Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Yoga Pose that may have the Power to Cure whatever ails you

Viparita Karani (Legs-Up-the-Wall Pose)

Said to reverse the normal downward flow of a precious subtle fluid called amrita (immortal) or soma (extract) in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, modern yogis agree that Viparita Karani may have the power to cure whatever ails you.


Benefits

Relieves tired or cramped legs and feet
Gently stretches the back legs, front torso, and the back of the neck
Relieves mild backache
Calms the mind

Contraindications

Many teachers maintain that Viparita Karani is an inversion, and as such should be avoided during menstruation. Others though recommend the pose even during menstruation. Check with your teacher before performing this pose during menstruation. As with any inversion Viparita Karani should be avoided if you have serious eye problems, such as glaucoma. With serious neck or back problems only perform this pose with the supervision of an experienced teacher. If your feet begin to tingle during this pose, bend your knees, touch your soles together, and slide the outer edges of your feet down the wall, bringing your heels close to your pelvis.





Step by Step


The pose described here is a passive, supported variation of the Shoulderstand-like Viparita Karani. For your support you'll need one or two thickly folded blankets or a firm round bolster. 

You'll also need to rest your legs vertically (or nearly so) on a wall or other upright support.

Before performing the pose, determine two things about your support: its height and its distance from the wall. If you're stiffer, the support should be lower and placed farther from the wall; if you're more flexible, use a higher support that is closer to the wall. Your distance from the wall also depends on your height: if you're shorter move closer to the wall, if taller move farther from the wall. Experiment with the position of your support until you find the placement that works for you.

Start with your support about 5 to 6 inches away from the wall. Sit sideways on right end of the support, with your right side against the wall (left-handers can substitute "left" for "right" in these instructions). 

Exhale and, with one smooth movement, swing your legs up onto the wall and your shoulders and head lightly down onto the floor. The first few times you do this, you may ignominiously slide off the support and plop down with your buttocks on the floor. Don't get discouraged. Try lowering the support and/or moving it slightly further off the wall until you gain some facility with this movement, then move back closer to the wall.






Your sitting bones don't need to be right against the wall, but they should be "dripping" down into the space between the support and the wall. Check that the front of your torso gently arches from the
pubis to the top of the shoulders. If the front of your torso seems flat, then you've probably slipped a bit off the support. Bend your knees, press your feet into the wall and lift your pelvis off the support a few inches, tuck the support a little higher up under your pelvis, then lower your pelvis onto the support again.



Lift and release the base of your skull away from the back of your neck and soften your throat. Don't push your chin against your sternum; instead let your sternum lift toward the chin. Take a small roll (made from a towel for example) under your neck if the cervical spine feels flat. Open your shoulder blades away from the spine and release your hands and arms out to your sides, palms up.
Keep your legs relatively firm, just enough to hold them vertically in place. Release the heads of the thigh bones and the weight of your belly deeply into your torso, toward the back of the pelvis.

Soften your eyes and turn them down to look into your heart.

Stay in this pose anywhere from 5 to 15 minutes. Be sure not to twist off the support when coming out. Instead, slide off the support onto the floor before turning to the side. You can also bend your knees and push your feet against the wall to lift your pelvis off the support. Then slide the support to one side, lower your pelvis to the floor, and turn to the side. Stay on your side for a few breaths, and come up to sitting with an exhalation.



Anatomical Focus

Legs
Abdomen
Chest
Neck

Therapeutic Applications

Gheranda heaps praise on this pose (though that he's probably talking about a version more akin Headstand) and states that Viparita Karani "destroys" old age and death. "You will become an Adept in all the worlds and will not perish even at world dissolution (pralaya)" (Gheranda Samhita 3.36).
Svatmarama (who's probably got something more like shoulderstand in mind) claims that after six months of practice, "grey hairs and wrinkles become inconspicuous" (Hatha Yoga Pradipika 3.82). We should take these traditional benefits with a pinch of salt. Modern teachers do, however, believe that Viparita Karani is good for Most everything that ails you, including:

Anxiety
Arthritis
Digestive problems
Headache
High and low blood pressure
Insomnia
Migraine
Mild depression
Respiratory ailments
Urinary disorders
Varicose veins
Menstrual cramps
Premenstrual syndrome
Menopause




Modifications and Props

In addition to a bolster or blanket for support, two props are very popular for Viparita Karani--a strap and a sand bag. Once in the pose you can snug the strap around your thighs, just above the knees. The strap will help hold your legs in place, allowing you to further relax the legs and soften the groins.
The sand bag is a little harder to get in place. Once in the pose, bend your knees and slide your feet down the wall, but keep your ankles flexed, soles parallel to the ceiling. As best you can, lay the bag across your soles (or heels) and then re-straighten the knees, pushing the bag actively toward the ceiling. This weight on the legs helps release tension in the lower back.

Variations

If you have enough wall space, you can slide your legs apart into a wide "V" to stretch your inner thighs and groins. You also can bend your knees, touch the soles of your feet together, and slide the outer edges of your feet down the wall, bringing your heels toward the pelvis. Then you can push your hands against the top inner thighs to stretch the groins. Remember, however, never push on your knees to open the groins.

Preparatory Asanas

Viparita Karani is usually considered to be a restorative pose,
sequenced near the end of either a restorative or active practice.
But Viparita Karani can also be practiced as a pose in itself.
Excellent preparations include:
Setu Bandha Sarvangasana
Supta Baddha Konasana
Uttanasana
Virasana
Subsequent Asanas
Viparita Karani is usually sequenced near the end of a practice just prior to Savasana or sitting pranayama.

Beginners Tip

Use your breath to ground the heads of the thighs bones into the wall, which helps release your groins, belly, and spine. In the pose imagine that each inhalation is descending through your torso and
pressing the heads of your thigh bones closer to the wall. Then with each exhale, pin your thighs to the wall and let your torso spill over the bolster away from the wall and onto the floor.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Grounding should be practiced at least three times a week.

Grounding is a simple exercise which should be practiced at least three times a week.

- Sit down or stand up, whatever is comfortable for you.

- Close your eyes or leave them open, and begin your breathing cycles. 

- Once you obtain a good rhythm, imagine roots leaving your feet and sinking deep into the earth. 

- With every inhalation, imagine green (positive) energy coming up the roots from the earth into your dan tien. 

- When you exhale imagine red (negative) energy coming out of your mouth.

Continue with this process until you feel you have gathered enough. 

You will find that with practice your chi control will grow impressively.






Grounding FAQ

I am getting weird vibrations around my body, what is this?

This is simply the energy flowing through your very presence.

I can't get any results, and when I am grounding I don't feel anything?

Always listen to your body. The slightest vibration can mean that chi is flowing. A lot of the times when you first try this you do not experience results. Fear not, through practice you will be able to.

SIDE EFFECTS

Some side-effects include, pulsing sensations, tingling sensations, heightened awareness and a sudden energy burst.

Grounding can also prevent "burnout".

Friday, April 26, 2013

Five simple steps to self-healing

Five simple steps to self-healing, as taught by Zeev Kolman in his healing workshops.


1. Relax
Sit quietly. Meditate. Listen to your favorite music or repeat a mantra, a calming word or phrase.
2. Breathe

Inhale deeply. Hold your breath. Use your imagination to push the oxygen to all the organs of your body - including the heart, stomach, and legs. See the breath and oxygen swirl around your head and brain and go out the top of your head.
3. Connect with the cosmic energy

Sit with palms up. Imagine the cosmic energy entering your body as a brilliant light. Feel the energy in your palms as it accumulates. Take your time.
4. Work with your hands

Create an "imaginary" balloon of energy between your hands. Feel the energy. Continue to build up the energy with gentle in-and-out movements of the hands.
5. Build a blue shield

Transfer the energy from your hands into and around your body. Envelop the body with a protective cover of energy, to supply needed life force and to protect yourself from negative influences.

Energy Circles - Create all your Heart's desires

Energy circles are a very interesting concept.
You draw a make-believe circle on the ground, and then, voice out loud your heart's desires and toss it into the circle with your hands.




When you complete this process, you proceed by stepping into the circleBathe yourself in all of your intentions that you threw into the circle

Soak in them. Bring them into your being. 



Then place your hands over your heart and embrace the energy of all that you created.

Lastly, blow all of your wants back out of the circle, giving them to the Universe to start creating all that you desire.


Practice this on a daily basis and start seeing your intentions take form.



Express gratitude for having received all that you have asked for. It is important to give thanks to complete the cycle. Do not go into detail about what, how, or when you want to receive what you desire; leave that to Spirit. 





