My learning from Vipasana …

We humans ignore and do not appreciate importance of Meditation in our life

  • till the time life do not shake and tell us …
  • till the time we are on the verge of collapse….
  • till the time things go out of our hands…

I heard many times that each and every incident in our life teaches us something. Sometimes things are meant to change our lives beyond our imagination… and I am fortunate to have experienced such life changing incident…

VIPASANA

In the month of December 2017, I undertook the challenge of learning Vipasana in a Thai Buddhist Temple in Hat Yai (Thailand)… (to tell you the truth, I was running away from my problems instead of facing them. My purpose of going for Vipasana was to learn something which could help me manage my problems of materialistic world, cross hurdles of my day to day life and sort out my relations and work life balance etc. etc.).

In temple life was very simple, but close to nature. I was living with bare minimum facilities. VIPASANA gave me a 180 degree turn, my thought process changed, my perception towards myself and people changed, my approach towards life changed, I started understanding other people’s point of view, started taking responsibility of my actions and non-actions as well and many other changes happened within me.

During my stay in temple, I underwent a strict routine involving community service and long hours of insight meditation, which made me a stronger person mentally and brought me at peace. My mind, which was filled with innumerable futile thoughts and used to wander here and there, actually became composed and concentrated. Now, I am at more rest and feel a sense of contentment and calmness. I do not feel anxiety or stress.

Vipasana helped me understand true nature of life and it became clear to me that WE ALL ARE ONE and our life energy emanate from same power source. I strongly believe that we are nothing but manifestations of same supernatural power called God. There is no difference in me and you, and it is at this point that it becomes easy to accept difference of opinion of others and understand the things and people.

Biggest learning – MY EGO IS NOT ME.

During Vipasana I experienced and understood that Me and my Ego are two distinct personalities. I will explain this with an example. In a day I play multiple roles like mother, daughter, boss, subordinate, colleague, friend, sister etc. etc. It is pertinent to understand that at a given point of time we have as many Egos as many Roles we play.

Ego is our biggest enemy and it stops us from staying happy. To be in a happy state we need to understand the nature of Ego and learn ways to keep it separate from us.

To give you an example, when my boss scolds me for anything, I do not get angry or feel bad. At that point of time, I do not let wounded ego of subordinate to overpower me. Rather I tell myself that boss is not scolding me but to the subordinate which is only a role I am playing at that point of time. I am not just an employee but I am a spiritual being and employee is only one role I am playing. By thinking in such a manner, I am able to distinguish my Ego from the ego of employee who has just been scolded. This is the tendency of hurt Ego to make you feel bad, because a hurt Ego needs continuous soothing. It will make you feel vindictive. But the moment you detach yourself from that vindictive Ego, it cannot harm you or your inner peace.

Similarly, for other roles we play, things always do not go the way we want them, and in such a situation the wounded Ego of that very particular Role will try to overpower you. This wounded Ego will blame other person for your unhappiness, will make you feel sorry for yourself, will prompt you to take revenge and make you angry for other person.

Whenever this happens, maintain calmness, think mindfully, breathe deeply, feel your soul and do not listen to the wounded Ego which want you to react immediately. RISE ABOVE THE EGO. The moment you understand your true nature, you will rise above the Ego and will learn to be happy in every situation.

Hope you will find this articles helpful. I am open to hear from you, write to me if you have questions or anything to share about your Vipasana experience.

How I de-stress myself in office

We, women of 21st century have taken it on ourselves to become role models in managing our house and work life to the levels beyond human expectations. We constantly strive to maintain balance in our multiple roles of mother, wife, daughter, daughter-in-law, friend, colleague and many others. But while playing all these roles,  

we forget to take care of our health, the way we should; 

we forget to breathe, the way we should; 

we forget to drink water, the way we should and list is endless… 

So I decided to take care of myself not just by drinking detox water and doing yoga in morning, but by transforming my entire day routine by becoming aware of my every action. 

Like all other office goers, I spend 8-10 hours in my office sitting on my desk, maniacally typing and staring the laptop, being angry on co-workers for their irresponsible behavior and missing the timelines, cursing my bosses for continued pressure and so on….  Resulting in unnecessary stress…. which became cause of many health and life styles related problems… it was time to take serious corrective actions towards my approach to my office routine. So I decided to counter each of the problem. Here, I am going to list in this article everything for your benefit…. I am sure it will help my dear readers to change their lives as well… So read on… 

Here I list some tips and changes which imbibed in my routine towards a healthy and happy me:

EAT WATER…

First of all I make sure to drink water every thirty minutes. Not a glass full but few sips… I remember my Mom always used to say “do not drink water, eat water”… yes you read it right, EAT WATER. Our body derives maximum benefit of water, when we let it sit in our mouth for some time and then swallow it. It not only quenches the thirst but also calms you down and works as a de-stress mechanism… in office I need to destress myself quite often.. so I EAT WATER.

