Asanas

Pranayama: Easy Way To Keep Your Lungs Healthy

Pranayama is a major type of yoga gaining a following as it may strengthen the respiratory system. Pranayama is the fourth constitute of yoga in Ashtanga yoga. It is best to practice only after perfecting Asana. The flow of breath is unrestrained and irregular in general. It is refining the mind to control the inflow, outflow, and retention of the breath in regular, rhythmic patterns.

Pranayama is the regulation and coordination of breathing in and breathing out with retention. It is mainly to control breath and to strengthen the connection between body and mind.

The Meaning of Pranayama
Pranayama consists of two words: “prana” and “ayama”. Prana is the energy that vibrates in the body as well as in the universe as heat, light, gravity, power, vitality, life, and spirit are some forms of energy. In yoga, pranayama is drawn in energy so that it maintains and boost up the entire human system, comprising respiratory, circulatory, nervous, excretory, digestive, and reproductive system to work efficiently and in a fixed harmony.

In pranayama inhalation, nasal filters cleaned the breath we take in, and in exhalation, sufficient time is given to the system to absorb and draw in energy so that it may mingle with blood. This leads to proper purification and nutrition of blood.
properties and hormones. This energy gained from absorption and reabsorption of breath provides one with a perfectly healthy body, clarity of mind, and equipoise of spirit.

Types of Pranayama

    • Regulated inhalation, exhalation, and retention are the first three components of pranayama, and all three are performed, prolonged, and refined as per the capacity of the aspirant.
    • Retention is also of two types; these are the interruption of the breath flow following either in or out-breath. And this movement of breath and the pause between breath is regulated and stay held according to the capacity of the lungs of an individual, duration, measured regulation of the breath, and degree of refinement and subtlety of the practitioner.
    • Practicing in harmony, with rhythmic regulation leads to Mastery.
    • The fourth type goes beyond the regulation and modulation of breath flow and retention, transcending the methodology of the previous method. when the movement of earth functions without one’s volitation or effort then it is to consider that the fourth stage has been reached.
    • At this phase movement of consciousness and mind is cease.
      Measures of Pranayama
      In the context of duration:
    • Breath in equal to 12 blinks of the eye.
    • Breath out equal to 24 blinks of the eye.
    • Retention is equal to 48 blinks of the eye
    • Based on count:
    • Breathe in until the count of 12.
    • Breathe out until the count of 24.
    • Retention until the count of 48.
    • Based on the site of concentration of mind:
    • Breath in inspiration until Moola Dhara Chakra.
    • Breath out until the measure of 12 figures from the nostril.
    • Retention until you’ve stabilized the seer power or Prana in Manipura Chakra (near the heart).
    • Benefits of Pranayama
    • Improve respiratory health and overall nutrition level of body constituents.
    • Increase concentration and memory power of an individual.
    • Helps to improve hypertension by normalizing heart rate and high blood pressure.
    • Improves digestive system function- Performed with belly breathing so it activates the diaphragm (the dome-shaped muscle under the lungs) and it causes the diaphragm to rise and fall and this movement creates a gentle massage for the stomach located below to it.

 Pranayama Susruta Ayurveda

  • Improve immune system as the coordinated movement of oxygenated air in the mucosal lining of respiratory and diaphragmatic movement leads to the stimulation of movement of lymph which forms our major part of our immune system.
  • It creates ease and desires healthy eating habits thus leading to weight maintenance or
  • weight loss.

Role of Yoga in Covid Prevention

    • Strengthens the respiratory system by improving lung health and capacity as it has the nature of exercise to that taking part in it so it is beneficial in asthma and COPD (chronic destructive pulmonary disease) patients. Increases GABA which reduces anxious nature and tends to relax the body and mind.
    • Reduces chronic stress, mood imbalances, and symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression.
    • Can help improve sleep quality and reduce insomnia.
    • Pranayama is an excellent addition to a sleep meditation practice

Best Way To Increase Brain Concentration by Trataka

Trataka

Trataka is one of the Shatkarma. Shatkarma is the six purificatory processes that purify the body and mind from all the accumulated waste and morbid matters that we have collected in our bodies by not following the rules of diet and lifestyle. These accumulated matters are the primary cause of disease in the body and removing these will purify the body and bring health. Trataka is performed for strengthening the eyes and brain, clearing the mind, and increasing its Satwa guna.

