Thursday, April 08, 2021

Important Ayurvedic Aspects as per Indian Calendar System

Six seasons as per Indian system:

1.Shishir – Magh and Phalgun         2.Basant – Chaitra and Vaishakh

3.Grisham – Jyeshtha and Ashadh   4.Varsha – Shravan and Bhadrpad

5.Sharad – Ashwin and Kartik          6.Hemant – Margshirsh and Paush

Assimilation, Aggravation and Neutralization of various humors in the six seasons: 

Dakshinayan and Uttrayan

Dakshinayan : Varsha, Sharad ad Hemant.

Uttarayan :       Shishir, Basant and Greesham.

In the three seasons of Uttrayan Sun gets powerful while in the three seasons of Dakshinayan, moon attains power. In Uttrayan power of the jeevas get increased and so do Bitter, Astringent, Tart ras (रस) develops; while during dakshinaya Sour, Salty and Sweet ras (रस) get increased in the creation.

Humor        Season of Aggravation

Vaayu          Varsha, Hemant and Shishir.

Pitt               Sharad and Greesham

Kaph            Basant

Day-Night Divisions                            Humor Affect

1st Prahar of Day – (Basant)           Kaph Aggravated and Pitt stabilized

2nd Prahar of Day - (Greesham)     Vaat Assimilated

3rd Prahar of Day – (Pravrit)           Vaayu aggravation and stabilized

4th Prahar of Day – (Varsha)            Pitt Assimilation

5th Prahar of Day – (Sharad)            Pitt aggravation and Vaat stabilized

6th Prahar of Day – (Hemant)          Kaph Assimilated

                     VAAT                    PITT                      KAPH

1

Assimiltion  Grisham                 Varsha                    Hemant

2nd Prahar of day    4th Prahar of day     Previous night

                     Vaish. & Jyes.        Bhdon & Kwar       Paush & Magh

                     (Maesh & Vrish)     (Singh * Kanya)     (Dhanu & Makar)

2

Aggravation Pravat                     Sharad                    Basant

                     3rd Prahar of day     Mid night               1st Prahar of day

                     Asha & Shravan     Kartik & Aghan     Phalgun & Chaitra

                     (Mithun & Kark)     (Tula & Vrishchk)  (Kumbh & Meen)

3

Balance        Sharad                    Basant                    Pravrit

                     Mid Night              1st Prahar of Day    3rd Prahar of day

                     Kartik Aghan         Phalgun & Chaitra  Ashad & Shravan

                     (Tula & Vrishchk)  (Kumbh & Meen)   (Mithun & Kark)       

                         Reference from Chikitsa Chandrodaya, Babu Haridas Vaidya, Publisher: Haridas & Co Pvt. Ltd.

Three Humors in Human Body - Part 3 (Kaph)


Its white, heavy, smooth, cool, base desires (tamoguni/ तमोगुणी), sweet and is of five types, namely, Kledan1, Avlamban2, Rasan3, Snehan4 and Shleshman5.

Location: Stomach (Kledan1), Heart (Avlamban2), Throat (Rasan3), Head (Snehan4) and all the joints (Shleshman5).

Functions of Kaph

Kledan Kaph: moistens the food and thus binds the food together. It goes to heart etc. and takes different ras, satiates all the senses (indriyas) and help keep the joints bound together.

Avlamban Kaph: Maintains the joint where head meets both the arms, it props up heart with the seminal secretion.

Rasan Kaph: Rasna and Rasan kaph are endowed with gentle qualities. Both stay close by. Both Rasan (tongue) and Rasna Kaph residing in the throat know each other.

Snehan Kaph: Providing smoothness, it satiates all the senses.

Shleshman Kaph: It binds well all the joints in the body.

Symptoms of Kaph Imbalance:

Heaviness in the stomach felt without eating anything, excessive sleep, whole body seem heavy, lethargy felt, sweet taste in the mouth all the time, formation of too much saliva in the mouth, kaph generated again and again, frequent belching, increased bulk of stools, throat feels to be covered with kaph, body becomes white, urine and eyes white in colour, one feels little cold.

