Increasing Your Vitality
We saved the most dynamic breath for last. The Vitality Breath is a fantastic breath with which to start a yoga-with-weights workout. It sends energy to all parts of your body and makes you feel more alive. Follow these steps to practice the Vitality Breath Repeat Steps 2 through 4 six to eight times to complete six to eight Vitality Breaths. Keep it going. If you like the way the Vitality Breath feels, do two sets of six to eight breaths. Listen to the sound you make as you exhale. The Vitality Breath is a commanding exercise. Don't be shy about exploring this powerful, energy-enhancing breath, but if it doesn't feel right to you, just stay with the Complete Breath.
Pranayama is the final, crucial aspect of Hatha Yoga all yogis will do well to practice. We talk about pranayama in detail in Chapter 7, so we'll just say a few more words here about prana and vitality. Prana is vitality. Mastering prana, both physical and mental, is probably the single most important aspect of Hatha Yoga. Prana powers the universe with its energy, and it's the profound connection between you and everything else. Amazingly, something as simple as a breathing technique is the first step to becoming aware of the movement of prana through your body and throughout the universe.
The basic principle with each bandha is first to accumulate energy in an area of your physiology, then release it. This process of building a force and then unleashing it discharges obstacles from the pathways of energy circulation. Like Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga envisions the body mind as a network of energetic channels through which life force flows. These pathways are known as srotas and nadis. Srotas are circulatory channels in the physical body, whereas nadis exist in the subtle body. Health and vitality are dependent upon life energy flowing freely through the physical and subtle biological passageways.
Prana is the vital force, life-energy or Jiva Sakti. It is the eternal symbol of God. It is the link Hiranyagarbha or Golden son of God. It is the link between the astral and physical body. Prana is divided into physical Prana and psychic Prana. Breathing is external manifestation of physical Prana. All thoughts are due to the vibration of psychic Prana in the Chitta.
This collection of meditations will further enhance the use of your physical wisdom. They are practical techniques that fight stress, enhance intuition, and increase basic life energy. Yogi Bhajan has shared literally hundreds of meditation techniques. These meditations directly expand your life, coping with challenge, and experiencing your physical wisdom.
If you choose to focus your meditation on a cakra (one of the options in the earlier list), you first need to understand the concept of cakras. According to Yoga, the physical body has a more subtle energetic counterpart that consists of a network of energy channels called nadis (pronounced nah-dees) through which the life force (prana) circulates. The most important channel, called the sushumna-nadi or gracious channel, runs along the axis of the body from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. In the ordinary individual, this central conduit of subtle energy is said to be mostly inactive. The purpose of many Hatha Yoga exercises is to clear this channel in particular of any obstructions, so that the life energy can flow freely in it, leading to better health and also higher states of consciousness.
The poses of Surya Namaskar represent the full experience of human life with all its highs and lows and ins and outs. Traditionally performed at sunrise and sunset, the postures represent the metabolism of the sun's energy into life energy. The sun is the source of all life on this planet. Ultimately we are beings of light, and the sun salutations acknowledge this primordial connection.
You can greatly enhance the value of this and other exercises by fully participating with your mind. Feel the air fill your lungs. Feel your muscles work. Feel your body as a whole. Visualize precious life energy entering your lungs and every cell of your body, rejuvenating and energizing you. To help you experience this exercise more profoundly, keep your eyes closed. Place your hands on your abdomen and feel it expand upon inhalation.
For concentration and mindfulness (which we cover in Chapter 21). You're able to work more efficiently and better appreciate your leisure time. In particular, conscious breathing during the exercises greatly enhances the effects of your practice on your body and mind, equipping you with the vitality you need to meet the challenges of a busy life.
- and let him fear not to demand his own. Let him call for what is his, feeling certain that his just call will be answered. Let him breathe slowly, according to the instructions regarding the Rhythmic Breath (Science of Breath, pages 58-54) and mentally picture the inflow of Prana with each inward breath, and the expelling of worn out and impure matter with each outward breath. Let him picture himself as being filled with health, strength and vitality - full of energy and life -bright and happy. If tired or fatigued during the day, let him stop for a moment and inhale a few deep breaths, carrying the mental picture of the inflowing Prana, and the casting out of diseased matter through the breath. He will find that he experiences an immediate feeling of increased strength and vitality. This Prana may be sent to any part of the body which seems to call for help and strength, and a little practice will enable the student to have such control that he can plainly feel the tingling...
Violent fits of hot-temper do serious damage to the brain cells, throw poisonous chemical products into the blood, produce general shock and depression and suppress the secretion of gastric juice, bile and other digestive juices in the alimentary canal, drain away your energy, vitality, induce premature old age and shorten life.
By paying attention to transitions as well as exercises, you can carry vitality, strength, and endurance from one exercise to the next. With enough attention to transitions, you can turn your yoga-with-weights workout into a seamless flow with all the postures connected through balance and breath.
The practice of the Complete Breath will make any man or woman immune to Consumption and other pulmonary troubles, and will do away with all liability to contract colds, as well as bronchial and similar weaknesses. Consumption is due principally to lowered vitality attributable to an insufficient amount of air being inhaled. The impairment of vitality renders the system open to attacks from disease germs. Imperfect breathing allows a considerable part of the lungs to remain inactive, and such portions offer an inviting field for bacilli, which invading the weakened tissue soon produce havoc. Good healthy lung tissue will resist the germs, and the only way to have good healthy lung tissue is to use the lungs properly.
Some people are extremely body-conscious, and possess no idea of the Self. They live irregular, indisciplined lives and fill their stomachs with sweets, pastries, and so on. There is no rest for the digestive and the eliminating organs. They suffer from physical weakness and diseases. The atoms, molecules and cells in their bodies produce discordant or inharmonious vibrations. They have no hope, confidence, faith, serenity and cheerfulness. They are unhappy. The life-force is not operating properly. Their vitality is at a low ebb. Their mind is filled with fear, despair, worry and anxiety.
