Friday, April 17, 2009

Carbon Footprints - Pranayam Helps

As a human being, we have an inquisitive brain; and to justify our every deed without paying much attention towards the facts is our habit. It is a very natural tendency of us to blame everything except us for the results that could not go our way. Why and how long we have to live with the same? Why we can not hold ourselves responsible for a few destructive things that could have been restricted? It is a time to introspect, to peep in side the darkness, which is prevailing within me, in the form of lack of awareness or I must say “Wisdom.”

Carbon footprint- this is the word that stings me every now and then. I was reading many stories off late, and measures that we must take in order to check carbon emissions. Why we woke up so late? After destroying everything, did we realize suddenly? This is called as corporate.

For every project, we always do a SWOT analysis, and it shows us the Threats as well. But in the name of development we ignored it; not that we did not know where this development would take us. To repent over the spilt milk is human being. And let us try to control our carbon footprints now. Can we shut down all the factories? Can we grow a jungle over night to control our carbon emissions? And by the time our jungle grows up, what would be the extent of carbon produced by our on going projects? It is a very clear and simple calculation, and the inference is pricking me somewhere at the level of my soul. I have to blame myself for all this, and I wish to take the responsibility.

Largest source of carbon production is the humanity in fact. What is the total population of the world? It is beyond my imagination, and still growing each passing day. We breathe out for 18 – 20 times per minute approximately. That means individual breaths out for 25920 times per day approximately. And here onwards we can calculate the amount of breathes expelled out on yearly basis by an individual. And with every such breath we emit carbon dioxide in the environment. The amount of carbon released by all the human beings, across the globe, at the end of each passing minute aghasts me. 

The fountain of traditional wisdom in the form of philosophy gives us the in sight. It shows us the absolute truth, and tries to differentiate us from the canines. Because we can analyze and based on facts we can draw an inference as well. Yoga philosophy was narrated only to take the human quest of spirituality to a new height. Unfortunately, it became a science of flexibility and refrained within the art of postures itself. Yoga is a true mirror of ones self. It connects us to our inner being. And Pranayam plays a major role in this process of spiritual realm.

Pranayam is an art of breath control. The philosophy behind it is that we have been given a set number of breaths for our life time, and slower we breath longer we live. It may sound absurd, because we live in the era of evidence based practice. But do I need to explain the physiology of breathing? Slower we breathe; better the exchange of gases occurs in side the lungs, which results in good amount of oxygen supply to the body. The other aspect of this Pranayam is the one that I am discussing or trying to explore; it can help us controlling our carbon footprints as well. For that matter we have to control our over all breathing process. We have to insist on deep breathing process, instead of our routine shallow breathing. Deep breathing automatically cuts down the speed of inhalation, now only thing we need to do is to with hold the breath as long as we can. There should be no compulsion initially that how long you have to hold, but gradually we should increase the timing of holding on to the breath. This process in Yoga philosophy is called as Kumbhaka. Now as a last step we need to expel the air as slowly as possible. With this simple process, if we can reduce our two breathes per minute individually, can you imagine the extent of reduction in carbon amount controlled by every intelligent, and awakened individual on this earth. In my opinion, it would be the most effective and practical step to check our carbon footprints. As per my belief, a true spirituality is to find out the solace with in ourselves, rather than rushing around here and there in search of it. Quest of spirituality can never be resolved merely by asking questions to the prophets who themselves are confused by materialism; but the true prayer towards the Almighty is to find out the answers within myself. Lord Krishna says,

Sarvam anyat parityajya Mam ekam sharnam gacha !!

Bhagvad Gita

Leave everything else behind and follow the path of myself. Try to find out this “myself.” Probably, all your prayers would be answered, all your questions would be solved.

In the name of Lord Brahma – the wisdom, for the sake of humanity.


Sunday, March 29, 2009

Service with Love......

