate and inanimate worlds. The last verse is more profound in its meaning. That One, the “author” of all events should know the beginning. Veda says, “That One also may not know! That breathless One is breathing on its own. The beginning of universe, its expansion, demise and re-emergence – entire process is like involuntary inhaling and exhaling. If someone puts a question to any other one, when did you start that particular inhalation, the obvious answer will be – I do not know.

Even the “author” may not know…

It is a continuous process of which I hardly take notice of. The process is a continuum. Beginning and end are relevant to us, parts and parcels of universe. We float and sink in the ocean of time but not that continuous flow of events or its “author”.

So, according to Vedic Philosophy, the universe (or Multiverse) had no origin, but always has been and always will be, but is perpetually in flux. Space and time are of cyclical nature. This universe is simply the current one, which is in flux and constantly changing, when it finally ceases to manifest, a new one will arise. In a number of stories from the Puranas the continual creation and destruction of the universe is equated to the outwards and inwards breaths of the gigantic cosmic Maha Vishnu.

Hindu scriptures hold that Lord Vishnu, the protector and caretaker of all creation, sleeps in the middle of a vast ocean on the giant snake Sheshanaga. When the cycle begins, Lord Brahma is born out of the ‘Anda‘, an allusion to the egg which is the origin of all life. This ‘Anda’ comes from the navel of Lord Vishnu. The first sound of Lord Brahma is Om, the origin of all creation.

At first the ultimate truth “Brahman” was there, from whom came out Shiva without any birth or death. Vishnu is formed from the vaam-anga of Shiva or the left body. Shiva is the extreme male power of the universe. He is the destroyer or annihilator of the universe.

From him manifested the extreme female power of the universe, Sati.

Then the preserver of the universe Vishnu took three forms, Karnodakasayi Vishnu or Maha-VishnuGarbhodakasayivishnu, and Ksirodaksayi vishnu. Maha Vishnu has several Garbhodakasayivishnus in the spiritual sky (the ocean of Karana). Each Garbhodakasayivishnu exhales and inhales and with each breath a Brahma is born who lives for 100 Brahma years and dies with the breath of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu. Each Brahma creates a universe which comes to an end with partial annihilation.

After several Brahma years the annihilation of Garbhodakasayi Vishnu takes place and at the last stage, the dissolution of the whole Karan Sagar with Maha Vishnu by Shiva with Tandav; and this cycle begins again. This cycle of formation and annihilation is seen in Hinduism.

The puranic view asserts that the universe is created, destroyed, and re-created in an eternally repetitive series of cycles. In Hindu cosmology, a universe endures for about 4,320,000,000 years (a kalpa or one day of Brahma the creator) and is then destroyed by fire or water elements. At this point, Brahma rests for one night, just as long as the day. This process, named pralaya (Cataclysm), repeats for 100 Brahma years (311 Trillion, 40 Billion human years), which represents Brahma’s lifespan. Similarly at any given time there are an infinite number of Brahmas creating each of these universes, which are infinite in number.

Brahma is the creator but not necessarily regarded as God in Hinduism. He is mostly regarded as a creation of God or Brahman.

This ‘oscillation’ is portrayed in Hindu texts, especially in the Bhagwad Gita, as Shrishti followed by Vinaash. The period of Vinaash is one of extreme chaos where the very laws of Nature fail.

big bang

Rig Veda viewpoint of modern cosmology

This is similar to the Cyclical Universe Theory in physical cosmology. The Big Bang is described as the birth of the universe (Brahma), the life of the universe then follows (Vishnu), and the Big Crunch would be described as the destruction of the universe (Shiva).

An interesting parallel to these ideas can be found in the ekpyrotic model of the universe.

Some Hindu scholars draw metaphorical parallels between modern cosmology and the Hindu theory of ‘Srishti’. According to them, the ‘Anda’ itself resembles the hypothetical energy point from which the Big Bang and hence the Universe emerged. They also claim that the true intonation of Om is very long and drawn out, it is described as an all pervading sound. Its parallel is the cosmic background radiation, currently at a temperature level of 2.725 Kelvin, which pervades the Universe.

Some Hindus claim that even the string theory finds a place in their ancient texts. The first thing that ever was and will be is ‘Shabda’ or sound. This energy is produced by vibrations in energy produced by the powers of the Trinity (Lord Brahma, Lord Vishnu and Lord Shiva). Although at a very high level, this resembles the multidimensional vibrations of the ‘Gunas’ or strings, which are said to be the basis of all creation.

The Rig Veda viewpoint of the continuous cycle of creation, destruction and rebirth is attuned to the theory of Big Bang – Expansion – Contraction – Big Crunch. If the Big Crunch happens, the movement of galaxies towards each other will produce very strong gravitational fields which may make relativistic effects perceptible at a great magnitude. The physical phenomena which we are used to may change wildly or be non-existent.

Sep 132013
 
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Pashchimottanasana – The West Stretch or Seated Forward Bend

 Meditation, Partner Yoga, Yoga, Yoga Posture -Asana, Yoga Therapy  Comments Off on Pashchimottanasana – The West Stretch or Seated Forward Bend
Jul 212013
 
Paschimottanasana

Pashchimottanasana – The West Stretch or Seated Forward Bend

DSC_0040a

Pashchimottanasana

Paschimottanasana stretches the length of the spine, and allows the life-force to flow to every part of the body.

