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If you closely watch your breath on these occasions, you will find that the breath has become very very slow. In those Yogic students who practise Sirshasana, Pranayama comes by itself.
It is obvious from these examples that when the mind is deeply concentrated on any subject, the respiration slows down or stops.
Pranayama is being done automatically. Mind and Prana are intimately connected. If you turn your attention to watch the breath on those occasions, it will regain its normal state.
Pranayama comes by itself to those who are deeply absorbed in doing Japa, Dhyana or Brahma-Vichara enquiry of Atman. Prana, mind and Virya seminal energy are under one Sambandha connection.
If you can control the mind, Prana and Virya are controlled by themselves. If you can control Prana, mind and Virya are controlled by themselves.
If you control the Virya by remaining as an Akhanda Brahmachari without emission of even a single drop of semen for 12 years, mind and Prana are controlled by themselves.
Just as there is connection between wind and fire light , so also there is connection between Prana and mind. Wind fans the fire.
Prana also fans the mind. If there is no wind, fire or light gets steady. Hatha Yogins approach Brahman by controlling Prana.
Raja Yogins approach Brahman by controlling mind. In this Pranayama you need not close the nostrils. Simply close the eyes if you practise it in a sitting posture.
Forget the body and concentrate. If you practise this during walking, just feel minutely the movement of the air that is inhaled and exhaled.
Walk with head up, shoulders back and with chest expanded. Inhale slowly through both nostrils counting OM mentally 3 times, one count for each step.
Then retain the breath till you count 12 OMs. Then exhale slowly through both nostrils till you count 6 OMs.
Take the respiratory pause or rest after one Pranayama counting 12 OMs. If you find it difficult to count OM with each step, count OM without having any concern with the steps.
Kapalabhati can also be done during walking. Those who are very busy can practise the above Pranayama during their morning and evening walks.
It is like killing two birds with one stone. You will find it very pleasant to practise Pranayama while walking in an open place, when delightful gentle breeze is blowing.
You will be invigorated and innervated quickly to a considerable degree. Practise, feel and realise the marked, beneficial influence of this kind of Pranayama.
Those who walk briskly, repeating OM mentally or verbally do practise natural Pranayama without any effort. Lie down on the back, quiet at ease, over a blanket.
Keep the hands on the ground by the side and legs straight. The heels should be kept together, but the toes can remain a little apart.
Relax all the muscles and the nerves. Those who are very weak, can practise Pranayama in this pose while lying on the ground or on a bedstead.
Draw the breath slowly without making any noise, through both nostrils. Retain the breath as long as you can do it with comfort. Then exhale slowly through both nostrils.
Repeat the process 12 times in the morning and 12 times in the evening. Chant OM mentally during the practice. This is a combined exercise of Asana, Pranayama, meditation and rest.
It gives rest not only to the body but also for the mind. It gives relief, comfort and ease. This is very suitable for aged people. The breathing in men and women is very irregular.
In exhalation the Prana goes out 16 digits and in inhalation only 12 digits, thus losing 4 digits. But if you inhale for 16 digits as in exhalation then you will have rhythmical breathing.
Then the power Kundalini will be roused. By the practice of rhythmical breathing you will enjoy real good rest. You can control the respiratory centre that is situated in medulla oblongata and other nerves also, because the centre of respiration has a sort of controlling effect on other nerves.
He who has calm nerves, has a calm mind also. If the units of exhalation and inhalation are the same, you will have rhythmical breathing.
If you inhale till you count 6 OMs, exhale also till you count 6 OMs. This is breathing in and out in a measured manner.
This will harmonise the whole system. This will harmonise the physical body, mind, Indriyas and will soothe the tired nerves.
You will experience full repose and calmness. All the bubbling emotions will subside and the surging impulses will calm down. There is another variety of modification of rhythmic breathing.
Inhale slowly through both nostrils for 4 OMs; retain the breath for 8 OMs internal Kumbhaka ; exhale slowly through both nostrils for 4 OMs; and retain the breath outside external Kumbhaka for 8 OMs.
Repeat the above process a number of times according to your strength and capacity. You can gradually increase the duration of inhalation and exhalation after some practice of 8 OMs and the period between breaths to 16 OMs.
But never try to increase the duration until you are sure that you have power and strength to do so. You must experience joy and pleasure in doing the same.
You should not feel any undue strain. Pay considerable attention to keep up the rhythm. Remember that the rhythm is more important than the length of breath.
You must feel the rhythm throughout your whole body. Practice will make you perfect. Patience and perseverance are needed. Sit on Padmasana or Siddhasana.
Keep the left nostril closed with your right ring and little fingers. Slowly inhale without making any sound as long as you can do it comfortably through the right nostril.
