Archive for the ‘YOGA’ Category

Around 4000 years back there was deterioration in the morality and the interpretation of the Sutras resulting in other kind of thought patterns emerging and a complete break down of the fabric of the Vedic Society.

Sage Patanjali, who was also the incarnation of Shesha Nag (the companion of Lord Vishnu), took birth as a small serpent during the prayers of his mother in her hand (Anjali), hence, the name Patanjali. As there is a purpose to every birth, the purpose of the incarnation of the Shesha Nag was to the beings of Kal-Yuga (the last of the four Yugas) thus ending the Mahayuga.

A summary of what the Vedas were. This summary is considered as the path of salvation and is as powerful with the present day beings as was the knowledge of the Vedas for the people of Satya – Yuga (the first Yuga).

Yoga normally is understood as complicated postures and breathing exercises, on the contrary, Yoga is a union with your true self which as per the Yoga Sutras is attained by removing the hyper activity of the body and breath. In other words, “stilling” the breath naturally (Keval kumbak); and “stilling” the body in one posture (Sukham sthiram asanam).
The reader will be surprised to know that in the Yoga Sutras, no asanas are described.

The Patanjali Yoga Sutras is a scientific way which goes much beyond even the ambit of the modern day psychology and para-psychology. The techniques prescribed for example, “stilling the mind” are phenomenally effective and could teach a lot to the modern day psychologists.

For example, Verse 33 suggests a positive attitude to outward entities and Verse 34 suggests the restrain of breath. The modern day psychologist understands the disturbances caused in the body by regular breathing. Deep and rhythmic breathing induces mental tranquility.

Verse 37 suggests focusing your faculties on someone who has achieved a higher state of awareness like a Yogi. This is a fundamental of modern psychiatry as it is also based on the complete patient-doctor trust.
Verse 39 suggests meditation and it only very recently that modern medical science has understood this form of therapy.

Swami Satyananda translates certain Yoga Sutras as:

2.3 – The basic tensions of the mind are basic ignorance of truth, ego, attachment, aversion and fear of death. Thus, summing up the entire cause of human unhappiness

2.4 – Defines the implications behind the basic tension. Ignorance of reality is the root tension from which all other tensions arise. The tensions can be “dormant”, “slight”, “scattered” or “manifest”. Ignorance of one’s real nature is the basic cause of tension and unhappiness as per the Yoga Sutras.Tensions act at different levels. They are either:

Dormant (Prasupta) rooted deep in the subconscious mind which you are not yet aware of. They will be confronted as perceptions become deeper through Yoga.

And then, Slight (Tanu), means insignificant tensions.

Scattered (Vichhina), tension that bring neurotic problems- phobias and depressions in life. Yoga will eventually resolve them by allowing you to accept yourself and be in harmony with yourself.

Manifest (Udara), these are conscious. Tensions which one easily recognizes in daily life and the affect of which mostly is born as stomach disease.
As we have seen these tensions on the spectrum as the most gross to most subtle.

In 2.5, Patanjali gave ignorance as the basic tension. Ignorance can be caused by taking imperishable as perishable, contaminated as the pure and pristine, unhappiness as happiness and your- self as the real -self. Hence, the basic cause of unhappiness is lack of knowledge of one’s real self.

As one’s limited mind is the source of ignorance. Ignorance is dispelled by gaining more knowledge of the mind and eventually transcending the mind.
Ignorance also leads to egoism which Verse 2.6 gives. Egoism can be defined as wrong identification of the Purusha with the instrument of the mind and body. Identification with your mind and body leads to isolation as an individual. The penalty is frustration and unhappiness, since ego is always in relation to somebody else and is impossible to satisfy.

Attachment with the pleasures of the world (Raga) and repulsion with the things of what others possess (Dwesha). Raga and Dwesha leads to conflict and unhappiness and these lead to further fear of death.

In says the fear of death is the basic and dominating force even for the learned.

In 2.10 and 2.11, Patanjali says that the causes of unhappiness can be got rid by resolving them at the source. And removing the associated mental states through meditation. Thus, meditative techniques prescribed in the Yoga Sutras become a very powerful source of understanding mind and body and going beyond both.

Patanjali says that without the insight and experiences of the insight, unhappiness cannot be cured; so, the Sutras gave causes of unhappiness and the ways to remove them. It is mind-boggling to think that four and a half thousand years back when the entire world was supposedly ruled and controlled by barbarians, there in the Himalayas was a Saint who gave such words of wisdom and who understood the human mind and body with such great accuracy.

And the effects of practicing these techniques is so profound that one has to wonder and accept the supremacy of these beings who lived at that time.

The Yoga Sutras are to the point, words have been very sparingly used for the wealth of knowledge which one finds in them has not been understood. The hidden meanings have not been understood even by the master brains of today.

The Yoga Sutras consist of four parts:

1 :The first is the Samadhi part, a total of 51 Sutras. In this chapter, Patanjali describes the purpose of Yoga, the mental modifications, the path of practicing and Vairagya, the Samprajnata and Asamprajnata, defines Ishvara, subtlest of the subtle, talks about the obstacles to progress and how to harmonize the mind and finally the Sabija and the Nirbija Samadhi.

2 :The second part, the Sadhana part which is basically the practice consists of 55 Sutras. It discusses the various kind of Kleshas (tensions, problems and conflicts). And how to remove them and why to remove them. Awareness and path to intuitive knowledge and finally the five limbs of Ashtanga Yoga : Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara.

3 : The next chapter, the Vibhuti part consists of 56 Sutras basically deals with the psychic part which a sadhak develops on practicing the final three limbs of Ashtanga yoga which are : Dharana, Dhyana, Samadhi.

The development of the psychic powers of the practitioner is the main focus of this chapter.

4 : The final chapter, the Kaivalya part consists of 36 Sutras and deals with the differentiation of the individual and the cosmic mind, the theory of karma, the theory of unity of collective consciousness of all things. Various kinds of perceptions of the mind and the path to Kaivalya.

It is amazing to find that the logic given by Patanjali is faultless and the description precise. This entire system is what is “Yoga”.

It has been observed that now-a-days various aspects of this Yoga have been
mis represented and has been commercialized with have led to the subject loosing its efficacy and into a business from pure Sadhana – says Yogi Ashwin ji,

Let’s leave business to company boardrooms, shops, and market places, Yoga is a sadhna(practice) not a business.

Forty Types of Yoga

The Sanskrit word yoga stems from the verbal root yuj meaning “to yoke” or “to unite.” Thus, in a spiritual context, yoga stands for “training” or “unitive discipline.” The Sanskrit literature contains numerous compound terms ending in -yoga. These stand for various yogic approaches or features of the path. The following is a descriptive list of forty such terms. Not all of these form full-fledged branches or types of Yoga, but they represent at least emphases in diverse contexts. All of them are instructive in so far as they demonstrate the vast scope of Hindu Yoga.

1.Abhâva-Yoga: The unitive discipline of nonbeing, meaning the higher yogic practice of immersion into the Self without objective support such as mantras; a concept found in the Purânas; cf. Bhâva-Yoga

2.Adhyâtma-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the inner self; sometimes said to be the Yoga characteristic of the Upanishads

3.Agni-Yoga: The unitive discipline of fire, causing the awakening of the serpent power (kundalinî-shakti) through the joint action of mind (manas) and life force (prâna)

4.Ashtânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the eight limbs, i.e., Râja-Yoga or Pâtanjala-Yoga

5.Asparsha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of “noncontact,” which is the nondualist Yoga propounded by Gaudapâda in his Mândûkya-Kârikâ; cf. Sparsha-Yoga

6.Bhakti-Yoga: The unitive discipline of love/devotion, as expounded, for instance, in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ, the Bhâgavata-Purâna, and numerous other scriptures of Shaivism and Vaishnavism

7.Buddhi-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the higher mind, first mentioned in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ

8.Dhyâna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of meditation

9.Ghatastha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the “pot” (ghata), meaning the body; a synonym for Hatha-Yoga mentioned in the Gheranda-Samhitâ

10.Guru-Yoga: The unitive discipline relative to one’s teacher

11.Hatha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the force (meaning the serpent power or kundalinî-shakti); or forceful unitive discipline

12Hiranyagarbha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of Hiranyagarbha (“Golden Germ”), who is considered the original founder of the Yoga tradition

13.Japa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of mantra recitation

14.Jnâna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of discriminating wisdom, which is the approach of the Upanishads

15.Karma-Yoga: The unitive discipline of self-transcending action, as first explicitly taught in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ

16.Kaula-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Kaula school, a Tantric Yoga

17.Kriyâ-Yoga: The unitive discipline of ritual; also the combined practice of asceticism (tapas), study (svâdhyâya), and worship of the Lord (îshvara-pranidhâna) mentioned in the Yoga-Sûtra of Patanjali

18.Kundalinî-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the serpent power (kundalinî-shakti), which is fundamental to the Tantric tradition, including Hatha-Yoga

19.Lambikâ-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the “hanger,” meaning the uvula, which is deliberately stimulated in this yogic approach to increase the flow of “nectar” (amrita) whose external aspect is saliva

20.Laya-Yoga: The unitive discipline of absorption or dissolution of the elements prior to their natural dissolution at death

21.Mahâ-Yoga: The great unitive discipline, a concept found in the Yoga-Shikhâ-Upanishad where it refers to the combined practice of Mantra-Yoga, Laya-Yoga, Hatha-Yoga, and Râja-Yoga

22.Mantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of numinous sounds that help protect the mind, which has been a part of the Yoga tradition ever since Vedic times

23.Nâda-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the inner sound, a practice closely associated with original Hatha-Yoga

24.Pancadashânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the fifteen limbs (pancadasha-anga): (1) moral discipline (yama), (2) restraint (niyama), (3) renunciation (tyâga), (4) silence (mauna), (5) right place (desha), (6) right time (kâla), (7) posture (âsana), (8) root lock (mûla-bandha), (9) bodily equilibrium (deha-samya), (10) stability of vision (dhrik-sthiti), (11) control of the life force (prâna-samrodha), (12) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (13) concentration (dhâranâ), (14) meditation upon the Self (âtma-dhyâna), and (15) ecstasy (samâdhi)

25.Pâshupata-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Pâshupata sect, as expounded in some of the Purânas

26.Pâtanjala-Yoga: The unitive discipline of Patanjali, better known as Râja-Yoga or Yoga-Darshana

27.Pûrna-Yoga: The unitive discipline of wholeness or integration, which is the name of Sri Aurobindo’s Yoga

28.Râja-Yoga: The royal unitive discipline, also called Pâtanjala-Yoga, Ashtânga-Yoga, or Râja-Yoga

29Samâdhi-Yoga: The unitive discipline of ecstasy

30.Sâmkhya-Yoga: The unitive discipline of insight, which is the name of certain liberation teachings and schools referred to in the Mahâbhârata

31.Samnyâsa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of renunciation, which is contrasted against Karma-Yoga in the Bhagavad-Gîtâ
32.Samputa-Yoga: The unitive discipline of sexual congress (maithunâ) in Tantra-Yoga

33.Samrambha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of hatred, as mentioned in the Vishnu-Purâna, which illustrates the profound yogic principle that one becomes what one constantly contemplates (even if charged with negative emotions)

34.Saptânga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the seven limbs (sapta-anga), also known as Sapta-Sâdhana in the Gheranda-Samhitâ: (1) six purificatory practices (shat-karma), (2) posture (âsana), (3) seal (mudrâ), (4) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (5) breath control (prânâyâma), (6) meditation (dhyâna), and (7) ecstasy (samâdhi)

35.Shadanga-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the six limbs (shad-anga), as expounded in the Maitrâyanîya-Upanishad: (1) breath control (prânâyâma), (2) sensory inhibition (pratyâhâra), (3) meditation (dhyâna), (4) concentration (dhâranâ), (5) examination (tarka), and (6) ecstasy (samâdhi)

36.Siddha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the adepts, a concept found in some of the Tantras

37.Sparsha-Yoga: The unitive discipline of contact; a Vedantic Yoga mentioned in the Shiva-Purâna, which combines mantra recitation with breath control; cf. Asparsha-Yoga

38.Tantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the Tantras, a kundalinî-based Yoga

39.Târaka-Yoga: The unitive discipline of the “deliverer” (târaka); a medieval Yoga based on light phenomena

40.Yantra-Yoga: The unitive discipline of focusing the mind upon geometric representations (yantra) of the cosmos.