परसार्य पादौ भुवि दण्डरूपौ दोर्भ्यां पदाग्रदवितयं गॄहीत्वा |
जानूपरिन्यस्तललाटदेशो वसेदिदं पश्छिमतानमाहुः || ३० ||

prasārya pādau bhuvi daṇḍa-rūpau
dorbhyāṃ padāghra-dvitayaṃ ghṝhītvā |
jānūparinyasta-lalāṭa-deśo
vasedidaṃ paśchimatānamāhuḥ || 28 ||

Having stretched the feet on the ground, like a stick, and having grasped the toes of both the feet with both the hands, when one sits with his forehead resting on the thighs, it is called Paśchima Tâna.

इति पश्छिमतानमासनाग्र्यं पवनं पश्छिमवाहिनं करोति |
उदयं जठरानलस्य कुर्याद उदरे कार्श्यमरोगतां पुंसाम || 29 ||

 

iti paśchimatānamāsanāghryaṃ
pavanaṃ paśchima-vāhinaṃ karoti |
udayaṃ jaṭharānalasya kuryād
udare kārśyamaroghatāṃ cha puṃsām || 29 ||

This most excellent of all asanas, Pashchimottanasana, makes the breath flow through the Sushumna, rouses the gastric fire, makes the loins lean, and removes all diseases.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chapter 1, verse 29

Pashchimottanasana (Sanskrit: पश्चिमोत्तानासन; IAST: paścimottānāsana), Seated Forward Bend, or Intense Dorsal Stretch, is a yoga posture.

(PASH-chee-moh-tan-AHS-anna)

pashchimottana = intense stretch of the west (pashima = west, uttana = intense stretch)

Together with Padmasana (lotus), Siddhasana (half-lotus) and Vajrasana (lightning-bolt pose), this pose is an accomplished pose according to the Shiva Samhita. It was advocated by 11th century yogi Gorakshanath.

Etymology

The name comes from the Sanskrit word paschima (पश्चिम, paścima) meaning “west” and uttana (उत्तान, uttāna) meaning “intense stretch” or “straight – asana  (आसन) meaning “posture”.

  • Paschima (पश्चिम, Paścima) = Back, West, Back of Body
  • ud (उद्, ud) =Prefix for Verbs or Nouns which indicates superiority in Location, Rank, Power, Intensity.
  • Tana (तान, Tāna) = stretched
  • Uttana (उत्तान, Uttāna) = intense stretch, straight, straightened
  • Asana (आसन, āsana) = Posture, seat

Pashchimottanasana (पश्चिमोत्तानासन, Paścimottānāsana) = Intense-Stretch-of-back-of-body

Classification and Level: Basic seated forward bend

Concentration: On the back and the Manipura Chakra

Step by Step:

  1. Sit on the floor with your legs straight in front of you. You may support your buttocks on a folded blanket. Press actively through your heels. Rock slightly onto your left buttock, and pull your right sitting bone away from the heel with your right hand. Repeat on the other side. Turn the top thighs in slightly and press them down into the floor. Press through your palms or finger tips on the floor beside your hips and lift the top of the sternum toward the ceiling as the top thighs descend.
  1. Draw the inner groins deep into the pelvis. Inhale, and keeping the front torso long, lean forward from the hip joints, not the waist. Keep the back and neck straight. Lengthen the tailbone away from the back of your pelvis. If possible hold the big toes or take the sides of the feet with your hands, thumbs on the soles, elbows fully extended. Be sure your elbows are straight, not bent.
  1. When you are ready to go further, don’t forcefully pull yourself into the forward bend, even if your hands are on the feet. Always lengthen the front torso into the pose, keeping your head raised. If you are holding the feet, bend the elbows out to the sides and lift them away from the floor. The lower belly should touch the thighs first, and then the upper belly, the ribs, and the head last.
  1. With each inhalation, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates and lengthens almost imperceptibly with the breath. Eventually you may be able to stretch the arms out beyond the feet on the floor.
  1. Stay in the pose anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes initially. To come up, first lift the torso away from the thighs and straighten the elbows again if they are bent. Then inhale and lift the torso up by pulling the tailbone down and into the pelvis.

Anatomy of the Pose

Focus on extending the spine towards head with each inhalation, and try to bend down with each exhalation.

Joint Actions: Spinal flexion (moving towards extension); sacrum nutation; hip flexion, adduction, internal rotation; knee extension; ankle slight dorsiflexion; scapula abduction, upward rotation; glenohumoral joint flexion, slight external rotation, adduction; elbow extension; forearm slight pronation.

Working

Gravity acts to pull the torso towards the top of the thighs.

Spine: Extensors can act to deepen action in the hip joints.

Legs : Vastii and articularis genus to extend knees.

Lengthening

Spine: Spinal extensors (if releasing into pose), latissimus dorsi.

Legs : Hamstrings, gluteus maximus, piriformis, obturator internus and gemelli, gluteus medius and minimus, gastrocnemius and soleus; popliteus works at length (eccentrically) to prevent hyperextension of the knees.

Arms : Rhomboids, lower trapezius, latissimus dorsi.

Breathing

Breathing can be very helpful while moving into this pose. Emphasizing the action of the exhalation deepens the flexion at the pelvis, whereas emphasizing the action of the inhalation assists in extending the upper spine. This will only occur if the exhalation is initiated with the lower abdominal muscles and the inhalation is directed towards the rib cage.

 

Therapeutic Applications

  • Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
  • Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings
  • Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus
  • Improves digestion
  • Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
  • Soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue
  • Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis
  • Traditional texts say that Paschimottanasana increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases.

 

Basic Benefits:

  • Stimulates the Manipura Chakra and life energy.
  • Increases blood supply in the back.
  • Stretches the muscles of the back and along the back of the legs.
  • Activates kidney and pancreas function and aids in achieving a slim figure.

