• According to B.K.S. Iyengar – one of the most famous Indian teachers and gurus  – regular Yoga practice can help with various ailments.
    It may not cure you.
    But it will give you some relief and direction in order to live better with whatever you suffer from.

    Examples :

    • Varicose veins
    • High/low blood pressure
    • Blocked arteries/heart attack
    • Colds
    • Asthma
    • Indigestion
    • Constipation
    • Diarrhoea
    • Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    • Incontinence
    • Obesity
    • Diabetes
    • Physical/menatl fatigue
    • Backache
    • Osteoarthritis/rheumatoid arthritis
    • Acne/eczema//psoriasis
    • Headache/eye strain/migraine
    • Sciatica
    • Insomnia
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Drug/alcohol addiction
    • Bulimia/anorexia
    • Menstrual pain/premenstrual syndrome/absent periods
    • Menopause
    • Prolapsed uterus
    • Infertility/impotence
    • Hiatus/inguinal/umbilical hernia

    mind

  • I practiced the “no blinking” exercise with two students the other night. The idea is to fix you attention on a small object or here on the top of a candle flame and try not to blink for a few breaths, getting the mind completely involved in the small flame. When you are about to blink again, close your eyes and watch for the light to reappear in the dark

    Process

    Sit down and place a lighted candle about two feet in front of you with the flame at eye level. Gaze at the middle of the flame until your eyes water, internal Trataka can then be performed, by closing the eyes and allowing the image of the flame to appear. Try to keep the image clear and unwavering. Repeat the process until you can hold the image externally without blinking as well as internally, without wavering.

    Possible benefits

    Physiologically, Trataka “cures” diseases of the eye such as eyestrain, headache, astigmatism, and myopia. The eyes become clear and bright and able to see the reality beyond external appearances.
    Psychologically, Trataka develops clairvoyance, telepathy, and telekinesis as well as strong will power and ekagrata, meaning single pointedness, without which concentration and meditation are not possible.

    The Hatha Yoga practitioner uses the purified and tuned instrument of the body in order to gain true perception of reality. Swami Muktibodhananda writes in the Bihar School commentary on the Hatha Yoga Pradipika* that vision depends not only on the organs of the eyes, which are lenses or mediums for external perception but on the entire optic tracks. When you look at something, an image is projected onto the retina via the eyes, which stimulates the retina to fire impulses back to the visual cortex of the brain where an inner image is mapped out. When the image of the external object is stabilized on the retina, and held there for some time, without wavering, then the image will completely disappear and along with it a suspension of normal mental processes; in other words the mind will be turned off. More info here

  • I’ve just read some of Ganga White’s Yoga Beyond Belief and was intrigued by the chapter called “Pain is your friend”.

    Some teachers pretend Yoga presents no risk. In fact things can go wrong, according to White who first welcomed big names like Patthabi Joïs and B.K.S. Iyengar to Los Angeles in the 1970’s.

    Ganga explains how he started practicing Yoga without paying much “attention to sequencing, structural dynamics, alignment and physiological principles of kinesiology”. He was more or less told to achieve the postures.

    “Soon I started developing back pain.” He finally had to stay in bed for a month. But when he started to feel better, he also started practicing again, finding new ways of practicing. Finding awareness. ” Initially, the pain limited  me to only the simplest of poses and I could not bend much at all.”

    Ganga realised that pain was “a language”, the “voices of body intelligence”. “Pain is necessary and defines the limits and the edges of strain and injury.”

    Ganga White and Peter Sellers

    He kept exploring new ways of practicing, learnt the “inner process” of Yoga. The inner voice of Yoga.

    “Sharp pain can mean “Stop!” Dull pain can mean to go slowly and breathe as we move energy into new areas.” … He “began to see how these inner messages literally guided [him] to adjust [his] movements’s subtlety and showed [him] the way to heal [himself].”

    “There is no magical technique or practice that will keep us free from harm, injury or physical problems… It is staying constantly alert and vigilant that will guide us in the right direction.”