Physical qualities may be acquired by the same methods as above mentioned in connection with mental qualities. We do not mean, of course, that short men can be made tall, or that amputated limbs may be replaced, or similar miracles. But the expression of the countenance may be changed courage and general physical characteristics improved by the control of the Will, accompanied by rhythmic breathing. As a man thinks so does he look, act, walk, sit, etc. Improved thinking will mean improved looks and actions. To develop any part of the body, direct the attention to it, while breathing rhythmically, holding the mental picture that you are sending an increased amount of prana, or nerve force, to the part, and thus increasing its vitality and developing it. This plan applies equally well to any part of the body which you wish to develop. Many Western athletes use a modification of this plan in their exercises. The student who has followed our instructions so far will readily understand haw...
As the saying goes, you are what you eat. Everyone understands that drugs and medicines have direct effects on the body, but few people stop to consider what effect foods have. Eating sugary foods, for example, gives most people an energy rush. These foods cause your blood-sugar (or glucose) level to spike for a short period of time, which feels good. You feel like you have more energy, and you may even feel happier for a little while. But then you experience a rapid drop in blood-sugar that leaves you feeling drained of energy. Being aware of your body's responses to different foods can direct you to foods that bring energy, health, and vitality.
When the tail of a lizard is cut, the cut end will flutter about for sometime as there is still a little residual Prana in the tail. After one or two minutes all motion will cease. Even so, even after thinning and reducing the thoughts, some thoughts will move about like the tail of the lizard. But they are powerless. They cannot do any serious harm. There is no vitality in them.
And not only is Man dependent upon Breath for life, but he is largely dependent upon correct habits of breathing for continued vitality and freedom from disease. An intelligent control of our breathing power will lengthen our days upon earth by giving us increased vitality and powers of resistance, and, on the other hand, unintelligent and careless breathing will tend to shorten our days, by decreasing our vitality and laying us open to disease.
Suggestions in his mind, and forms the mental picture implied by the healer's words. The healer suggests that which he wishes to bring about and the patient allows the suggestions to sink into his Instinctive Mind, where they are taken up and afterwards manifested in physical results. The best suggestionists are men of vitality, who send forceful thoughts charged with Prana into the organism of the patient, at the same time that the suggestions are given. In nearly all forms of mental healing, several methods are intermingled, as the student will discover for himself, if he takes the trouble to analyze the treatments. The Instinctive Mind often falls into bad habits of attending to the body, by reason of the person having departed from the natural way of living and having caused the Instinctive Mind to take up these incorrect habits. Suggestion, and auto-suggestion bring back the Instinctive Mind to normal functioning, and the body speedily recovers its former harmony. In many cases...
Some people think yoga is a religion. Some people think it is physical exercise for vitality and health. Some people think it is a psychological system that develops the potential of the psyche. In reality, this is all based on misunderstanding. Yoga is essentially a relationship. Consider the origin of the word yoga. Yoga, as we in the West understand it, has come from the biblical word, yoke. This originated from the root word in Sanskrit jugit. They both mean to join together or to untie . Yoga is the union of the individual's unit consciousness with the infinite consciousness. The definition of a yogi is a person who has totally leaned on the Supreme Consciousness, which is God, until they have merged their unit self with the Infinite Self. That is all it means.
While surfing television channels in the past, you may have seen an infomercial by Jack La Lanne that touts the benefits of juicing fruits and vegetables to get optimal nutrition from your foods. La Lanne, a pioneer in the field of health and fitness who's now in his 90s, claims that the secret to his longevity is exercise and drinking plenty of fruit and vegetable juice. La Lanne is a dynamic and inspiring example of how important a healthy diet in combination with a well-balanced exercise program really is to longevity and vitality.
Once or twice a year, you should consider undergoing a cleansing and purification diet. Your body is your vehicle for life, so once in a while it pays to clean the machine. Periods of cleansing with natural and water-rich fresh foods clean out old debris in your body at a deep level. Cleansing and purification diets can help you shed unwanted weight and recover your energy and vitality while detoxifying and
Life, is a manifestation of this Prana. the sum-total of the energy displayed in the universe is called Prana. This Prana, before a cycle begins, remains in an almost motionless state, and when the cycle begins this Prana begins to manifest itself. It is this Prana that is manifested as motion, as the nervous motion in human beings or animals, and the same Prana is manifesting as thought, and so on. The whole universe is a combination of Prana and Akasa so is the human body. Out of Akasa you get the different materials that you feel, and see, and out of Prana all the various forces. Now this throwing out and restraining the Prana is what is called Pranayama. Patanjali, the father of the Yoga Philosophy, does not give many particular directions about Pranayama, but later on other Yogis found out various things about this Pranayama, and made of it a great science. With Patanjali ist is one of the many ways, but he does not lay much stress on it. He means that you simply throw the air...
Himself, which is the only Real part of him, and which is an impregnable tower of strength against the assaults of others. There is no cause for all of this fear that is being manifested by many Western students of thought-power, who are in constant dread of being treated adversely by other people. The man or woman who realizes the I within, may by the slightest exercise of the Will surround himself with a mental aura which will repel adverse thought-waves emanating from the minds of others. Nay, more than this--the habitual recognition of the I, and a few moments' meditation upon it each day, will of itself erect such an aura, and will charge this aura with a vitality that will turn back adverse thought, and cause it to return to the source from which it came, where it will serve the good purpose of bringing to the mistaken mind originating it, the conviction that such practices are hurtful and to be avoided. All students of the Occult are aware of the fact that men may be, and are,...
And Herbert Spencer, has this to say of this phase of the subject, It is almost a truism to say that in proportion to the numerousness of the objects that can be distinguished, and in proportion to the variety of coexistences and sequences that can be severally responded to, must be the number and rapidity and variety of the changes within the organism--must be the amount of vitality.
