Hatha Yoga Kriyas – Tratak

“Hatha Yoga is the path of practice and purification of internal, as well as external. It is an additional path to the four traditional paths (Gyan, Bhakti, Karma, and Raj Yoga). Regular practice of these exercises needs discipline and willpower, and that is why this path is called Hatha Yoga.

HA-THA, also means sun and moon. This refers to the union and harmony of the sun and moon principles, which arise from the practice of Hatha Yoga.

Six purification techniques pertain to Hatha Yoga, called Shat Karmas or Shat Karma Kriyas.”

Tratak – The Power of Concentration

Tratak is a simple but powerful cleansing method. It has a strong effect on the Ajna chakra and cleanses and washes the eyes from the inside out. While staring at the candle the vision is still operating, and the eyes remain focused; this causes a slight strain and eventually, the eyes start to burn and tears begin to flow, leaving the eyes clear and bright. It also concentrates the mind, giving us a view of its wavering tendencies.

Technique:

Sit in a comfortable meditation posture in front of a candle about arm’s length away and the flame at the same height as your chest. The flame should be away from the flow of air, so the flame remains stable.

Close your eyes and start to allow yourself to relax. Mentally know there is a candle in front of you. Open your eyes and stare at the flame without blinking. Direct your gaze to the very brightest part of the flame. Stare at the flame for 10-15 seconds. You can gradually build up to 1 minute.

Close the eyes again and allow the image of the flame to appear. Focus on the image, if it does not appear, don’t worry. Repeat two more times, and the image will appear. Do not exceed the length of time given. The ability to stare and not blink should be developed gradually. While seeing the image of the flame behind the closed eyelids notice the characteristics of the flame; the shape, the colour, and the distance the flame is away from you. Just notice without trying to control the image. If it disappears, try to bring it back.

When finished, sit silently for some time and notice the effects of this practice.

Benefits:

The practice balances the nervous system relieving anxiety, depression, nervous tension, and insomnia. It develops good concentration, improves memory power, willpower, and excellent preparation for meditation.

Yoga Nidra: Dynamic Sleep for Deep Meditation

There is a lot of talk about meditation, the different techniques of meditation, and its benefits in the wellness and spiritual sectors of the media. However, we should understand that simply doing a meditation exercise and actually being in a state of meditation are two different things.

Anyone who has ever tried meditation will agree that it is easy to say, but difficult to do. Because, in the stressful daily life, our body and mind have under constant alert, and the word relaxation has become a dream for most people. The good news is that there is an ancient technique called Yoga Nidra that could very well be the solution.

Even during sleep, the mind is so stressed that it will not leave the body to rest. Most people get out of bed tired after seven or eight hours of disturbed sleep. Then, drained of vital energy, they try to deal with their daily responsibilities, make the right decisions, and have normal reactions. How do we expect our society to develop when its members are under continuous physical, emotional, and mental strain?

Try a simple experiment to understand this in a better way: sit in any comfortable position and try to be completely motionless for just one minute. You’ll realize that most people find it impossible to be totally still, even for 60 seconds. As determined as one can be, ultimately the muscles will make some move, only to prove how little control we have over our body and mind.

The Principles of Yoga Nidra

It originates in the tantras and has been introduced by the Indian yoga guru Swami Satyananda Saraswati. It is a guided exercise that energies you to relax for a period of 15 to 30 minutes consciously. This short but very deep relaxation is physical, mental, and emotional. During Yoga Nidra, one may appear to be asleep, but the consciousness is working at a deeper level of awareness. Actually, on the verge between asleep and awake, a spontaneous connection with the subconscious and the unconscious dimension occurs naturally. The consciousness in this state becomes very powerful and can be used to get profound knowledge, creativity, and even change the nature of one’s personality.

This yogic sleep is not a state of complete unconsciousness, but a state of potentiality, where a part of our awareness is fully alert. Experiments have shown that during the state of what we call sleep, we are actually more conscious and have more potential, because our consciousness is disconnected from the senses, leaving space for quality reception.

Yoga Nidra is practiced in a laying position (Savasana) and is not a concentration method. You just have to follow the instructions that you listen to and let go. You are just laying down your body to the floor. Systematic rotation of consciousness in the parts of the body during the practice is an essential part of Yoga Nidra. This helps to keep awareness while going deeper in the level of relaxation.

Setting Intention for Your Practice

Another main part is ‘Sankalpa’. It is a resolution seed that you sow deep inside. Setting intention, or “Sankalpa” in Sanskrit, is silently expressed at the beginning of your Yoga Nidra experience and with full emotion and sentiment. You should visualize what it would be like if it were already true. Again, you are guided to repeat your Sankalpa three times near the end of the practice, when you are totally relaxed and in the fertile delta brain-wave state, before going back to the external. This is when your brain is most receptive.

