By Yogi Ashwini

Weak joints, wrinkled skin, graying hair – these are the signs of body succumbing to ageing. It is true that the body is constantly moving towards destruction, but it is also true that there exist ways to arrest this process.

Ageing is synonymous to loss of sukra in the body. Sukra is the subtle element that provides luster to hair and skin, strength to joints and organs, longevity, and attraction normally seen in abundance in saints and evolved beings, which pulls one towards them unknowingly. This sukra gets dried up due to constant hyperactivity and excessive ama(toxin) produced in the body due to certain unhealthy practices. The four major reasons for the loss of sukra in the body are emotional congestion, excessive physical labor, anger and overindulgence in sexual activities.  A practitioner of Sanatan Kriya is able to check all four without having to make a conscious effort or suppressing any desires.

While curtailing these prevents ageing by inhibiting cell degeneration, there also exist certain yogic measures to reverse the process of ageing by revitalizing the cells.  Here are some secrets of the ancients for their perennial youth and glow.

1. SARVANGASANA

Lie on the back. Inhale and using the support of hands, gently raise both the legs to an upright position while keeping them joined, toes pointing upwards.

Thereafter, roll up the buttocks; the lower, middle and upper back such that the entire body up to the upper back is in one straight line, perpendicular to the ground.

The shoulders and head are on the ground, chin tucked into the chest and hands support the body. Retain this posture. Release while exhaling.

People suffering from cervical spondylitis, slip disc and high blood pressure must not perform this asana.

2. HALASANA

Lie on the back. Inhale and raise both the legs taking them over your head, to touch the toes on the floor. Palms maybe placed on the lower back to for support or can be taken backwards touching the toes. Hold this posture, exhaling return.

People suffering from stomach ailments, spinal injuries or ailments of the neck should refrain from practicing this asana.

To complement these yogasanas, an extremely effective Ayurvedic antidote to ageing skin is black grapes.  They maybe taken orally or crushed and applied on face.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more.

By Yogi Ashwini 

In the last two article s we talked about the Vata and Pitta doshas, Vata being the prime substance that constitutes a being, responsible for all bodily functions, while Pitta aiding digestion & metabolism.

The last dosha, is Kapha, also called the ‘Binding Dosha’, which is a promoter of strength in the form of ojas in the body. Kapha binds the body together.

Kapha Dosha

Kapha is by nature heavy, slimy, unctuous, sweet, firm, slow, stable, dense, cold, viscous and clear.

CHARACTERISTICS OF KAPHA PRAKRITI

Excellence of wealth, knowledge and energy

Pleasing appearance, glowing face, clarity of complexion

Firmness, compactness and strength in the body and joints

Heavy and soft hair

Lack of intensity in hunger, thirst, heat and respiration

Stability in physical, mental and financial planes

Happy outlook

Patient and peaceful

They have strong physical bodies, with strength like that of a bull and are fond of sweets. They are compared to Brahma, Shiva, devtas, horse, bull or swan.

Diseases

Kapha prakriti is said to be the best constitution as it is the least of causative factors for diseases in the body. The causes of disturbance of kapha are sleeping in the day time, laziness, lack of exercises, and excessive intake of foods which are sweet, sour, saline, oily, and heavy in nature. The diseases caused by kapha are treated with drugs having pungent, bitter, astringent, sharp and hot qualities.

Persons of kapha prakriti are advised not to sleep in the day time as it would result in an increase in the kapha dosha.

Food

 It is important to eat foods that keep kapha in balance. Vegetables and fruits like radish, onion, garlic, chillies, ginger, bell peppers, apples and pomegranate (in small quantities) is good. Ghee, old organic honeys are good for the system. Should avoid fried & oily food and sweets, wheat, rice, bananas, papaya, guava, root vegetables like potato, yam, pulses like chole, rajma and urad and nuts except walnut.

#Health Remedy: Persons of kapha prakriti have a tendency to put on excess fat. Adding a yr-old honey to your morning tea and lime juice aids in fat loss.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.

By Yogi Ashwini

If you recall the episode from Ramayana, you will find that Ravan appeared to be invincible despite repeated attacks by Rama, and was killed only when Rama pierced his navel with an arrow. The navel corresponds to the seat of power in the body.

Our digestive system, governed by the Manipoorak Chakra, is the storehouse of power for the body. One of the three doshas in Ayurveda, responsible for digestion or metabolism in the body, is the Pitta Dosha.

Pit Dosha

CHARACTERISTICS OF PITTA PRAKRITI

Active & sharp-minded, short-tempered and quarrelsome

Greys prematurely, with thinness of hair

Tender & Clear body with a radiant complexion, freckles, black moles

Has a strong power of digestion and proper metabolism, therefore a good appetite

Sweats a lot, high libido

Is seen to be fond of sweets, cold foods and cold things

Dreams of fire or light and more of red colours

Pitta primarily aids sight, digestion, appetite, thirst and proper metabolism, maintaining radiance and unctuousness in the body.

Diseases

By nature, pitta is sharp; the imbalances caused by pitta are, therefore, sharp and intense in nature.  It is said to cause 40 kinds of diseases in the body, but many more when it combines with the other two doshas. Burning sensation, heat, suppuration, perspiration, sloughing, itching and other skin ailments, discharge, redness, dryness, improper digestion are some of the symptoms of paittik type of diseases. People of the pitta type encounter stomach ulcers, hyperacidity, colitis, gastritis, etc.

Food

A person of pitta prakriti should avoid hot, pungent, spicy, sour food. Excessive intake of tea, coffee, and hot drinks are also to be avoided.

Individuals of Paittik constitution should eat light meals at small intervals, and resort to diets which are cool, sweet, bitter and astringent in nature as it alleviates Pitta.

One can take shatavari or licorice with milk, ghee and honey (honey double the quantity of ghee), juices, soaked almonds, soaked figs with the water they are soaked in, chyawanprash, again increasing gradually.

Excess of sour substances aggravates pitta and may cause acidity and ulcers. Citrus fruits, curd, buttermilk, dosa, idli, dhokla, breads are a rich source of sour taste.

The most essential nutrient in a healthy diet is butter/ghee. It is a tonic for brain, skin, and bones. It kindles digestive fire without disturbing the pitta.

#Health Remedy: Here I give you a remedy for Diarrhea or frequent bowel movement, caused due to disturbed pitta

. Mix banana, salt and black pepper in curd and eat in frequent intervals.

Write to me your experience.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.

By Yogi Ashwini

Navratras come twice a year and mark transition in seasons, winter-summer and summer-winter. According to ayurveda, during this time, one should consume nourishing foods and in minimal quantities to rid the body of the toxins collected during the rains. The nine nights and ten days of navratras hold within them the energy of ten forms of shakti– shailaputri, brahmcharini, chandrakanta, kushmanda, skandmata, katyayani, kaalratri, mahagauri, siddhidatri and aparajitha thus each navratra has a specific purpose. In the navratras weather changes, ie, various energies of this creation move from imbalance towards a new normalcy, including our body. In these nine days the prana shakti inside our body undergoes a process of re-alignment, ie from imbalance to new balance for new season.

For this re- aligning the body has to be kept light. Therefore our ancients prescribed fasting or upvaas in these nine days.Upavaas has a much greater connotation than what it is generally misunderstood as - mere holding back from eating certain foods. At Dhyan Ashram, sadhaks observe Upavaas in its aunthentic sense, that is, giving up pleasure to observe austerities during sadhna. This is done by celibating, eating food for energy, not sensual pleasure, following a niyam of the sadhna your Guru has given you - a mantra, dhyan or a tantric practice where senses are kept under strict control and the focus is your ishta deva and all your thoughts and actions during those days are devoted to the ishta-deva. Charity and service are an intrinsic part of such sadhnas. During navratras these fasts are observed for purification as well, both etheric as well as physical.

Apart from fasting, there are certain mantras also which are chanted on these days for a complete body detox. For the beginner, these nine days may be divided into 3 parts of 3 days each for the three parts of body-  the region below the navel, between navel and shoulders and the upper head region, corresponding to the energies of goddess sarawati, goddess lakshmi and goddess durga respectively. The 9 devis originate from these 3 devis which in turn have their origin in Adi shakti. These 3 parts are further divided into 3 parts each, thus the body is divided into 9 parts in all.