Just slipped into my bed and was thinking about the whole day. It’s been two lengthy years; I am doing something that I love to do most – Ayurveda training. I wanted to find out that how could I do it? I also could have chose to be something else, but why only Ayurveda? And when I look back in to the pages of my life that I already had turned, I have a feeling of accomplishment. I am what I was supposed to be. I am right there where I was meant to be. And, all that I possess, I owe it to you all my friends.

My students, they came here to learn something. They had a quest for learning and in fact they taught me so many things in turn. I don’t know whether I was up to the mark or not, but for sure they were. Everyday that I spent in the class with them, they kept on teaching me. This is something that I am writing here for them. A sense of gratitude towards my students, you were exceptional. Your questions made me what I am. I felt hungry, and I had food for that; I felt thirsty and I was offered water. Well, but when my brain cells were hungry, you were there with all your questions and it served as food for them. You might have gone far, far away and must have started your lives doing what you like most, but I am still doing the same at the same place and in same routine but for sure in a different way, every time. I am just to finalize my last batch for the month of March 29, 2009 and tomorrow will be again back to preparations for the upcoming sessions. While I take on the new note, I just wanted to remember you all, and wanted to tell you all that I am blessed to have you all in my life in various forms as students, friends, mentors and last but of course not the least – my teachers.

If I ever had even the slightest of the influence in your life, I hereby take an opportunity to request you that we all will be the human beings once again. We will not be the part of the rat race and would stand for the humanity where ever we find an opportunity. We must understand that every opportunity does not mean the business, but our business should be to capitalize over the opportunities that we get. There should be a scope of charity while doing a business. We must not utilize the science just because it is popular, but we must popularize the science so that we can live and sustain over it. There should be a sustainable market and that has to be created, and we can create the same with patience.

The message is very clear, do whatever you want to do but never bring bad name for the science. You are all the mascots of Ayurveda; you are the one to bring glory for the science. And I have all my faith entrusted in you.

May God bless you all, and may you prosper in your life. Thanks to all of you again to be my best teacher, after all we learn the best from each other.        

Friday, February 20, 2009

Doshas – mischievous forces of your body

As a part of my Ayurveda training many a times I come across people who want to understand the depth of this science. Learning massage is easy but to learn it scientifically is slightly difficult. The forces which are working behind the curtains can not be explained and it remains as an experience of an individual to feel them on his own. But if you understand the basic principle well, motive of massage becomes clear to you and lead you to the state where body starts talking to you.

There are three biological forces which regulate the body and ensure proper functioning of the same as long as they are in equilibrium. Which vitiate others is called as dosha. Though, it is not universal because all the times they are not playing a role of villain in the body. And when they are in equilibrium they help in sustaining the body. It is just like two sides of the same coin, head or tail they are featured on the same plane. Just because they are very sensitive in nature and easily get affected by various conditions viz. food, environment, life style etc. and easily gets imbalanced to vitiate dhatu (formulators of the body) which in turn initiate the diseases. There names and constitution are as follows:


Vata – Air + Space

Pitta – Fire + Water

Kapha – Water + Earth

These are biological forces and in fact behave in the body similar to the characters of their constitutive factors. By saying so I definitely intend to say that if you want to understand doshas and their functions; start observing above said elements around you. To make it simple, air is a restless entity so is vata in the body and so is your nervous system. Sympathetic and parasympathetic types of nervous system make it workaholic in nature. And it does not rest even if you are sleeping. Similarly, fire cooks food for you in real life and so is done by pitta in your body. Sun, which is the representation of fire, regulates temperature in this world and thermodynamics of your bodily world is maintained by the sun of the same i. e. Pitta. Finally water in this world is responsible for bonding, smoothness and it nourishes a seed to make it a tree; and similarly kapha does the same for the body.

To understand more of their behavior, one must go in depth and a qualitative analysis should be done of these constitutive elements. As you will start understanding the qualities of elements, it will unplug the pacific of knowledge and sitting in the ship of your wisdom you may travel places. 

