By Yogi Ashwini

Last week, we discussed the importance of a strong spine in maintaining the youth and vigour of the body. Taking the discussion further, in this article, let us delve into the energy aspect of spine.

Exercise is only to do with the body, yog deals with your complete body...Annamaya, Pranamaya, Manomaya, Vigyanmaya and Anandmaya kosha. As you delve into higher practices of Sanatan Kriya, these layers reveal themselves to you. The layer immediately next to the physical body is the Pranamaya, where prana (the force in creation) flows through a network of nadis and chakras. Of special significance is the Sushumna Nadi, on which all the major chakras in the body rest and through which prana flows from the base to higher centers.

Clairvoyantly, it is seen like glowing white tube at the center of body. Any congestion in this nadi causes stagnation of prana, breeding disease and old age.

The spine is a reflection of the Sushumna in the physical body and a kink in the spine is indicative of blockage in flow of prana in Sushumna.

Let us, hence, move on in our series to strengthen the spine. Lie on your back with heels joined together and eyes closed. Maintain the awareness of the spine.

Ardha Shalabhasana

Stretch the right arm forward, over the head and the left arm along the thigh, both the palms lying flat on the ground. Take a deep breath and then raise your left leg straight off the ground. Forehead and arms remain fixed to the ground. Hold for seven counts. Exhaling, gently release and bring the leg down. Repeat the same with the opposite leg and hands.


Place the arms straight above the head, palms resting on the floor. Inhale and then raise the legs upwards and arms together without bending knees and elbows. Head is also raised, perpendicular to the ground. Hold this posture for a count of seven. Exhaling, come down gently.


Place your elbows close to the waist, the palms facing downwards next to the shoulders. Inhale. Gently raise your forehead, followed by the neck, the shoulders, and the upper and middle back such that the navel rests on the ground. Gently tilt the head backward such that the chin is pointing forward. The elbows are raised slightly off the ground and held close to the waist.  Hold this posture. Exhaling, return in the reverse order, head coming down the last. People suffering from peptic ulcer, hernia, intestinal tuberculosis or hyperthyroidism must not practice this without expert guidance.

Regular and correct practice of the above seven steps:

· Encourages the vertebral column to resume its natural shape and releases compression of the spinal nerves thereby strengthening the spine.

· Eases stiffness in the back which eventually leads to freedom from backache.

· Helps relieve pain from spondylitis and cervical strain so much so that they can comfortably continue to lead their lifestyles (for instance, sitting on computer) without a headache.

· Strengthens the back post-pregnancy and helps young mothers cope with the hectic regime of their baby(s)’ upbringing.

· Helps people of all age groups cope with lower back related problems which are caused due to stress and weakness

· Induces strength and flexibility in the back, especially among those who start early in life

· Maintains a youthful appearance for long without investing in expensive cosmetics and artificial diets or visits to the gym

NOTE - Asans initially should be done under strict supervision of an expert only.

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 or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more

You are as young, as straight your back is…"

And our Vedic rishis who believed in this maxim thousands of years ago, were the embodiment of it.

Most often when people exercise their focus is rarely on strengthening the back or the spine; it is generally to look slim for women and muscular for men. And therefore the essence is lost: the need for a strong back to take you forward and slow down the ageing process. 

I receive countless mails from people, many in their late twenties early thirties, on back & spine related injuries, problems and even things like sciatica pain. And the irony is that the maximum incidence of back injuries is in those who claim to follow a fitness regime and spend hours in the gym.

A prerequisite for yoga is a strong spine. Spine, often called the second brain, holds the entire physical structure and controls reflexes in the body.

Here’s a seven-step guide to a straight, strong and supple spine.

Lie flat on the stomach, legs straight, heels together and in sleeping position, forehead and chin resting on the floor.  This is the preparatory position, from which you move into each of the seven asanas. Each asana is to be repeated seven times, before moving to the next. The eyes remain shut and internal awareness is maintained.


Interlock your fingers and place the hands on the hips. Take a deep breath, stretch your arms backwards and raise your spine, shoulders and chest, keeping the head (facing down) parallel to the ground. Hold this posture for a count of seven. Exhaling, gently release and come down. People with heart conditions and high blood pressure must not strain while performing this asana.


Place your palms on the floor with arms stretched forward. Hold this posture for a count of seven pushing the abdomen into the floor. Breath follows natural rhythmic pattern, eyes are shut, awareness on the breath and the spinal column.


Interlock your fingers and place the palms onto the lower neck. Stretch and push the elbows into the ground. Hold this posture for a count of seven, maintaining natural rhythmic breath


Cup your chin with your palms, resting your elbows on the ground. When the elbows are stretched out and arms flat on the ground, tension is felt in the neck. If the elbows are drawn too close to the chest, tension is felt in lower back. Keep the elbows at a comfortable distance such that the two points are equally balanced and the whole spine is relaxed. Hold this posture for a count of seven, maintaining natural rhythmic breath.

While performing these asans, keep your eyes closed and synchronise the movement with your breath. If at any point, you feel uncomfortable or out of breath, stop the practice. The effect of the asanas becomes manifold when performed with certain mantras to activate the Sushumna Nadi. You may learn them at a Sanatan Kriya session in your city.

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 or mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more

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.


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.


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 or mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more.

By Yogi Ashwini

Maya is the primary shakti of the Preserver, Lord Vishnu. It is the force that keeps the creation going, by keeping us glued to it…we are bound to the body by attraction of the five senses, the body is bound by the attraction of earth, the earth by attraction of sun, the sun by attraction of another star system and so on.

There is a famous story from Dehradun…of a lady who was visited by Maya. The lady belonged to a modest family, and was desirous of more wealth. Every day she would pray to Goddess Lakshmi for wealth. It was the time of Diwali…there are certain nights in the year when the energy patterns are such that doorways to subtler dimensions open and communication with beings from those dimensions becomes easier. The night of Diwali is one such powerful night. It so happened that night, that the lady had an interaction with the Goddess in her dream. The Goddess told her, ‘I would bless you with riches you desire…’ the lady’s eyes twinkled with joy.  The Goddess continued, ‘…in exchange, I will take your son.’ The twinkle transformed into horror. ‘No, no’, said the lady. ‘Don’t take my son, I do not want any wealth.’ ‘Ok’ said the Goddess and left.

Few days later, there was a sudden windfall in the family, their business bloomed and the lady and her family was joyous. They got engrossed in enjoying the excess wealth - shifted to a big house, bought a new car…One day the son was going out of the town and met with a car accident and died on the spot. The lady was struck by immense grief. Maya stuck to her words…the lady forgot hers. She said she did not want it, yet she did not consider giving away even a part of the acquired wealth…Such is the attraction of Maya.

The night of Diwali is the night when the shakti of Maya is at its peak. It is the darkest night of the year…but it is also the most powerful night to break away from darkness into light, signifying that only when it is the darkest night that it makes you yearn for light. The journey from darkness to light being the journey from mooladhar to the agya in the human body. Mooladhar is the seat of Lord Ganesh, the deity of physical creation and agya of Lord Shiv, who takes you beyond. People light a diya in front of Lord Ganesh and Goddess Lakshmi on the night of Diwali. If you notice, Goddess Lakshmi rides an owl and Lord Ganesh rides a mushak. Both owl and mouse are beings who stay in darkness. The owl cannot see in light because Lakshmi ji has to ride it, the mouse runs away from light because it has to be ridden by Ganesh ji.

A being who is at the level of moolsthan, is like an owl who is tied to maya or a mouse who runs after physical pleasures, away from light into darkness as all physical pleasures are temporary, all relationships, all physical desires, the human body, they are all temporary. We all know this will go, but we are not prepared to accept it, that is darkness. This is where the journey, as detailed in Sanatan Kriya, begins, the mooladhar being represented by the tip of the nose. Physical satisfaction is the first experience of a practitioner. There is nothing wrong with the physical, the body is for the experience of physical only. It is the attachment to the physical which ties one to the cycle of pleasure and pain leading to disease and ageing. The physical is temporary, it brings with it immense pleasure and leaves with pain…and leave it will, for sure. You can either be attached to it, the path to darkness or stay detached, which leads to light.

In the initial stages of Sanatan Kriya, a practitioner does dhyan at tip of the nose (kaki mudra), for he desires the experiences of the physical or material. The Kundalini shakti which lies coiled up at the moolsthan in a semi dormant state gets consumed in the day-to-day indulgence for such a person. As the person progresses in sadhna, the Guru gradually transforms his desires, granting him the experiences of higher chakras. When kundalini rises then excessive heat, movements and pulsations are felt in the body, at times uncontrollable, at times creating a doubt on the guru, at times awakening strong physical desires inside…at all times, away from light into darkness, the urge becomes very strong. But a sadhak has to depend on and refer to experiences he/she has had and hold on, the light will dawn. A sadhak who gets way led is lost into darkness forever. In the final stages of Sanatan Kriya, dhyan is done at the agya (shambhavi mudra) for the experience of that which controls and manifests everything that lies below.

Stilling your eyes at the agya is the most difficult because it requires stilling of thoughts, and stillness of eyes is vital because the thought process wastes your energy. The energy, which is capable of creating the light within you, gets depleted when you think very intently about something. These thoughts are your desires that come to you when you sit in dhyan. You think about your problems, your wants, about the darkness that you are in and that you are trying to get out of. Each time you think, there occurs a vibration in the neurons of the brain which leads to sensation through the nerves and your focus gets disturbed and experience evades you. For an experience to happen, seeing the light is very important. For seeing the light, it is important to have a Guru who will show you the light...On Diwali, when we light a diya, it is for seeing the light in darkness...tamaso maa jyotir gamayo.

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.


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.


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.


 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 or mail to dhyan@dhyanfoundation. com for more.