Category: yoga


Excerpts from :- How Meditation Can Help You Get Calm, Relaxed, Healthy & Happy.    http://www.thedailyzen.org/2012/02/4-informal-ways-to-meditate.html

1. By cultivating awareness, meditation can help you find peace in the present moment.  
In some forms of meditation, you practice non-judgmental awareness of the present moment by bringing your attention to the cycles of your breath. This centers you in the present moment whenever your mind wanders into the past or the future. By learning to keep the mind’s temporal pendulum in the center, you become mindful in every moment, even when you’re under pressure. Anxieties and traumas from the past begin to fade as you become more involved in the present and less fixated on the story of how you got here. Experiences that previously appeared dull and bland become textured and nuanced leading you to be more involved and interested in your life.
2. By bringing your mind into sharp focus, meditation can help you be your best.
In these forms of meditation, you keep yourself focused on a visualization, a chant, music, a person’s voice, a prayer, or some other object of attention. You may be instructed to imagine a desired future or re-contextualize past experiences.  After a short period of time you’ll, find yourself drawn into your focus and you’ll be effortlessly attentive. This state is very similar to a trance and is extremely useful for achieving specific goals like overcoming fears, becoming more productive, or letting go of dependencies. Many athletes and business-people practice this form of meditation without even realizing that they’re meditating. It can also be of great benefit for spiritual growth such as gaining greater compassion, acceptance, and universal love.
3. When you transcend your ego, meditation helps you discover yourself.
In these forms of meditation, the ideal outcome is to transcend the ego and intellect and directly experience a deeper, unbounded aspect of the self. …………………..Most techniques in this category use mantras (simple repetitive sounds), chosen for their calming effect and sometimes specifically tailored for the individual. Unlike the focus techniques, though, you’re not supposed to keep your mind fixated on the mantra, but rather go through a cycle of repeating it and letting it go; allowing the mind to follow the mantra into quieter states of consciousness.
4. When you control your breath, meditation energizes your body.
You may be surprised to know that some forms of meditation are supposed to energize the body and mind rather than calm it. When you hear someone say “exercise is my meditation,” this is what they are talking about. The runner’s high is a well known experience in which inner calm is combined with maximum performance. However, you don’t have to be an athlete to experience runner’s high and athletes could benefit greatly from refining it. The most common techniques for energizing the body revolve around breath control. In India, the subtle energy flow from the breath is called “prana.” In China, it’s referred to as “chi,” but whatever you call it the result is the same. The nervous system is stimulated and balanced leading to a feeling of flow. In this state, you feel tapped into a deeper source of energy; you’ll be less prone to injuries when you run and you’ll be able to move deeper into your yoga poses.

4 Informal Ways to Meditate

We sometimes think of meditation as being this rigid activity that must be performed under such and such circumstances.  Seated Zen practice is the ideal, but not the only option.  Meditation isn’t about sitting there and thinking you’re doing something important; it’s about detaching from thought and existing as purely as one can in the present moment.  

As you can imagine, this can be achieved in many activities.  In Zen monasteries, every menial day-to-day activities are attended to as means of meditation.  Monks ritually clean the floors, do their dishes, trim the bushes outside and rake the gardens.  There are a remarkable amount of meditative activities.  Here’s a very short list…

1.  Do the dishes.

“A monk asked Zhaozhou to teach him. Zhaozhou asked, “Have you eaten your meal?” The monk replied, “Yes, I have.” “Then go wash your bowl”, said Zhaozhou.  At that moment, the monk was enlightened.”

Living in a basic utilitarian apartment without space for a fancy dishwasher, my roommates and I share the responsibility of dish-washing.  I often find myself doing them as a form of meditation.  The repetition of an activity like cleaning a bowl or a utensil (which pile up to incredible heights over time, might I add) serves a similar purpose to counting the breath or repeating a mantra.  The whole point is just to practice mindfulness.  

2.  Walk.
Walking is akin to sitting with your eyes closed.  That sounds ridiculous, right? Not at all.  It’s been said that closed eyes are like a ‘movie screen for the ego’.  When you close your eyes and try to meditate for the first time, thoughts bombard you from every which way.  