“Without blinking, one should steadily gaze at the smallest object, while sitting comfortably until tears roll down the eyes. This is called Trataka.” (Gherand Samhita 1:53)

Mainly it is of two types: Bahya and Antarika. There is a third type called Adho trataka but it is just a passing phase between the two. A sadhak should first master Bahya Trataka, then Adho-Trataka followed by Antrika Trataka to reach the state of Dharna (6th Phase of Ashtanga Yoga/ Raja Yoga).

Studies have shown that doing regular Trataka, increases alpha waves in the brain and enhances parasympathetic activity leading to a feeling of a calm and relaxed mind. It reduced tensions, anxiety, and other psychological issues.

However, some precautions must always be followed.

Types:

  1. When the gaze is focused on an object like a ghee lamp, dot, sun, moon, star, idol, or any symbol, it is known as Bahya Trataka.
  2. When the eyes are closed and the focus is on the mental image of any object or symbol on nothingness, it is known as Antrika Trataka.
  3. And when the eyes are half-open and half-closed and the focus is on the nose-tip on the area between both eyebrows, it is known as Adho-Trartaka or Madhya Trataka.

Technique:

  1. Sit comfortably in sukhasana, Ardhadha-padmasana, padmasana, or any other meditative posture, straight back and neck.
  2. A ghee lamp is placed at a one-meter distance at eye level.
  3. Take a few deep breaths.
  4. With a relaxed mind, gaze at the flame, without blinking, till tears roll down.
  5. Gently close your eyes.
  6. Try to retain and focus on the mental image of the flame for as long as you can.
  7. Repeat three times.
  8. At the end of the third cycle, keep your eyes closed and meditate on the spot in the center of both eyebrows for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Rub both your palms together.
  10. Keep the rubbed palms on your eyes.
  11. Slowly open your eyes.

Benefits:

  1. Hatha yoga mentions that by performing trataka regularly eye disorders are cured and lethargy is overcome.
  2. It leads to the state of Dharna.
  3. In Gherand Samhita, it is indicated that the trataka is closely concerned with the training of the nervous system in a particular direction.
  4. Mental tensions are also reduced after the practice of it and one feels calm and quiet.
  5. Sleep pattern is improved.

Physiological Effect:

Parasympathetic predominance is established by lowered heart rate and respiration rate along with an increase in the amplitude of vasodilation.

A well-modulated train of alpha frequency is produced which indicates relaxation and emotional stability.

The suppressed desires are eliminated from the subconscious and purify the mind.

It creates psycho-physiological relaxation and a feeling of calmness and lightness.

Neurotic tendencies such as anger, short temper, suspicion irritation, resentment, and anxiety are reduced after trataka practice.

Precautions and Contraindications:

  1. Avoid candles or other lamps.
  2. Use cow’s ghee in the ghee lamp.
  3. Hypertensive patients should perform Shavasana before the practice of trataka.
  4. People with too much emotional or mental disturbance should not practice without practicing preliminary asana and Kriya.
  5. Never rub your eyes after trataka.
  6. Do not repeat it more than three times in one sitting.
  7. Do not try to read or watch TV immediately after trataka.

By: Dr. Shikha

BAMS, PGDYN

Role_of_Yoga_in_Covid_Prevention-scaled

Best way to get Respiratory health by Yoga and Ayurveda

Yoga is defined as a state where the fluctuations of the mind get seized. It is the art of understanding the behavior of consciousness which has majorly three assigned works, perception, volition, and motion. Yoga is a path to understanding the functioning of the mind and helps to free the mind and its movements which leads the mind toward an undisturbed state of silence.

Thus, it’s a path through which mental discipline is achieved and the mind becomes refined, cultured, and matured. This is the long-term or lifelong outcome of yoga. But as a need in the current scenario when the world is stricken with a pandemic of COVID 19 it can act as a major shield if brought inhabit in day to day life for somehow longer time.

Consequences of COVID-19

  • Lockdown all over
  • The stigma of corona in public
  • Those who got positive without any symptoms and got advised for compulsory quarantine.
  • Positive individuals with mild symptoms who have face quarantine and regular surveillance
  • Moderate-to-severe symptomatic are treated in a hospital where an individual has to face varying degrees of social isolation.
  • Symptomatic patients are reported to experience the symptoms of respiratory distress and if the condition worsens, to develop respiratory distress
  • If got admitted in ICU has to face complete isolation with almost no movement at all.

All these conditions create an unusual situation that could seem threatening and even more rising due to factors like healthcare providers in PPE or medical suits, the stress associated with the sounds of the intensive care unit, knowledge of fatal outcomes, and social isolation as an additional factor. This fear, nervousness, sadness, sleep disorders, and anxiety are also reported.

