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The Benefits You Can Expect From Learning Yoga under Experts

June 19th, 2024 by

Yoga is an ancient practice rooted in Indian philosophy that has gained immense popularity worldwide for its physical, mental, and spiritual benefits. While self-learning through online videos and books is possible, engaging with experienced instructors offers unmatched advantages.

  1. Customized Guidance

Tailored Practice: Expert yoga teachers can customize classes to meet the specific needs and goals of each student. Whether you’re a beginner or advanced practitioner, managing specific health issues, or aiming to enhance flexibility, personalized guidance ensures your practice is safe and effective. You can consult with experts concerning reputable 200-hour yoga TTC India programs.

Adjustments and Modifications: Instructors can provide real-time adjustments and modifications, ensuring you perform poses correctly. This maximizes the benefits of each posture and minimizes the risk of injury. You learn these techniques in the 200-hour yoga TTC India program.

  1. Extensive Learning

Deeper Understanding of Asanas: Learning under experts provides a deeper understanding of yoga postures (asanas). Instructors can explain the physical and physiological aspects, helping you appreciate the nuances and complexities involved.

Integration of Pranayama and Meditation: Experienced teachers emphasize the integration of breath control (pranayama) and meditation in your practice. These components are essential for achieving the holistic benefits of yoga, such as mental clarity, emotional balance, and inner peace.

  1. Safe Practice Environment

Injury Prevention: Practicing yoga without proper guidance can lead to injuries, especially for beginners. Experts ensure that you practice safely by teaching the correct alignment and technique for each posture, thus preventing strain and injury.

Therapeutic Benefits: For those with existing health issues, expert instructors can design therapeutic yoga routines that promote healing and rehabilitation. They are trained to understand contraindications and offer appropriate modifications to support your well-being.

  1. Enhanced Motivation and Discipline

Structured Classes: Expert yoga classes provide a structured environment that maintains discipline and consistency in your practice. Regular attendance in a class setting fosters a sense of accountability and responsibility.

Inspiration and Support: Expert instructors not only teach but also inspire and motivate their students. They create a supportive community that encourages you to push your boundaries and achieve your best.

  1. Holistic Development

Mind-Body Connection: Under expert guidance, yoga practice goes beyond physical exercise. It fosters a profound mind-body connection, promoting mental and emotional well-being alongside physical health.

Spiritual Growth: Many expert instructors incorporate the philosophical and spiritual aspects of yoga into their teaching. This holistic approach nurtures spiritual growth and self-awareness, enriching your overall yoga journey.

  1. Advanced Techniques and Practices

Mastering Advanced Poses: For experienced practitioners, expert instructors offer guidance on mastering advanced poses and techniques. They provide the necessary support and progression to explore more challenging aspects of yoga safely.

Learning Adjustments and Props: Expert instructors are skilled in providing hands-on adjustments and using props. This tactile feedback deepens your practice, refines your alignment, and enhances the effectiveness of each posture.

  1. Building a Yoga Community

Sense of Belonging: Joining expert classes often means becoming part of a yoga community. This sense of belonging fosters camaraderie and support, making your yoga journey more enjoyable and sustainable.

Networking Opportunities: Being part of a yoga community opens up opportunities for networking with like-minded individuals. You can share experiences, learn from others, and even explore collaborations and friendships outside the class.

  1. Continuous Learning and Growth

Access to Advanced Workshops and Retreats: Expert instructors often organize advanced workshops, retreats, and teacher training programs. These opportunities for continuous learning allow you to deepen your practice and expand your knowledge.

Feedback and Evaluation: Regular feedback from experts helps you track your progress and identify areas for improvement. This ongoing evaluation ensures that your practice evolves and grows over time.

By learning yoga under the guidance of experts, you can expect a well-rounded, safe, and deeply enriching practice that supports your overall development and well-being.

Shavasana: The Gateway to Profound Self-Awareness and Integration

May 18th, 2023 by

In the world of yoga, there is one pose that stands out for its transformative power and ability to lead us towards a deep sense of self-awareness and integration. That pose is Shavasana, also known as Corpse Pose. In this article we explore how Shavasana transcends the boundaries of mere relaxation and becomes a gateway to profound self-awareness and integration.

The Art of Letting Go

In Shavasana, we are invited to release all effort and surrender to the present moment. Like a corpse lying in repose, we allow our bodies to fully relax and our minds to quieten. By consciously letting go, we create space for self-awareness to emerge. Shavasana teaches us the basic lesson of yoga, which is less about doing and more about undoing the knots that bind us.

