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A Yogic Approach to Stress by Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani


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An excellent treatise on the Pathophysiology of stress, its prevention and relief through various practices based on Gitananda Yoga Teachings in the Tradition of Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga. Various Yoga techniques of Asanas, Pranayamas and relaxation practices are given in detail with easy to follow line drawings.

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A Yogic Approach to Stress by Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani

  1. 1. Dhivyananda Creations Pr'e‘sents A YOGIC APPROACH TO smzss Based on Gitananda Yoga Teachings in the tradition of Rishiculture Ashtanga Yoga BY Yogacharya Br. AIIAIIA BALAYOGI BIIAVAII-AMI MBBS, ADY, DSM, DPC, PGDFH, PGDY, FIAY,
  2. 2. Based on Giémmée Yoga ‘Eeuthaags in fine Iiadfiiien oi Risiiiwlfiewe Ashtanga Yoga y ‘iogacharya, Yoga Vbushen Dex AMANDA BALA? OGE BHAVAEANE, MES, AV, Bess, EPIC, seem, PGV, HM,
  3. 3. ©2003 By Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani All rights reserved First Edition 2 Pondicherry 2003 Second Edition : Pondicherry 2007 Published by: ._ DHIVYANANDA CREATIONS 44, [st] Cross, Iyyanar Nagar Puducherry — 605 013. South India. E-mail; dhivyananda@gmail. com Typeset and Designed: RAAJKUMAR’S DIGITAL No. 1, Raj arajeshwari Nagar, Vallalar Salai, ' Puducherry - 605 011.
  4. 4. £G§TE‘i~iT§ Preteee V i Aeimewedgerrieints iii Intreduetiee V v What is Stress‘? 1 Sources eiS. tress 3 The Stress Hespsrnse 5 hegeved Gite on Stress 9 the Keshas and Stress it Nara: Psychic Eisesseeetien ‘i3 idieraiiestetieri st Stress ‘is Efteets st Qenstsnt Stress 2t How can Yoga Hep? 23 Bhavene: The Vegie Art st Being St Yoga Reiexetion 4t Guide ts the Practices es Concluding Thoughts 95 ‘test fer Ahernkar Quotient ‘mt Appendix - i - Bjhsjens tee Appendix - I - Chants 111
  5. 5. Ramos to sacono sorrtoén It is only the potent blessings of my beloved Guru- Father , Swamiji, Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and Guru- Niother, I-tmma, Yogamani lheenakshi Devi Bhavanani that has enabled this second edition of my book, “Yogic approach to stress” to reach you once again. I am nothing without their blessings and offer my humble salutations and respects to the lotus feet of the Greatest Yoga Team of the past century. Gne of the most gratifying events for any author is when the publisher gives them the good news that it is time for a second edition of their book. Such a feeling of satisfaction fills the heart when one starts to work on a second edition and of course so many changes and improvements come to mind. Having this experience for this book reinforces my belief that the modern day is the day of the stress pandemic as all seem to need something to help them tide over their manifest stress crisis. Caf course this book also serves as a simple syllabus for a general Yoga practice and has been used for such a purpose by us at Yoganjali Natyalayam while teaching the general as welt as special Yoga classes and therapy sessions. I have brought in many new ideas into this edition and a major change is the inclusion of better quality drawings of the practices by Shri Bhaskar who has done a nice job in this regard. The basic structure of the book is unchanged as it has been complimented by so many including many ot my dear friends and advisers who help me know the reatity in a smooth manner without mincng words. lyogi
  6. 6. May this new edition serve its purpose of educating us all in the great art and science of Yoga while giving us some simple tips on how to deai effectively with the threat of stress that can destmy us it we are not ready te face it boldly with valet and eehvictieh. Yogacharya Dr Ahanda Balayogi Bhavanani Oct. 215’, 2007 Pondicherry, South India ” Yogirach +0 SP3 i
  7. 7. Acxaetwiuspeamatits l gratefully acknowledge the great blessings and good fortune l have had to be born the son of the greatest Yoga Team of the last century. l pray that i can prove worthy of this Divine Gift. I offer this compilation to the lotus feet of my Guru-Father Yegamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru iifiaharai and my Guru-Mother Kalaimamani Yegacharini Smt Meenakshi Devi havanani (Amma) who have inculcated in me the discipline of Yoga as well as sowing the seeds of this great art and science in my heart. I thank / —mma also for critically reviewing this manuscript and for allowing me to use some of her essays and Ahamkar Quotient Test in this book. l have been privileged to receive the blessings and good will of some of the great Masters of Yoga such as Padmabhushan Sri BKS lyengar, Sri Yogendra Ji, Sri Sant Keshavdas, Swami Chimayananda, Swami Dayananda, Yogi Amrit Desai, Sri Direndra Brahmachari, Swami Chidananda Saraswathi, Sri lvia Yoga Shakti, Swami Satchidananda, Shri O. P. Tiwari, Swami Veda Bharati, Sri Dr. HR Nagendra, Sri TKV Desikachar, Maharishi K Arunachalam, Dr. Georg Feurstein, Dr. Jayadeva Yogendra and Smt. Hamsaji, Swami Suddananda Bharati, Sri Yogeshwar, Srila Sri Shankara Giri Swamigal and Sri Kannaya Yogi. The blessings of great Yogic personalities such as Prof TR Anantaramah, Prof Dr B Ramamurthy, Dr M V Bhole, Prof Dr Madanmohan, Prof H C Gupta, Dr W Selvamurthy, Sri D R Kartikeyan, Dr S. B. l/ iishra, Dr S V Flao, Dr Ft P Pandey and Dr M D Khapre have stimulated me in my attempts to unite the ancient science of Yoga with the modern science of Medicine. I wish to put on record my appreciation of the authors of the follow- ing texts from which I have drawn much knowledge. May they con~ tlnue to guide aspirants on this wonderful path that leads us towards the Divine Self.
