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Thursday, November 5, 2015

9 Steps to perform Shaolin Mediation

Shaolin mediation is a very simple & yet very useful meditation technique. Shaolin meditation technique started mainly in china. In the shaolin monasteries people used to learn martial art. Some Indian priest introduced the technique of meditation to shaolin monks. After realizing the amazing benefits, shaolin monks started doing the meditation. Later on this technique became famous as shaolin meditation. this technique is very similar to mindfulness meditation.

Shaolin Mediation
Shaolin Meditation

1.       Find a peaceful place where there is no distraction of any kind.

2.       Sit a position in which you are comfortable (cross leg or lotus position)

3.       Close your eyes & focus on your breath

4.       Just observe the breath do not try to change your breathing

5.       Observe how you inhale the breath then there is a small pause then you exhale

6.       Make sure when you breath you do belly breathing – your belly  expands when you breathe in & belly should contract when you breathe out

7.       Now try to visualize you are inhaling positive energy (you can visualize a color also green or golden whatever color you think is positive for you)

8.      As you are inhaling this positive energy imagine that all your body parts are receiving this positive energy.

9.      As you breathe out imagine that all negative energy from all your body is going out from your body (you can imagine a black color for the same)

How Shaolin Meditation Works:-

Well the basic philosophy of  shaolin meditation is to make the mind still. on an average there are 20 to 30 thousands thoughts come inside a human mind on daily basis. imagine the impact of these thoughts on one's mind & health. So when you do meditation & slowly with practice bring down these numbers to few thousands then your mind becomes free, Mind becomes more still & inner faculties develop.

Science has proved that the best healing happens when the person is in sleep, healing takes place more rapidly. sleep without any dreams that is essential for healing. During deep meditation same stage is achieved when the mind gets proper relaxation. As you become aware of the present moment (while focusing on breath) all your thoughts slowly fade away.

Best time to meditation is the morning time when the mind & body both are completely relaxed. but its not the rule you can practice shaolin meditation any time you feel comfortable. In shaolin monasteries, before practicing the Kung fu or shaolin martial arts one has to practice meditation for years. As the time progresses the shaolin monks  can do meditation for hours together. Shaolin monk prepare their minds for the tough conditions. They believe the real power is not in the muscle but in the mind. the more your mind is peaceful, you can channelize your energy properly.

 Benefits of Shaolin Meditation

1. Improves the functioning of brain

2. Increases the self healing power of the body

3. Improves concentration and develops other mental faculty 

4. Reduces signs of aging

5. Reduces stress and anxiety

6. It increases blow flow

7. builds self confidence

8. helps to increase self control

9. Improve memory & learning ability

10. Develops strong willpower

11. helps to overcome any kind of addiction

12. increase happiness & peace of mind

13. helps in self realization

14. Increases compassion & forgiveness

15. brings Body, Mind and Spirit in harmony

16. decreases restless thinking

17. better social behavior

18. increases productivity

19.  increases immune system

20. relaxes nervous system

21. Improves realtionships

How much time you should practice shaolin meditation

As a beginner one should start with 5 minutes. As you practice this meditation on daily basis you can increase the time. With practice one can perform shaolin meditation for longer duration (more than 30 minutes to hours).As a normal person daily practicing 10 minutes of  shaolin meditation is sufficient.
Initially you may feel uncomfortable while practicing the shaolin meditation as the mind tries to get into "thinking". also remaining still in one position may cause pain in the body. but with practice the things will become easier for you. you will feel more energetic & vibrant after practice. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ayurveda & Dosha Types

Ayurveda is a holistic science of health, focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. Ayurveda began about 5,000 - 6,000 years ago when Indian monks were looking for new ways to be healthy. Revering their bodies like temples, the monks believed that preserving their health would help them meditate and develop spiritually. Over thousands of years of observations, they gathered all their conclusions and advice and preserved it for future generations. This collection of knowledge came to be known as the "science or knowledge of life" -- Ayurveda. 
How is Ayurveda different from modern medicine?