Then close the right nostril with your right thumb and retain the breath firmly pressing the chin against the chest Jalandhara Bandha. Hold on the breath till perspiration oozes from the tips of the nails and roots of the hairs hair follicles.
This point cannot be reached at the very outside. You will have to increase the period of Kumbhaka gradually. This is the limit of the sphere of practice of Surya Bheda Kumbhaka.
Then exhale very slowly without making any sound through the left nostril by closing the right nostril with the thumb.
Repeat OM mentally with Bhava and meaning during inhalation, retention and exhalation. Exhale after purifying the skull by forcing the breath up.
This Pranayama should again and again be performed, as it purifies the brain and destroys the intestinal worms and diseases arising from excess of wind Vayu.
This removes the four kinds of evils caused by Vayu and cures Vata or rheumatism. It cures rhinitis, cephalalgia and various sorts of neuralgia.
The worms that are found in the frontal sinuses are removed. It destroys decay and death, awakens Kundalini Sakti and increases the bodily fire.
Sit in Padmasana or Siddhasana. Inhale slowly through both the nostrils in a smooth, uniform manner till the breath fills the space from the throat to the heart.
Retain the breath as long as you can do it comfortably and then exhale slowly through the left nostril by closing the right nostril with your right thumb.
Expand the chest when you inhale. During inhalation a peculiar sound is produced owing to the partial closing of glottis. The sound produced during inhalation should be of a mild and uniform pitch.
It should be continuous also. This Kumbhaka may be practised even when walking or standing. Instead of exhaling through the left nostril, you can exhale slowly through both nostrils.
This removes the heat in the head. The practitioner becomes very beautiful. The gastric fire is increased.
It removes all the evils arising in the body and the Dhatus and cures Jalodara dropsy of the belly or ascites. It removes phlegm in the throat, Asthma, consumption and all sorts of pulmonary diseases are cured.
All diseases that arise from deficient inhalation of oxygen, and diseases of the heart are cured. All works are accomplished by Ujjayi Pranayama.
The practitioner is never attacked by diseases of phlegm, nerves, dyspepsia, dysentery, enlarged spleen, consumption, cough or fever.
Perform Ujjayi to destroy decay and death. Fold the tongue so that the tip of the tongue might touch the upper palate and draw the air through the mouth with a hissing sound C C C C or Si, Si, Si, Si.
Then retain the breath as long as you can without the feeling of suffocation and then exhale slowly through both nostrils.
You can keep the two rows of teeth in contact and then inhale the air through the mouth as before. The practice enhances the beauty of the practitioner and vigour of his body.
It removes hunger, thirst, indolence and sleep. His strength will be just like that of Indra. He becomes the Lord of Yogins.
He is able to do and undo things. He becomes an independent monarch. No injury will affect him. When you are thirsty, practise this.
You will be relieved of thirst immediately. Protrude the tongue a little away from the lips. Fold the tongue like a tube. Draw in the air through the mouth with the hissing sound Si.
Retain the breath as long as you can hold on with comfort. Practise this daily again and again in the morning from 15 to 30 times. You can do this either on Padmasana, Siddhasana, Vajrasana or even when you stand or walk.
This Pranayama purifies the blood. It quenches thirst and appeases hunger. It cools the system. It destroys Gulma chronic dyspepsia , Pleeha, inflammation of various chronic diseases, fever, consumption, indigestion, bilious disorders, phlegm, the bad effects of poison, snake-bite, etc.
When you are caught up in a jungle or any place where you cannot get water, if you feel thirsty, practise this Pranayama.
You will be at once relieved of thirst. He who practises this Pranayama regularly, will not be affected by the bite of serpents and scorpions.
Sitali Kumbhaka is an imitation of the respiration of a serpent. The practitioner gets the power of casting his skin and enduring the privation of air, water and food.
He becomes a proof against all sorts of inflammations and fever. Rapid succession of forcible expulsion is a characteristic feature of Bhastrika.
Just as a blacksmith blows his bellows rapidly, so also you should move your breath rapidly. Keep the body, neck and head erect. Next, inhale and exhale quickly ten times like the bellows of the blacksmith.
Constantly dilate and contract. When you practise this Pranayama a hissing sound is produced. The practitioner should start with rapid expulsions of breath following one another in rapid succession.
When the required number of expulsions, say ten for a round, is finished, the final expulsion is followed by a deepest possible inhalation.
The breath is suspended as long as it could be done with comfort. Then deepest possible exhalation is done very slowly. The end of this deep exhalation completes one round of Bhastrika.
Rest a while after one round is over by taking a few normal breaths. This will give you relief and make you fit for starting the second round.
Do three rounds daily in the morning. You can do another three rounds in the evening also. Busy people who find it difficult to do three rounds of Bhastrika can do one round at least.
This also will keep them quite fit. Bhastrika is a powerful exercise. A combination of Kapalabhati and Ujjayi makes up Bhastrika. Practise Kapalabhati and Ujjayi to start with.