  8. 8. ‘i. Yoga: Step y Step A by Ycgamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj 2. Yoga and Sports by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Girl and Yogamani, Yogacharini, Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani 3. Frankly Speaking by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj 4. Ashtanga Yoga of Patanjali by Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj 5. Yoga - The Science Of Holistic Living Vivekananda Kendra Patrika. The Bhagavad Gita by Swami Chidbhavananda Text Book of Medical Physiology by Arthur C. Guyton Yoga for Rejuvenation by Nergis Dalal F‘7’F3°. “.5’ Ancient Yoga and Modern Science by Prof. T. Fl. Anantaraman TC). New Perspectives in Stress Management by Dr H Fl Nagendra and Dr H Nagarathana. ii. Yoga: Published by V. K. Prakashan Trust Chennai. 12. Yoga and Stress (speech) by Dr. W. Selvamurthy (Dlrector—DlPAS) at JIPMER in 2001 ‘i3. Stress: Pathophysiology and Yogic Management (speech) by Dr. Madanmohan, Director-Professor, Department of Physiology, JlPMEFl in 2002. i thank my students Smt. Meena Fiamanathan, S. Tamilsengolan, G. Dayanidy, T. Tamilarasan and V. Flenukadevi for helping me in the preparation of the drawings as well as in proof reading the manscript. Last but not least, i thank my Dharmapathni Yogacharini De-vasena Bhavanani for her constant encouragement and inspiration. A pcich
  9. 9. ENTFRODUCTEON Modern man faces stress everywhere. Caught in its cruel claws in a vicious spiral, he knows not how to extradite himself. His life has become a ‘ratwrace’ and his body, emotions and mind are jangled by exagerrated physiological and psychological responses to cri-ses he faces at every level of his existence. No one is spared from this whirl- pool—like pull which threatens to drown the mind in confusion. From tiny tots facing innumerable ‘tests’, in school, corporate businessmen struggling to balance their accounts, farmers toiling for their daily bread, soldiers guarding the frontiers, news-reporters frenetic to make their ‘dead-lines’ - no one is spared this whirlpool of stress. No one knows how to escape it. The words “tension”, “pressure” and “stress" are virtually synony- mous terms that are used to describe the huge expenditure of nerve energy that modern conditions or situations of life demand from us. This can easily be seen when a busy doctor, lawyer, businessman or politician has to meet a large number of persons, face difficult problems and find immediate solutions. The human body is made to operate without a break, with the result that our nervous system is perpetually under high tension and our muscular system becomes “habitually tense”. This ultimately leads to mental, emotional and physical fatigue. A common statements heard nowadays is “l am too tired to even think”! Stress is the natural ability that the human system has developed over millennia in order to withstand environmental challenges and strain. The ability to withstand stress differs from one individual to another. Every individual has a threshold of stress up to which they can bear stress andcope with the demands of their external envi- ronment. Type of personality, individual temperament and emotional stability determine this stress threshold. When external stress exceeds the threshold of the individual, then they succumb to everstress. in Dr‘ lagiBhvocmi V
  10. 10. such a scenario, the body and mind try to reduce, avoid or withdraw from that stress‘-creating situation. However, it the excessive stress persists and/ -or increases, the body and mind suffer. This leads to physical maladies and mental pathologies. insomnia, asthma, coro- nary troubles, hypertension, cancer, sexual inadequacies, diabetes, mental breakdown and neurotic behaviour are only a few of the numerous disorders that result from excessive stress. Caught in this quagmire, people seek release from overstress by resorting to quick remedies, such as sleeping pills, alcohol, smok- ing, absenteeism, and emotional withdrawal. These are not answers to the problem. On the contrary, they create more stress and aggra- vate the problem. Recent research has proved the part stress or rather ‘distress’ plays in pre-mature aging and the etiology of disease. it is postulated that frequent stressful experiences lead to the failure of the homeostatic, self—regulating mechanisms of the organism, leading to disease, pre- mature aging and early or sudden death. Stress has also been shown to weaken the immune system and increase vulnerablity to infection and other health-related problems. We must realise that it is our ewn self-created attitude to our experience and even towards stress itself which causes a ma- jor part ot the problem. Relaxation and exercise are part of stress management, but rarely are they the whole answer, as they do not deal with the causes of the tension. We need to find out where the problem lies-whether in our attitude or behaviour or a combi- nation of both. Then we must develop the necessary skills to overcome the root cause. For example, if one always gives in to others, one ends up feeling like a doormat. if one practices “re- taxation”, one only ends up a “relaxed deormatlgrather than a tense one. But, everybody will continue to walk all over you! And if one does not show signs of stress or tension, they will walk fill A Yogic Approach to Stress
  11. 11. over you with an easier conscience! Thus, one must learn to analyse what causes the stress, then develop the necessary skills to combat it. Great motivation, commitment and skilled practice are required to accomplish this. Yoga is a spiritual science for the integrated and holistic development of our physical, mental as well as moral-spiritual being. The phi- losophy of Yoga is practi- cal and definitely applicable in our day-to-day living. Yoga Reach for the sky but remain firmly has been documented as grounded on the earth- producing desirable physi- ological changes. Recent advances in the field of research have shown that Yoga also has sound scientific basis. The Yogic con- cept of health and disease enables us to understand that many causes of physical disorders are rooted in the mind. “Adm” (the higher aspect, i. e. the mind) is the cause and ‘”tiyadhi” (the lower aspect, i. e. the body) only the effect in the Yogic scheme of things. By paying careful attention to personal history, one can nearly always trace the origins of psychosomatic disease back to pat- terns of emotional pressures. From the Yogic viewpoint of dis- ease it can be seen that psychosomatic diseases appear to progress through four distinct phases: l. Psychic Phase: This phase is marked by mild but persistent psychological and behavioral symptoms of stress, such as irritability, disturbed sleep and other minor symptoms. ll. Psychosomatic Phase: if the stress continues there is an increase in symptoms, along with the beginnings of generalized physiological symptoms such as occasional hypertension and tremors. T’ A if
  12. 12. lll. Somatic Phase: This phase is marked by increased malfunction of the organs, particularly the target, or involved organ. At this stage one begins to identify the beginnings of a disease state. lV. Organic Phase: This phase is marked by the full involvement of a so—called “disease state”, with physiological changes such as an ulcerated stomach or chronic hypertension, becoming manifest in their totality. Often, however, the early stages of the disease process are overlooked. The final stage is seen as an entity unto itself. One feels that the disease has occured “all ot a sudden” and fails to see the relationship to one’s living habits and thought patterns. Modern medicine sees the human being as only the physical body (Annamaya Kosha) andiignores the totality of the human organism as Pancha Kosha and Tri Sharira. There are many examples of psychosomatic diseases, which are directly related to stress. They include common colds, ulcers, head- aches, back pains, chest pains, spastic colons, constipation and diarrhea. The list is almost ‘endless. Science still does not know why one organ system is ‘affected by stress and not another. Certainly, genetic factors, diet and conditioned learning are all involved, but the key lies in one’s mental structures. in other words, what is increasingly clear is that stress is at the root of all psychosomatic disease regardless ot the organ system involved. The art and science of Yoga has infinite possibilities for providing answers to most problems of modern man. However, modern man misunderstands this ancient sicence. He wants it to be “his miracle pill": a pill that can be taken only once which will cause all his problems to vanish into thin air! The reality is that Yoga is a wholistic science and must be learned and practiced with such a view in mind. The dedicated practice of Yoga as a way of life, is no doubt a panacea for problems related to stress and stress-induced disorders. if
  13. 13. Yoga is not just performing some contortionistic poses or huffing and puffing some Pranayama or 'l‘sIeeping”our way through any so-called “mediiation". it is an integrated way of life in which ‘awareness and consciousness must be cultivated systemmati— cally in worldly society itself and not in some remote cave in the mountains or some hut in the forest. This is why Pujya Swamiji Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj has stated "Vega is the science and art of right- use-ness (righteousness) of body, emotions and mind". This book is an attempt to shed light on the iifiechanism at Stress as well as provide some Yogic answers to the burning question: “What can i do about my problems? " Various practices culled from the Gitananda Yoga Teachings in the tradition of Fiishiculture Ashtanga Yoga have been given in this book. Many of these practices are unique to this system of Yoga that was codified by Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj. Certain concepts such as fiolarity, Yogic bavana and Yogic Relaxation are vital to an understanding of the Yogic answer to stress related problems. To acquaint the readers with these concepts, I include in this book excellent expositions on these subject by both Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and Yogamani, Yogacharini ivieenakshi Devi havanani. i hope that this book will provide the reader as much benefit as it has given me in its preparation. Pondicherry Yogacharya Dr. Amend Balayogi Bhayanani 16.04.2003 if V Booi
  14. 14. A Qiotox STRESS Test" 2 A simple way to know whether you are stressed or not is to ask yooirselt . ... ... .. . . Qo you . Neglect your diet ? . Try to do everything yourself ? . Blow up easily ? . Seek unrealistic goals ? 1 2 3 4 5. Fail to laugh at something that others find funny ? 6. Act rudely ? 7. Make a big deal of everything ? 8. Expect others to make things happen ? 9. Complain that you are disorganized ? 10. Avoid people whose ideas differ from yours ? 11. Think there is only one way of doing something right? 12. Neglect exercise ? . 13. Get too little rest ? 14. Use sleeping pills without your doctor’s approval ? 15. Have few supporting relationships ? 16. Fume when you are kept waiting ? 17. Ignore stress symptoms ? _ 18. Put things off until later ? 19. Gossip ? 20. Fail to build relaxation time into your daily routine? 21. Race through your day ? 22. Bottle up emotions ? 23. Spend a lot of time complaining about the past ? 24. Fail to get a break from noise and crowds ? llf you answer YES to more than ‘t5 or these questions then you patter get tteip-FfiSTt
  15. 15. WHAT ES STRESS ? Stress has many definitions. One is “Stress is an exagerated - response to an environmental chaIIenge”. Another definition is “stress is the response pattern of the organism to prepare itself for fright, freeze, fight or flight. ” “Fright” is the first response and triggers an automatic chemical reaction — production of adrenaline. “Freeze” is an abnormal response when one is so frightened they literally “cannot move”. More common are the “fight” or “flight” responses which relieve the effects of stress by “resolving the situation". This is a normal phenomenon termed ‘eustress’. ln primitive times the crisis was resolved either by fight- ing and defeating the enemy or fleeing and escaping the danger. in both instances, the situation was resolved. However, modern man has no means to ‘tight or flee’ the real or imagined stress and ends , up in “distress”, which then leads to psycho—somatic disorders of various kinds. To quote an example from Pujya Swamiji Gitananda Giri - “Ifyou were face-to-face with a saber-toothed tiger in prehistoric times you either fought it, fled the scene, or ended up in its tummy! This led to the relief of the stress! Now days We have the same ‘stress response’ but are not facing ‘saber-toothed’ tigers but abstract, obscure threats and fears we can scarcely comprehend. We have nowhere to run, no means to fight and in fact sometimes do not even know what it is that we are afraid 02‘! Thus, no mechanism exists to relieve the stress. Our enemy is often invisible. This leads to ‘distress’, which is imbalance ofjthe system” in a recent visiting lecture at JlPMEFl, Dr. W. Selvamurthy, one of lndia’s Great Scientific minds gave an excellent definition of stress. ‘He said, “Stress is an altered state of body and mind from @ Dr Ahcmclci Bdloyogi Bhdvdn
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  17. 17. BEEAGAVAD GITA QN ‘STRESS’ Many thousands of years ago, Yogeshwar Krishna explained the effect of stress on man and how through attraction to worldly sen- sory objects one causes one’s own destruction. The description of the ‘Path to Destruction’ (illustrated in the cartoon drawing oppo- site) as mentioned in the hagavad Gite holds true to this modern age also. In Chapter Two ($amE~<ya Yoga), in Verse 62 and 63, the pattern of behaviour (stress response), is given which ultimately leads to the destruction of man. Verse 62: “Brooding on the objects of the sen‘se‘s, . man develops attach- ment to them. From attachment (Raaga) comes desires (Kama) and from desire, anger (Krodha) sprouts forth. ” Verse 63: “From anger proceeds delusion; from delusion, confused memory; from confused memory, the ruin of reason and due to the ruin of reason he perishes. ” in Verse 64 of the Second Chapter, Lord Krishna also gives a clue to equanimity of mind (Sarnatvam) and how to become a person settled in that equanimity (Stitha Prajna) who is not affected by the oppo- sites (Bwandwas). He says, “But the disciplined Yogi, moving amongst the sensory objects with all senses under control and free from attraction (Raaga) and aversion (Dwesha), gains in tranquility. ”
  18. 18. (AVEDY Jill assesses tAeHiNivEsHA) T The Pancha Kleshas (Psychological Afflictions) distort our view of Reality (Satya). Through the tunnel of the Kleshas, Reality gets distorted beyond recognition.
  19. 19. BEAVANA: THE YOGIC ART OF BEHNG Kalaimamani, Yogamani Yogacharini MEENAKSHI DEVI HAVANANI Birector: lC‘r'EFt and Yoganjali Natyalayam, Pondicherry. The Flishis have taught us that not only we are what we think, but also, the world is as we think it to be! Attitude is all! An essen- tial skill in the art of Yoga is the ability to create the appropriate Bhavana, State of Mind, towards everything that happens to us. i myself learned an important lesson in the science of constructing positive attitudes from a very lowly creature-a fly! While drinking a glass of fresh orange juice, something small and black swimming in the bright yellow juice caught my eye. it was a fly! l threw the juice quickly to the ground, spitting the rest out in horror. How close I had come to swallowing a fly! Then, l mused. What if I had not noticed that fly in time? What if I had indeed simply drunk it down, never knowing that i had consumed the insect? it wouldn’t have made a bit of difference to my body. My digestive juices would have taken care of it, along with the orange juice, and i would not have been the wiser! Yet, what horror and revulsion l suffered when I saw it! This ordinary incident was a major realization for me. I became fully aware of the incredible power our thoughts and consequent attitudes (Bhavana) have, to alter and affect our conscious reality. ’ the awful difference between the objective event and what we think of the event, or our reaction to that event! Dr. Victor Frankel, an Austrian Psychiatrist, discovered his fa- mous psychiatric treatment now known as LOGQTHERAPY, while
  20. 20. YOGA RELAXATEON Yogamaharishi Dr SWAMI GlTANANDAGlRl Guru Maharaj FounderAnanda Ashram Pondicherry “Stop the world, I want to get off! ” is the way the vast majority of modern people feel about the way they live. i don’t think the world is spinning any faster on its axis or time is capsuled as many modern philosophers feel. We have simply gotten ourselves “wound up” and now have to find out how to “unwind”. We are not likely to do it with any of the modern methods suggested by society. Witness the popular method of relaxing. Go out and abuse yourself for the evening or the week end, or work for fifty weeks out of the year so that you can take two weeks off for a well-deserved holiday——a “holiday” that by modern observance requires that you go back to work again for fifty weeks to get over the abuse and damage of the two week so- called “holiday”! Whatshould be a “lheiy-day”, (holiday) is in most cases, a "holiigan’s day”! A verage American Holiday / tr‘ ad Bayog havai
  21. 21. GUEfiE TG THE PRAQTEQES The following practices of Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga are as taught by Yoga Maharishi r Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj, Founder Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry. I. GENERAL HATHA YOGA PRACTICES JATTIS: SMALL UNITS OF MOVEMENTS. Jattis are basic movements of the body parts that help to release pent up tensions in those parts. They also increase blood circulation to that body part. The flow of Pranic energy is increased due to the movements. A few of these practices are given below. -:6 l-lastha Jattis (Hand Movements) Shake the hands, first the right and then the left. Circle the hands at the wrist joints, first in the clockwise and then anti clock-wise directions. While shaking both hands continue to move the arms all around the body so that the maximum range of arm span is attained in front, side, up, down and back directions. This helps to energize the Pranamaya lrfosha, that is, our energy sheath or subtle body. 0 o. » Fada Jattis (Foot Movements) Shift the body weight from the toes to the heels and back a few times. Then shift the weight from the right side to the left side and back a few times. Move the body weight in the clock-wise and anti clock-wise directions. Sta id on toes, and then stand on heels. Bend the knees and straighten them a few times. Walk on the toes and then walk on heels. Shake and kick the right leg and then the left. up Jumping-Jacks Action This is a physical education exercise that is also a good Yoga warm up. Jump with the legs apart, and clap the hands over the S Anna ll oai if
  22. 22. head. Jump back with the feet together and hands by the side. Do this six to nine times in a vigorous manner. The sound “Ha” can he urid with the out breath or a bhastrika (bellows breath). °: » Rag-oil Action With the legs apart, let the torso and head fall lightly forward and dangle both arms in a loose manner. The same can be also done making “Ha” sound as the torso falls forward. «to Torso Movements (Grinding Action) Open the legs two feet apart and keep the hands on the hip. Move the torso in all four directions clock-wise and anti clock-wise in a grinding action. Then, do it in a continuous manner. ASANAS - STATIC POSITIONS OF THE BODY ‘i. Sllklha Asana (Comfortable Pose) Sit on the floor with legs crossed at the ankles. Hands are clasped together in the Yoga Mudra. (Clasp the fingers with right hand dominating). Siting straight, perform deep and controlled breathing (eerga Prartayama). Contemplate any of your favourite dieties. 2. Padrna hsarta (Lotus Pose) Sit on the floor with legs crossed so that the right foot is on the left thigh and the left foot on the right thigh. Keep the thumb andindex finger together and other fingers straight in Dhyana Mudra on the knees. O_r sit with fin- gers clasped in Yoga Mudra. Sit straight and perform deep and controlled breathing (Deerga Prariayama). Contemplate any higher thought A Yogic Approach to stress a
  23. 23. such as the essence of light at the sunrise, the white radiant light of a full moon, an oil lamp, stars or any form of the Divine. 3. Vajra Asana (Thunderbolt Pose) Sit on the floor so’that you are putting your weight on the heels and ankles that are kept together. Keep the palms facing down on the thighs. Sit straight and perform nine rounds _ofdeep and controlled - breathing (Deerga Pranayama). 4. Brahma Mudra (Gesture of Lord rahma) This practice reminds us of the four heads of Lord Brahma and so has the name “Brahma Mudra". it is excellent for cervical spinal problems. Sit erect in Vajra Asana. Breathe in and turn the head to the right side. Breathe out while bringing the head back to the cen- tral position and making the sound AAA. Then breathe in and turn the head to the left side. Breathe out while bringing the head back to the central position and making the sound UUU. Now breathe in and turn the head upwards as if to look at the ceiling. Breathe out while bringing the head back to the central position and making the sound EEE. Finally breathe in and lower the head so that the chin touches the chest. Breathe out while bringing the head back to the central po- sition and making the sound MMM. Perform this practice for a minimum of 3 times up to 9 times at each sitting. The com- bination of movement, breath and sound offers great stress relief. E Dr Anondo Bolciyogi Bhcivanoni
  24. 24. II. HATHA YOGA RELAXATION PRACTICES Hatha Yoga Relaxation practices offer excellent body relaxation and are linked to breath awareness. These practices employ the Com- plete Yogic breathing (Mahat Yoga Pranayama). it is necessary that the student be aware of the lungs through Sectional Breathing techniques (Vibhaga Pranayama). Body movements are synchro- nized with breath in order to achieve complete physical relaxation. 1. Spthandha - Nishpandha Practices are performed using the concept of interplay between ten- sion and relaxation, where one first tenses different parts of the body to the maximum and then, relaxes the same body parts to the maximum. This helps to bring the tension — relaxation automatic response under conscious control. 2. Mini-Shava Asana: (Tension-Relaxation) a) Lie down on the back b) Slowly tense the body, part by part, from toes to top of head. c) Hold 100% tension in the whole body for 10 sec. so body feels “stiff as a board". d) Let go and relax totally 100%. e) Continue to watch and witness the breath movement in and out of the body with detached awareness. 3. Tale Kriya (Palm Tree Stretch) Tala Kriya, a stretching action, can be done while lying supine on the back or while standing. The supine position is the one with which we are now concerned. “Tala" is the palmyra tree. Part I: While lying supine in Shave Asana, hollow out the back by lifting the lower spine on an incoming breath. The back is Arocich to Stress E
  25. 25. III. PRANAYAMA PRACTICES 1. ‘Vibhaga Pranayama (Sectional Breathing) The Yogic method of breathing includes the conscious and controlled flow of air to all parts of the lungs. There are ten bronchopulmonary segments in each lung and Yoga aims to teach us how to utilize all of them to the maximum possible. Vibhagha Pranayama is a vital preparation for further Pranayama Sadhana and is a must for all sincere Yoga Sadhaks. Abdominal (Lower Chest) reathing (Adham Pranayama): Use the palms of both hands to touch the body area right above the diaphragm and feel the breath move in the front, side and SHIN back regions of the lower chest and abdomen. Then use fifiuflfifl Chin Mudra to feel the same. (Join the thumb and index finger tip-to-tip to form a circle. The other three fingers should be kept straight and parallel to one another). The Chin Mudra is placed palm down on upper part ofthe thighs. This will stimulate breath flow into lowest section of the lungs. Thoracic (Mid Chest) Breathing (Madhyarn Pranayama): Use the palms of both hands to touch the middle chest near WWW heart and feel the breath move in front, side and back re- MAYA gions of the mid chest. Then, use Chinmaya Mudra to WUDFTA feel the same. (The index finger and thumb are joined tip- to-tip to form a circle, as in Chin Mudra and other three V ' fingers are closed to the palm). Chinmaya Mudra is placed palm down on the upper thighs to facilitate breath flow into mid chest. Clavictrlar (Upper Chest) Breathing- (Adyam Pranayarnah Use the palms of both hands to touch the upper chest around
  26. 26. IV. JNANA YQGA RELAXATION PRACTICES Jnana Yoga relaxation practices employ the mind as well as the body to achieve a harmonious state of being free from sub-conscious ten- sion. These practices are aimed at restoring the normal polarity to the body and achieving “Nishpanda Bhava”, the totally relaxed state of body and mind. 1. Antt-Loma-Viloma Jnana Yoga Kriya A group of certain Pranayamas that are more than Pranayamas are called Anti-Loma-Viloma Kriyas. They are taught in both the Jnana Yoga and Raja Yoga schools. The term “Kriya” means a systematic rational, action or movement. “Prakriya” means a “method of ac- tion”, or “a technique”. These Kriyas affect the basic polarity of the body, regulating the electrical flow in the nervous system and the ionization of cellular energy. Yogic theory teaches that by the use of these Pranayama Kriyas and Prakriyas, deep relaxation can be pro- duced. TECHNIQUE: r Lie down in the dorsal, supine position, Shava Asana, the Corpse Posture. I it Keep the head in the north to pick up the natural north-south flow of magnetic current. 9 Begin deep rhythmic, Savitri Pranayama. Take in the breath for a slow eight count, hold in for a slow four count. Let out for a slow eight count, then hold out for a slow four count. Repeat over and over again. 6 Do the following visualizations while in the shavasana as per the guidelines given below. ‘ “lac tres I"
  27. 27. TEST FOR AHAMKARA QUOTEENT (AQ) A unique test to discover how powerful the Abamkara (Ego) is in your liife Devised by : YOGACHARINI MEENAKSHI DEVI BHAVANfiNI DIRECTOR: ICYER AND YQGANJALI NATYALAYAM, PONDICHERRY Directions : For each question, rate yourself on a score of 0 to 10 and put the number in the space opposite question. Use the following scale as a rough guide for your evaluation: B-10 — (always); 6-3) — (most of the time); 4-6 — (some of the time) 0-4 — (never). When someone criticizes you, you always defend yourself and make excuses and never accept your fault When you and another person come to a door at the same time, you push to go in first. You always come late for everything, make everyone else wait‘ for you. When others talk, you do not listen, you interrupt them, or burst into talk yourself. When walking down the street or in the hall of a building you often bump into other people. You feel you are unimportant, so often do not attend functions as you feel your presence will not be missed. You think almost everyone is better than you. You think you are better than almost anyone. Most of your thoughts are about yourself, your problems and your worries. 5%’ Dr Andndd Balayogi Bhcwcmcmi
  28. 28. APPENDEX: E — BHAEANS GANAPATHY SONG Gauri Nandana Gajavadana Ganesha Varatha Maam Pahi Gajamukha Gajamukha Gananatha Ganesha Varatha Maam Pahi Gajanana Gajanana Gajanana Om Gajavaclana Eka Dantha Gajanana Herambha Gajanana Siddhi Buddhi Gajanana Uma Maheshwara Gajanana Vakra Thunda Gajanana Surya Kodhi Gajanana Mushika Vahana Gajanana Modhaka Hasta Gajanana Shyamalakarna Gajanana Vilambitha Sutra Gajanana Vamana Rupa Gajanana Maheshwara Putra Gajanana Vighna Vinayaka Gajanana Pada Namastey Gajanana GURU SONG-1 Om Jaya Guru Omkara Jaya Rishi Guru Omkara Gitananda Satguruve Satchitanda Giri Om Saranam GURU SONG-2 Satchitananda Guru Satchitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Jaya Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Adhi Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Maha Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Linga Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Yoga Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Shanta Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Samadhi Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Moksha Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda Om Guru Atma Guru Gitananda Satchitananda Guru Gitananda DURGA LAKSHMI SARASWATHI SONG Namasthuthey Namasthuthey Jay Sri Durga Namasthuthey Namasthuthey Namasthuthey Jay Sri Lakshmi Namasthuthey Namasthuthey Namasthuthey Jay Sri Saraswathi Namasthuthey HARE BHOL Hare Bhol Hare Bhol Hare Hare Bhol Keshava Madhava Govinda Bhol Keshava Madhava Govinda Bhol Hare Bhol Hare Bhol Hare Hare Bhol Dr ad §3oiBni it
  29. 29. pitta Vetws-22.. .. can anything be more disturbing than the whirlpool: of the mind? E velaime be is modern man really progressing?