Walking involves a similar level of constant stimulation.  As you walk, your field of view is constantly changing, and you have no choice but to pay attention to it.  Meditative walking involves treating the sights you come across as one treats thoughts in meditation.  Just let them pass naturally and don’t dwell.

3.  Clean your desk.
This is another highly productive meditative task.  Throw things away.  Sort papers.  Clean your keyboard.  Do some dusting.  Before long, you’ll find yourself fully immersed in these activities.  Your desk will also end up pretty damn clean.  

4.  Eat
I’ve discussed this before here.  Fully involve yourself with your food.  Stare at it.  Smell it.  Savor each bite.  This is preferably done in private, since you don’t want to be the strange person at the restaurant who looks like he’s about to make passionate love to his food.  

Modern culture teaches us to wolf food down in mass quantities without any appreciation or acknowledgement of what we’re eating.  Take a minute and meditate on the act of eating.  You’ll enjoy your food more, eat less compulsively, and find mindful tranquility in the process.

Love ur post ,true , we are all spiritual companions and the only danger lies in succumbing to philosophical /spiritual snobbery , as one advances. But you’ve also given the solution – process of self-inquiry as Ramana Maharshi taught J.krishnamurthi’s constant dissection of our thoughts .

New Earth Heartbeat

This is a message to anyone who might feel called upon to step forward as a teacher of yoga. Looking back at my various wonderful teachers over the years, whether Sri S. Rajagopalan in yoga, or Chungliang Al Huang in tai ji and also teachers from my school and college days there is one thing that stays with me till today: who they are. In other words, those who brought themselves into the learning situation with their whole perfect/imperfect living being are the ones who imparted something of value to me for my life. Others merely imparted some more or less good ideas or techniques that served to entertain me for a while during which I continued my never-ending search for the Essential Point.

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Through the Peacock's Eyes

The seventh of the eight limbs of yoga is Dhyana.                                                            Dhyana (Jhana in Buddhism) isYogini meditation, where the ego and the mind are at rest, and thoughts come and go in pure self-observation. Practicing Dharana, or concentration, can serve as a transition from the chattering mind state to the quieted mind state of Dhyana. With practice this self-observation meditation can lead to a completely still mind, empty of all thought.

It is not easy to get into the Silence. That is only possible by throwing out all mental-vital activities. It is easier to let the Silence descend into you, i.e., to open yourself and let it descend…It is to remain quiet at the time of meditation, not fighting with the…

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YOGA

https://i2.wp.com/www.yogatrail.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Infographics.jpg

What’s your yoga style?
( source : http://www.yogatrail.com/blog/whats-your-yoga-style/ )

zenhabits – 7 Habits of Calmness

                                                        http://zenhabits.net/calm/

The 7 Habits of Calmness

By Leo Babauta

I have come to believe that high stress, constant anxiety over tasks and work and life, social anxiety … is all a part of the modern way of life.

Most people just don’t feel a sense of peace, of calm, of serenity, throughout their day.

I have to admit that I’m the same way some of the time, but I have learned a few things that have helped me create a feeling of calmness much more of the time than ever before.

It’s a series of habits that have developed over the last few years. I’m not perfect at them, but I do practice them, and they are always helpful.

These are habits, not a one-time change in my surroundings or work pattern. Changing your environment is great, but you can’t control the things that happen to you much of the time, and you certainly can’t control how other people act. The only thing you can control is your response — and this response matters. You can respond to the same event with anxiety or anger, or you can respond with peace and calmness.

Let’s figure out how.

The Habits of Calmness

These are the habits to develop that will help you develop calmness (based on my experience):

