Energizing Yoga


#21

In answer to your OP i woould be looking at pranayama, if you’re looking for energizing yoga.That is probably what you’re after,what you might benefit from.

Is it possible to get to grips with pranayama in a weekend~? Obviously, no.

One develops sensitivity to the breath and more importantly the distribution of prana within the body.And observations are made based on obviously cause and effect.And it usually demands yes decent relaxation and concentration.I sometimes begin in savasana,and more freq. jala neti recently etc.The real business end of yoga is pranayam &/or other meditation techniques.

There’s a gd book ‘Prana Vidya’ by Swami Satyananda Saraswati. I ordered it twice but did’nt receive it which makes me think it might be out of print. But some of the techniques are powerful especially if practiced regularly and/or intensively for a while.


#22

Pranayama cultures the nervous system;and by that i mean the gross and subtle.

And the nervous system is the key to your over-all complete health,physical and “spiritual”, the bridge between ‘outer’ and ‘inner’. It is one of the major known gateways.If you can control and regulate the breath alot in yoga will fall more easily into place.

And it helps if you know the full panoply of techniques and are familar with how you might appply them in practice depending on what may be appropriate,the purpose and so on. If you’re feeling a little agitated or restless before a practice then a rapid or agitating pranayama probably may not be entirely appropriate.So what i do is i choose something appropriate , usually simple then may work myself up to more advanced or complicated or challenging pranayamas depending on how i feel.Of course you use a little comon-sense there.Some very powerful pranayamas are often relatively simple but demand your complete concentration or focus. This is where the letting-go aspect come in, of course…


#23

I think all the posts above are good and have their merits. Probably there are many techniqies for reenergization. Meditation is extremely useful for relaxation and reenergization. Here you have an example of guided meditation:

http://www.yogananda-srf.org/tmp/meditation.aspx?id=118&ekmensel=568fab5c_10_190_btnlink

In the kriya yoga of Paramahansa Yogananda the energization exercises are widely used:

http://www.crystalclarity.com/howtomeditate/resources/energization.html

They are disarmingly simple, but if you try them you will find them effective.


#24

Namaskar,

When i feel tired i drink a good tea. It works wonders. Of course, don’t become addict to tea or caffeine.

On the other hand, try waking up without alarm clock. Sleep for as long as you need.


#25

Well, I have read that real yogins sleep very little. Yogananda slept only two hours a night.

The right meditation is so relaxing and rejuvenating that it can substitute for many hours of sleep.

But again, this is valid for advanced yogis, not for the usual yoga practitioneer in the West.


#26

[QUOTE=CityMonk;38908]I have low blood pressure and i can tell what I do to tone up: I guess you know all of this bit still:)

  • cold like shower in the morning
  • no caffeine
  • upper-down dog bout 5 times (physicians also recommend for morning tone up)
  • at leas one time a day 15-30 min meditation
  • kabalabhati
  • regular sleep hours (like from 10pm to 6am) every day.
  • no tv whatsoever
  • vigorously massaging ears
    and the good one: take the chin to the chest, place both hands on the back of the head, try to lift the head and resist with your hands. Tones wery well when tired at work…
    Hope it helps[/QUOTE]

Thank you for the suggestions, CM. I haven’t worked with kapalabhati, so I’ll give it a try, along with the ear massage(?) and chin to the chest.


#27

There seems to be some consensus that pranayama in general is helpful. I haven’t gotten into the more technical pranayama practices. I know three or four that I use frequently. As I understand, pranayama is intimately connected with the control of citta and that is the context that I usually use it in. In thinking about this, I remembered something from the first yoga book that I read, which was that lengthening the exhalation and focusing on the navel area had a calming or relaxing effect, and that lengthening the inhalation and directing the breath toward the upper body area has an energizing effect. I’ve practiced this fairly successfully ever since. I used to use the energizing breath before heavy bench pressing when I was lifting weights. It seemed to work.

More recently, some of the practices I’ve come across involve directing the breath to various areas of the body. There’s no real physiological basis for this, but it does seem to have an effect. It’s not so far fetched to think that we can direct energy to various parts of our body just by the power of our mind. We do it on a physical level all the time. It’s not clear to me yet if or how this works in connection with the body’s process of restoration.


#28

[QUOTE=panoramix;38983]
When i feel tired i drink a good tea. It works wonders. Of course, don’t become addict to tea or caffeine.[/QUOTE]

I’ve also done this on occasion. Seems to work better when used infrequently.

I think that one should not overlook the role of asanas in the process of restoration. No one has yet addressed the underlying physical reasons why we get fatigued and how our bodies restore themselves. I think it has something to do with a build up of some kind of chemical substance in the muscles, which the body has to remove. I think that asanas could help to facilitate this process. I’m hoping that someone can shed more light on this.

I haven’t looked at the links yet, but I will. Thanks for responding.


#29

[QUOTE=Asuri;39010]There seems to be some consensus that pranayama in general is helpful. I haven’t gotten into the more technical pranayama practices. I know three or four that I use frequently. As I understand, pranayama is intimately connected with the control of citta and that is the context that I usually use it in. In thinking about this, I remembered something from the first yoga book that I read, which was that lengthening the exhalation and focusing on the navel area had a calming or relaxing effect, and that lengthening the inhalation and directing the breath toward the upper body area has an energizing effect. I’ve practiced this fairly successfully ever since. I used to use the energizing breath before heavy bench pressing when I was lifting weights. It seemed to work.

More recently, some of the practices I’ve come across involve directing the breath to various areas of the body. There’s no real physiological basis for this, but it does seem to have an effect. It’s not so far fetched to think that we can direct energy to various parts of our body just by the power of our mind. We do it on a physical level all the time. It’s not clear to me yet if or how this works in connection with the body’s process of restoration.[/QUOTE]

There is no physiological basis for “directing breath to various areas of the body” but there is one on inhalation/exhalation. Inhalation activates sympathetic branch of nervous system which is responsible for acceleration of the heart beat and in general activation of the body (“fight-flight response”). And exhalation activates parasympathetic which is responsible for relaxation. But I don’t know if this trick can be used to increase energy level…

What exactly means “directing breath to part of the body”? Is it just focusing on specific part and visualizing pushing a breath there?


#30

[QUOTE=Asuri;39010] … directing the breath to various areas of the body. There’s no real physiological basis for this, but it does seem to have an effect. It’s not so far fetched to think that we can direct energy to various parts of our body just by the power of our mind. We do it on a physical level all the time. It’s not clear to me yet if or how this works in connection with the body’s process of restoration.[/QUOTE]

Breath is directed to various areas because until Yogi earns a direct handle on prana, breath becomes its carrier. There is no physiological basis because it does not happen on the physical plane. The inside of the body is the astral body. Prana itself is mind, so you actually move ‘mind’ to that part of astral body that corresponds with the physical. It is done not with the power of mind, but with the power of WILL, that is another form of energy.

Subtle unfolds into gross. The physical body being the gross manifestation of the subtle astral body, rejuvenation of astral results in restoration of body energy. The physical equipments like chemical-secreting glands, oxygen-carrying blood, functioning muscles etc are orchestrated by signals-carrying nerves, energy-controlling chakras, will-triggering thoughts - all astral body’s performers. It is true that until experienced, this doesn’t appear as real as the physical.


#31

[QUOTE=Pawel;39013]What exactly means “directing breath to part of the body”? Is it just focusing on specific part and visualizing pushing a breath there?[/QUOTE]

… inhaling air (oxygen) and stopping it in different places is also Prathyahara. The wise man would sit in Swasthikasana, draw his breath till it fills up from head to toe and hold it in two feet, mooladhara, stomach, middle of the heart, bottom of the neck, jaw, middle of the eyelids, forehead and at the top of the skull…(from Jabala Darsana Upanishad)

Now you know as much as I do. It has to be imagination. One imagines that he is holding the breath in various places.


#32

[QUOTE=panoramix;38983]
When i feel tired i drink a good tea. It works wonders. Of course, don’t become addict to tea or caffeine.
/QUOTE]
I remember doing this and it felt great, so I started doing it regularly, and just became a part of my routine and the effectiveness wore off. I think it shows another psychological reason for feeling tired, which is getting into a dull routine. If something takes us out of our dull routine, it makes us feel refreshed for a little while.


#33

[QUOTE=Asuri;39066]… inhaling air (oxygen) and stopping it in different places is also Prathyahara. The wise man would sit in Swasthikasana, draw his breath till it fills up from head to toe and hold it in two feet, mooladhara, stomach, middle of the heart, bottom of the neck, jaw, middle of the eyelids, forehead and at the top of the skull…(from Jabala Darsana Upanishad)

Now you know as much as I do. It has to be imagination. One imagines that he is holding the breath in various places.[/QUOTE]

Hmm… I’m not expert on scriptures, but I wonder now about translation and analysis of this text. Is air understood as physical air we breath? Is this supposed to be understood literally?

During meditation I often felt this connection between sensations and focus of attention - e.g. local feeling of warmth after few seconds of focused concentration on given part of the body. So what is happening then? Maybe little experiment with thermometer to check is it exactly getting warmer or is it body sensation?


#34

Dealing with a general feeling of being tired that is physical in nature would be closer to the central theory. This article suggests that feeling tired is actually a defense that is triggered before cellular or organ failure occurs. In other words, it is our body telling us that we need to rest, or do some asanas or pranayama that will help us recover. Of course we need to distinguish between physical and mental fatigue, and a simple lack of energy.


#35

[QUOTE=Asuri;39117]Dealing with a general feeling of being tired that is physical in nature would be closer to the central theory. This article suggests that feeling tired is actually a defense that is triggered before cellular or organ failure occurs. In other words, it is our body telling us that we need to rest, or do some asanas or pranayama that will help us recover. Of course we need to distinguish between physical and mental fatigue, and a simple lack of energy.[/QUOTE]

So maybe little experiment? If for some time you would eat sports “recovery foods” without changing anything else and see what happens? If the cause would be lack of sufficient amount of metabolites in your muscles this should result in a significant change. Otherwise change should be minimal (unless there is a link between such “recovery diet” and cognitive functions - which may be the case now I think…)


#36

[QUOTE=Pawel;39115]Hmm… I’m not expert on scriptures, but I wonder now about translation and analysis of this text. Is air understood as physical air we breath? Is this supposed to be understood literally?

During meditation I often felt this connection between sensations and focus of attention - e.g. local feeling of warmth after few seconds of focused concentration on given part of the body. So what is happening then? Maybe little experiment with thermometer to check is it exactly getting warmer or is it body sensation?[/QUOTE]

This is a good point about the translation and analysis of the text. I don’t have access to the Sanskrit, so I can’t say what word is translated here as air, or inhaling. We do know that the practice of pranayama is about regulating the breath. I believe that air is used as a metaphor for various types of [I]vayu[/I], of which [I]prana[/I] is only one. It is understood that [I]vayu[/I] does not actually consist of air.

I agree that would be an interesting experiment.


#37

[QUOTE=Pawel;39120]So maybe little experiment? If for some time you would eat sports “recovery foods” without changing anything else and see what happens? If the cause would be lack of sufficient amount of metabolites in your muscles this should result in a significant change. Otherwise change should be minimal (unless there is a link between such “recovery diet” and cognitive functions - which may be the case now I think…)[/QUOTE]

It really would be impossible to isolate from all other factors, such as how much sleep the night before, what did you do during the day, what did you eat, etc. The best you could do would be a subjective impression of did it help or not. I’m not sure that an increase in energy available to the muscles would necessarily translate to a feeling of reduced fatigue. It’s probably worth a try though.

As an afterthought, I have recently been drinking some really good fruit juice smoothies when I can get them, and they do seem to help. This isn’t about just me, though.


#38

[QUOTE=oak333;38941]I think all the posts above are good and have their merits. Probably there are many techniqies for reenergization. Meditation is extremely useful for relaxation and reenergization. Here you have an example of guided meditation:

http://www.yogananda-srf.org/tmp/meditation.aspx?id=118&ekmensel=568fab5c_10_190_btnlink

In the kriya yoga of Paramahansa Yogananda the energization exercises are widely used:

http://www.crystalclarity.com/howtomeditate/resources/energization.html

They are disarmingly simple, but if you try them you will find them effective.[/QUOTE]

I finally got around to looking at these links. The one at crystalclarity.com is right on the mark. Yogananda’s method is based on:
[ul]
[li]The belief that the entire universe, including man is surrounded by and made of cosmic energy[/li][li]Tension blocks this energy[/li][li]We can through an act of will draw upon this energy by releasing the tension that blocks it.[/li][/ul]

As you said, the exercises are simple, but they are accompanied by an act of will, and by accepting the aforementioned premise. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.


#39

[QUOTE=Asuri;39128]I finally got around to looking at these links. The one at crystalclarity.com is right on the mark. Yogananda’s method is based on:
[ul]
[li]The belief that the entire universe, including man is surrounded by and made of cosmic energy
[/li][li]Tension blocks this energy
[/li][li]We can through an act of will draw upon this energy by releasing the tension that blocks it.
[/li][/ul]

As you said, the exercises are simple, but they are accompanied by an act of will, and by accepting the aforementioned premise. As they say, the proof of the pudding is in the eating.[/QUOTE]

You are right on the mark too. However, there are many more things about it
in the teachings of Yogananda.

" In this world there are more things that you can dream about."
Shakespeare-Hamlet


#40

She made an interesting point which resonated with me.

[SIZE=4][B]"[/B].[/SIZE]…As you do the movements try to be conscious of the flow of energy through the medulla (oblongata).

Then by using your will-power you’'ll learn to direct the energy to specific parts of the body

**[U]At first you’ll feel just the physical tension inside the muscles.

Then you’ll experience [B]the flow of energy which creates the tension in those muscles.[/B]

Finally you’ll become aware of how you can learn to direct the flow.[/U]**

Learning to direct the flow has a practical benefit, both mentally and spiritually…[B]"[/B]

[I]Paramahamsa Yogananda Energization Exercises Introduction,U-tube

[/I]Gaining personal insight and experience is where all of this,i.e yoga,is really at.

I did’nt do the movements here but what’s said supports my experience with pranayama etc.