Jnana mudra (pronounced gyah-nah moo-drah) or wisdom seal is one of a number of hand positions used in Yoga. To do this mudra, bring the tip of your index finger to the tip of your thumb to form a circle extend the three remaining fingers, keeping them close together (as shown in Figure 6-5). This hand gesture makes a good circuit, sealing off the life energy (prana) in your body. (Check out Chapter 5 for more on prana.)
This is an exercise well known to the Yogis, who consider it one of the strongest nerve stimulants and invigorants known to man. Its purpose is to stimulate the Nervous System, develop nerve force, energy and vitality. This exercise brings a stimulating pressure to bear on important nerve centers, which in turn stimulate and energize the entire nervous system, and send an increased flow of nerve force to all parts of the body.
Men experience something similar to menopause called andropause. Although changes in their sexual glands may lessen their sex drives, men can continue to sire children into old age. But when they see their vitality and hairline recede a little, men are often thrown into an existential crisis.
Middle finger intellectual faculty, individuality, and striving for power are in the indexfinger the will, instinctiveness, and vitality in general are found in the thumb. Further classifications from astrology and palmistry can be found in the illustrations on page 38 and the one below.9
Thought, though unlikely to bore a hole in the body, also has vast power. A concentrated mind acts as an irresistible instrument of action it leads to efficiency in all one's activities in the outside world it is a dynamo which generates vitality and enthusiasm in every direction. A concentrated mind also has the ability to be a sensitive receiving instrument it becomes receptive to higher vibrations, to heightened perception. It becomes a receiver of the influx of higher awareness, bliss and knowledge. All this is normally beyond the range of the average mind for it is too disturbed and distracted by a continual inner chatter of thoughts. Concentration is the key that will unlock the door to higher states of awareness.
Systematic yogic sets that focus on specific centers and systems in the body field. These are combined with a number of powerful breathing techniques that purify and supercharge the bloodstream with oxygen, electricity and the other vital chemicals in the air. The charged and purified blood then flows into the areas are saturated with blood due to the pressure of the positions and movements, with the result that the nerves begin to charge and fire completely, the capillaries in the related organs and glands open and discharge their toxins, the cells discharge accumulated waste and vitality and life force begins to flow back into these centers.
This vinyasa restores vitality, strength, and flexibility to the entire body. It also improves digestion through the continual compression of the intestinal tract. Chandra means moon, and just as the sun salutation greets and honors the sun, so chandra-namaskara (pronounced SHAHN-drah-nah-MAHS-kah-rah) greets and honors the moon. Try practicing this vinyasa outside on a clear evening when the moon is in full view. Serenity
A fundamental principle is the yoga diet's primary influence. Yogis have traditionally divided food (and everything else, but we'll just talk about food in this chapter) into three categories, called gunas. The three gunas are sattva, rajas, and tamas, and each represents a different type of energy. When applied to food, these energies go into our bodies and affect us in different ways, making us more balanced, or imbalanced, depending on our individual needs and the food we eat. Sattvic food promotes health, vitality, strength, and tranquillity rajasic food promotes excessive energy, agitation, and discontentment and tamasic food promotes lethargy, laziness, and inactivity.
Malaysian herbal traditions are unique in all the world. Located at Asia's crossroads, Malaysia's practices combine the wisdom of Chinese herbalists, Indian ayurvedics and traditional Malay healers. This blending of influences has instructed Asia's most exciting holistic practices, sharing common goals - the improvement of vitality, sexual fitness, stress reduction and personal balance. Traditional Malaysian Herbs for Feminine Vitality & Well-Being Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila) The best-known among Malaysia's herbal treatments for women, the leaves and other parts are commonly sought to promote feminine vitality and reproductive health. Asam Gelugor (Garcinia atroviridis) An extract from the fruit contains hydroxycitric acid or HCA, commonly used to support vitality and metabolism. Many consider it valuable for weight control. Mas Cotek (Ficus deltoidea) Also known as mistletoe fig, it is traditionally used for sexual vitality, with additional uses to revitalize the body.
Cakrasana (pronounced chah-KRAH-sah-nah) makes your body strong and mobile, like a wheel. It stretches and strengthens the stomach, improves the concentration by bringing blood to the head, and gives greater control over the body. It also prevents bad posture, tones the extremities, improves the memory, heightens energy and vitality, brings a feeling of lightness to the body, and improves circulation to the trachea and larynx. (The trachea also known as the windpipe is the passageway between the larynx and the lungs, and the larynx is the area of the throat that contains the vocal cords.)
So far in the first two stages of nadi shodhana pranayama we have described alternate manipulation and control of breath through the two nostrils'. In other words, the aim has been to direct the flow of breath through each of the nostrils separately. There are various good reasons for these practices. Firstly, the ability to control inhalation and exhalation is increased and the breathing rate is decreased at will. From this comes improved respiration, which results in more vitality and better health, as well as greater calmness in daily life situations. Remember that the breathing rate is directly related to emotions. In general, fast unrhythmical breathing is associated with anxiety, anger and other debilitating, negative emotions, while slow, rhythmical breathing is connected with relaxation, friendship, well being and other positive emotions. Practice of stages 1 and 2 nadi shodhana pranayama can help to bring about a more harmonious attitude and way of life.
Regular practice of antar mouna brings about a gradual release of pent-up mental tension and suppressed emotions. This in turn leads to more relaxation at a pranic and physical level. That is, relaxation of the mind leads to the removal of blockages in the pranic channels of the body the flow of prana is allowed to circulate to every part of the body without impediment. There is a progressive removal of chronic muscular tensions. Organs such as the digestive organs are allowed to function more efficiently, unhindered by turmoil in the mind. The endocrinal system begins to function smoothly without being continually overloaded. In this manner, physical and pranic disorders can be gradually alleviated. The whole body finds its lost state of good health and becomes infused with a new level of vitality. There are many benefits to be gained by including the practice of antar mouna as part of your daily life.