Further on, doshas they represent themselves by means of their qualities. And they tend to increase or decrease by means of these qualities only. Having said that, if one indulges in too much of food having dry qualities will lead to the increase of dryness thus Vata in the body, similarly it stands true for other qualities as well.

Following are the qualities of doshas:

Vata                                        Pitta                                                     Kapha

Dryness                                   Slightly oily                                         Oily

Lightness                                 Sharp                                                   Coldness

Coldness                                 Hot                                                      Heaviness

Rough                                     Light                                                   Slow in action

Minute                                     Foul smell                                            Smoothness

Mobility                                  Spreading                                            Sticky

--                                              Liquidity                                             Static

Above qualities should be observed very minutely and then their utility for the sake of understanding should be put in to the practice. It’s all about playing with the nature and letting you flow with the same to be in harmony.

Not to let these strong forces over power you and at the same time when either of them is becoming stronger, to neutralize it with the opposite quality is the key. Because, if repetitive use of the same quality increases it, then opposite quality balances it – thus say Charaka, the master of Ayurveda and divine soul of healing.




Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ayurveda food – an art of consumption

Ayurveda speaks about all corners of life. It stresses an over all development and enables us to understand life on a micro plane. Ancient texts states that life is held upon a tripod or three pillars as follows:
  1. Aahar (food)
  2. Nidra (sleep)
  3. Brahmacharya (celibacy).

Among these 3 basic utilities of life food has been considered as utmost important and rules have been laid down for a proper consumption of it. Though sometimes lack of complete understanding lead us to a wrong interpretation and rules become an obligation than a discipline. Actually it’s a wrong message that has been perceived by many of us that Ayurveda implements a lot of restrictions regarding food and life style. In fact it is discipline and not restriction. Same is true in case of diet planning. It has been summarized under the topic Bhojana Krama i. e. planning of food consumption. It is divided in three sections as Poorva karma (pre operative), pradhan karma (operative) and paschat karma (post operative). Food made ready to eat should be considered as god because it nourishes are body and provides us the necessary strength and energy in order to live a good socio economic life.

Poorva karma (preparatory measures)

This explains about preparing your body for the consumption of food so as it should be digested completely and does not leave behind any debris/ toxins (ama).


Bhojanagre sada pathyam lavan ardraka bhakshanam!

Agni sandeepanam ruchyam jivah kantha vishodhanam!!


Before the consumption of food one must take small piece of ginger smeared with salt as it is a very beneficial practice. It increases the digestive capacity, enhances taste perception, and cleanses tongue and throat.

It is indeed very effective and also eradicates minor ailments confining to gastro intestinal tract. It strengthens digestive fire. My personal opinion here is, people suffering from hypertension should check the quantity of salt and instead of normal salt they can use rock salt/ Epsom.

Pradhan karma (main course)

Following rules have been laid down for the consumption of food:

  1. One should be involved in the process of eating mentally and physically.
  2. Madhura rasa (sweet items) should be eaten first followed by salty taste.
  3. Pungent, bitter and astringent taste should be consumed in the end.
  4. One must eat all the six taste in an appropriate quantity and refrain oneself adhering too much to the consumption of one or two tastes only.
  5. Hard eating stuff should be taken first, followed by soft items and then liquid preparations.

Effect of various tastes on the body:

Sweet – promotes blood tissue

Sour – promotes bone marrow

Salty – strengthens bone

Bitter – improves fat

Pungent – promotes muscles

Astringent – promotes plasma functions.

Paschat karma

Herbs that pacifies kapha and enhances digestive fire should be consumed. It must also have a flavor to combat bad/ foul smell.

Though, the complete knowledge can not be explained being subjective. One must put constant efforts to know the deepest knowledge by reading various texts.