Symptoms of decrease in Kaph:

Dryness, burning sensation inside, joints feel loose, feeling thirsty, body feels depleted, one cannot sleep.

Symptoms of increased Kaph:

Urine, Stools, whole body, eyes become whitish, feeling of cold, heaviness, sleep etc.

Time: it gets aggravated immediately after taking of food during winters (cold food), especially in Spring season (बसन्त), first part of the day and first part of the night. During childhood period, it’s generally aggravated.

Causes:

Sleeping during the day, keeping sitting all the time at home without doing any work, lethargy, more intake of sweet, salty and sour foods, more intake of heavy, smooth, cold things; rice, Black gram, wheat, sesame seeds, curd, milk, khichari, Sugarcane products, flesh of water animals, stalk of lotus, guava etc sweet fruits, kakadi etc, eating afresh without digesting the previous food taken.

Keeping awake at night, sleep more during the day, drinking cold water, living in a cold country, milk drinking, eating sesame seeds, sugar cane. At the end of the day and before the start of the day, at the end of the night and before the digestion of eaten food, kaph is aggravated.

How to sooth its aggravation:

Astringent, Spicy, hot and dry food be taken. Perspiration, exercise, vomiting, hard work help control it. Vomiting is the best alternative. It is said that hot milk, remaining with women, black eye-liner (अंजन), riding horse or elephant, massaging oil on body, to drink honey mixed with water, drink warm water, to stay in warm house, take trifla (त्रिफला), Chickpeas (chana/ चना), moong/मूंग, garlic, brinjal, Azadirachta indica (neem नीम), onion etc. reduce kaph.   

                                                                   Reference: Chikitsa Chandrodaya, Babu Haridas Vaidya, Haridas & Co. Pvt. Ltd.  

Wednesday, April 07, 2021

Three Humors in Human body- Part 2 (Pitt)


Pitt is a kind of thin liquid which is heating in nature. It is blue in colour if mixed with Aam and yellow in colour if not mixed with it. It is light, acrid and smooth in nature. In taste, it is sour. It is of five kinds as follows: Pachak1, Ranjak2, Sadhak3, Alochak4 and Bhrajak5.

It resides in Pancreas, Liver, Spleen, Heart, both eyes, whole body and skin. In Pancreas, it resides as Pachak1 pitt, in liver and spleen it resides as Ranjak2 Pitt, in the heart it resides as Sadhak3 pitt, in both the eyes as Alochak4 Pitt and in whole body and skin as Bhrajak5 pitt.

Pachak1Pitt: Staying in Amashaya (Stomach, intestines, liver, pancreas) and Pakvashaya (Duodenum). It digests food, increases the fire, separates sap, urine and stool etc. It also helps strengthen skin, eyes and yakrit (liver). It is also called jatharagni or digestive fire. In big bodied, it is of the size of barley, in small bodied it is size of a sesame seed while in moths etc it is of the size of hair only.

Ranjak2 Pitt: It generates blood.

Sadhak3 Pitt: it generates intellect, memory.

Alochak4 Pitt: it generates form and because of it only anyone can see.

Bhrajak5 Pitt: It generates glow in the body. It dries up oil or other such things massaged on to the skin.

Symptoms of reduced pitt: reduction in digestive fire, body’s heat reduces and glow of the body gets reduced.

Symptoms of increased pitt: body becomes pale, one desires cold things, sleep reduces, body power reduces, senses become depleted, urine becomes pale, eyes become pale and one may experience fainting.

Symptoms of Pitt Excess: whole body felt on fire, it feels like smoke is coming out, sour belching, excessive heat felt, too much perspiration, body smells, red boils appear on the body, taste of the mouth becomes bitter (कडवा). Darkness appears in front of eyes. Skin becomes greenish or like the colour of turmeric. Stools becomes liquid, excessive thirst experienced.

Causes: Anger, fear, grief, distress, excessive work, fasting, indulgence in sexual activity, sour and salty foods, Sesame seeds, oils, Sarson (Mustard), Alsi (flax), Goh (a kind of lizard), fish, flesh of goat and sheep, sour curd, kanji, all kinds of liquors, sour fruits, black mustard (राई), horse gram (कुलथी), reddish, to indulge in sexual activity during hot season and anger, to indulge in drinking while feel heat in the body etc.

Time: Summer season, Autumn (Sharat Ritu), middle of the night and while food is digesting in the body and during youth.

Remedies: start Virechan (make quick stool passages), Indian Gooseberry (Amla), dry grapes (Munakka), Banana, Cucumber (Kakadi), Cucumber (Kheera), Bitter gourd (Karela), Old rice, Wheat, Pommegranate (Anaar), Misri (a kind of prepared sugar), Milk, Sugar, Ghee, Pigeon peas (Arhar), Butter, Trifla, Chandan, bed of banana leaf or lotus leaf, smear white chandan, on body, slow breeze, Asparagus (Shatavari) etc.

Trust above is clear.

                                                                        Reference: Chikitsa Chandrodaya, Babu Haridas Vaidya, Haridas & Co. Pvt. Ltd.        

***********

Tuesday, April 06, 2021

Three Humors in Human Body - Part 1 (Vaat)

 

Out of the three humors, Vaat is the main cause of diseases in our body.  it takes the attributes the element with which it joins. if it comes with Sun, then it generates heat, if it comes with Moon then it generates coolness in our body. when it joins with Pitt, it works as Pitt but when joins with Kaph it behaves like Kaph. 

It helps various different secretions, food, blood etc. to move to respective places inside and stool and urine etc. to move outside the body. All doshas are considered lame without element of air, as they cannot move without it. 

Places of Vaat: Throat, Heart, Digestive fire, Rectum and whole body. These are five in number, namely, Pran1, Apaan2, Samaan3, Vayaan4, and Udaan5.

Pranvayu1 (Vayu means Air): it carries the pranic energy, moves in the space of mouth and responsible for eating and drinking. If it gets imbalanced then it causes hiccups and other diseases concerning breathing.  

Apaan-vayu2: it remains in the digestive system. It helps in the movement of purging gases from the body, semen, deliver of babies, throwing urine and stools out of the body. Diseases like diabetes etc along with those of Vyaan vayu occur due to it.

Samaan-vayu3: moves in stomach, lever and joins with digestive fire to digest food ingested. It separates urine and stools from the food. If imbalanced, causes decrease in digestion, excessive stool movement (if more and flows downwards), constipation (if less and flows upwards), excess of gas formation in our body.

Vayaan-vayu4: Helps in the follow of secretions of various glands inside the body, movement of the blood and sweat. It affects opening and closing of the eyes, walking and moving up and down.

Udaan-vayu5: it moves in the area of throat and controls our speech function. Without it we cannot talk or sing its imbalance causes diseases of the throat.

Symptoms of its imbalance (when decreased): Lethargy, depression, sadness, introversion, decrease in memory power.   

Symptoms of its imbalance (when increased): Hard skin, thin body, desire for heat and warmth, less energy, feel like sleeping, hard stools, decrease in amounts of stool.

Time of Imbalance: After 2pm during the day and 2am during the night. After digestion of food in the body. During old age also it gets increased. During rainy season, Hemant (middle of October to middle of December), Shishir (mid-January to mid-March).

To balance Vaat: Consume Sendha salt, cow’s milk, Moong daal, wheat, Misri, Munakka, warm water, apply oil on the head, have body massage, sleep where flow of air is less, work hard to generate perspiration, eat heavier foods, while bathing go under water.

Causes: Excessive vomiting, excessive exertion, diarrhoea, constipation, stopping urine forcefully, yawning, excessive worrying, excessive blood flow from the body, excessive sexual activity, excessive talking, eating excessive carrots and onions. Desist from eating cold rice, too much fasting, stale food and excessive swimming.

                                        reference Chikitsa Chandrodaya - Babu Haridaas ji Vaidya, Publisher: Haridas & Co Pvt Ltd, Mathura.


Trust, above shared information will be useful for the readers............Om!..........Shaktanand.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Nidra or Sleep

 

Sleep

1. Natural or 2. Induced

1.Natural Sleep:

It occurs due to exhaustion of physical or mental frame in us and is controlled through circadian rhythms in our bodies. It is specified by REM and Non-REM cycles. REM means Rapid Eye Movement. The natural sleep cycles are affected by circadian rhythms (natural self-generated rhythms in our body affected by outside factors like light, temperature and hormonal secretions) in our body. While awake we are in Alpha range of frequency vibrations of 7-11 Hz but as we fall asleep we move from Alpha to Theta 4-7 Hz and then to Delta specified by 0.5-4 Hz. Generally one goes through a period of 6-8 hours to relax the body fully, which is affected by the secretion of melatonin by our pineal gland. It also affects our gastrointestinal lining, maintains immune system and If our sleep is not of good quality then we feel tired even after getting up. If such state is repeated again and again then our body falls in to stress and which may lead to various physical and mental diseases.      

As per researchers, a sleeping person passes through 4-5 stages of 5-15 minutes each in a sleep cycle. The first cycle is from 70-90 minutes while subsequent cycles may be from 90 to 120 minutes. Initially REM component is less in sleep but in later stages REM component increases. A child goes in REM sleep almost 50% of the time.

We pass through 4 cycles, first two cater to light sleep while other two cater to deep sleep.

During first stage one moves from Alpha(7-13Hz) and Beta(13-21Hz) stage of frequency generation. During it, our muscle activity slows down, eye movement is very slow and we can be woken up easily. Alpha reduced to half and this stage lasts for small duration of time. It represented by ‘an idling brain in a movable body’.

During Second stage, is the most important part of the sleep pattern and involves sleep spindles and K complexes. It last 0-3 seconds every 3-10 seconds. Eye movement stops, brains waves are slow with occasional bursts of energy. Spindles gradually increase and decrease close to Delta waves while K complexes occasional surges of high amplitude energy. During this period memory consolidation and synaptic pruning takes place.

During third stage, we move between Theta and Delta waves. Its first stage of deep sleep. Brain waves are very slow, one moves from sound sleep to very deep sleep in it. It may be called a stage between REM and Non-REM. Sleep walking, bed wetting reacting to dreams occur during this phase. Muscles are paralyzed to avoid any injury. Some dreams are remembered and some are forgotten. It’s a state of ‘an active hallucinating mind in a paralyzed body’. Large amplitude Delta waves are produced here. People in 20’s spend about 20% time of the sleep in it, people in 40-50’s spend about 10% time of the sleep in it, people in 70’s spend about 5% time of the sleep in it.  

During the fourth stage or state 2 of the deep sleep, delta waves are predominantly produced. One is in a very deep sleep state if one is woken up now then one will feel totally disoriented. Heart rate, respiration rate and kidney process slow down while digestive process increases. 50% of the time /delta waves occur during this stage which are slow and of large amplitude. Impulses do not reach the cortex.

Walking state is from Beta to Gamma level, while pre sleep state may vary between Alpha range while deep sleep state occurs in Delta and Theta range of vibrations. During deep sleep our body relaxes all the muscles and growth hormones are produced and brain moves to no thinking state.    

2. Induced

a. Through Medication:

Inability to fall asleep or stay in that state is called insomnia in patients. To counter such conditions different therapies may be utilized by the doctors, in which drugs may be one of them. Gama-Amino Butyric acid increases drowsiness while Orexin6, a natural substance increases wakefulness in us. But such things if taken regularly can becomes less and less effective, can affect our thinking and balance, may not let a person to be in fully conscious state in waking times, sleep quality may not be up to the mark, may interact with other medications being taken by the patient.

b. Through Hypnosis: This is a specialized process conducted by trained practitioners. In this a subject is continuously led by outside instructions and forced to visualize a thing or an idea which is actually not present. He or she sees what is beings asked to experience what is not there actually.

c. Through Yog Nidra: It can be done personally or by outside instructions of a trainer. It passes through well structured two stages mainly. During the first stage the physical body is neutralized while in the second stage subtle body is activated. It’s a process in which physical body is totally rested while mind and senses are totally heightened. Unlike this, in normal sleep both body and mind get neutralized. It is a highly developed model of yogic practice. Normally in the world, people utilize it in relaxation of the body alone which is a very small part of it. But actually, it is essential to understand control over subtle body which is essential for all kinds of higher spiritual practices. While higher practitioners, use it to develop control to separate subtle body from the gross body. The structure of the practice can be developed by any experienced person suiting the requirements of the subject. One feels there is no limit to it. Even difficult subjects can be taught to children in the yoga nidra sessions. Sports coaches can experiment with sportsmen to enhance their performance in the respective game.     

 Through Yoga nidra, we can reduce the need of 6-8 hours of sleep of the body for relaxation to 1.5-2 hrs only. As we will usher the subject in to deep sleep state without going in coming out of it through different REM phases during 4-5 different sleep cycles through the night.

                                                                    ~***************~ 

Monday, March 22, 2021

Bandha

As to control the flow of water in the rivers or to redirect them various dams(bandh) are constructed, in the same manner to control the flow of Pran and redirect it in our body, yogis have devised various kinds of Bandh (बन्ध) which literally mean lock, tightening, holding or redirecting. When the enrgy rises through our Sushumana, one can feel the sensation of heat of movement generated by it. As it rises higher into the brain one can feel the tingling sensation of heat in the cerebellum, behind the ears and in the crown of the head too. It is experienced that as more and more energy collects in the crown sensation shifts towards the point where brahmins keep their shikha or tuft of hair. One can check this with the help of aura photography too see in the form of a white circle formed by this building of energy in the reason.


Photo taken from top of the head

As per different scriptures these bandhas are used along with Mudras which we dealt previously, though could not be done in detail due to less time. Kriya yoga employs extensive use of them. These are mentioned in different yogic texts, Nath philosophy, Adi Shankracharya’s writings etc. Mainly, there are three Bandhas devised, namely, Jalandhar Bandh1, Udiyan Bandh2, Mool Bandh3 and another one which is a combination of all the above is called Mahabandh4. Each bandh is connected with a particular nerve bundle called Granthi (ग्रन्थि). Mool Bandh is connected with Brahm Granthi (ब्रह्म ग्रन्थि), Uddiyan Bandh is connected with Vishnu Granthi (विष्णु ग्रन्थि) and Jallandhar Band is connected with Rudra Granthi (रुद्र ग्रन्थि).

Mooladhar is the place where Kundlini resides. Beej mantra Lam (लं) which provides life to us, hence the knot there is called Brahm Granthi, as Brahma is the creator. It is activated by Mool Bandh.

Area of Manipur, Beej mantra Ram (रं), our stomach area, is the digestive area which provides energy to us by extracting it from the food and hence it does the work of Brahma, hence the knot there is called Brahm Granthi. It is activated by Uddiyan Bandh i.e. work of Vishnu is sustaining of life.

Vishudhi, beej mantra Ham (हं) in the throat purifies and directs us back to our source, taking us away from the world in to the inner realm, hence fulfilling the action of Rudra i.e. annihilation, hence called Rudra Granthi. It is activated by Jallandhar Bandh.

1.Mool Bandh

Figure 1: Mool Bandh

General:

In case of men, its space is between testicles and anus while in case of women its space is at the mouth of the uterus. Perineal floor area is space of mooladhar. Mool means ‘Main’ and Adhaar means ‘Bases’. So that which is the main basis is called Mooladhar, it represents Earth element and is denoted by beej ‘Lam’. It is the place where Kundlini resides in ignorant form resulting in similar state of consciousness of the practitioner. it’s the space of mooladhar chakra, which caters to the basic needs of a person i.e. food to eat, clothes to wear and place to live in i.e. Food-Clothes-House. One, whose this chakra is not functioning properly, will be lacking in these things and one whose this chakra is overactive, that person might be running after amassing more and more of these things beyond requirement.

From Navel à Anus is the region of the pran vayu which is responsible for ejecting all the waste material from the body weather in the form of stools or in the form of urine. Even sexual secretions downward movement is also caused by it. If this pranic energy is less, it will result in constipation and if its excessive it will result in diarrhea. This energy keeps moving between navel and anus all the time, in a direction opposite to pran, which moves in the area of navel and throat. Opposite movement of pran and Apan represents life while their movement in the same direction represents death.

Technique:

It is generally done in sitting position of Sidh Asna or Sidh Yoni asan. When we contract our perineal floor, we find that our anus, urinary tract/ Vaginal region and urethra area, all get contracted. We need to develop skill and control to contract all the above areas separately. Anal contraction will result in Ashwani mudra, urinary organ contraction will result in Vajroli mudra while Urethral area contraction will result in Mooladhar stimulation.

Sit in the required asan, keeping back straight but relaxed, put your hands on your knees with arms straight so that it helps to keep the back erect from waist upward. Inhale ‘freshness and relaxation’ through nose and exhale ‘tiredness and stiffness’ out through the mouth three times slowly.

Withdraw your attention from the outside world. Visualize your own center line and contract your consciousness on to it. Doing this will help us open our Sushumana path. Once you feel you are focused on the center line, it means Sushumana has opened (there are many other ways to open it too).

With Ujjai breath in slowly and deeply, raising it from the base of the mooladhar chakra. As we inhale our perineal floor will be lifted upwards. By the time inhale is complete, the muscles are pulled upwards tighten them there and tilt your chin in to the hollow of the neck to stop the breath from moving out. Now the breath and pranic energy is locked in the area between the throat and anus. Perform antrik Kumbhak (inner retention) i.e. hold as long as possible, keeping Moolbandh tight. When one can no longer hold the breath, raise the chin up, exhale the breath slowly out and then release the lock of the muscles in the perineal floor. One may perform it 11 times as per one’s own capacity of breath holding, which can be 1-3 minutes.

It can be performed with Bahiya Kumbhak too, outside retention of breath. In that case one has to sit, relax, inhale and exhale. Then apply Jallandhar and then Moolbandh. Hold as long as possible, though this period will certainly be smaller than inner retention, which may be vary generally from 20-40 second.

Benefits:

It helps energize the pelvic region which houses our euro genitalia and excretory system. As it forces the pranic energy to rise higher and makes one Urdhavretas, thus helps in developing celibacy. Promotes health, help overcome stress and depression, helps in awakening Mooladhar Chakra too.           

Asans affecting Mooladhar Chakra:

Karnpeed Asan, Setu Badh Asan, Dhanur Asan. Tadan Kriya, Kukutasan etc.

2.Uddiyan Bandh

General:

Uddiyan is the bandh of the stomach region in which Saman vayu fans the digestive fire. Pran and Apan meet together in the navel region, creating fire which is further fanned by Saman which moves side to side, in the waist region. All the digestive organs also lie in this area and is the space of Manipur chakra, represented by fire beej ‘Ram’.

उदरे पश्चिमं तानं नाभेरुर्ध्वं च कारयेत् ,

उड्डीयानो ह्यसौ बंधो मृत्यो मातंगकेसरी ।

Hatha Yog Pradipika, Chap 3-57.

Pulling the abdomen back in and making the navel rise in Uddiyan bandha. It is the lion which conquers the elephant of death.

Figure 2: Uddiyan Bandh (BSY)

Technique:

Should be performed on empty stomach. Sit in a comfortable Sidh Asan or Sidh yoni asan. Keep both hands on the respective knees. Relax whole of your body by exhaling all the tiredness and inhaling all the freshness. Focus on your center line. Lightly close your eyes and inhale fully slowly with Ujjai through mouth. Bending forward bringing forehead towards the floor, exhale completely quickly, suck the stomach in as if one is trying to touch navel to the spine. Straighten your arms so that body comes up with straight spine. Descend the chin in the hollow of the neck to apply Jallandhar Bandh. Hold this Bahiya Kumbhak (outside breath retention) position as long as possible. Then slowly remove the abdominal lock, loosen your shoulders and spine and raise the chin opening the neck lock, inhale. This completes one cycle. One may perform 11-21 rounds as per one’s capacity. Best performed after asan and pranayam.   

Benefits:

It is great boon for our abdominal system. Even if done 3-5 times a day in the morning it goes a long way in improvement in the digestion of the food in our body. As we suck the stomach onwards it massages the internal organs, presses them and as we release the lock, blood flow collected around due to constriction of the area gushes through the organs and bathing them. Liver, pancreas are stimulated and functioning of adrenal glands are also balanced. As we perform it on the bahiya kumbhak, an area of low pressure or vacuum is generated in the middle of the body i.e. around the body which attracts both pran and apan to rush towards the navel where they generate heat which is fanned by Saman in the middle region. Thus, Manipur is also stimulated. It affects the solar plexus called celiac plexus which is a nerve ganglia affecting the stomach, kidney, lever and adrenal.

Anxiety is a common cause of pain in this area. It is also connected to lungs so can affect breathing during fight and flight situation. Acid reflux and gastric problems can also cause pain here. Even an old person can become young by doing it regularly. Vitality increases with regular practice. Many physiological and psychological benefits are accrued by its regular practice.

As per the 60th sloka of chapter 3 of Hatha Yoga Pradipika, It is said that out of all the bandhas, Uddiyan is best, which when mastered, provides mukti or liberation spontaneously.

Precautions:

Uddiyan bandh should not done in case of stomach or intestinal ulcers, recent surgeries performed in this area, high BP, diaphragmatic hernia, colitis, heart diseases or during bruising, redness or swelling of muscles of this area due to over exertion during exercise or otherwise.    

Asans Affecting Manipur Chakra:

Tadagi Mudra, Agnisaar Kriya, Nauka Asan, Yoga mudra asan, Setu asan, Halasan.

3.Jallandhar Bandh

General:

The area between navel and throat is the area of pranic energy. As we inhale the breath goes down while the pran moves up from the navel towards the throat while exhaling breath moves up from the navel side towards throat while the pranic energy falls back towards the navel from the throat area. So it is clear that if lock our neck area then we will restrict the movement of pranic energy in the area between navel and throat. Pran is energy which is makes us eat or drink. If this energy is depleted then our eating and drinking capacity will be compromised. Pran is always connected with Apan. Their opposite direction movement represents life.

It helps prevent flow of nectar from Bindu to flow down from the Vishudhi to our stomach.

Technique:

Sit in comfortable Sidh asan or Sidh yoni asan.

कंठमाकुंच्य हृद्ये स्थाप्येच्चिबुकं दृढम्,

बंधो जालन्धराख्योऽयं जरामृत्यु विनाशकः ।

Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chap 3/ Sloka 70.

(Contracting the throat by bringing the chin to the chest is the bandha called Jallandhar. It destroys the old age and death.)

Figure 3: Jallandhar Bandh(BSY)

Put your hands on the knees as shown.

Exhale all the tiredness and tension in the muscles and the joints. Bring your focus to your central axis, close your eyes lightly.

Bend forward by relaxing your elbows and inhale deeply while coming up.

Straighten your arms, make spine erect but not tense, raise the shoulders and descend the chin to the chest.

Hold your breath (Antrik kumbhak) along with this position as long as possible.

When one cannot hold, slowly lift the chin off the chest into starting position, relax the shoulders and bring them down to natural position and slowly exhale.

It is recommended in all the breath exercises to keep the flow controlled, without any extra pressure while completing the inhaling or starting the exhale after holding. There should be no jerk to the respiratory system. This comprises one cycle of bandh.

One may repeat it 5-11 times.

One may repeat it on outside breath retention (Bahiya Kumbhak) too.

Benefits:

Alleviates all the disorders of the throat, namely inflammation, stuttering tonsilitis, excessive mucous formation, improves quality of voice and hence beneficial for all the singers. During its locking many impulses, blood etc are collected in the throat area and not allowed to flow to the brain. But when it is removed, there is a gush/ flow of blood and obstructed impulses from throat to the higher centers of the brain. Thyroid hormone, Thyroxin-T4 is secreted in the throat which is responsible for tissue metabolism in our body i.e. rate at which nutrients will be consumed, tissues will age and cell turnover will happen. Second important gland in the throat is Parathyroid which regulate calcium metabolism and regulate amount of calcium in the blood and bones.