Many people, tired as they are, tend to fall asleep during the practice. This is not bad, nor does it deprive one of the benefits of Yoga Nidra. The consciousness is present, even when asleep, and every one amazingly wakes up as soon as the teacher tells the phrase “the practice of Yoga Nidra has now complete.”

Considering the modern lifestyle of non-stop stress in the physical, intellectual, and emotional level, Yoga Nidra is actually the only technique that requires minimum effort and leads to deep relaxation states. It is a guided meditation journey that can be attained by no other method in such a short period of time.

Yoga Nidra Teachers

Yoga trainers receive special training in order to be able to guide a Yoga Nidra session. The tone and the color of voice are special as well as the selected words that are used. A yoga or meditation retreat is the best place to start practicing Yoga Nidra on a daily basis. The results are really amazing.

Yoga Nidra can really improve the learning capacity of adults and mainly children. Children are very spontaneous and, as a result, they can adjust themselves to the practice more easily, gaining extreme benefits. Most of all, they keep the ability to connect with their deeper self and keep contact with the internal focus of mental balance.

Yoga Nidra: a Form of Hypnosis?

The practice of Yoga Nidra creates a state of withdrawal of the senses. For this reason, some think that it is a form of hypnosis. But, these are two different sciences, and actually Yoga Nidra goes faraway hypnosis. The reason is that while hypnosis is a deep sleep state, during Yoga Nidra, we keep awareness, and we are instructed not to sleep. When we are able to maintain consciousness while the senses are in complete withdrawal, we exceed the personality barriers and can go to any depth or height.

With the regular practice of Yoga Nidra, your true nature and honesty manifest, allowing you to live in peace. You can rearrange and reform your complete personality from within. Release of tension, relaxation, and calmness are the secret of transformation and freedom.

Join Aranya Yoga teacher training course & begin your practice for life.

The Incredible Healing Effects of Tibetan Singing Bowls

It might come as a shock, but there are real reasons Singing Bowls have been used for centuries.

Turns out they’re not just for fun! Their whole purpose is to restore vibratory frequencies of the body, mind, and soul that are out-of-harmony and diseased. The sounds they emit work as a type of energy medicine that has been known to heal pain, depression, and stress disorders. Interestingly, the healing process works by training the brain waves so as to synchronize with the sounds of the bowl. These unique tones emitted will prepare you for deep meditation, intuitive messages, as well as creative thinking. For those who have tried this technique before, you know the sonic waves emitted by these bowls awaken our ability to hear much more than what we would normally. As we listen to these sounds, we tend to feel them just as much as we hear them.

The director of Medical Oncology and Integrative Medicine at the Cornell Cancer Prevention Center in New York, Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, says,

“If we accept that sound is vibration and we know that vibration touches every part of our physical being, then we understand that sound is heard not only through our ears but through every cell in our bodies. One reason sound heals on a physical level is because it so deeply touches and transforms us on the emotional and spiritual planes. Sound can redress imbalances on every level of physiologic functioning and can play a positive role in the treatment of virtually any medical disorder.”

So with all this interest, it begs the question: How exactly do these Singing Bowls work in the healing process?

Let’s Know…

Tibetan Singing Bowls: The Healing Bowl Process

In the east, health is looked at much differently than in the west; illness is thought of as a manifestation of disharmony within the body, such as an imbalance in the cells or a given organ. Having said that, since matter is energy that vibrates at different rates, the structure of matter can be changed when you alter the rate of vibration. The body is said to be healthy only when each cell and organ resonates in harmony with the entire body. What these bowls do is cause the brain to switch to Theta brainwave frequencies that heighten one’s intuition, clarity of mind, as well as deep meditative and peaceful states. This positively affects our nervous system and engages our relaxation reflex while also inhibiting the pain or stress response.

When this alignment occurs, health and healing all come into balance, creating deep harmony within and without. This can easily lead to spontaneous healing. As the great Tibetan master, Aranya Yoga team puts it so finely, these Singing Bowls emit the “sound of the void” which is really the sound of the universe.

As some scientists have discovered, the upper end of the theta brainwave range is what is considered vital to the healing of the body, mind, and spirit. This is referred to as “being in the zone” by athletes, musicians, and meditators. Once you know how to get there, you can begin to uncover the deeper potential of your mind- and truly experience the lasting effects of energy-healing.

How to Recharge Your Mind and Body with Therapeutic Yoga

Yoga is one of the most preferred and used forms of complementary medicine.

A survey conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Medicine (NCCIM) found that yoga is one of the most preferred and used forms of complementary medicine.

According to NCCIM, people who are suffering from back pain and depression are only using Yoga Therapy for conventional care. Several studies indicate the benefits of yoga, the centuries-old mind-body practice, on a wide range of health-related conditions—particularly mental health, stress, and pain management.

