As a physiotherapist with an interest in Yoga & Vedanta, I wanted to share 3 levels of health benefits;
i) the Bio-mechanical level of Physiotherapy
ii) the Bio-chemical and Bio-pranic levels of Hatha Yoga (ie. Surya Namaskar)
iii) the Bio-mental and spiritual levels of the Gayatri Mantra
(which metaphysically invokes the powers of the Sun through the power of the word and mind)
My purpose for this is, to suggest that merely practicing physical Hatha yoga, without the empowerment of mantras, is limited to just a physical exercise that grants improved posture, vitality and health, but one that may not effectively transfer the same levels of energy to the mental and intellectual via the word and mind.
i.e that relevant mantras help resonant the mind to the corresponding areas of the body, directing prana and energy there, and thereby bringing under conscious control those organs and glands via the neural plexus, autonomic pathways, hypothalamus, limbic system and anatomical locations mapped in the brain where they are reflected, governed and can become controlled by higher cortical functions.
Thus, Yoga brings the subconscious, and then the unconscious under conscious and ultimately superconscious control by natural means. For this, research done by the Maharishi Yoga Organisation might be of interest; http://www.maharishiyagya.org/jyotish/counterparts.html
Following is an introduction to these 3 levels ending with a simple 10 step process to a Solar Yoga or Sun worship. Please check out the links. There are some good ones for the Surya Namaskar for those of you interested or not familiar with the Gayatri Mantra.
i) MECHANICS of PHYSIOTHERAPY & YOGA (taken from my 1st post)
Physiotherapy is a paramedical health profession that is part of the mainstream bio-medical model which subscribes to the authority of the scientific method and is an accepted part of the medical institution. It involves manual handling, exercise prescription and education and covers all aspects from orthopaedics to neurology to cardio-respiratory medicine.Its focuses is on rehabilitative medicine and deals mainly with bio-mechanics, movement science and the musculo-skelatal system of the body.
One of the main principles of this is the fact that muscles use the bones as levers to cause movement and depends on the antagonistic relationship of muscles. This means that often muscles must work in opposition via vector forces to effect movement in the desired direction under the control and co-ordination of the brain and nervous system. This relationship between muscle working in tandem depends on the length-strength relationship between them. If across a single axis hinge joint there are two muscles if one contracts and shortens the other must relax and lengthen.
In physiotherapy treatments and exercise prescription, this it is often a vital aspect of a physiotherapist job to use this principle to correct the muscle balance in localised areas of the clients body; whether as part treating tone in a stroke patient or training an elite athlete. This flexibility and strength allows optimal movement as well as contributes to ones overall posture.
It is with regards to this aspect of posture that Yoga follows the same bio-mechanical principles. Rather than across one or two joints, Yoga effectively leads to the same flexibility, tone and strength throughout the whole body by the same principles of stretching and isotonic strengthening leading to optimal length and strength of muscles and ultimately flexibility of body posture and indirectly mind.
It is also useful to note that many yoga instructors do not have a foundation in anatomy, physiology and movement science as physiotherapists do. By understanding bio-mechanics yoga instructors who are so trained are more able to detect compensatory and incorrect movements in their students but also better able to adopt and modify postures to suite those students with pathologies, injuries or limitations (such as the obese).
Yoga also compliments internal systemic medicine through its pranayama component. By combining with deep breathing Yoga postures, which stretch specific internal organs and on releasing the position, increase well oxygenated blood to circulate more deeply into the tissues to remove toxins and increase life to these areas. (much like the effect of massage)
This compliments the other Indian health practice of Ayurveda that is a natural alternative to allopathy. Thus, Yoga helps for both bio-mechanically for the musculo-skeletal and bio-chemically for the internal organs and endocrinal systems.
Also, by holding the stretches in a prolonged position it strengthens the will and nervous system.
Thus, the whole purpose is for health to have muscles of iron and nerves of steel to deal with the challenges of life and living.