  • In Ayurveda, every individual is unique and there is no diet or lifestyle routine that works for everyone.
  • Prevention is key. Ayurveda focuses on providing specific advice and guidance on how to maintain physical and emotional health.
  • Food and lifestyle routines are considered the most important medicine. If you come to an Ayurvedic doctor with a complaint, you are more likely to leave with a recipe than with a prescription for pills.
How does Ayurveda work?
Ayurveda is based on the principles of three doshas. Doshas are the energies that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body: 

The 3 Dosha types:

1. Vata Dosha -- Energy that controls bodily functions associated with motion, including blood circulation, breathing, blinking, and your heartbeat. 

  • In balance: There is creativity and vitality.
  • Out of balance: Can produce fear and anxiety.

2. Pitta Dosha -- Energy that controls the body's metabolic systems, including digestion, absorption, nutrition, and your body's temperature. 

  • In balance: Leads to contentment and intelligence.
  • Out of balance: Can cause ulcers and anger.

3. Kapha Dosha -- Energy that controls growth in the body. It supplies water to all body parts, moisturizes the skin, and maintains the immune system. 

  • In balance: Expressed as love and forgiveness.
  • Out of balance: Can lead to insecurity and envy.
Each person has all three Doshas, but usually one or two dominate. Various Dosha proportions determine one's physiological and personality traits, as well as general likes and dislikes. For example Vata types will prefer hot weather to cold and Kapha types are more likely to crave spicy foods than other types. Generally these are considered to be characteristics of each mind/body type:
Characteristics for Vata predominant types: Creative; Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget, Slender; Tall and a fast-walker; Tendency toward cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates; Excitable, lively, fun personality; Changeable moods; Irregular daily routine; High energy in short bursts; Tendency to tire easily and to overexert; Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance; Responds to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when out of balance; Tendency to act on impulse; Often have racing, disjointed thoughts; Generally have dry skin and dry hair and don't perspire much.
Characteristics for Pitta Predominant Types: Medium physique, strong, well-built; Sharp mind, good concentration powers; Orderly, focused; Assertive, self-confident, and entrepreneurial at their best; Aggressive, demanding, pushy when out of balance; Competitive, enjoy challenges; Passionate and romantic; Strong digestion, strong appetite, get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal; When under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry; Skin fair or reddish, often with freckles; sunburns easily; Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather, heat makes them very tired; Perspire a lot; Good public speakers; Generally good management and leadership ability, but can become authoritarian; Subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger; Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, insomnia, dry or burning eyes.
Characteristics for Kapha Predominant Types: Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced; Affectionate and loving; Forgiving, compassionate, nonjudgmental nature; Stable and reliable; faithful; Physically strong and with a sturdy, heavier build; Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring; Slow speech, reflecting a deliberate thought process; Slower to learn, but outstanding long-term memory; Soft hair and skin; tendency to have large "soft" eyes and a low, soft voice; Tend toward being overweight; may also suffer from sluggish digestion; Prone to depression; More self-sufficient; Gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life; Excellent health, good immune system; Very calm; strive to maintain harmony and peace in their surroundings; Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others; Tend to be possessive and hold on to things. Don't like cold, damp weather; Physical problems include colds and congestion, sinus headaches, respiratory problems including asthma, allergies, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