  1. A calm morning ritual. Many people rush through their mornings, starting the day out in a stressful rush. I wake up a little earlier (5 a.m. these days, though that changes), and start with a little meditation, then a few yoga poses. I then start writing, before I let the noise in. Exercise is another component of my morning routine. You don’t need to do the same things, but find the quiet of the morning and make the most of it.
  2. Learn to watch your response. When something stressful happens, what is your response? Some people jump into action — though if the stressful situation is another person, sometimes action can be harmful. Others get angry, or overwhelmed. Still others start to feel sorry for themselves, and wish things were different. Why can’t other people behave better? Watch this response — it’s an important habit.
  3. Don’t take things personally. Many times the response (that you noticed in Habit 2) is to take things personally. If someone does something we don’t like, often we tend to interpret this as a personal affront. Our kids don’t clean their rooms? They are defying us! Our spouse doesn’t show affection today? He/she must not care as much as he/she should! Someone acts rudely at work? How could they treat us this way?! Some people even think the universe is personally against them. But the truth is, it’s not personal — it’s the other person’s issue that they’re dealing with. They are doing the best they can. You can learn not to interpret events as a personal affront, and instead see it as some non-personal external event (like a leaf falling, a bird flying by) that you can either respond to without a stressful mindset, or not need to respond to at all.
  4. Be grateful. Sure, lots of people talk about gratitude … but how often do we apply it to the events of our day? Things are crashing down at work, or our boss is angry, or our co-workers are rude, or our kids are misbehaving, or someone doesn’t love us as we’d like … do these cause anger/anxiety/unhappiness, or can we be grateful? Drop the complaints, and find a way to be grateful, no matter what. And then smile. This unbending habit can change your life.
  5. Create stress coping habits. Many times, when we are faced with stress, we have unhealthy responses — anger, feeling overwhelmed and withdrawing, eating junk food, drinking alcohol or taking drugs, shopping or otherwise buying stuff, going to time-wasting sites, procrastinating, and so on. Instead, we need healthy ways to cope with stress, which will come inevitably. When you notice stress, watch how you cope with it, and then replace any unhealthy coping habits with healthier ones. Healthy stress coping habits include: drinking tea, exercise, yoga, meditation, massaging your own neck & shoulders, taking a walk, drinking some water, talking with someone you care about.
  6. Single-task. I’ve written numerous times in the past about single-tasking vs. multitasking, but I think people multitask now more than ever. People text while on the train, while walking, while driving. They tweet and post to Facebook and Instagram, they email and read blogs and news, they watch videos while getting things done, they watch TV while eating, they plan their day while doing chores. This is a great way to cause a level of anxiety that runs through everything you do, because you’re always worried you should be doing more, doing something else. What if, instead, you just did one thing, and learned to trust that you shouldn’t be doing anything else? It takes practice: just eat. Just wash your bowl. Just walk. Just talk to someone. Just read one article or book, without switching. Just write. Just do your email, one at a time, until your inbox is empty. You’ll learn that there is peace in just doing one thing, and letting go of everything else.
  7. Reduce noise. Our lives are filled with all kinds of noise — visual clutter, notifications, social media, news, all the things we need to read. And truthfully, none of it is necessary. Reduce all these things and more, and create some space, some quiet, in your life.

me

https://i1.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/829f6a3b0a2d786b5cc090df8e4de59f/tumblr_mhbhhwDhcG1rlzvmho1_500.jpg       this     applies to me……………….

meditation

not been meditating , since quite some time – shud start over again…………………..

http://zenhabits.net/fundameditate/  

quotes,pics,yoga

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https://i0.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l5s92sxjbk1qcirk4o1_500.jpg   https://i0.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/b1fa5c15fda7f46ad51c16386378bd20/tumblr_miqobrncNg1qcirk4o1_500.jpg   https://i1.wp.com/25.media.tumblr.com/ac31f9c476c092d996cadf27844a4d3a/tumblr_mikz2r09vU1rtbxrwo1_500.jpg  https://i2.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m00tjcqYyE1rqpa8po1_500.png

https://i1.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m062ssW8Wo1qmxawco1_500.png              https://i1.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l6wuvgNGd61qcirk4o1_400.pnghttps://i0.wp.com/24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lvbm5yvb1q1qj2u1wo1_400.png

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life

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  t

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yoga

http://www.bradpriddy.com/yoga/sequen.htmSequencing of asanas

http://anamikas.hubpages.com/hub/Yogic-Exercises-for-Diseases-Health-Conditions

http://www.remedyspot.com/articles/241-yoga-ayurveda-exercise-basis-good-health.html

http://www.yogajournal.com/lifestyle/864

http://www.svaroopayoga.org/contemplation.asp

Certain yogic disciplines are well known since ancient times. If you don’t set yourself to them, you may find them happening quite naturally, including:

  • The 3:30 am wake-up call — meditation is calling your name.
  • Early to bed — ready to go to bed with the sun (or soon after).
  • Simplicity — how much of anything do you really need?
  • Living lightly — matching your food intake to what you need, not what you want; or empty out your purse (or your car).
  • Silence — cultivating inner silence by finding opportunities for outer silence.
  • Going without — giving up comforts and pleasures, even giving up things you consider to be necessities (even when they are not).
  • Generosity — giving time, energy and/or money to those you want to support, but giving more than the easy amount.
  • Doing more — tackling a practice or a project, or holding yourself to a higher standard.

