Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Applications and benefits of yoga
Any science is assessed by the application and benefit it offers for human life. Yoga as is known as science and art of living must offer wider application and benefits to human life so that it can be easily accepted and practiced. Millions around the world practice yoga for one or the other reason. In fact, it has attracted global attention by scientists, medical experts, researchers, spiritual seekers, psychologists, executives, and students and almost from all occupations irrespective of age, sex, caste, and color.
This practice alone is not important as during the last seven decades, many researchers and medical scientists have ventured to conduct many fundamental and clinical studies in to the effects of yoga practices- physical, mental and others to know how yoga influences body, functioning’s at physiological, biochemical and psychological levels. In sixties, many researchers started suggesting that yoga can be applied as preventive and primitive health care means. Further researchers proved that yoga practices influence brain, mind, emotions, personality, behavior besides boy i.e. muscular, and other systems as in the case of physical exercises.
During the last 20 years serious studies indicated that yoga is not only preventive, promotive health care means but curative and proplytic as well. Later on, many experts used yoga practices for drug abuse and HIV treatment or management, and found that yoga can be successfully applied in the management of this disease along with cancer and other severe diseases as rehabilitative and after care applications.
Now this new millennium is witnessing a sudden rise of yoga practitioners around the world due to its halitosis approach.
Yoga is the cheapest mode of health care means, easy, reliable, and effective as well. Many researchers have also applied yoga is understanding the higher states of consciousness. Infact, Swami Rama could prove that a yoga expert or master can live in all states of consciousness consciously- waking, dreaming, awake and fourth state of consciousness. Many others have proved beyond doubt that yoga practices can bring tremendous strength and power, self-control and miraculous powers within this body. Few experts demonstrated that yoga practices could show the way to future psychology that is evolving in the flied of consciousness and parapsychology also.
It is very difficult to understand through the rational mind how yoga practices can influence the physiological and biochemical functioning is on one side and brings about a deeper understanding of paranormal phenomenon. However, it is true that yoga practices have repeatedly demonstrated this power, capacities, and abilities to the world. While, looking the manifold applications of the yoga practices, it is much more difficult to assess and summarize its applications in human life and its importance and benefits in daily life. However, a systematic approach has been followed to evaluate the effects of yoga and its importance in the light of problems and miseries human race if suffering in this new millennium.
1. Yoga for a whole man
Yoga is for whole man. The whole man means an individual and individual means that is indivisible. This indivisible entity is the search within man by yoga and the moment that search takes place; man enters into bliss as it is only his true nature. This true nature brings health, happiness harmony, delight, and knowledge. Modern science offers symptomatic treatment and treats the ideas while treats the whole man. This makes yoga very important in the present world when man is subjected to many stress, problems, miseries, conflicts, and diseases. Any disease cannot be focused on a particular organ or system as other systems and organs including mind emotion are adversity affected. Modern science while treating the heart ignores emotions, mental factors; while treating lungs ignores other important systems and organs; while treating mind ignores totally the body. Yoga treats the whole man as it considers that without treating mind, emotion, root cause of ignorance the disease cannot be treated or managed effectively.
The whole man means five layers – gross physical boy, the energy body or Pranamaya Kosha, mental body or mind, Annamaya Kosha or knowledge body and Anandmaya Kosha or the body of bliss consciousness are to taken together in order to offer effective treatment and management of many disorders in the modern world today. This will not only help human race to appreciate his place in the world as the most intelligent race but will bring a new level of awareness for better world order.
Yoga discovers this whole man within every human being and experience a total integration that brings qualitatively change.
2. Yoga as preventive and promotive health care means
You practice yoga regularly; you will prevent many diseases and promote health. When you practice yoga daily for a month or until you experience some qualitative change. Yoga is easy, reliable, effective, and cheapest mode of health care means and requires only will and dedication for result. Practice yoga regularly under the supervision of an expert and feel the difference in your life, health, and disease. Infact, many research studies have suggested that regular practice of yoga brings many physiological, biochemical and psychological changes- increase ESR, immunity, working of parasympathetic system; decrease respiration rate, heart rate; rings the level of cholesterol etc. there are many changes that proved that yoga practice makes man more integrated, relaxed, peaceful and harmonious. It is important to practice an integrated program neither only physical nor mental practices. Every integrated program designed by an yoga expert after understanding your physical body, level of your mind, emotion, and other personality factors will bring result shortly but ill organized and designed program will have no result at all.