Contradictions and Cautions

Those having the following problems should observe caution:

  • Asthma
  • Diarrhea
  • Back injury: Only perform this pose under the supervision of an experienced teacher.

Beginner’s Tip

Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. Coming forward, as soon as you feel the space between your pubis and navel shortening, stop, lift up slightly, and lengthen again. Often, because of tightness in the backs of the legs, a beginner’s forward bend doesn’t go very far forward and might look more like sitting up straight.

Variations

Urdhva Mukha Paschimottanasana (urdhva = upward; mukha = face)

Lie on your back, exhale, and bend your knees into your torso. Then inhale and extend the heels toward the ceiling. Slowly, on an exhalation, swing your feet toward the floor above your head. You may or may not be able to reach all the way to the floor. Try not to let the back of the pelvis lift very far from the floor—this is an upside-down version of Paschimottanasana, not Salamba Sarvangasana or Halasana.

 

Modifications

Most students may sit up on a folded blanket in this pose. Extremely stiff students can place a rolled up blanket under their knees.

Partnering

A partner can help you release your lower back in this pose. There are various ways partners can help each other:

  1. Have your partner stand behind you facing your back. Perform the pose – then have your partner press his/her hands against your lower back and pelvis. The hands should be turned so the fingers point towards your tailbone. Remember though that the pressure isn’t to push you deeper into the forward bend; rather, gentle pressure (parallel to the line of the back) encourages the back spine and tailbone to lengthen away from the torso. Extend the front torso against this downward action.
  2. Have your partner sit behind you, tailbone to tailbone, back to back. As you deepen your pose, your partner may extend arms up, staying in close contact all the time and release his/ her weight on to your back slowly, almost lying down on your back as you complete the pose. You can do the same for your partner later on.
  3. Another way to get help from a partner is sitting in front of each other, feet apposed, holding hands while getting into the pose and keep holding hands while gravity acts to deepen the pose. You can walk your hands up your partner’s arms to get deeper, while directing your weight down towards thighs.

Preparatory Poses

  • Balasana
  • Janu Sirasana
  • Uttanasana

Follow-Up Poses

  • Ardha Matsyendrasana

 

Tips for Your Practice

Improvement with this pose is a lengthy process! The changes may take years, and you may encounter many roadblocks where your resistance temporarily slows you down.

Focus your mind on relaxing into the pose instead of pushing into it with force and meeting resistance. Relax and let gravity act. Where and how you use your weight depends on how deep your existing forward bend already is. If you are only a few inches from your legs, let the weight of your chest take you down towards thighs. If you can’t get so close to your legs, hold your feet or big toes and gently ease into more depth.

Here again, the mind can intrude, resisting the surrender that is required to fully benefit from this manoeuvre. Explore the mental patterns you’re bringing to the asana—an urge to push or a tendency to give up and space out—and redirect your attention to the sensations of letting go. As you deepen your pose by doing less, you will recognize how emotions stored in the body can tighten the muscles and hold you back. Surrender mentally and you will just ease into greater depth.

Here is another technique to help free your spine. Cup the back of your head in your hands. Drop your elbows toward the floor and let your upper back spread. Then keep your shoulder blades wide as you inhale and raise your elbows, stretching them away from your sides. Press the back of your head into your hands as you open your chest and lengthen your torso forward. Expand this motion for several breaths and then release your elbows, chest, and head down again. You may find your forward bend to be both deeper and more extended.

As you progressively surrender, stop resisting mentally and start easing into the pose, your pose grows quieter, supported by your legs, stay in touch with the form of the pose by sending delicate physical reminders to yourself whenever you feel the discomfort of misalignment disturbing your inner focus. Keep your heels, legs, thighs and tailbone in contact with the earth and active and your hip joints flexed. Continue to deepen the sensation that your torso is at rest on your legs, allowing your belly to stay on your thighs, feeling it as liquid and cool. Let distractions diminish and blur into the background and immerse yourself completely into the inner terrain of the pose.

Sustaining this inner focus is always a challenge. At some point, it becomes meditation. You will become aware of the struggle as you oscillate between effort and surrender, distraction and attention. Slowly, the influence of your mind becomes more and more obvious. You may be surprised by your resistance to prolonging the pose, particularly if you are quite flexible but not accustomed to holding the pose for long. At this point, whatever your tendencies, the mental challenges you encounter are the most likely threats to deepening your practice. A host of emotions will play upon your mind, and you thought this was a mere hamstring stretch! As you deepen your pose, you’ll encounter struggles that create agitation and sabotage a balanced, sattvic experience. You are determined to stay, no matter what, even though your whole being is begging for relief!

Shift your focus to the inner rhythm of your breath. It will be your guide. You can benefit from each insight that accompanies the process. With time and practice, Paschimottanasana will become a prolonged, body-oriented meditation.

Paschimottanasana forces you to deal with your resistance, attachments and habits. It teaches you what to hold on to and strengthen and what to leave. Introspection tells you that the mind does constantly influence your yoga. You learn that asana is a way to develop the psychological hardiness that comes from meditation and enlightenment.

Jun 302013
 
Nabho Mudra - Breathe and Heal

Nabho Mudra in Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program

Nabho Mudra

Nabho Mudra

Nabho Mudra involves the tongue touching the palate and is somewhat similar to Khechari mudra in its action. Nabho mudra is mentioned in Gheranda Samhita and is practiced by meditators from various traditions. Nabho mudra is an easy form of Khechari Mudra, which is mentioned in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and can be easily practised by anyone.