Then you will find it very easy to do Bhastrika. Some prolong the practice till they get tired. You will get perspiration profusely. If you experience any giddiness stop the practice and take a few normal breaths.
Continue the practice after the giddiness has vanished. Bhastrika can be done both in the morning and evening in winter.
In summer do it in the morning only during cool hours. Bhastrika relieves inflammation of the throat, increases gastric fire, destroys phlegm, removes diseases of the nose and chest and eradicates asthma, consumption, etc.
It gives good appetite. It breaks the three Granthis or knots viz. It destroys phlegm which is the bolt or obstacle to the door at the mouth of Brahma Nadi Sushumna.
It enables one to know the Kundalini. It removes all diseases which arise from excess of wind, bile and phlegm. It gives warmth to the body.
When you have no sufficient warm clothing in a cool region to protect yourself from cold, practise this Pranayama and you will get sufficient warmth in the body quickly.
It purifies the Nadis considerably. It is the most beneficial of all Kumbhakas. Bhastrika Kumbhaka should be specially practised as it enables the Prana to break through the three Granthis or knots that are firmly located in the Sushumna.
It awakens the Kundalini quickly. The practitioner will never suffer from any disease. He will always be healthy. The number of exhalations or rounds is determined by the strength and capacity of the practitioner.
You must not go to extremes. Some students do six rounds. Some do twelve also. You can practise Bhastrika in the following manner.
There is some slight change in the end. Having inhaled and exhaled quickly twenty times, inhale through the right nostril, retain the breath as long as you can do it comfortably and then exhale through the left nostril.
Then inhale through the left nostril, retain the breath as before and then exhale through the right nostril.
There are some varieties of Bhastrika wherein one nostril only is used for breathing purposes and in another variety the alternate nostrils are used for inhalation and exhalation.
Those who wish to do Bhastrika for a long time in an intense manner should live on Khichdi, and take an enema or do Bhasti in the morning before starting the practice.
Inhale rapidly through both nostrils making sound of Bhramara, the bee, and exhale rapidly through both nostrils, making the humming sound.
You can carry the process till the body is bathed in perspiration. In the end inhale through both nostrils, retain the breath as long as you can do it comfortably and then exhale slowly through both nostrils.
The joy which the practitioner gets in making the Kumbhaka is unlimited and indescribable. In the beginning, heat of the body is increased as the circulation of blood is quickened.
In the end the body-heat is decreased by perspiration. By success in this Bhramari Kumbhaka the Yogic student gets success in Samadhi.
Sit in your Asana and inhale. Do Jalandhara Bandha by pressing the chin against the chest. Retain the breath till you expect fainting and then exhale slowly.
This is Murchha Kumbhaka as it makes the mind senseless and gives happiness. But this is not suitable for many. Practice of this Pranayama demands skill on the part of the student.
He who practises this Plavini can do Jalastambha solidification of water and float on water for any length of time.
He who practises this Plavini Kumbhaka can live on air and dispense with food for some days. The student actually drinks air like water slowly and sends it to the stomach.
The stomach gets bloated a bit. If you tap the stomach when it is filled with air, you will get a peculiar tympanic air sound. Gradual practice is necessary.
The help of one who is well versed in this Pranayama is also necessary. The student can expel all the air from the stomach by gradual belching. Kumbhaka is of two kinds, viz.
That which is coupled with inhalation and exhalation is termed Sahita. That which is devoid of these, is called Kevala alone.
When you get mastery in Sahita, then you can attempt this Kevala. Such powers as that of roaming about in space unseen, follow this last form of Pranayama.
In Vasishtha Samhita it is said: The student can retain his breath as long as he likes through this Kumbhaka. He attains the state of Raja Yoga.
Through Kevala Kumbhaka, the knowledge of Kundalini arises. Kundalini is aroused and the Sushumna is free from all sorts of obstacles.
He attains perfection in Hatha Yoga. You can practise this Kumbhaka three times a day. He who knows Pranayama and Kevala is the real Yogi.
What can he not accomplish in the three worlds, who has acquired success in this Kevala Kumbhaka? Glory, glory to such exalted souls.
This Kumbhaka cures all diseases and promotes longevity. Those who practise Pranayama, can impart their Prana in healing morbid diseases. They can also recharge themselves with Prana in no time by practising Kumbhaka.
Never think that you will be depleted of your Prana by distributing it to others. The more you give, the more it will flow to you from the cosmic source Hiranyagarbha.
That is the law of nature. Do not become a niggard. If there is a rheumatic patient, gently shampoo his legs with your hands.
When you do shampooing massage , do Kumbhaka and imagine that the Prana is flowing from your hands towards the leg of your patient.
