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.

Anahata study in India - Aranya Yoga

What does Mandala in the geometry stand for?

What does Mandala in the geometry stand for?

The Mandala, a Sanskrit word, is a spiritual and ritual symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism which represents the universe. The Mandala means a sacred circle. The circle depicts the womb of creation while the mandals are simple geometric shapes which are made from uniform divisions of the circle. The Mandals have been used since long in the spiritual practice of meditating on the nature of creation and life. The geometric designs in the mandalas are filled with layers of meaning. The circle is the basic shape of the sacred geometry and it is considered as the gateway between earthly realm and the divine.

Sacred Geometry study at Aranya Yoga in India

The language of sacred geometry mandalas

The geometric pattern or the Mandala represents the cosmos i.e. a microcosm of the universe. As per Jungian psychology, the Mandala is a symbol used for reunifying the self. The origin of the sacred Mandala is the centre, known as ‘seed’. The seed is the gathering centre wherein the outside energies are drawn into. During the act of drawing the energies, the artist unfolds his/her own energies. Thus, it is a representation of inner and outer spaces. The centre of the Mandala is considered as the essence and the circumference is known as grasping. Thus, mandala also translated to grasping the essence.

Meaning behind the Mandala design

Sacred geometry is based on the belief that the shapes hold certain meanings. The forms of yoga are also about creating these shapes by using our bodies. Mandala is so far the best fusion of geometric design and meaning. The Mandala holds great significance in cultural history as well. In India, several sacred temples were built on the basis of different forms of Mandala. Even, the Egypt pyramids were made using the geometric angles for guidance.

There are structures outside and inside of our body which resonates with the shape or patterns of geometry. This has led some of the great thinkers across the globe to connect spirit, man, and nature with these shapes. From tiny molecules to huge landscapes, even the natural world has its foundation in Geometry. Even the modern architect finds its inspiration from structures and shapes of geometry.

Chakra study in Dharamsala and Goa

Patterns of Geometric Mandala

The Mandala design varies depending on the cultural orientation of people. Several patterns have become popular which are drawn to reap the meditative benefits of Mandala.

  • The Mandala design starts from the centre which is the beginning point of creation. It is the perfect place for the geometric designs to originate from.
  • The torus is a combination of 2 circles which are rotated around a central point created using the drawing tools such as the compass.
  • The perfect right triangles are used to fill the design.
  • The ‘flower of life’ design is made by overlapping the circles of proportionate size.
  • A series of polygons is used in a specific ratio to create a geometric pattern.
  • Simple lines can be used for breaking the circular space for people who wish to keep away from complex designs.

It should be kept in mind that the purpose of creating a mandala pattern is to access the magic of mandala for reaching the meditative sense of being grounded. Thus, it’s recommended to begin working with simple designs which can be finished easily, instead of beginning complex designs which ends up leaving you confused.

What is the Purpose of Sacred Geometry?

The mandala is a tool to accelerate your spiritual awakening; in fact, creating the geometry mandalas is an art of awareness in itself. The mandals are created by one circle at a time which becomes the catalyst for spiritual growth and personal development. Each Mandala is started with the intention of its basic function and purpose which is represented by the geometry structure and the number combinations.

Within the Mandala art, the person discovers that the principles from all the spiritual traditions can be easily accessed. When you have a sacred geometry mandala around you, you will automatically attune to principles it radiates.

Anahata study in India - Aranya Yoga

What will you find within the sacred geometry mandalas?

  • The power of now/ present moment awareness
  • Law of attraction
  • Attention and intention
  • Spiritual development
  • Awakening
  • Self- realization
  • Clearing techniques
  • Numerology and symbolism
  • Quantum spirituality
  • Genesis and creation
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Colour therapy

Benefits of Mandalas

  • The sacred symbols of Mandalas are used for prayer, healing, meditation and art therapy for both children and adults
  • Several clinical studies show that Mandalas boost the immune system
  • They reduce pain
  • Mandalas are known for lowering the blood pressure
  • They reduce stress and ease depression
  • Mandals also promote sound sleep
  • Mandalas transmit positive energy into the environment and also to the people who view them.

You are welcome to respond and ask any more questions you have regarding Sacred Geometry…

How does Yoga strengthen muscles and stabilize us from within?

Sports training often does not contribute to the strengthening of the body, but on the contrary, too often they contribute to weakening and injury. So how do you improve your physical abilities and prevent injuries?

Many people still tend to choose their sport according to what they think will most strengthen them and make them fit, but in fact we see that sports training does not necessarily contribute to the strengthening of the body, but on the contrary, they often contribute to weakness and injuries and then of course stop practicing.

Why is this happening?
We learned from childhood that what is important in sports is the result. How many miles we ran, how many pools we did, what our results compared to our friends. The desire for the result leads to an over exertion that forces the body to be overloaded and therefore the body will rebel at some point.