DO ZIGGY…

Whenever I go to restroom, I do a little ziggy…. And do facial exercises…. I try to say (without making sound) OOOOOOO, AAAAAA, EEEEEEEE, UUUUUU…. And it suddenly makes me happy.. just try this now.. look into the mirror and feel the change in your mood…. It’s an instant mood booster J. 

WALK AND TALK… 

Instead of using intercom for communicating with Colleagues, I walk to their cabin. This ensures that I do a bit of walk. Remember that every small step counts. When I receive a call and I know it’s going it be long, I stand up and walk within my cabin. So WALK and TALK is actually helping me. J

SITTING EXERCISES….

It’s very important to understand how long you sit and how you can utilize that sitting time. You will be surprised to know that you can also burn calories while sitting on office chair. You just need to learn some sitting exercises which will neither disrupt your office routine work nor interrupt others sitting around or near you. You can do leg rotations, leg lifts and stretching exercises while doing your routine stuff. 

BREATHING BREAKS

You read it right. We need breathing breaks. Till the time we reach adult hood, we forget how to breathe. So every two hours you need a breathing break to do few breathing exercises. It will not only destress you by calming down you but will also balance your Sympathetic and Para-sympathetic respiratory system and bring down blood pressure and anxiety levels. 

EAT HEALTHY

Last but not the least, healthy eating habits take time to develop but are essential for the very functioning of our brain and body. I started carrying healthy snacks with me like sprouts bhel, dry fruits, roasted seeds etc. whenever I feel like munching something I grab a handful and it acts like immediate stimulant. Whenever I feel hunger pangs I turn towards fresh fruits or salads. Earlier I used to binge on  tea/coffee/chips/samosa/etc etc. but now I have replaced these unhealthy options with nimbu-pani and homemade snacks. 

These little changes in my routine helped me a lot and I am sure it will bring change in your life as well. As they say “change is always good”, try these tips and live fully. Stay happy and healthy. Let me know if this article helped you.

Author : Meenakshi Gupta

JAL NETI, techniques, precautions and myths …

Dear Friends, Namaste!

Through this article I wish to make people aware about the benefits of JAL NETI, techniques, precautions and myths associated with this Kriya. If you perform this regularly, I can assure you that you will never take medicines for your ENT related issues and you will finally say good bye to your Sinusitis or related problems. There are three stages of Jal Neti. In this article I will explain first stage of Neti which can be performed by beginners. So read on…

Before explaining process of Neti, it is important to mention why we need to do it.

Most of the people do not pay much attention to the nose and ignore importance of right breathing. Surprisingly, we breathe 18 to 20 thousand times a day and our Nose is constantly working 24 hours to get the air in and out of the nose. It is important to note that Nose does much more than simply letting the air in and out. It filters, moisturizes, directs the airflow, warms the air, registers the senses of smell, brings in oxygen, creates mucus, provides a route of drainage for the sinuses and affects the nervous system. It has a number of other functions, too, but these are the best understood.

Mucus which is considered as nuisance, actually performs vital functions such as picking up dust and debris and carrying it out of the nose. But we cannot allow to build up much of Mucus or dry it out completely or accumulate in our systems as it carries bacteria, viruses, fungi and other floating materials in the air that can invade the delicate tissues of the Nose and cause infection. In order to keep the Nasal cavities clean, a cleaning mechanism need to be adopted on a regular basis. Jal Neti is an effective way to clean nasal cavities and to drain out bacteria filled mucus from the nose.

There is no doubt that regular cleaning of Nasal cavity is utmost important in order to keep yourself away from sinuses related problem such a sinusitis and other ailments associated with ENT region.

What is Jal Neti (Nasal wash):

Jala Neti is an ancient Indian yoga technique and part of Shatkarma purification Kiryas. Jal Neti is technique wherein you can wash your nasal cavities with lukewarm saline water using NETI POT. Neti is ideally should be performed empty stomach in the morning followed by Paranayama (Breathing Exercises). It can also be performed at the end of the day in case you work in a polluted environment and feel need for it. Neti can also be performed during the day but should always be performed before meal/empty stomach as some breathing exercises involving fast stomach moment (Kapalbhati) are required to perform post Jal Neti in order to drain out excess water completely from the Nose.