  30. 30. ABOUT THEAUTHORAN COMPILER Yogacharya Dr. AMANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi havanani was born to the world famous Yoga team of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj and Puduvai Kalaimamani, Yogamani, Yogacharini, Smt. Meenakshi Devi havanani on April 16, 1972, at Pondicherry, South India. He was reared in the ‘Gurukula’ atmosphere of Amanda Ashram, first at Lawspet and then at Sri Kambliswamy Madam in Thattanchavady, Pondicherry where the Yoga Vidya (Knowl- edge of the Art and Science of Yoga) was imbibed as a 24 hour a day Sadhana and not just a few classes now and then. Nominated as his Guru Father’s successor on his fourth birthday itself as Madathiapathy of Sri Rambliswamy Madam, Ananda took great interest in the Hindu Rites and Rituals, Mantra, Yoga and the Carnatic Fine Arts from a young and tender age. He has been trained in Rishiculture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga from that tender age. He has assisted his parents in the Yoga training imparted at Ananda Ashram, Sri Kambaliswamy Madam and ICYER from that time onwards. He began his studies of classical Carnatic Vocal Music at the age of four years under Puduvai Kalaimamani Shri V Mahikanhatt. At the age of seven years he began arduous training in Carnatic Music S gr‘ iand iri oarj O l . l » E
  31. 31. under the tutorage of Kalaimamani Srirengam R. Ranganathan of Pondicherry, one of the most famous Carnatic Vocalists of South lndia. He continued his training for twenty years until his Guru’s death in 2002. He has studied Mridungam since the age of five, beginning with world-famous Master Shri K M Vaidhyanathan in 1977. Later, Thiruvarur Shri R. Rrishnamurthy, one of the most respected classical Mridungists of modern times, accepted him as a disciple. He began the study of Bharata Natyam under his mother Puduvai Kalaimamani Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavananiin the Kalakshetra tradition of Rukmanl Arundale when he was five years of age. At the age of eight, world-famous Bharata Natyam master Padmasri Adyar K. Lakshrnanan of Chennai accepted him as a disciple. He treasures all these blessed relations with his Gurus that the Divine has bestowed upon him in his artistic evolution. His initial training in scholastic work was in the Ashram itself and only when he was thirteen was he sent to Shavaiirs Gandhi Vidyashram, Kodaikanal, to do his formal schooling. At school in addition to his academic proficiency, he was also one of the cricket team’s major stars and the all—round Athletic Champion. At school he was awarded the “RS. Jayararna lyer Award for Best lnstrdmentaiist” for three successive years. in his final year he served as the School Captain. He has written a book on YOGA FOR Ci-IELDREN at the age of 12 years itself and has written Six other books including ‘YOGA AND MODERN MAN’ that takes a look at various Yogic concepts with humorous cartoons and line drawings and “A YOGEC APPROACH TO STRESS” that deals with the Yogic if Pd: A Sceifi Yo C C
  32. 32. explanations and management of stress. His “A PRlMER OF YOGA THEORY” that has also been published in Tamil as “YOGA VINA VIDA! THOGURPU” has become a standard textbook for Yoga Sport events and is also prescribed in many academic Yoga courses. “YOGA: 'i TO 10” explains numerous concepts of Yoga and Indian Culture through a numerical codification using the numbers 1 to 10. Recently he coauthored a Tamil book on BASIC HATHA YOGA LESSONS OF GITANANDA Yoga and edited the revised second edition of Dr Swami Gitananda Giri’s MUDRAS as well as CORRECTTON OF REATHlNG DISORDERS THROUGH RISE-HCULTURE ASHTANGA YOGA. He has also compiled and edited a book on PRANAYAMA lN THE GITANANDA YOGA TRADlTlON. He has had 1?’ scientific papers and 22 scientific abstracts on Yoga research published. He has also scripted and presented 7 DVS on Yoga'(Eranayama, lltlndras, Body Talk, Stress Busters, Yoga tor Breathing isorders, Yoga for Weight Loss and Mediation: The Inner Yoga) with the famous Super Audio Company in Chennai that are being marketed for a worldwide audience in different languages. He has been coordinator for another two DVDs presented by Ananda Ashram on Ten iessons in Yoga for steeping disorders and Satyarn Shivarn Sdndararn. He undertook the Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses in Yoga at lCYER under the guidance of his Guru-father Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri in 1991 and following this he joined medical college in order to combine the best of eastern wisdom with the best of western science. Dr Swami Gifncmda Giri Guru Maharaj
  33. 33. During his Medical Studies at J. N.M. C Wardha (Nagpur University), he was the top student in a class of hundred. He secured Distinction in Surgery and a Goid iliiedai in Community Medicine in his final year, topping about 500 students from the five Medical Colleges affiliated to Nagpur University. He was also the Student Representative at Medical College. Later he completed his internship at JEPMER Hospitai, Pondicherry, lndia. He has completed with distinction a two-year, Post Graduate iploma in Famiiy Health (PGDFH) from Sri Ramachandra Medical College (Deemed University), Chennai (2003). He has also completed a iploma in Psychological Counseling as well as a Diploma in Stress Management from the Institute for Health Care Administration, Chennai in 2001.He completed the Post Graduate Certiticate course in Pediatrics (PGCP) from lMA AK Sinha lnstitute, New Delhi and designated as counselor with 180 hours of CME credit in February 2005. He passed with Merit Distinction the Post Graduate Dipioma in Yoga (PGDY) course from Annamalai University, Chidambaram, Tamil Nadu topping more than 450 students to stand FiRST RANK overaii. He was one of the Star performers in the television serial ‘YOGA FQR YQUTH that was first broadcast over New Delhi Doordarshan in November 1989. This series of twenty~five episodes is regularly re-broadcast on the National Doordarshan Channel even to date. His musical concerts and Mridungam have been regularly broadcast over Pondicherry television. He was a performer of Bharata Natyam and has performed all over lndia and notably at the AEHAE Natioria Dance Festivat in issz. 1 nm: Scientifi iw E