And as a life-style, the combination of specifically, co-ordinated administration of appropriate herbs (Ayurveda), asanas, mudras, pranayama techniques (Hatha Yoga), mantras (Sanskrit Metaphysical sounds) ideally with timings to nature (Tantra & Jyotish) such as gathering the solar rays at dawn and dusk especially during the half yearly passage of the Sun northwards, Yoga is really part of a very holistic process of preventing disease, increasing longevity, health and happiness.
More on Physiotherapy, Yoga & Holistic Health:-
Yoga in Daily Life in Physiotherapy
Physiotherapy & Yoga Research Publication
Example of Holistic Health School
Real maths in schools along with Vedic maths & sacred geometry
ii) THE SURYA NAMASKAR – Solar Yoga or Sun Salutation
Good video of Surya Nmaskar
Video of Surya Namaskar with the 12 Sun mantras
Mantras for the 12 asanas or postures in the Surya Namaskar
- ॐ मित्राय नमः aum mitrāya namah
- ॐ रवये नमः aum ravayé namah
- ॐ सूर्याय नमः aum sūryāya namah
- ॐ भानवे नमः aum bhānavé namah
- ॐ खगाय नमः aum khagāya namah
- ॐ पुष्णे नमः aum pushné namah
- ॐ हिरण्यगर्भाय नमः aum hiranyagarbhāya namah
- ॐ मारिचाये नमः aum mārichāyé namah
- ॐ आदित्याय नमः aum ādityāya namah
- ॐ सावित्रे नमः aum sāvitré namah
- ॐ अर्काय नमः aum ārkāya namah
- ॐ भास्कराय नमः aum bhāskarāya namah
12 Asanas in the Surya Namaskar Sun Prostration
The Most Important 6th (middle) Asana
Whilst the 12 above mantras can be used with each position, the most important one to consider is the Gayatri Mantra in the actual position of Sun prostration itself; the 6th asana.
It is during this position that the “yogi” is at the end of his prostration and rest phase before returning to the standing position.
From a spiritual or psychological stance, this represents the full surrender of the “ego”, the “doer” or the “body” that submits itself to the almighty, all pervasive light, life and energy that the Sun is the One source and supplier. (or, to the inner “Guru” – as in a full Padma Namaskar prostration touching the feet of the Satguru)
Surrender is the natural state of beyond being and becoming; the up and the down; the person, the prostration and That to which He prostates; yet all remains One, all the same. I am That I am.... but "I" needs the Grace to efface!
However, what is also important is the significance of the position of the head and the chest in this position.
In Yogic physiology, the Crown chakra that now faces the rays of the rising or setting sun, received the refreshing influx and downpour of cosmic rays into the brain (fontanelle) to be visualised and concentrated within the mind at the the ajna chakra between the brow, which is fixed and “Earthed” to close the electromagnetic circuit.
Likewise, chest should be held in position without any other part of the touching the Earth; except the feet and hands which serve the purpose of maintaining this specific stance.
Thus, in this position, the chest is in a stretched and retracted position, touching the magnetic earth at the same time as the forehead’s ajna chakra.
In the prior 5th asana position, the head is turned down (with the blood flow gravity assisted), and the breath is expelled, allowing oxygenation to the brain whilst the breath is in “khumbaka”; stilling of the mind ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kumbhaka). This prepares the mind to receive the solar electromagnetic energy in the next 6th prostration position. (Note that with inhalation “So” – waxing of the mind up to the brain – and exhaling “Hum” – waning of the mind down the spine, the prana also extends and retracts through the nadis (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nadi_%28yoga%29) along with the breath).
It is during the end of inhalation of the 6th asana position that the “Yogi” should mentally or verbally chant the “Gayatri Mantra” one or three times.
Or, if one of another spiritual background, such as a Buddhist, chant “Om Mani Padmi Hum” (bring the mind into the Lotus of the Heart), or a relevant mantra. However, the Gayatri has metaphysical advantages to do with the vibration inherent in the Sanskrit language.
