The Purpose of Yoga: Enhanced Intelligence

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Is your intelligence quotient “carved in stone?” Some researchers might believe it, but we know if a person makes up his or her mind to learn, this same person will become more intelligent. The idea of enhanced intelligence comes with the desire to change, learn, and achieve.

Did you realize that low levels of oxygen can result in brain deterioration? Your brain, and vital organs, need rich supplies of oxygen. Yogic breathing techniques (Pranayama), especially deep breathing techniques, will increase the dosage of oxygen to the brain.

This might make you consider Udgeeth Pranayama, Bastrika Pranayama, Abdominal Breathing, Brahmari Pranayama, Dirgha Pranayama, Ujjayi Pranayama, Nadi Shodhana Pranayama, Kapalabhati Pranayama, and “Breath of Fire,” in a different way. Maybe the “ancients” were on to something with 5,000 years of Yoga and Pranayama research.

Sorry to say this, but only an uneducated person would refuse to breathe correctly for a better quality life and a marginal increase in brain power. If you have decided to breathe deeper, from this point on, you have already enhanced your intelligence.

Meditation is taught in all forms of Yoga. Meditation increases concentration and allows the mind to relax. The first requirement of meditation is to keep the spine straight. After that, a mindful meditation session, focusing on breath awareness, would give your brain many benefits and enhance your intelligence.

A healthy body is one of Hatha Yoga’s main objectives, and we all know that a healthy body has a symbiotic relationship with a healthy mind. Consider the opposite: If you have a severe headache, can you focus, concentrate, and solve problems quickly? Why not? Is it because all you can think of is pain?

Your body and mind are linked, whether you like it or not, so you have to take care of both. Hatha, Kundalini, and Raja Yoga contain postures (Asanas), which develop a healthy body. When you connect the power of Asana, with Pranayama, and meditate, you have made a wise choice toward mental health, physical health, and enhancing your intelligence.

After all this nurturing of body and mind, you may want to meditate before bedtime. You could start with a ten minute session of breath awareness, good thought, and mindfulness.

The results will be that you sleep better and your dreams will be better. That’s right – If you think good thoughts during meditation, at night, your dreams tend to be good ones.

When you wake up the next morning, your intelligence must be enhanced, with all of the educated choices you made the day before. At the very least, you will wake up with the power of Yoga in your heart and your mind.

© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

Office Yoga – Corporate Yoga for the Office

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Could Yoga increase office productivity? Can Yoga teachers help the corporate sector? What can Office Yoga programs do for large and small businesses? Let’s look at solutions that Yoga can offer to the business world.

The number of office workers has increased, with the invention of the personal computer. Working excessive hours in front of a personal computer can create a multitude of back, neck, shoulder, spine, hip, and wrist problems. Muscle groups, in all of these areas, respond with tension and a variety of long-term problems – if they are ignored by office workers and management.

Forty years ago, secretaries would have been patronized for their migraines, cluster headaches, back pain, hip problems, and sore necks. Now, times are changing, and there has been much progress with ergonomics and studies which reveal new insights about the relationship of prolonged sitting to specific health problems.

A recent study, by The Medical Research Institute, in New Zealand, has revealed that office workers may be at a higher risk of developing blood clots. As most of us know, these studies are worded very tactfully, and do not jump to conclusions; however, anyone who understands body mechanics would realize that this makes perfect sense.

With that said, let’s remember that blood clots can be potentially fatal as they travel to the heart and vital organs. Blood clots can, and do, cause stroke, chest pain, and heart attack.

With larger numbers of office workers putting in extra hours of work, some “forward thinking” companies have begun to respond with office Yoga programs for their employees. Even short Office Yoga sessions can release muscle tension and alleviate the routine pains and aches, which result from prolonged sitting.

Therefore, companies, which take pro-active measures, by installing Office Yoga programs, are taking positive action toward health solutions for employees – thus, increasing productivity, while decreasing sick time, tardiness, and medical leave.

Office Yoga creates an atmosphere of decreased anxiety, less stress, positive thinking, and raises morale. Nothing is more rewarding than feeling worthy and being treated with respect. Any small company can take such action by installing an Office Yoga program.

Some companies pay a percentage for a Yoga teacher to operate an Office Yoga class, while employees pay the balance. Other companies see this as a “win-win” situation and pay for the Yoga classes in full. Regardless of how an Office Yoga program is paid for, the benefits for the corporate sector are just starting to be realized.

© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications

The Purpose of Yoga – Yogic Stress Management

By Dr. Paul Jerard, E-RYT 500

Have you ever noticed that people who exercise regularly have more energy, less stress, and seem to get more done in a day than those who do not have the time for exercise? Why does exercise increase your energy level, and how is it possible to be more productive in less time?

As you know, Yoga is more than an exercise; but you will discover solutions for stress management within and any form of Yoga – even the less physical styles. In fact, Yoga is a lifestyle full of methods to relieve you from stress.

People often say they have no time for meditation, breathing correctly (Pranayama), eating correctly, good hygiene, good posture (asanas), giving to others, or praying to God. Most Yoga teachers do not cover all of these Yogic aspects, within their classes, but some do.

The masses have no time for Yoga, or improving their life, but they are full of stress, anxiety, and bad feelings, because they are reacting to life. Yoga practitioners have a pro-active lifestyle, which is much similar to the person who wakes up early to exercise, walk, or run in the early morning.

Most people are reacting to deadlines at work, and home, every day. People often worry about lack of income, finances, and their relationships, because they do not have a plan and see no solution to the never ending cycle of excessive stress.

All of this worrying, stress, anxiety, and lack of positive action, contribute to a variety of ailments, poor quality life, and premature death. So, how does a “stressed out” person begin to design a plan to change his or her lifestyle, before it “gets cut short” by stress?

There are many places to go, and the solutions do not have to take place all at the same time. Writing a list, of what bothers you, is a start. You could list the problems on the left side of your sheet and list possible solutions on the right side of the sheet.

To be honest, Yoga could be the solution to most of your problems, but you have to take action. You have to want to take action, and move in a positive direction for your complete health. Your local Yoga or wellness center probably has most, or all, of the solutions you seek, “under one roof.”

So, why does exercise increase your energy level and how is it possible to be more productive in less time? About increasing productivity: A “spark” of energy from Yoga exercise (Asanas), Sun Salutations, meditation, or Pranayama, in the early morning, will create a positive flow of energy within your body, mind, and spirit, for the rest of the day.

Some would say a coffee will do the same thing. However, if you are not exercising, excessive amounts of coffee will usually cause more stress and anxiety. The body is “screaming” for some form of exercise, if it is full of energy and you sit down all day. If you are exercising regularly, moderate amounts of coffee should be fine.

© Copyright 2007 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications