February 2009 Yoga Teacher Training Newsletter

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February 2009 Yoga Teacher Training Newsletter 2017-04-26T15:29:54+00:00

Digestive Breathing For Healthy Digestion

By Dr. Rita Khanna

Digestive Breathing For Healthy DigestionA healthy digestive system is very important for your physical & mental health. To strengthen the system, it is necessary to strengthen & rebalance the digestive processes. Throughout the day, one keeps eating or munching something or the other & stomach being used like a dustbin. Thus the stomach has to over work for digestion. It often leads to indigestion. Undigested food ferments in the stomach & this would often lead to many diseases.

What Is Digestive Breathing

Digestive breathing is one of the ways, which not only gives rest to the digestive system but also to the mind. Normally whenever one takes heavy food, one feels sleepy because all the blood supply goes to the abdomen & there is less blood supply in the brain. At that time, if you do digestive breathing for 15-20 minutes, the working capacity of the various glands connected to digestion process increases & adds digestive power. It also has a calming effect on the nerves, which in turn relaxes your digestive system thus making it more effective.

Understand Your Digestive System

The digestive system is a process, which starts immediately in the mouth where saliva gets mixed with the food. This saliva is a digestive juice & helps in digestion of food. Soft & moist food goes down into the food canal by a Pranic force called Pran Vayu. The food canal is connected to our stomach. In the stomach, the food undergoes many chemical changes. This is the upper digestive tract area. Disorders of this area results in hyper or hypoacidity, gastric, belching, wind, indigestion etc.

The stomach is connected to the small intestine. The whole small intestinal area is the middle digestive tract. The function of this area is to absorb and assimilate the digested matter into the blood stream. A Pranic force called Samana Vayu, which circulates between the navel and the heart, controls this process. This force also controls the temperature and metabolic rate of the body. In this middle tract area, other than small intestine, major organs like the liver and the pancreas are located. Therefore, disorder in this area causes liver disease, imbalance of insulin secretion, which results in diabetes and gastro-enteritis.

At the end of the small intestine, there is ileocecal valve connecting to the large intestine. This is the lower tract area from the navel region to the perineum. This area is governed by the Apana Vayu. When food is churned completely, this valve opens automatically & the food is transferred to the small intestine. In the intestines, it gets mixed with several other juices, which help in its digestion. The small intestine takes out the digested food elements & absorbs them in its walls. Acute diseases like constipation, diarrhea, dysentery, appendicitis, colitis etc are the results of mal-functioning of lower digestive tract.

The food juices absorbed by the intestines go to the liver & waste material passes over to large intestine where the water is absorbed and the waste is thrown out by defecation. The liver makes blood from extracted food juice & sends the blood to the heart. The other dirty liquid is sent to the kidneys. The kidneys purify it & send the uric acid to the bladder, from where it comes out in the form of urine.

How To Energize The Digestive System / Solar Plexus

In Kundalini Yoga, the digestive organs, glands & the solar plexus of nerves represent solar energy or inner fire. Fire converts matter to energy in the form of light and heat. Just as the Sun is the source of life, energy & heat in our Solar System, same way the Solar Plexus is the inner battery for our physical body. If it is strong and charged, you have courage, confidence and the drive to follow your dreams. If the inner fire is slow, you start getting problems, which influence the nervous, digestive & immune systems. There is a close relationship between this energy and all the digestive disorders. To keep the physical & emotional body energetic, you must energize the Solar Plexus by diaphragming breathing. The diaphragm allows you to breathe deeply and let go of tension & stress. It has a direct effect on Solar Plexus.

Technique For Digestive Breathing

To start, lie down in Shavasna… relaxing the whole body… keep breathing about 11 breaths (inhale & exhale) to relax the internal organs of the stomach… then turn to left side gently… fold the knees… place your left hand under the head… right hand on the right leg… or you can adjust your posture the way you want to… lying down in this position, inhale & exhale 21 times consciously & count the numbers mentally… When you lie down on the left side, the stomach gets compressed to the floor & internal massage is happening inside the abdomen which helps in digestion because the shape of the stomach is in ‘C’ shape. Now come on the back & lie down in Shavasana… In this position, do breathing again mentally 21 times… then turn to the right side & repeat the breathing 21 times… In the end, slowly turn to left side & breathe 7 times. Then slowly sit up. You’ll feel very light & relaxed.