Connect yourself with Hiranyagarbha or the Cosmic Prana and imagine that the cosmic energy is flowing through your hands towards the legs of the patient.
The patient will at once feel warmth, relief and strength. You can cure headache, intestinal colic or any other disease by massage and by your magnetic touch.
When you massage the liver, spleen, stomach or any other portion or organ of the body, you can speak to the cells and give them orders: I command you to do so.
They too have got subconscious intelligence. Repeat OM when you pass your Prana to others. Try a few cases. You will gain competence. You can cure scorpion-sting also.
Gently shampoo the leg and bring the poison down. You can have extraordinary power of concentration, strong will and a perfectly healthy and strong body by practising Pranayama regularly.
You will have to direct the power of Prana consciously to unhealthy parts of the body. Suppose you have a sluggish liver. Inhale gently till you count OM 3 times.
Then retain breath till you count OM 6 times. Direct the Prana to the region of the liver. Concentrate your mind there. Fix your attention to that area.
Imagine that Prana is interpenetrating all the tissues and the cells of the lobes of the liver and doing its curative, regenerating and constructive work there.
Faith, imagination, attention and interest play a very important part in curing disease by taking Prana to the diseased areas.
During exhalation imagine that the morbid impurities of the liver are thrown out. Repeat this process 12 times in the morning and 12 times in the evening.
Sluggishness of liver will vanish in a few days. This is a drugless treatment. You can take the Prana to any part of the body during Pranayama and cure any kind of disease, be it acute or chronic.
Try once or twice in healing yourself. Your convictions will grow stronger. Why do you cry like the lady who is crying for ghee when she has butter in her hand, when you have a cheap, potent, easily available remedy or agent Prana at your command at all times!
When you advance in your concentration and practice, you can cure many diseases by mere touch. In the advanced stages, many diseases are cured by mere will.
You can transmit your Prana through space, to your friend, who is living at a distance. He should have a receptive mental attitude.
You must feel yourself en rapport in direct relation and in sympathy with the man, whom you heal with this Distant Healing method.
You can fix hours of appointment with them through correspondence. You can write to them: Have a receptive mental attitude.
Lie down in an easy chair. I shall transmit my Prana. Practise rhythmical breathing also. Have a mental image that the Prana is leaving your mind when you exhale; it is passing through space and is entering the system of the patient.
The Prana travels unseen like the wireless radio waves and flashes like lightning across space. The Prana that is coloured by the thoughts of the healer is projected outside.
You can recharge yourself with Prana by practising Kumbhaka. This requires long, steady and regular practice. The practice of relaxing the muscles of the body will bring rest to the body and to the mind also.
The tension of the muscles will be relieved. People who know the science of relaxation do not waste any energy. They can meditate well.
Take a few deep breaths and then lie down flat on your back as in Savasana. Relax all the muscles of the body from head to feet.
Roll on to one side and then relax as thoroughly as you can do. Do not strain the muscles. Roll on the other side and relax.
This is naturally done by all during sleep. There are various exercises in relaxation, for the particular muscles of a particular part of the body.
You can relax the head, the shoulders, the arms, forearms, wrist, etc. Yogins know the science of relaxation thoroughly.
When you practise these various relaxation exercises, you must have the mental picture of calmness and strength.
Mental poise and calmness may be brought about by the eradication of worry and anger. Fear really underlies both worry and anger. Nothing is gained by worry and anger, but on the contrary much energy is wasted by these two kinds of lower emotions.
If a man worries much and if he is irritable, he is indeed a very weak man. Be careful and thoughtful.
All unnecessary worries can be avoided. Relaxation of the muscles reacts on the mind and brings repose to the mind.
Relaxation of the mind brings rest to the body also. Body and mind are intimately connected. Body is a mould prepared by the mind for its enjoyment.
Sit for 15 minutes in a relaxed and easy comfortable position. Withdraw the mind from outside objects. Silence the bubbling thoughts.
Think that the body is like a coconut shell and you are entirely different from the body. Think that the body is an instrument in your hands.
Identify yourself with the all-pervading Spirit or Atman. Imagine that the whole world and your body are floating like a piece of straw in this vast ocean of Spirit.
Feel that you are in touch with the Supreme Being. Feel that the life of the whole world is pulsating, vibrating and throbbing through you.
Feel that the ocean of life is gently rocking you on its vast bosom. Then open your eyes. You will experience immense mental peace, mental vigour and mental strength.
Practise and feel this. And even Yoga becomes powerless in securing Moksha when it is devoid of Jnana. Tamas and Rajas constitute the covering or veil.
This veil is removed by the practice of Pranayama. After the veil is removed, the real nature of the soul is realised. The Chitta is by itself made up of the Sattvic particles, but it is enveloped by Rajas and Tamas, just as the fire is enveloped by smoke.