In the first 3 days the sadhak stops having spicy food and performs a havan at the morning and evening sandhya with the chants invoking ma durga. Offering of kala til along with ghrit is made and desi cows upla and palash samedha is used. In the next three days, sadhak stops intake of anna and only light foods are ingested in order to keep the body light. Havan for Ma Lakshmi is done at the two sandhyas by making offering of a sweet along with ghrit . In the last three days, the sadhak only consumes water and juice (not even milk as it is considered an animal product) and havan for Ma Saraswati is performed at the two sandhyas by making offerings of ghrit and guggal. On the 10th day, complete fast is kept and once more Ma Durga or Ma Kali is invoked as on this day Ravan had invoked Ma Kali and Ram had invoked Ma Durga. This process brings about the required re-alignment. After this, the sadhak performs his sadhna and chants specific mantra as prescribed by his/her Guru. With yog sadhna, all the energies that are invoked come to the sadhak. Navratras are days to prepare your body in order to accept the new energies of the coming season. For 9 days you re-align you body and after that on the 10th day accept new energies

Most people lighten their bodies by fasting for 9 days, only to make it heavy on the 10th day by crowding to restaurants and liquor shops. It is something like you clean your room and after that you bring all the garbage back to the room.  Fasting or any such technique will bear fruits only if carried out with a sense of detachment, for the purpose of evolution. The Guru knows the capacity of a shishya and prescribes a fast depending upon his/her requirements. Therefore it is of utmost importance to observe fasts in tandem with yogic practices such as the Sanatan Kriya under the sanidhya of a Guru to reap maximum benefits.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more.

Last week, we discussed the three doshas – also called the three pillars of life in Ayurveda, that play an integral role in keeping the body alive and in balance. The Science of Ayurveda is based on these three pillars and either Vata (air), Pitta (fire) or Kapha (water) or a combination of two doshas dominates an individual.

Vat, Dosha. Va ta or vayu as the name indicates is by nature dry, cold, light, subtle, mobile, expansive and coarse.

Characteristics of Vat Prakriti

· Is Hyperactive & Talkative

· Irritable in nature

· Quick in afflictions with fear, likes and dislikes

· Has a thin & long frame

· Has dryness and roughness of hair, head, skin, nails and teeth

· Cracking of joints and limbs, and instability

· In the habit of keeping awake till late night

· Has intolerance for cold things and catch cold frequently

Individuals of such a prakriti also possess wealth, span of life, strength, procreation and accessories in lesser quantities. Their bodies tremble and they often dream about flying.

Vat: is the most prominent of the three doshas, it is the prime substance constituting a being, and is responsible for all activities of the body – internal & external.

Said to cause the maximum number of diseases in the body, Vat is the carrier of imbalance and diseases because of its mobile nature. The other two doshas, pitt and kaph are unable to move from their position without the aid of vat.

Diseases: Major diseases –small or big in the body is caused by an aggravated vat. Bloatedness, acidity & flatulence, constipation, urinary problems, colds & flus, joint pains, even feelings of anxiety, stress or nervousness are all because of an aggravated vat.

Food:  Individuals with Vat prakriti can take milk, ghee (both from a desi cow and chemical-free) and honey ensuring ghee is double the quantity of honey, chyawanprash (homemade & not a cheap copy from the market, which has all the prescribed ingredients) dates, shilajit or ashwagandha in milk with honey. A handful of munakka (currants) and bananas can be added gradually

It is aggravated vat that leads to nervousness and anxiety before an important event or exam, sickness at high altitudes or in closed spaces. Here, is a simple remedy to balance out vat. Whenever you feel nauseous, nervous or anxious, join your little and ring fingers with the tip of your thumb and place the index finger at the base of your thumb. Do this with both your hands simultaneously for some time.

Write to me your experience.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and an authority on the Vedic Sciences. His book, 'Sanatan Kriya, The Ageless Dimension' is an acclaimed thesis on anti-ageing. Log onto to www.dhyanfoundation.com or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.