You get nowhere in life without tapas. You cannot complete your education, buy or rent a home, keep a job, grow a garden, raise a child or stay married without tapas. There is a hidden secret in the practice of tapas: the karmic effects. The law of karma says that everything you do has repercussions. When you “pick your poison,” doing tapas in the arena you choose, the benefits extend into every area of your life. This principle is well known in India, where a person will undertake an arduous climb to a holy site so that they can get a good job. It works!

I remember giving things up for Lent when I was a child, a form of tapas. Yogis embark on similar periods of intense practice, perhaps by attending a yoga training or retreat — truly tapas! You can create a similar “intensive” for yourself by tackling a pose you don’t like to do, working on it daily for a month, or perhaps giving up television and doing yoga during that time for a week or a year.

The key is that you decide what you’re going to do. If it’s an easy decision, it probably isn’t really tapas. But if you pick something that is too hard, you might not be able to actually do it. So pick a challenge you know you need, but one that you can actually do. Tell your yoga-buddies, so they can encourage and support you. But I must warn you of one seductive aspect to tapas: When you meet the challenge you’ve set for yourself, you might find that you like it so much that it becomes part of your lifestyle. I used to hate the 3:30 am wake-up call, and now I love it!

http://www.auroville.org/vision/integralyoga.htm

http://observedinbooks.blogspot.in/2008/02/complete-artists-way-by-julia-cameron.html

http://www.yoga-age.com/asanas/prana.html

http://www.thepragmaticyogi.com/2010/07/asana-analysis-reclined-herosupta.html

http://www.prohealth.com/library/showarticle.cfm?libid=10856

carnatic music today ……

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861805.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861793.ece            When parents enjoy parenting, they ensure happy years of growing up for the children.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2861789.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685706.ece  –  Whether the shawl draped on this singer by this sabha came about because of an envelope stuffed with distinctly non-musical notes. How Carnatic music has suddenly become a cool lifestyle statement for a new generation, with kriti -laden iPods tucked into its jeans.        This informality, perhaps, will offer him a clue to the ever-increasing popularity of a music festival that, unlike Glastonbury or Bayreuth, doesn’t advertise itself, and is driven largely by word of mouth and an undying love for the art. He doesn’t need to have heard of the performers. He doesn’t even have to know the music. And if he doesn’t get tickets to a concert, there’s always another one playing down the street. Every year, he will eventually realise, Carnatic music makes its grandest statement with a festival that feels as intimate as a gathering of family.

An annual ritual Every year, around the Tamil month of Margazhi, some 60 organisations (or sabhas) cast a spell of music over Madras, with over 200 performances every day. These performances include vocal and instrumental concerts, lecture demonstrations about the intricacies of Carnatic music, walks along historic sites of musical importance, and talks about events and personalities. If the December Music Season is not the largest music festival in the world, it’s certainly a top contender for the spot — and, with every passing year, it only keeps getting bigger. And better.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685708.ece

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685727.ece   –  How not to get diabetes

Here’s an emergency plan to shield you until the weight comes off. Besides maintaining a healthy weight, four factors keep diabetes at bay. If you combine any three, it’s like throwing up a force field between you and diabetes. The combo is more protective than the individual parts, a fact that has startled the experts. It gets better: If you combine all four, you’ll start losing weight without half trying.

Walk 30 minutes a day. Start slowly if you need to, but start. Buy a pedometer, and add a few more steps every day.

Drink lightly. Up to two drinks a day for men, one for women.

Eat smart. Lots of fruits and veggies, plenty of 100 per cent whole grains, very lean protein (including at breakfast; it’ll curb your appetite later), a little low-fat or no-fat dairy, some nuts, a bit of dark chocolate.

Don’t smoke. If you do, quit.