Therapeutic yoga has led to the development of a new form of yoga. In therapeutic yoga, traditional yoga postures are used to treat chronic health conditions. Practitioners receive additional training in anatomy, psychology, physiology, and other medically related topics.

The most common problems yoga therapists see are back and neck pain, anxiety, joint pain and hypertension, and stiffness.

The facts behind Therapeutic Yoga

Studies find therapeutic yoga practice can reduce cortisol levels and blood pressure, relieve stress; lower breathing and heart rate, and improve quality of life. The stretching and flexibility that comes with yoga practice provide pain relief, with studies representing its benefits in patients with arthritis, back pain, and carpal tunnel syndrome. It has also been shown to improve anxiety, major depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and insomnia.

Essential benefits of yoga were reported in arthritis and other musculoskeletal disorders, as well as in cardiovascular endurance in healthy persons. In patients with Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and asthma, yoga programs focused on meditation and breath control notably improve objective measures of lung function.

There is also good evidence that yoga practice lessens risk factors for cardiovascular disease, including blood pressure and weight.

Finding a Quality Practitioner

Yoga Therapy at Aranya Yoga is designed to provide people a good alternative for understanding their health problem and what to do to solve it. It is for everyone with any disorder seeking an alternative way of curing themselves. Indian Yoga teacher with years of teaching, practice, and healing experience teach specific Asanas to each participant as well as gives his recommendation and his consultation on a holistic approach to lifestyle, including diet. His knowledge and unique energy empower people, giving them the self-confidence to practice independently.

The main aim of the Therapeutic Yoga Teaching is to give confidence and working knowledge for each student for their Healing Self-Practice at home to continue helping their illness. The Therapy Course includes close personal supervision and many corrections to help the student understand their healing process for every participant tailored to their requirements. This Holistic combination of Nutrition & Therapeutic Yoga Asanas will create a better body awareness for the students Healing Process.

An ailment can start and develop into a seemingly chronic problem over years of ill-treatment or misalignment of the body. It then requires correct actions and time before it removed from the body. Therefore, it is to be understood that only those willing to start a Healing Self Yoga Practice seriously may apply for the Yoga Therapy Course. With Aranya Yoga, therapeutic Yoga can improve your mind and body, while relieving some of the stress.

Things to Note before Practicing Therapeutic Yoga

There are a few side effects to be aware of before you start your yoga practice. Although rare, certain types of stroke, as well as pain from nerve damage, are among the possible side effects of practicing yoga. Minor side effects include fatigue, dizziness, nausea, weakness, and heat exhaustion.

Let your medical providers know that you would like to include therapeutic yoga in the tools you are using to progress your health.

Benefits of Pranayama – The Yoga of Breath

In Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra, we learn the fourth limb of Raja Yoga is pranayama. Pranayama yoga is one of the five yoga principles that focus on breathing properly. Breathing is an important factor in yoga. Yet, pranayama is the systematic cultivation of prana (vital energy of life or breath).

When someone practices pranayama, the ratio of breath is important for controlling the amount of energy one draws in. It consists of a series of exercises, which are intended to keep the human body in vibrant health. Usually, it is a series of exercises for yoga practitioners as preparation for meditation.

Pranayama yoga goes hand-in-hand with performing the Asanas & Yogatic principle. When combined, these two are considered the most privileged form of self-discipline and cleansing of both mind and body. A particular pranayama technique that is practiced can bring about some different benefits, which improve the quality of life.

Different benefits of pranayama, which is the energy control (Yogic breathing), practiced in all forms of Yoga. Those, who practice Yoga regularly, can help you relieve stress, tension, and overall inner peace. The benefits of pranayama are very rewarding to our mind and physical body.

Pranayama for Longevity

According to Yoga, longevity or Increased life span is based upon an individual’s rate of breathing. Since breathing is controlled, in all types of Yoga, a student learns to control his or her breathing rate, which slows from an average of 15 breaths per minute to about 5 to 4 breaths per minute. This decreases one’s overall breathing rate by about one-third. Within some rounds of Yogic philosophy, it is believed that your life expectancy depends on the number of breaths you take in the course of life. Therefore, the slower you breathe, the longer you will live.

Pranayama for Emotional Health

This decreased breath rate leads to lower blood pressure, lower heart rate, healthier internal organs and a relaxed body. In fact, pranayama for drug rehabilitation is well worth and less expensive than standard drug rehabilitation methods; and when practiced correctly, it has no side effects.

Pranayama for Mental Health

Pranayama improves your mental health. The breathing process requires that you free your mind of negative thoughts. As you free your mind through breathing, you will lessen stress. It prepares your mind for meditation and helps you to gain control over your mind. You will experience a feeling of inner peace and sleep that is more restful.

