Use Your Eyes to Save Your Eyes with this Simple 1 Step Meditation Technique

Since the pandemic struck the universe, we continue to grapple with anxiety, fear, loneliness, and other negative energies in different ways and degrees. According to Fitbit data, people desperately seek relief from the stress associated with home boundedness fragile health, and work conditions. To ensure that these bleak energies do not disrupt our mental peace and stability, many of us have resorted to meditation.

The Fitbit data also reflects a massive 2,900% increase in the meditative practice globally. Furthermore, the findings of JMIR Ment Health 2021 findings authenticate behaviors such as physical activity and mindfulness meditation to reduce the worsening of mental health deterioration attributed  to due to the COVID.

However, meditation is not everyone’s cup of tea despite its innumerable merits. When your mind is constantly preoccupied with worries, you’d agree it becomes a grueling task to focus on being still. 

So, if you share the above dilemma and find yourself struggling to meditate, do not worry; I am here to introduce you to an unusual but , simple, yet effective meditation technique – Tratak.

To be precise, Tratak is all about the eyes. Your eyes are the windows to your soul, or so you believe. Regardless of the spiritual and philosophical aspects, eyes are undoubtedly an integral part of your body and our existence. Apart from predominantly enabling sight, your open eyes can also help you keep your mind calm with meditation. 

Yes, you read that right! In the usual course of meditation, you always keep your eyes closed. So, you might wonder how open eyes can  aid meditation without any sign of distraction. That is what Tratak – the easiest Shatkarma will teach you.

Shatkarma is a purification technique in yoga, and Tratak is one of the six cleansing methods of Shatkarma. These methods prepare you for higher states of mind. They are designed for making the body and mind healthy inwardly.

Speaking about the process of Tratak, all you need is a candle or an Indian lamp, your eyes, and of course your free will. Once you are ready, place the lamp or candle light at a feet’s distance from your eye level and switch all the lights off in the room. Sit as comfortably as possible and fix your gaze at the flame just above the wick. Known as external concentrated gazing, it involves staring at the flame without blinking your eyes.

Initially, your stare might last for just a few seconds, and your eyes may become watery too. Nevertheless, with regular practice, you will be able to gaze at the flame for more than a minute, developing a laser focus vision. In addition,  your body will loosen up and feel light as your focus increases by the day, immersing you in the tiny blaze of fire.

Gradually as the gaze weakens, close your eyes and relax. Now, visualize that eternal flame alive in the darkness – a practice which is known as Internal concentrated gazing. 

Repeat this process a few times as per your capacity without straining. Other variations of this technique include staring at the moon or a black point on white paper. However, these options may invite disturbances. Therefore, candle gazing is best because it enables a complete concentration environment facilitated by darkness.

Furthermore, the fixed-gazing technique effectively strengthens the eye muscles muscles and alleviates mild eye problems. Thus, Tratak connects your eyes with and  the mind and improves vision.

Similarly, Tratak can be an insomniac’s best friend replacing sleeping pills! Practicing this technique a few minutes before your bed time can improve the  sleep quality.

What’s more? The benefits of Tratak are manifold. Have you ever noticed – when your eyeballs stops moving, your thoughts come to a standstill? Regularly implementing this technique increases the concentration power. It stabilizes your mental and nervous system and steadies your mind for memory improvisation.

But on the split side, Tratak can be harmful if practiced without due precautions. It is advisable that those who have existing eye conditions, shouldn’t practice Tratak. This exercise is also not suitable for people with psychic problems. Those who hallucinate should not practice Trataka. Lastly, It is always suggested that beginners and children should practice this meditation technique under expert supervision only as recommended.

In other words, if followed cautiously and stringently, Tratak can work wonders in your meditation journey. Personally, it has brought my chaotic mind under considerable control.  Accommodating this powerful meditative tool within my busy schedule to care for my eye health is relatively easy. I combine this practice with calming music or prayers in the background to make my mental faculties more peaceful and serene. 

Need I say any further to enhance your awareness regarding the salience of Tratak? Remember that metaphorically, your body is a lamp and your eyes are the light. They visually connect you to the beauty of the outside world. It is the sense of sight that empowers you to give a true form to things around you. Therefore, it must be cared for and nurtured. 

So, are you up for sharpening one of your most integral senses? Then, just go for it and share your invaluable experience!