There is no purificatory action greater than Pranayama. Pranayama gives purity and the light of knowledge shines. The Karma of the Yogi, which covers up the discriminative knowledge is destroyed as he practises Pranayama.
By the magic panorama of desire, the essence, which is luminous by nature is covered up and the Jiva or individual soul is directed towards vice.
This Karma of the Yogi which covers up the Light and binds him to repeated births, becomes attenuated by the practice of Pranayama every moment and is destroyed eventually.
The afflictions and sins constitute the cover according to Vachaspati. You will be able to concentrate the mind, nicely after this veil of the light has been removed.
The mind will be quite steady like the flame in a windless place as the disturbing energy has been removed. The word Pranayama is sometimes used collectively for inhalation, retention and exhalation of breath and sometimes for each of these severally.
When the Prana Vayu moves in the Akasa-Tattva, the breathing will be lessened. At this time it will be easy to stop the breath. The velocity of the mind will be slowly lessened by Pranayama.
It will induce Vairagya. When through great practice the Yogi can perform Kumbhaka for full three hours, then he can balance himself on his thumb.
He undoubtedly attains all kinds of Siddhis. Just as fire destroys the fuel, so also Pranayama destroys the bundles of sins.
Pratyahara makes the mind calm. Dharana steadies the mind. Dhyana makes one forget the body and the world. Samadhi brings infinite Bliss, Knowledge, Peace and Liberation.
During Yogic Samadhi, the flame of the Yogagni fire of Yoga extending from navel to the head melts the Amrita in the Brahmarandhra.
The Yogi drinks this with joy and ecstasy. He can remain without food and drink for months by drinking this Yogic nectar alone.
The body becomes lean, strong and healthy. Too much fat is reduced. There is lustre in the face. Eyes sparkle like a diamond.
The practitioner becomes very handsome. Voice becomes sweet and melodious. The inner Anahata sounds are distinctly heard.
The student is free from all sorts of diseases. He gets established in Brahmacharya. Semen gets firm and steady. The Jatharagni gastric fire is augmented.
The student becomes so perfect in Brahmacharya that his mind will not be shaken even if a fairy tries to embrace him. The Vikshepa is removed and the mind becomes one-pointed.
Rajas and Tamas are destroyed. The mind is prepared for Dharana and Dhyana. The excretions become scanty. Steady practice arouses inner spiritual light, happiness and peace of mind.
It makes him an Urdhvareto-Yogi. Advanced students only will get all the other Siddhis mentioned above.
The mind of a man can be made to transcend ordinary experience and exist on a plane higher than that of reason known as superconscious state of concentration and get beyond the limit of concentration.
He comes face to face with facts which ordinary consciousness cannot comprehend. This ought to be achieved by proper training and manipulation of the subtle forces of the body so as to cause them to give, as it were, an upward push to the mind into the higher regions.
When the mind is so raised into the superconscious state of perception, it begins to act from there and experiences higher facts and higher knowledge.
Such is the ultimate object of Yoga, which can be achieved by the practice of Pranayama. The control of the vibratory Prana means to a Yogi, the kindling of the fire of supreme knowledge, the realisation of the Self.
In the early morning, answer the calls of nature and sit for the practice. Practise Pranayama, in a dry well-ventilated room. Pranayama requires deep concentration and attention.
It is always better to have the practice in a steady sitting posture. Do not keep anyone by your side to avoid distraction of your mind.
Before you sit for Pranayama practice, thoroughly clean the nostrils well. You can take a small quantity of fruit-juice or a small cup of milk or coffee even before the practice.
When you finish the practice take a cup of milk or light tiffin after 10 minutes. Have one sitting only in the morning during summer. If there is heat in the brain or head, apply Amla oil or butter on the head before you take your bath.
Take Misri Sherbat by dissolving sugar candy in water. This will cool your whole system. Do Sitali Pranayama also. You will not be affected by the heat.
Strictly avoid too much talking, eating, sleeping, mixing with friends and exertion. Take a little ghee with rice when you take your meals.
This will lubricate the bowels and allow Vayu to move downwards freely. Perfect celibacy for six months or one year will doubtless enable you to acquire rapid progress in the practice and in spiritual advancement.
Do not talk with ladies. Do not laugh and joke with them. Shun their company entirely. Without Brahmacharya and dietetic regulations if you practise Yogic exercises, you will not get maximum benefit in the spiritual practices.
But, for ordinary health you can practise mild exercises. Be regular and systematic in your practice. Never miss a day. Stop the practice when you are ailing seriously.
Some people twist the muscles of the face when they do Kumbhaka. It should be avoided. It is a symptom to indicate that they are going beyond their capacity.
This must be strictly avoided. Such people cannot have a regulated Rechaka and Puraka. This is a serious mistake.
