Marma Points and Yoga Postures

The energetic release and metabolic flow you feel during yoga does not happen by accident.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/05/marma-points-how-yoga-postures-heal-us-from-the-inside-out/

Marma points are where energy converges in the body. According to classical ayurvedic texts, these nodes can be found where nerves converge with muscle fibers, veins, bones, and joints. The points are junctures in the body where tissue, or the dhatus, meet. When oxygen and blood are delivered to these areas, there is an increase of chi or prana (life force) towards that area of the body.

Consider the placement of your hands, your feet, an elbow a twist, bind or inversion. The shape, the asana in yoga and the angle by which the posture is realized can either enhance the flow of prana or block it.

According to classical ayurveda, the seven bodily tissues are rasa (white blood cells) rakta (red blood cells), mamsa (muscle tissue), meda (fat, adipose tissue) asthi (bones, cartilage) majja (marrow tissue, connective tissue) and shukra (reproductive tissue). The body is like a super highway where there are intersections of tissue. At various intersections, twists, binds, inversions can enhance energy or prana. The asana maximizes the delivery of oxygen and blood to the body.

There are 108 marma points in the body, in classical ayurveda. If the point is pushed too hard, injury can occur. If the  point is stimulated correctly, as we see in the practice of asana, then life-force or prana is enhanced.

see the full article at http://www.elephantjouranl.com

(Enter Ramona Bessinger)

ekapada_shiva

Here are just a few postures every yogi will know –

Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations)

Anterior Upper Body- Urah (Chest)

There are ten marma points or areas affected by the movement practiced in sun salutations. These movements stimulate cardiac function, lungs, thymus and immunity.

Starting with this asana is so important as you stimulate the respiratory system and cardiac output. Sun salutes generate heat in the body and enhance the conductivity of pranic energy; electric current, blood and oxygen.

Upper Back- Prushtha (Back)

There are twelve marma points affected by the actions performed during sun salutations. Here are a few: heart, lungs, bronchial tubes, kidney, bladder, colon, prostrate, cervix, liver, spleen, thyroid and spinal nerves.

Surya Namaskara A, B, and C is so important to yoga pracice as the organs and systems enhanced by the actions performed in this phase are a necessary first step in conditioning the body and mind.

Virabradhasana I, II, III (Warrior series)

The stimulated Marmani in Warrior I, II, and III and IV are in the lower extremities. There are at least six marma points, both posterior and anterior to the leg, which stimulate the heart, circulation, prana, thyroid and kidney.

Bakasana (Crow pose)

Arms- Urdhva Shakhah (Upper Extremities) Marmani

The Marmani stimulated in the arm and hands in crow are many. Urdhva Shakhah (upper extremities) points activated by the knee balanced on the back of the triceps stimulate the lungs, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, spleen and occipital nerves.

For every posture, there is a corresponding marma point. Knowing this can help deepen your yoga experience. Truth be told, the discussion on marma points and yoga postures could go on and on: It is an integral part of my assessment and bodywork. If you are interested in having a treatment or body assessment please contact www.pranajunki.net or message me at ramonabessinger@gmail.com.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

 

Yoga Postures Are Not Just Pretty Shapes

“… let me repeat that no asana practice is complete without sun worship. Without its focusing of mental energies, yoga practice amounts to little more than gymnastics and, as such, loses meaning and proves fruitless. Indeed the Surya Namaskara should never be mistaken for mere physical excersize –for something incidental, that is, that simply precedes the asanas of yoga. Sri K. Pattabhi Jois

As I drill down in my personal yoga practice, I find myself curious about the names each posture.  What can I learn from the mythology of yoga?  And, how can that mythology deepen my experience as a yogi?  