Of all the twenty types of yoga, including Kundalini Yoga, this is the highest kriya. This meditation cuts through all darkness. The name, Sodarshan Chakra Kriya, means the Kriya for Perfect Purification of the Chakras. It will give you a new start. It is the simplest kriya, but at the same time the hardest. It cuts through all barriers of the neurotic or psychotic inside nature. When a person is in a very bad state, techniques imposed from the outside will not work. The pressure has to be stimulated from within. The tragedy of life is when the subconscious releases garbage into the conscious mind. This kriya invokes the Kundalini energy to give you the necessary vitality and intuition to combat the negative effects of the unchanneled subconscious mind.
Sensuality destroys life, lustre, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, fame, holiness and devotion to the Supreme. Death is hastened by letting out vital energy from the body. Life is saved and prolonged by preserving it. Those who have lost much of their Veerya or the vital energy become easily irritable and lazy. They easily succumb to any disease. They meet with premature death.
Control that people in circuses have developed, but sufficient to perform yogic practices, including kriya yoga, with ease. Health, needless to say, is of utmost importance, not only for more advanced kriya yoga practices but for everyday life. If you have some disease or pain it is very difficult to think of anything else, let alone try to practise kriya yoga or any other higher form of yoga practice. For this reason, the initial aim of yoga should be to make you radiate health by removing existing ailments or by improving your present condition of health. It is by doing asanas, pranayama and various body cleansing techniques, as outlined in Book I and II, that we can attain this required state of vitality.
Yogically speaking, you must extend the ideal of chastity to action, speech, and even thought. We leave it up to you to determine where, in your own case, you can change your behavior to bring it more in line with Yoga's moral orientation. Bear in mind that Yoga isn't asking you to go against human nature, which includes sexuality. Rather, Yoga invites you to consider your higher spiritual potential. The Yoga masters recommend chastity not for prudish reasons but because it's an effective way of harnessing your body's vital energy. The practitioner who is firmly grounded in chastity supposedly obtains vigor or vitality.
To finish Inhale, hold the breath 15 Seconds, stretch your arms out as far as possible, putting pressure on your joined fingers. Exhale through the mouth like cannon fire. Repeat this sequence two more times. If this set is practiced for 120 days you'll gain great vitality, personal excellence, and a new concept of what you are. It works on the celestial concept of the third layer of the human mind.
The Science of Breath, like many other teachings, has its esoteric or inner phase, as well as its exoteric or external. The physiological phase may be termed the outer or exoteric side of the subject, and the phase which we will now consider may be termed its esoteric or inner side. Occultists, in all ages and lands, have always taught, usually secretly to a few followers, that there was to be found in the air a substance or principle from which all activity, vitality and life was derived. They differed in their terms and names for this force, as well as in the details of the theory, but the main principle is to be found in all occult teachings and philosophies, and has for centuries formed a portion of the teachings of the Oriental Yogis. same for what they require. Not only do they strengthen all parts of their body in this way, but the brain itself may receive increased energy from the same source, and latent faculties be developed and psychic powers attained. One who has mastered...
Many men come to the practice of yoga through the back door Avid athletes who injure themselves turn to yoga as a last resort alternative to mend and restore their bodies. While yoga can help you to recover from a sports injury, you don't have to do yourself bodily injury before you can benefit from it. In fact, yoga is one of the best fitness activities to help prevent injury from occurring in the first place. Yoga practices can help you enhance your performance in nearly any physical activity by preparing you for the activity beforehand, guiding you with mindful awareness through its performance and helping to restore you afterward. In addition, it can help you strengthen yourself further by helping you to compensate for areas of your body that are not exercised by your sport so as to have full and complete overall body strength and vitality.
Atman is ever awake, although all the minds are at rest. Mother of this world, Rajesvari, takes the Jivas back to Her and Her Lord during deep sleep, hugs them to Her bosom, bestows on them refreshing peace, new vigour, vitality and strength and makes them quite fit for the ensuing battle of life on the following day. But for this sleep, life would have been absolutely impossible in this physical plane when miseries, diseases, cares, worries, fears and anxieties of various kinds trouble men every second. If a man does not get sound sleep even for one night, if he loses his sleep one night for three hours by keeping watch over a sick patient or attending the cinema, how miserable, gloomy, depressed he feels the next day
The Yogis possess great knowledge regarding the use and abuse of the reproductive principle in both sexes. Some hints of this esoteric knowledge have filtered out and have been used by Western writers on the subject, and much good has been accomplished in this way. In this little book we cannot do more than touch upon the subject, and omitting all except a bare mention of theory, we will give a practical breathing exercise whereby the student will be enabled to transmute the reproductive energy into vitality for the entire system, instead of dissipating and wasting it in lustful indulgences in or out of the marriage relations. The reproductive energy is creative energy, and may be taken up by the system and transmuted into strength and vitality, thus serving the purpose of regeneration instead of generation. If the young men of the Western world understood these underlying principles they would be saved much misery and unhappiness in after years, and would be stronger mentally,...
Breathe as you normally would Observe your breath. If you are like most men, you are probably taking a shallow breath, mainly into the chest area. This type of breath is a shorter breath than full three-part yogic breathing, and it does not provide as rich a supply of oxygen and vital life energy as full yogic breathing.
Many of the diseases to which civilized man is subject are undoubtedly caused by this common habit of mouth-breathing. Children permitted to breathe in this way grow up with impaired vitality and weakened constitutions, and in manhood and womanhood break down and become chronic invalids. The mother of the savage race does better, being evidently guided by her intuition. She seems to instinctively recognize that the nostrils are the proper channels for the conveyal of air to the lungs, and she trains her infant to close its little lips and breathe through the nose. She tips its head forward when it is asleep, which attitude closes the lips and makes nostril-breathing imperative. If our civilized mothers were to adopt the same plan, it would work a great good for the race.