Meditate or do Japa for half an hour. Then do Asanas and Mudras. Take rest for 15 minutes. Physical exercises can be conveniently combined with Asanas.
If you have sufficient time at your disposal, you can have it after finishing all the Yogic exercises and meditation. Pranayama can also be performed as soon as you get up from bed just before Japa and meditation.
It will make your body light and you will enjoy the meditation. You must have a routine according to your convenience and time. Maximum benefit can be derived if Japa also is done during the practice of Asanas and Pranayama.
It is always better to start Japa and meditation in the early morning at 4 a. At this time the mind is quite calm and refreshed.
You can have good concentration. Vast majority of persons waste their precious time in the early morning in answering the calls of nature for half an hour and washing their teeth for another half an hour.
Aspirants should try to defecate within 5 minutes and cleanse their teeth within 5 minutes. If the bowels are constipated, have vigorous practice of Salabha, Bhujanga and Dhanur Asanas for 5 minutes as soon as you get up from bed.
If you are habituated to answer the call of nature, late, you can do so after finishing the Yogic exercises.
First do Japa and meditation. Then you can take to Asana and Pranayama exercises. Then finish the course of practice by another short sitting in meditation.
AS there is always some drowsiness when you get up from bed, it is desirable to do some Asanas and a little Pranayama for five minutes just to drive off this drowsiness and to make you fit for meditation.
The mind gets one-pointed after the practice of Pranayama. Pranayama, though it concerns with the breath, gives good exercise for various internal organs and the whole body.
The general order of doing Kriyas is: First do all Asanas, then Mudras, then Pranayama and then Dhyana. Since the early morning time is suitable for meditation, you can follow this order: Japa, Meditation, Asanas, Mudras and Pranayama.
This is a better way. You can follow the order which is suitable to you. After doing Asanas, take rest for five minutes and then begin Pranayama.
Some Hatha Yogic books interdict cold bath in the early morning. Probably the reason may be that one may catch cold or develop any complaint of the lungs, if he takes cold bath at 4 a.
There is no restriction in hot places. I am always in favour of cold baths before one starts the Yogic practices as it is refreshing and stimulating.
It drives off drowsiness. It brings in equilibrium of circulation of blood. There is a healthy flow of blood towards the brain.
Asanas and Pranayama remove all sorts of diseases, improve health, energise digestion, invigorate the nerves, straighten the Sushumna Nadi, remove Rajas and awaken Kundalini.
Practice of Asanas and Pranayama bestows good health and steady mind. As no Sadhana is possible without good health and as no meditation is possible without a steady mind, Hatha Yoga is of immense use for Dhyana Yogins, Karma Yogins, Bhaktas and Vedantins as well.
The maintenance of the body is impossible without Asanas or any kind of physical exercises or activities. Even an orthodox Vedantin is an unconscious Hatha Yogi.
He practises some kind of Asana daily. He practises Pranayama also unconsciously because during meditation, Pranayama comes by itself.
Whenever you feel uneasy, depressed or dejected, practise Pranayama. You will be at once filled with new vigour, energy and strength. You will be elevated, renovated and filled with joy.
Do this and try. Before you begin to write something, an essay, an article or a thesis, do Pranayama first. You will bring out beautiful ideas and it will be an inspiring, powerful and original production.
Be regular in the practice. Regularity in the practice is very necessary if one wants to realise the maximum benefits of Asanas and Pranayama.
Those who practise by fits and starts will not derive much benefit. Generally people practise for two months in the beginning with great enthusiasm and leave off the practice.
This is a sad mistake. They always want a Yogic teacher by their side. They have got the effeminate leaning mentality.
They are lazy, torpid and slothful. People do not want to remove Mala impurity by selfless service and Vikshepa by Yogic practices.
They should not foolishly imagine that they have become great adepts in Yoga. A great saint of repute had a downfall. He freely mixed with ladies made lady disciples and allowed them to shampoo his legs.
As the sex-energy was not completely sublimated and turned into Ojas, as lust was lurking in a subtle form in his mind, he became a victim.
He lost his reputation. The sexual desire was only suppressed in him and when a suitable opportunity came, it again assumed grave form.
He had no strength or will-power to resist the temptation. Another great soul who was regarded by his disciples as an Avatara became a Yoga-bhrashta.
He also freely mixed with ladies and committed serious crimes. He became a prey to lust. What a sad misfortune!
Aspirants climb with great difficulty by the ladder of Yoga and they are irrecoverably lost for ever on account of their carelessness and spiritual pride.
Remembrance of the skeleton and dead body of a woman, will induce Vairagya in your mind. The body has come out of the filthy discharge. It is full of impurities.
In the end it is reduced into ashes. If you remember this, Vairagya will dawn in your mind. Attraction for ladies will gradually vanish.
