Moving Forward! Start a journey to a Yogi Lifestyle – 4 The Theory

Moving Forward! Start a journey to a Yogi Lifestyle – 4  The Theory

Love the theory part, not so much that I like to read now, but so relax and easy that someone there talk and I listen, the science, the philosophy, the art, and the stories.

I had already much forgotten to recall exactly how many years from the day I enjoy listening to the teacher’s classroom teaching.

It’s back to my old golden days.

After all, after reading for so many years, my eye sights getting bad. Just packed up all my books into 26 cartons of boxes while preparing to move them to another location.

After this course, I think, likely will start collecting and pick up again, books on the Yoga’s title.

It’s pleasant reading on the Yoga Sutra, though initially having difficulties and hard time stirring my tongues over the Sanskrit words and trying to figure out what’s the meaning by reading the long explanation inside the manual, which eventually made me more confused.

Lucky enough, I managed to find and organized from the internet.
Well, IF, I meant “IF”, If I have the time, likely will add on to it’s German and Chinese or even other languages translation at my leisure if I can find it.

Here share if you need.

Here go we happy Journey to Yoga Lifestyle.

Patanjali’s Yoga Sutra Translation Sanskrit to English

 

汇编 Complied by Angie Chua 20190909.

Alcohol Use Disorder & Yoga

Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is not just a disorder but many consider it as a societal problem, both in terms of its behaviourally impairing effects on the drinker and the serious health problems that occur due to long term excessive use. The varied behavioural and cognitive functions that are impaired due to excessive alcohol usage can lead to immediate adverse consequences such as risky sexual and aggressive behaviour, driving under influence of alcohol and the physical after effect (Marczinski, Grant, & Grant, 2009).

In Singapore, alcohol abuse emerged as second out of the top three most common disorders affecting one in every 32 individuals (Institute Of Mental Health, 2011). Men were found to abuse alcohol more than women with a ratio of 4:1 (Institute Of Mental Health, 2011).

Yoga therapies as complementary therapies have been gaining traction and popularity in the treatment of addiction. The philosophy of yoga focuses on the ways in which yogic breathing, postures, meditation and concentration can decrease the vulnerability to addiction (Khanna & Greeson, 2013).

A pilot study conducted in Sweden (Hallgren, Romberg , Bakshi, & Andréasson , 2014) has found that yoga is a practical and well accepted add on treatment for alcohol dependence. Alcohol consumption was reduced from 6.32 to 3.36 drinks per day in the yoga group. Participants indicated that with yoga therapy, their urge to drink has reduced and some described having improvement in sleep.

Yoga therapy has been proven in many studies to be beneficial not only to alcohol use disorder but many other addictions and mental illness such as anxiety and depression. With regular yoga practice and meditation, yoga helps to improve your daily life and mental state of mind.

Patsy Kaye Ang, YTT200 Weekend Warrior – March 2018

 

Reference:

Marczinski, C., Grant, E., & Grant, V. (2009). Binge Drinking in Adolescents and College Students. Hauppauge NY: Nova Science.

Institute Of Mental Health. (2011, November 18). Singapore Mental Health Survey Press Release. Latest study sheds light on the state of mental health in Singapore. Retrieved from Institute Of Mental Health Web Site: https://www.imh.com.sg/uploadedFiles/Newsroom/News_Releases/SMHS%20news%20release.pdf

Khanna, S., & Greeson, J. (2013, Jun). A Narrative Review of Yoga and Mindfulness as Complementary Therapies for Addiction. Complement Ther Med., 21(3):244-52. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2013.01.008

Hallgren, M., Romberg , K., Bakshi, A., & Andréasson , S. (2014, Jun). Yoga as an adjunct treatment for alcohol dependence: A pilot study. Complement Ther Med, 22(3):441-5. doi:10.1016/j.ctim.2014.03.003

Sound Therapy

I first came across sound therapy from singing bowl, tingsha and gong with yoga when I researched around about restorative yoga for our themed class teaching. Restorative yoga includes breathing exercises, meditation, and not only from relaxing music but may also include receiving om to calm our mind.

Sound healing from singing bowl, tingsha and gong is a vibration medicine, it can help reduce stress, alleviate pain, remove negative energy, decrease inflammation, improve sleep, increase concentration, and create an overall sense of well-being.

I started going around to find the instruments. There are many shops around the temple in Bugis sell tingsha and both Tibetan and crystal singing bowl. I eventually bought a pair of tingsha and a Tibetan machine made singing bowl with E note from a shop named The Singing Bowl Gallery in Tanjong Pagar.

Different sizes of bowls and tingsha give different tones, even the same sizes can also produce different tones. Personally, I find that machine made bowls may be easier for beginners who want to pick up how to play singing bowl because it has smoother surface for turning. Handmade bowls may produce noise when the vibration frequency is getting higher that create vibration gap between the bowl and the stick when you turn, which will disturb your meditation. If a handmade bowl is preferred, a wooden stick wrapped with thin layer of leather can be used to help reducing the noise coming from the gap.