According to the scriptures, Yoga is mainly classified in various systems of branches. They are:

•Jnana Yoga – Union by Knowledge

•Bhakthi Yoga – Union by Love and Devotion

•Karma Yoga – Union by Action and Service

•Raja Yoga – Union by Mental Mastery – the path of will

•Hatha Yoga Union by Bodily Mastery (Principally of breath)

•Mantra Yoga – Union by Voice and Sound

•Yantra Yoga – Vision and Form

•Laya and Kundalini – Union by Arousal of Latent Psychic Yoga

•Tantric Yoga – A general form for the Physiological discipline. Also
union by harnessing sexual energy.

Hindu Yoga Paths

Bhakti Yoga

The Yoga of transcendent love, Divine Grace, and one pointed devotion to an ideal conception of divinity with the Hinduism devotee choosing to venerate deity as beloved, master, friend, parent/child. The Hindu Bhakti tradition disregarded caste systems and focused on genuine inner feelings and personal viewpoints to foster emotional well being, fulfillment, and the perceptual awareness of divinity pervading all aspects of Creation. Doing heartfelt service, Karma Yoga, was also integral to this path.

Hatha Yoga

The goal of the Hatha Yoga practitioner was health and vitality through rigorous training that involves many practices including breathing exercises (pranayama) and physical postures (asanas). When the postures and breathing exercises were mastered and the will trained to consciously control the vital energies of the physical and etheric bodies, the kundalini force was awakened at the base of the spine and used to open, purify, and vitalize the seven energy centers in the appropriate order.

Jnana Yoga

A difficult but profound path where the thinking philosopher sought union, peace, and liberation through information and discernment. Knowledge and wisdom were achieved by patiently releasing delusional thoughts and feelings until the meditator was attuned with the reality of Spirit. As the mind and heart blossomed with the illuminating realization that divinity was the inherent nature of the individual soul essence – first transformation and then eventual enlightenment occurred.
Karma Yoga

Linked to the fourth center, the Anahata or heart center, this yogic path centered on the universal karmic law of cause and effect. Transformation occurred when one learns to act out of love without attachment to immediately apparent results. By developing more responsible habits and attitudes, “new actions”, the practitioner changed his feeling and thought patterns through right action and service resulting in “new reactions”, realization and union with divinity.

Kriya Yoga

A yoga of transformation, Kriya combined the practices and disciplines of Bhakti,
Jnana, and Raja Yoga. Over 5,000 years old, the technique was traditionally conveyed from the Guru directly to the spiritually mature initiate. The goal of the meditator was to achieve self realization by raising the serpent force of kundalini to the ninth center, the thousand petaled lotus, at the top of the head by following a daily program of devotion to divinity, introspection, and self-discipline.

Laya Yoga

The goal of the meditator was to transcend the lower levels of egoic, sensual, and material consciousness by awakening the seven energy centers (five were along the spine in the tailbone, in the sacrum, navel, heart, and throat areas; two were in the head in the third eye and crown areas). By concentrating on each of these energy centers in turn under the guidance of a qualified teacher, the meditator opened doorways to higher states of consciousness.

Mantra Yoga

Mantrams like AUM (spirit or word of God) were seed sounds that had been revealed to adepts which had the power to bring into being the actualities they represent. There were thousands of them in the Sanskrit language. As a meditator chanted these syllables, words, and phrases, mindfully, with increasing spiritual focus, the music, meaning, and cadence of the mantras repeatedly brought one to a transcendent state beyond intellect and emotions, resulting in a higher state of consciousness.