In Gheranda Samhita, Nabho Mudra is described as a practice where the practitioner turns the tongue upwards to meet the palate and then retains the breath. The text says that one can also do this during all activities like sitting, walking, etc.

Nabho Mudra or Simple/ Small Khechari – which Gheranda Samhita claims can remove all disease and suffering of the Yogi, forms an integral part of Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program, a scientifically and yogically correct and very effective breathing and meditation routine, full of possibilities. In Sanskrit, ‘Nabho’ means ‘space or heavens or sky’ and mudra means ‘posture’. So, literally it can be translated as ‘Space or Heavens or Sky Posture’. Mudras are the postures and act as smaller body locks for energy. Mahatma Budha also made use of Nabho mudra and Vipashyana, now more popular as Vipassana (Pali language), during meditation.

The breadth and depth of understanding and knowledge from the Vedas and other classical Yoga books from thousands of years ago is just astounding, overwhelming, breath-taking and divine! In this modern era, we have just begun to understand this unfathomable sea of knowledge, handed down from generation to generation in a few brief and concise verses, and experiential practices. The full potential of all this knowledge in physical, mental, metaphysical and spiritual dimensions can be comprehended by a devout, practising yoga practitioner through regular practice only.

Nabho Mudra is simple, more of a Raja Yoga practice. Khechari Mudra, a more profound, practice, done in Hatha Yoga, involves taking the tongue all the way back to reach the nasal cavity. Traditional Hatha Yoga is intended to lead to Raja Yoga, the ‘Royal Yoga’, the goal of which is the highest state of consciousness known as SamadhiKhechari is done with a lot of effort like milking the tongue and sometimes even cutting the frenulum of the tongue to free it. Once it is able to reach the nasal cavity, it can then be extended to the roof of the cavity. By stimulating certain regions of the cavity with the tongue, the yogi gets the benefit of amrita or nectar, as per Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Through this nectar, the yogi rejuvenates his body and attains long and healthy life. Whether this nectar is a physical secretion, or modulation of secretions from the master and other glands, is yet to be ascertained. 

Many masters say that cutting the frenulum for Khechari is unnecessary and the same results can be gained through constant practice of Nabho Mudra. It is said that during certain stages of meditation, the tongue automatically goes and touches the roof of the palate. By constant practice, the tongue can go further back towards the throat, till it touches the uvula at the back. Finally it can be made to enter the nasal cavity. This takes years of practice.

This mudra was kept a well-guarded secret for thousands of years, and very correctly so. Nabho and Khechari take the Yogi a step closer to gaining full control over the processes of the physical body. It is an old technique to achieve peace of mind and to facilitate a state of silent and deep meditation, and hence achieving the highest state of samadhi or contemplation.  Talavya or Talabhya Kriya (‘Talu‘ means palate; ‘Talavya‘ or ‘Talabhya‘ means related to palate) is the preparatory exercise to advance to a perfect Khechari Mudra. It must be learnt directly from a physical ‘Guru‘ and should only be practiced under direct supervision of the Guru. It takes a lot of practice to learn and to do accurately even when explained properly and correctly, and it must not be attempted except under expert guidance of a learned ‘Guru’ or teacher after understanding the procedure correctly. That is more because of what these mudras are capable of rather than just the procedures. Preliminary, preparatory procedures and training in Talabhya Kriya and other procedures are essential for serious exponents of Yoga.  Amateurish attempts at this may lead to many complications. However, very simple or initial versions can be explained and understood easily and can be taught even to non-yogis and not-so-advanced yogis.

Nabho Mudra can also be considered an easier option to the practice of full Khechari mudra. Though it remains to be documented medically, but clinically and in traditional Yoga practices, many different types of diseases, even intractable ones, have been found to resolve by the practice of this mudra. 

As a Sanskrit verse explains about Nabho Mudra:

यत्र यत्र स्थितों योगी सर्वकार्येषु सर्वदा।

उर्ध्वजिव्ह: स्थिरो भूत्वाधारयेत्मवनं सदा।

नभोमुद्रा मवेदुषा योद्विना रोग नाशिनी।।

Yatra yatra sthitom yogi sarvakaryeshu sarvada

Urdhvajivha sthiro bhutvadharyetmavanam sada

Nabhomudra mavedusha yogvina roga nashini

Meaning 

The yogi, who stays constant in all aspects at all times, controls the breath

by placing the frontal part of tongue on the palate inside the mouth.

It puts an immediate stop to all mental turmoil.

All the diseases of yogi are destroyed by the practice of this mudra.

Hatha Yoga Pradipika states:

अथ खेछरी
कपाल-कुहरे जिह्वा परविष्ह्टा विपरीतगा |
भरुवोरन्तर्गता दॄष्ह्टिर्मुद्रा भवति खेछरी || ३२ ||

atha khecharī
kapāla-kuhare jihvā praviṣhṭā viparītaghā |
bhruvorantarghatā dṝṣhṭirmudrā bhavati khecharī || 32 ||

एवं करमेण षहण-मासं नित्यं युक्तः समाछरेत |
षहण्मासाद्रसना-मूल-शिरा-बन्धः परणश्यति || ३६ ||

evaṃ krameṇa ṣhaṇ-māsaṃ nityaṃ yuktaḥ samācharet |
ṣhaṇmāsādrasanā-mūla-śirā-bandhaḥ praṇaśyati || 36 ||