If you place before your mind the sickly figure of a lady, or the picture of a very old lady you will develop Vairagya. Remember pains of Samsara, the unreality of objects and the bondage that comes from attachment to wife and children.
Try any method that suits you best. One should try to get Viveka or discrimination between the real Self and the unreal, impure body.
He should hammer the mind and point out to the mind the defects of a sexual life, viz. He should always think of the ever-pure immortal Atman and the glory of the spiritual life, viz.
Gradually the mind will be weaned from looking at a woman however beautiful she might be. The mind will shudder to look at her with evil thought.
Sometimes they are so strong and formidable that I am bewildered as to how to check them. I am not perfectly established in truth and Brahmacharya.
The old habits of speaking lies and lust are still lurking in me. Lust is troubling me vigorously. The very idea of women agitates my mind.
My mind is so sensitive that I am not able to hear or think of them. As soon as the thought comes in the mind, my Sadhana gets disturbed and also the peace of the whole day is spoiled.
I advise my mind, coax it, frighten it, but it is of no avail. I do not know how to control this passion. Irritability, egoism, anger, greed, hatred, attachment, etc.
Lust is my chief enemy and it is a very strong one too. I request you to be kind enough to advise as to how to destroy the same.
When the impurities emerge from the subconscious mind and come to the surface of the conscious mind with formidable force, do not try to resist them.
Repeat your Ishta Mantra. Do not think of your defects or evil qualities much. It is enough if you introspect and find out your defects. Do not try to attack the evil qualities.
Then they will show their long faces. Do not worry yourself often: Through meditation and by the development of positive qualities, through Pratipaksha Bhavana method all the negative qualities will die of themselves.
This is the right method. Passion will subside by protracted Japa and meditation and Chintana on Atman. Do not try to run away from ladies.
Then Maya will chase you terribly. Remember that the Atman is sexless. Mental repetition of this formula will give you strength.
You should remain far away from ladies in the beginning of your practice. After you are perfectly moulded and well-established in Brahmacharya, you should test your strength by moving with ladies very cautiously for some time.
If your mind is very pure now also, if there is no sex-idea, if the mind ceases to act through the practice of Uparati, Sama and Dama, remember you have gained real spiritual strength and made considerable progress in your Sadhana.
You are safe now. You should not stop your Sadhana thinking that you are a Jitendriya Yogi. If you stop it you will have a hopeless fall.
Even if you are a Jivanmukta and a dynamic Yogi, you should be very careful when you move with worldly persons. Thirsty aspirants who are treading the path of Self-realisation who are householders and forty years of age should give up contact with the partners in life.
They should observe perfect physical Brahmacharya, if they want rapid spiritual progress and Self-realisation in this very birth. There are no half way measures in the spiritual path.
It is the mind that really does all actions. A desire arises in your mind and then you think. Then you proceed to act.
The determination of the mind is put into action. First there is Sankalpa or thought and then comes action.
Therefore do not allow the sexual thoughts to enter the mind. No space is empty at any time. This is the law of nature.
If one thing is removed from a place immediately another comes to fill its place. The same law holds good in the case of the inner mental world also.
Therefore it is necessary to entertain sublime divine thoughts to replace evil thoughts. As you think, so you become.
This is the immutable psychological law. The vicious mind is gradually divinised by entertaining divine thoughts.
Vasanas grow from lustful look. You have no lustful look when you see your mother or sister although they are well-dressed and decorated with ornaments and flowers.
You look at them with affection and pure love. This is Suddha Bhavana. There are no lustful ideas. You will have to develop such a pure love or Bhavana when you look at other ladies also.
Looking at a woman with lustful heart is tantamount to sexual enjoyment. It is one form of Maithuna. That is the reason why Lord Jesus says: In the first seven kinds man enjoys mentally.
You should have the Bhava that ladies are manifestations of World Mother. They should be adored. This practice is for a beginner in the spiritual path.
Later he should develop the Atma Bhava, i. Otherwise he will begin to hate ladies and will not develop cosmic love. The above mental picture is kept up to annihilate lust.
It is a mental discipline. When you are in the company of ladies, try to identity yourself with the sexless, all-pervading Soul.
Constantly make the endeavour. The sex-idea will gradually vanish and with it the attraction and lust also. Sister Bhava will not suffice. I am very lustful.
I try to develop the Bhava of mother. I prostrate before a lady mentally, thinking that she is an image of Goddess Kaali and yet my mind is externally lustful.
What shall I do now? I want to have a glimpse of a beautiful lady. The old vicious Samskaras and Vasanas are very powerful. The cultivation of the Bhava is very difficult.
You may fail to develop the Bhava that all women are your mothers and sisters one hundred and one times. It does not matter. Stick to your practice tenaciously.
You are bound to succeed eventually. You will have to destroy the old mind and build a new mind. But you will have to do it if you want to attain immortality and eternal bliss.