3. Yoga as curative health care means
Research studies over a period of more than 50 years by medical experts all over the world suggest that yoga can be effectively applied in the management of many diseases like respiratory disorders, cardiovascular diseases, skeletal diseases, GIT disorders, endocrinal disorders etc. yoga can be applied as an alternative means replacing modern treatment with yoga treatment and as an adjunctive treatment means supportive treatment with medical treatment. There is a need of wider awareness of yoga amongst medical doctors so that yoga can be applied where medical treatment is either ineffective or patient is helpless. Yoga can be applied in judiciously even when the patient is in hospital or in rehabilitation or after care center. Take an example of a heart patient who had a stroke and was admitted in Intensive care unit for emergence treatment. After the patient regains consciousness, his mind is full of anxiety, fear, and stress about his future health. Yoga relaxation techniques can be easily and effectively applied there in the intensive care unit for better result as form of adjunctive treatment.
Similarly, persons suffering from Br Asthma, Diabetes, spinal disorders, constipation, indigestion, stress, depression, and other psychological disorders, yoga treatment can be easily applied for better and speedier result.
Infact any person who is conscious of him is in the hospital of either at home or in emergency room can practice yoga. The only thing that is important is how to apply yoga in that condition, what practices are to be given and duration of each practice so that they do not interfere in any way the medical treatment and must be supportive and complementary as well.
There is a long list of diseases for which yoga therapy was applied with very good results. They are respiratory diseases like Br Asthma, Bronchitis, Sinusitis, Allergic conditions; cardiovascular diseases like Angina, MI, Hypertension etc; endocrinal diseases like diabetes etc; skeletal spondylitical conditions; obesity, general disability; paralysis, rehabilitation and after care of HIV, Cancer, Drug addicts and many other serious diseases.
4. Yoga as rehabilitative and after care means
There is growing importance of yoga practices in rehabilitation and after care in the management of many diseases. Yoga management programs are being effectively applied for drug addicts, HIV, cancer, and many other diseases. Infact, yoga programs designed supports the medical treatment in general and in particular. There is ever increasing awareness about effectiveness of yoga in the management of heart patients and many psychological diseases as well.
After the medical treatment, if these patients take yoga practices regularly, they will find tremendous improvement and even faster relief from symptoms.
5. Yoga as Holistic health system
Yoga is mentioned above a holistic health system and can take up management, after care rehabilitation and promotion all together. Holistic health means yoga can treat mind, body, emotion, and other layers together and effectively. In fact, yoga must be applied either in all diseases as promotive health care means, curative or after care means or as integrative tool to manage after effects of disease.
Many hospitals in Britain successfully apply techniques of yoga for painless delivery, relaxation practices for patients of depression and d anxiety, meditation practices for mental patients and transformation of antisocial attitude amongst criminals. It is only an awakened yoga expert can find the role of yoga in the society, hospital and many other organizations destitutions for transforming the modern man towards more relaxed, more aware, more responsive, more integrative and healthy life.
6. Yoga in education
“Yoga is self conscious finding,” says one of the greatest yoga masters who revolutionized by integrating the modern psychology with ancient knowledge of yoga. Sri Aurobindo further says.” By Yoga, we mean ……… a methodizes effort towards self perfection by the expression of potentialities latent in the being and a union of human individual with universal and transcendent existence we see partially expressed in man and in cosmos.”
Yoga is discovery of self-consciously. Any discovery leads to knowledge and yoga leads to knowledge of self. It means, yoga brings the knowledge of all layers of human frame and existence so that they can be harmonized, integrated for happy, healthy, creative life. Yoga further brings on surface consciously the true being that responds integrally to the outer challenges of life with reference to truth and only truth of the being.
Yoga is a learning of self in relation to outer world and in relation to transcendental world of highest consciousness so that even the field of unknown becomes united with the known so that every action taken leads to joy, happiness, perfection, and integration.
Yoga is Infact education of the self and modern education is the education of external world. Yoga is education of self in relation to outer world and modern education is the education of the external world in relation to self.
What is modern education?
Modern education concentrates on the accumulation of information directed to meet the demands of animal instincts i.e. sex, money, and authority. Modern education strengthens the mechanical, habitual mind so that the information can be stored easily and effectively. This information gathering system has to be stronger in order to meet the demands of lower nature, ego, sex etc but it kills spontaneity, naturalness, and harmony within. The aim of modern education is definitely perfection but this perfection is not clearly defined, as there is no holistic concept in modern education system.
Yoga and modern education: essentials for
Modern education and yoga both are search for knowledge aspiring for perfection. One demands perfection in the outer world and the other in the external world. Both external and internal worlds of human being are important as they both together can bring true happiness, integration, and prosperity.
It is essential for the modern man to grow externally as well as internally so that there is total or holistic growth of human being in all directions. The person must also grow with knowledge grows in the mind will be the right education in the present world. It is further important to give due importance to the growth of subjective faculties with outer growth of information in the mind to bring about harmony in the external and internal world.
There had been lopsided development during the last 200 hundreds years of the brain. The left side of the brain has been developed at the cost of right resulting into loss of natural qualities of human beings that are essential to holistic development. Modern education is objective oriented and directed towards acquiring information in a particular area, which meets the demands of ones motive to lead a successful material life. Here, the subjective part of personality is much neglected which create a gap
Integral education for modern man- real education
Integral education means a search of knowledge aimed at perfection within and in the external world, harmonious relationship with ones body, mind, energy, emotions, intellect and ego on one side and ones relationship with society, family, nation, profession, people on other side. It is most important for human being to realize one place in the world set forth by the nature and ones place set forth by the conscious mind in the world. The aim set by ego can be met successfully in the world but aim set by nature for human race is constant evolution can be met by yoga. This aims at conscious evolution of mind, emotion, body, intellect, and ego to some higher principle.
Let there be perfection at physical, emotional, mental, intellectual and spiritual levels side by side with perfection in profession, relations, people and day-to-day actions in the world.
Yoga and modern education must meet together to bring about a total transformation. To accelerate the process of evolution, to help in realizing self esteem, self-discipline, self-evolution, and self-identity.
7. Yoga cures the greatest of all diseases or ignorance
Yoga considers ignorance or lack of awareness as the greatest of all diseases and treatment of this disease can only bring true happiness, health, and harmony in life. This ignorance is different form from illiteracy. Ignorance means lack of awareness of reality or truth that brings egoism, attachment and detachment and yearning desire to live with it. They all five create a vicious circle and bring miseries, problems and afflictions in human life. The cause of stress and stress related disorders are ignorance, ignorance is considered as not appreciating what is truth and ultimate reality. The entire philosophy of yoga is based on four fundamental truths
Suffering is eternal and there is suffering in life.
There is cause of suffering and can be avoided or transformed
There is a way to eliminate all sufferings from life
There is a state where there is total absence of all sufferings.
This total absence of sufferings is also known as self-realization or awakened or awareness of spiritual consciousness. Yoga practices aim at knowing what went wrong with us with reference to external and inner world that can and must be treated in odor to live a life full of \bliss, peace, beauty, delight, and love. The deeper understanding of the cause of suffering, the practices to transform them one by one, entering into a state different from and above the mind, experiencing blissful state have fascinated people all around the world irrespective of their profession, caste, religion, expertise. The very interesting thing about yoga is self-awareness and its constant growth until one reaches to ultimate have attracted people from all occupations.
This growth of self-awareness and perfection within is a deeper urge of every human being on earth who wants to pursue a life of creativity, beauty, bliss, perfection, and knowledge. In addition, every man gets what he wants and expects from yoga.
8. The dream of integrated personality can be realized by yoga
Sri Aurobindo is one of the greatest philosophers, spiritual person and realized soul who had shown the path of perfection while living the life by transforming the life, mind and body. This path is beyond all religions, race, caste, sex, and age as well. The ways and means shown are very much present in ones life and can be undertaken at anytime even in the midst of all activities. His philosophy came after his experimentation of this transcendental life and experience at every step. He had mastered every step that will be guiding light in future of science and had set the foundations for a life beyond stress and full of harmony, peace, delight, power, knowledge etc.
This integrated personality deals with the whole man and human frame unlike Psychoanalysis in which many parts of being are left without bringing any change. And this holistic living can be achieved by integrating all layers of ones existence and also with all possible branches of knowledge brought together including psychology an spiritual science this integration is not based on the objective of eliminating the abnormalities in the personality but also integrating with a view to transform every aspect of living and existence so that nothing remains untransformed. This lays the foundation of conscious evolution of man by which one can reach to the zenith of ones potentialities and can become very awakened person in relation to ones subconscious, super conscious and transcendental existence.
This personality is more than integral personality of modern psychology and much more comprehensive than any concept of modern science as it deals and takes care of every aspect of human frame –manifest and unmanifest. The whole man and its transformation is the aim set in this development of integrated personality.
It is difficult for modern psychologist to digest this concept, as they are more or less concerned about bringing about a balance in two conflicting movements of ego and id and also ego and super ego. This development of personality takes into consideration every possible aspects and layers, every emotional contents a d sentiments.
An integrated personality here not only transforms the surface personality of which modern psychology is fully aware of but also the hidden potential and all possibilities are awakened, unified and presented a s whole man in thought, speech and action.
In addition, this integration drops the ego as the central point for integration but brings in front the purest subtle and representative consciousness that guides the every moment of life. This spark of consciousness helps in constant evolution of human being to its fullest capacity and brings all success, happiness, harmony, creativity, peace, calmness, delight, powers, bliss, and eternity.
9. Yoga helps in transforming you as true religious person
Many people asked me,” I am a Muslim, can I practice yoga? Can I practice yoga, I am Christian.” There were many questions like this related to religion asked to me. In addition, my answer is very simple
You practice if you are a Muslim; it will make you a better Muslim.