Ashtanga yoga wakes up the internal fire. It ignites the dormant flame of vital life energy within all of us. The vinyasa system works with the synchronization of deep, rhythmic breathing and movement. By linking the postures it creates a continuous flow of energy that heats up the body, bringing oxygen to the blood, nourishing the glands and internal organs, cleansing and purifying the nervous system, releasing unwanted toxins through perspiration. As the heat goes up toxins are burned up and out of the system, creating a lighter and stronger body, and a clear mind. The heat is not only a physical experience, it is an internal spiritual fire that burns through the fog of illusion and ignorance. the system, but another amazing thing happens the body begins to bend and move. As Pattabhi Jois says even iron will bend with heat. With this freedom of movement we are able to open up areas of the body that had been previously restricted or blocked. There is a release, a feeling of...
Yoga nidra helps to harmonize the pranic flows throughout the whole human structure. This is especially true during the stage of rotating awareness through the different parts of the body. It is the mind that controls prana, and mere mental awareness of a specific part of the body induces How of prana to that area. Rotation of awareness through the different parts of the body systematically induces a flow of prana to each part in turn. This leads to harmonization and awakening of the pranic flows in the entire human framework. This factor alone helps to eliminate or relieve ailments and improve health. It improves the vitality of the whole body since this is dependent on a smooth flow of prana. The practice of yoga nidra has deep implications.
If you look around you, you'll notice what happens as we get older. The middle of the body begins to lose shape and collapse. Gravity is pulling us downward. Unless we are practicing some type of opposing technique, the whole solar plexus area, a major nerve center of the body, will become squashed. Not to mention the toxins that get trapped, the poor digestion that results, and the lack of oxygen to the abdominal region. Naulis, in conjunction with the bandhas, bring everything upward, inviting vitality back into the middle of the body.
One will continue to perform one's duties, not less enthusiastically as one would expect, but more enthusiastically, joyfully and zestfully. Tension is widely felt to be a spur, a stimulus to prod or goad people into activity. Well it is, no doubt of this, but it is a very ineffective and limited one. A calm, tensionless mind leads, contrary to common supposition, to a person who is a human dynamo, throbbing with vitality and enthusiasm. One does not languish in a state of indifferent laziness, because of lack of mental tension. One starts to live life to the full, undergoing a veritable rebirth. One interacts with other people and situations with totality, whether in excitement, anger, love and all other human expressions. But all these emotions no longer influence the inner being as they did before. The experience of life is heightened, contrary to popular conceptions of the higher stages of yoga. The freer the mind is of problems, the greater the ability to enjoy and experience...
The ancient yogis and sages who developed Kundalini Yoga had a deep respect for the Creator of this human body. They knew, in their profound devotion and worship, that so perfect a Creator could only have created perfection in design, function and potential. Based on this respect, they sought knowledge of the totality of the human being. They researched the human ability to maintain good health, increase vitality, open consciousness and expand the experience of the excellence of human life. Their research gave them a great understanding of the nervous system, glandular system, organ system, energy system, and brain. They learned how blood, nerves, muscles, organs, and glands all work together. They investigated the seen and the unseen, and the inter-relationships between the physical and the subtle. From this research they developed Kundalini Yoga.
Will, emanating from the Absolute--infilled with the power of the Absolute and acting under established natural laws, which performs the active work of creation in the world, similar to that performed by Cudsworth's Plastic Nature, just mentioned. This Creative Will is not Schopenhauer's Will-to-Live. It is not a Thing-in-itself, but a vehicle or instrument of the Absolute. It is an emanation of the mind of the Absolute--a manifestation in action of its Will--a mental product rather than a physical, and, of course, saturated with the life-energy of its projector. It does more than this. It is in full operation in all forms of life, and living things. It is present everywhere. Back of all forms of movement and action, we find a moving cause-usually a Pressure. This is true of that which we have been calling mechanical forces, and of all forms of that which we call Life Energy. Now, note this, this great Pressure that you will observe in all Life Action, is the Creative Will--the Will...
By flexing your quads you will notice your hamstrings get a deeper stretch. As you pull your abdominals inward and upward you can feel the lower back lengthening. Maintain a flexed contraction within the stretch by engaging the opposing muscles. Don't sink into your knees or lock them. Always lift up the kneecap by flexing the quadriceps. Maintain awareness also of your elbows, shoulders, and wrists. The intention is to bring life energy into our bodies, for this we need awareness.
The second benefit of yoga is that regular practice of these poses will enhance your general level of physical and emotional comfort. If the background state of your body is one of chronic discomfort, it cannot be a reliable instrument by which you evaluate your choices. When using your body as an instrument for making choices, the subtle sensations of comfort or discomfort provide the guidance for right action. If your baseline state is disturbed, you will not be able to notice the shifts your body takes when considering different choices. Helping your body release obstacles that impede the healthy flow of life energy is a great benefit of practicing yoga postures.
Spices are adjusted according to the dominant dosha (life energy) in yourpra-kriti (constitution), says Stone. Ayurveda takes a highly individualized approach to eating, so it can be helpful to take into account your dominant dosha and modify your meal accordingly. (To learn about your constitution, visityogajourtial.com prdkritiqaiz)
The human body is designed for movement. When you are able to move freely, effortlessly, and in harmony with your environment, you experience joy and vitality on all levels of life. This is the highest expression of the Law of Dharma established in a state of expanded inner awareness, you perform activity with dynamic ease. The regular practice of yoga enables you to expand your limitations. As the body becomes more flexible, the mind becomes more flexible. As the body gains strength, the mind gains
If some friend is deficient in vitality you may aid him by sitting in front of him, your toes touching his, and his hands in yours. Then both breathe rhythmically, you forming the mental image of sending prana into his system, and he holding the mental image of receiving the prana. Persons of weak vitality or passive will should be careful with whom they try this experiment, as the prana of a person of evil desires will be colored with the thoughts of that person, and may give him a temporary influence over the weaker person. The latter, however, may easily remove such influence by closing the circuit (as before mentioned) and breathing a few rhythmic breaths, closing with the Cleansing Breath.