Raja Yoga

Yoga Sutras were used to move the kundalini lifeforce from the base of the spine to the throat center where the meditator transmuted the lesser passions into a desire to speak only of divinity and to seek serenity. By focusing attention on the objects of meditation, the practitioner then restored equilibrium to the mind and the emotions. Afterwards, the energy of this balanced awareness was usually directed to the third eye area called Ajna, in the middle of the lower forehead. This then resulted in the achievement of a state of sublime tranquility.

Tantra Yoga

The devotee strove to break through barriers of personal limitation and cross higher consciousness thresholds by using the fire of a masculine/feminine harmonized kundalini to transform negative habit patterns, obsessions, and subconscious blocks into the transmutative energy of the creative force as an universal expression of Spirit. When the spiritually awakened kundalini ascended and opened each energy center in turn, samadhi (direct experience of the Supreme Reality) was attained.

The Energetic Map Of The Brain
• The Ancient Teachings Reveals The Energetic Map Of The Brain

Yoga describes the human subtle structure, based on the system of the nadis, that allows a deep understanding of the integral human existence and gives us the techniques we need in order to transform, become balanced, and healthy in all aspects.


The nadis are the fine subtle channels through which the energy flows to each part of our subtle body. They are often the subtle “counterpart” of the blood or nervous systems.

From the point of view of the energy circulating through the body, all the nadi extract their energy from Ida and Pingala. They represent the two functional modules that lie at the foundation of all mental, psychic and physical processes.

Sushumna nadi, the central channel around which the two other nadi “revolve” is the royal path that may lead us to the experience of the ultimate state of consciousness and may even lead to our transformation.

Each cell of our body, each organ, the brain and the mind, all the “elements” of our being are interconnected at a physical and subtle level, which allows us to think, talk, act and exist in a balanced, coherent, and synchronic manner, when each part acts for the benefit of the other parts.

Inside our body, there are two energetic systems that control this process. They develop around Ida and Pingala nadi, and if we stimulate one element of this system, through the process of resonance, we will activate the whole system.

The researcher Arthur Deikman, form the psychiatric department of the Colorado Medical Center University, USA, presents the two main existential ways of a human being, who has activated their yin or the yang aspect, from the perspective of modern psychology.

He practically describes the Ida and the Pingala in the terms of modern psychology. Here are his words: “if we consider the human being as an “organization” made of several components of different sizes or “biological and psychological coordinates”, we may discuss an active and a repetitive way of manifestation.

The active, dynamic way represents a state organized precisely upon acting on the environment. The muscular system and the nervous sympathetic system are the main physiological formations that operate in this way.

The main traits of this way are: focused attention, logic based on analysis, the space perception and the dominant of the formal characteristics over the sensorial ones.

The active way expresses a state of desire oriented towards the fulfillment of some personal needs, such as food, shelter, tendency to protect, need for safety, as well as towards obtaining social accomplishments, to which we can add a whole variety of symbolic or sensual pleasures, and the tendency to avoid disturbances and pain.

Deikman describes the “Ida” state, the receptive trait, as a state oriented towards the contemplation of the environment rather than on operating upon it.

The perceptive sensorial system and the parasympathetic function are predominant in this state.

The electroencephalogram tends to indicate alpha waves, which express a state of relaxation, a decrease in muscular tension, a diffusion in attention and forms losing their shapes.

The most suited definition for this state is the non-action state. Although Ida and Pingala and their ways of energetic functioning may appear as opposed, they are in fact complementary and therefore these two tendencies have to reach a balance so that you enjoy perfect health and deep mental health.

Furthermore, inner balance opens the gate to transcendence and to a manner of functioning in which the opposing “contraries” reach a state of harmony and union.


Recent and revealing studies in the field of neuroscience have proved that the brain functions according to the “dual” system of the nadis, as the yogi described it thousands of years ago.

In a radical attempt to treat some severe forms of epilepsy, Roger Sperry and his assistants have performed brain surgeries on the median line that connects the two brain hemispheres, where the so-called corpus callosum is found.

To their great surprise, not only did the epileptic crises stop, but they also made some great discoveries that radically modify the neuropsychological understanding of the way the brain functions, and thus they brought about a revolution in the medical and scientific view of man.

It is a fact of common knowledge that the right part of the brain controls the left side of the body, and the left part of the brain controls the right side of the body.

Although in an incipient stage, Sperry’s studies have proved that each part of the brain controls and coordinates a different behavioral pattern, opposed yet complementary to each other. This is a highly important discovery and also confirms the yogic views.

Although the yogis make use of a different conceptual apparatus and different experimental methods, the scientist reached the same conclusions as the yogis.

According to these, a person is characterized by two main ways of manifesting him/herself. The energies that pass through Ida and Pingala coordinate the brain circuits, which have been associated with the knowledge or consciousness, and respectively with the energy of action (or physical force).

The subtle influences of these two types of energy are to be found on all three main levels of the nervous system.
1. The sensorial motor nervous system: the whole electrical activity of the body is directed towards one or the other of the two possible directions to the brain: afferent (associated to Ida nadi), and efferent (associated to Pingala nadi).

These subtle nadis and the corresponding nerves on a physical level control the human perception of the world and respectively the capacity to act in the outer world.

2. The autonomous nervous system is divided in the sympathetic nervous system, oriented towards the exterior, operating in conditions of stress, that consume and uses our energy and is consequently a manifestation of yang energy, and the parasympathetic nervous system, oriented towards the inner activities, operating in conditions of rest, preserving and accumulating the energy and is consequently a manifestation of yin energy.

These two systems control and regulate all automatic processes of the body: heartbeat, blood pressure, breath, digestion, kidney and liver activity, etc.

3. The central nervous system involves the brain and the spine and controls the two previously mentioned systems. The brain activities are complex, is like a giant computer, that stores and integrates information, making decisions in a perfectly synchronized way.

However, its synergic functioning means more than the simple functioning of its parts. The brain circuits have more potential energy than a human being might use during an entire lifetime.

The yogic techniques have the role of purifying these energetic circuits associated to some precise functions.

In accordance with the yogic tradition, science has discovered that the pathways of the central nervous system and of the brain control the subtle circuits of the nadis and charkas.

If through the practice of pranayama we succeed in purifying and reconnecting these subtle circuits, our entire being will be deeply transformed. The efficiency of the yogic techniques is based on the fact that this subtle system of nadis exists.

The body-mind complex “functions” due to three types of energy: the receptive, yin energy, corresponding to Ida nadi, the yang, active type of energy, corresponding to Pingala nadi, and the “neutral” energy that flows through Sushumna nadi.

This latter observation may cast more light on the importance of the balance between the two types of energy.

The scientific studies have revealed the fact that the left side of the brain usually controls logic, analysis, talking, and temporal function, while the right side has an intuitive, sensitive, spatial and holistic side, which does not use a linear type of knowledge, although the way one obtains this type of knowledge remains a mystery.

Thomas Hoover a researcher who compared the latest discoveries in neurology and the terms of the Japanese Zen, has synthesized this relationship in a highly suggestive way: “the hemisphere that knows, does not speak, and the hemisphere that speaks does not know”.

Although the two hemispheres work in an integrated manner, their functional ways have been defined according to a series of key words:

The left hemisphere (Coordinated at a subtle level by Pingala nadi)

The right hemisphere (Coordinated at a subtle level by Ida nadi)

Analysis…………………………….. Comprehension

The left hemisphere The right hemisphere

Partial ………………………. Holistic
Explicit ………………………. Implicit
Argument ………………………. EXperience
Intellect………………………. Intuition
Logic ………………………. Emotion
Thought ………………………. Feeling
Active………………………. Passive
Solar ………………………. Lunar
Rational ………………………. Mystic
Objective ………………………. Subjective
Aware………………………. Subconscious
Optimism ………………………. Pessimism

The neurobiologist and neurophysicist Marcel Kinsbourne, director of the Department of Behaviorist Neurology from the Eunice Kennedy Shriver Center of Waltham, Massachusetts proved that there are two types of emotional activity that are characteristic to the function of the brain.

He discovered that the two halves of the brain control quite different emotional states. Thus, the left hemisphere is responsible mainly for happiness and positive feelings, while the right hemisphere controls sadness, nostalgia and melancholy.

However, there are abnormal states of mind, in which case people with unbalanced hemisphere activity are highly merry, exalted and totally indifferent to their situation, or in the other case, they have a gloomy view of life, they are full of anger, guilt or despair.

Most people fluctuate between these two states, even in normal situations, but without reaching the extremes manifested by the subjects with their brain affected. This fluctuation is tiresome if we are not balanced and healthy.

According to one of Kinsbourne’s theories, the association of the left hemisphere with the optimistic and merry thoughts and of the right hemisphere with the sad, pessimistic thoughts leads us to the conclusion that this dualistic action of the brain was conceived in order to control our preferences (Pingala nadi) and aversions (Ida nadi).

The left hemisphere coordinates the things that we like, and it first focuses on the object or situation that is the cause – this corresponds to the active pattern that belongs to Pingala nadi.

In exchange, we try to avoid or get out of the situations that we cannot control or that we dislike, a situation in which we have the tendency to consider the picture in its whole (without focusing on the unpleasant thing itself).

This function is under the control of the right hemisphere and corresponds to the receptive, introverted way of perceiving things, all characteristic to Ida nadi.

Most men fluctuate according to the biological rhythms between the right and the left hemispheres, between the breath on the left nostril and that on the right nostril, between the receptive and the emissive manner of acting and thinking.

Contemporary science studied these biological rhythms, although it does not completely comprehend their roles and significance.

From a yogic perspective, this rhythmical (or non-rhythmical) alternation indicates that there are disequilibria and that each of the two manners of acting rules over the other.

The state in which both sides are equal and balanced is quite unfamiliar to most people.

According to the yogic tradition, when the two aspects are balanced, the person reaches a new level of experience that unifies logic and intuition, transforms our emotions and allows our neuronal activity to increase.

All men should properly understand this need for balance, because the state that comes along with this balance is in fact a stronger and more pleasant experience.

Einstein proved that this use of both hemispheres in a balanced manner is possible, and furthermore, quite imperative.

Once when he was meditating on an imaginative experience, he had a sudden intuition, that allowed him to penetrate the mysteries of the universe, a fact which indicates the use of the right hemisphere, but he also used his left side in order to construct a theory of the conversion of energy, a theory which brought about a revolution in science, replacing Newton’s old paradigm.

Einstein said: “truth is intuition. First comes the thought, and I try to express it in words.”

Another example of creative, non-analytical thought is Leonardo da Vinci, who invented in 1490 a helicopter, and many other things that could be used on a large scale only centuries later.

He did not limit his accomplishments to one domain, but he reached several fields. As it seems, he used his intuition in order to visualize those apparatus because most of his works appear as drawings and visual images rather than descriptions in words.

As we have seen so far, most people fluctuate from one state to another, according to the predominant activation of one hemisphere or another.

A study performed by Raymond Klein and Roseanne Armitage from the Dalhousie University, Department of Psychology proved that the performance of those tasks characteristic to the left, respectively the right hemisphere oscillate at intervals of appreciatively 90 minutes.

These intervals correspond entirely to the fluctuations of breath, confirming thus the yogic theory according to which there is a tight relationship between the breath and the cyclic activity of the brain.

In the cases of disease, these cycles may become abnormal, and irregular from the points of view of rhythm, duration, and quality. Our whole life is dependant on these rhythms, to a degree that we do not even envisage.

The yogis have diagnosed the malfunctions of the brain rhythm through the direct examination of the respiratory rhythms through the two nostrils.

They sustain the idea that all the body parts are intimately interconnected – theory confirmed also by the recent studies in this area.

During their meditations, the yogis have the flow of energy circulating through different parts of our body, and they also perceived the more subtle levels of a human being, developing special techniques that develop a greater sensitivity and power of perception.

Consequently, these techniques allow the control over the nadis, brain, and all physiological processes.


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