Future Tense-ion

I am writing this blog piece now but I have to tidy up the house in a few minutes, I need to complete that assignment in an hour, I need to purchase the fertilizers for my indoor plants, I need to wake up early and set out to walk in the morning, I need to attend mass services then prepare breakfast, I need to crack that call with my boss and stakeholder, I need to make plans for Christmas, etc. Yes, I need to do all this in the future but these thoughts hover over my head now, all the time.

Still worse – when will everyone be inoculated against COVID-19? How will the economy turn out to be? What is the future of our jobs? How will I perform in the next quarter? What impression will my manager carry about me? How will the coming year turn out to be? And so on. This is a hazardous blend of procrastination and obsessing about the future.

Where is my present lost? It is far in the woods or deep in the caves. What an irony it is because though there is nothing closer to me than my present yet it’s out of the horizon of my vision. I do not feel it; I do not live in it. I am constantly agonizing myself with the future which I know nothing about. But I am brutally ignoring the present that wants me to know it. I cannot give even a 1% guarantee about the arrival of the future but the present struggles to provide me with 100% surety. The future never fails to disillusion me but the present is weary making me realize the reality.

There are only two reasons for disregarding anything or anyone so vividly yet unconsciously. The first reason is fear and the second is dislike. In the case of the tense, the fear of the future does not allow me to live in the present and the other tough fact is none of us is satisfied or gratified with our present so we persistently dream/think/worry about the future. These truths do not spare anyone, literally no one. It is dangerous and a major cause of stress.

So, how do we control this originator of stress – Our Thoughts! Mindfulness and Meditation are the answers. Mindfulness is nothing but experiencing the present. It is about being mindful of our existence, thoughts, and actions and taming them. It is the precursor to meditation. Meditation is being one with your higher self and gradually eliminating unwanted thoughts by focusing on the wanted ones.

Following are simple practices that you can adopt to live mindfully:

– Paint the walls of your home in cheerful colors. Frame photos of friends and families that conjure up fond memories. Decorate your home with lush and vibrant potted plants. These work on your visual senses.

– Soft music and nature sounds can also promote a more tranquil environment. This soothes your auditory senses.

– Try filling your space with pleasant scents from an essential oil diffuser or scented candles for their calming effects. This intoxicates your olfactory senses.

– Keep healthy snacks and plenty of water easily accessible. This satiates your gustatory senses.

– Massage your body with pure oils and feel the surface of your skin. Hug your beloved person, animal, or thing. Feel the delicate tactile senses.

– A simple breathing exercise can have a deep impact on your state of mind. It will increase your sense of ‘Proprioception’. Hear the sound of your breath and feel the rising and collapsing of your chest and stomach.

– Try gratitude meditation and write down one or two things you like about your job or life or your day.

– Empathy, or our ability to understand each other’s feelings and perspectives and show compassion toward them, is another way of being mindful.

– Being of some service to others within our capacity can work wonders for our humanity quotient.

– Try slowing down, making the food yourself, and eating purposefully. Choose live foods with a variety of different colors, textures, and flavors. Take the time to chew and appreciate each bite. Doing so is better for your digestion and can be very enjoyable and relaxing.

– Spending a little time outdoors can be another way to achieve mindfulness. And you don’t need to go to a far-off retreat to get the desired results; alll you have to do is take a walk around your neighborhood.

– If you have a creative hobby, this can also be a good opportunity to practice mindfulness. Spend some time doing what you enjoy and just be in the moment of creation.

– Engage in physical activities you are passionate about.

– Scan your body, run through each part of the body mentally, pay special attention to the way each area feels. The scan usually moves systematically from the toe to the head.

– Guided meditation is a pragmatic way to focus. It is mindful listening that offers a break from focusing on the self or our response. This form of listening can create an inner stillness. The listener is not distracted by the inner chatter.

I am sure I have tempted you enough and you might be all ready to dive into the mindful haven of the present. We are by default very restless in nature and therefore would require disciplining ourselves to practice mindfulness. It would not be easy initially, but like any other skill it can be attained through regular practice and strong will. Once you are in the habit, the feeling of living in the present tense will be blissful. When you live in the present, there would be no space or time for Future tense-ion!

AUM (OM)

As a yogini, when I recite this powerful word slowly yet firmly, it works magic in me. Its vibrations strike a chord with my inner being. As I close my eyes, sit in a meditative position and start with “aaaa”, “ooooo” and “mmmmm” I can feel my body, mind and soul in sync.

So, what is this word “AUM” all about?

