Category Archives: Health

Yoga for kids

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yoga for kids

Yoga for kids….. the hottest trend in yoga! with more and more people getting information about yoga and it’s benefits they want their kids to join yoga classes as early as possible. They want their kids to do as many number of poses as possible. Yoga for kids is now part of almost all yoga schools world wide.

I am writing on the basis of my observation I have done for the last few years through numerous kids yoga sessions. Here are my observations which may help in understanding the physics, chemistry and Biology of kids yoga.

1. The easiest thing you can do with kids is to either make them cry or make them happy if you try to do something else it needs presence of mind and immense patience.

2. Kids do not understand yoga they are there because their parents brought them there. Explaining the deep philosophies of yoga,  details of Chakras etc aren’t going to work.

3. No matter how much you try you cannot force them do yoga asanas. The only way through is do yoga yourself and show them that it’s super fun doing it.

4. For kids yoga postures are no different than playing on the ground.  And seriously kids don’t care about alignment, posture etc. The only way to make them do perfectly is to offer them rewards as in points in any normal game.

5. The more questions you ask kids, the more interaction you have with each and every kid better the class will be. After a certain days in class kids start to interact with other kids. Start calling them with different names etc. It is the best time to involve each and every kid. Some kids get left out and they remain in back throughout the whole experience.  Make sure you keep changing their position in the room everyday so that every one gets a chance to be more involved. It’s like giving every one a chance to score a goal in soccer.

6. Do not bring forward kids for the sake of pictures. Make kids believe that you are asking them to do yoga in front to give them  gifts / chocolates. It will increase their will to do better.

7. Make fun of yourself as much as possible. Adults may hold their laugh but kids don’t. Doesn’t matter if you would have dance like a monkey… do that. It’s the best way to break the boredom and the best form of warm-up exercises.

8. Do not tell them what NOT to eat; tell them what are the thing they can eat only if they do Yoga. Like chocolates, of course!

9. Instead of explaining how to control breath while doing yoga use examples like how would you blow balloons on your birthday. Take  deep breath do the required movement and blow ( to blow the balloon).

10. One more important thing. Instead of giving every kid a separate yoga mat use a big soft carpet kind of thing. It will give them enough room to move around, play around and still do yoga.

11. Yoga is not at all yoga for kids, it’s just fun with kids. Using accurate Sanskrit and english names isn’t going to help; Use Animal names with their voices..that helps! kids don’t remember asana names but what they do remember is their dogs and cats name.

12. The moment you show them that you are a teacher you got yourself in a big trouble better be Santa who organizes games and give gifts to a kids who love to make animal voices and copy their movements.

These are my personal observations and have no scientific basis but there is no scientific algorithm to make your kid like yoga either.
As per my style of saving the best for the end.

Never in your entire class mention the benefits of yoga asanas.. or the disease it is going to cure unless you want me to come over and stop kids from crying.

Mahendra Kumar

Staff writer
India’s premier yoga teacher training center
paramyoga.org

Effect of meditation on brain

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As per our Guruji Meditation is the best medication, now that’s the theory. How to prove that? Well not us but researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital did a study on 16 people on the effect of eight week long mindfulness meditation course. They studied the brain scans of the people before and after the course. The study, published in the January issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, concluded that after completing the course, parts of the participants’ brains associated with compassion and self-awareness grew, and parts associated with stress shrank.

Effect of meditation on brain

Frontal lobe
This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions and self-conscious awareness. During meditation, the frontal cortex tends to go offline.

Parietal lobe
This part of the brain processes sensory information about the surrounding world, orienting you in time and space. During meditation, activity in the parietal lobe slows down.

Thalamus
The gatekeeper for the senses, this organ focuses your attention by funneling some sensory data deeper into the brain and stopping other signals in their tracks. Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information to a trickle.

Reticular formation
As the brain’s sentry, this structure receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert, ready to respond. Meditating dials back the arousal signal.

Meditation session in progress.

meditation session

meditation session

meditation session

Technically meditation calms you down and also the activity level in your body. Which sometimes matches the activity level during sleep. According to Shawn Achor, meditation can actually make you happier long-term: Meditation helps in rewiring the brain and helps you to relax. And it’s the most effective way to live happier.