  34. 34. Following his father's inane Samadhi on Dec. 29-1993 he has stopped his dance perforrnances and instead, focused his attention on Dance Choreography, especially in the rhythmic aspect for Yoganiaii Natyaiayarn. He has helped to choreograph 8 major Dance Dramas and t4 iriini Dance Dramas for Yoganjali Natyalayam in the last eight years. in the last few years he has Co-directed the “Ramavathara” (2003), “Pancha itiataa Shasta” (2004), “dayadevas Basavathara” (2005), “i~liornage to the Navagraha” (2006) and “Karrie Clliaritram" (2007). He has also composed the music along with dance choreography for an entire Bharata Natyam "Margam”. As a Carnatic i/ ocaist he has released two albums of which “THE YQGA DF SDUND” has the unique blend of English lyrics with Carnatic Raga and Taia in an attempt, to bridge the gap between East and the West. The second Album ‘TAii. tL ittaiéttet’ is a collection of Tamil Compositions in Carnatic Music. He is a regular performer at programmes in and around Pondy and has performed at the tnternationai Yoga Festivai, Government irtnsic Festival, Failllennium Sunrise Festivai, Pondicherry itfinsic and Dance Artistes Associatin, Tiiiagaraja Festitrai, Ftiduyai Tarnii isai Sangarn and Eswaran Kcii Kurnbabhistietiam amongst many others in Pondicherry. He is well known for his spontaneous imagination in the concerts and for his expianations on the Yogic aspects of Carnatic Music. He has performed innumerable vocal and instrumental recitals aiiover India including in Sornbay, Deere Don, Chennai, Cochin, Lonavia tPonet§ Qnidaaibararn, Bangatore and Fondictierry. it is notable that he has performed sm no 3
  35. 35. four times in the Isai Vizha (Music Festival) conducted by the Govt of Pondicherry in 1998, 2000,2003 and 2007. He has been a featured speaker at many Yoga conferences and is a regular featured speakerat the international Yoga Festival conducted by the Government of Pondicherry each year January 4"‘ to 7"‘ since 1993. He has also been the Co-ordinator and Jury at the lnternationai Yegasana Competition held at the international Yoga Festival —- Pondicherry annually and is responsible for organizing the more than 500 contestants who come from all over India to participate. He has also organised Himalaya Yoga Qlyrnpiad in Pondicherry (2001) in his capacity as Himalaya State Goordinator and led the Poncly team to the National Himalaya Yoga Olympiad at Bangalore in November 2001. He is responsible for reviving the Pondicherry Yogasana Assoeiation (2000) founded by Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri in 1975. He is currently the General Secretary of the Pendieherry Yogasana Asseeiatien and a member of the Executive Committee of indian Yoga Federation, Kolkata. He is an Advisor to the Werld Yoga Bonnet and Member et the international Council tor Yoga Sport in the international Yoga Federation, South America. He has been honoured as Vice President of the Asian Union of Yoga, New Delhi that is affiliated to the international Yoga Federation. He was nominated as the HQNORARY SECRETARY FQR ALL INDEA by executive board of the iNt'ERNAi‘llQFiAL YGGA FEDERATEQN9 South America in Jan 2905. Pranayama: A Scientific ‘logo View m
  36. 36. Yoga for him is not just the performance of a few Asanas or Pranayamas but is a means for evolution of the human mind in to further states of consciousness and awareness. He has been instrumental in developing the concept of “Yoga Tableaus” as a performing art and has trained hundreds of young people in the difficult art of acrobatic Yoga Asanas. The Yoga-Asana Tableau Concept has been developed by Dr. Ananda a vital tool in inculcating the sense of “team spirit and mutual cooperation” into youngsters. His pioneering efforts in this field have been widely applauded. As well, Dr. Ananda has been a pioneer in the revival of the use of the acrobatic Natya Karanas (difficult, athletic and acrobatic postures of Bharata Natyam) into the modern dance repertoire. With his finely developed aesthetic sense, he tastefully weaves these acrobatic poses into his classical dance choreography and productions. As chairperson of ‘Yoganjai Natyalayam he has coordinated programmes at Bangalore (SVYASA), Chennai (Arkaya Foundation), Alangudi (Guru Stalam), Kodaikanal (Bhavan’s Gandhi Vidyashram), Tanjore (Salangai Natham 2004 for the South 0 Zone Cultural Centre) and lvlahe (Varnam 2004 for the Dept of Art and Culture). He also coordinated the Yognat team’s performance during the Cultural Procession marking the 50”‘ year of Pondicherry independence in August 2004. He also led the Yognat Team to Nagapattinam for the Bharatanatyam performance A at Padma Bhushanam Dr Padma Subramanian’s NATYANJALl CELEBRATIONS for Shivaratri February, 2006. 9? Dr Swami Gitananda Giri Guru f. ’O'nGl’‘ClJ'V 79 l l l l