कलां पराङ्मुखीं कॄत्वा तरिपथे परियोजयेत |
सा भवेत्खेछरी मुद्रा वयोम-छक्रं तदुछ्यते || ३७ ||

kalāṃ parāngmukhīṃ kṝtvā tripathe pariyojayet |
sā bhavetkhecharī mudrā vyoma-chakraṃ taduchyate || 37 ||

रसनामूर्ध्वगां कॄत्वा कष्हणार्धमपि तिष्ह्ठति |
विष्हैर्विमुछ्यते योगी वयाधि-मॄत्यु-जरादिभिः || ३८ ||

rasanāmūrdhvaghāṃ kṝtvā kṣhaṇārdhamapi tiṣhṭhati |
viṣhairvimuchyate yoghī vyādhi-mṝtyu-jarādibhiḥ || 38 ||

न रोगो मरणं तन्द्रा न निद्रा न कष्हुधा तॄष्हा |
न छ मूर्छ्छा भवेत्तस्य यो मुद्रां वेत्ति खेछरीम || ३९ ||

na rogho maraṇaṃ tandrā na nidrā na kṣhudhā tṝṣhā |
na cha mūrchchā bhavettasya yo mudrāṃ vetti khecharīm || 39 ||

When the yogi now curls his tongue upward and back, he is able to, close the place where the three paths meet. The bending back of the tongue is khechari mudra and closes the three paths in akasha chakra. The yogi who remains but half a minute in this position is free from illness, old age and death. He who has mastered khechari mudra is not afflicted with disease, death, laziness, hunger, thirst and swooning. (HYP 8: 32-39)

Hatha Yoga Pradipika further says:

गोमांसं भक्ष्हयेन्नित्यं पिबेदमर-वारुणीम |
कुलीनं तमहं मन्ये छेतरे कुल-घातकाः || ४७ ||

ghomāṃsaṃ bhakṣhayennityaṃ pibedamara-vāruṇīm |
kulīnaṃ tamahaṃ manye chetare kula-ghātakāḥ || 47 ||

गो-शब्देनोदिता जिह्वा तत्प्रवेशो हि तालुनि |
गो-मांस-भक्ष्हणं तत्तु महा-पातक-नाशनम || ४८ ||

gho-śabdenoditā jihvā tatpraveśo hi tāluni |
gho-māṃsa-bhakṣhaṇaṃ tattu mahā-pātaka-nāśanam || 48 ||

जिह्वा-परवेश-सम्भूत-वह्निनोत्पादितः खलु |
छन्द्रात्स्रवति यः सारः सा सयादमर-वारुणी || ४९ ||

jihvā-praveśa-sambhūta-vahninotpāditaḥ khalu |
chandrātsravati yaḥ sāraḥ sā syādamara-vāruṇī || 49 ||

Daily he may eat the flesh of the cow and drink wine. The word go (cow) in Vedic language means tongue; eating it is to thrust it into the gullet, which produces heat in the body causing nectar to flow out of the moon (chandra nadi) situated on the left side of the eyebrow centre, also called ida nadi, and that is called drinking wine. (HYP 8: 47-49)

Gherand Samhita states:

The body becomes beautiful; samadhi is attained, and the tongue touching the holes in the roof of the mouth obtains various juices – first he experiences a saltish taste, through alkaline to bitter then astringent, then he feels the taste of butter then ghee, then of milk, then of curds, then of whey, then of honey, then of palm juice, and lastly arises the taste of nectar. (GS iii, 30-32)

 

Procedure

It must be learnt and practised only under an expert guidance. It is explained here as a reference for the benefit of those who are learning under an expert teacher.

  1. Sit in any of the Yogic sitting postures such as Padmasana, Sukhasana, Vajrasana, sitting in a chair or in stand-at-ease position. Initially, it is prudent to choose one of the sitting postures.
    padmasana

    Padmasana

  2. A correct and easy way of doing Nabho Mudra is by putting the tongue up against the palate, with the tip of the tongue touching between back of your teeth and hard palate, and tongue pressing against the hard palate, and keeping it there for as long as you can do it comfortably. More advanced techniques give access to varied functions.
    palate

    Palate

    Nabho Mudra-Breathe and Heal

    Nabho Mudra-Breathe and Heal

    nabho

    Nabho Mudra

  3. A correct and easy way of doing first level of Khechari Mudra is to put the tip of the tongue against the soft palate, behind the hard palate. For this, the tongue has to be turned upside down, bringing the undersurface of the tongue up, and touching the tip of the tongue with the soft palate. Keep it there for as long as you can. If you feel uncomfortable or feel pain, unroll your tongue and relax for a few seconds and again resume. Build up your practice slowly. A low protein diet helps advancing in this process, as does singhasana (the lion pose).
     

    Khechari Mudra Level I

    Khechari Mudra Level I

    khechari

    Khechari

     

  4. Also, at the same time, you should be doing Shambhavi mudra – keep the eyesight in the middle of both the eyebrows, at Aagya Chakra. It’s more easily done with eyes closed. shambhavi

The correct and complete practice of Nabho Mudra is achieved only when your eyesight is between both the eyebrows, in Shambhavi Mudra, and your tongue is in contact with the palate. Both of these should be accomplished together at one time. 

Also, Nabho Mudra can be practiced with PranayamaGheranda Samhita also instructs about retaining the breath during this practice. That is optional during meditation. During meditation, the breath naturally slows down. During deeper states, one may experience natural suspension of breath for a few minutes. This is called Kevala kumbhaka. Forcing Kevala Kumbhak is unnecessary and undesirable.