You can be very specific in what you ask for, right down to the minute detail or you can generalize, for example, to wanting harmony in all areas of your life. 

Thank Spirit for the power you have to create and for the assistance that is always available, when you ask for it!

Please read additional posts on Kundalini and Meditation:  
My favorite Meditation for Self-Healing by Yogi Bhajan

Breathing exercise to overcome all of your physical shortcomings


Also try Bliss Meditation




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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Clear Sinuses and Ward off Infections (Holistic Approach)


With Spring allergies in the air, I would like to discuss healthy way to clear your sinuses and strength your immune system. I am going to talk about Chanting, Qigong, Chinese Medicine, Diet and other healthy ideas.

Vibrations created from chanting Om can help clear your sinuses and ward off infections.

Yogis have traditionally chanted the mantra "Om" to help with focusing the mind. However, this simple and most primal of chants may serve an important side benefit, particularly during winter / spring months: The sound vibrations may help keep your sinuses healthy.

 

This news comes from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, where the researchers Jon Lundberg and Eddie Weitzberg discovered that humming can help to ventilate and open the sinuses. When they tested 10 men, they found that humming increased nitric oxide levels fifteen fold, compared to quiet exhalations without sound. The exhalations of people with healthy sinuses tend to have high nitric oxide levels, indicating that more air is able to flow between the sinuses and the nose.


The two researchers defined humming simply as exhaling with sound while the mouth is closed; they say that chanting "Om" produces the same effects. Chanting and humming both create sound vibrations, which encourage air to move back and forth between your sinus membranes and nasal passages. This air movement then opens tiny ducts, or ostia, that connect your nose to your sinuses, allowing your sinuses to drain properly.




Your sinuses consist of four pairs of air-filled cavities behind and around your nose and your eyes. They filter the air you breathe,keeping germs from getting into your lungs. To combat germs, such as the viruses that cause the common cold, your sinus membranes swell.

Sometimes in response to these germs your sinuses can swell so that the ostia become blocked. Once these are blocked, the mucus cannot drain properly. Bacteria begin to breed inside the sinuses, causing 
a condition which is known as sinusitis.



Sinusitis affects approximately 37 million Americans each year; numbers are climbing in step with air pollution and antibiotic resistance. Common symptoms include facial pain and colored nasal discharge. Once you develop a case of sinusitis, you usually require antibiotics to cure it. However, daily humming or "Om" chanting may prevent such an infection from actually taking hold, according to Lundberg, associate professor of physiology and pharmacology at Karolinska Institute.

"It is logical that daily periods of humming would be beneficial," he says. "The sinuses are effectively ventilated by humming. Previous research shows that poor sinus ventilation increases the risk for sinusitis."


This Qigong can also be very helpful  
Qigong for Clearing the Lungs, Throat and Sinuses
Qigong - Lungs and Grief connection
How to Build up Life Force (Qi) to Fight off Illness

You can also try Energy Medicine for Seasonal Allergies

12 Healthy Tips for Seasonal Allergies

In addition to daily chanting, you can also use a humidifier, as warm, moist air helps to lubricate your nasal and sinus passages and to thin mucus secretions.

 


Many practitioners of Ayurveda also partake in a daily saline nasal washing using a neti pot to clean their nasal passages.


Candida can also manifested through sinus infections.
Please read about Candida treatment in Candida and Digestion

Please read about Veggies that you should include in your diet - Vegetables that eliminate Candida (includes recipes)

Detoxing can also help
Detox with a profound effect on the nervous system
Get Rid of Toxic Weight with Yoga and Cleansing
The Key to Longevity: The Kidney Point
4 Steps to be Mercury Free
Pure Bliss Detox Smoothie




Tips, herbs, yoga and qigong for healthy Digestion:
Another organ you need to pay attention to is your Liver. Please review posts below for Liver health.

Acupressure Points and Home remedies for Health: 
Acupressure Points on your Feet for Headaches and Migraines
Combat Stress and Food Cravings with Qi Massage
Energy Medicine and Home remedies for Dry Eyes


More Exercises and Tips for Energy Flow(Qi) Cultivation:


Resources:
 

Neigong - Martial Qigong for Internal Power 2-DVD set by Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming
INSIDE ZHAN ZHUANG - Standing Meditation for Beginners and Seniors