How do I determine my type?
Most books and websites on Ayurveda will offer questionnaires that can be used to determine your mind/body constitution. My favorite one is offered by The Ayurvedic Experience, which is very detailed and thorough. Most questionnaires are very similar and will provide similar results. Please keep in mind that shorter questionnaires will give a more generalized and approximate result. Also, your body changes with age, seasons, and life situations so the results will change as well. Taking a few different questionnaires will give you a more definite result for your Dosha type.
I know my Dosha type, now what?
Now you should try to follow the diet and lifestyle routine that fits your mind/body constitution. For example, if you are predominantly Vata, you should include more cooked, warm foods, stay away from icy drinks, and add more warming spices like cinnamon, cloves, and ginger to your food. This will prevent any digestion issues that Vata types tend to get, as well, as anxiety, dry skin, or insomnia. Here are some general guidelines for each type:
General Health Tips for Vata Types:Maintain regular habits, try to eat and sleep at the same time every night. Get enough rest and choose foods that are warm, cooked, nourishing, and easy to digest. Sweet berries, fruits, small beans, rice, and all nuts and dairy products are good choices for Vata types. Exercise intensity should be moderate. A more meditative yoga, Tai chi, walking, and swimming are all good. Avoid strenuous and frantic activities. 
General Health Tips for Pitta Types: It's important for Pittas to keep cool by avoiding overexposure to direct sunlight and fried and spicy foods. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, overworking, and overheating. When aggravated, susceptible to feeling negative emotions like hostility, hatred, intolerance, and jealousy. Choose fresh vegetables and fruits that are watery and sweet, especially cherries, mangoes, cucumbers, water melon, and avocado. Have lots of salads with dark greens such as arugula, dandelions, and kale. Avoid conflicts. Cultivate the virtues of honesty, morality, kindness, generosity, and self-control.
General Health Tips for Kapha Types: It's important to be active on a daily basis as Kapha types are prone to sluggishness, depression, and being overweight. Getting out of the house and actively seeking new experiences is also recommended. Be receptive to useful change, be intentional in implementing life-enhancing actions. Choose foods that are light, warm, and spicy. Tea with dried ginger and lemon is a great pick-me-up for Kaphas. Avoid heavy oily and processed sugars, which are detrimental to Kaphas. Use lots of spices such as black pepper, ginger, cumin, chili and lots of bitter dark greens. 

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Wednesday, December 24, 2014

7 Ways to Improve Brain Function

1. Exercise & get your body moving – exercising doesn’t just exercise the body, it also helps to exercise your brain.  Obesity and the myriad of diseases that eventually set in as a result of being overweight can cause serious harm to the brain.  Furthermore, without regular exercise plaque starts to build up in your arteries and your blood vessels begin to lose the ability to effectively pump blood.  Plaque buildup leads to heart attacks, but it also reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that your blood carries to your brain.  When the nutrients don’t make it there, the brain’s ability to function is compromised.  To prevent this from happening, make sure you get moving every day, even if its just a brisk walk, it’ll help you maintain and increase your mental acuity. Brisk walking , swimming and dancing are all excellent activities.

2. Eliminate stressors and seek help for depression (if you have it).Anything that causes you major stress, like anger or anxiety, will in time begin to eat away at the parts of your brain that are responsible for memory.  Amongst the most brain-damaging stressors is depression, which is actually often misdiagnosed a a memory problem since one of its primary symptoms is the inability to concentrate.  If you can’t concentrate, then you might feel like you are constantly forgetting things. Depression increases the levels of cortisol in your bloodstream, which elevates the cortisol levels in the brain.  Doctors have found that increased cortisol diminishes certain areas of the brain, especially the hippocampus, which is where short-term memories are stored.  Prolonged depression can thus destroy your brain’s ability to remember anything new.  Seek professional help to combat your depression – your brain will thank you.

3. Get a good night’s sleep and take naps. Getting a consistent 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night will increase your memory. During sleep, the brain firms up memories of recently acquired information and getting enough sleep will help you get through the full spectrum of nocturnal cycles that are essential to optimal brain and body functioning during the waking hours.  Taking a nap throughout the day, especially after learning something new, can also help you to retain those memories as well as recharge your brain and keep it sharper longer.

4. Listen to music. Research shows that certain types of music are very helpful in recalling memories.  Information that is learned while listening to a particular song or collection can often be recalled by thinking of the song or “playing” it mentally.  Songs and music can serve as cues for pulling up particular memories.

5. Feed your brain. 50 to 60 percent of the brain’s overall weight is pure fat, which is  used to insulate its billions of nerve cells.  The better insulated a cell is, the faster it can send messages and the quicker you will be thinking.  This is precisely why parents are advised to feed their young children whole milk and to restrict dieting – their brains’ need fat to grow and work properly.  Skimping on fats can be devastating even to the adult brain.  Thus, eating foods that contain a healthy mix of fats is vital for long-term memory.  Some excellent food choices include fish (especially anchovies, mackerel and wild salmon) and dark leafy green vegetables.  Deep-fried foods obviously contain fat, but their lack of nutritional value is going to help your brain or your body, so think healthy foods and fats.

6. Visual concepts. In order to remember things, many people need to visualize the information they are studying.  Pay attention to photographers, charts and other graphics that might appear in your textbook, or if you’re not studying a book, try to pull up a mental image of what it is you are trying to remember.  It might also help to draw your own charts or figures, or utilize colors and highlighters to group related ideas in your notes.

7. Do crossword puzzles, read, or play cards. Studies have shown that doing either of these activities on a daily basis not only keep your brain active, but also help to delay memory loss, especially in those who develop dementia.  So pick up the daily newspaper and work on that crossword puzzle, read a book, or enjoy a game of solitaire.

9 Techniques to get peace of Mind

1. Awareness
This is the step most people skip. Why? Because it feels like we already know the answer. You probably already think you know what makes you anxious.
But sometimes the situations, physical signs and emotions that accompany anxiety aren’t as obvious as you might think. So try keeping a kind of ‘anxiety journal’, whether real or virtual. When do you feel anxious and what are the physical signs of anxiety?
Sometimes this stage on its own is enough to help people with their anxiety. As I never tire of saying, especially in the area of habits, self-awareness is the first step to change.

2. Breathing
If you’ve been reading PsyBlog for a while you’ll know all about how both mind and body each feed back to the other. For example, standing confidently makes people feel more confident. Mind doesn’t just affect body, body also affects mind.
It’s the same with anxiety: taking conscious control of breathing sends a message back to the mind.
So, when you’re anxious, which is often accompanied by shallow, quick breathing, try changing it to relaxed breathing, which is usually slower and deeper. You can count slowly while breathing in and out and try putting your hand on your stomach and feeling the breath moving in and out.

In addition, adopt whatever bodily positions you associate with being relaxed (although suddenly lying down before giving a talk in public might be a step too far!). Typically these are things like relaxing muscles, adopting an open stance to the world (unfold arms, hint of a smile).

3. Calming thoughts
It’s all very well saying: “Think calming thoughts”, but who can think of any calming thoughts when stressful situations are approaching and the heart is pumping?
The key is to get your calming thoughts ready in advance. They could be as simple as “Calm down!” but they need to be things that you personally believe in for them to be most effective. It’s about finding what form of words or thoughts is right for you.

4. Increase activity
It might seem strange to say that the answer to anxiety is more activities, as we tend to think the answer to anxiety is relaxation and that involves doing less.
But, when unoccupied, the mind wanders, often to anxieties; whereas when engaged with an activity we enjoy, we feel better. Even neutral or somewhat wearing activities, like household admin, can be better than sitting around worrying.
The problem with feeling anxious is that it makes you less likely to want to engage with distracting activities. You see the problem.
One answer is to have a list of activities that you find enjoyable ready in advance. When anxiety hits at an inactive moment, you can go off and do something to occupy your mind.
Try to have things on your list that you know you will enjoy and are easy to get started on. For example, ‘invent a time machine’ may be biting off a tiny bit more than you can chew, but ‘a walk around the block’ is do-able.

5. Sleep skills
Often when people are anxious they have problems sleeping. Sometimes when you feel anxious there’s nothing worse than lying in bed, in the dark, with only your own thoughts to occupy your attention.
And lack of sleep leads to anxiety about sleeping which can lead, paradoxically, to worse sleep.

 6.Give yourself time
Take all the time you need.  Emotional healing is a process; don’t rush yourself through it.  Don’t let others force you through it either.  Moving on doesn’t take a day; it takes lots of little steps to be able to break free of your broken past and your wounded self.
Take today breath by breath, one step at a time.  Never let trouble from the past make you feel like you have a bad life now.  Just because yesterday was painful doesn’t mean today will be too.  Our wounds are often the openings into the best and most beautiful part of us.  Today you have a choice to explore these parts of yourself.  Give yourself the needed time and permission to explore and heal.

7. Ease your expectations
Life is under no obligation to give you exactly what you expect.  Whatever it is you’re seeking will rarely ever come in the form you’re expecting.  Don’t miss the silver lining because you were expecting gold.
You must see and accept things as they are instead of as you hoped, wished, or expected them to be.  Just because it didn’t turn out like you had envisioned, doesn’t mean it isn’t exactly what you need to get to where you ultimately want to go.