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In many languages the words for spirit and breath are the same. In Sanskrit it's prana, in Latin, spiritus, and in Hebrew, ruach. In Portuguese the word for taking in breath is inspiration, or spirit-in. They believe that an infant literally breathes its spirit into its body with its first breath. We breathe in life. Breath is the source of life and vitality. It is the spirit moving in rhythm in the body. Breath is the fuel that feeds the internal fire, gives it life, keeps the flame going. The vital life energy, prana, is controlled by the breath. In ashtanga yoga, ujjayi breathing (victorious breath) is used to enrich prana. By breathing through the nose, with the mouth closed, the breath is felt from the throat, producing a hissing sound. This sound of the breath keeps the mind focused. As the mind begins to wander, the sound of the breath keeps bringing you back home and away from the mumbling, bumbling mind. The mind becomes focused and calm as each pose flows into the next in...
The spine is where you will feel the flow of energy. Notice which parts of the spine feel warm or even hot and where there are no feelings or numbness. This information will indicate where your energy is flowing and where it is not. For the Kundalini to flow, the whole spine must be open. Kundalini is our vital, creative energy that flows through us all the time. The amount that flows through us determines our aliveness and awareness. The goal of practicing Kundalini yoga as taught by Yogi Bhajan is to GRADUALLY increase the flow of energy. Many people who practice Kundalini yoga do not experience huge rushes of uncontrollable energy. Rather they experience a gradual expansion of consciousness and increase in vitality that evolves over time.
It's often said that yoga slows the aging process. What yoga really does is to help maintain and improve your posture and general health through exercising and proper breathing. Yoga with weights helps to increase your vitality and overall well-being so you look and feel younger and more beautiful. It can give you self-confidence and poise, increase your self-awareness, and make the light inside you shine more brightly with each decade.
Man extracts Prana from the air he breathes the food he eats the fluid he drinks. If he be deficient in Prana, he becomes weak and lacks vitality, as the term goes. When his supply of Prana is sufficiently large for his needs, he becomes active, bright, energetic, and full of life. We have given directions regarding the acquiring and storing up of Prana, by means of Breath, in our little book, Science of Breath, and will give directions for its best absorption from the food and fluids, in our forthcoming book, Hatha Yoga.
Influenced by strong cultural beliefs, generations of Malaysian women have relied on traditional methods to promote inner health, which is believed to be fundamental to outer beauty. Kacip Fatimah (Labisia pumila) has long been part of this tradition, used to enhance vigor and support feminine vitality. Modern scientific methods are now enabling extraction of this valuable herb's essence, to better target feminine health. Other Malaysian rainforest herbs (see sidebar below) are equally valued to promote overall wellness and healthy aging. Generations of use supports the benefits of these traditional ingredients, with many now found to contain naturally-occurring antioxidants and phytonutrients.
It can be practised at almost any time of the day and in any place. No special preparations are necessary. If you feel tired during the day, a few rounds of surya namaskara will quickly restore the lost vitality, both physically and mentally. If you feel angry or depressed, surya namaskara is an excellent antidote not a panacea, but a great help in removing emotional disturbances. It is a rhythmical, symmetrical exercise which is really a pleasure to perform. When it is perfected, the body almost appears to flow through the different movements without any effort or conscious will. Each part of the body seems to move automatically into the right position at the right time and in the right sequence without any effort. If you try it for yourself you will know what we mean.
Sattvic foods help you think more clearly, because your body is unclouded and unhindered by impurities, chemicals, and stimulants. Sattvic foods promote contemplative thought, vitality, energy, tranquillity, happiness, and overall health. Most serious yoga practitioners exist primarily on sattvic foods, although because food in and of itself is not an obsession for the healthy yogi, occasional tastes of other foods when
The Mountain is based on a traditional yoga master pose (meaning it affects every system in your body). It's a warm-up exercise that loosens and relaxes your spine, shoulders, and neck. It opens up your chest, back, and spine for vitality, and for these reasons, it's good for your posture. The exercise also establishes a foundation so you can focus on concentration and is wonderful for developing balance and coordination.
Hatha yoga means literally the forceful yoga. As its name implies, this approach to yoga emphasizes the vitality and life force of the physical body. Hatha yoga is undoubtedly the most well known, popular, and frequently practiced style of yoga in the West. It places great emphasis on purifying the body through a variety of means that include physical exercise, cleansing rites, and specific breathing techniques. These practices not only strengthen the body through the force of exercise, they can also help you to expand your own personal force, or store of energy, through their vitalizing effects.
Om Friends, you are the future hope of the motherland. You are the citizens of tomorrow. You should always think over the goal of life and live to attain it. The goal of life is the attainment of freedom from all sorts of misery or the state of Kaivalya or liberation from the cycle of births and deaths. Lead a well-regulated moral life. Moral strength is the backbone of spiritual progress. Ethical culture is part and parcel of spiritual Sadhana. Keep up Brahmacharya or the vow of celibacy. By the observance of Brahmacharya many of the sages of yore have attained immortality. Brahmacharya is the source of new strength, vigour, vitality and success in life, and eternal
Yoga is the discipline of the mind, senses and physical body. Yoga helps in the co-ordination and control of the subtle forces within the body. Yoga brings in perfection, peace and everlasting happiness. Yoga can help you in your business and in your daily life. You can have calmness of mind at all times by the practice of Yoga. You can have restful sleep. You can have increased energy, vigour, vitality, longevity and a high standard of health. Yoga transmutes animal nature into divine nature and raises you to the pinnacle of divine glory and splendour.