Systematic Relaxation of All Muscle Groups

In the practice of Shavasana, one of the essential elements is the systematic relaxation of all groups of muscles, leading to a profound sense of release and surrender. As we lie in stillness, we embark on a journey of consciously letting go, starting from the toes and gradually moving up to the crown of the head. This systematic approach to relaxation not only calms the physical body but also invites a profound sense of peace and unity between mind and body.

Embracing Stillness and Non-Action

In a world that glorifies busyness and productivity, Shavasana teaches us the value of stillness and non-action. Contrary to the notion of needing to constantly do something, Shavasana guides us towards a state of deep relaxation and rejuvenation through intentional non-doing. In this state of non-action, we unlock the door to self-discovery and integration.

Cultivating Self-Awareness

During Shavasana, as we systematically relax each group of muscles, we begin to move beyond the physical sheath and delve into the subtler layers of our being. By directing our awareness inward, we become attuned to the pranic flow, the sensations arising in the body, and the thoughts and emotions passing through the mind. Through this heightened self-awareness, we start to witness the interconnectedness of the Pancha Kosha (five-layered existence), recognizing that our experiences extend beyond the confines of the physical body.

To conclude, Shavasana, often considered the most neglected asana, holds a unique and pivotal place in our yoga practice. It is the gateway to profound relaxation and self-awareness. While other asanas challenge our bodies and minds, Shavasana invites us to surrender, let go, and experience a state of deep stillness and tranquility. It is in this state of deep relaxation that we draw closer to the essence of meditation itself, where we learn to simply be, just as we are in Shavasana.

Features of Asana

April 30th, 2023 by

Asana is a fundamental aspect of yoga practice, and it is designed to help us develop physical, mental, and spiritual strength and flexibility. The practice of asana involves holding specific postures or poses, with the aim of promoting physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Here are some key features of asana that make it such an important tool for self-improvement:

1. Stable and comfortable

One of the key features of asana is that it encourages us to find a state of stability and comfort within each posture. This is achieved through proper alignment, engagement of the core muscles, and a focus on deep breathing. Stability helps us to maintain the posture for a longer period, allowing us to benefit fully from the practice. By finding a sense of stability and comfort within each posture, we can learn to stay grounded and centered even in challenging situations.

2. Stimulation and Relaxation

Another key feature of asana is that it stimulates and relaxes different parts of the body and mind. Each posture can be thought of as a specific tool for targeting different areas of the body, such as the spine, hips, shoulders, and legs. Asana first help to stimulate all such different parts of our body, by gentle stretch, improving blood circulation or by massaging effect.

At the same time, asana also encourages us to cultivate a state of relaxation and surrender, reducing tension and stress. This is achieved through conscious breathing and withdrawal of stimulation, at the same time maintaining an internal awareness. By learning to let go of tension and resistance, we can create a sense of ease and openness in our bodies and minds.

3. Merging with Infinity

Another key feature of asana is that it encourages us to connect with the infinite nature of the universe. Each posture is designed to help us access a deeper level of consciousness and awareness, where we can experience a sense of merging with the universe. As we practice different postures, we become more aware of our body and breath, and our mind becomes more focused and still. This helps us to connect with our inner self and the universal consciousness, leading to a deeper sense of peace and harmony.

Through this merging with infinity, we can tap into a source of infinite wisdom, love, and compassion. This can help us to overcome feelings of fear, doubt, and anxiety, and to cultivate a sense of peace, joy, and gratitude.

4. Dual Free

Finally, asana is designed to help us break free from the limitations of duality. In yoga philosophy, duality refers to the idea that we see ourselves as separate from the universe and from other people, as well as the concept of opposites, such as hot and cold, light and dark, or good and bad. This sense of separation can lead to feelings of loneliness, fear, and insecurity.

Through the practice of asana, we can learn to see ourselves as interconnected with the universe and with all living beings. This can help us to cultivate a sense of oneness, compassion, and empathy. By breaking free from the limitations of duality, we can create a sense of freedom and liberation in our lives. As we practice asanas, we learn to be in the present moment and accept things as they are, without getting attached to any particular outcome or judgment. This helps us to transcend duality and achieve a state of oneness and unity.

