Dhyana (Meditation) and Your Brain

Probably like many before me, my foray into meditation was motivated by a need to calm my mind, ease the overwhelming torrents of anger in my chest, etc, etc…you get the picture…
Well, after having meditated regularly for about 2 months..something has changed. it is subtle. There were no fireworks or grand realisation. There is no light around my head, and i still can’t sit in a lotus position. But there is a constant fuzzy feeling that surrounds me, which either helps me disconnect or connect to my environment. Am i imagining this? After all, the mind creates what the mind creates..no? NO! According to this article in Science Daily, mediation can actually change your brain structure. A team led by Massachusetts General Hospital researchers conducted a study group where they looked at the brains of participants before and after they started on an 8-week meditation programme. If you don’t fee like reading the looong article…here are the highlights of differences found in the participants:

  • increased grey-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory
  • increased grey-matter density in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion and introspection
  • decreased grey-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress.
And all of the above by just meditating 27 mins per day for 8 weeks…..pretty awesome huh?

Source: Massachusetts General Hospital. “Mindfulness meditation training changes brain structure in eight weeks.” ScienceDaily, 21 Jan. 2011. Web. 16 May 2011.

Memoirs of Yoga Teacher Training

Congratulations to those who have made it through the 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training, Weekend batch from Jan to March 2010. Through your hardwork, sweat, tears (blood? I hope not) I hope this lovely bunch of girls have learnt something valuable for life. Yoga philosophy cannot be learnt just be reading, application to one’s life is more important than remembering the verses. Hope you will not stop learning Yoga as this is only the start.
Here are some photos for memories….

Sutra Neti (Nasal Cleansing)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DA0hQj9zOsM&rel=0&fmt=18] Sutra Neti demonstration by Master Paalu Ramasamy from Tirisula Yoga during a 200 Hr Yoga Teacher Training Course in Singapore. Sutra means thread and Neti means nasal cleansing. Neti is one of the six purification techniques known as Shat Kriya as documented in the literature, Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Neti helps to clean the nasal passage ways, removing excess mucus and stimulate the nerves to make the brain more alert.
Do not practice this on your own without guidance from a Yoga teacher.