Another factor that causes injuries is that sports training is not varied enough (running four times a week, gym or bicycle as a single workout) when one of the most important elements in physical activity is the body’s coping with a variety of movements, directions, strengths and more. Modern life is full of sitting, tension, lack of free daily movement, causing the modern body to become stiff and devoid of vitality and move away from its natural abilities. This refers to simple abilities such as bending, twisting the spine, cross movements, equilibrium, jumping, rolling, and more. The cramped body must of course move and therefore the person adapts the wrong movement habits, thus unvaried training can be more harmful than useful.
How will we know if we have these abilities?

Examine yourself: if you can do these comfortably and easily, we will know that it is an action or ability that takes place easily and naturally on a daily basis.

1. Can you sit comfortably with an upright back?
2. Can you stand up without hands?
3. Can you sit on your knees? (Japanese seating)
4. How do you bend over to take something off the floor, do you use your legs or back as a lever?
5. Is it possible for you to stand on one foot and move in all directions?
6. Is it possible for you to stay motionless for about 30 seconds?
7. Do you have free movement when you twist your back?

What will you do to improve your abilities and avoid injuries?
1. Slowly it is actually as quite fast: A gradual step-by-step process will help avoid injury and burnout and strengthen us from the inside out.

2. Listening, awareness, personalization: Develop intelligence movement which can increase the ability of the body to adapt to the right pace.

3. Get familiar with the areas in our body that need to be released: Our body experiences stiffness and over-contraction for many years. Emphasis should be placed on joint release, painless motion ranges and muscle flexibility so that movement is free.

4. Practice what we need rather than what is easy: vary the practice from time to time, change the way you practice. Try as much as possible to move your body in new directions every time you practice.

Our recommendation is to combine sports with yoga, to incorporate yoga as part of the training. The profit is huge and very worthwhile. This is because yoga practice will improve movement and posture awareness and of course will calm and balance you. The practice connects us to our body and helps us listen to its needs, teaches us how to change movement and posture habits, whose application in sports practice greatly improves the movement and improves the quality of our lives.

Yoga teaches us how movement without effort actually improves our abilities. It takes the body out of long-term perseverance. It strengthens the muscles wisely and stabilizes us from the inside, improves balance, flexibility and relieves joint load. We believe that yoga practice has a huge advantage in preparing for proper movement and movement habits in sports, because the slow movement associated with thought strengthens neural connections, improves motor skills and changes habits and brings great pleasure to every movement.

Why should every athlete also engage in yoga?

The Western world has long understood that there is a direct connection between personal awareness, happiness and physical health of the body.

This understanding leads to the fact that people around the world have been exercising for many years, but at the same time they feel that something is missing in order to achieve peace of mind, not to mention the many physical injuries that accumulate in the body.

 

At this point, the Eastern teachings enter into complementary integration between body and mind and bring to perfection what is lacking in routine physical activity.

One of the most well-known teachings in the Eastern world is yoga. The word yoga means union, connection.

There are many types of yoga and each one offers its own interpretation of how to connect your body and mind. They are all based on the yoga that is the basis. Hatha Yoga uses physical positions (asanas) to achieve balance, which is the key word in Yoga. Balancing between body and mind, balance between upper and lower body, balance between physical awareness and emotional balance between internal and external muscles.

The Western world, which is constantly engaged in the pursuit of intellectual and economic achievements, has left the body and mind behind, and this is exactly where Yoga comes in to help.

How exactly can yoga help us? After all, we engage in physical activity day and night, we are in excellent shape and enjoy every moment, so what will it contribute to us? There is no question that Yoga can help if you suffers from knee problems, upper and lower back pain, shoulder problems, joint swelling or ankle injuries, stiffness and shortened muscles!

No matter what sport you are involved in: cycling, running, dancing, golf or any other exercise that requires physical exertion, you probably have at least once one of the problems we mentioned on this list.

You do not intend to stop playing your favorite sport, but any athlete can enjoy yoga and still pursue his favorite sport in a healthier way. Without a doubt, good physical fitness should be such that combines a balance of strength and flexibility and so should any athlete be careful.

Yoga is an effective way to stretch and strengthen the body. It brings physical balance, mental alertness and helps prevent injuries. Moreover, thorough study of how to operate your body in a better and more efficient way will improve your athletic ability.

After exercise you feel refreshed and full of energy. This is because exercise stimulates muscle activity and transfers fluids inside the body. It is important to know that the transfer of fluid in the body is more effective when there is more elasticity and that what yoga does. In exactly the same way, flexible, strong muscles will prevent injuries in the future.

Here are some of the benefits of yoga for athletes:

  • Release and flexibility of joint movements
  • activation of all muscle groups respectively (eg muscle 4 – head and knee tendons)
  • Creating balance in the body – Building excessive muscles can bring the body out of balance and damage the spine, neck, chest and lower back.
  • Better use of the body: stiffness of the muscles and joints damages the body’s energy and prevents its maximum utilization
  • Prevents future injuries – When the joint is surrounded by short muscles, it is prone to injury.

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