I find myself drawn to the Hindu myths surrounding yoga postures, specifically the metaphors in each story and the significance those metaphors have in relation to the energetic flow of each posture.  For this week, I think it makes sense to start with the Surya Namaskara ( Sun Salutations) and the Virabhadrasana series (Warrior 1, 11, 11, and IV as these are the shapes and the primary postures we start with in order to warm the muscles and nourish the mind.

http://www.elephantjournal.com/2016/05/know-the-mythology-of-yoga-postures-&-know-yourself

Surya Namaskara (Sun Salutations)

There are twelve names for the sun in Hindu.  Each name corresponds with one posture in the opening sequence.  The sun salutation sequence is beneficial to start with as it prepares the mind and body for the physical and spiritual practice.  Here is how I understand the symbolism behind Surya Namaskara.  The sun salutes tell the story of the rising sun.  Just like the dawn of a new day, the practice begins with manifesting internal sun energy to warm the body and prepare the mind.  Every day is new, and so we open the heart, lungs and spine with oxygen, heat and light-filled movements that mimic the same life-giving energy the sun offers the earth.

See the full article at http://www.elephantjournal.com

(Enter Ramona Bessinger)

In the same way the sun nourishes the earth, we nourish our bodies by opening the chest muscles and back muscles and honoring our lungs, heart, spine and brain. Sun Salutations represent internal fire and physical rebirth.  Without the sun, there would be nothing on earth.  Because of the sun we have growth, warmth, and life cycles seen in everything alive.  Sun salutes not only honor the sun but they help us to harness the nourishing sun energy within. In Hinduism, Surya is the chief solar deity, he is the son of Dyaush and the supreme god of light and love.  When we practice Surya Namaskara we are manifesting the life force and life giving qualities the Sun has to offer.

shutterstock_397902886

Virabhadrasana Series (Warrior I, II, III)

In these postures we see the manifestation of the peaceful ahisma of yoga and the battle of avidya or the ego-mind. As the myth goes, Lord Shiva god of destruction as well as god of creation, manifests a warrior deity to fight his battle against King Daksha who is the father of Sati a Hindu goddess and wife of Lord Shiva.

Daksha orders Shivas death as he feels Lord Shiva is not worthy of his daughter’s hand. In order to protect himself, Lord Shiva manifests a warrior called Virabhadra who is sent to earth to slay the enemy.  In the story, Virabhadra slays the enemies of Lord Shiva.  Of course Shiva ends up victorious in his battle not because of physical muscle but because of his ability to remain focused and calm.

Like Lord Shiva, in yoga we fight our personal demons by remaining calm and non reactionary.  What the Warrior postures teach us is how to remain still in the face of adversity.  In that stillness we find answers and we overcome.  Warrior I, II, III and IV show us the way to peace as we remain still between action and reaction.

Look at the postures and notice how Warrior I suggests you are ready for battle, Warrior II, shows focus and aim, Warrior III, is the height of the battle, then Warrior IV, the battle is over and victory and peace is triumphant. The metaphor which initially escaped me, now makes perfect sense.  Overcoming all things that ail is within our personal power.  Virabhadra is in us all, we just need to remain still long enough to see that the strength we need to survive and thrive is inside our minds.  Remaining in the space between action and reaction is what made Virabhadra victorious.  Literally, we all harbor a spiritual warrior within  who is ready to fight the ego and self-ignorance which is the root of all our suffering.  Can’t wait to look deeper at all the wonderful postures yoga has to offer-

Know the myth so you can know yourself.  It is that simple.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

 

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

Swedish Massage”Movement Cure” Yoga? Gymnastics? Shiatsu? Ayurveda? Maybe All Of The Above

As I write this blog on Pehr Ling’s “movement cure” the original name for Swedish Massage a system of massage techniques that help relax the muscles and increase circulation –  I can hear my yoga instructors’ voice: “yoga is just western gymnastics” the comment resonates with me as I study the lineages of movement and healing techniques.

This comment has me thinking because in part, he is correct.  But there is more.