Benefits of Jal Neti:

  • Neti cleanses bacteria filled mucus and restores heath to the internal sinuses passages.
  • Neti is beneficial for asthma and bronchitis as it reduces the tendency for mouth breathing by freeing the nostrils of mucus.
    It has a cooling and soothing effect on the brain by drawing out excessive heat, and is therefore beneficial for headaches, migraine, epilepsy, temper tantrums, hysteria, depression and general mental tension.
  • It also helps to drain the sinus cavities. This in turn, will help to re-programme the body’s natural mechanisms against nasal infections such as allergies, sinusitis and other upper respiratory complaints like sore throats and coughs, post nasal drip, inflammation of tonsils and adenoids.
  • Neti is of great benefit for problems associated with the eyes. It helps flush the tear ducts, encouraging clearer vision and gives a sparkle to the eyes.
  • It can be beneficial for certain types of ear disorders.
  • It Improves sensitivity of the olfactory nerves, helping to restore lost sense of smell, and thereby benefits the relationship with taste and the digestive processes.
  • It has subtle effects on the pineal and pituitary glands which control the hormonal system. This has a harmonizing effect on emotional behavior.
  • Neti affects the psychic center known as Ajna Chakra which helps in awakening higher states of meditation.
  • In yoga, breathing freely though both nostrils also said to aid harmonizing the active and passive systems of the body, and so the Neti has be found to be a helpful practice before meditation.
Quit smoking by Neti

Neti is excellent for those trying to give up smoking. Since it reduces the tendency for mouth breathing, Neti re-sensitises the nose to the actual pollution of ingesting smoke, thereby de-programming the brain of the physical and psychological addiction.

Techniques of Jal Neti:

What you need:To perform Net, you need following:

  1. Neti Pot;
  2. 1/2 tsp Rock Salt; and
  3. 500 ml Lukewarm water.

Process of Jal Neti:

Take lukewarm saline water in a Neti pot and hold it in your right hand. Stand and bend forward in 60-degree angle or sit in squat position. Open your mouth. Bring the spout of the nose to the right nostril with the head tilted towards left, raise the pot slightly. Breath passively from the mouth and do not breath from your nose.

As the water flows through the right nostril, make slight adjustment with your Neti pot, if necessary, to allow the water to flow out of the other nostril.

Once the pot empties, blow the excess water through both nostrils to clear the nose of excess water and mucus.

Now repeat the same process with left nostril.

Things to remember:

  1. Take 500 ml lukewarm water similar to your body temperature.
  2. Take 1 tsp Rock Salt for 500 ml water. Iodized salt is unnatural and harmful.
  3. The water should be same salty as your tears. During the initial practices you may feel some irritation if the salt component is not proper but gradually it will not impact you much.
  4. Do not close one nostril when blowing water out as this could force the water back into the ear.
  5. Do not breath from the nose while doing Neti.
  6. After Jal Neti, Stand up and lean forward in 45-degree angle, keep both the palm on your knees, perform KAPALBHATI at least 20 times to blow excess water. Turning the head to either side while doing so could aid this process as well. While performing this you can breathe from the mouth.
  7. Now you can perform SHISHUASANA (child pose) for a minute to drain out remaining water.

Jal Neti should be followed by below Pranayama(s):

  1. Start your session with OAM chanting 3 times.
  2. Kapalbhati: (3 rounds of 30 to 90 strokes, fast as much as you can do, ideally 2 stokes in every second. Take 10 long ujjai breath after each round to relax your nervous system);
  3. Anulom Viloma/alternate Nostril Breathing: (3 to 5 minutes – further increase gradually upto 10-15 min);
  4. Bhastrika : (Three round of 20 strokes followed with 5 ujjai breath after each round);
  5. Bhramri (6 times – further increase gradually upto 11-12 times).
  6. Shavasana (corpus pose for 5 to 10 minutes);

End your session with OAM chanting 3 times & Shanti Mantra. Sit for couple of minutes and just observe your breath and feel vibrations in your body.

Precautions:

  • Neti should not be performed in case of severe cold, blocked or bleeding Nose.
  • Neti should be performed early in the morning with empty stomach.
  • In case of medical condition, seek your doctor’s advice before initiating Neti.
  • First time it should be performed under expert guidance.

Personal experience and benefits so far:

I am a certified yoga counselor and practicing yoga since last one decade. I have seen many people whose sufferings vanished through regular performance of Jal Neti and pranayama. It looks like a difficult process but actually it is not. People have fear of putting water into their nostril, but believe me it is absolutely easy and there are no side effects. The process is tested and endorsed by millions of rishis in ancient times and still hold good for people of modern times. Believe in Yogic way of living and stay away from diseases.

Author : Arun Gupta