THERE are two necessities of Nature's workings which seem always to intervene in the greater forms of human activity, whether these belong to our ordinary fields of movement or seek those exceptional spheres and fulfilments which appear to us high and divine. Every such form tends towards a harmonised complexity and totality which again breaks apart into various channels of special effort and tendency, only to unite once more in a larger and more puissant synthesis. Secondly, development into forms is an imperative rule of effective manifestation yet all truth and practice too strictly formulated becomes old and loses much, if not all, of its virtue it must be constantly renovated by fresh streams of the spirit revivifying the dead or dying vehicle and changing it, if it is to acquire a new life. To be perpetually reborn is the condition of a material immortality. We are in an age, full of the throes of travail, when all forms of thought and activity that have in themselves any strong...
Naturopathy is a system of medicine which aims at restoring health and eliminating disease by building up the vitality of the body. Few of us have the experience of good health we assume that because we are not actually ill, then we are healthy. But there is a vast spectrum of states between health and disease not just black and white, but a thousand shades of grey. Good health is a state of physical and mental well-being, where a person experiences buoyant spirits, abundant energy and the complete absence of body pain. All organs and body systems work efficiently, cell metabolism is normal and all the vital processes of the body are being properly maintained. In addition, there are good reserves available to enable the body to suffer stress and privation for a considerable time without breakdown. The level of vitality is high and potential for work excellent.
How many of you, sisters and brothers, find in yourselves the unmistakable signs of disease, declining health, vim, vigour and vitality How many of you, may I ask again, feel actually the grip of premature old age Why do you unjustly throw the whole blame on heredity without for a moment realising that for nearly thirty or thirty-five years you have been flouting the laws of life Thirty-five years of wrong living Thirty-five years of wrong feeding Thirty-five years of wrong breathing Thirty-five years of wrong thinking Thirty-five years spent in abject ignorance of the relationship between brain and brawn Thirty-five years, in fact, spent in doing everything possible to develop the disease of Old Age Practise either Padmasana or Siddhasana for meditative purposes and the various other Asanas, Bandhas, etc., for maintaining, a high standard of health, vigour, strength, vitality, and for keeping up Brahmacharya.
The glands and many organs provide life and vitality to the bloodstream and the other organs and systems of the body. In particular the sexual fluids pumping into the blood stream have a chemical electric makeup that allows nerves to carry energy and cells to reproduce. It is this fluid that is most vital in the healing of severed nerves. The flow of this fluid throughout the body provides the basis for the nerves, glands and organs to carry a charge and be fully functional in their own work in maintaining a balanced system.
Due to the extra stretch given to the pelvic region more oxygenated blood is brought there and the gonad glands absorb the required nutrition from the blood. This increases vitality, helps to cure impotency and leads to sex control. Hence, this asana was called Brahmacharyasana. Brahmacharya means celibacy and a Brahmachari is one who has controlled the sex appetite.
The Pran Mudra generally increases vitality, reduces fatigue and nervousness, and improves vision. It is also used against eye diseases. On the mental-emotional level, it increases our staying power and assertiveness, healthy self-confidence, gives us the courage to start something new, and the strength to see things through. Clear eyes are also a sign of a mental outlook emphasizing clarity and a clear mind, which means clearly structured thoughts and ideas.
Yogis tell us it is important to apply mula bandha (the root lock, chapter 3) in all the sitting meditative postures. Only by doing this, they say, can we have a sound approach to meditation and govern the energy and vitality of the base of the body. It is the position of the lower extremities that determines the experience of the root lock, and this depends on lour things hip flexibility and the angle between the thighs and the pelvis, the amount of abduction of the thighs, the position of the feet and ankles, and the angle at which the perineum faces the floor. Because these differ from posture to posture, and because the experience of the root lock is fundamental to thi experience of each, we shall have to consider the six standard pose individually.
There are many other hormones secreted by the pituitary gland, too many to discuss in this brief resume. The main purpose of this description is to indicate how vital the pituitary gland is in maintaining perfect health and functioning of the body. If it malfunctions then the whole body will suffer. Even if it works inefficiently, then there will be a tendency for the body to become unhealthy and for the individual to lose vitality. Sirshasana acts directly on the pituitary gland by improving its blood supply, and also the blood supply to its controller, the brain. It is for this reason that sirshasana can harmonize the entire endocrinal system and the multitude of functions that it carries out.
This asana is the beginning of the advanced and difficult back-bending poses. It tones the spine by stretching it fully and keeps the body alert and supple. The back feels strong and full of life. It strengthens the arms and wrists and has a very soothing effect on the head. It gives one great vitality, energy and a feeling of lightness.
The nerves are soothed and headaches - even chronic ones -disappear. Continued practice of this asana eradicates common colds and other nasal disturbances. Due to the soothing effect of the pose on the nerves, those suffering from hypertension, irritation, shortness of temper, nervous breakdown and insomnia are relieved. The change in bodily gravity also affects the abdominal organs so that the bowels move freely and constipation vanishes. As a result the system is freed from toxins and one feels full of energy. The asana is recommended for urinary disorders and uterine displacement, menstrual trouble, piles and hernia. It also helps to relieve epilepsy, low vitality and anaemia. It is no over-statement to say that if a person regularly practises Sarvangasana he will feel new vigour and strength, and will be happy and confident. New life will flow into him, his mind will be at peace and he will feel the joy of life. After a long illness, the practice of this asana regularly twice a...
The practice of Bandha Traya is extremely helpful in establishing yourself in Brahmacharya. It gives vigour to the nerves, relieves constipation, and augments appetite. Blooming health, vigorous strength and a high standard of vitality are yours by right. The abdominal muscles are massaged and toned up. Persons suffering from chronic diseases of the stomach and the intestines and having given up all hopes of recovery will do well to try this natural remedy as a last resort. Rapid and marvellous cure is assured. Bandha Traya can be practiced during Pranayama, concentration and meditation with much advantage. The Kundalini-Shakti is awakened and all psychic powers are bestowed upon the practitioner. He drinks the nectar of immortality and gets final emancipation (Moksha).
Just as the word yoga is one of wide import, so also is prana. Prana means breath, respiration, life, vitality, wind, energy or strength. It also connotes the soul as opposed to the body. The word is generally used in the plural to indicate vital breaths. Ayama means length, expansion,, stretching or restraint. Pranayama thus connotes extension of breath and its control. This control is over all the functions of breathing, namely,
Matsyasana gives a soothing massage to the neck and the shoulders. The stiffness of the neck is removed. Matsyasana helps deep breathing. The cervical and upper dorsal nerves are abundantly nourished with blood and toned up nicely. The endocrine the pituitary and the pineal glands located in the brain are stimulated and toned. These glands play a vital part in the proper functioning of the various systems of the human body. Matsyasana is also the destroyer of many diseases. It cures constipation, asthma, consumption, chronic bronchitis, epilepsy, a certain type of obesity, the evil effects of masturbation, excessive sexual indulgence and waste of seminal powers, and is said to have cured leprosy also. It dispenses with the transplantation of monkey-thyroids to human beings for rejuvenation. Enlargement of the spleen is cured. Lost manhood, wasted vitality and misspent energy could be effectively regained by the assiduous practice of this posture. The heart is also massaged and you...
Mula bandha is the force or energy created by lifting the pelvic floor and controlling the breath. It is the root lock and calls the fire within that causes everything to come alive, to move. Mula bandha increases flexibility and stimulates heat. By contracting the perineum and drawing the energy up from the base of the spine, one can intensify and direct the life energy, cultivating a sense of heightened awareness and increasing vitality.
This Asana gives the full benefits of both Bhujangasana and Salabhasana. The abdominal region gets a good massage. By rocking and swinging the bow-shaped body from side to side, forward and backward, a thorough massage and exercise to the abdomen is ensured. Chronic constipation, dyspepsia, sluggishness of the liver, rheumatism of the legs, knee-joints and the hands, gastro-intestinal disorders are all prevented and cured. Ladies desirous of undergoing a course of slimming will do well to try this Asana first. Dhanurasana keeps the spine strong and elastic. You will bubble with untiring energy, vigour and vitality. Everlasting youth is yours.
This is a very powerful cleansing technique but should be used with care. A fast can extend anywhere from one day to about six weeks. The most powerful, but also the most difficult, is the water fast. Next in strength is the juice fast and then the so-called, mono-diet. Fasting relies on the body having sufficient vitality to initiate its own cleansing process once the digestive load is removed, for digestion is a process which requires considerable energy. The larger or more indigestible the meal, the more energy is required by the intestines to secrete digestive enzymes and to absorb and transport the digested food through the intestinal wall. The intestines, in common with all mucus membranes, can be used as an eliminative organ as well as an assimilative
Worry, depression, unholy thoughts and hatred produce a kind of crust or dark layer on the surface of the mind or astral body. This crust or rust or dirt prevents the beneficial influences to get entry inside, but it allows the evil forces or lower influences to operate. Worry does great harm to the astral body and the mind. Energy is wasted by this worry-habit. Nothing is gained by worrying. It causes inflammation of the astral body and drains the vitality of man. It should be eradicated by the practice of cheerfulness, vigilant introspection and keeping the mind fully occupied.
Specifically designed sets put alternating contracting and expanding pressure on certain nerve centers and related glands and organs. This pressure increases the flow and saturation of blood to these areas. When combined with powerful long deep breathing and breath of fire in their several variations, including retention on the exhale and or inhale and in combination with certain body locks to direct the flow of energy, these centers open, discharge their toxins and begin to build a bio-chemical charge and balanced voltage that eventually brings all the centers and the arc of the magnetic field into a terrific balance. This charging of the centers converts their inner sound vibration from a dull thud of clay to an electric vitality, like tightening the strings of a guitar with 8 strings. The mind is now in a static balance, very still.
Lord Krishna says to Arjuna The food which is dear to each is threefold. Hear the distinctions of these. The foods which increase vitality, energy, vigour, health and joy and which are delicious, bland, substantial and agreeable are dear to the pure. The passionate desire foods that are bitter, sour, saline, excessively hot, pungent, dry and burning and which produce pain, grief and disease. The food which is stale, tasteless, putrid and rotten, leavings and impure is dear to the Tamasic. (Bhagavad-Gita. Ch. VII-8, 9, 10). The diet should be such as can maintain physical efficiency and good health. The well-being of an individual depends more on perfect nutrition than on anything else. Various sorts of intestinal diseases, increased susceptibility to infectious diseases, lack of high vitality and power of resistance, rickets, scurvy, anaemia or poverty of blood, beriberi, etc., are due to faulty nutrition. It should be remembered that it is not so much the climate as food which plays...
It relieves constipation and tones the liver, pancreas and the kidneys. Several other diseases of the stomach are also removed. It is highly beneficial to persons suffering from lumbago. It increases the digestive fire removes dyspepsia and promotes good appetite. A high standard of vitality and strength is assured.
Kapal randhra is the upper hollowed region of the head, which can be clearly seen on a newly born baby. Therefore, this practice is concerned with washing the upper part of the head. It is a very simple process and requires little description. One must merely wash the head vigorously and thoroughly with cold water. This brings about a soothing influence in the whole brain. It is very useful when you feel tired or sluggish, as it instantly brings wakefulness and vitality.
Putting human error to one side, we see that the willow is a tree of remarkable vitality and fertility. Single cut twigs of willow put out new roots and grow into trees themselves if just heeled into wet ground. Damaged branches can also recover to become dense thickets. The incredible regenerative abilities of the willow would no doubt make it immortal were it not for the fact that its quick growing and soft wood is so susceptible to fungal growth.
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