Your Brain Products Catalog
Beginning to unfold, and which manifested in and through the Instinctive Mind. Some animals progressed more rapidly than others of their kind, and naturally began to assert themselves and their peculiar power -they found themselves doing the thinking for their fellows. They came to be recognized as being the ones to look to in cases of danger, or when food became scarce, and their leading was generally recognized and followed. Leaders sprang up in flocks and herds, and not alone (as has been commonly taught in the text-books) because of their brute strength, but also because of their superior brain-power, which may be described as cunning. The cunning animal was quick to recognize danger, and to take means to avoid it - quick to discover new ways to gain food, and overcome the common enemy, or the prey. Anyone who has been much around domestic animals - or who has studied the ways of the wild animals who flock together - will realize exactly what we mean. The few led and directed, and...
If you decide to walk outside, you get a chance to look around and enjoy nature, of course, and you enjoy the benefits of performing a physical activity. Walking increases the oxygen to your brain and muscles, reduces stress, and slows bone mineral loss. The stimulus of seeing the world outside the confines of your house or office and seeing the world move while you walk calms your mind and body.
Yoga with weights builds body awareness. You can think of yoga with weights as a dialogue between your mind and body. As you exercise, your brain sends a message to a part of your body telling it to move in a certain direction, and your body sends a signal back to your brain saying that the body part can make the desired motion or can't move any farther. When your brain receives its signal, it sends out another signal asking the part of the body to become
In belly-to-chest breathing, you really exercise your chest and diaphragm muscles as well as your lungs and treat your body with oodles of oxygen and life force (prana). When you're done, your cells are humming with energy, and your brain is very grateful to you for the extra boost. You can use this form of breathing before you begin your relaxation practice, before and where indicated during your practice of the Yoga postures, and in fact whenever you feel so inclined throughout the day. You don't necessarily have to lie down as we describe in the following exercise. You can be seated or even walking. After practicing this technique for a while, you may find that it becomes second nature to you.
However they may conceive the ultimate goal, all schools of Yoga seek to open a door to your true nature, which we call the spirit or higher Self. You can find as many approaches to Self-realization (or enlightenment) as you can human beings. Everyone's spiritual journey is unique, yet everyone's inner evolution follows certain universal principles. That fundamental process is marked by progressive self-observation, self-understanding, self-discipline, and self-transcendence, which are all interconnected practices. The most significant principle is that in order to discover your essential nature, you must overcome the gravity pull of your ordinary habit patterns (laid down as neural pathways in your brain).
Every change in thought makes a vibration in your mental body and this when transmitted to the physical body causes activity in the nervous matter of your brain. This activity in the nervous cells causes many electrical and chemical changes in them. It is thought-activity which causes these changes.
Balancing improves your ability to direct your thoughts or stream of concentration. You develop skills of concentration in order to balance. Balancing fires the neurons of your brain. It helps clear the nerve highways and pathways so you can focus better. Recent studies in brain elasticity indicate that exercises that develop coordination and balance stimulate the brain to create new maps and communication pathways, keeping the brain healthy and vital.
It's that rare time when the answers to a test are obvious to you, and all the information you've studied seems immediately available. Your brain exceeds itself, the words to an essay write themselves, and the meanings to formulas suddenly become clear.
If you wake up agitated in the middle of the night, or if you're suffering from insomnia, try taking the long, slow, yogic breaths we describe in Chapter 4. Or try this technique Lie on your bed with your eyes closed and your hands resting on your belly. As you inhale, feel your belly expand and rise to the ceiling. As you exhale, feel it softly contract, and visualize your belly drawing closer to your spine. By focusing on the rise and fall of your belly as you breathe, you still and soothe your mind. You quiet your thoughts and, in doing so, permit yourself to fall asleep. Deep-belly breathing helps trigger the relaxation response in your brain.
Yoga Nidra serves as a potent tool for reprogramming your brain. If you do it correctly, it can accelerate your inner or spiritual growth. It allows you to cultivate good habits and attitudes. First consider which specific habit or attitude you really want to replace with a more positive habit or attitude. This phase is called formulating your intention. Take your time to consider what you want to change about yourself.
Breathing affects your state of mind, and for that reason, you can use breathing techniques that are supportive in cultivating a different state of mind. After you try these techniques, you may be delighted to find that you can change the mood you're in by breathing consciously and by paying attention to how you breathe. Your brain requires more oxygen than most other parts of your body. Supply it with the oxygen it needs to get more clarity of thought and to be able to concentrate for longer periods of time. Better breathing also affects your overall well-being. You get a greater sense of control over your happiness. In short, you feel more grounded and happier. You're more awake to the world around you and keener to enjoy that world.
