Divine Connection

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Super-asanas -Super-safe

Super-asanas are yoga moves which are clever, but not super-strong. The eight given below, combined together, 'work' the entire musculo-skeletal system - and all the other body systems, too. They are very safe & very vitalising to the body, extremely calming for the mind, activating to all the chakras and can be practiced gently or strongly by everyone. 
Adapt your practice according to your health ON the DAY. If weak or unwell, do the minimum, if strong and well, do what feels right. Regular practice will strengthen the flow of prana and increase Self-Awareness. That is YOGA.

An ideal first asana/pose. Stretches muscles the backs of the legs, bring the hands onto the floor beyond the head to also stretch the spinal muscles. Gentle AND powerful. Hold for 3 rounds of very very slow breath. Repeat twice.

This asana is brilliant for vitalising all the body systems even if practiced minimally.It acts as a counter-pose to the first asana, contracting, or squeezing, the muscles in the backs of the legs and spine. Inhale, then lift holding the breath in, hold and count to five, exhale while lowering back to the floor. x3 to each side.

Kandharasana - fabulous for stretching the front of the torso, back of the neck, and the quads. The pecs are opened and the shoulder blade muscles are squeezed.  Inhale while lifting, hold the breath while lifting the pelvis to the ceiling, exhale while lowering back down.  x5

This relaxed forward-bend allows for a gravity-driven whole back stretch AND an inversion which stimulates the brain. The opportunity exists to really let go of head and neck tension. Drooooop and hang, softly, softly for 1 - 3 minutes.
After completing asana above, go into this seated forward bend caringly and carefully. This asana provides an inner thigh stretch FIRST and, once that becomes comfortable, the process of stretching forward to bring the face onto the floor, begins. Slide the hands straight forward along the floor in front, hold them there. Hold and breathe slowly for 1-3 minutes.

After the two previous forward bends it is important to have a follow-up back bend. Keep the heels together to help push the lower back vertebrae into place, and strengthen the muscles there. At first it might be difficult to lift the chest off the floor, but with time you will find the way to curl upwards, head, shoulders, then chest. Pelvis remains on the floor.   x5
This piece de resistance asana provides some free-flowing, easy release through the body. Twist from the feet to the base of the skull. Let the arms flow right out and then around to hug the body, from one side, to the centre, to the other side, to the back.

Finalise the asana sequence with this super-pose. It increases the heart rate, stretches through the digestive system, encourages deep breathing and works to strengthen prana. After this practice lie down for a deep relaxation OR sit for pranayama, or meditation.  After completing these wonderful asanas all your chakras and all body systems will be recallibrated.

The body & bicarbonate

Live Longer with Bicarbonate

 Did you know ... an acidic body lends itself to increasing & ongoing unwellness.

When we become acidic, the body steals minerals such as sodium, potassium, magnesium & calcium from the bones and organs to neutralise the acid. This puts stress on the body and, unfortunately, can go unnoticed for many years especially because doctors prescribe further acid-forming drugs to cover up the symptoms of acidity.

Dr. Kalani Raphael found that low levels of bicarbonate is linked to an increased risk for premature death by 24 percent. 
“What we found was that generally healthy older people with low levels of bicarbonate had a higher risk of death,” Raphael said. 
The study’s findings assists clinicians in better assessing patient’s risk of premature death by analyzing their blood bicarbonate concentrations more closely, something doctors never do. What he is saying is that the secret to health lies with sufficient bicarbonate levels. Older adults who have low levels of bicarbonate in their blood are putting themselves at risk of premature death.

The body struggles to produce enough bicarbonate and it is a losing battle as we age. Carbon dioxide, as well as bicarbonate, is a nutrient as well as a product of respiration and energy production in the cells and its lack or deficiency is of itself a starting point for different disturbances in the body. When carbon dioxide deficiency becomes chronic, it can be responsible for serious diseases, ageing and cancer.

Acidosis is extremely common in our society mostly due to the American diet and lifestyle. Although eggs, dairy and meats, are acidic, the main problem is with processed foods. These include white flour, sugar, coffee and soda, which create an acidic environment.

Breathing too fast also causes acidity as does pharmaceutical drugs, artificial sweeteners, radiation exposure (medical tests) and exposure to all the chemicals & pesticides, the polluted air we breathe and water we drink.


Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Thoughts, Memories, Vrittis

Thoughts are related to how we have conceptualised something, and, from that, emotion can be triggered. What has been conceptualised resides in the higher mind, vigyanamaya kosha. It lives there unseen, but is affecting us on a daily basis.
If for example, we have conceptualised that it's okay to smack children, no emotion will be triggered when we see it happen. If we have conceptualised that that is not okay emotions such as grief or anger (two sides of the same coin) will be triggered.
Once emotion is triggered, that can easily trigger a whole swathe of memories and concepts, ones which may or may not be directly related, each one in turn has the capacity to trigger more emotion - keeping the whole emotional thing going. 
All of this expressed activity is taking place in manomaya kosha. The part of the mind responsible for 'expressing stuff'. Eventually, the triggering and the emotions, subside, manomaya quietens. The concepts are still there, in vigyanamaya kosha, just not triggered.

All mindful yoga & meditation helps to thin and soften the stuff stored in vigyanamaya kosha, helping us in turn to function at a higher level of calm and wisdom. Antar mouna meditation works directly and profoundly.

Thoughts - categorised into five types
According to the ancient yogis, these are:  

Thought comprising correct data. 
i.e. actually correct, not just believed to be correct.

Thought comprising incorrect data.

Thought comprising as yet uneventuated data. 
i.e. wishful, imagined past or present, ideas, etc.

Thought comprising memory data. 
i.e. experiences stored as perceived, although perception can alter.

Thought comprising no data. 
i.e. drawing a blank, inability to retrieve data due to shock, shame, hunger, etc etc.

Every one of the five categories can trigger emotion. Some thoughts with correct data will activate joy, some will activate deep pain, or wounding. That is to say thought in each category can be pleasant or unpleasant. If it is neutral it is considered to be pleasant.

A thought from one category, can then trigger thoughts and emotions from other categories. Depending upon the intensity of the experience this can cause emotional outbursts which go on for many minutes/hours. The manomaya becomes enthralled by the experience and gets right into it. Eventually though, manomaya tires of it, and the outburst slowly subsides. 

How nature created all this is a mystery, superb, daunting and thrilling!  

The expression of thought and emotion comes from a part of the mind known ads manomaya kosha. Also referred to as the lower mind because it is not the part of the mind which contains the material, it is the part which expresses it. The container of experiences is known as vigyanamaya kosha, and as the higher mind.

Meditation such as antar mouna, taught for decades by Swami Satyananda, encourages greater self-awareness through knowing thoughts are subject to change, and do not represent the Real us. The Real Self. All yoga is actually a means to self-awareness. All yoga is meditation. If, that is, it is practiced mindfully.

Asana, whether practiced with kindness, moderation or harshness can trigger contentment, or sadness. The response in the mind, to any yoga practice will NOT always be the same.  An asana one day can trigger profound affection, the next day tears of loss, irritation, and so on. All other yoga techniques, including mudra, bandha, pranayama, kirtan, meditation, all act on the mind afresh each day. This is because just as the river is not the same river every day, nor is the mind always the same. The ebbs and flows of life, people, requirements, circumstances and environments, all stir the mind, just as the weather and debris stirs the river.

Thought is an amazing construct of the manomaya mind, but it is not the mind. Mind is something most of us cannot imagine. It is the barely recognised, or even recognisable, field of pure potentiality. Many of us have learnt how important it is to liberate ourselves by leaving some things behind and embracing other things. Some people have learnt how to activate greater potential within themselves, others barely at all. The same is true with emotion some have learnt how to master it, others have not.

Try not to take your thoughts for granted, nor believe they represent you in any permanent way. They need you to master and shape them.

Deeply quiet meditation activates a part of the central nervous system called the insula, this is responsible for increasing self-awareness. Self-awareness provides endless opportunities for self development. Out of the extreme calm of meditation comes wisdom and happiness, better quality thoughts and emotions. A happier you.

All meditation is mindful.