As an ashtanga yogi, and LMT (licensed massage therapist), I am very interested in ways to move energy through the body. While studying for my national massage therapy boards, I came across some interesting articles on the history of Swedish Massage. According to Susan Salvo who wrote one of the most widely used texts on massage therapy, the modern era of therapeutic massage stems from Pehr Henrick Ling, (1776-1839). In Salvo’s brief history of massage therapy she outlines the various influences of the modern day massage therapy scope and practice.

See the full article at http://www.elephantjournal.com

(Enter Ramona Bessinger)

_MG_6419

Susan Salvo goes on to say that Pehr Ling developed a system of movement exercises to accompany the practice of therapeutic touch. Looking back at Salvo’s history and then researching everything I could on Pehr Ling, I came across articles that suggested Pehr Ling developed the “movement as medicine” system after traveling for seven years outside of Sweden.

While traveling, did Ling study Shiatsu yoga or Ayurveda?

Where Ling went during this seven year time period is not documented anywhere, but we know he came back to Sweden in the 1800s and developed the system of “movement cures” that resemble primary yoga postures as well as Shiatsu and Thai Massage.

In Pehr Ling’s assisted and passive movements he called “medical movement” or more commonly known as Swedish massage, he developed a complete system to stretch muscles, circulate blood and oxygen throughout the body and restore homeostasis to the body and mind. Not so different from yoga or other healing therapies.

Fig-173

Could Pehr Henrick Ling have brought Shiatsu and yoga to Swedish Massage?

The techniques Ling referred to as medical gymnastics incorporates a series of assisted movements and passive actions that an individual would receive in order to improve blood circulation, and to help heal muscle injury. Interestingly, Ling’s system of assisted curative movements mimics many of the basic strategies for Shiatsu as well as the primary postures in yoga. Specifically, Ling focuses on eccentric concentric contractions with a primary focus on the muscles of the back. Yoga, Shiatsu, Thai Massage and Ayurveda do the same.

 

Gymnastics? Yes and no.

Shapes in gymnastics rely on being able to move the body. In order to move the body, you need the correct alignment to maximize energy flow and safety. Shiatsu is done in on a mat with the client passively lying in a supine or prone position and while the therapist moves the body or interactively moves with the client to assist in soft tissue manipulation. The same patterns of movement can be seen in the primary series of Ashtanga yoga postures, and in Ayurveda massage then subsequently in Pehr Lings system of curative movement known as Swedish Massage.

A bit of interesting history suggests that gymnastics, yoga, shiatsu converge at various points in history.

Massage therapy and various assisted and passive forms of massage date back to 3000 BC when Chinese records and paintings reveal the practice of touch as therapy, then as early as 1800 BC it is documented that massage becomes a part of the Hindu tradition known as Ayur-Veda. The same patterns of active and passive movements for healing can be traced further to 100 BC when Julius Caesar used massage to treat epilepsy. (Michael Tarver The History Of Massage Therapy)

Strangely enough therapeutic touch and movement seems to go undocumented and enters a bit of a dark period, then resurfaces in 1316 in the first modern treatise on anatomy written by Mondino dei Luzzi. From there, the lineage of therapeutic touch surfaces throughout the western world in various manuscripts and images. What I found fascinating were the common patterns of healing that traversed all healing practices and movement.

 

The patterns of movement and specific touch techniques across all cultures incorporate the same principles of moving energy through the body, increasing blood flow and oxygen to the muscles using touch, pressure, and movement as a way to increase chi, prana or balance to the body.  So, when my yoga teacher preaches that yoga is simply “western gymnastics” I am inclined to add that yoga, Swedish Massage, Shiatsu, Ayurveda Massage, (Abhyanga)  Thai Massage and yes western gymnastics are systems of movement that that all share the same roots dating back to the first documented practices of healing touch over 3000 years ago.  Did the father of Swedish Massage know this?  I bet he did.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

 

 

 

 

Ashtanga Yoga: Why Lineage Matters

The Ashtanga yoga lineage matters for me because the very best practices of yoga, breathing, and medicine theories are addressed in all the postures of the Ashtanga series.