Om, or Aum  is a Sanskrit mantra (religious chant) which is mystical, sacred and important for Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Having said that, Om is the source of all religions and religious scriptures. According to Paramahansa Yogananda, author of “Autobiography of a Yogi“, Om or Aum of the Vedas (Indian Scriptures)  became the sacred word ‘Hum’ of the Tibetans, ‘Amin’ of the Muslims, and ‘Amen’ of the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, Jews, and Christians.” The syllable has been translated into many different languages, cultures, and religious traditions, but its sound has the power to transmogrify.

Therefore the first lesson that Om teaches us is Unity in diversity. Though we are different, our basis remains the same – we are all one as humans.

The second lesson it teaches us is that, GOD is one and the multiple forms don’t really matter.

Om is placed at the beginning of most Hindu texts as a sacred invocation to be hummed at the start and end of a passage or prayer.

The three syllable A+U+M represents and salutes the Hindu Gods – ‘Brahma, Vishnu, and Mahesh’ to invoke their blessings.

It represents several important trios: the three worlds of “earth, atmosphere, and heaven”; “thought, speech, and action”; the three qualities of matter “goodness, passion, and darkness”; and the three sacred Vedic scriptures (collection of hymns and other ancient religious texts written in India in Sanskrit) “Rigveda, Yajurveda and Samaveda”.

Therefore, Om enigmatically embodies the essence of the entire universe.

How do we recite this chant?

Chanting Om is a sanctifying experience. It is a controlling force. Therefore, chanting Om before every auspicious activity is recommended.

Om must be chanted in a high and prolonged note with great devotion. Chanting produces a shivering sensation within. It affects every part of the body. The mind experiences unity with the body and soul. Negativity vanishes. Your entire being feels light. Worldly thoughts are forgotten and you are lost in enchantment. Your slumbering inner strength is aroused. You begin to believe in yourself. It is said, by chanting Om 7 or 11 or 21 or 51 times, sadness and disappointments disappear and contentment seeps in. When chanted in a group, the advantages are multiplied. In order to nurture your physical and emotional strength, Om should be recited with a quiet mind every day. Scientists also endorse its beneficial influence.

The third lesson is unwavering belief in oneself.

Additionally, when one pronounces Om correctly, all the basic sounds also echo. OM creates elemental vibrations and makes our voice gentle. It is believed to be the traditional way of clearing all the obstructions in the vocal cord. It helps to chant Mantras and hymns correctly.

‘Anne Dyer’ (a British academic administrator) suggests that in our chanting practice, we progress from chanting OM out loud to whispering the syllable. This aids the mind to focus on the finest. When the volume descends, we have to ascend our attention. When the mind is listening closely, the mind isn’t busy thinking. In silence, we might begin to hear the stillness, the sound of the void.

The fourth lesson is purity of thoughts and deeds.

It also has metaphysical connotations, which serve as supplements to meditation. AUM – a (pronounced “ah”) represents our waking state, which is also the subjective consciousness of the outer world; u (pronounced “ooh”) is the dreaming state, or the consciousness of our inner world of thoughts, dreams, memories, and so on; and m is the dreamless state of deep sleep and the experience of ultimate coalesce.

In the yogic tradition, Om is also associated with chakra (center of energy) meditation. It is linked with the 6th (brow point) and 7th (top of the head) chakras. It is a powerful mantra to focus and calm the mind. Repeating OM, 108 times with the help of a mala (string of beads), called “Japa Yoga”, is a sacred formula for peace.

Om is perfectly intelligible but completely mystifying. It is an earnest exclamation. It is an unfathomable experience within us.

The last lesson that I learnt from it is to be far from misery, sound, fear, greed, motion, and domination.

When I begin and end my yoga sessions by reciting “AUM” in a meditative pose, solitude enters into me and stays with me throughout the day. That aura of quietude transcends on to whomsoever I come in contact with, and it further spreads.

Come let me help you feel the contagious tranquility of “AUM” at Calida’s yoga sessions for beginners in Thane West at my home through a one-on-one, only for girls format from 7 to 8am on weekdays only for Rs.500/- for the first month.

Namaste

“Let your hands join in prayer and head bow in devotion, Let your lips speak of gratitude and mind be in submission.”

What is the gesture that strikes you when we speak of “praying”? What is the most natural thing you do when you go to any holy place?

Some of you may say, “closing our eyes” or “joining our hands” or “bowing our heads” etc. All of these denote the posture for prayer, practiced in any order.

However, joining our hands is most impactful for the person in action as well as the recipient. Therefore, it is used in different connotations too.