In conclusion, asana is a powerful tool for self-improvement, offering us a wide range of benefits for our physical, mental, and spiritual health. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced practitioner, incorporating asana into your daily routine can help you to find stability, relaxation, connection, and freedom.

Yoga as Alternative Medicine

April 20th, 2023 by

Yoga is an ancient system of healing that has been practiced for thousands of years. It has gained popularity in recent years as a form of alternative medicine due to its ability to promote physical, mental, and emotional health. In this blog post, we will explore some of the core concepts of yoga as an alternative medicine and highlight the importance of calming the mind towards overall wellbeing.

Yoga a Holistic Healing System

Yoga is a holistic system of healing that works on the mind, body, and spirit. It is based on the concept that the human body is a complex system of interconnected parts, and that when one part is out of balance, it affects the entire system. Yoga postures or asanas are designed to bring balance to the body by stretching, strengthening, and relaxing the muscles, while pranayama or breathing exercises help to regulate the flow of energy in the body.

The Importance of Mindfulness

Yoga emphasizes the importance of mindfulness, which is the practice of being fully present and aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and sensations. Mindfulness helps to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and promotes a sense of calm and wellbeing. In yoga, mindfulness is cultivated through the practice of meditation, which involves focusing the mind on a single point of concentration.

The Role of Chitta

Chitta is a Sanskrit term that refers to the mind or consciousness. In yoga, it is believed that the state of the chitta is closely linked to physical and emotional health. According to Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras, the chitta can be disturbed by various mental states such as fear, anger, or desire. By practicing yoga, we can calm the chitta and bring it into a state of balance, which leads to greater wellbeing.

Yoga for Specific Health Conditions

Yoga has been found to be effective in managing a variety of health conditions, including back pain, arthritis, anxiety, and depression. Certain yoga poses and breathing techniques can help to alleviate physical symptoms and improve overall health and wellbeing. Additionally, yoga can be practiced as a complementary therapy alongside traditional medical treatments.

The Benefits of Regular Yoga Practice

Regular yoga practice has numerous benefits for physical, mental, and emotional health. It can improve flexibility, strength, and balance, reduce stress and anxiety, improve sleep quality, and boost overall mood and wellbeing. By cultivating a regular yoga practice, we can create a strong foundation for long-term health and wellbeing.

In conclusion, yoga is an effective form of alternative medicine that promotes holistic health and wellbeing. By focusing on the mind-body connection and cultivating mindfulness and calmness, we can improve our physical, mental, and emotional health. Whether practiced as a complementary therapy or as a standalone practice, yoga offers a powerful tool for promoting long-term health and wellbeing.

Stress – Good or Bad?

March 16th, 2023 by

Stress is a natural reaction that our bodies have to help us survive in threatening situations. The fight-or-flight response is a survival mechanism that has been with us for thousands of years, and it’s still a useful way of managing stressful situations. But when stress becomes chronic—when it happens too often or goes on for too long—it can be harmful. Chronic stress can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, depression, weight gain and other health issues.

What is Stress?

Stress is a physical response pattern to a demanding situation. The human body is designed to react to stress. When we feel threatened, our bodies go into a “fight or flight” response designed to help us survive. The human body is equipped with a powerful defense mechanism known as the stress response. It’s a complex process that involves multiple systems in the body, including the nervous, endocrine, and immune systems.

Stressors are events or circumstances that challenge our well-being and require adaptation by the body. These can be positive (e.g., childbirth) or negative (e.g., physical assault). In either case, stressors trigger specific responses designed to protect us from harm.

Stress physiology consists of two main branches: the sympathetic nervous system (SNS), which prepares the body to cope with difficult situations, and the parasympathetic nervous system (PNS), which restores balance after stressful events have passed.

Necessary for Survival

Stress is an evolutionary reaction for survival. It is not always bad, but it can be harmful when it becomes chronic.

When we’re stressed, our bodies react by releasing hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. These help us cope with the situation at hand by increasing heart rate, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. They also cause us to become more alert and focused on the problem at hand so we can solve it quickly.

This response is useful in short bursts—for example, if you’re facing a tiger in the wild—but it can be harmful if it continues over time. The body’s stress response was designed for short periods of stress, not long periods of chronic stress (like living in poverty). When long-term chronic stress goes unchecked, our bodies start to break down from the strain: Our immune systems weaken; our brains shrink; even our bones get weaker because they don’t have enough time to rebuild themselves after each workout session (which happens when we’re stressed out).