Therefore, the 6th position is of vital importance in imbibing the energy of the Sun into the body and intelligence using the asana along with the Gayatri mantra.
And, once the Yogi moves out of this position into the 7th asana with the exhalation “(Hum)”, the solar force gets transferred to the abdomen and solar plexus; which on release injects the body with the agni or fire accrued (ie. release of the stretch allows an inner massage and blood flow to those related tissues, organs, liver, nerve plexus and glands) .
Interestingly, in Jyotish (Vedic Astrology), the Sun rules the brain, spine and crown chakra and gets exalted in Aries which governs the 3rd chakra or solar plexus; revealing the importance of the Sun in providing light that gets transformed into digestive fire and energy for the entire body.
Ultimate Mantra to the Sun (Savitur)
Gayatri Mantra Sun Salutation
(video of Surya Namaskar with the Gayatri Mantra)
Gayatri Mantra from You Tube (explained)
Gayatri Mantra with Flower of Life
Gayatri Mantra Example from You Tube
Gayatri Mantra from You Tube
Gayatri Mantra from You Tube
Gayatri Mantra Fusion from You Tube
Gayatri Mantra Fusion You Tube
THE GAYATRI MANTRA
Om Bhur, Om Bhuvah, Om Suvah, Om Maha, Om Jana, Om Tapa, Om Satyam, Tat Savitur Varenyam, Bhargo Devasya Dhee Mahi Dhi Yo Yo Nah Prachodaayaat
Om: The primeval sound
Bhur: the physical world
Bhuvah: the mental world
Suvah: the celestial, spiritual world (some add Maha, Jana, Tapa & Satyam)
Thath: That; God; transcendental Principle or Para-Atma
Savithur: the Sun, Creator, Preserver
Varenyam: most adorable, enchanting
Bhargo: lustre, effulgence
Devasya: resplendent, Supreme (Lord)
Dheemahi: we meditate upon
Dhiyo: the intellect understanding
Yo: May this light
Prachodayath: enlighten, guide, inspire
The meaning of the Gayatri Mantra:-
We contemplate the glory of Light illuminating the three worlds: gross, subtle and causal.
I am that vivifying power, love, radiant illumination, and divine grace of universal intelligence.
We pray for the divine light to illumine our minds
Thus, Gayatri is a prayer and meditation on the Sun as the source of these 7 levels of consciousness (and 3 planes) such that my intellect may become enlightened into the Light of Truth . Thus, Gayatri is the highest mantra for developing intelligence and the knowledge yielding faculty, both worldly and spiritual; leading eventually to self-inquiry and Self-realisation.
Mother Gaia (tree of life) & Mother Gaya-tri where Sun is the source of life
In Hinduism or Sanatana Dharma, the mother is considered very sacred. There are nourishing 5 mothers; the physical mother, the milk giving cow, the mother land, the Mother Earth (Gaia) and the Gayatri, considered the mother of the Vedas and Creation (AUM). Similarly, in Greek mythology Uranus (Heaven, Spirit or Purusha) married Gaia (Earth, Matter or Prakriti) to create Chronos or Time (Karma). Thus, according to Hinduism, from the seed of Gayatri sprung forth all creation and the tree of life.
For those of you serious about Yoga, one can give up any spiritual practice or sadhana, but one should not give up the Gayatri mantra. This is because the Gayatri mantra cultivates the intelligence, wisdom, consciousness and Jnana, whereby all practice eventually falls away and becomes redundant with the power of Self-inquiry; a sharpened intellect turned inwards to it’s source; Being or feeling of “I am”, where lies all potential powers of consciousness and nature.
So, the Gayatri is, as such, a foundation to any spiritually orientated Yoga, providing the discrimination that leads to Self-confidence, control & detachment. It is called the mother of the Vedas as all knowledge is contained in its power to grant the intelligence to make the right choices and receive the Atmic inspiration from within.
Main Effects of Chanting Gayatri
However, the 3 main effects of it’s chanting are propounded to be;
(i) Purifies the mind
(ii) Fulfills desires and
(ii) Grants knowledge and liberation
& it has 3 parts:
(i) Prayer (Dhiyo Yo Nah Prachodayaat)
(ii) Worship (Tat Savitur Varenyam)
(iii) Meditation (Bhargo Devasya Dhimahi)
& it is ideally practiced 3 periods in a day:-
(i) Sun rise
(iii) Sun set
& it is repeated 3, 9, 21 or 108 times at each period.
However, there is no restriction to number, place or time, and it can repeated mentally or orally whenever one wants to “get connected”. However, other auspicious times for marked benefits are before eating and during a shower when the vibration can be imbibed or used to cleanse one’s aura or field of energy. It draws a protective shield and the powers of the Sun to strengthen all ones faculties and God powered intuition.
With the nervous system healthy, remember that this mantra is very powerful in its vibratory effect. After the initial purification of the mind and nadi, it will later transmute your gunas and vibration in unseen ways over time. Just be patient, a little disciplined, persistent and pragmatic with it. The only requirement is love, faith and respect for the mantra and a clean life style ie. a vegetarian diet being most important without too much smoking or drinking!
Good luck. Om Tat Sat
Surya Namaskar:-http://www.monadarling.com/lifestyle/metaphysicsandjnanayoga.html,http://www.kirtimukha.com/chinnamma/Surya/SuryaNamaskar.htm, http://www.artofliving.org/surya-namaskar-sun-salutation,http://www.suryanamaskar.info/suryanamaskar.htm, http://sportabc.com/yoga/the-religious-aspect-of-the-sun-salutation.html, http://www.indiaparenting.com/alternative-healing/12_2727/the-health-benefits-of-surya-namaskar.html, http://journal-advances-developmental-research.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/06/Fitness-Improving-Through-Sun-Saluation-Surya-Namaskar-Bhatt-RJ1.pdf, http://yogamag.net/archives/2006/emay06/sn.shtml, http://www.yogasagar.org/yoga-posture/surya-namaskar-sun-salute/, http://health.wikinut.com/Surya-Namaskar-A-salute-to-The-Sun-god!-Stay-healthy../1b06p0e3/, Surya Ayurveda
Gayatri Mantra:- i) Gayatri Mantra ii) Gayatri Mantra iii) Gayatri Mantra iv) Gayatri Mantra v) Gayatri Mantra vi) Gayatri Mantra vii) Gayatri Mantra
10 STEPS to a SOLAR YOGA
1) First thing in the morning, just before the Sun rises and after you have had your shower, is generally the most conducive time to practice this salutation and prostration to the Sun (Brahmamurthi – when the Satwa guna is predominant, the mind is not yet active, and the Sushumna nadi is more likely to be open)
2) Light a candle at the altar, or face the rising Sun. Then, sit comfortably with back straight, making sure you are all facing EAST (or North) towards the flame or Sun. (West at dusk)
3) Sitting relaxed, with eyes closed, follow the breath in and out at the nostrils, with SLOW and DEEP breaths; in (So) and out (Hum).
Do this for about half a minute. This helps slow down and relax the mind before starting your mantra, exercise or meditation
4) Then say the GAYATRI MANTRA 3, 9 or 21 times
Follow this by (Peace) “OM SHANTI SHANTI SHANTI 3 times
5) Rise to a standing position to begin the SURYA NAMAKSAR
6) Start with eyes “squint” (partly open) staring at the rising Sun; closing them occasionally; each time trying to see the Sun in your MIND’S EYE. Again do this for about HALF A MINUTE. Note: if gazing at the Sun, make sure that the Sun is at the beginning of dawn and safe to look at with your only slightly open.
7) Begin the 12 steps
8) At the 6th Asana (Prostration), following the earlier suggestion, mentally repeat the GAYATRI MANTRA again at the end of inhalation/beginning of exhalation.
9) On completing the Surya Namskar and bathed with the Solar light, this can be followed by the JYOTISH meditation.
10) Sitting again, and keeping the flame or Sun in the mind’s eye, you can take yourself on a “LIGHT” mental journey.
This involves taking the flame (Jyotish) from the inner mind’s eye down to the HEART and “FILLING IT WITH LIGHT” and then mentally taking it around to the different parts of the body (inner cleanse) before taking it to all ones FRIENDS, LOVED ONES & THE WORLD (esp. the SICK & HELPLESS); believing that this is actually reaching these people through the power of ones thoughts (ie. that thoughts are subtle matter and reach their targets like wireless hand phones!).
This step is optional and need not take more than about 5 MINUTES. It can be finished with the prayer “SAMASTA LOKA SUKINO BHAVANTU” – May all the Beings in all the worlds be happy. SHANTI, SHANTI, SHANTI!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31yELzRARfw & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JAJNstI95DY, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBXELG44Oe4, etc..
Give me a Breakfast, Brahmamurthi & Brahmapanam!
You are now ready for your glorious day. It is after Sun rise with your inner agni ignited and you might want to start by having your breakfast with the sanskrit food mantra, if not the gayatri mantra.
The Brahmapanam mantra is the most well known mantra to cleanse the vibrations of one’s food that is chanted before eating. Here is a video I found on You tube for those of you interested in learning it. v=obwxk6rAHJ8&feature=related , http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfbsnKyJOo8&feature=related, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mSDlzYaZel0&feature=related , http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Eating Fresh Fruits (for Breakfast)
by Dr Stephen Mak (A Way of Life)
This is very informative!
“We all think eating fruit means just buying fruit, cutting it up and popping it into our mouths. It’s not that easy. It’s important to know how and when to eat fruit.
What’s the correct way to eat fruit?
IT MEANS NOT EATING FRUIT AFTER A MEAL!
FRUIT SHOULD BE EATEN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH
Eating fruit like that plays a major role in detoxifying your system, supplying you with a great deal of energy for weight loss and other life activities..
FRUIT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT FOOD.
Let’s say you eat two slices of bread, then a slice of fruit. The slice of fruit is ready to go straight through the stomach into the intestines, but it’s prevented from doing so.
In the meantime, the whole meal rots and ferments, and turns to acid. The minute the fruit comes into contact with the food in the stomach, and digestive juices, the entire mass of food begins to spoil.
Eat your fruit on an empty or before your meal! You’ve heard people complain: Every time I eat watermelon I burp, when I eat durian my stomach bloats, when I eat a banana I feel like running to the toilet, etc. This will not happen if you eat the fruit on an empty stomach. Fruit mixes with the putrefying other food and produces gas. Hence, you bloat!
Graying hair,balding, nervous outburst,dark circles under the eyes, all of these will NOT happen if you eat fruit on an empty stomach.
There’s no such thing as some fruits, like orange and lemon are acidic, because all fruit becomes alkaline in our body, according to Dr. Herbert Shelton who did research on this matter. If you have mastered the correct way of eating fruit, you have the Secret of Beauty, Longevity, Health, Energy, Happiness and normal weight
When you need to drink fruit juice drink only fruit juice, NOT from the cans. Don’t drink juice that has been heated. Don’t eat cooked fruit; you don’t get the nutrients at all. You get only the taste… Cooking destroys all of the vitamins.
Eating a whole fruit is better than drinking the juice. If you should drink the juice, drink it mouthful by mouthful slowly, because you must let it with your saliva before swallowing it. You can go on a 3-day fruit-fast to cleanse your body.. Eat fruit and drink fruit juice for just 3 days, and you will be surprised when your friends say how radiant you look!
KIWI: Tiny but mighty, and a good source of potassium, magnesium, vitamin E & fiber. Its vitamin C content is twice that of an orange!
AN APPLE a day keeps the doctor away? Although an apple has a low vitamin C content, it has antioxidants & flavonoids which enhances the activity of vitamin C, thereby helping to lower the risk of colon cancer, heart attack & stroke.
STRAWBERRY: Protective Fruit. Strawberries have the highest total antioxidant power among major fruits & protect the body from cancer-causing, blood vessel-clogging free radicals.
EATING 2 – 4 ORANGES a day may help keep colds away, lower cholesterol, prevent & dissolve kidney stones, and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
WATERMELON: Coolest thirst quencher. Composed of 92% water, it is also packed with a giant dose of glutathione, which helps boost our immune system. Also a key source of lycopene, the cancer-fighting oxidant. Also found in watermelon: Vitamin C & Potassium.
GUAVA & PAPAYA: Top awards for vitamin C. They are the clear winners for their high vitamin C content. Guava is also rich in fiber, which helps prevent constipation. Papaya is rich in carotene, good for your eyes..
Drinking Cold water after a meal = Cancer!
Can u believe this? For those who like to drink cold water, this applies to you. It’s nice to have a cold drink after a meal, however, the cold water will solidify the oily stuff that you’ve just consumed, which slows digestion. Once this ‘sludge’ reacts with the acid, it will break down and be absorbed by the intestine faster than the solid food. It will line the intestine. Very soon, this will turn into fats and lead to cancer.. It is best to drink hot soup or warm water after a meal.
A serious note about heart attacks.
HEART ATTACK PROCEDURE
Women should know that not every heart attack symptom is going to be the left arm hurting. Be aware of intense pain in the jaw. You may never have the first chest pain during the course of a heart attack. Nausea and intense sweating are also common symptoms. Sixty percent of people who have a heart attack while they’re asleep do not wake up. Pain in the jaw can wake you from a sound sleep. Be careful, and be aware. The more we know, the better our chance to survive.”
FOOD (Vegetarianism), DETOX & AYURVEDA
For more on vegetarianism, smoking, alcohol, tantra (sex) ayurveda & detox, please refer back to my early posts:-
“Yoga of Vegetarianism“
Sex, Yoga & Tantra
The 5 A’s – Asana, Ayurveda, Abode, Astrology, Advaita
My next post will be a simple one on sleep (its’ timing, amount & directions), vastu, architecture, sacred geometry & one’s Abode
From the Asana of Yoga & Ayurveda of inner Health, I would like to travel to, and touch upon, the next “A” of Abode & Architecture; again with 5 aspects of the environment & outer health on the level of:-
i) body (ie. yoga nidra, sleep, geometry, micro-correspondence),
ii) abode (house & geo-graphic location),
iii) sacred geometry,
v) cosmic patterns (macro-correspondences).
Thus, from Asana (Yoga), to Ayurveda (Health), to Abode (Archicture of Vastu & Sacared Geometry) , to Astrology (Jyotish), to Advaita (All is One Consciousness), I hope this Yogametaphysics site of Jiva 5 Lotus – the Metaphysical House condenses and simplifies the Sanatana Dharma in a practical & contemporary way through JiVa’s 5 A’s from the land of the lotus – IndiA!
The general theme is to reveal a Solar Yoga and the Sun’s connection to all these 5 aspects of knowledge (using the “tamas” body with the ritual of physical yoga through “rajasic” activity to reach the satwa state for consciousness & intuitive knowledge to appear).
For example, the connection of the Sun in Yoga and Ayurveda, with the words “prana” (life force), “agni” (digestive fire”), “pitta” (choleric), “tejas” (transmuted intelligence) and Brahmaprakash (spiritual effulgence) which are all related to the illumining power from the Sun.
Thus, I see the 5A list as a progression from Asana to Advaita, BUT that the Sun of Wisdom & the fire of Self-knowledge ultimately burns all these concepts and practices up!
Namaste, have a good day! Ucha Hai Good bye
All is One
- We are born alone… we die alone … but the beauty in between can be breath taking! In Yoga – all becomes One. Happy journey on your pathless path to Truth!