Joining hands together is known as “Namaste” in Hindi and Nepali, as “Namaskar” in Marathi as “Namaskara and Namaskaragalu” in Kannada, “Kumpiṭu” in Tamil, “Dandamu, Dandaalu, Namaskaralu and Pranamamu” in Telugu, “Nomoshkar and Pronam” in Bengali and “Nomoskar” in Assamese. The gesture is widely used throughout the Indian subcontinent, parts of Asia and beyond, where people of Southeast Asian origins have migrated.

The etymology of the word “Namaste” is “nama” meaning to ‘bow or adore’ and “te” meaning ‘you’ in Sanskrit.

Namaste is usually mentioned with a slight bow and hands pressed together, palms touching and fingers pointing upwards, thumbs close to the chest. It is a respectful form of greeting, deity worship, acknowledging or welcoming, expressing gratitude and bidding goodbyes.

A related word – “namazlik” meaning ‘prayer rug’, comes from the Turkish word “namaz” meaning ‘worship ritual, prayer’ and goes back to Middle Persian to “namahya” meaning ‘honor, pay homage to’ which is a derivative of “nam” meaning ‘bend’, which is exactly interconnected with Sanskrit word “namati” meaning ‘bow’, thereby connecting the ancient gesture and the ancient tradition of prayer rugs through the ancient roots of distantly related languages.

If we go into the deeper spiritual exploration of the word and gesture, it means that “I bow to the divine in you”. It is said that the Heart chakra gets activated with this gesture. It depicts humility, courtesy and politeness. It is often said that our right hand signifies our higher level divine nature and the left hand represents the lower level worldly nature. This gesture speaks volumes without having the need to utter a word. If combined with a smile, it can melt any heart. This expression of unison aims at building relationships through meeting of spirits. It brings a unique feeling of warmth without touch. The only contact is with the eyes. The language of “Namaste” can be understood by strangers too. This gesticulation treats everyone equal irrespective of their age, relation, gender, social class, skin color etc.

In Yoga, Namaste is used frequently while performing yoga asanas, meditation and mudras. The teacher is greeted at the beginning of the practice with a “Namaste”. The student also offers thanks to the yoga teacher at the end of the practice with “Namaste”. It is a gesture to send a message of peace to the universe in the hope of receiving a positive message back. It is like a baton to take up the responsibility of first imbibing into yourself what was taught on the mat and then passing it by sharing with others off the mat. In order to make students understand, the yoga guru might use English words for asanas but the word “Namaste” is taught as it is to honor the ancient tradition. It is perceived as the declaration of obedience and offering.

This expression is also known as “Anjali” mudra which aids meditation. It means a salutation seal. Practicing Anjali mudra promotes flexibility in the wrists and arm joints. It provides mental benefits like improvement of focus, mindfulness, relieves stress, calms the mind, and connects both the hemispheres of the brain helping usage of both the left and right side leading to inner awareness.

So, in future do not fall into any kind of ego trap by avoiding this humble expression. Also, when you use the word “Namaste” ensure that you are spreading positivity meaningfully and not saying it for namesake.

Come join me at Calida’s yoga sessions for beginners in Thane West at my home through a one-on-one, only for females format for Rs.500/- for the first month.

“As I greet you with a ‘Namaste’, I see the hope of a new beginning of a relationship which is free from judgments and expectations. I see the light that shall never fade; I see the peace that binds us.”

Jal Neti Kriya Yoga – My Aladdin’s Lamp

Yes, it does work miracles. The best part is, we do not need a genie for it.

Jal Neti is nasal hygiene. This technique uses warm water, Jal Neti pot and salt to purify and clean the nasal path, right from the nostrils to the throat. A Neti pot is usually small and has a long spout on one side, which is small enough to be inserted gently into one of the nostrils during the process.

The best time to perform Jal neti is either in the morning or evening.

Process:

1. This procedure ought to be done while you sit as it will enable you to remain quiet and stable. You can likewise stand and bend towards the front to let the water stream in the correct position.

2. Place the spout of the pot inside the left nostril. The cone present at the end of the nozzle should be inside your nostril.

3. Tilt your head towards the right side and open your mouth to breathe. Adjust your head to a certain point where the water streams from the left nostril into right nostril furthermore till it is finally flushed out. Proceed till the water finishes.

4. Fill the pot again and rehash the procedure with the right nostril.

You may encounter irritation in the nose, sniffling or hacking during the initial couple of times. Ensure that your nose feels dry in the wake of finishing the whole procedure. You can perform Kapalbhati Pranayama or Bhastrika Pranayama after Jal Neti as it will draw out any residue.

Benefits:

  • Weekly practice helps maintain the nasal hygiene by removing the dirt and bacteria trapped along with the mucus in the nostrils.
  • It soothes the sensitive tissues inside the nose, which can alleviate allergies.
  • It is beneficial in dealing with asthmatic conditions and making breathing easier.
  • It reduces ear infections.
  • It helps slacken sinusitis or migraine attack.
  • It can assuage respiratory complaints like sore throats, tonsils, and dry coughs.
  • It can clear the eye ducts and improve vision.
  • Clearing of nasal passages helps improve the sense of smell and thereby improves digestion.
  • It calms the nervous system and the mind. It also helps relieve stress and brings clarity to the mind.
  • People have experienced a reduction in their anger by practicing Jal Neti regularly.
  • It helps improve the quality of your meditation.
  • Jal neti is beneficial for hair health and prevents untimely falling of hair, greying of hair and other adverse hair conditions.
  • It helps to whet your memory.
  • It cures insomnia as well as drowsiness.

Precautions

  • The nose should be dried properly after the process.
  • People with high blood pressure should avoid this kriya.
  • Take care that you do not leave any water in the nasal passages as it might cause an infection.
  • The proportion of salt into water should be kept in mind else will lead to burning sensation in the nasal region.

This kriya should only be practiced under the guidance of a yoga expert till you get it right, as it needs to be followed with precautions.

Come join me in practicing “Jal Neti” at Calida’s yoga sessions for beginners in Thane West at my home through a one-on-one, only for girls format for Rs.500/- for the first month.

Let’s activate the power of receiving the natural scents of the earth and enliven each breath!!!



Face Yoga – The most reliable make-up brand

Questions related to identity are often resolved first-hand by a “Face”. People always want to give a face to the name in order to establish greater trust. Face-to-Face meetings are always more desirable due to its impact in building strong relationships. 

People say, “Do not look at the face, look at the heart” – How? The first impression is said to be the last impression and what is this first impression mainly about? – Face. “Fair and Lovely” and many such cosmetic creams are applied on the face and not on any other part of the body which are equally important. Why? Because, inevitably it is the foremost and sometimes the only part of the body viewed by the other party.

The face conveys a lot through its expressions. But, we also put it through lot of strain due to unpleasant expressions, thoughts and feelings. This leads to innumerable unwanted and untimely outputs like wrinkles, crow’s feet, dullness, sagging skin, puffiness, dark circles, premature ageing etc. And then we opt for the “anti-creams”, invasive remedies, overload of cosmetics, clinical or parlor treatments.

I am writing this article to give you a break from all of the above complexities. It is called “Face Yoga”. Face yoga is a series of stretching exercises that promise to do for your face what yoga does for your body: relaxes and tones the approximately 52 muscles of the face. Since the muscles on our faces can’t perform Surya Namaskars or set out on a jog, you apply pressure with your fingertips or make certain facial expressions that fine-tune and strengthen the muscles.

Let us rewind a decade of your Face life with the below few uncanny methods:

Smiling your heart away – Isn’t this the most easy? Isn’t this most known? Does it need an explanation? So, my only instruction is, “Please do it innumerable times a day. Let your smile be wide and bright”. Believe me; all gain is in a grin.

Blinking – Shut and open your eyes continuously few times in a day. You can even wink if you wish. This facial exercise improves your eyesight. It may reduce the necessity of wearing spectacles over a period of time.

Kiss away your pain – Pout in the air multiple times. It relaxes the muscles around the lips and cheeks.

The sky is yours as much as the ground – Look up and down very slowly using your neck for at least 20 times in a day to get rid of double chin.


Side by Side – Look right and then left at a slow pace using your neck for 20 times in a day to relax your neck muscles. Bend your head sideways to the right and hold for a few seconds to and then repeat on the left side. You can also roll your neck in clockwise and anticlockwise direction.

Anoint yourself – Stretch the forehead skin with your fingers as if drawing horizontal lines on it in order to lessen the tension and wrinkles.

Balloon up  – Puff up your cheeks with air and shift the air from the right cheek to the left and vice versa without opening your mouth for 20 times in a row every day. This will prevent your cheek from becoming hollow and will strengthen its muscles.

Stick it out but don’t lick it up – Stick your tongue out as far as it will go, and hold this pose for 60 seconds and repeat 3 times every day for prominent jawline and high cheekbones.

Fish Face – Create a fish face by sucking the inside of your cheeks into the gap between the sides of your teeth to firm and tone your lips and cheeks.

Oh! – Form a long “O” with your mouth. Fold both your upper and lower lips over your teeth to stretch the muscles of your chin, lips and area between the nose and upper lip making them firm.

Sliding your way – Slide your index and middle finger from the inner corner of your eye near the root of the nose till the outer corner of your eye. Do this 20 times a day to get rid of crow’s feet, under eye bags and dark circles. This makes your eyes look bigger and eyelids less droopy.

Scrunching – Inhale and squeeze your face pulling the muscles inwards then release with an exhale widening your eyes and mouth. Do it few times in a day for stretching all the muscles in the face leading to a glow.

Breathing is quintessential while performing all the above Facial Yoga exercises for continuous oxygen supply and improved blood circulation leading to a healthy complexion. This is a natural way to make your face look younger, clear, smoother and supple.

Facial Yoga elevates your jawbone, enhances the cheekbones, tones the neckline and shreds the excess fat in your face.

It works on all the three layers of the skin: hypodermis or the lower layer, the dermis or the middle layer and the epidermis or the upper layer. It helps in releasing toxins, increasing the ability of absorbing moisture and relaxes the muscles and nerve connections leading to wrinkle-free skin.

Such exercises can prevent contorted facial muscles and cause a perfectly symmetrical face.

And since the facial muscles are smaller in comparison to the other muscles of the body, they’ll respond quicker.

I would never say face yoga eradicates all lines, but it can definitely change the downward drift.

You can perform these exercises during your spare time from any place you wish.

Eliminate wrinkles with the ultimate natural Facelift at Calida’s yoga sessions for beginners in Thane West at my home through a one-on-one, only for girls’ format from 7 to 8am on weekdays only for Rs.500/- for the first month. I have leaked the secret of long term juvenility; it is your turn to take action.

Surya Namaskar – Power Package of Asanas

Early morning is the best time of the day. Does not matter how rough the weather for the rest of the day would be, early mornings are always pleasant.

But, our lives have become so excessively pre-occupied and wearisome that waking up early in the morning has become a grueling task. In the bargain we are missing out on the beauty of nature.

The rising of the huge, spinning, blazing sun is the most significant part of a morning. The flash of its light has the power to wake you up from your deepest sleep. Exposure to early morning sun light can bring healing effects to your mind and body. We are acutely conscious of the fact that Sun is the most important source of energy on Earth. It is one of the foremost reasons for existence of life on Earth.

Therefore it becomes inevitable for humans to show respect and gratitude to this star of the solar system. This could be the rationale behind designing “Surya Namaskar” (Sun Salutation).

Surya Namaskar is a complete and perfect yoga workout. There are several variations to the practice of Sun Salutation. However, it is advisable to stick to one particular version and practice it regularly for best results.

The most common variation is that of 12 steps. The sequence can be practiced slowly by staying in each asana for few breaths or it can be practiced at a faster pace, breathing in and out as we move from one asana to the other. It is the combination of rhythmic breath and asana that makes this exercise a powerful detox tool. Repeating these cycles help us lead an active and healthy life.

Research shows that 1 minute of sun salutation can help burn at least 3.79 calories. Studies show that an average weighing person may take up to 3 minutes to complete 1 cycle of Surya Namaskar and can burn up to 13.91 calories. With this as a primary benchmark, you can decide how many sets you need to do. With practice, you should ideally be able to do 108. And as you strive to reach that number, you will automatically become fit and toned.12 sets of this exercise equals to 288 powerful yoga asanas in a span of 12 to 15 minutes. Surya Namaskaras also form an incredible link between the warming-up poses and the intense yoga asanas.

As the name suggests, Surya Namaskar should be practiced in the mornings on empty stomach and preferably in the outdoors or in a fully ventilated room.

Following are the asanas included in a single cycle of Surya Namaskar:

  1. Pranamasana or Anjali Mudra / Prayer Pose
  2. Utthana Hasthasana / Upward Salute
  3. Padahastanasana or  Utthanasana  / Hand To Feet or Intense Forward Bend
  4. Ashva Sanchalanasana / Equestrian Pose
  5. Phalakasana or Dandasana / Plank Pose
  6. Ashtanga Namaskara /  Salute With Eight Limbs or Knee Chest and Chin
  7. Bhujangasana / Cobra Pose
  8. Adho Mukha Svanasana / Downward Facing Dog
  9. Ashva Sanchalanasana / Equestrian Pose
  10. Padahastanasana / Hand To Feet
  11. Utthana Hasthasana / Upward Salute
  12. Pranamasana or Anjali Mudra / Prayer Pose

Benefits of Surya Namaskar:

  • Helps maintain cardiovascular health
  • Stimulates the nervous system
  • Helps in stretching, flexing and toning the muscles
  • Facilitates weight loss management
  • Strengthens the immune system
  • Enhances cognitive functions
  • Maintains overall health by strengthening the body, bones and relaxing the mind
  • Balances endocrine system and restores hormonal balance
  • Improves blood circulation
  • Ensures proper functioning of the bowels and stomach

Abstain from practicing the Surya Namaskaras in the following cases:

  1. Pregnant women must refrain from practicing the Surya Namaskaras after their third month of pregnancy.
  2. Those suffering from hernia and high blood pressure should also avoid practicing this sequence.
  3. Those suffering from back problems should seek proper guidance while practicing this sequence.
  4. Women must avoid practicing the Sun Salutation while they are on their periods.

So, whether or not you believe in GOD, you can still believe in the power of the Sun. Furthermore, you can salute its glory with humility, because 108 repetitions of the Surya Namaskar once in a day, every day, can miraculously help you in keeping the doctor away.

In order to shape your personality like the glowing sun, come join me in practicing “Surya Namaskar” at Calida’s yoga sessions for beginners in Thane West at my home through a one-on-one, only for girls format from 7 to 8am on weekdays only for Rs.500/- for the first month.

Mudras – Artwork of hands

Have you ever kept yourself in place of “Thakur”(character in a Bollywood movie without hands) from the movie “Sholay”? Jokes apart, it goes without saying that our hands are an integral part of our body. It allows you to sense the feeling of touch.

And why is touch so important? A touch can convey plethora of emotions without even uttering them. Ask a classical dancer what a friend she has in her fingers. It is an aesthetic vision to see how the dancer expresses emotions artistically through fingers. It is satisfying to the dancer and pleasant to the audience.

 Touch has the power to heal as well as destroy. Thereupon let me bring you in contact with “Mudras”. In simple language, Mudras are symbolic hand gestures that steer the flow of energy to different sections of the brain to promote relaxation.

Let me help you understand its meaning in depth. The five fingers of our hands represent the five elements of the universe. The thumb is regarded as the fire which stands for universal awareness. The index finger is regarded as air which stands for individual or self-awareness. The middle finger is regarded as sky which stands for bond or interconnection. The ring finger is regarded as earth and the little finger as water. These elements need to be in balance so that our body functions smoothly. There are umpteen types of Mudras sketched to bring out different benefits, depending on what we particularly need. By practicing it regularly and for longer cycles, an interconnection is created in the patterns of the brain that stimulates unconscious impulses in different areas. The internal energy is then distributed in a balanced manner, creating an effect on the sensory organs, tendons, glands and veins. Mudras are kind of medication that help in attaining a specific state of mind leading to well-being.

Read on and assimilate these common mudras in your lifestyle along with proper breathing techniques for best results.

Gyan Mudra (Mudra of Knowledge)

The Gyana Mudra increases concentration, creativity, and is a gesture of knowledge. It boosts memory power, builds mental power and sharpens the brain. If done regularly, your mental and psychological disorders such as anger, stress, anxiety depression and even insomnia can be improved considerably.

Vayu Mudra (Mudra of Air)

This Mudra controls the restlessness, nervousness, and calms an uneasy mind. It also harmonizes our natural body energies, such as blinking, sneezing or yawning. It helps in the release of extra gases and treats imbalance of air disease.

Prana Mudra (Mudra of life)

The Prana Mudra activates the dormant energy within the body. Prana Mudra symbolizes energy or spirit of life. It provides energy and health. It increases the body resistance to diseases, reduces deficiency of vitamins, and removes tiredness.

Shunya Mudra (Mudra of Emptiness)

This Mudra symbolizes patience and discipline, and helps us generate a feeling of stability.

Apan Mudra (Mudra of Digestion)

This Mudra gives relief from constipation, piles and kidney defects. It is best for stomach disease. Apana means air that runs in our body. It helps in governing all forms of elimination and reproduction of our body.

Surya Mudra (Mudra of the Sun)

This Mudra represents energy and health, and it provides us with a feeling of balance. It can also help with bringing positive changes into our lives. It lowers our laziness quotient.

Varun Mudra (Mudra of Water)

This Mudra helps in enhancing intuitive communication. It encourages openness, fluid communication and balances the water element in the body.

Ling Mudra (Mudra of Heat)

This Mudra builds heat in the body and can cause sweating even in winters. It helps in the control of cold, asthma, cough and sinus.

Dhyana Mudra

This Mudra provides calming energy for meditation and is used for deep contemplation and reflection. It also benefits in deep thinking. It relieves stress and mental pressures.

Kubera Mudra ( Wealth Mudra)

This Mudra is  used in yoga to focus on abundance and prosperity – both spiritual and physical. The term comes from the name Kubera, a Hindu demi-god of riches.

If you’d like to create a mystical Midas touch, come join me in practicing “Mudras” at Calida’s yoga sessions for beginners in Thane West at my home through a one-on-one, only for girls format from 7 to 8am on weekdays only for Rs.500/- for the first month. Let’s add this new dimension to our yoga practice and witness incredible changes!!!

Bandhas – No Entry

Stop!!! Yes, we need to stop. Amidst the hyper active life we live, it is important to press the brakes at regular intervals. And what do these pauses do to you? How do they help you? Simple, it helps you rejuvenate. Needless to say, once you are out of your break, you are more productive. What are these breaks all about? They are diversions from the route you are treading for hours together without even realizing the time spent on it, the deteriorating results and the draining mind. It is similar to advising a mourning family or ailing person to venture on a vacation to divert their minds. These recesses make life simple.

This was the first aspect of Bandhas.

How important is self-control in life? Many a times we have heard people chanting – “Control!” and responses coming “Control nahi hota” (I am unable to control). What is this “Control”? Why do we need to execute “Control”? Controlling helps one become discipline and aids in channelizing that energy in a prolific way.

This was the second aspect of Bandhas.

At this point, let me introduce you to the definition of Bandhas. Bandha means to lock, hold, close-off, stop or tighten. Bandhas are muscular, structural, physical and psychic locks wherein energy flow to that specific area is temporarily blocked. Storage of energy is created in those areas due to the blockage. Once the Bandha is released, the energy flow gushes with pressure throughout the body and brain.  Bandhas redirect the flow of energy and distributes it equally to all parts of the body resulting into strength, stability and optimum functioning of the body and mind.

Bandhas act as traffic signals that effectuate control and ensure smooth flow during high traffic conditions.

Bandhas and Pranayamas go hand in hand but they also have their own individual effects that enable in performing more advanced yoga poses.

There are four types of Bandhas:

  • Anal/Root Lock (Moola Bandh) – Moola means root or source. This bandha improves blood supply to the cervical region of the spine. It is beneficial for the thyroid gland especially hypo thyroid. It regulates metabolism.
  • Lifting of the Diaphragm/Flying Upward (Uddiyana Bandh) – Uddiyan in Sanskrit is moving up hence this bandh is termed as Uddiyan Bandha. This bandha involves the movement of the muscles of the abdomen and especially the diaphragm. It stimulates the digestive system and appetite. It also tones liver, pancreas, adrenals, urinary and excretory systems.
  • Chin Lock/Throat Lock (Jalandhara Bandh) – “Jal” means net or mesh of the energy channels and the word “Dhar” means to hold the flow of the fluid flowing through the channels. This bandh helps destroy any pain in the throat, cures thyroid problems and releases stress & anxiety.
  • Practice of all three Bandhas at the same time (Maha Bandh)

The contraction or expansion of the internal organs and nerves, changes the reactions, emotions and the magnitude of energy in the intramural of our structure. As a result, the body and mind is elevated to a peaceful state.

These bandhas are best performed in meditative postures like Vajrasana, Padmasana, Sukhasana etc. and have to be carried out by following certain inhalation and exhalation techniques.

Following are the benefits of bandhas:

  • Fosters the production and release of fresh blood by momentarily halting the flow
  • Facilitates the removal of dead and old cells by flushing them away
  • Revitalizes the organs and blood flow due to more supply of oxygen
  • Pacifies the mind through steady and controlled breathing techniques and aids concentration
  • Modulates your digestive, hormonal and other internal systems
  • Removes blockages and cleanses them, thus allowing self-equilibrium and harmony

So, as the title suggests, embrace the art of Bandhas and put a “No Entry” board to any kind of contamination to your body.

Come join me in practicing “Bandhas” at Calida’s yoga sessions for beginners in Thane West at my home through a one-on-one, only for girls format from 7 to 8am on weekdays just for Rs.500/- for the first month.

Let’s decontaminate our body, mind and soul through Yoga!!!