Understanding the Action of Nabho Mudra

Though explanation of the full effects and the actions of this simple, and to many seemingly illogical and unscientific, yogic procedure or pose is beyond the scope of this article, yet we can make an attempt to understand basic mechanism of some of the leading physical effects of Nabho Mudra, and to some extent, Khechari Mudra.

During Nabho mudra the tongue is fixed in one spot touching the palate. When the tongue doesn’t move, the onslaught of thoughts also decreases naturally. Thoughts may still occur, but only minimally. This principle is of great help in meditation. Instead of fighting with thoughts, just use Nabho mudra to get substantial help to reduce thoughts per minute.

In Yogic terms, we understand that the cosmic or prana energy can flow through the Sushumna nadi and nourish the entire body. This flow may be interrupted at the region of the throat. The prana energy flows from Vishudhi Chakra to organs of speech.

chakras3

If the flow of prana energy is obstructed or is obliterated, this may cause or contribute towards the instability or distractibility of the mind. Nabho mudra connects that prana energy directly to the next energy centre, i.e., Aagya Chakra, through various marma points. Thus, it helps bypass the normal route and encourages freer flow of prana. Placing the tongue against the palate is one way to bypass this blockage. This reconnection tends to calm the mind and leads to attainment of eternal bliss. This depends on the point of contact – the alveolar groove, the hard palate, the soft palate, the epiglottis, the nares, etc.; the tongue gets connected to various nadis, or energy channels, by touching marma points. Just by putting your tongue up, you can use Nabho mudra to connect the front and back channels of your body which prevents build up of too much pitta or heat. Nabho mudra can also be used to passively conduct energy flow to various upper centers and marmas (bindu, sahasrara, aagya, sthapani, simanta, etc.).

When practising routines that arouse kundalini, it is one of three safety factors that prevent ‘burn out’ in the head region, while still allowing flow of cooler energy through the crown, the third eye, and all of the associated bindus. The other two safety factors are a fully relaxed jaw release, and a suspended head position, which is said to release krikatika marma.

krikatika

Medically speaking, our body responds to any kind of threat by the ‘fight or flight’ response.

autonomic-nervous-system

In either case, sympathetic nervous system kicks in and it leads to a rise in blood pressure, in addition to other phenomena.  Tension and stress of daily living are also perceived by the body as a danger signal and have the same physiology, and the body responds through the stimulation of the sympathetic nervous system.

stress

The sensory nerves from the tongue to the brain, are branches of the trigeminal, facial, glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves; all of these, except the trigeminal, are linked to the parasympathetic component of the autonomic nervous system.

nerve-supply-of-tongue

Thus, through the practice of Nabho or Khechari Mudra, we stimulate these nerves which are concerned with relaxation and also monitor taste, secretion of the different salivary glands, respiration, and so on. Through the parasympathetic nervous system, we also gain access to the hypothalamus and the endocrine glands. A side effect of using Nabho or Khechari mudra in the quest for higher consciousness is the regulation of the endocrine system, especially the pituitary gland. Nabho or Khechari allow us to control thirst and hunger. Through more advanced practices, Yogis learn to get conscious control over regulation of brain centres for blood pressure, temperature, respiration etc.

Also, body mechanisms including Carotid sinuses help to control and regulate blood pressure.

carotid-sinus

Carotid sinuses are two remarkable organs situated at the bifurcation of the carotid artery on each side, in front of the neck and just below the level of the jaws, at the level of the thyroid cartilage or Adam’s apple. The carotid sinuses contain numerous baroreceptors which function as a “sampling area” for many homeostatic mechanisms for maintaining blood pressure. The carotid sinus baroreceptors are innervated by the sinus nerve of Hering, which is a branch of the IX cranial nerve . The glossopharyngeal nerve makes synapses in the nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) located in the medulla oblongata of the brainstem. The NTS indirectly modulates the activity of sympathetic and parasympathetic (vagal) neurons in the medulla and pons through the hypothalamus. These neurons then regulate the autonomic control of the heart and blood vessels.

ans-reflex

The brain responds immediately to such a stimulus by adjusting the heart rate and contraction of the arterioles, thus correspondingly adjusting the blood pressure to keep it within normal range.

Thus, Nabho mudra, in very mechanistic terms, acts by virtue of the anatomical proximity of the root of the tongue to the carotid sinuses in the neck and through access to the parasympathetic nervous system through the nerves supplying tongue. The pull at the root of the tongue acts by applying a subtle drag on these sinuses in the neck, causing them to react as though they have detected high blood pressure, with the result that the heartbeat and the blood pressure decrease. This leads to relief in stress response and overall physical and mental relaxation.

These carotid sinuses as well as the sinus nerves were well known in ancient times. Shiva Samhita says: “Stop the flow of the vigyana nadis (sinus nerves) with the second fingers. This gives siddhi (power or control attained by a Yogi through practice) in the form of happiness and bliss.”

carotid-sinus

The implications of the above verses are obvious: if you gently press these carotid sinuses then you will become very relaxed and perhaps a little faint. This can help in various other yogic practices that lead to meditation. But all this must not be tried by an uninitiated person or except under  guidance and supervision.

Sira Matrika Marmas described in Sushruta Samhita correspond with the position of carotid sinuses. In the science of Marmani Chikitsa or Marma Therapy, there are five types of Marmas on the basis of consequences, in which one type is Sadyapranahara Marma, that means injury to these Marma leads to sudden death. Sira Matrika Marmas are eight in number, lie in the neck on either side of Kanthnadi between Nila and Manya Marmas, along the carotid artery. These are Sadyapranahara Marmas. 

