Thursday, September 29, 2016

A little Concentration = a little less Stress.

So many times I hear 'I haven’t got time, I haven’t got time,' however if you had someone film you for the whole day without you knowing you would see just how much time we waste in doing unnecessary things and having unnecessary conversations.  The fact of the matter is there is time, it is just using it in the right way, everybody is busy and everybody seemingly has stress, the ants are busy but it is what we are busy with that is important and knowing how to manage our stress.  Stress is cause of disease, stress is cause of bad moods, intolerance and impatience.  Too much stress is harmful to our complete wellbeing and for many people they are suffering with too much stress, which in turn brings sickness both mentally and physically.  Often it is also the case that we wait until the sickness comes to then do anything about it, and often the treatment is a quick fix answer that only treats the immediate problem and not the cause and can often bring added side effects. Burying stress and believing it’s not there is also not a good idea, it will raise its head at some point, when you block it, it may give a temporary relief but the account is not closed.   A more effective and higher level of healing is to eliminate the diseases before they manifest.  For this we must consider our lifestyle, we must try and cut down on the wrong factors in our lives that can cause the stress and bring disease, be that an increase in anxiety and insecurity, or a physical reaction such as allergy or irritable bowl syndrome.  Dr. David Frawley says “Health is a continual adjustment, like sailing a ship upon the sea.  It cannot be achieved and then forgotten it has to be an ongoing concern.”
Yoga brings a complete and wholesome means of prevention to illness and management to stress levels.  Yoga consists of many different practices, but today so many people often think yoga is about rolling out a mat, wearing trendy leggings and trying to put our bodies in places they don’t want to go without a fight!  Yoga is a way of being, it is a gentle way, a way that leads us to feelings of completeness and peacefulness.  Yoga is being able to be calm and contented in any given situation no matter what is going on around us.  And if we start by looking at our levels of concentration we have made a big first step on the path to wellbeing.  The ability to concentrate is not only essential toward our happiness but is key in any endeavor.  Today as we are bombarded by stimuli from external factors and everything is expected to be instant in most places, for most people levels of concentration are very poor.  Practicing concentration has many benefits it strengthens the way that we connect thoughts and ideas in the brain – making it easier to grasp or understand difficult, confronting or confusing concepts.  Being able to concentrate boosts our efficiency and dramatically can reduce stress, as we seem to be able to achieve what we need to with much more ease, which brings greater serenity, insight and cheerfulness.  By improving our concentration we are definitely going to improve our psychological health.

Here is a simple exercise you can do to help boost and improve your state of mental and physical health and bring a greater sense of calmness into your life.

1.    Sit in a cross-legged pose or if not possible then sit upright on a chair with the spine not touching the back.  However you are sitting make sure you are comfortable but the spine is held straight.  This in itself will naturally start to calm the mind.
2.    Close your eyes, and bring your awareness through your body making sure you are feeling as relaxed as you can be.
3.    Then start to bring your awareness to your natural breath, feeling every inhalation coming in and every inhalation coming out.  Just watch your breath for a while, with no expectation or judgments.
4.    Try to slowly deepen the breath a little without force.
5.    Then begin to count your breath, the inhalation -1 the exhalation 1, next inhalation 2, exhalation 2 etc. and continue.
6.    If you become distracted by thoughts, a sound, a smell etc. then return back down to one and begin again, when the next distraction comes again return to one.  Don’t worry if you don’t even get off of one, remember it is just an exercise to improve your concentration.
7.    Practice for 5-10 minutes depending on your time.
8.    When you have finished don’t come straight back out into the world, keep the eyes softly closed, and mentally repeat to yourself, I am calm, I am peace, I am healing, I am healed.
9.    Then slowly when you are ready gently open your eyes.