The practice includes an understanding of the body and the main energies of the body. Keeping in mind that illness surfaces when energy in the body is out of balance, the postures or asanas are designed to restore balance, eliminate phlegm, break up stagnation.

Each posture has specific health benefits. The transition from one posture to the next, the deepening of each layer in the posture enhances health benefits in the body. The Ashtanga practice incorporates physical shapes (asanas) with behavior and lifestyle techniques designed to restore the body and mind to homeostasis. Not to be confused with gymnastics, the ashtanga practice weaves thousands of years of Ayurvedic principles, and Tibetan healing concepts.

At the root of Ashtanga yoga is an ancient text known as the Yoga Korunta. The Yoga Korunta is a text outlining the benefits of purifying the mind and body by eliminating the the obstacles or distractions of day-to-day life. The Ashtanga practice is a systematic approach to movement devised by Sri K Pattabhi Jois, his practice incorporates the teachings of his teacher Sri Krishnamacharya who also studied the principles of the  Yoga Korunta.  

Krishnamacharya’s teacher, Ramana Mohan Brahmachari learned from a sage known as Rishi Samana. One key principle the sage Rishi Samana passed along in his teachings was to awaken the five senses through breathing and physical movement.  At some point over the past 100 years, the principles of Ayurveda and Ashtanga yoga evolve together to create Ashtanga yoga as we know it today. Ayurvedic principles that discuss how to awaken the senses through yoga, diet and breathing.

In Mysore, the torch was passed from Krishnamacharya to Sri K Pattabhi Jois who was born in South India not far from Mysore, and who commenced studies with Krishnamacharya in 1927 as a twelve year old boy. He became a professor at the Maharaja’s Sanskrit College and taught yoga from 1937 onwards. Guruji – Pattabhi Jois, passed away in May 2009.  His teachings live on and are advanced at the yoga shala in Mysore India.   Currently, the practice has been passed on to his to his daughter Saraswathi and grandson Sharath, while his granddaughter Shemee teaches in Bangalore.  The lineage has been taught to only a handful of certified ashtanga teachers throughout the world who have earned the certification through years of training and practice.  

IMGP4509-2

 Moving through the postures in a hot yoga class with any yoga teacher is interesting to me.  I always get something from a practice whether it is Bikram, Power Yoga, or Shiva Rea, I always learn something and I always enjoy the movement.  But for me, the practice of yoga is in the tradition and lineage of Ashtanga.  Through a daily ashtanga practice, I have learned so much.  Not only technique, asana and pranayama, but the deeper levels of the practice that include the effects of each asana on the musculoskeletal system, the importance of nourishing the spine and nervous system, and how the asanas help to restore the body and mind to homeostasis.  

i-Tf77QpL-XLContrary to some ways of thinkingAshtanga is not just gymnastics, the practice runs deep; it helps me to understand the value of breathing, the value of living, and knowing peace.  

To practice ashtanga yoga, is to study the teachings as they have been passed down for hundreds of years, it is a gift I will never stop feeling gratitude for.  For me, the value of my Ashtanga practice resonates off the mat, it follows me in my day-to-day life and infiltrates everything I do.

The body, the asana and shapes become geometric tools that enhance love, life, and the senses.  It is a continuum, a vortex of never-ending information passed down from sage to teacher to student.  This is why lineage matters to me and why I am thankful for the current teachers who inspire me, and for the knowledge I am able to pass on.  

Lineage matters.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

Vastus Shilpa Shastra: The architecture of your personal space

Having a peaceful, well-organized home free of excess items, free of dirt and clutter has a beautiful effect on my mind and body.  At the very core, a calm household, a beautiful clear space helps me to be a better person, teacher and mother.