One of the greatest benefits of yoga breathing is the oxygenation of all the cells in your body. The supply of oxygen to your brain and the muscles of your body increases. Oxygen travels the bloodstream by attaching to the hemoglobin in red blood cells. This oxygen enables your body to metabolize vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. You get a lot of the same benefits from yoga breathing that you can get from visiting an oxygen bar, but you get them for free.
The universe contains two dynamic forces, viz., good and evil. Good and evil are twin forces. They are twin born of the same father. They are Dvandvas or pairs of opposites. They have no independent existence. Evil exists to glorify good. Evil is destructive force. Good is constructive force. There is neither absolute good nor absolute evil in this universe. Evil has no independent existence apart from good. Wherever there is evil, there is good wherever there is good, there is evil. You cannot expect absolute good in this relative world. You can find absolute good in Brahman alone. From the viewpoint of the basic Reality which lies at the back of evil and good, evil and good dwindle into an airy nothing. Evil and good are mental creations. Transcend good and evil and reach the abode of Supreme Peace and Immortality. For a Jnani who has knowledge of the Self, there is neither good nor evil. The 'Why' of the evil can only be understood when you get Atma-Jnana. Do not rack your brain...
A big thief is hiding himself in your brain. He has snatched away your Atmic pearl. He is giving you immense worries and troubles. He is deluding you. The thief is your mind. You must not be lenient towards him. You must kill him ruthlessly. There is no other sword sharper than this diary to kill him. It checks his happy-go-lucky ways and destroys him eventually. All your daily mistakes will be corrected. A good time will come when you will be entirely free from anger, untruth, lust, etc. You will become a perfect Yogi.
One important reason why I started with yoga was an experience I had as a young person taking asthma medication. As a result of taking medication, I could no longer grasp correlations, and my memory was impaired I was apathetic and immensely indifferent. I thought I might be sick in the head and might stay that way. Since then, I have been interested in brain research and everything that keeps people mentally fit. Mudras do true wonders in this field. For a number of years now, hand exercises have been successfully used on children in special education classes. Run your thumb along your fingertips in a gentle and conscious way. This feels wonderful It's refreshing for your brain. The brain should be trained like a muscle every day. It has been proved that even after a few days of rest in bed (after an operation, for example), the activity of the brain is reduced. It has also been demonstrated that the brain can regenerate very quickly through the appropriate training. Practicing...
So, attention at the Mooladhara Chakra, which is actually below the Sacrum bone. You put the right hand towards the photograph and left hand on the Mother Earth. Now this will tell you that your mind, or your brain which is full of confusion, which has no discretion, which is complicated, which does the same mistakes again and again, which does not understand how to cure the ills of bad feelings, all that can be cured (if you put your right hand towards me and the left hand to the Mother Earth) so in action you do like that.
This exercise will cause all the back area of the head to vibrate. It will give oxygen directly to your brain, stimulate your pituitary and totally fix the vibrator which is called the pineal. It is effective for relieving loss of memory, loss of feelings, and nightmares.
Fewer the thoughts, greater the mental strength and concentration. Suppose that the average number of thoughts that pass through your brain within one hour is one hundred. If you succeed in reducing it, by constant practice of concentration and meditation, to ninety, you have gained ten per cent of the power of concentration of mind.
The number of blood vessels in the brain is colossal. Most of them are so thin that they can only be seen under a microscope. It is said that the total length of the blood vessels in the brain is more than 50,000 miles (though there are various other differing estimates). Can you imagine this length It is twice the distance around the world at the equator. Perhaps now you are beginning to appreciate the density and complexity of the blood system of the brain, and how vital the blood supply is for perfect health and functioning. In certain regions of the brain, the network of blood vessels is so dense and the capillaries so fine that some penetrate between enmeshed individual nerve cells and some even pierce them (remember that the individual cells are very small, there being billions in the brain). This system of nerve cells and blood vessels must be nourished by a constant flow of fresh, oxygenated blood. If this nourishment does not reach the brain cells then brain power and...
This exercise is therapeutic for your electromagnetic field. While doing it, the energetic connection between your hands should be continuous. The Breath of Ten is a complete breath similar to the Breath of Fire. This exercise stimulates the regulatory system in your brain that controls your immune system. If you practice this meditation for 11 minutes a day, all of your chakras will be brought into a health-giving pattern. This will leave your body healthy and your spirit clear a sense of energised peace comes about and your intuition is awakened.
