I have been a yoga practitioner for years. It has been very instrumental in overall wellbeing in my life. Kapalabhati in Sanskrit means ‘skull cleaning or shining’. It is a breathing technique practised as Pranayama in yoga. Though the word sounds awkward, it is a breathing exercise of successive, rapid, forceful exhalations followed by brief passive inhalation.
The procedure is quite simple:
Sit comfortably in Padmasana or simply legs crossed.
Rest your hands on your knees.
Follow your normal breathing for some time.
In a quick moment, contract your abdominal muscles, and forcefully exhale air from both of your lungs.
Then allow air to fill your lungs slowly without effort.
Perform this cycle for 10 times at a stretch, then return to normal breathing. With daily practice, the cycle can easily go up to 120 times with each round.
Since this is an ancient old practise, in spite of having tremendous benefits, it has some contraindications.
Not to be practiced by women who are either pregnant or during menstrual cycle.
As there is too much of abdominal movements, not to be practiced by someone having abdominal hernia.
Not to be practiced by a person with slip disc, back pain or neck injury.
If you suffer from acute respiratory infections, it is better to rest, and let the infections go before doing any Pranayamas.
This practice has ample benefits. 7 important ones are. 1.It is a very useful tool to release congestion and volatile toxins from the body. It also cleans the nasal passage and respiratory system. It is powerful detoxifying method.
2.Since there is a contraction, relaxation of abdominal muscles, it stimulates and improves digestion. 3. It increases heart rate and blood circulation. 4. It is known to reduce stress, anxiety and tensions.
5.The endocrine system and glands are stimulated and regulated. 6.Since you focus entirely on your breathe, your mind gets rid of unnecessary thoughts, hence helps in concentrating. Therefore, a useful tool during the examination. 7. This breathing technique helps to treat diseases related to the nervous system, endocrine system and mental health.
In each one of us, life runs with a common drive, call emotion. Whatever action we do, there is an emotion behind. Not only human, but all animals have emotions. So, fear is also a basic emotion, an instinct for a potential danger.
Whenever we see, feel, sense some kind of danger/threat, biologically, the amygdala and hypothalamus in the brain get instantly activated. The stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline are pumped in the blood stream which result in rapid heart beat, high blood pressure, dilated pupil, tightening of big muscles and sweating, ready to run, fight or response. Actually, this is our biological mechanism, a protective response which helps us to survive. Fear, as an instinct is not bad at all. In fact when fear comes, our mind becomes focus, sharpened at the particular task and we can perform better. It is an adaptive mechanism.The instinct is short lived and the body comes back to its normal homeostasis.
Feeling little fear for an upcoming event, job interview, exam, speech, stage performance is a natural instinct. In fact, it would help you to be more focus on the up coming task. Instinctual fear for fire, height, speed or some kind of potential danger to life is all natural. So fear is adaptive and protective when short lived.
But then, why fear affect us ? When fear becomes habitual, crippling, excessive, it will eventually affect our mental and physical health. When fear is imaginative, irrational, unrealistic, it gets you into real trouble. It will affect your daily life. Then, it is no longer instinctive. It becomes habitual in the sub conscious mind for some imaginative events or ideas which is not even real or that has never happened. In such cases, it is very difficult to get out of such mind frame. Constant fear can lead to anxiety. Anxiety and stress not only have negative impact on your health but also the daily functioning of life. To get out from a habitual fear, a default sub conscious programme, you need to be constantly aware of such moments. The most important thing is your will power, the trust and belief in yourself to bring out the change. This is not an easy task. But, yes, it is possible and you can overcome fear eventually. At times, professional help might be necessary, if the situation is out of control. When it comes to fear, childhood is an important phase. Unrealistic, irrational fears inculcated in childhood may result in anxiety, phobias and even panic attacks in future life.
Simple tips to overcome your fear in everyday life.
Start facing your fear. The first or second time, you may tumble, but slowly you will overcome.
As I have already mentioned, by being more aware of such moments, know yourself why you get anxious or fearful and being prepared for such moments. So next time, when it comes you know, it is just your imaginative mind. Take a few deep breathes, and it goes away after a while.
Try maintain a calm mind, exercise, yoga and meditation surely helps in calming the mind.
Your spirituality or faith in something that is higher than you makes you feel connected and safe.
But lastly, yes, if fear is out of control, medical/professional help is necessary.
Your body has the unique power and capabilities of self healing. No matter what you are going through, your body has the power, knowledge and wisdom to heal on its own. Its time to start exercising this ability…
The hidden truth about our own body is it has an innate capacity to heal on its own in all possible ways. Our body is not a single entity, in fact it is a community of 50 trillion cells which are in harmony and work through a single guiding voice, our mind. The mind and body has a natural homeostasis to keep us in a healthy state of being. The body does not go where our mind doesn’t take it. But then, why do we fall sick ? It is because due to our daily routine stress and a host of emotional and physical strain, this homeostasis is disrupted. Hence, comes the disease state ranging from common to severe illnesses. Therefore, our normal state of being is completely disturbed. So, when this happens, awareness of this state is our first intention.
Firstly , be aware of the internal or external factors that must have led to this imbalance. By simply being aware, we can slowly curb those factors from our life by conscious efforts. Slowly, we should try to restore back the natural balance in our mind and body, our natural state of being. Trying to focus on healthy choices in our routine life with a positive frame of mind. Once, this is done, our body starts healing on its own. Its spontaneously goes into a state of recovery. Thought ,this is not an easy task. Our belief to heal ourselves is the only driving force.
This is very unusual for an experienced medical professional like me to emphasise on self – healing. But, in reality , this is a genuine fact. Healing of any sort of illness happens when we believe that we can heal. Doctors and drugs can only facilitate the process. But the biggest problem here is that we don’t trust our mind and body. We don’t trust our abilities.It has been in our subconscious mind that have been installed from our very childhood, if we fall sick, we need to visit a doctor, pop up a pill or need an external agent to heal. This has been hard wired in our brain. So, every time, we feel unwell, we need some external agent to feel better. Above all, our mind is constantly nagged by a negative force, limiting beliefs, tons of garbage of wrong perceptions which we may not be even aware of. All these reasons clubbed together make us impossible to heal.
Healing becomes very difficult, not just physically but even mentally.In fact, even without any physical ailment, we tend to feel sick because of our mental state. So, the simple tip to lead a healthy physical life is to have a healthy mind. If we have a strong, healthy mind, any kind of physical imbalance can be corrected eventually. In our daily routine life of physical exercise, activity, at least some quantity of time is required to slow down , to meditate and relax our mind. If not possible in the daytime, at least before going to bed or early morning before starting the day.At the end of the day, we know, life is beautiful and short. And we have tons of reasons to be grateful for.
Welcome to The 3 H : Health, Happiness, Healing, a unique blog here for you to explore.
The 3 H : Health, Happiness, Healing has added such value to my life, and I love having the opportunity to share my passions and thoughts with my loyal readers.
The foundation of a beautiful life is good health. It is also the basis of happiness. No wealth in this entire world can give you happiness or a sound health. It’s only a calm mind, inner peace and a disciplined life that make all the difference. Searching and learning life is all where the miracle process of life begins.
Practising yoga is my daily routine regime for health and wellness. But do I have made the right choice of yoga mat where I enjoy doing my routine practise ? Or is it worse like sliding and slipping very often while holding a posture ?
Before, jumping onto the topic of yoga mat availability and preferences, I would like to share some insight facts about Yoga.
It’s an ancient Indian practice of mind, body and spirit connection. Traditionally, it was practised by the yogis to keep them in discipline with their mind, body and spirit. The ultimate goal of all traditional forms of Yoga was to attain samadhi (enlightenment). All the traditional forms of Yoga like Hatha Yoga, Bhakti yoga, Jnana yoga and Karma Yoga has the same common goal to help reach the samadhi state. Though it is not associated with any religion, it is more of a spiritual practice than a fitness method. Therefore, while practising Yoga, the spiritual essence is very important. Today, because of its popularity in the entire world, the deviation from the actual traditional Yoga has been a concern. It has become more of a fitness tool to build up muscles, stretching, flexing muscles and aerobic exercises. The popularity has been boosted due to its immense benefit on many medical ailments like mental illness, schizophrenia, anxiety, stress and bodily pain. In fact, studies have found that practising yoga and meditation regularly can be beneficial and facilitate healing of all type of physical and mental illnesses.
I, myself have been a yoga practitioner for the last 5 years. It has not only helped me become more self – discipline and focused but also benefited me both physically and mentally. That is how , I have started to know about Yoga Mat.
As a routine practitioner of Yoga, I know how it is important and essential to have the right kind of yoga mat. Whenever, I use to step into a store, to buy my yoga mat, seeing the different types of sizes and colour, I always ended up in a confusion. Sometimes, picking up the wrong mat, make me realise it to be too thick, slippery, sticky and easily damaged. This has happened to me a number of times. In the course of my experience, I have started to learn the right kind of choice of Yoga mat which does work for me and also last longer without damage.
Yoga which has gained immense popularity in the fitness industry, likewise the yoga mat companies have become billion dollar industries. When we step inside a store, there are a lot of different types of yoga mats with different materials, sizes and colour. Keeping up the popularity, comfort and trends, different materials of Yoga mat has been in the market, starting from rubber, plastic, cotton, jute and also PVC, latex. Depending upon our essentially, comfort and durability, the choice should be made. Since it’s for our daily routine use, toxic material like PVC, latex should be avoided. As for new beginners of Yoga, the mat should be of sticky material like natural rubber.
Though not a beginner anymore, my personal preference has been always a natural rubber mat. Such a mat would help better grip and prevent from slipping while holding asanas (Yoga poses). Eco-friendly material like cotton and jute mats have become very popular for health reasons and in a warm climate. They are comfortable and help in absorbing sweat. But the wear and tear are more due to the material. Plastic elastomer is the new material that has been widely used in Yoga mats. These mats are quite cheap and health friendly too. One more important aspect of the Yoga mat is the thickness. Regarding the thickness of the mat, it may vary from a range of 1/16 to 1/4th of thickness. Again, this is a personal choice depending on what type of floor, we do routine practice and the kind of cushioning required. Usually, the i/8th thickness is most preferred for its durability and performance. Nowadays, yoga mats are available with a travel bag, that helps us to carry along wherever we travel. But, yes, many buy it to look cool and trendy. So, next time, when shopping for a Yoga mat, you do have some tips to grab the right choice for you.
Ideally, yoga should be performed in close proximity to nature. To breathe freely during Pranayamas (breathing poses) and to breathe fresh air. So, the best places are in the quiet back yard, garden or balcony. But this is not possible in city life. So, any preferred place indoor or outdoor is fine, but it should be a quiet place away from distraction.
Doing Yoga is not just a fitness regime, but also our dedication, respect and spirituality towards the incredible ancient practice.