Why is that?  The answer may be in the Ayurvedic principle of Vastus Shilpa Shastra

Vastu shastra is based on various energies that come from atmosphere like solar energy from sun, cosmic energy, lunar energy, thermal energy, magnetic energy, light energy and wind energy. These energies should be balanced to enhance peace, prosperity and success.  Over the past three months I have been completely consumed with a very difficult and tumultuous move.  Specifically over the last month when the actual move took place.  I found myself completely out of sorts both physically and emotionally.  Conversely, as the move progressed, my overall physical and emotional state adjusted positively.  IMG_1644

As I settled into the house I started thinking about the space, the light and orientation of of my furniture.  I knew intrinsically that the placement of all items either felt right or did not feel right at all. Wanting to know more about the relationship of space on the body, I looked to the Ayurvedic principles.

In Ayurveda, direction is an important concept: what we see affects our doshas, (our physical balance) Like our bodies, our homes, our spaces should always be free of clutter and excess.  Like our bodies, a cluttered home can contribute to feelings of unrest or sickness.   According to the Ayurvedic texts on Vastus principles, if your home does not adhere to rules of directional flow and balance, then it will be a place for all sort of problems and worries.  In part, this explains the overall feeling of unrest and worry I felt during my own move and transition.IMG_1647

The Vedic understanding of physical space and  arrangement is called vastu shilpa shastra.  It means to balance your home in the a way that balances all the elements.  The way I understand this concept as it is explained in the classical texts is that lines created by objects in the home should direct your attention to the east, west, south, and north.  Obstacles that prevent the flow of these energetic lines towards any direction cause physical and emotional stagnation. This could explain why the process of moving boxes, and disorganization cause emotional and physical stress.IMG_1640

My home is not fancy or grand, but rather it flows and offers me a feeling of peace and possibilities.  As I moved out of my old house, then into my new home, I found myself almost obsessed with creating open clear spaces that evoked calm and joy. As items fell into place, I started to feel better.  I reorganized, rearranged until everything had a home and faced the proper direction.  My kitchen and living room face southeast in the direction of Fire.  This flow is appropriate and comfortable for cooking and for eating, the other rooms all feel well-balanced and peaceful.  The Ether in my home or middle spaces are open for clarity.  Grounding, stable furniture allows for the Earth energy to provide a stable sensation while windows allow the Air element to provide oxygen for healthy sleep and or for meditation. IMG_1705

Finally, in my resettling journey, I have kept in mind the following Ayurvedic principles:  my home is not just a building or an address, it is shelter, a place I long to return to, a place that keeps me warm and cool, it is a place that helps me to connect to nature and also the spirit.  My home is my sanctuary and I am grateful for all it provides – It is that simple.

Prateeksha : You long to go back to your home.
Ashraya : Shelter for you
Chaaya : Shadow(A shade for you to cool down)
Prakriti : Nature
Sannidhaama : Holy place


Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

 

Surrender to Peace with Shirodhara and Yoga

In the Yoga Sutras Patanjali says “Error in judgement arises from knowledge that is based on a false mental construct”.

Our minds can often create stories that are narratives fed by panic and fear.  For example, someone  practices yoga a certain way or follows a certain lineage of yoga, maybe they cough during a class, or maybe they cut you off in the parking lot or said something that threatened your belief system.  You are right, and the other person is wrong?

Or maybe the answer is that there is no right or wrong?

To quiet the narrative (chitta) and to live without judgement, anxiety and suffering can result in a happier state of being. Shirodhara like yoga, clears away the false narrative, it reduces anxiety and stops the mind from feeling panic and anxiety. What yoga does for the body and the tissues of the body (the dhatus) – shirodhara does for the mind.

Yoga and shirodhara are excellent ways to restore the body to homeostasis. Both practices soothe doshic imbalances and beg the question, what good can come from constant judgement of others or the constant need to be right?

In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali states that “when you are in a state of yoga (union) all misconceptions (vrittis) that can exist in the mutable aspect of human beings (chitta) disappears”  Through breathing, pranayama, or taking a shirodhara treatment, the veil of judgement and anxiety drops away.