Sleep for six hours is quite sufficient for every individual. Go to bed at 10 p.m., and get up at 4 a.m. Napoleon Bonaparte believed in only four hours of sleep. Too much sleep makes a man dull and lethargic. Too much sleep causes premature decay and weakens the brain-power. Those spiritual aspirants who want to do rigorous Sadhana should reduce the sleep gradually. For three months reduce the sleep by half an hour. During the next three months go to bed at 11 p.m., and get up at 4 a.m. In this way you can conquer sleep and become one like Arjuna or Lakshmana.
But I know yoga won't give me the cardiovascular strength and endurance that running gives me you may be protesting. Consider this Runners rely on strength and balance. Flexible runners get injured less often. Runners also tend to have shallow, hard breathing patterns they sometimes hyperventilate. Yoga's deep breathing exercises increase your lung capacity, getting more oxygen to your brain and increasing your endurance.
Your brain is a computer and it has been conditioned since birth. You responded in the way that you did because of your mental programming. You are at the mercy of the way that your mind has been conditioned to act. The root cause of your chronic tension lies in your emotional reactions to people and situations around you. And your reaction is determined by your conditioning. Is there no way out of this dilemma - anger, fear, etc The answer is to change the program in your brain so that you don't respond in a negative way when you meet a particular situation. However this cannot be achieved overnight. But with patience it can be done. It is this subject that we intend to discuss in the next lesson1.
The Skater is an aerobic exercise that works the muscles of your buttocks. By the time you do this exercise twice, you'll be huffing and puffing. The balancing aspect of this exercise fires and stimulates your brain's nerve connections. The Skater is similar to the Chair (see the previous exercise in this workout), but here you lift a leg behind you.
Seniors are perfect candidates for meditation. Your brain is so full of experiences, information, memories, and ideas that it can really use a break. For a few minutes each day, take some time to yourself to reflect on something beautiful, then let this beautiful reflection gently melt into the breath until breath and peace are all that remain.
The Half Moon is a pose of concentration and balance that fires the nerves of your brain. The pose is as much about balance and stability as it is about strength. It works every part of your legs and buttocks and also strengthens your arms. The Half Moon will leave your body and mind fully invigorated.
It's a lot to keep in mind, but be patient. If you find yourself getting frustrated, work intelligently writh the breath. On the inhalation, focus on lengthening the front ofyour torso and working your legs. On the exhalation, focus on lengthening forward. During and at the end of the exhalation, you may also experience tension being released for a few moments, allowing you to go deeper into the pose without aggression. This release is an important component of forward bending with abhyasa and vairagya, as it helps you create inner space and freedom. With your forehead resting, your brain can relax from the activity of constantly processing information. In this position you can enter a sanctuary7 for a stressed mind and rest in a deep sense of peace. *
One of the biggest concerns of people as they age is memory loss. The fear of Alzheimer's disease is widespread, and even simple forgetfulness (where did you put those car keys ) can strike fear into the heart of anybody over 40. As you age, you may have more trouble concentrating and remembering, but much of this is due to stress or the result of simple neglect. When it comes to your brain, it's use it or lose it. Yoga offers some great ways to use that brain. Balance poses and meditation in particular keep the mind focused, clear, and as limber as a pair of legs folded into the lotus pose.
Before beginning, attune yourself by singing ONG NAMO GURUDEV NAMO three times. This means 'I greet the cosmic energy and the exalted path that leads from the darkness into the light.' Hold each tone for a while, and although you have your mouth open, allow most of your breath, and most of the sound too, to flow out of your nostrils. This will make the roof of your mouth vibrate, positively influencing the hypothalamus and pituitary glands in your brain. (See Mantras below.)
In the anticipatory release method of stretching, you consciously desensitize the stretch reflex in the muscles that you are about to stretch. The key is to inhibit your gamma motor neurons. Inhibiting the neurons relaxes the tiny muscles inside your muscle spindles and allows you to move into a pose without putting enough tension on the stretch receptors to trigger a muscle contraction. To do so, first envision where you intend your bones to end up (for example, sitting bones lifted high in a standing forward bend). When you do this, your brain automatically anticipates which muscles need to let go and inhibits the appropriate gamma motor neurons. Creating a visual map also helps you intentionally relax the muscles that you intend to lengthen for example, your hamstrings and inner thigh muscles in the Wide-Legged Standing Forward Bend which can further inhibit the gamma motor neurons.
Have you ever been envious of people who seem to have no end of clever ideas, who are able to think quickly in any situation, or who seem to have flawless memories? Could it be that they're just born smarter or quicker than the rest of us? Or are there some secrets that they might know that we don't?