By Dr. Rita Khanna
To teach the individual how to relax, and achieve tranquility, is the primary purpose of Yoga. Many times, you feel exhausted at the end of a busy day, and when you want to play with your children or talk with your wife or husband, you just can’t. This makes you feel frustrated and irritated, causing even more physical and emotional tension. In order to avoid this, you can practice simple breathing awareness before coming home from work, or before the family comes home for dinner. This breathing practice will minimize your physical fatigue and maximize your emotional stability. Your irritation will automatically decrease, and you won’t become angry with your loved ones. You will be able to speak with your children, wife, or husband, in a pleasant manner; and you will be happier with yourself as a person. Keep practicing this every day and, in the course of time, you will feel a tremendous increase of energy, both physically and emotionally. These following Yogic relaxation techniques are very simple to follow:
SIMPLE BREATH AWARENESS
The Yogic way to achieve inner peace is to watch the breathing process in the body, to become aware of each incoming and outgoing breath. You don’t have to make an effort to breathe; the process goes on automatically all the time. Just sit down quietly, with your eyes open or closed, and withdraw your awareness from the external world. Become aware of the breath – flowing in and out. With every inhalation, feel the navel region expanding; with every exhalation, feel the navel area contracting. Try to synchronize the incoming and outgoing breath with the rising and falling of the navel. You can do this for 5-10 minutes.
This breath awareness relaxes the nerves and spontaneously internalizes the mind. It relaxes not only the abdominal, back and leg muscles, but also the most important areas of the brain, which control the whole physical body, the emotions, and the intellect. When you experience this relaxation, the strain of the day’s work falls away, and you feel as refreshed as if you had just had several hours of sleep. Even the relaxation of sleep cannot be compared with this state, because Yogic relaxation brings emotional tranquility, as well.
Another technique, which you can do every day, or at least once a week, is Neti Kriya. This practice also relaxes the brain and brings tranquility. For this, you need a special Neti lota (pot) filled with warm saline water. Place the nozzle of the lota in the right nostril, then tilt the head to the left side and breathe through the open mouth. The water flows out of the left nostril, without any effort or disturbance, as if it were coming through a straight pipe. Afterwards, you clean the nose by exhaling forcefully with Bhastrika Pranayama to remove any excess water. It takes hardly any time.
Neti Kriya stimulates and massages the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, which are known in Yogic terminology, as Ida and Pingala Nadis. Ida and Pingala control the cooling and heating aspects in the body, acting like an internal thermostat. This thermostat regulates the temperature and energy levels in the nervous system. When the energy is not being channelized properly, either there is too much energy or too little, and then illness develops. Constipation, diabetes, hypertension, cancer, and so many other diseases, may occur. Neti kriya helps to maintain good health, by balancing these two aspects of Ida and Pingala in our physical body. These two Nadis are also directly connected to the brain and affect the way we think, experience, and feel. They influence the emotions, which cause worry and excitement, and are at the root of most of our problems. So, when you directly relax the two nervous systems, in the course of time, you are able to transform yourself mentally, as well as physically.
Therefore, these are two simple Yogic techniques, which can be used to restore normal health and harmony; and the best thing is that anybody can perform these simple Yogic techniques, without any side effects.
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Courtesy: Dr. Rita Khanna’s Yogashaastra Studio.
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Dr. Rita Khanna
Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into this discipline over 25 years ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh (India).
She believes firmly that Yoga is a scientific process, which helps us to lead a healthy and disease-free life. She is also actively involved in practicing alternative medicines like Naturopathy. Over the years, she has been successfully practicing these therapies and providing succour to several chronic and terminally ill patients through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy. She is also imparting Yoga Teachers Training.
At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is running a Yoga Studio in Secunderabad (Hyderabad, India).