What Happens Inside The Body

When you lie down & do breathing consciously, you are increasing the Pran Shakti. Prana is an energy within the sukshma sharira or subtle body that gives rise to and activates the physical body or gross body. We have 72,000 subtle channels through which prana flows. The dominant flow of prana occurs within the ida and pingala nadis. Between these nadis lies the shushumna nadi, the ‘central’ channel that is located along the spinal axis of the body. When you lie to the left side, Pingala Nadi gets activated. It means flow of prana is more in the right nostril. It indicates that vital energy is dominant & is producing heat for digestion. When you lie straight on the back, you are energizing the spine & balancing the flow of the other two channels. That time the third nadi- Sushumna is stimulated. It is located at the base of the spine & it travels directly up through the spinal cord. When you lie to right side, Ida Nadi gets activated & the flow of prana is more in the left nostril. It indicates mental energy, coolness & relaxation. To recharge the body again you come back to left side. The co-ordination of these three Nadis gives health, strength, mental peace and long life – and clears the way for the spiritual growth.

In case of any query, contact:

Dr Rita Khanna
Mobile: 09849772485 Ph:-040-65173344
Email: yogashaastra@gmail.com

Dr. Rita Khanna

Dr. Rita Khanna is a well-known name in the field of Yoga and Naturopathy. She was initiated into his discipline over two decades ago by world famous Swami Adyatmananda of Sivananda Ashram in Rishikesh.

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.

At present, Dr. Rita Khanna is teaching Yoga in Secunderabad. She has been treating and curing various diseases and disorders through Yoga, Diet and Naturopathy and has been achieving tremendous satisfaction in disseminating this virtue.


Yoga Terms and Yogic Misrepresentations

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Yoga Terms and Yogic MisrepresentationsIf you listen closely, you will hear people misuse terms related to Yoga because of lack of knowledge or by bending and twisting a definition to suit their needs. An example of this would be when a student claims a teacher who charges for classes does not have a “Yogic attitude.”

In general, Yoga teachers tend to be charitable with their time, money, and possessions, but when one chooses to teach, there is no vow of poverty. Many Yoga instructors have families, and do not live in monasteries and ashrams. Let’s take a look at Yogic terms, which are commonly misused, misunderstood, or misrepresented.

Yoga: The Sanskrit word for “union” or “unity.” There are many forms of Yoga. The nine main forms of Indian Yoga are: Raja, Bhakti, Jnana, Karma, Hatha, Tantra, Kundalini, Mantra, and Yantra. Notice that Hatha, which basically means “union through physical mastery,” is only one of the nine main styles of Yoga.

After absorption of the above-mentioned definition, religious fundamentalists of all kinds often question the concept of union or unity. This leads to questions, such as: “What is this idea of Unity?” To a fundamentalist, the concept of harmony in mind, body, and spirit, within each individual, is a threat.

A fundamentalist, of any kind, practices sectarianism, which is bigotry, discrimination, and intolerance in its purest form. The hatred, arising from attaching importance to differences between people, is the primary objective.

Yogic: A technique, philosophy, or behavior which should be a reflection of Yoga practice. It should be understood that, unless we are perfect, any one of us can behave in a Yogic and a non-Yogic fashion within the same day.

When you leave a Yoga session, is your mind filled with bliss for the rest of the day? When you commute home, are you filled with joy and happiness? Do you feel the same way when an oblivious car driver cuts you off the road and does his or her best to send you into the “after life?” If you felt a slight bit of rage – welcome to the human race. It is hard to be perfect, but we can do our best each day.

Mindfulness: Many people think mindfulness is “only a Buddhist principle.” However, mindfulness means: To be careful and aware in our thoughts, words, actions, and non-actions; which is a universal principle within many philosophies and religions.

In Sanskrit, the word “Smrti” means, “that which is remembered.” Have you ever heard someone say: “It’s not what you said, it’s the way you said it.” People may forget your words, but they will always remember the way you said the words.

You might have good intentions, but you have to check your tone carefully. With that said, we must avoid talking before thinking. In Yoga practice, we should develop inner and outer awareness, full presence in practice, and an intention at the beginning of practice. These principles should stay with us throughout the day.

© Copyright 2009 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications