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Managing your Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

The third topic in our yoga therapy series is Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS). It's widely talked about and has even appeared on Television series! So, what exactly is PMS? Craving chocolates? Acting weird? Shouting? Complaining? Weeping? Well, it can be all of the above! Formally though, it is a set of symptoms that are related to the menstrual cycle. It may start 7-10 days prior to a woman's period. Generally, these symptoms last only till bleeding starts. They don't show up in pregnant women and those going through menopause. The symptoms vary from woman to woman. To some, they are mild and...

Ignorance is the root cause of unhappiness

|| Drig darshana shaktyoh ekatmata iva asmita ||6|| English meaning of the sutra: I-feeling is identification of the seer with the instrument of the seer. English meaning of Sanskrit terms: drig = power of consciousness, power to see; darshana-shaktyoh = that which is seen; darshana = seeing; shakti = power; ekatmata = identity; iva = as if; asmita = I-feeling Self of man is pure and immortal. Self needs instruments to see the world. Mind-Manas, Mind-stuff- Chitta, Determinative faculty- Buddhi and sense organs- Indriyas, are its instruments. When these instruments are equaled to self of man, identified to being the self, it is called ignorance of egoism- asmita....

2nd International Day of Yoga

The United Nations has declared June 21 as 'International Day of Yoga'  Following a proposal by Prime Minister Sri. Narendra Modi, to the world community at the UNGA speech, on 26th Sept 2014, that India's Yoga should be celebrated as World Yoga Day, UN General Assembly adopted a resolution, with a record number of 175 country co-sponsors, for observance of International Day of Yoga June 21 each year. The 69th Session of the United Nations General Assembly adopted by acclamation draft Resolution A/69/L.17 with a record number of 175 countries co-sponsoring it. This resolution has been brought about in an unprecedented manner. It...

Yoga Visa: India now lists yoga courses under permissible activities for e-Tourist Visa

As the International Day of Yoga nears, the Indian Government has made an announcement that will make every yogi crack a smile. Foreigners can now apply for e-Visa not only for sight seeing, recreational and visiting purposes, but also for short-term yoga courses and for taking short-term medical treatment under Indian systems like Ayurveda. “Realizing the spread and importance of yoga in the world today, the government has decided to include ‘attending a short-term yoga program’ in the list of permissible activities under e-Tourist Visa,” a Ministry of Home Affairs statement said. This move makes coming to India to learn yoga hassle free....

Yoga Therapy: for Menorrhagia – end the agony!

Menorrhagia is the term given for abnormally heavy or prolonged flow of blood during menstruation. It is a condition found approximately in 53 of 1000 women. The underlying cause may be varied. If the menses are painful, one of the following may apply:  Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): an infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes and ovaries that is generally caused by bacteria  Endometriosis: a condition wherein the endometrium (the tissue that develops every month in the anticipation of the fertilization of the egg) grows outside the uterus rather than inside  Pregnancy related complications like miscarriages If the menses are painless,...

The root cause of all sufferings

||Tapah svadhyaya ishvara-pranidhana kriya-yogah||1|| English meaning of the sutra: Discipline for Sadhana English meaning of Sanskrit terms: tapah = austerity; svadhyaya = self-study of scriptures; ishvara = God; pranidhana = surrender to god; kriya-yogah = practical yoga On following Kriya Yoga by study, with complete innermost awareness, one involves in acts of self-purification, self-observation and evolving self awareness. All these three acts are Kriya Yoga. And Kriya yoga is one of the methods of Raja Yoga. ||Samadhi bhavana arthah klesha tanu karanarthah cha||2|| English meaning of the sutra: Why Kriya-Yoga? English meaning of Sanskrit terms: samadhi = Samadhi; bhavanarthah = for developing the state of; klesha = cause...

Getting around in Mysore: Scooter and Bicycle Renting for Travellers

If you’re planning to come to Mysore and learn yoga, you will have definitely considered the question “How do I get around in Mysore?” And if you’re a woman, maybe you’re even worried. Commuting to your Shala in the wee hours everyday can be especially scary. You may now and then hire an auto rikshaw; but you’ll soon realize that it won’t work. You’ll need independence and something more economical. Bicycle and scooter renting is the most popular choice of the yoga community here. They are simple, inexpensive and you’ll not need to depend on anyone. So how do you...

Ugadi: A New Year of Reflections

Ugadi is the festival celebrated by all Hindus to mark the beginning of the New Year according to the Hindu calendar, Panchanga (this year, it is on 8th of April according to the Gregorian calendar). The word “Panchanga” is two-part. “Pancha” means five and “anga” means attribute. That is, Panchanga refers to the 5 attributes of the day. The attributes are as following:  -Tithi: represents the phase of the moon that day; 15 in all -Vasara: name of the day just like Monday, Tuesday, etc.; 7 in all -Nakshatra: the star within which the moon is present that day; 27...

Banana Stem Salad – Why you should include it in your diet

The banana plant is one of those beings on this planet that be can regarded as man’s best friend (along with coconut trees and dogs, for instance). Literally no part of the plant goes unused. The flowers are used in making juices (helpful in case of painful menstruation) and sometimes used in concoctions made for Asthma patients.  The leaves are used in Ayurveda for wrapping wounds; they are also used to treat stomach disorders. One of the prominent utilities of the banana leaf is that people in South India use it as a plate and the food is served on...

Yoga Therapy: Menstrual Disorders – Menstrual Cramps

Menstrual disorders are unfortunately quite common among women in the modern age. The reasons can be varied. Stress, pollution of air, soil and water, food adulteration and poor lifestyle being the major culprits, it seems like menstrual disorders are almost inescapable these days. It sounds quite tragic, yeah? We take up this matter in our second yoga therapy series. We realize the importance of preserving the good health of women. As Swami Vivekananda once said “Can you better the condition of your women?  Then there will be hope for your well-being. Otherwise you will remain as backwards as you are...

Kukkarahalli Lake: a peek into the morning life in Mysore

Not very far from the pretty suburbs of Gokulam, is the beautiful lake of Kukkarahalli. The location of this lake is quite interesting. You wouldn't expect, and naturally so, a lung-space with a walkway of 4.5 km around a serene lake right in the city limits of a place like Mysore. It is just 3km away from the Railway Station. If you’re having a day off from your yoga routine, you must visit Kukkarahalli lake. It will complement your yoga practice and replenish you with fresh oxygen and verve. Kukkarahalli lake is the joggers’ paradise of Mysore. People don’t seem...

Towards Samādhi without seed

||kshinna-vritti abhijatasya iva maneh grahitri grahana grahyeshu tat-stha tat-anjanata samapattih||41|| English meaning of the sutra: Complete absorption of the mind that is free from vrittis turns to be just like a polished crystal taking the colour of that on which it rests.   English meaning of Sanskrit terms: kshinna-vritti = with modifications of mind weakened; abhijatasya = well polished,purified; iva = just like; maneh = of the crystal; grahitri = cognizer; grahana = senses; grahyeshu = in the knowledge of cognition; tat-stha = on which it stays or rests; tat-anjanata = taking on the coloring of that; samapattih = complete...

Removing obstacles and making mind steady

||Tat pratisedha artham eka tattva abhyasah||32||   English Meaning:   For removal of obstacles and accompanying symptoms the practice of concentration on one principle is to be made.   English meaning of Sanskrit Words:   tat = those, pratisedha = for removal; artham = for, eka = one; tattva = principle, abhyasah = practice.     This sutra reiterates on applying the mind to one tattwa (that which helps one most, has to be chosen by individual practitioner) helps remove the obstacles and accompanying symptoms. The sutra orders that the tattwa should not be constantly changed. If one practices mantra,...

6 misconceptions about travelling to Mysore

Recently, I happen to meet a nice French lady in my office. Talking to her was rather enlightening. “I suppose you're closed on Fridays?” she asked in the middle of our conversation. “Huh? No. Why would we be closed on Fridays?” I was confused. “Oh, it's prayer time for Muslims, right? And with so many Muslims in India, I assumed all Fridays are holidays.” A pause. To me, it sounded like the innocent questions children usually ask and amuse us. “No, that's not how it is..you see, we are a secular country with a lot of religions being practiced.....” Later...

Obstacles for the progress in the practice of yoga

||Tatah pratyak chetana adhigamah api antaraya abhavash cha||29|| Meaning: From that (constant repetition and contemplation of Om) consciousness turns inwards and the obstacles are removed.   The English meaning of the Sanskrit terms:  tatah = from that; pratyak = turned in; chetana = consciousness; adhigamah = attainment; api = also; antaraya = of obstacles; abhavash = absence; cha = and   Patanjali teaches Ishwara Pranidhana from Sutra 23 to Sutra 29. He teaches the complete Sadhana for an average person who has unsteady and vacillating mind, has attachments to the lower things of life.   Through these sutras Patanjali reiterates...

Yoga therapy: Migraine

Every week we publish yoga therapy series on our Facebook page Indea Yoga Training+. The first ever series that featured was Migraine therapy series. After having completed it last week, we're posting the entire series here in our blog. Hope this helps someone somewhere!  Note: All the asanas and techniques below must be practiced under able guidance. Every person is different and hence every person's migraine case is different. Consulting a specialist personally is strongly recommended. Migraine What is Migraine? Migraine is more than just a bad headache. It’s a neurological disease. It’s a disorder that most researchers believe involves...

Different paths to attain Samādhi

 ||Ishvara pranidhana va||23||  English meaning: Or by devotion to Ishvara (Lord) asamprajnata Samadhi can be achieved. Sanskrit word meaning: ishvara = lord; pranidhana = devotion; va = or The previous sutras explained that asamprajnata Samadhi can be attained by making effort of stopping the content of mind, by birth, through faith, energy, memory, concentration or discrimination of real. When it is achieved depends on the speed adopted and the extremely energetic are said to achieve it the fastest. But, what of those who do not have the necessary faculties to put in the required effort? Patanjali gives hope to them too. He says practitioners...

Flybus – a convenient option for yogis coming to Mysore from Bangalore airport

Everyone knows travelling between Bangalore and Mysore on road can be hectic. In any case, leaving behind the mad traffic of Bangalore, you’ll find yourself wanting to be catapulted into the comparatively sparse Mysore-Bangalore highway. In a bid to make life easier for travellers, KSRTC (Karnataka State Road Transport Corporation) offers bus facilities starting right from Bangalore airport to Mysore (lucky you!) Once seated inside a Flybus (yes, that’s what it’s called), you may retire for a sound nap, sweet music or even some entertainment on TV exclusively provided to you! You can be sure that the outside commotion won’t...

Swami Vivekananda: A peek into his life

You may be a child; a senior citizen, an adolescent or middle aged person. But you’re as old as you want to be. You’re as old as you think you are.  Assuming and hoping you think you’re young, I wish you a very happy National Youth Day! National youth day, as you may know, is celebrated to commemorate the birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda. He is one of the main representatives of the new age Hinduism that we see today (the term neo-Hinduism may be used). He was keen about the welfare of young people because he believed that they...

Bhakri – Sorghum Chappatis

For all of us who have gone gluten free in our search for a healthy lifestyle, not eating Chapattis is probably the saddest part of our lives. Oh, the all so flexible and yummy Chapattis! Anything goes with it, right? Sabzis, sambaar, chutney, curd, pickle and what not? It’s every cook’s saviour and every foodie’s delight.              Much before Chapattis became a rage in South India, Bhakri or jolada rotti or sorghum bread was a staple food in the northern parts of Karnataka. Bhakri, being made of sorghum, has a high nutritional value. It’s known to have high levels of...

Mysore heritage : Devaraja Market

Thinking of our beloved Devaraja market, the first thing that hits me is the whiff of the age-old place. Of course, I know I’m an olfactoric person. But come on, the market smells great! I mean have you ever been there? If you have, then you know what I’m talking about.          It’s a crowded place with a buzz that’s perpetual - a nice kind of buzz though. Not the buzz you get to hear at big city roads - honks, screeches, thuds and thumps – basically where you can’t hear yourself think.        ...

Samādhi : types

||Vitarka vichara ananda asmita rupa anugamat samprajnatah||17|| English Meaning: Samprajata yoga constitutes associations respectively with reasoning, reflection, bliss and sense of individuality.   English meaning of Sanskrit Terms: vitarka = reasoning; vichara = reflection; ananda = bliss; asmita = sense of individuality; rupa = appearances, nature, form; anugamat = by association; samprajnatah = samadhi  with prajna This sutra speaks of Samadhi, the Samprajnata Samadhi. State where mental bodies do not function. There is no trace of physical or pranic awareness. Only a level of pure awareness or atmic level, functions.   In Samprajnata Samadhi come all the powers of controlling...

Calming the mind

||Abhyasa vairagyabhyam tat nirodhah||12|| English meaning: Their control is by practice and non-attachment.      English meaning of Sanskrit words: abhyasa = repeated practice; vairagyabhyam = by vairagya; Tat = that; nirodhah = stopping, blocking.   When we physically hurt ourselves, the wound gives pain yet even after it heals it still leaves a mark on our skin. Similar is the action of each of our thought. We experience that every thought in the mind, vibrates, calms down yet leaves a mark, an impression. Lots of impressions left on mind turn into a habit. Habit is not only the second nature of man...

Modifying the mind in 5 ways

||Vrittayah pancatayah klishta aklishta||5|| The meaning of the Sanskrit words beingvrittayah = modifications of mind;pancatayah = five fold;klishta = little hard, difficult, painful;aklishta = not painful The English meaning of the sloka is-A Modification of mind is fivefold and they are either painful or not painful. Modification of mind is called a vritti. When one sees through the eyes, though it appears the vision is the act of the eyes, it actually is a result of a manifestation of ones own mind. Modification of mind is behind the sight seen by the eyes. The perception, which is usually through the eyes, actually produces...

Definition and purpose of yoga

||Atha‬ Yoganusasanam||1|| Meaning of Sanskrit words in the phrase:Atha: now therefore; yoga (regarding) yoga; anusasanam: complete instructions Meaning in English: Now, therefore, complete instructions regarding yoga. Atha means now, anusasanam means putting into practice or to start the practice. In this sutra Patanjali explains that yoga is practice and not just a discourse. It is the practical side of just every thing. Yoga is not to be treated as philosophy for study but to be seen as a practice. Taking a small step without focusing on the result could bring about a big forward movement. ||Yogashchitta vritti nirodhah||2|| Meaning of the sanskrit words:Yogah:...

Gluten free Upma made of little millet

Do you know how good millets are for you? Their uses are almost alien to most of us as they have been sidelined after the green revolution. They are highly nutritious and once upon a time constituted the major diet of Indians. Millets are rich in B vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, zinc and are also gluten-free and has low-GI (Glycemic index). Here are some nutritional facts regarding little millet: (Figures given are per 100g of little millet) • Protein: 7.7g• Fats: 4.7g• Minerals: 1.5g• Fiber: 7.6g• Carbohydrates: 67g• Calcium: 17g• Phosphorous: 220g• Thiamin: 300g A diet that includes millets...

Travelling made easier : You now get visa on arrival in India!

To all yoga enthusiasts, December is more a month of yoga than Christmas. Loads of you travel to India in pursuit of higher levels of knowledge and yoga practice. This year, however, is a little different for you yogis. The Indian government has a gift for you! Wanna know more? Read on! India’s attitude towards international guests is not new to most yoga travellers. “Atithi devo bhava” is a phrase that appears in the timeless Vedas and it means “guest is equivalent to God”. In an effort to be as true to the ancient teachings as possible, the Indian government...

Yoga guru B K S Iyengar

“He made me the yoga teacher I am today” repeated the Yogacharya for the third time now, referring to the great B K S Iyengar. Ever since he was reminded of Guruji’s birthday that’s coming up this month, he seems to be lost in thought. His replies to my queries come delayed with a far-away look in his eyes.  “Those eight months I spent with Guruji seems more and more important with each passing year. I remember every instruction and advice he gave me during those months. The tone he used, his facial expression and his body language – they’re...

Diet recipe for Kichadi – the perfect yogic food

Approximately 1 hour after completing shankhaprakshalana and soon after completing vamana dhauti, the specially prepared food, kichadi (rice and lentils), must be taken. The 3 components of the kichadi are helpful in the restoration of correct digestive function. The clarified butter (cow’s ghee) is necessary to coat the intestinal walls until the body produces new lining. Rice provides simple easily digestible material in the form of carbohydrates and creates mucus, which also protects the inner lining of the alimentary canal. The lentils supplement the diet by giving the body an easily digestible source of protein. It’s an all round nutritional meal...

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