Kalaripayattu is one of the oldest fighting systems in the world and is called the mother of martial arts. (Malayalam and Tamil, kalari: school or gymnasium, payattu: to fight or to exercise or to put hard work into. In Sanskrit, ‘Khalurika’ means parade ground or arena, and ‘payas’ means power or strength, or ‘pasi‘ meaning spear)  In this martial art, site corresponding to sira matrika is considered one of the death-causing marmani. 

In acupuncture, an offspring of Marmani Chikitsa, the point renying or Stomach 9 corresponds to the location of Sira Matrika Marma. The same point is used in acupressure also.

In Dim Mak or Kyoshu Jitsu, renying is considered one of the killer points. This point is also used to subdue the opponent in karate and krav maga

As explained in the video below, carotid sinus massage is a useful procedure in Medicine too:

Benefits

Nabho mudra is a very simple practice but it has many subtle influences on the health of body and brain. 

  • It helps modulate the parasympathetic system which leads to a state of relaxation, and results in immediate calmness of the mind and body.
  • Nabho Mudra has a profound effect on diseases of heart, lungs and brain and helps overcome insomnia, anxiety, high blood pressure, diseases of tongue, throat, eyes and is especially beneficial in all stress – related or psychosomatic diseases.
  • In conjunction with breathing exercises, mudras and procedures, this can influence health very positively and can help overcome diseases.
  • When the tongue is inserted into the nasal cavity in Khechari Mudra, many small nerves and glands are activated, thereby increasing the autonomous control of the body.
  • It is also said to decalcify the pineal gland, which plays an important role in spiritual awakening.

Join Dr Sahdev’s ‘Breathe and Heal’ Program today to learn this interesting, scientific and effective stuff, and much more! 

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Learn all that directly under the expert guidance of one of the most qualified faculty in the world! 

Sign up today and live your life to its full potential.

Fix an appointment to have your questions answered. 

Please go to Contact Us page to email or call. 

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

President and Director of Teaching

 The Head of Faculty – Dr Jitender K Sahdev, in addition to being a Physician in Modern Medicine from India, is a Yoga Therapist, Yoga Teacher and Ayurveda Practitioner par excellence in London with over 51,000 hours of Traditional Yoga teaching experience and almost three decades of experience in Modern Medicine, Ayurveda, Yoga Therapy and other alternative treatment modalities. He utilizes Ayurveda and Yoga as stand-alone as well as complementary therapies for optimizing the health and wellness of his clients, for easing symptoms associated with disease, and more. He trained under doyens of Yoga in India for almost four decades.

Note : Yoga Therapy is best administered in an individualized manner though some generalized guidelines have been provided for all. You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new therapy or exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises or undertaking any therapy program.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.   

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Jun 102013
 
Deep Stretch Yoga

North London SAVY Yoga – Deep Stretch Yoga

SAVY Yoga has been serving the city of London and surrounding areas since 2011 under the most qualified and experienced faculty in LONDON and CANADA, and one of the most qualified and experienced faculty in the WORLD! To serve the people of London in a better way, instead of serving some run-of-the-mill pseudo-yoga routines, we offer some very useful and healing, authentic Yoga/ Pranayama routines, ranging from gentle to very challenging Yoga, for the  beginner to the advanced student alike.

Here, we bring to you an introduction to Yoga classes being taught at our North London SAVY Yoga Studio.

Through demonstration, discussion and experiential movement, you will gain key understanding of proper postures and how to keep your body safe. As common sense dictates, one can function properly only if one is disease-free and is in a healthy state of body, mind and spirit. So, for us, your health and disease-free state comes first of all. Asanas, Pranayama, Mudras, Marmas, Kriyas, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana – our Yoga is much more than mere gymnastics and sauna! 

North London Yoga Classes at SAVY bring to you the taste, values and expertise of the true traditional Ashtanga and Vinyasa Yoga from India. Inspired adherence to the eight pillars or steps of yoga bestow one with a calm mind and fit body and lead one towards attaining an emancipated life. In more physical or materialistic  terms, Yoga is more than capable of keeping one physically and mentally fit and disease-free. It has become the new hot and favoured way to sweat it out for better health. SAVY Yoga is a humble step in that direction.

Deep Stretch Yoga

Ananjayesama

Deep Stretch Yoga, Ananjayesana

What is Deep Stretch Yoga

Deep Stretch Yoga includes Yoga postures for deep stretching of body combined with breathing patterns which facilitate deep stretch. It is based on classical Hatha Yoga postures and breathing patterns. 

Deep Stretch Yoga is based on the Yogic/ Ayurvedic concept of ida and pingala, or the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems in the modern science lingo – the opposite and complementary principles in the microcosm. Ida nadi represents the resting, relaxed state – the stable, unmoving, hidden aspect of things; pingala nadi represents the fight or flight scenario, the changing, moving, revealing aspect. 

Deep Stretch Yoga has been used for thousands of years to improve meditation practices. These yoga postures, when held for a longer duration, instill deep calm and help us get in touch with the inner consciousness and manifest their benefits at the physical, mental and spiritual levels. The practice of Deep Stretch Yoga trains us in the habit of slowing down, paying attention and listening – listening to our body, to our mind, to the soothing sound of the Ujjayi breath. Deep Stretch Yoga goes hand in hand with the practice of mindfulness and helps to fine-tune the various skills that bring us back to the here and now.This routine shows the way towards gentle and prolonged stretching and coordinated breathing, and breathing exercises, that results in deep relaxation. Advanced practice stimulates, balances and energises the Marma points and Chakras and leads on to awakening of kundalini.