Yoga as medicine to avoid consequences

The Indian Govt and various other yoga organizations worldwide give prime importance to yoga and yoga-based lifestyle which aim to help individuals to maintain their health and to remain fit mentally, physically, and spiritually. Some of the concluding facts which can be taken by an individual to create a shield for self and to remain healthy to remain safe is given below –

  • yoga may be a potential psycho-social measure to reduce anxiety and insomnia
  • Improve immune responses in COVID-19 cases
  • yoga practice helps correct sleep disorders and relaxes the mind which in return points to the relationship between a calm mind and better cellular immunity.
  • Deep relaxation releases all tensions and stresses to prevent immune suppression otherwise weak responses will cause more damage.
  • It set homeostasis which improves interaction among the nervous, endocrine, and immune system
  • Postural correction, breath regulation
  • Increase lung capacity which will help to cope with respiratory distress
  • Improved level of infection control.
  • Effective management of stress and psychological health among
  • Provide protection to co-morbid individuals with Diabetes by reducing the influence of systemic hyperglycaemic and inflammatory milieu.
  • Similarly, in yoga and meditation, when an individual practice slow deep breathing, this decreases sympathetic nervous system activity and increase baroreflex sensitivity by reducing their blood pressure hypertension which makes them less vulnerable to covid
  • pranayama provides strength to cardiorespiratory coupling and increases parasympathetic activity in healthy individuals.
  • Kapalabhati improves the toning of the diaphragm and abdominal muscles which helps in the removal of secretions from respiratory passages and the alveoli, which increases oxygen intake capacity and availability.

Protocol to be followed

1. Start the day with an early wakeup (before sunrise)

2. A Starting Prayer of 30 seconds to relax the mind and body

3. Neck bending and movement of the shoulder for 2-3 minute

4.Āsanas which can be performed in standing upright posture

  • Tadāsana (The Palm tree posture) for 3-5 minute
  • ArdhaChakrāsana (The Half wheel posture) – for 3-5 minute
  • PadaHatasana(The Hands to the feet posture)/ArdhaChakrāsana (The Half wheel posture) for 2 minutes
  • Trikonāsana for 2-3 minute

5. Āsana performed in sitting posture

  • Bhadrāsana (The Firm/Auspicious posture) for 2-3 minutes
  • ArdhaUshtrāsana (The Half camel posture) for 3-5 minutes
  • VajrāsanaThe Thunderbolt/diamond posture) for 3-5 minute
  • ArdhaUshtrāsana (The Half camel posture) for 3-5 minutes
  • Ushtrāsana (The Camel posture) for 3-5 minutes
  • Vakrāsana (The Seated twist posture) 3-5 minutes
  • UtthanaMandukāsana (The Stretched up-frog posture) for 3-5 minutes
  • Sasakāsana (The Hare posture) for 3-5 minute

6. Āsana performed while lying on the stomach

  • Bhujangāsana (The Cobra posture) for 2-3 minute,
  • Makarāsana (The Crocodile posture) for 2-3 minute,
  • Shalabhāsana (The Locust posture) for 2-3 minute,

7. Āsana performed while lying on the back

  • Pawana Muktāsana (The Wind releasing posture) 2-3 minute
  • Setubandhāsana (The Bridge posture) for 2-3 minutes,
  • Utthanapadāsana (The Raised leg posture) for 2-3 minutes,
  • ArdhaHalāsana (The Half plow posture) for 2-3 minutes,
  • Shavāsana (The Corpse posture) for 2-3 minutes,

8. Kaphalabhati (The Shining skull practice) 1 round for 1 -2 minutes with a repetition of 30 cycles

9. Pranayama

  • AnulomaViloma (The Alternate nostril breathing)-2 rounds with 15 cycles from each
  • Bhramari (The Bee sound breathing) -3 rounds for 1.5 minutes each

10. Dhyāna (The Meditation) – 3–5-minute 1 minute

12. Sankalpa/ Shanti path 30 seconds

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Decision of Yoga

Out of the above list of yoga, an individual can select his or her choice of comfort and capacity and can set an average time of 15,30 or 45 minutes. It is found that to get the best effect one should follow this schedule for 90 days which can boost up health status if one is already healthy and can improve the condition much better if the illness is there.