8. Let go of things you don’t control
You make plans to go outside with friends. But at the last minute, it starts raining. What’s your reaction?
Some people upset and angry, and find the nearest person and start complaining to them. “It’s not FAIR that it’s raining. This _always_ happens to me!…”
That’s not going to accomplish anything – the rain won’t stop just because you throw a tantrum. *The rain doesn’t care.* So make the best of the situation. What I do in such situation is go for a quick walk in the park (because rain has its own awesomeness), or just lie in bed reading a good Terry Pratchett book, listening to the rain beating on my window.
Make the most of what you do control, and don’t worry about what you don’t.

9. Walk to a window, look outside, and take a single deep breath
I got this technique from the Zen master Mary Jaksch. Just walk to a window, look outside, and then take a single deep breath, focusing only on that breath and nothing else in the whole world. This technique sounds extremely simple, but you won’t believe how much it can instantaneously increase your peace of mind.
And because this is the last tip, you can try it immediately when you finish reading this blog post. Just walk to a window, look outside, and take a single deep breath, focusing on the air going in and out of your lungs, and nothing else.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

11 Easy Ways To Meditate -Try it to Believe It

when people think of doing meditation they always think of spending hours in a peaceful & isolated space, chanting some mantra or doing some special things/postures. But meditation is far easy ten we think. specially when you begin to add more mindfulness into your life—when you stop and smell the roses, so to speak—you'll find that the stress of the future and the regrets of the past simply melt away. It’s a practice, to be sure. But it can be simple, and automatic, and oh-so beautiful.
The trick is to do one thing a day with absolute mindfulness. Dwell completely in that moment. Feel everything, every physical sensation, and every subtle emotion that swells up inside. Breathe slowly, and smile at the stillness. And once you’ve mastered one thing, add another, and another ...
Here are 11 of my favorite things to do mindfully:
1. Listen to music.
Try to hear every instrument in the band. Separate the lyrics from the melody—listen to something instrumental, if you can. Sing along, and feel your body vibrate with the hum of sound.
2. Drink tea. Or coffee. Or hot water. Or whatever.
I imagine that, like me, you drink something every morning. Instead of just tossing it down like a shot at the bar, drink it slowly. Dedicate 5 minutes every morning to this act alone. Close your eyes, and feel the warm liquid roll over your tongue. Enjoy it – right now, this tea is all that matters!
3. Do yoga.
The practice alone will bring about a beautiful sense of presence in your life. Even one class or hour of home-practice a week is great!
4. Drive to work.
Your morning commute can be spent in absolute mindfulness. Turn off the loud music, tone down your road rage, and enjoy the quiet time to yourself.
5. Take a walk.
A slow one. Like, really slow. Inhale and lift your foot, exhale and plant it. Repeat.
6. Create art.
The practice of painting, or drawing, or sewing, or gluing magazine strips to paper is incredibly meditative. Set aside a bit of time for art, and as you work, make sure that you’re truly there with your project.
7. Journal.
Each morning, spill out a page of junk that’s been on your mind. Notice the pressure of the pen on the paper. The sound of the tip scraping along the page. The way the ink bleeds. After writing for a bit about your day, and your shopping lists, and the cute boy in yoga class, you’ll find that you don’t have anything left to write. This is when you take a deep breath, and allow mindfulness to permeate. Go deeper. Soon, you’ll be writing with complete presence, as if another voice is writing through you.
8. Cook.
This is one of my favorites. Cooking can be an incredibly powerful act of meditation. Grind your own spices, chop vegetables with a smile, and put love into your pot.
9. Eat.
Not only is eating mindfully a simple and delightful act, but it’s much healthier than shoveling food down while you’re running to your next meeting. Take time to feel the temperature of your food with your fingers, feel the texture, smell all of the ingredients. Be there with your food before you eat.
10. Give a massage.
Touch is a powerful thing. For a moment, give all of yourself to someone in the act of massage. Be there with them: receptive, open, and loving.
11. Breathe.
The easiest of all! Breathing truly is the difference between feeling anxious and feeling relaxed. Try adding a few rounds of 4, 4, 8 count breath into your daily routine. Inhale for 4 counts, retain for 4 counts, and exhale for 8. Close your eyes. Be slow. Repeat.