If you can practice this twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, after some time you will really start to notice a difference in yourself.  How you deal with things and how you work more efficiently, sleep better and how much more time you suddenly have!!   You can even practice this when you are traveling to and from work on the train or bus, or during a tea break, or even in bed before you go to sleep, so no excuses!
Enjoy the practice
Wishing you all peace, serenity and joy.
AUM shanti AUM
Mangala / Nicky.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

The Benefits of Mother Earths natural Kitchen.

What is in our kitchens and growing in our gardens are excellent sources for healing.  What we eat in fact becomes our body and the subtle part of what we are eating has a great play on the mind and thought waves (vritiis).  Looking to nature is the best way to heal gently and with long-term effect that is kind to the whole system.  Even smelling the essence of these herbs can bring the desired effect to the system, aromatherapy being a technique used for therapy dating back to the ancient civilizations of Egypt, India, Arabia, China and Greece.
Many flowers, herbs and plants have many healing qualities that can be a natural antiseptic, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, or help to ease headaches, mental tension and even bad circulation or weight loss.  It is just having the knowledge of what herb has what benefits, here are some pointers as to what to include into your diet for what reason.

Eases nervousness, exhaustion, depression, anxiety.  Boosts memory and concentration, promotes alertness.  Helps to combat bronchitis, gout, asthma, colds, loss of concentration.  Can cause skin irritation.

Black Pepper
Helps to combat cellulite, flatulence, flu, rheumatism.

Helps to relieve nausea, headaches, digestive issues and coughs.

Eases colds, flu, digestion and menstrual problems, rheumatism, kidney troubles, it is a stimulant.  Good for nervous tension and stress reliever.  Increases circulation and is great for convalescence.

Good insect repellant. Is a stimulant.

Antibacterial, antiseptic, prevents infection.  Relieves asthma, nausea, sinusitis, toothaches, diarrhoea and is a sedative.

Good source of vitamins and minerals, boosts digestion, good for anemia, indigestion, reduces risk of cancer.

Helps ease tension and stress, increases energy and relieves a sluggish mind.  Helps ease muscle pain and toxins in the body.

Digestive aid, aids aching joints, muscular aches and pains, aids circulation, relieves arthritis loss of appetite, colds, flu, fever and nervous exhaustion.  Is great for convalescence.

Used for relaxing, healing and calming.  Good for insect bits, eczema, sunburn, depression, stress, high blood pressure, headache and hypertension, nervous tension.

Helps increase awareness and ease mental fatigue.  Improves concentration and digestion, combats stress, chest problems, blocked intestines.

Mint or peppermint
Is Cooling and refreshing, helps reduce fever, nausea and acne, skin irritation.  Good for general fatigue.  Travel sickness and painful periods.

A natural antibiotic, good for constipation, stomach problems, is a sedative and is tranquilizing.

Good for respiratory and circulatory disorders, muscular and rheumatic pain.  Promotes hair growth.  Good insect repellent.  Improves mood, good to protect against infection and boosts the immune system.  Detoxifies the body.

Jaya Ganesha Jaya Ganesha Jaya Ganesha Pahimam
Sri Ganesha Sri Ganesha Sri Ganesha Rakshimam

Enjoy knowing your way around your herb garden
AUM shanti shanti shanti
Mangala / Nicky. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Chakras, Energy Centers of Transformation.