Let’s relax, restore, and reconnect 🙂 xoxo

 

Shu (aka Sharon Chong)
200hrs YTT, Sept 2017 (Weekend)
— Blog 1/4

Understanding the Chakras

There are 7 major chakras in the human body, aligning with the spinal cord, plus another 4 minor chakras in the arms. A chakra, or wheel in Sanskrit, is a rapidly-rotating disc which emits energy and a certain frequency, moving in a up-down spiralling motion rather than being fixed. These are found at the points in our body where Kundalini or cosmic energy flows, or the 7 Nadis located around the major energy centres of the body. Starting at the base of the spine and working up to the top of the head, these are:

  1. Muladahara – found at the root of the body, pelvic floor, coccyx, represented by the earth element, fulfilment of basic survival needs and more animal instincts such as food, water, shelter and sex;
  2. Svadhisthana – genital and lower abdomen area, sacral area, represented by water element, drive to go beyond basic survival to imagine and create;
  3. Manipura – navel, solar plexus and lumbar area of spine, represented by fire element, calm, self-actualisation;
  4. Anahata – behind the heart, represented by air element, compassion and spirituality;
  5. Visuddhu – based of throat, cervical spine and thymus, represented by ether, knowledge and understanding;
  6. Ajna – between eyebrows, 3rd eye, pituitary gland, spirituality and connection;
  7. Sahasrara – crown of the head, the brain and pineal gland, intuition.
  8. Some also include an 8th chakra which is what we emit as a whole person – Aura – the bioelectric field or vibrations we emit from our body. (Iyengar 2014; Tirsula Yoga, 2015)

A fully healthy, balanced human will have balance and harmony between the different chakras, with their energy – somewhat akin to Chi or lifeforce in Taoist philosophy – flowing naturally. However, blockages can occur in different chakras leading to distortions of the mind and body. Namely, our healthy functioning mind and body become affected by trapped energy in one or other parts of the body, in turn leading our mental, emotional and behavioural energy to be over-emphasised in some parts of life rather than others. In order to deeply connect with the chakras, we need to work through the 8 Limbs of Ashtanga Yoga and to overcome the 6 evils (greed, desire, anger, pride, infatuation and envy), allowing us to connect the human body with our divine self (Iyengar, 2014).
With sustained practice, we can gently activate the chakras through asana practice. For example, grounding asanas such as Utkatasana (chair) tend to help activate the root chakra, Muladhara, whereas asanas such as Sirsasana (headstand) help to activate the crown chakra, Sahasrara.
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Meditation, mantra chanting, pranayama and mudras (healing hand and body gestures which help to receive energy as well as set our intentions) are particularly useful to activate the chakras (Electric Energies, 2016; Rice, 2015). For example, to promote activity at the Anahata (heart) chakra, we can practice Padma Mudra (shown in the photo above), where a lotus shape mudra is made with the hands whilst using deep breathing and chanting YAM. I find this a really powerful meditation myself, though I feel I am already quite balanced in this area. The resonance of this mantra and the lotus mudra hand formation help to draw energy to the heart centre. If we are experiencing a major blockage in the Anahata, we will tend to have low spiritual connection, lack compassion towards others, and lack ability to love and understand ourselves and others. Opening this area up can, as with the other chakras, help us to flourish as fully-rounded and spiritually connected individuals.
By shifting the energy evenly between the chakras, we can heal and re-align our physical and emotional conditions, redirecting negative energies and habits towards positive ones (Singh Khalsa and Sauth, 2001).
References:
Eclectic Energies (2016) Working with the Chakras, https://www.eclec*cenergies.com/chakras/working. Php
Iyengar, B. K. S. (2014) Yoga: The Path to Holistic Health, New York, Dk Publishing.
Singh Khalsa, D. and Stauth, C. (2001) Meditation as Medicine: Activate the Power of your Natural Healing Force, New York: Fireside.
Tirsula Yoga (2015) Tirsula Yoga Training Manual, 200 Hour Yoga Teacher Training Course, Singapore: Tirsula Yoga.
Rice, A. (2015) 7 Mudras to Unlock Your 7 Chakras, http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-20543/7-mudras-to-unlock-your-7-chakras.html.
 

Meditation

It was only when I looked further into what Yoga was before I found
out asana’s were only one of the eight parts of what yoga really is.
Something I was very happy to experience during YTT was the exposure I
got to meditation. From a young age meditation was always an area of
confusion for me. Questions would always surface. What are you
supposed to do? What’s the point? Am I supposed to think about
something? How do you do it?
Based on what I understand about meditation now, is that it is a way
for us to achieve a certain state of mind. To achieve this state of
mind we are to dettatch ourselves from the complicated thoughts of
daily life and concentrate on something simple such as the sound of
breath. It is through the simplicity of maintaining a simple humming
noise or a the sound of an “ohm” that allows us to focus. Making
things simple for our minds allows us to reach a state where we can
experience a near unconscious state. While maintaining this near
unconscious state we can allow prana to cleanse, and even align our
chakras.
This ideally would emulate a certain phase of sleep whereby we would
be allowing our brain to reguvinate.
Although I have learned some meditation methods I still think that
this near subconscious state of mind is somewhat beyond my immediate
grasp. I do feel however that with enough time and regular practice
the benefits of meditation are atainable. An aspect of my life I
personally struggle with is focus. An overactive mind is something I
have been living to deal with for a long time, and during my first few
attempts at meditation became extremely obvious to me.
Not only during the meditation itself, but also during my asana
practice I realized how much my own mind was interfering with the
quality and effort of what my body was doing.
In my eyes, meditation is a reflexion of another part of you, a very
honest one. While asana’s really should only be about you, because
there is the element of the physical world it’s very easy to let your
ego get involved in your asana practice. How difficult or easy an
asana is for you, or how much better or worse you are than someone
else doing an asana, are all things that are born from our ego. Why is
meditation more honest? It’s because no matter how good or bad you are
at it, how enlightened you become, how long you spend in a near
subconscious state, can only be realized by you and can’t be proven to
anyone else in any way. You are the only one experiencing your own
meditation.