Distress

Distress is a term that describes the negative emotions and feelings that arise when a person is exposed to prolonged stress. It is characterized by feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, and other negative emotions that can impact a person’s mental health. Distress can also affect a person’s physical well-being, manifesting in symptoms such as headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, and gastrointestinal problems.

The impact of distress on health is significant, with numerous studies linking chronic stress to a variety of health issues, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, gastrointestinal problems, and immune disorders. In addition to physical health problems, distress also has implications for mental health. Individuals experiencing chronic stress are at an increased risk of developing mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.  It is also associated with decreased cognitive function, memory problems, and difficulties in decision-making abilities

Eustress

Eustress, or positive stress, can be a great way to improve performance.

When we are under eustress, we are motivated and focused on what we are doing. We are more likely to be creative and innovative, which means that we can do things that our competitors aren’t able to do. And when we are under eustress, we’re less likely to make mistakes or overlook important details. We can experience eustress any time we’re doing something that makes us feel excited, happy, or engaged. You may be familiar with eustress as the feeling you get when you’re about to go on vacation or meet your favorite celebrity.

However, when our stress levels are too high, i.e. when they are in the realm of distress—we start making irrational decisions and forgetting things that are important. This can lead us down a path where nothing seems to go right for us anymore.

But if you practice yoga regularly, you’ll find that you naturally keep your moods in balance and stay motivated and mentally balanced throughout the day. Yoga helps us stay at the level of eustress all day long!

Conclusion

Yoga is an effective tool for stress relief, providing several benefits beyond just relaxation. Studies have shown that practicing yoga reduces stress and anxiety levels, lowers cortisol levels, and improves mental and physical health. Mindfulness, a critical component of yoga, enhances these effects and has positive outcomes for stress management and mental health. Yoga can be adapted to an individual’s needs and preferences and is a tool that can be easily integrated into daily life to promote overall wellbeing.

Harnessing the Power of Hatha Yoga

February 28th, 2023 by

Hatha yoga is a practice that helps to unlock the power of your solar and lunar energies within. By balancing the opposite energies, you can open yourself up to a science of purification and energy channelization. This practice is believed to be able to transmute cells from gross to subtle and accelerate evolution by compressing life into few minutes of bodily existence. This blog post will break down what hatha yoga is, how it works, and why it is such an effective system for unlocking your body’s power.

What Is Hatha Yoga?

Hatha yoga is an ancient system of physical movement that originated in India hundreds of years ago. It was designed as a way to balance physical, mental, and spiritual energies within the body through conscious breathing patterns, posture work, meditation, and relaxation techniques. It has been used for centuries by yogis (practitioners) as a way to achieve higher levels of consciousness and self-realization.

Hatha yoga helps us to tap into our inner solar and lunar energies, which are said to be opposite forces. The idea is that when we bring these forces together, we can create perfect harmony between mind, body and spirit – a state known as “samadhi”. At its core, hatha yoga seeks to make changes at the cellular level by transmuting cells from gross matter into subtle matter. This shift helps us gain access to our inner wisdom which can lead us towards higher consciousness and spiritual enlightenment. By compressing lifetimes worth of knowledge into a few minutes of bodily existence, we can rapidly accelerate our own evolution.

How Does Hatha Yoga Work?

Hatha yoga works by activating the body’s subtle energies (prana) which are believed to be responsible for our overall health and wellbeing. Through conscious breathing patterns (pranayama), postures (asanas), meditation, and relaxation techniques (shavasana), we can tap into these hidden powers within us. By using these tools in combination with each other, hatha yoga can help us access our own inner wisdom and intuition while providing us with tools to manage modern day stress more effectively. In addition to this, hatha yoga also helps strengthen muscles throughout the entire body while improving overall flexibility.

Transforming Our Bodies Through Hatha Yoga

The chief benefit associated with the practice of Hatha yoga is its capacity for transforming our bodies from gross matter into subtle matter. As we practice asanas and pranayama regularly, we begin to notice changes in our physical form as well as mental clarity and emotional stability. We also become more aware of how certain postures affect us differently than others – some may make us feel energized while others may make us feel relaxed. By becoming familiar with these sensations, we can learn how best to tailor each session according to our needs at any given time.

Why Is Hatha Yoga So Effective?