As Marianne Williamson says: “Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here”.  Just as fear is learned, we can train our minds to feel otherwise.  If yoga is not accessible to you, then try a series of shirodhara treatments and experience the benefits of peace.

Anoint yourself with the healing oil of a shirodhara treatment, infuse the body with pranayama, then watch the fear and the anxiety slip away.  It may be that simple.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

For information on shirodhara and other healing treatments, please visit me at

http://www.bluewaterayurvedamassagetherapy.com

http://www.pranajunkie.net

 

The Beauty of Shirodhara

 

Wanting to learn more about how this beautiful Ayurvedic treatment works, I began to look into the many types of shirodhara as well as the health benefits of regular treatments. What I have learned about shirodhara is both beautiful and fascinating.

What is Shirodhara?

Shira means head and dhara means unbroken flow. While relaxing on a warm massage table, a copper bowl or urn is filled with warm oil. Out of a small opening at the bottom of the urn flows a steady stream of warm herbal oil onto the forehead. The direct stream of warm herbal oil stimulates the pineal gland.

According to Swami Sadashiva Tirtha, the author of Ayurveda Natural Secrets to Healing and Longevity, there are many ways to practice shirodhara, but the most common way is to receive the treatment in isolation, or for the very best results it can be in done in a 21 day treatment series. It is believed that the entire body is affected positively by shirodhara.

Benefits of Shirodhara

According to a published study in 2007 conducted by Southern California University, the effects of regular shirodhara treatments result in  improved sleep patterns and reduced anxiety.

How it all works

The steady stream of warm oil over the forehead stimulates the pineal gland or the third eye. It helps to calm the nerves and soothe anxiety. It is said that the stream of oil helps the pineal gland to function more efficiently.

The Pineal Gland and Shirodhara

There are many schools of thought which explain the healing benefits of shirodhara treatments, but the one that makes the most sense to me is that the gentle stream of oil over the forehead stimulates the pineal gland in such a way that the circadian rhythm in the body resets itself.

The idea as it is expressed in the Ayurveda Encyclopedia is that the increased melatonin production helps the individual receiving the treatment to sleep better.

Finally, a secondary benefit from a shirodhara treatment is that the oil nourishes your scalp and hair. If you are experiencing dryness, try a shirodhara treatment and judge for yourself. The beauty is in the oil.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.JamestownHealingArts.com

 

 

Maximize the Benefits of Yoga With Ease and Flow

Five tips to maximize the benefits of a daily yoga practice:

 To begin with, look at yoga as much more than exercise.

There are many places where a yoga practice intersects with exercise, but on its own, yoga does much more for the body and mind.

Yoga stretches the muscles, tones and defines them. It soothes the mind and helps restore calm. Consider the many physical and emotional benefits of yoga by incorporating the following five steps:

Step One: Vipassana -Mindfulness.

According to Dr. Vasant Lad, a leading expert in Ayurvedic principles, a daily yoga practice can enhance cellular growth in the frontal cortex of the brain.  There is synapse-genesis and neuron-genesis. In plain English, this is the part of the brain that governs how we respond to stress.

Notice what worries you prior to yoga.  Then, watch how the steady practice of vipassana soothes your panic-mind and replaces it with clarity and calm. Practicing mindful breathing calms the mind and is an important step to consider in your practice. Using the principles of vipassana allows you to mentally attune to the shape. In this phase, the mind adjusts to the new physical demands placed on the body. Rather than panic driving the movement, allow calm long ujjayi breathing to move the body through each shape. The result will be greater ease and greater energetic release.

Step Two: Ujjayi Breathing – Pranayama-Cellular Nourishment Of Each Asana

The second step is to breathe and flow into the posture. Use an ujjayi breath, which means to breathe deeply in through the nose and out through the nose. This allows for maximum oxygen intake during your practice.