Compiled by Mahendra
Courtesy- Adrienne, Brigida
Yoga Teacher Training Center in India
http://www.paramyoga.org
Original research source: http://www.massgeneral.org/about/pressrelease.aspx?id=1520

Time to get back on your feet

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I was watching “the lion king” and it reminded me of something which I forgot for a while now. There is one famous dialogue in the movie which brought back ‘Simbha’ to his kingdom. “Remember who you are”, said by his father when he was young. I believe no matter what; there is always some-one out there looking for you, perhaps your grandparents, family members etc from up there in the sky.

the lion king

Now why am I saying this in a yoga related post? Maybe I want you to think that you were not built to suffer all day long in your office suffering from back pain, you were not built to sit back on your chair and keep worrying about knee joints, you were not built to see the blurred image of this beautiful world. You were meant to walk free, travel around the world, eat what you like, do the job you like.

Don’t allow a mere disease to hamper the prosperity of your life. Don’t allow your medical bills to eat up your bank account. Try something new to solve your problems. The reason I have a little bit of love for mathematics is fact that it tells that there are numerous ways of solving a single problem.

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So here I am asking you to hop on the internet try to look out for ailments for your disease which you haven’t tried yet. Don’t be a couch potato and surrender yourself. There are a whole lot of medicine techniques which you haven’t heard yet. Try them….

The girl was not able to walk for 8 years but now she can. 🙂

This video is in hindi. It’s about a girl who got cured through Yoga therapy in the ashram. She was not able to walk for years but now she can.

Well, I am no one to push you beyond this but let me tell you that I have seen people walking on their own, the same people who were not able to do so for years. I have seen kids crying out of joy when they stood up on their feet once again after a long time.
I have seen people crying out and getting rid up of a lot of stuff from inside. I have seen people eating dinner because they love it not because they have too. There is huge difference when you are eating with a smile on your face. J

Listen, I have learned a lot from my mistakes, and through the hard way. May be it’s time to love mathematics again try a different formula. I work in a yoga ashram but I am not saying yoga is the only way, try Ayurveda, Homeopathy, meditation, Chinese medicines and hell of other things. Just do yourself a favour think for a minute and ask yourself don’t you want to roar like Simbha again J??

Just remember who you are right now and who you want to be……

Mahendra Kumar

Staff writer: paramyoga
Yoga teacher training center in India

State of pure bliss

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If there exists a state of pure bliss then it can be achieved only through meditation. Considering the fact that I am an engineer; believing in this kind of thought without any factual data is a bit difficult for me therefore I decided to try meditation myself.

Meditation isn’t something you can read in a book or watch a YouTube video and you’re done. It takes hours of guided teaching and then self practice. I was lucky to have a professional instructor. My earlier post on meditation was a third person view, an observation. However this time I was doing it myself.

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In the beginning its kindda odd you close your eyes and then a million thoughts come into your mind and you start to think why you are doing this. Then comes a point of concentration where you start to take everything seriously and enjoy the session however this happens only if you let your thoughts to flow on their own. There is a huge difference between thinking about something and letting your thoughts come on their own.

After a lot of practice and guidance you finally find yourself in a place so blissful that you don’t wanna comeback from there. There are no thoughts just immense sense of fulfillment and happiness. You instructor might ask you to come back after sometime but you are in a place of zen and peace and you don’t want to be back. This is where real meditation starts.
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I had a great time doing this and I am doing it everyday. When I am in meditation I feel like I am in Ireland… may be because of the movies/songs. Hope to see you there.

Mahendra Kumar
Staff writer:

Paramyoga
Yoga Teacher Training center in India
Affiliated by the Yoga Alliance,USA

 

It’s not just about a certificate or a course

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People go to colleges or universities not just a degree they want to experience the life of the university. The environment really matters. You may learn yoga while in your home when it comes to becoming an expert in it. You need highly competitive environment. You are required to study a lot. In group and on your own.

Yoga ashram

Yoga ashram

 

Self Study

Self Study

The studio which is just down the road is fine too but deep in your heart you know thats taking you no-where.Let me give you a simple example.which sports game you would like to watch a local club match or the olympics?Which award show you value more, the local community award or the Nobel prize?

Karma Yoga

Karma Yoga

I am not telling you to start watching Olympics or the Nobel prize show. That you already do 😉 I am telling you to select a yoga place very seriously, that’s going to be the best one / two or perhaps maybe several months of your life. I have witnessed myself a lot of transformations happening.

Bliss

Bliss

PS: I know you want to come to India. Maybe now is the time to take yoga and your dream seriously.

 

Mahendra Kumar
Staff writer: Paramanand Ashram
www.paramyoga.org

What is Meditation, a Geek’s perspective!

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Before you read this post I must tell you that I am not an expert in the field of meditation and this post is just from an observer’s perspective and in this case I can assure you I have seen hundreds of yogis crying, laughing and playing like kids  in front of meSmile.

I have been working in the ashram for more than two years now and I have seen many yogis coming and going and it has a delightful experience to meet people from different backgrounds, countries, religions in one place and this gives me an edge over others when it comes to this particular subject matter. And by the way I have attended a few meditation classes guided by one of my favourite persons in this whole freaking planet. And god, even Google can’t find words to describe that experience.

So back on subject. What I have observed until now is the fact that meditation is definitely not a simple mental exercise and frankly speaking you do hell of a job while in meditation. Imagine a bullet coming out of James Bond’s pistol…. freaking fast right?? of course billions were invested in that movie.Open-mouthed smile  And now imagine slowing down that bullet with YOUR MIND. Now that’s the kind of job you do while in meditation. Perhaps slowing down your brain is the toughest job in the planet and you thought working for NASA is difficult. LOL

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I have seen people crying: People tend to re-live their past experiences. In this case it is most liberating. You find the most suitable shoulder to cry on, your OWN.

I have seen people laughing like kids: People tend to cherish the brighter side of their lives. Sometimes people want to celebrate their feats but they don’t find appropriate persons to share that news( Happened to me, recently. I was on top of the world but didn’t had anyone to share it Sad smile  ) . In this case you find the best buddy to share that, your own inner-SELF.

I have seen people dancing: Well dance is one of the most fulfilling thing anyone can do when happy or ANGRY. Don’t forget lord Shiva’s dance. When he dances, he is not the person you would like to see.

I have seen people forgetting their own language: Last year I had this experience of meeting a girl who forgot her own mother tongue after meditation, of course she was back to normal in 30 minutes… I mean we call a language our mother tongue for a reason right, you can never forget it. BUT SHE DID and I saw that with my own eyes. Even I wouldn’t have believed it if I would have heard that from someone else. I am still searching reasons for this……..

There are several ways of doing meditation, method really doesn’t matter. You would cry anyway…..kidding! Smile
You can do meditation while looking at the stars ( which is my favourite past time). Something you love to do and never think twice before doing that without any expectation is a form of meditation. I am having fun writing this post… this is a kind of meditation too.

The things which does matter is the fact whether you are ready to have a roller coater ride and be without seat belts. You can be thrown either way but results are worth LIVING FOR. technically speaking the only thing you need is a will power to give it a try and a strength to carry on when you know the guy beside is snoring like hell. Oops I know who was snoring last time. Smile

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Mahendra Kumar
Staff Writer
www.paramyoga.org

Video by Benny Holtzer

Journey of a lifetime!

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I have a met a lot of travelers from every of the world. For some traveling is fun, some travel to see different cultures,  some travel to see various forms of nature and some travel to discover themselves. Well Yoga isn’t different at all… you don’t believe me?? let me explain!

1. While traveling you explore the world. In yoga you explore yourself which is technically a whole freaking world in itself.

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2. While traveling you interact with various people. In yoga you interact with different versions of your own self, negative and positive. Watch yourself while meditation you will understand what I am trying to say.
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3. While traveling you experience the miracles of nature. In Yoga you witness your own body which is in fact nothing short of a miracle 🙂

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4. Traveling opens your mind ( sort of) and Yoga does the same, if you haven’t tried meditation then do try! It will blow your mind…literally!

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You traveling plans, vacation may end at some point but the journey of yoga is for life.. That’s why I call Yoga a journey of a lifetime towards thyself.

Mahendra Kumar
Staff Writer
Paramyoga.org