Precautions:    

Should not be practiced by people suffering cervical spondylitis, high blood pressure, heart disease.

Asans affecting Vishudhi Chakra:

Halasan, Sarvang Asan, Reverse Padm asan, Chakrasan, Hastotan Asan, Matasya Asan, Kandhar Asan, Halasan.    

4.Mahabandh

General:

Mahabandh is a great practice which employs use of all the three bandhas discussed previously. Its practice is utilized in kriya yoga too and has been explained in Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Chapter 3 also. It can be performed in two different manners. Some perform it in one sitting position itself which can be Sidh Asan or Sidh Yoni Asan and others perform it as Utaanpad asan on both sides. Different scriptures refer to it with little variations.

Technique:

Type 1

It employs use of Kumbhak, Moolabandh, Jallandhar Band, Uddiyan Bandh, Khechari and Shambhavi mudra. Sit in Sidh asan or Sidh yoni asna with spine straight and hands resting on the knees as shown in the figure below. Relax your body and mind and bring your consciousness to your central axis.

Breath in slowly and deeply through nose, hold breath (Antrik Kumbhak) and apply Jallandhar Bandh, Moolbandh and Uddiyyan Bandh. Fix your gaze in the eye brow center practicing Shambhavi. Hold as long as possible and then slowly release the breath. 


                                           (Pran and Apan join together and Uddiyan forces it into the Sushumana, as shown above)

Slowly raise the chin, unlocking the Jallandhar Bandh and exhale. This comprises one round. One can practise 5-7 rounds as per one’s capacity. 

Type 2:

Perform Mahamudra as shown in the sketch and explained, 03 times, holding the breath comfortably as long as possible.

Mahamudra (4.1a)

    Fold left leg so that thigh is in contact with chest and arms are encircling around the knee holding, while right leg is folded below and heel is pressing on mooladhar as shown below. Inhale and fill up the lungs. From this position, releasing the left knee extend the leg onto the floor. Extending both arms front and holding the left foot toe firmly, keeping tongue in Khechari mudra, fix the gaze into trikuti for Shambhavi mudra i.e. eyebrow centre, keeping the back straight and chin a little up with moolbandh and holding breath.

                                                                                             Mahamudra (4.1b)

Run consciousness along Ajna, Vishudhi, and Mool as long as comfortable. After that release the breath, release hold on the right foot, slide the hands along the sides of the right leg up to waist. This completes one side. Put both hands on the floor lifting the torso, change the position of both the legs i.e. right leg is folded with thigh to the chest and left leg is folded below with its heel on the mooladhar. Repeat the same procedure as was performed above on the other side (Rt leg, 4.1c).




Mahamudra (4.1c)


After completing the right leg cycle, bend both legs together with both thighs touching the chest (4.1d). Inhale and then extend both legs in front and hold both toes (4.1e) as advised earlier and maintain the position as long as comfortable.



Mahamudra (4.1d) & Mahamudra (4.1e)

Then exhaling release the grip on toes, withdraw the hands back tracing the path from the outer side of the legs up to the waist (4.1d).This completes one cycle. Next breath should be used for second round. Like this, do three rounds with right leg extended, three rounds with left leg extended and three rounds with both legs extended.

Benefits:

“It charges our body with pranic energy and Sushmana awareness in heightened. It clears all energy blockades in the body. As is clear from the practice method, high blood pressure patients, heart patients or those who have undergone recent surgeries should refrain from it. It helps us control Udan vayu and strengthens our dhyan”.[1] It clears the nadis and stimulates our Suhumana and brings heightened awareness and clarity. Digestion, assimilation of food and pranic energy are stimulated. It charges all areas from Mooladhar to Ajna chakra. So physiologically it stimulates digestion, Pranically it circulates energy in the chakras, Psychologically evolves our mind and Psychically arouses receptivity. As the pranic energy (Kundlini) moves up and down the Sushumana, a number of times, blockages of past karmas are removed.

Precautions:

As explained in earlier practices too, one who is suffering from high BP, low BP, ulcers of stomach or intestines, hernia should refrain from attempting it till their condition is improved. Healthy body is a pre-requisite for all kinds of bandhas.