Hatha yoga has been proven time and time again to have numerous benefits for practitioners both physically and mentally. Physically speaking, it increases circulation throughout the whole body while stimulating organs like the heart, lungs, digestive system, etc., leading to improved overall health. Mentally speaking, it helps improve focus and concentration while reducing stress levels through its calming effects on both mind and body. In addition, research has also shown that practicing this form of yoga can have an impact on brain plasticity – meaning it can help improve cognitive functioning such as memory recall and emotion regulation over time. Improved brain plasticity also help reduce symptoms associated with neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s or dementia in elderly individuals or those suffering from traumatic brain injury or stroke recovery.

Conclusion:

Hatha yoga is an incredibly powerful practice that can lead us down a path towards accelerated evolution. By creating balance between solar and lunar energies within us, we are able to purify and channel energy which leads to higher levels of consciousness. Through this practice, we are also able take advantage of brain plasticity by creating new neural pathways or strengthening existing ones in order to gain greater insight into ourselves and achieve spiritual enlightenment faster than ever before! If you’re looking for a way to increase your personal growth rate exponentially, look no further—hatha yoga could be exactly what you need!

How to Avoid Stress Leading to Distress

February 22nd, 2023 by

Yoga is a great way to help avoid stress snowballing into distress. This ancient practice of calming the mind and body can be used as a preventative measure for burnout and stressful situations, or it can be used to manage existing levels of distress. Practicing yoga regularly has been proven to reduce cortisol levels, improve sleep quality, and enhance psychological well-being.

Stress Hormones

Yoga has been proven to be an effective way to avoid stress and burnout. Practicing yoga helps to reduce stress hormones such as cortisol, while also stimulating the production of endorphins which are known to promote feelings of wellbeing. Yoga can help you to develop better coping skills and become more resilient in the face of difficult situations. When practiced regularly, it helps to foster a deeper sense of self-awareness which can lead to more effective responses when faced with stressful circumstances.

It is important to remember that yoga is not a magic bullet; it takes time for the body and mind to adjust and adapt to its calming effects. But if practiced regularly and consistently, it can be an incredibly powerful tool for helping managers and working professionals manage stress levels.

From Where to Start

A good place to start is by creating a consistent practice that works for you. Identify what type of yoga best matches your needs, be it restorative or fast-paced vinyasa flow, or a moderated traditional hatha yoga and choose a style that resonates most with you. Incorporating breathing exercises into your routine can be helpful as they promote relaxation while also helping you stay present in the moment. Additionally, practicing mindfulness meditation or guided meditations before beginning your physical practice can provide focus and help clear the mind of any negative or intrusive thoughts that may arise during your practice.

Emotional Resilience

Moreover, another benefit of regular yoga practice is that it helps build emotional resilience. Research suggests that practicing yoga increases one’s capacity to cope with difficult emotions, enabling them to process their emotions in a healthy way rather than letting them spiral out of control. Additionally, research shows that regularly practicing yogic exercises such as deep breathing can help induce relaxation and mindfulness which helps indicate when a person might need to take a break from everyday stressful activities before it escalates into distressful situation.

Ultimately, yoga can help prevent stress from converting into distress if done consistently over time. It’s important not just on those days when life isn’t too overwhelming but also when everything seems calm; regular practice will aid in strengthening mental resilience so that even on those tough days there is an underlying foundation of calm regardless of external events taking place around us.

Benefits of Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutation)

September 8th, 2022 by

Surya means sun and namaskara means salutations. Surya namaskara is a series of twelve physical postures which is practiced as an offering to sun, which symbolizes spiritual consciousness. The twelve postures are woven in a manner which gives complete movement to spinal column and other joints and limbs of body. All postures are practiced with breath rhythm which makes practice more complete and profound.

What is Surya Namaskara

Surya Namaskara or Sun Salutation has a special place in all yogic traditions. This is because yoga understands life processes as an intimate interconnection with the cosmos. The sun that we see in the distant sky is not a separate entity but forms a cohesive unit of total life that flourish on Earth. Without sun life will be impossible on Earth. This mutual dependence of life was clearly understood by the ancient yogis who developed this powerful system of Surya Namaskara.

There is ample evidence about the periodic changes on the surface of sun and its correlation with terrestrial phenomena. With this integrated practice of Surya Namaskara we become aware of the effects of the sun on our lives and can attune ourselves with the cosmic nature and revitalize our lives.