Then kiss diabetes goodbye.

http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-features/tp-sundaymagazine/article2685734.ece

yoga

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qigong

Typically a qigong practice involves rhythmic breathing, coordinated
with slow stylized repetition of fluid movement, and a calm mindful state.[3] Qigong is now practiced throughout China and worldwide, and is considered by some to be exercise, and by others to be a type of alternative medicine or meditative practice.[4]
From a philosophical perspective qigong is believed to help develop
human potential, to increase access to higher realms of awareness, and
to awaken one to one’s true nature.[5]

 

yoga

http://www.carefulhealth.com/tag/yoga-asana/

Rabbit Position
By Anil Sharma on June 24, 2011 at 8:33 am

The real name of rabbit position is shashankasana. Shashi means Moon in Sanskrit. Ank means smear. So shashankasana means the asana in which you maintain the position of the shadow on the moon. This shadow resembles the shape of hare or rabbit. That is why most people call it rabbit position or hare position.

Rabbit position is the counter position of the camel position. In camel position the spine is bent backwards. Counter to this, in rabbit position, the spine is bent forward. We achieve the desired impact on the spine by performing these two asanas one after another. In tandem they give complete relief to the spine and the spine is toned up completely. This gives relief to the complete body.

Benefits of Rabbit Position:

  • The spine gets pleasurable relief when it is brought parallel to the earth. This provides rest to the spine.
  • Liver, spleen and stomach are impacted and hence they are activated.
  • While maintaining this position the diaphragm below the lungs is loosened. The capacity to breathe up to the abdomen increases. The diaphragm is stretched and this helps to increase the depth of your breath. Feel the throbbing in your naval. This is highly beneficial for asthmatic patients.
  • This position alleviates all type of anger and emotional instability. It has the capacity to cure even depressions.

Technique of Rabbit Position:

Free video by author explaining rabbit position. Sit down in vajrasana. Keep the waist and neck erect. Inhale slowly and deeply and while inhaling raise the arms together over the head. Your biceps clutching your ears. Stay in this position while full of breath and stretch your shoulders backwards a few seconds. Now while exhaling bend forwards along with your arms. Your buttocks stay locked to the ankles. Loosen your arms till the hands and elbows rest on the floor. Your forehead or chin may also touch the ground. Keep your breathing normal in this rabbit position (shashankasana). While inhaling stretch the arms and return slowly to the vajrasana position.

Point of concentration is Agya chakra between your eye brows about an inch inside.  Make sure that while bending forward your buttocks should not come off their position betweens the heels. While maintaining the position, when your arms, from elbows to hands are resting on floor and your forehead is touching the ground you will feel an unearthly tranquility descend on your squeezed body.

Enjoy this serenity. God be with you!

Camel Position
By Anil Sharma on June 20, 2011 at 7:44 am

Camel position is also called usthra asana in yogic language. Usthra means a camel in Sanskrit. In the final position of this asana, the body is curved like a camel. Hence its name, usthra asana (camel position). During the normal functioning of an individual, all through the day, whatever his profession, we usually bend forward. As a result of this the spine is disturbed only in a particular forward bending position. Usthra asana rectifies the possibilities of defects caused by this natural tendency to bend forward. This asana is practiced while sitting in vajrasana.

Technique of camel position:

See video by author explaining camel position. Sit in vajrasana and stand up on the knees. Keep the distance of your knees equal to the width of your shoulders. Both the feet behind the back should be parallel to each other. The soles of your feet should be pointing upwards. Now hold your waist with both hands. The tips of your thumbs should be touching each other. The fingers pointing towards your navel and your hands clutching both the sides of your waist. Now close your eyes. This is extremely important and obligatory as one can feel giddy while bending backwards. Now inhale slowly and simultaneously bend your neck and back backwards slowly. Stay in this position as long as possible. While staying, keep your breathing normal. The advanced students (sadhaks) can remove their hands from the waist and hang them loose backwards touching the soles of you feet. Come back to the original position slowly and rest in vajrasana.

The point of concentration should be the whole spine. The important thing to keep in mind is that the naval should remain outwards as far as possible so that it may have the most impact on the spine. While returning to the original position the movement should be utterly slow. Don’t make haste. No wonder “Haste makes Waste”. This is true about all yogic processes and is extremely important for any serious student (sadhak) of yoga.