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Ayurveda Panchakarma – deep cleansing

Little knowledge always becomes a dangerous thing, and in the era of growing industrialization ethics of trade are missing from the society. Ayurveda – a safest science as it is understood is meant for the well being of society and use of the same must not be done to make fat cash by corporate at the cost of client’s health. At the same time an individual also must not fall prey to the monkey race. This article is meant to clarify few prevailing doubts in the society and in view of opening eyes if yet they are closed.

The word panchakarma is made up of two words Pancha + Karma. Pancha means 5 and karma is stated as action. An action for the physician is treatment, so karma refers here to the treatment. If two words are collaborated to each other it says that five treatments (Penta – bio - purificatory methods of deep cleansing). Human body is governed by three biological forces which are called as Vata, Pitta and Kapha; kinetic force, thermodynamics and cohesion force respectively. As long as they remain in balance they sustain the body, but imbalance or vitiation of them leads to the process of disease. In order to remain fit they must be kept under controlled. But as per the various changes around us in terms of food, environment etc. has a direct impact on these doshas. Whenever they increase beyond their prescribed limits to create a disease, removal of the same becomes mandatory in order to reinstate the health. And that is where utility of panchakarma comes in to the play. For the ease of your understanding following are called as panchakarma:

Kapha - after vaman

Vamana – induced vomiting.

In this procedure kapha is the target dosha and medicines are induced to enforce vomiting in order to remove sticky kapha through oral route.

Virechana – induced purgation/ loose stool.

Procedure includes induction of medicines that undergo the process of digestion in order to enforce the pitta dosha to come out of the body through anal route in form of loose stool.

Basti – enema.

Various formulations of medicines in decoction or oil form are administered in to the colon through rectal route with the help of instruments specifically meant for this procedure in order to remove increased vata.

Nasya – nasal medications.

Various different forms of medicines are inserted into the nostrils in order to remove the vata, pitta and kapha of the head. Head has been considered as the prime organ of the body and so framed the special treatment for the removal of doshas from this site. Depending upon the aggravated dosha form of medicine is selected by Ayurvedic physician.

Rakta mokshana – blood letting.

Procedure, in which blood is removed from the body by various methodologies called as Rakta mokshana. Leech application or vein puncture are the most common procedures for the same. It is specifically done in view of Rakta dushti (blood vitiation).

So next time when you visit your doctor for panchakarma, keep your self updated with this knowledge.





Ayurveda – a refined approach

Learning is an endless process. Once we complete the prescribed norms of academic standards, it must not be considered as an accomplishment. It’s a beginning in fact. Since the time immemorial, lust to succeed prevailed. Questioning the abilities of other’s and scrutinize them at every step is the nature of human being, which lead the mass towards destruction and produced nothing good. Everything that exists in this world is useful and credibility of same can not be downgraded at any cost. All the sciences are equally important and jeopardy must not be created against it. Ayurveda brings solace. It is a multi utility science. It just not confines itself explaining diseases and their treatments but goes beyond the level of academic interests and instills moral values in the life of an individual. It’s a tool which should be learnt by everyone to lead a healthy life. In fact the greatest aim of this science “ swasthasya swastha rakshanam – to maintain the health of a healthy being” , can be achieved only if we start teaching Ayurveda to our coming generations right from the beginning itself. Because, the word Ayurveda it self means – knowledge of the life; and that is what we want to share with our children, isn’t it?

Ayurveda is a data based knowledge. It’s a heritage, and sum total of experiences of our ancestors. It’s an out come of all the pain that they underwent during the process of development, it’s a message to the coming generations that they wanted to convey - we suffered and we want that you must not, so we are intent to carve it down on the pages of history for your ease. Unfortunately it did not reach to the mass or thanks to our we don’t want to learn approach.

How to maintain health? For the ease following steps have been explained in the classical texts:

Dina Charya – regimens to be followed on daily basis.

Ratri charya – regimens to be followed on night basis.

Ritu Charya – regimens to be followed on seasonal basis.