Surya Namaskara is a series of 12 physical postures which combines the effects of Yogasana and Pranayama. Surya Namaskara is practiced at sunrise facing the sun. It can also be practiced during sunset. Surya Namaskara flexes and stretches the spinal column and limbs through their maximum range. The series of asanas in Surya Namakara gives such a profound stretch to the whole of body that it becomes a complete form of exercise. In yoga the sun is represented by pingala or surya nadi, the pranic channel which carries the vital, life-giving force. Hence Surya namaskar is an excellent practice of activating prana (life force) in our system.

Surya Namaskara warms-up our body and brings about the general flexibility in the body preparing it for Asana and Pranayama. It helps to revitalize and refresh our body and mind at the dawn so that we can productively utilized the day till dusk. It can be practiced in three different phases. Each phase has its own distinct benefits.

1.      Slow pace helps to make body flexible

2.      Medium pace helps to tone the muscles

3.      Fast pace is excellent cardiovascular workout and also helps in weight loss

Traditional Hatha Yoga Surya namaskara sequence:

  1. Pranamasana
  2. Hasta Uttanasana
  3. Padahastasana
  4. Ashwa Sanchalanasana
  5. Parvatasana
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara
  7. Bhaujangasana
  8. Parvatasana
  9. Ashwa Sanchalanasana
  10. Padhastasana
  11. Hasta Uttanasana
  12. Pranamasana
Twelve steps of Surya namaskara

Some of the benefits of Surya Namaskara are:

1.      Improves blood circulation of the body

2.      Promotes regular menstrual cycle

3.      It has anti-anxiety and calming properties

4.      Massages all the internal organs

5.      Balances the autonomic nervous system

6.      Generates abundant energy and enthusiasm

Chakras – The Psychic Centers of our Personality

September 5th, 2022 by

The seven Chakras are also known as the psychic centers of our personality. According to Rishis (sage) they are situated in our subtle body. Although there is not a scientific explanation yet regarding these psychic centers, the Rishis had experienced them while they had been in deep meditative states. There are myriads of chakras in every person, but as mentioned by the Tantrik texts of Hatha Yoga, there are around thirty-two chakras out of which seven are the most important. These seven main psychic centers of our personality will be analyzed in this blog.

Defining the Chakras

The information that we have regarding the psychic centers of our personality are mostly from the Tantra Yoga, Kundalini Yoga and Hatha Yoga. Literally the Sanskrit word chakra means wheel or circle, but as explained by the Rishis it means whirlpool.

Chakras are considered as spinning disks of energy in our subtle body. They sent vibrations at specific areas in the subtle body and they control the flow and the direction of prana within it (for prana click here: the-energy-that-gives-material-form-to-everything/ ). Although the psychic centers of our personality are located in our subtle body, yogis had realized that the chakras are very much related to our anatomical regions and our physiological functions as well, especially to our endocrine glands. Hence, they affect our physical and emotional well being.

Chakras had been experienced by the yogis in the form of lotus (padma). Lotus is a beautiful flower with very deep meaning, it is a concept and it has become an archetype. The lotus flower has to pass through three stages until it blooms: mud, water, blooming. These stages are related to a person’s spiritual path. For instance in the spiritual path a person has to pass through three phases: ignorance (darkness, mud), aspiration and endeavor (endeavor of lotus to pass through water to surface), illumination (blooming). Additionaly the lotus flower is regarded as a symbol of detachment because although lotus needs water to survive it is detached by it because its leaves are waterproofed.

The ‘anatomy’ of the psychic centers

The yogis under deep meditative states have experienced that the seven chakras are located along the merudanda, which in the physical level is our spinal column. Each of the psychic centers corresponds to a network of very subtle nadis. Nadi means flow, thus nadis are pranic channels for the flow of prana. In our physical body these nadis can be related to the arteries or nerves. According to Tantra Yoga there are approximately 72,000 nadis in our body out of which three are the most important. That is Ida nadi, Pigala nadi and Sushumna nadi, which circulate the mental, vital and spiritual energies respectively within our subtle body. The principal nadi is the Sushumna Nadi, which is considered to be inside our merudanda. As per the Rishis, in the physical body Sushumna nadi extends from the region of our genitals to the crown of the head. Ida and Pigala nadis – which are also in the merudanda– lie respectively on left and right side of the Sushumna base, that is at our genitals. They ascend together in a coiled manner around the Sushumna nadi by creating ‘meeting’ junctions in certain points of the Sushumna. Each ‘meeting’ junction created on the Sushumna nadi by Ida and Pingala originates one of the seven main Chakras that will be analyzed here.

It is important to understand that the above correlations of nadis in our physical body are not tangible, they are just a projection on it. For instance we cannot feel the nadis by putting our fingers on our spine, neither they can be seen through an X-ray nor through a body operation nor with any other medical approach because they are in our subtle body, which can only be experienced. As you know the subject of modern anatomical science is the physical body rather than the subtle body. Subtle body is still controversial subject in most of the modern medicine fields. Hence, these correlations are meant only to help the modern mind to understand the concept of nadis and the psychic centers.

The theory around the chakras – the psychic centers

According to the Rishis there are many chakras in our subtle body out of which seven are the most important and which in our physical body reflected in our spine. Each one of the seven chakras is pictured in the form of lotus having a certain number of petals and a characteristic color. Each chakra is reflected in a specific part on the spine, it is related with a certain gland, it is associated with one of the five elements of nature, a particular sense – organ, an organ of action, a vayu, a seed-syllable, a male deity and his consort and a representative animal. When one chakra does not function properly, there is imbalance of the flow of energy in our subtle body, which is manifested in the form of disease in the physical body. It is considered that there are certain diseases that are caused by a certain chakra which is not in balance. Equilibrium of chakras functions means health and to maintain this health in the physical level there are specific groups of asanas for chakra balancing. These theories are part of the evolution of chakra theory and not the base. These theories have emerged because the psychic centers have stimulated enormously the interest of many other traditions around the world which have tried to analyze them. Thus, although the source of the chakras are the Kundalini Yoga, Tantra Yoga and Hatha Yoga, the latest information that we have regarding the psychoanalysis, the diseases and the group of asana related to the chakras is a mixture of Indian tradition, western approach and Chinese medicine.

The features of each Chakra

  1. Mooladhara – Root Chakra

Mool = Root, adhara = Base

Number of Petals4
ColorRed
Anatomical PartCoccyx
GlandGonads
ElementEarth
VayuApana
SenseSmell
Action OrganExcretory
SyllableLam
DeityGanesha/Dakini
AnimalElephant
DiseaseBones, Constipation, diarrhea
Group of AsanaStanding, Balancing
Feelings/instinctsDesire, Survival, Confidence, fear, guilt

2. Swadhisthana Chakra

Swa = self, Adhisthana = establish

Number of Petals6
ColorOrange
Anatomical PartPubic Bone
GlandGonads/ adrenal
ElementWater
VayuVyana
SenseTaste
Action OrganReproductive System
SyllableVam
DeityVishnu/Rakini
AnimalCrocodile
DiseaseReproductive Disorders, urinary disorders, kidneys
Group of AsanaHip Opening
Feelings/ instinctsSexual indulgent, addictions, attachment, love & hate, greed

3. Manipura Chakra – Solar Plexus

Mani = gems Pura = city

Number of Petals10
ColorYellow
Anatomical PartAbove navel
GlandPancreas
ElementFire
VayuSamana
SenseSight
Action OrganEyes, feet
SyllableRam
DeityRudra/Lakini
AnimalRam
DiseaseLiver, Stomach, spleen, digestive disorders
Group of AsanaCore strengthening, twistings
Feelings/ instinctsEgo, anger, career, social relations

4. Anahata – Heart Chakra

Anahata = Invulnerable

Number of Petals12
ColorGreen
Anatomical PartHeart
GlandThymus
ElementAir
Prana VayuPrana
SenseTouch
Action OrganArms
SyllableYam
DeityIsha, Kakini
AnimalAntelope
DiseaseRespiratory disorders, heart & lungs diseases, autoimmune diseases
Group of AsanaBack bendings

5. Vishudha Chakra – Throat Chakra

Vishudha = purification or pure

Number of Petals16
ColorBlue
Anatomical PartThroat
GlandThyroid
ElementEather
VayuUdana
SenseHearing
Action OrganEars, vocal cords
SyllableHam
DeitySadashiva, Sakini
AnimalSnow White Elephant
DiseaseThyroid Disorders, ear disorders
Group of AsanaSarvangasana, Halasana, Matsyasana, Ushtrasana, Setu baddhasana
Feelings/ instinctsFaith, joyousness, sorrow, detachment, enthusiasm, respectability

6. Ajna Chakra – Third Eye (The eye of intuition)

Ajna = to know or to obey

The ‘meeting’ pointof the three main nadis where they merge into one stream of consciousness up to Sahashrara.

Number of Petals2
ColorIndigo
Anatomical PartBetween eyebrows
GlandPituitary
ElementNo element
VayuNo vayu
Sense6th
Action OrganNd
SyllableOm
DeityParamshiva, Hakini
Animal 
DiseaseMental
Group of AsanaTrataka, meditation, Shambavi mudra, kaki mudra, jala neti, sutra neti
Feelings/instinctsHigher states of awareness, clairvoyance, strong will power

7. Sahashrara – Crown Chakra

Sahasrara = One Thousand

The union of Shiva & Shakti

Number of Petals1000
ColorGolden

The above information of the chakras’ features come mostly from the Tantric and Hatha Yogic books. In our attempt to study the chakras deeply from different sources we might find some slight differences. This is because there are many interpretations of the chakra analysis by different traditions which give their own point of view.

Once again, it should be remembered that the description of chakras is directly derived from visualizations, and not from imaginative reflection, which means that the concept of chakras is essentially esoteric. Therefore, attempts at discovering the physiological correlates are bound to be misleading.

Breath – Bridging the Gap

August 25th, 2022 by

Breathis a vital tool given by the nature to turn introspective. Since ancient times sages have used breath to understand the nature of their mind and access its deep layers which usually remain hidden. If we can observe our breath keenly we begin to understand the deep relationship between the flow of breath and quality of mind. Respiration is that medium, if utilised properly, one can have the complete knowledge of body, mind and of the mental impurities hidden deep inside us. With the help of simple breathing practices we can easily clear our mind and understand it nature and improve level of well-being.

Breath – The Bridge

Our pattern of respiration can tell a lot about the way we feel in our body and mind. Irregular breathing pattern and haphazardness leads to pranic imbalance, leading to sickness in body and mind.  Correction of breathing patterns is one the most effective way by which imbalances of body and mind can be restored back to normalcy. Good breathing habits also lead to systematic development of body and psyche.

Respiration acts like a bridge between the conscious and the sub-conscious mind, between voluntary and involuntary processes of the body or in general body and mind. Respiratory system is both voluntary and involuntary in nature and hence it becomes a useful tool to even correct involuntary functions.

Let us learn and practice some simple breathing practices which normalises the breathing rate, make it uniform and rhythmic and uniting the body and mind. The practice is known as sectional breathing, which is divided into three sections. It also serves as a preparatory practice for Pranayama. It corrects the wrong breathing pattern and increases the vital capacity of lings.

  1. Abdominal Breathing or Diaphragmatic Breathing

Position: Padmasana, Ardha-padmasana, Sukhasana

Practice                                   

  • Sit in any comfortable position as mentioned above with hands resting on knees.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply while bringing the abdomen out.
  • Exhale slowly and draw the abdomen in.
  • Repeat five cycles coordinating the breath with the abdominal movement.
  • Make sure entire process is slow, continuous and relaxing.
  • In abdominal we utilise the lower lobes of the lungs.

2. Thoracic Breathing or Intercostal Breathing

Position: Padmasana, Ardha-padmasana, Sukhasana

Practice

  • Sit in any comfortable position as mentioned above with hands resting on knees.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply while bringing the chest forward and upward.
  • Exhale slowly and relax the chest.
  • Repeat five cycles coordinating the breath with the chest movement.
  • Make sure entire process is slow, continuous and relaxing.
  • Avoid any movement of abdomen.
  • In thoracic breathing we utilise the middle lobes of lungs.

3. Clavicular Breathing

Position: Padmasana, Ardha-padmasana, Sukhasana

Practice

  • Sit in any comfortable position as mentioned above with hands resting on knees.
  • Inhale slowly and deeply while lifting the clavicle bone and shoulder upwards.
  • Exhale slowly and drop the shoulders down.
  • Repeat five cycles coordinating the breath with the shoulder movement.
  • Make sure entire process is slow, continuous and relaxing.
  • Avoid any movement of abdomen and chest.
  • In clavicular breathing we utilise the top lobes of lungs.

With the help of these breathing practices we become aware of our breath and also the three components of respiration. When our respiration is correct, slow, deep and rhythmic, the dynamics of mind is also corrected. The mind becomes calm, focused and relaxed.