Pranayama for Heart Health

Pranayama practice promotes better blood circulation. As you take in deep, controlled breaths, more oxygen enters your lungs and is transported through the blood stream to each cell in your body. By better blood circulation, it will improve your heart health. The heart is the hardest working of our important organs. By some estimation, the heart beats approximately 100,000 times per day. The amount of oxygen reaching your heart is important in maintaining a healthy heart and a prolonging life.

Pranayama progresses the functions of your body organs. It helps to improve our digestive system and decreases the chances of a digestive system-related disease. It decreases fatigue that will make you feel more energized, improve your mood and strengthen your immune system. Therefore, pranayama necessitates deep controlled breaths where you can take in large amounts of oxygen; so that your internal organs are getting the proper amount of oxygen to function properly. This also helps to remove toxins from the body and prevention of diseases.

Pranayama for Holistic Health

Pranayama develops your memory and concentration levels. As we grow older, our lung capacity naturally decreases. Pranayama can improve lung function, as we grow old. It can reduce, and even reverse, some effects of old age – such as joint pain, loss of vitality, less flexible joints, stiffening muscles, headaches, rheumatism, sluggish diaphragm, backaches, and hardening of the arteries, which leads to poor blood circulation.

 

If this is your first time to perform pranayama or any type of yoga, you must join a professionally supervised class. Beginners should always be guided by teachers to ensure that they are doing exercises perfectly and without feeling any negative effects. No matter how worthwhile the benefits of pranayama yoga are, doing it incorrectly may cause serious harm. You should also come in prepared as guided by your instructor.

How Meditation and Yoga Can Help You to Get A Good Night’s Sleep

The fast rate of modern life leaves many of us to regularly deal with anxiety and stress—two huge contributing factors for all types of emotional and physical health issues as well as the inability to get a good sleep. Sleeping illness, i.e. Insomnia can be very difficult to treat, and those who suffer with it are often eager to try just about anything. But, you might not have to look on your yoga mat! Among many people if you are one who have facing difficulty in sleeping, practicing a bit of yoga or meditation for sleep might be just what you need to add some charm back into your sleep.

Yoga Proven as a Sleep Aid

According to the survey in 2017 found that, approx. 50% of Americans suffering from sleeping disorder. Out of those only 29.8% are use mind-body medicine such as meditation and yoga to manage their sleep problems. Another study found that yoga can helps to progress lower stress levels and sleep during pregnancy.

Yoga for Sleep and Other night Tips

Attending an evening yoga class is the best way to relax your nervous system right before bed, mainly if you choose a less dynamic yoga style like yoga nidra, restorative or gentle yoga or yin.

On the other hand, if you are a beginner or short on time who feels nervous about going to a class, there are several simple ways that you can incorporate meditation, yoga, and mindful breathing into your night routine and progress your sleep hygiene right from home.

Connection between Meditation and Melatonin

People who meditate regularly feel that the practice has positive health effects such as calm your mind and improve energy level. But there is also initial research suggests that meditation may boost melatonin levels, a hormone that helps regulate sleep and appears to control other hormones in the body.

Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland in the brain. Meditation before going to bed increased melatonin levels for that night. If participants did not meditate then there are no increases in blood melatonin levels on nights. Meditation techniques are used to direct energy flow through seven energy centers in the body, and carefully suppress or activate their associated glands. The pineal gland related to a chakra situated at the top of the head and is believed to influence happiness. This suggests that regular practice of meditation is necessary.

Here are some tips that creating good situation for healthy sleep:

Meditate

Just five minutes spent guiding your concentration to your breath can help you relax after a busy day. Remember, it is normal for your thoughts to run wild.

Practice Yin Yoga

Yin yoga, in which you stay in each pose for several breaths or even minutes at a time, can actually help to down regulate the nervous system and bring you into a state of peaceful before bed. Try wall-supported butterfly, legs-up-the-wall, and child’s pose, and then end with Shavasana in bed!

Try the 4-7-8 Breathing Technique

Inhale for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of seven, and exhale for a count of eight. Extending the exhale helps you to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system, and concentrating on the breath is a great distraction from over thinking and late night worries.

Turn Off Your Screens

Stop using mobile phone and laptop one hour before you plan to go to sleep. The blue light emitted from this device increases the release of cortisol, which stimulates you and decreases your production of sleep hormone.

Be Consistent

Try to fix a bedtime and wake up around the same time daily. This helps to maintain the body’s internal clock, helping you go to sleep and wake up more easily.

We already know how yoga can be helpful for improving strength, mood and flexibility, and as these studies show, it offers a great relief for those with face difficulty in sleeping. Not only yoga can help you to fall asleep more easily, but it can also progress the overall quality of your sleep as well as your ability to deal with stress and recover from tiredness.

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