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Asanas

Important Things to Keep in mind before you Practice Asanas

Asanas

Asanas can be performed by anybody but care should be taken during practice as it is a disciplined synchronization of body, mind, and soul. If not practiced, an individual may undergo some illness as rightly said by some experts, Yogi will become Rogi(diseased). The following points should be kept in mind before the initiation of practice

Asanas: Place and time of Practice

  • Brahmamhururat (approx. two hours before sunrise) is considered the best time to practice yogic practice as during this time atmosphere is pure with the maximum level of oxygen concentration in the air and there will be peace all around. Asanas are defined as a combination of a disciplined mind, body, and spiritual involvement that fits in this time perfectly. Before sunrise stomach and intestines also are in the resting phase without any major activities. Apart from this Asanas can be performed at any time but should be avoided after exhaustion from work and also just after a meal. Just after a meal blood supply is diverted to the abdominal region especially so if Asanas are practiced at that time there will be no benefit it and secondly, it will cause indigestion. The evening can be another suitable time around; two hours of sunset can be a second good time after Sunrise.
  • Asanas should be practiced in a very well-ventilated, peaceful room that is free from safety issues like furniture or some metallic object that can lead to an injury if falls from an Asana like Shirshasan. Air from the fan should also be avoided if there is enough air naturally and should always be preferred over fan-generated air. It can be performed outdoors also in hygienic, pleasant, fresh, and pure air and greenery all around like a garden.

AsanasAge and Gender

There is no restriction of age or gender, these can be practiced by males or females of any age. The type of Asanas can be chosen for them according to their capacity.

Pregnancy

It is good to practice in the first trimester of pregnancy as it increases abdominal muscle strength and provides mood stabilization. After 1st trimester Asanas can be performed only after the consultancy of a doctor or Yoga expert. During practicing sessions abdominal pressure is raised so some time may cause some serious consequences. Some selected asanas can be performed in the late phase also but excessive strain should be avoided in any condition.

Breathing

It plays a major role during the practice of asanas, it should be always with the nostrils, and breathing from the mouth should be avoided unless there is a specific instruction from a Yoga tutor or in a part of particular Asanas. Breathing in, out and retention should always be in a rhythm and fully regulated according to Asana. The involvement of the respiratory system is a mandatory activity in Asanas as it is the primary source of energy that decides the duration and capacity of the performance.

Side of focusing

Generally, some Asanas are performed in the left or right movement of the body part. Right-handed people find it easier to perform on the right side. Later on, if there are regular practice and perfection then it should be more stressed over the left side of the body as it provides a much better outcome than on the right side and will promote positive change in the body

Diet and Bowel

  • There is no clearly defined diet for Asanas but natural food should always be preferred in a moderate quantity. The number of meals should be according to the demand of the body and should be in quantity like that half of the stomach should be filled with food, one-fourth part for liquid a done fourth part should be kept empty. Overeating should always be avoided. Eat that amount which is necessary to live, live not only to eat.
  • The bladder and bowel should be empty during practicing Asanas; whole body parts should be relaxed before practice. If bowel habit is not regular then drinking two glasses of water, salty water intake, or other measures can be taken to make it regular, use of laxatives should always be avoided. Once it is established then after some time body reflux will be maintained for always.

Sequencing

Asanas should always be performed in a particular order to avoid overstraining a particular part of the body. Some minor exercises are always advised before the initiation of Asana by some Yoda tutors. As it is part of Ashtanga yoga so it is prescribed to do after the completion of Shatkarma and will be later followed by Pranayama.

Bathing and Clothing

Always try to take a bath with cold water and wear loose, light, soft, and comfortable cloth. Remove the other accessories like jewelry, wristwatch, or specs before Asanas.

Awareness

Asanas are performed to create harmony between an individual’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual health. Initially, Asanas are performed at the physical level because at that time they only deal with the movement of a particular body part but they have a definite impact on every level of being. Awareness is concerned with observing all the changes felt in the body, its movement, breath, all the thoughts that strike the, and all the energy which is felt. This ability to judge the bodily effect and its awareness are necessary to receive the benefits from practices.

Contraindication

A person suffering from chronic spinal problems, abdominal conditions like hernia, any cardiac disease, and any other medical condition like a fractured bone will otherwise lead to a serious condition. Better to consult a doctor or Yoga tutor before initiation of Asanas if a major or chronic illness history is there.

Ending the session of Asanas

If a person feels any excessive muscle strain or sprain in the body or severe pain anywhere it is better to end the session of Asanas and if necessary, should consult a doctor.

Asanas can be performed by anybody but care should be taken during practice as it is a disciplined synchronization of body, mind, and soul. If not practiced, an individual may undergo some illness as rightly said by some experts, Yogi will become Rogi(diseased). The following points should be kept in mind before initiation of practice.