You will surely succeed if you are fiery in your resolve and if you have iron determination. The Bhava will gradually manifest by constant practice.
You will be soon established in that Bhava. Now you are safe. The mind will again try to do some mischief inwardly.
It is very diplomatic. It is very difficult to find out its ways and secret underground operations.
It demands subtle intellect and careful repeated introspection and vigilant watch. Whenever the mental image of a lady crops up in your mind with evil thoughts, repeat mentally: Gradually old evil thoughts will die.
Whenever you see any lady entertain this Bhava and repeat mentally this Mantra. Your Drishti or look will become chaste.
All ladies are manifestations of World Mother. I wish, you practice the same Sadhana with your wife also. Make mental prostration and repeat the same Mantra mentally.
You must give up the idea of wife. It is high time now. Then you will have quick progress in spirituality. You must become a perfect Brahmachari now.
She also must observe fast on Ekadasi. Do not say now: I am a householder. How long do you want to remain as a passionate householder?
Is it till the end of life? Is there not a nobler mission in life than eating and sleeping? Do you not want to enjoy the eternal bliss of the Self?
You have tasted enough of the mundane pleasures. You have passed the stage of a householder. I can excuse you if you are a young man, but not now.
As soon as a son or daughter is born, the wife becomes your mother, because you yourself are born as a son or a daughter.
Now get ready for the stage of Vanaprastha and mental Sannyasa while remaining in the world. Colour your heart first. This will be a noble life indeed.
Real Sannyasa is mental non-attachment. You need not retire into the Himalayan caves. Attain the above state of mind. Live in the world with family and children amidst peace and aplenty.
Be in the world, but be out of the world. This is real Sannyasa. This is what I really want. Then you will become a King of kings.
I am shouting at the top of my voice like this for many years. But only a few persons follow my teaching. Thou art very dear to me, O Krishna, because thou art treading the path of Truth.
Thou art sincerely struggling. Thou art on the path of Self-realisation too. Hence I am giving you this advice. Brahmacharya is freedom from sexual thoughts and desires.
It is control of all Indriyas in thought, word and deed. It is for both men and women. Such a celibate is God indeed. Through Brahmacharya get over the miseries of mundane life and attain health, strength, peace of mind, endurance, bravery, material progress, psychic advancement, clear brain, gigantic will-power, bold understanding, retentive memory, abundant energy, power to face difficulties in daily battle of life and Immortality.
One who has perfect control over sexual energy attains powers unattainable by any other means. Constantly think of the sexless Atman.
Destroy the sexual Vasana. See Atman in all. Anything that brings impure thoughts in the mind is bad company. Fly away from the worldly-minded persons.
You will be far away from the danger zone. The magnetic aura and powerful thought-currents of developed adepts produce a tremendous influence on the minds of lustful people.
Give proper attention to food. Pungent articles, garlic, onions, meat, fish, alcohol. Fasting checks passion, calms emotions, controls Indriyas and helps Brahmacharya.
Think of the component parts of body, viz. Have a strong desire for liberation. This will decidedly help you to destroy lust.
Have cold hip bath. Do not think of a lady. Do not look at a lady. Avert the sexual thoughts by sublime Divine thoughts. Keep the mind fully occupied.
Render your will pure, strong, irresistible. When once the Veerya is lost, it can never be recouped by taking any amount of Badam, nervine tonics, milk, cheese, etc.
Veerya, when preserved, serves as a master-key to open the realms of Divine Bliss and to obtain all sorts of higher achievements in life. Mortal flesh is only clay.
Everything will pass away. Brahmacharya is the only way. Brahmacharya is abstaining from all kinds of Maithuna or sexual enjoyment forever, in all places and in all conditions, physically, mentally and verbally.
Thinking of a woman or her picture, praising a woman or her picture, sporting with a woman or her picture, glancing at a woman or her picture, secretly talking to a woman, thinking of a sinful action towards a woman actuated by sensuality, determining upon the sinful action, and bodily action resulting in the discharge of semen are the eight characteristics of copulation; and Brahmacharya is quite contrary to all these eight indications.
Brahmacharya or spotless chastity is the best of all penances; a celibate of such spotless chastity is not a human being, but a god indeed.
To the celibate who conserves the semen with great efforts, what is there unattainable in this world? By the power of the composure of the semen, one will become just like myself.
And those students who find that world of God through chastity, theirs is that heavenly country; theirs, in whatever world they are, is freedom.
A wise man should avoid married life as if it were a burning pit of live coals. From the contact comes sensation, from sensation thirst, from thirst clinging; by ceasing from that, the soul is delivered from all sinful existence.
These sexual propensities, though they are at first like ripples, acquire the proportions of a sea on account of bad company. Sensuality destroys life, lustre, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, great fame, holiness and devotion to the Supreme.