Deep-Stretch Yoga is a lesser known form of ancient yoga which usually consists of a series of long-held, passive floor poses that mainly work the lower part of the body—the hips, pelvis, inner thighs, lower spine, and educates the connective tissues of the body to stretch and the mind to focus. The poses are typically held for up to five minutes, sometimes even longer, but the benefits start with holding poses for more than 70 seconds. Focus on these tissues has a better effect on stretching and exercising of the bone and joints areas of the body. 

In faster changing sequence of postures, mainly the muscles in the body are stimulated, encouraging strength and physical health. But, over time, if deep stretch is not practiced, the muscles and the joints of the body become more susceptible to injury. As one ages, a lack of flexible joints in the body increases the risk of pain and injury. Deep stretch yoga increases one’s ability to perform other forms of yoga by having better lubricated, flexible joints.

The most major difference between deep stretch and other forms of yoga is the effect on the mind. Deep Stretch Yoga creates a better sense of balance, connectedness and peace of mind.

Not all yoga postures are suitable for Deep Stretch Yoga. This is due to the fact that in Deep-Stretch Yoga, various positions are held for a longer duration.

Physiology

Muscles account for about forty percent of the resistance against the body’s flexibility, while connective tissue accounts for about fifty percent. The intensity and physical benefits of Deep Stretch Yoga practice depend on two variables:

  1. Duration of the asana, and
  2. Temperature of the muscle.

Asanas are usually held for five minutes, but can be held for longer periods too. 

Deep Stretch Yoga should be practiced when the muscles are not yet warmed up. Less elastic muscles, when cold, allow more stress to be transferred to the connective tissue. Muscles are kept relaxed to avoid muscle spasm, which could result from engaging muscles for long periods.

Who is Deep Stretch Yoga For

People of every age can do and receive the benefits of Deep Stretch Yoga. This type of practice is beneficial to a wide variety of people. In fact, everyone who wants to get deeper into the practice of Yoga should do this routine regularly. Some find holding poses for longer duration difficult, but the benefits outweigh the difficulties.

This is for you if you are tired, over-stimulated, if your energy is too erratic, your mind is overactive, you are craving for energy or you feel you have too much of it! With laptops, phones and other mobile devices bombarding our senses all the time, it’s easy to end up staying switched on all the time, with a mind that is constantly busy processing all that information that you throw at it. 

These exercises teach you how to regulate those sensory inputs. These also make you ready for getting deeper into yoga and meditation in a very subtle way. Deep Stretch Yoga is beneficial in eating disorders, osteoporosis, in-patient drug treatment centers, drug addiction rehabilitation centers, or even for those seeking pain treatment and trauma recovery.

With the regular practice of this kind of yoga, you would be amazed to see how the yoga practice helps you not only in making a difference in your lives but also helps in overcoming so many health issues. Regular practice of Yoga ensures a long and healthy life.

Principles to follow for Deep Stretch Yoga

  • Tristhana. Bandha, Drishti and Ujjayi should be adhered to.  
  • Alignment. As this is a more advanced practice, you have to be more careful about the correct alignment.
  • Be gentle. Move slowly and gently into the pose. Don’t gun for the maximum in the pose right in the beginning, and never stretch so far as to cause pain.
  • Be compassionate. Consciously try to ease into the pose, and maintain stillness. If you have to fidget or shift position too much, loosen it and take it a bit easy on you. Be compassionate to yourself.
  • Be still. start with holding a pose for at least 70 seconds and progress to 5 minutes or more.
  • Be patient. Even when the body is yearning to race out of the pose, take your time and come out of the pose slowly.

Benefits

Deep-Stretch Yoga benefits the mind, body and spirit in a variety of ways. These may include:

  • Stillness: feeling calm and balanced
  • Stress and anxiety reduction
  • Optimized circulation
  • Improved flexibility 
  • Deep fascial release
  • Greater joint mobility
  • Balance to the internal organs
  • Improved flow of Prana
  • Regulated energy levels
  • Prevention of osteoporosis
  • Better bone health
  • Greater strength
  • Improved overall health
  • Greater stamina for everything
  • Slowed signs of aging
  • Ease and deepening of meditation
  • Deeper relaxation
  • Improved practice of other forms of yoga

You can learn authentic Deep Stretch Yoga under the most qualified and experienced faculty at SAVY Studio.

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Dr Jitender K SahdevDesignations

Dr Jitender K Sahdev

D.Sc. (AM), Ph.D. (AM), M.D. (AM)

E-RAP 2500, E-RYTh 2500, E-RWT 500, RYBT, RWSYT, RWPYT, RWCYT (Worldwide Yoga Alliance, Canada)

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Fc Surgery (SASMS)

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Please contact us to learn more about Yoga and Ayurveda. We would love to hear any suggestions or comments that you might have. Space is limited in courses and participation will be on a first-come-first-served basis. So, respond early to participate in this exciting, life-transforming Yoga experience. 

Note : You should check with your health care professional before starting this or any new exercise program or breathing routine. This is especially important if you have any pre-existing health conditions, such as high blood pressure, migraines or heart or lung ailments. Women who are pregnant or think they might be pregnant should consult their physician before performing any of the breathing or physical exercises.

The information contained in the program is not intended to serve as a replacement for professional medical advice. Any use of the information in these programs/ workshops is at the reader’s discretion, risk and responsibility. The studio, author and the publisher specifically disclaim any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use or application of any information contained herein. A health care professional should be consulted regarding your specific situation.

 

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Jun 092013
 
Jun 062013