Chakras are centers of subtle and vital energy located in the Astral body, a body that is not physical not apparent but hold our energies, thoughts, feelings, emotions, decisions, intellect and wisdom.  They are centers of awareness; consciousness and are located in correspondence with associated glands in the physical body.  They lie within the Sushumna nadi (astral nerve) that runs through the spinal cord.  The physical body and astral body are in close relationship with each other, so vibrations produced in the physical centers by various practices, such as asanas (yogic postures) chanting and breathing techniques also have an effect on the chakras hence stimulating and unblocking them from stored emotions, feelings and memories and allowing prana, (vital life force) to begin to flow through these centers uplifting us towards a higher awareness.  Chakras are centers of transformation, are psychic centers and are active at all times, energy passes through them to create different states.  They are related to the five elements, earth, water, fire air and space, which are constantly coming and going within the body.
Each chakra has a specific feeling, colour, force, function, characteristic, sense etc.  There are many chakras all over our upphadi (body mind system) but we mainly focus on 7 main ones.
1.    Muladhara – located right at the lower end of the spinal column.
2.    Swadhisthana – located at the genital organs
3.    Manipura – located at the navel corresponding to the solar plexus.
4.    Anahata – at the heart.
5.    Vishuddha – at the throat.
6.    Ajna – between the eyebrows.
7.    Sahasrara – at the crown of the head.
It is interesting to see how these chakras are also associated with blockages in the body causing certain ailments.  Any ailment is caused by a block of prana, the prana can't flow as it should, so imagine the chakras as similar to a jammed roundabout, nothing is moving. This little bit of information is like looking at a prescription for what is troubling you physically, and by know which ailment is related to which chakra then how to combat the problem by stimulating a particular chakra.  Certain yogic postures are related to each chakra so therefore by looking at which ailment correlates to which body blockage and which posture correlates to which chakra we can work towards healing ourselves. It is a powerful bit of knowledge as these postures start to stimulate and unblock the traffic jams at the chakras!
1.    Sahasrara Chakra – blockage; Alzheimer’s disease, confusion – posture to combat, sirshasana, the headstand or rabbits pose as a softer version.
2.    Ajna Chakra – blockage; learning difficulties, neurological imbalances, unable to see the signs of life - posture to combat, sirshasana or rabbits pose.
3.    Vishuddha Chakra – blockage: thyroid imbalance, congested throat, difficulties communicating – posture to combat, sarvangasana, the shoulderstand.
4.    Anahata Chakra – blockage; heart issues, chest pain, shortness of breath, respiratory problems, feelings of jealousy or inability to love – posture to combat, matsyasana, the fish pose.
5.    Manipura Chakra – blockage; constipation, stomach ulcers, digestive problems, eye dysfunctions, feelings of resentment – posture to combat, paschimottanasana, the seated forward bend or mayurasana the peacock pose.
6.    Swadhisthana Chakra – blockage; lower back pain, impotency, prostrate cancer, lack of ideas – posture to combat; padahastasana, the standing forward bend.
7.    Muladhara Chakra – blockage; constipation, inability to move forward a feeling of being stuck – posture to combat, trikonasana, the triangle pose.
The Sivananda system of yoga embraces all of these poses within it and so offers a very complete system to work towards optimum health and not only a cure but also a method of prevention.  How wonderful a thing!

Sarve Bhavantu Sukhina
Sarve Sant Niramaya

May all be happy, May all be in peace.
AUM Shanti to all
Mangala / Nicky.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Its Simple - a beautiful story

ONce a man was having a conversation with God - "God, I would like to know what heaven and hell are like." he said.
God led the man to two doors, he opened one of the doors and the man looked in.  In the middle of the room was a large round table, in the middle of the table was a large pot of stew, which smelled delicious and made the mans mouth water.  But the people sitting around the table were thin and sickly appearing famished.  They were holding spoons with long handles that were strapped to their arms and each found it possible to reach into the pot of stew and take a spoonful, but because the handle was longer than their arms they couldn't get the spoon back to their mouths.  The man shuddered at the sight of their misery and suffering.
"You have seen hell" said God.
Then they went to the other door and it was opened, it was exactly the same as the first one, a large round table, a delicious pot of stew and the people had the same long-handled spoons strapped to their arms.  But here the people were well fed, plump, laughing and talking to each other.
"I don't understand," the man said.
"It is simple," said God, "In this place the people have learned to feed one another."

Every moment of yoga is a drop of gold for your body, mind and spirit, make those drops build up so you shine for all of humanity.  
The story is taken from a book titled Soul to Soul, poems, prayers and stories to end a yoga class, compiled by John Mundahl.  The author of the story is unknown.

Have beautiful days
AUM always AUM 
Mangala / Nicky