Yogi Ashwini

In the last article of this series, we discussed how over-exercising leads to ageing and also how asanas are not exercises, for they work through consciousness. We learnt nine  asanas for body sculpting from Sanatan Kriya. Continuing from where we left in the last issue, we will take you through the final  five asanas of the set.

Note:  While performing asanas ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothes made from natural materials; avoid deodorants, perfumes and aftershave... basically anything artificial. Keep your eyes closed and maintain internal awareness of the body part that is being worked upon. Maintain ujjai breathing and synchronise the movement with your breath.

Uthanpad (raised leg):  This asana strengthens the abdominal, pelvic and perennial muscles and massages the organs of the lower body. It is also beneficial in correcting prolapse. Lie down on the back, placing your arms on either side of your body. Inhale, slowly raise your legs (joint together) at thirty degrees, then sixty degrees and finally ninety degrees. Once you reach the ninety degree position slowly lower your legs to back to sixty degrees followed by thirty degrees and eventually to the original lying down position. Exhale as you lower it down. This is one set. Repeat this seven times. Ensure that your legs do not bend. Inhale while going up and exhale while coming down.

Padsanchalan (cycling): Lie down on your back. While exhaling, fold your legs to bring the knees close to the chest. Practice alternate cycling with both legs as if peddling a bicycle. Repeat seven times in forward and backward directions. Next raise both legs and keeping them together make forward and backward cyclical movements.

Janunaman: Lie down on your back. Place both hands by your side, palms facing downwards. Exhaling, fold your legs to bring the knees close to the chest. Inhaling, straighten the legs keeping them about 12 inches above the ground. Repeat the procedure seven times dynamically. People with heart and spine ailments should refrain from this movement and so should pregnant women.

Crunch Position: Lie on your back, exhaling, raise your legs bending the knees such that the thighs are perpendicular to ground and the calves are parallel to floor (see image). Now raise your upper body, fingers interlocked behind the neck, so that the stomach is crunched. Hold this stance for a few minutes, breathing in ujjai, and then gently come down.

Supt Vajrasana: Sit in Vajrasana and gently lie down backwards taking support of elbows and arms to rest the head on the floor. Hands on the heels or below the head. Close eyes and relax the body. Maintain ujjai breath. People suffering from sciatica, knee or back problems should not perform this asana.

These asanas are to be done dynamically, and the count can slowly be increased in multiples of seven up till 49 repeats of each asanas, as the body grows in strength and stability. The effect of all these asanas becomes manifold when practiced with your Guru who channelises energy into each asana. For learning how to practice the above asanas properly with chakra awareness and to reap its benefits it is advised to visit a Dhyan Foundation center in your city.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and can be reached at www.dhyanfoundation.com.

The station master of the local suburban station came and stood near me, “There’s an award for the best kept station,” he said spitting a wad of betel nut onto the platform.

“Interesting,” I said, as I watched the red juice flow all over the concrete surface.

“This station will win that award,” said the man with a determined glare.

“You’ll have to work hard at it,” I said, as a pair of urchins used the railway track as their toilet.

“It will be a great day for the people of this suburb,” he said

“I am sure they will be delighted,” I said and watched horrified, as an old lady slipped on the red paan juice and fell on the ground.

“Stupid woman,” said the station master as he watched the public pour water over the old woman’s face to revive her. “See, how they will dirty the platform. It is very difficult to educate people in our country. Come let us move from here and have some tea.”

The canteen boy at the tea stall poured some soapy water into a glass, rinsed it, threw it onto the platform and then grinned at the station master.

“He always washes the glasses when he sees me,” said the station master proudly. He knows I am very particular about cleanliness!”

“Then the award is yours,” I said.

“Of course it’s mine,” said the station master moving quickly out of the way of a passenger gargling after he had eaten a vada pav. Of course we will win it.”

“You better start working at it right now,” I reminded him again, as asuper fast rushed past the station raising a cloud of dust and blackening everybody’s face.

“I have already worked on it,” said the now sooty station master. “You can be assured the award is mine.”

“The cleanest station in the city!” I exclaimed, trying to wipe the soot off my face.

“All the newspapers will write about it,” he said.

“You have a lot of work to do, you should talk to all your juniors and other workers in the station immediately,” I suggested.

“They are overjoyed,” said the station master happily.

“Overjoyed”? I asked watching a sweeper woman sweeping all the garbage from the platform onto the railway tracks. “Don’t they realize they will have to work very hard to win it?”

“We have already won!” said the station master, giving me a hefty pat and laughing as I just managed to avoid slipping on a banana skin.

“But, the award will be announced only at the end of the year,” I said, holding onto the station master’s coat and nearly fainting with the terriblesmell from it.

“Ah,” said the station master kicking a mangy stray dog on its behind and putting his hand around me. “I forgot to tell you the railway minister’s brother is a close friend of my sister’s husband. What’s a small favour among friends..!”

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The wife, nearly came bouncing into my study, where I pretended to write an article while actually looking longingly at some online shopping clothes, “There’s some government officials to see you!” she said.

“Oh no!” I said, “Have they come to arrest me?”

“They’re not cops,” she said, “I think they’re going to give you some award!”

“Award! Me!” I said, “Awards are only given to people with political contacts!”

I wandered into my sitting room, and watched as two obviously government officials, rose and extended their hands in my direction, “We are honouredto have you on board sir!”

“On board!” I said, “I’m quite happy where I am!”

“You have been chosen unanimously as the country’s new historian!”

“Whoa! Whoa!” I said, “I am not a historian, I’m a story teller! I write fiction!”

“Yes sir, all of us in the government have read your stories sir, and felt you were best suited for the job of rewriting our history!” said the shorter of the two officials, as he pulled out a sheet of papers and gave it to me.

“What is this?” I asked.

“Just an agreement saying you accept the post!”

“You are very kind gentlemen, but I have to refuse!”

“You will be offered a post equivalent to a ministerial one.You can have a red beacon for your car!”

“Lovely!” exclaimed the wife. “Would I be able to take it to the mall and kitty parties?”

“Of course madam!”

“We liked your article yesterday about our countryman already being on the moon, and welcoming Neil Armstrong there!”

“But that was just a work from my imagination!” I cried.

“We would like our history books to carry that story!” said the taller man, “All you have to do is to give it a date, just before the Americans landed!”

“A car with a red beacon!” sighed the wife.

“Our children also need some, fighting, some bloodshed and heroes,” said the shorter man, “So let us have the freedom struggle a little bloodied, with some of our present ministers being soldiers even officers in the liberation army! You can even have a scene of these officers driving the British out of the country, singlehanded with their swords!”

“I can’t do that!” I said desperately, “It is absolutely fictitious!”

“That is why we have hired you!” said both the men as one pulled out his pen and offered it to me.

“A car with a red beacon!” sighed the wife as I reluctantly took the pen and signed the agreement.

“This sir, is your first assignment!” said the tall man giving me some notes

“What is it?” I asked wearily.

“That India won the first Olympics!” smiled the shorter man. I reluctantly took the notes, put off the online shopping site and started creatinghistory..!”

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By Yogi Ashwini

Lord Ganesh is said to be the deity closest to the physical world; he is the god of wisdom, knowledge and prosperity. OnGanesh Chatuthri, also known a sVinayak Chaturthi, it is easiest to access the energy of Ganesh. 

The term Ganesh comes from the Sanskrit words, 'gan' and 'esh'. 'Gan' means jan samooh (general people) and 'esh' means supreme or Lord. Lord Ganesha is the supreme deity of the normal man, the guardian of the spiritual world and the first energy to grant access to the higher dimensions, also known as the pratham pujya. 

Every aspect of this energy has a significance of its own. The elephant-head symbolises supreme intelligence, the human body with large belly symbolises a reservoir of energy stored in the manipoorak chakra, which is located at the navel.Ganesh is the child of Mahadev, the supreme purush, and Adi Shakti, the mother of the creation. Riddhi (prosperity) and Siddhi (spiritual powers) are married to Ganpati, which indicates Ganpati is an energy, which bestows spiritual as well as worldly boons, confirming the philosophy given in shastras, that attainment of worldly pleasures is essential for attainment of higher realms - moksha or liberation.

This is also the reason why in yogic practices like the Sanatan Kriya, the first sadhna given to a sadhak (spiritual aspirant) is Ganpati sadhna and Ganpati jaap, which opens the doorway to lokas beyond the bhu-loka, the physical dimension in creation. The jaap and mala is received from your Guru, who channelizes the energy into mantra paving the route for its siddhi. Sadhaks at Dhyan Ashram who have been seriously practicing the various mantra siddhis, have had physical manifestations of the various gods. To master the mantra of Lord Ganesh it is important to move the maala (rudraksha beads) while chanting. When the maala moves, the shakti of mantra gets accumulated in the maala and its meru. The various tantric mantras have their prayog later in sadhna, you use them for a specific purpose and the use happens through the meru.

Ganesh Chaturthi is the day when the energy of Lord Ganesh is most easily accessible to human beings. A yagya invoking the energy of the Ganesh performed on this day under the guidance of Guru with the purity of thought (bhaav), chant (uccharan) and offerings (samagri and samidha), unlocks the doorways to the subtler dimensions, enabling one to realize his/her true potential. Such a yagya has the effect of purifying the home and the karmas of the participants, stimulating the process of manifestation of thoughts and desires, as experienced on a daily basis by Sanatan Kriya practitioners at Dhyan Ashram.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Ashram and can be reached at www.dhyanfoundation.com

Yogi Ashwini

In this series we have been discussing about asans for giving the desired shape to the body. I would like to warn the reader that yog is not about twisting and turning your body or breathing abnormally, it does not tie you to any particular religion, ritual, lifestyle or diet. Yog sets you free and this can definitely not be given by one who is himself tied in the bondages of maya and charges a fee/favours from you.

Hence any Yogic practice needs to be done under the Guidance of a Guru and there is no monetary or material exchange between the Guru and the Shishya. Asans when performed correctly activate the higher centers of the brain as a result of which a practitioner can change their physical form as per their desire. One attains complete control over the five senses and the physical body. Many such demonstrations have been given by practitioners at Dhyan Ashram and are documented and validated by the medical fraternity.

Note:  While performing asans ensure that you are wearing comfortable clothes made from natural materials; avoid deodorants, perfumes, aftershave...basically anything artificial. Keep your eyes closed and maintain internal awareness of the body part that is being worked upon. Maintain ujjai breathing and synchronise the movement with your breath.

Shoulder Push in Utthanasan: Stand with legs apart, toes pointed outward. Keeping the back and neck straight and buttocks squeezed in, bend the knees to go down by about ten inches. This is utthanasana. Bring your hands in front of your chest, palms open facing outwards in a pushing stance. Inhale in ujjai, expanding your stomach as much as you can, and then as you exhale push swiftly in one go, using not hands but the strength of the shoulder. It is imperative to keep your spine erect. Repeat seven times. This asana must not be practiced in case of uterus prolapse and after three months of pregnancy.

Torso Circles in Utthanasan: Maintain the utthanaasana. Raise your arms above the head, palms rolled into a fist. Moving clockwise carve a circle with your upper body – bend forward with a flat back, pivot to the right, from here to back and through left come back to centre. This makes one circle. Do this seven times clockwise, inhaling half circle, exhaling half circle. Repeat seven times anti-clockwise. Remember to keep the spine erect at all times.

Plank posture: Lie on your stomach, bring your elbows close to the chest, forearms resting on the ground and palms rolled into fist, to attain a push up posture. Inhaling, gently raise your body parallel to the ground, balancing it on your forearms and toes. Keep your body in straight line, elbows directly under your shoulders. The body looks like a plank. Gently, exhaling lower the body flat on the ground. This completes one round. This asan is to be done seven times dynamically. This asan strengthens the arm and leg muscles and gives a stretch to the stomach too.

The breath rate or heart rate should not should not go up while doing any yogic kriya. These asans are to be done dynamically, and the count can slowly be increased in multiples of seven up till 49 repeats of each asans, as the body grows in strength and stability.  It is advised that you visit your nearest Dhyan Foundation center to learn the correct way to practice asans.

Yogi Ashwini is the Guiding Light of Dhyan Foundation and can be reached at www.dhyanfoundation.com.