Actually if we observe scientifically, physical health can be maintained by above measures. But another leaf has been added in order to help people to be in the best state of their health, and that is “Sadavritta – code of conduct”. It’s all about reinstating the moral values which are an important tool for over all development of life. Its way to represent ourselves in to the society. It’s a yardstick to measure our behavior.

If one follows the advices given in the ancient texts, we can sure see the change. We can create a flawless society. We must change ourselves, and we must not bank upon some good deeds of past, but every day there must be a good deed indeed.

Everyone should learn Ayurveda, not to become a doctor; but to be a human being. It connects you to yourself; it reminds you not to be cynical but to be a part of the success story.

Ayurveda is way ahead of diseases, their diagnosis and treatment. In fact it stresses to be fit. It’s a refined approach towards the life.   

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Are you Obese?

Introduction : -           

Sama mamsa pramanastu sama samhanano narah ,

Drudendriya vikaranam na balenabhibhuyate .


Importance of a healthy body can be well understood by the person who is not in a state of well being. As per above quotation, person having proportionate musculature & compactness of body possesses very strong sensory & motor organs & as such they are not overcome by the onslaught of diseases.

On a wider scale of understanding, one can presume that being healthy just does not mean having a stout body. Whether the flesh we have over our bony cage providing us a better protection from the external biohazards, or the fat beneath the skin is doing a great job by storing tons of ATP molecules to produce energy for us in case of feminine, and what exactly the immunity means, are some questions for which either we don’t want to find out an answer at right time or most of the times skip ourselves from them. Today obesity has become a burning question with least answers from all those weight reduction clinics which have grown like rainy mushrooms in the every nook and corners. Big packages and trimming programs are not being enough and so called health keeps on going well every passing day. To get rid off the yellow yolk we have collected, understanding the same is only important factor that can lead us towards the health. One who is healthy can withstand hunger, thirst, the heat of the sun, cold, and tolerate physical exercise. They can digest and assimilate properly (1). Taking here an opportunity to go into a deeper aspect of some unanswered questions so as to find out how possible it is to get away from the deadly, and mass destructive evil of obesity.

Causes of obesity

Causes for obesity in texts are an exhaustive list. For the sake of better understanding it can be classified as food and life style related, and other factors that generate the unwanted fat to accumulate. Tabular form is given below to differentiate the causes


Food origin

Life style origin

Other factors

Ati sampoornat


Beej swabhavat













Shleshmaahar sewino

Adhyayan sheela



Excessive corpulence is caused by over intake of food, intake of heavy (guru), sweet, cold, and unctuous food, lack of exercise, abstinence from sexual intercourse, day sleeping, uninterrupted cheerfulness, lack of mental exercise, and heredity(2).

Whatever the causes may be, all above causes leads to increase in kapha content of body, which is prime factor for the body tissue formation, it is the responsible dosha which helps in dhatugata sandhibandha so as to make body stout. But in case of not being controlled by any other factor i.e. vata or pitta, it goes on adding its above qualities just to end up in sthoulaya (corpulence). Trend of consuming chocolates, pizza, and butter stuffed roti, and tongue which is always at work of tasting and experimenting has been considered as the prime factor of excessive corpulence. Adding to it is our hectic life style give origin to well ignored bodies. Late night parties with drinks and unusual time of sleeping is an adjunct to belly beast. Food related causes when associated with other factors like lack of physical and mental exercise adds onto it like petrol in fire. Day sleep is a major factor for the increase in cough and moreover reduces the body metabolic rate remarkably leading to the sluggish body movements. This simple practical can be done and results can be felt individually. One another factor which is mentioned, at last but not the least is beeja swabhavat i.e. hereditary origin. It is an important factor which should be considered by the physician at the time of assuring the patient about the weight reduction.

Some other reasons which are not directly mentioned in ancient texts but carry a great deal of importance are constitution (prakritti), place of origin (desha) etc. kapha individuals are born stout, while kapha predominance is common in anupa desha. Such obesity is a bit difficult to deal with.    



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