Fitness

Just mind it!

BREATHE RIGHT Practicing Nadi Shodhan helps in creating a balance in both the hemispheres of the brain. File Photo: T. Singaravelou   | Photo Credit: T_Singaravelou

A combination of Surya Namaskar, Nadi Shodhan Pranayam and a ten minute meditation can lead to resolution of many mental disorders that find no permanent solution in Allopathic or other systems of western medicine. These systems of medicine, do not work on the root cause of the disease, but on the superficial symptoms. In the long run these medicines cause more damage through depletive side–effects.

Yogic science on the other hand has no bad side-effects and it works on the deep lying causes and cures from within.

Pranayam: Nadi Shodhan (Alternate Nostril Breathing )

Pranayam means expansion of the life energy. Since the vehicle of life energy is breath, these practices are roughly translated as breathing practices. There are many important breathing practices which have their own specific function within the general function of bringing about purification of the nerves (nadi shuddhi). Common pranayams mentioned in the yogic texts are: Bhastrika, Kapalbhati, Nadi Shodhan, Sheetali, Sheetkari and Bhramari. However the pranayam which can help most in case of psychiatric disorders is Nadi Shodhan Pranayam. As the name suggests it works on the nadis, the nerves and mental problems are also problems of the nervous system. In this pranayam we breathe through alternate nostrils in a particular ratio. The two nostrils are related to two important nadis (nerves channels) and these two nadis in turn are connected to the two hemispheres of the brain — left channel is connected to the right hemisphere of the brain and the right channel is connected to the left hemisphere of the brain. By breathing in a controlled manner in the practice of Nadi Shodhan, we work towards creating a balance in both the hemispheres of the brain. This balance leads to immense calm in the mental sphere of an individual thereby curing various mental disorders like nervousness, anxiety, fear and depression.

Meditation: Utmost Mental balance

Meditation is a state of mind and body where a complete harmony and peace is experienced through attaining steadiness of the bodily posture and focus of the mind on a chosen object. Thousands of meditative techniques are given in the ancient shastras. For example, Vijnanabhairva Tantra alone describes 112 techniques of practicing meditation. Meditation helps in bringing about the clarity of mind by reducing waves of thought constructs that are major cause of mental stress, delusion, worry, confusion, lack of focus, loss of memory etc. When all these symptoms stay for a longer period of time then they become the cause of manifest mental disorders and psychiatric problems.

A simple technique of meditation is to sit down in a silent place, keeping the spine straight, eyes closed, focusing on a chosen image e.g. flame of light, rising ball of golden sun, image of god or guru, jyotirlingam etc., for 10 minutes everyday. This is sufficient to bring calmness in the mind that can sustain itself throughout the day.

(The writer is a yoga instructor)

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Printable version | Mar 6, 2021 10:39:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/fitness/Just-mind-it/article16815624.ece

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