Move into the shape with ease, let your ujjayi breath move your body. With this breath awareness, oxygen-rich nutrients enter the body and carbon dioxide exits. With ujjayi breathing your internal energy is restored and cells are nourished. This is possibly the hardest phase to master because most people see the shape or the asana as a goal and not as a living, breathing mindful action. In this second phase, you need to let the breath move the body. The practice of vipassana, (mindfulness) and ujjayi breathing combined will help you to get the most out of your practice.

Step Three: Kundalini-Tension Release –Shushuma In Each Asana

The third phase is to find a dynamic energetic flow of Kundalini release. This release happens on the exhalation phase of your ujjayi breathing resulting in a feeling of balance and renewal. As you move and breathe, find balance and do not let the shape you are moving into cause panic. This is your ego hijacking your mind and body. Should the ego begin to take over, deepen your breathing and let the kundalini energy release. By maintaining breath control, balance is restored to the body, space is created in the chakras, the tissues (dhatus of the body), the mind falls into alignment with the body and an overall sense of calm and peace is restored.

Step Four: (Sukha) Enjoy The Sweet Spot Of Each Asana.

The fourth step is total balance and relaxation in the posture. This is the point in your practice where the prana is strongest. This is where maximum benefits can be reached and where you find the “sukha” or sweet spot of each shape. Here shushuma or a widening of space is created in the body, allowing for greater exchanges of oxygen intake and waste elimination, resulting in that feel-good calm.

Step Five: Sthira- Strength Required For Each Asana:

The fifth step is to be aware of the strength needed to enter and exit a posture. But the sthira, the strength of each asana should not be the driving force in your practice. Finding the balance between sukha (sweet spot) and sthira (the stength) in your practice will help you to maximize the physical and emotional benefits of your practice. Try sweeping out of the posture without a struggle. Again, allowing your ujjayi breath to release the Kundalini energy from the body. Transition from one posture to the next without aggression or ego-determination and you will gain so much more from yoga. Next time you practice, think about vipassana, ujjayi breathing, kundalini energy, sukha and sthira. These five steps will help you to maximize your daily yoga practice.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

 

http://www.jamestownhealingarts.com/

Just Breathe

What happens to the brain and body as the result of a steady inhalation and exhalation in yoga?

 

According to Dr. Vasant Lad, a leading expert in Ayurvedic principles, a daily yoga practice can enhance cellular growth in the frontal cortex of the brain.  There is synapse-genesis and neuron-genesis. In plain English, this is the part of the brain that governs how we respond to stress.

Notice what worries you prior to yoga, then watch how the steady practice of vipassana soothes your panic-mind and replaces it with clarity and calm.  With each vipassana breath our brain grows and develops. The myelin sheath protects the nerves (no more frayed nerves). The result is that you will be able to focus better, feel less anxiety and know calm.

Isn’t this a better way to go through life than panicked, frantic and worried all the time?

According to classical Ayurvedic principles, one of the benefits of this steady long vipassana breath is activation of the five senses. The benefit of heightened senses is that we experience life, living, relationships and the world in a more profound and beautiful way.

This is not to say that everything will be perfect all the time, because for sure there will be times when life hijacks your inner calm. But seriously – why just exist when living can be so much more meaningful?

Just breathe.

The opposite of practicing vipassana, is the dulling of all the senses and constant pain and suffering, anxiety and worry. With a daily practice, and remaining mind -full rather than mind-empty, you will experience the flip side of suffering which is love, peace and tranquility. When moving in life or in yoga, consider the benefits of vipassana. (be mindful).  Move prana inward and downward (apana) stay in the now, and you will feel the presense of something greater than yourself awaken your mind, body and soul.

It is that simple.

Namaste,

Ramona Bessinger

http://www.jamestownhealingarts.com

Visit me at http://www.pranajunkie.net for ayurvedic massage and treatments, pranajunkie gems, stones and essential oils.

%d bloggers like this: