Yoga in Practice: Yogic Solutions for Fear
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Yoga often helps us to carefully examine logical and illogical mind chatter. Fear can be caused by either, logical or illogical, thoughts. Sorting out our fears, and categorizing them, will give us a rational view of, an often, irrational emotion.
Logical thoughts, which strike fear into us, have been learned over time, such as: Putting our hands into a fire. We have all learned to respect extreme heat, because of our life experiences, but this is a logical reaction.
Illogical thoughts, such as phobias and unreasonable fears, which we perceive to be real, can program us for failure, or cause a state of panic. The reaction to phobias and unreasonable fears can raise the pulse rate, shorten the breath, increase perspiration, result in trembling, and in extreme cases, cause death.
If someone you know is suffering, as mentioned above, from phobias, counseling should be sought. Reactions to phobias can become an automatic conditioned response. A person who suffers with extreme reactions to phobias may no longer be able to control his or her response to it. This is why counseling will be so helpful.
In the case of Yoga being prescribed for phobias, it will help, but a doctor, therapist, or counselor, should be working in conjunction with Yoga practice. If a Yoga teacher has one of these qualifications, everything should be fine. If this is not the case, two individuals may be needed. Self-prescribing, in the case of extreme reactions to phobias, is definitely not recommended.
Yoga therapy for phobias consists of pranayama, mantra, asana, meditation, and more. The mind can be re-programmed for success, but face-to-face Yoga guidance, and professional counseling, should be sought.
Let’s look at a common fear that most of us take for granted, which might be a phobia in some, but leaves its traces in many of our personalities. We might call it “fear of rejection.” This is a fear we learned as children. We wanted to be accepted by our peers, give the right answer to our teacher, or make our parents proud of us.
For one reason, or another, we discovered disapproval. We buried it in our personality, and now we hesitate to take chances. We learn to “play it safe” and avoid taking risks for fear of rejection. This one fear has held back many creative personalities. Some artists stop producing beautiful pieces, because they imagine disapproval or listen to the wrong feedback.
How can Yoga help? All forms of Yoga bring about a state of inner tranquility. Within Jnana Yoga, the practitioner learns to see reality. One reality, which we should all learn at a younger age, is to see the truth. You cannot base the truth on the opinion of one person or even one country.
The truth is felt deep within your heart. In the case of an artist: If an artist is producing pieces for his, or her, own gratification, and it is appreciated by a small group, then this is a form of therapy for the artist. He or she is doing no harm to anyone, and does not need the approval of everyone.
One more truth to realize: You will not receive the approval of everyone you meet, but do not suppress the Albert Einstein, or Leonardo da Vinci, within, because of it.
Adults see far too much bad news in the newspapers and on television. As a result, it programs us to consider failure first. We can afford to take a calculated risk in 2008.
© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
Yoga in Practice: Seeds of Happiness
By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500
Within the practice of Yoga are the seeds of happiness. Daily life is filled with what we think about. If we imagine a difficult day filled with problems, challenges, and obstacles, we will find what we seek. We are not in complete control of the universe, but our frame of mind has much to do with our happiness, and even more to do with the outcome of daily situations.
Consider this: What we perceive as problems, challenges, and obstacles, are life’s lessons – if we are willing to listen. We may find ourselves “thrown into” an unexpected situation, which challenges our ability to be happy.
So, how do we handle an inherent fear of the unknown? Fear of the unknown is a basic fear, which all people have, to some degree, and it is justified. We learn to fear those things that can harm us as children, and the unknown can sometimes cause us harm. We would be foolish to ignore fire once our fingers are burned.
The key to happiness, when facing problems, challenges, and obstacles, is to see the lesson. Of course, you want to find a solution, but you should enjoy the journey as a student of life. Sometimes, life’s lessons are too much for one person to handle alone.
This is why we have friendships, families, partnerships, and marriages. When a group of people band together, with the common goal to solve a problem, then a solution will be found. This practice is a concerted group effort to solve something, which we perceive as an obstacle.
Yoga has taught us to do much more than wishful thinking. When a large group of people band together, meditate, and discuss solutions, positive action will be a result of this effort. A large group may have difficulty working together in harmony. Smaller groups, or individuals, will have their own perception of an important agenda.
As an example of this, which of these issues do you think is more important: global warming, social injustice, world peace, good medical care for all, ending poverty, or putting food on the table? Chances are, someone right next to you, sees one of these issues, or one that I have not mentioned, more importantly than you do.
So, successful outcomes to finding solutions depend upon a state of mutual happiness and respect within a group. The concept of collective thought has always had people who object to it. Yet, a lone wolf may not survive, where a wolf pack can flourish.
Establish happy relationships, meditate upon happy thoughts, pray, and work in harmony with others. Your reward will be a successful and happy life.
© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications
By Dr. Rita Khanna
You can have all colors of bulbs and miles of wire, but until you have electricity, your tree won’t light up. Similarly you can have a body, mind and soul but until you have energy, a life force, you are not alive. Pranayama (proper breathing) connects the body with its battery, the solar plexus, where enormous reserves of energy can be stored & retrieved. This vital energy flows through your body and gives you life. It is present everywhere around us, and is manifest in human beings in the breath. Yogic breathing regulates the flow of this vital energy. It cleanses you thoroughly and harmonizes the mind and the body. It relaxes and rejuvenates.
Importance of Healthy Breathing:
Our breathing is too shallow and too quick. We are not taking in sufficient oxygen and we are not eliminating sufficient carbon dioxide. As a result, our bodies are oxygen starved and toxic build up occurs. Animals which breathe slowly live the longest; elephant is a good example. If we learn to breathe slowly we not only relax and calm the mind but can also extend the life span.
Know your Breathing Power
In 1 minute while walking we breathe 12 breaths to 18 breaths Averages 15 breaths
While sitting (battak) 12 times,While walking (chale) 18 times,While running (dour mai) 20 times, While lust and anger (Kama, krodh) 72 times. While doing Omkar or Brahmari Pranayama we breathe only 3 to 4 times in 1 minute. It means we are saving 11 breaths.
“A study conducted in early India showed that a tortoise breathes three times in one minute and lives for 300 years. An elephant takes five breathes in one minutes and lives for 120 years. A dog breathes 42 times while a human being breathes 15 times in a minute. Both lives for 14 to 65 years respectively. Kapalbhati Pranayama teaches one to control one’s breathing and prolong life.”
Respiration & Circulation
- By inhaling, oxygen absorbed in to blood stream. Oxygen rich blood returns to heart and pump to all parts of the body metabolism
- Breathing techniques ensure maximum oxygen; thus more vitality to our organs
- Brain cells require much more oxygen rich blood relatively. This is easy if more oxygen is available.
- Common to hear “Take deep breath” when you are stressed.
- Net result all above is correct mental balance, concentration, clarity of thought & a stress free brain.
Breathe rightly to relax quickly
Spending long hours sitting at the desk and typing up reports, features, stories? You may not be aware of it, but you are accumulating stress in your neck, upper back and upper arms. Short breaks – even for a couple of minutes every half an hour or so, will make you feel much better and allow you to carry on longer.
Well, follow this simple yoga technique to relax stress instantly. You can do it anywhere without any equipment and it only takes five minutes to learn.
Just sit with your back straight.
Try to loosen the clothing that feels tight around your waist.
- Concentrate on your breathing.
- Slowly inhale through the nose.
- Exhale completely and very slowly through your mouth.
- Place your left palm on your belly.
- Observe that your hand is moving forward while breathing in and going inward while breathing out.
- Breathe out twice the duration of breathing in.
- Inhale and count 4 mentally.
- Count 8 while breathing out. Next time, you do, increase the duration in the same ratio.
- Do it at for least five minutes.
- As you practice, you will find it more and more effective in keeping you relaxed, when you are stressed.
- In the middle of the day, it’s nice way to give your self a small break.
For more information contact:
Dr. Rita Khanna
2nd floor, plot#22, Suman Housing colony, West Marredpally,
Dr. Rita Khanna’s YogaShaastra Studio
A Yoga & Naturopathy Centre
Over 20 years of Teaching Yoga
The Studio is open 6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.