If you are a Christian and practice yoga, it makes you a better Christian.
If you are Hindu and practice yoga, it makes you a better Hindu.
This is the beauty of yoga practices.
Yoga aims at knowledge of the absolute or divine consciousness. It aims at awakening the inner consciousness by which you can better appreciate your religion, practice your religion in much better way and can also realize and experience what your won religion says about life and living.
Religion if it means realize the divine then yoga means a methodized effort in the direction of realizing the divine. Yoga does not talk of any particular god or goddess but helps in appreciating your belief, brings you face to face with truth of god and offers many practices with whatever prayer you offer to your god of your religion to realize him.
10. Yoga awakens the brain.
There is only 7% of brain potential is awakened or used by normal man in the world. It is understood that even a genius uses about 9% of his brain like Einstein and Edison. What about the rest area of the brain? How it can be tapped and awakened so that human race can function much better? The one of the major causes of stress in modern life is the inability of the brain to translate all messages sent by mind to this brain. Mind is too fats but brain still follows the same pace for organizing the data received by the mind.
It is just like a Radio set. Radio set is the brain and radio station you tune is the mind. If the radio station has very subtle frequency or runs faster and radio set is old enough or not able to pick up the said frequency of that station then it is difficult to listen to that station clearly, similarly but at different levels same thing happens with mind and brain while living in the world. Yoga practices are meant to awaken this dormant area s of the brain so that what mind sends can be easily, speedily and fast translated into action by brain. This can only be possible if brain potential can be awakened and regulated to perform the task. In addition, what happens in yoga specially meditation and Pranayama that dormant areas of the brain is awakened, harmonized, and integrated to perform even very difficult task. This is due to enhanced level of awareness. Pranayama practices are very powerful practices that can awaken the dormant areas of the brain and awaken higher intelligence for a life full of peace, harmony, love, integration, and bliss.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ShantoHam Meditation- Passive Meditation for YOU

Authentic Yoga Tradition offers thousands of practices of meditation, written and taught by great masters in over 1000 texts. There are many classifications of meditations depending upon the path of yoga to be followed. One classification is Passive, Active and Dynamic meditations. Other classification is Shtula (gross), Sukshma (Subtle) and Jyotirmaya (light) meditation practices. Still other classifies practices of meditation as Discursive, Reflective, and Concentrated meditations.
All meditation is a journey from outside to inside. All meditations aim at self-discovery. All meditations aim at awakening to higher ranges of consciousness beyond mind. In reality, all meditations transcend the mind, opens to higher, generally termed as spiritual consciousness.  What is very important to understand is that whether we are moving into meditation consciously, subconsciously, or unconsciously. There are many practices of meditations especially in Hatha Yoga that begins the journey consciously but make a transition unconsciously. The practitioner is not at all aware of what is happening as these meditations progresses. When he returns from meditation, he recalls what had happened in meditation. Many a times, these experiences lead person to hallucinations i.e. altered states of consciousness.
There are masters who inspired their students to follow the meditation practices consciously. It helps to know how mind moves within, how mind moves without thoughts, how mind understands through visions and images, how mind melts or transcends even when awareness is maintained. This moving consciously into meditation leaves no chance for any hallucinations. Further, it opens the ranges of consciousness and their movements and interaction with body, brain, mind, and the emotions.
ShantoHam meditation is also a meditation practice that follows every step consciously. the practitioner knows what he is doing at every moment into meditation. It follows strictly the fundamentals of authentic Yoga tradition. There are few steps that includes in ShantoHam Meditation
  1. Being Comfortable, Carefree and Causal
  2. Raising the energy from lower to higher consciousness
  3. Inducing Stillness and Quietness
  4. Expanding awareness in order to drop the mind
  5. Enjoying the state of meditation
  6. Maintaining or state of being while being aware of the mind and its activities on the surface
  7. Returning by moving from outside to inside
  8. Chanting to influence the mind again
ShantoHam means, “I am the Peace.”  All the steps above allow the conscious mind to identify with “ShantoHam” so that mind drops all its activities , thoughts , feelings that either come from outside or from unconsciousness, thereby awakening to higher consciousness. This leads to conscious awakening and experience of Peace as peace consciousness.
It is also important to customize the practices or steps of meditation that varies from people to people, depending upon their state of consciousness, mental, emotional, physical states.
Sita (name changed) came to me with anxiety , depression and conflicts. She carried all negative impressions of her problems in relationship. Later she divorced and started living alone. The aloneness became painful and her mind constantly started nagging her about her decision to divorce. She also developed fear of meeting people. When she was introduced to me by her friend about 3 years ago, she told that she wanted to practice yoga and meditation to maintain her health. Authentic Yoga session introduced her consists of 10 groups of practices helped me to observe her states of mind, emotions