Meditation is a good stress-reliever. It calms the senses, making the mind inactive and the body, passive. Meditation usually involves concentrating on an object - a flower, a burning candle, a circle, a sound or word, or even one’s own rhythm of breath. Over time, random thoughts peter off. Meditation could also be objectless - just sitting, doing nothing.
Ultimate spiritual benefit - The realisation that you and every other being in the universe are one! So you = me and me = you . Healing of the body, psyche and soul is one of the basic directions in the yogic activity and serves the whole psychobiological and spiritual restoration. Purifying, healing and rejuvenating yogic exercises can restore health, life force, joy and also lengthen the life span.
Breathing is so much a part of our lives that we tend to take it for granted. Ancient philosophers and yogis through their calmness and intellect discovered the powers of controlled breathing techniques. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide - each time we inhale the body receives oxygen which gets converted to fuel to charge or activate the body parts.
Bach Flower therapy is a unique medicine system that can change very subtle emotional and psychological states of being. Terror, depression, anxiety, irritability, intolerance, lack of confidence, hatred or selfishness... two drops thrice a day of the right remedy can uproot such deep-seated personality traits. And, in the process, heal the body.
Pranayama: the science of breathing
Learning to Breathe Correctly
Breathing is so much a part of our lives that we tend to take it for granted. Ancient philosophers and yogis through their calmness and intellect discovered the powers of controlled breathing techniques. We inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide - each time we inhale the body receives oxygen which gets converted to fuel to charge or activate the body parts. Each time we exhale the body throws out toxic wastes in the form of carbon dioxide.
Deep breathing reduces stress, deepens insight, expands consciousness and increases intuitive perception. Shallow breathing blocks energy whereas deep, rhythmical breathing generates energy.
In all situations, breathe. Be aware of your breath. If you are in a conversation, take a moment to breathe before you respond. Focus on slowing your breath, and you will find that you are establishing contact with your own internal energy.
Simple breathing exercises
If you wish to make deep, abdominal breathing an integral part of your daily life, first familiarise yourself with natural abdominal breathing, which involves four distinct stages: Inhalation, retention, exhalation and pause.
- Inhalation: One of the most common errors during inhalation is to try to fill the lungs completely on each inhalation. One should never force inhalation beyond comfortable capacity. About two-thirds full is the right measure for an inhalation.
- Retention: If properly performed, even brief retention of breath provides profound therapeutic benefits to every organ, gland and functional system in the body. Taoists refer to breath retention as - womb breathing because the lungs dont move. The fetus in the womb receives oxygen and energy directly through the umbilical cord, not the lungs. Breath retention for 3-4 seconds slows down heart beat, reduces blood pressure substantially, and triggers cellular respiration.
- Exhalation: This is more important than inhalation as one has to first thoroughly empty in order to fill the lungs properly with fresh air. Empty lungs in reverse order of inhalation, starting at the top and ending at the bottom.
- # Pause: When the lungs are completely empty, pause for a few seconds to permit the abdominal wall and the diaphragm to relax again, then commence a slow inhalation.
The complete breathing process should be slow, will expand the abdomen and ribcage while inhaling and follow just the reverse process when exhaling: Breathe out the air while letting the abdomen cave in. But to get the maximum out of breathing it has to be pranayama , which extends much beyond the process of complete breathing.
A stressful lifestyle makes us breathe more quickly and less deeply. We get emotional so easily. Our negative reactions make us easily excited or angry, causing shallow and fast breathing. When one is restless, troubled or confused there is more prana outside the body than within. Prana is the energy which regulates life: It symbolises the combination of physical, mental, intellectual, cosmic and spiritual energy.
There are many different methods of pranayama, and we recommend that you should look for an experienced teacher to guide you initially through some of these ancient highly beneficial methods.