  37. 37. He has attended various Yoga Conferences and seminars at New Delhi, Bombay, Lonavla, Bhopal, Chennai, Kancheepuram, Madurai and other places along with his parents. He has assisted in the conduct of three International Yoga Conferences conducted at Pondicherry by Ananda Ashram under Dr. Swami Gitananda and Smt Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani. He has had the good fortune of meeting and receiving the blessings of numerous Great Yoga Masters such as Swami Chidanada, Swami Chinmayananda, Swami Satchidananada, Swami Dayananda, Swami Digambarji, Padma Bhushan BKS lyengar, Sri Yogendra Desai, Sri TK Desikachar, Sant Keshav Das, Sri Amrit Desai, Sri Direndra Brahmachari and Sri Yogeshwar. He has also been privileged to receive the blessings of eminent Scientist Yogis such as Shri RR Diwakar, Dr K Arunachalam, Dr B Ramamurthy, Prof TR Anantaraman, Dr W Selvamurthy, Dr Nagendra, Dr Nagaratna, Dr MV Bhole, Dr SV Rao, Dr RP Pandey, Dr Khapre, Dr SR Joharapurkar and Dr Madanmohan. As a Mridungist he has accompanied great artists like Padma Bhushan T. V. Sankaranaarayanan, Kalaimamani Srirengam Ranganathan, Kalaimamani Kulikkarai S. F’. Vishvalingam, Smt Matangi, Shri B. Govindarajan, Kumbakonam M. R. Gopinath etc. on the Mridungam and is a ‘B’ Grade Mridungist recognised byAll India Radio. He regularly plays for Yoganjali Natyalayam dance performances. He has played Mridungam for Sendhen Tamilisai, a Music Album by Kalaimamani Pulavar I Pattabhiraman in 2002 as well as Bhakti Mani Mala, a music album sung by Smt Jyothirmayi (2003). He has also played Mridungam in the Music Therapy Albums of Dr Hariharan PhD. Pno: itii Va
  38. 38. He is a life member ofthe INDIAN MEDICALASSOCIATION; ABHAI (Association of Bharata Natyam Artists of India); Chennai, IAYT (InternationalAssociation of Yoga Therapists, based in U. S.A); IYA (International Yogatherapy Association of the International Yoga Federation based in South America), APPI (Association of Physiologists and Pharmacologists of India), INDIAN ACADEMY OF YOGA, BHU, Varanasi, PONDICHERRY PSYCHOLOGY ASSOCIATION and the INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF YOGA SPORT, International Yoga federation, New Delhi. He is the patron of the Sanatitana Dharma Sangha, the Hindu Movement in Italy and Europe as well as more than one hundred Risbieulture Ashtanga (Gitananda) Yoga centres all over the world. He is also Patron of the Gitananda Yoga Associations of Australia, Spain, Germany, United Kingdom and Italy. He is the staff artist of ‘Yoga Life’ International, monthly journal and is well known for his ‘Yoga Cartoons’ on Yogic concepts and modern day Yogis. He has authored six books on Yoga and related topics and is in the process of editing and revising many of the books written by his illustrious father. Dr. Ananda is a Senior Lecturer in Mantra, Yantra, Yoga History and Philosophy and Yoga Physiology and Anatomy for the fully residential Yoga Teachers Training Courses at the international Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER) in Kottakuppam, Tamil Nadu. These full time residential courses, the Six Month International Yoga Teachers Training Course and the One Year
  39. 39. Yoga Teachers Diploma Courses are well established and presented to an international professional standard. These courses have been held annually since 1968 and students from all over the world attend these Yoga Teachers Training courses. Dr. Ananda is a the Chairman of the lnternatioriai Centre for Yoga Education and Research (ICYER) in Kottakuppam, Tamil Nadu, an internationally acclaimed Yoga Institute established as “Ananda Ashram” in 1968. He is Clnairrnan of Yoganjali Natyalayam, a world famous Institute of Yoga, Bharata Natyam, and Carnatic Music established in Pondicherry in 1993. He is also Director of studies for both these Institutes He has received the Marudha Ramalinganar OUTSTANDING YOUNG PERSON AWAR and Rolling Shield for the year 2002 from the Youth Peace Centre, Pondicherry and received the title award of “Yoga Yibhnshan” from Tamil Nadu State Yoga Association and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu (Tuticorin) at the 15"‘ Tamil Nadu State Yogasana Championship held at Kovilpatti, Tuticorin Dist, Tamil Nadu in August 2003. He received the title award of “YOGA BISHMACHARYA” from the Tirumoolar Yoga and Natural iet Trust, Chennai and Tarnii Nadu State Yoga Association at the Tamil Nadu State Yogasana Championship held at Chennai in November 2004. He has been honoured with the “YGGA CHAKRAVARTHY” title awarded by Gitanjai Yoga Centre at the 1“ Annual Day Celebrations held at Pondicherry on 215* September 2005. Prnoam: A Scientific ‘logo View 313
  40. 40. He was awarded the “Dr. Sushila K. Thaker Prakruti Iiaiandir Annual Research Awards at National Level in the field of Yoga” by the Academy ofAyurveda Development and Research (AADAR), Ahmedabad, Gujarat in April 2006. Other titles and awards received by him are “PalkaIai Chemmal”, “Sagala Kala Vallavan”, “lsai Sevagan”, “Puduvai Mannin Maindhan”, “Achiever Award 2003” and “Jnana Vruddha”. He worked for four years from 2000 to 2004 as a SENIOR RESEARCH FELLOW in the Yoga Research Project con- ducted by the Department of Physiology, JIPMER under the auspices of the Union Health as well as Defense Ministries, New Delhi. He is involved in various research studies at JIPMER and has published I has under publication numerous scien- tific papers on these findings. He is at present a MEDCAI. OFFICER in the Yilage Health Programme and the Chld to Child Health Education Programme run by the AUROYIILLE HEALTH CENTRE in the International Township of Auroville, Tamil Nadu. He is happily married to Yogacharini Devasena Bhavanani who has a Masters degree in Sanskrit in addition to being an eminent Yoga Expert, Carnatic Vocalist and Bharata Natyam Dancer, Teacher and composer. They have a daughter Dhivya Priya Bhavanani and a son Anandraj Bhavanani. rswéionondo Giri Guru Maharaj
  41. 41. Two roads diverge, one leading to Cosmic Consciousness, upwards, marked by many positive qualities, the other leading downward, to self-indu/ gence and se/ f-absorption, marked by negative characteristics. Every human being must choose the path he/ she wishes to take-upwards to evolution, or downwards, to devolution. THE CHOICE iS ULTIMATELY YOURS!
  42. 42. Stress is inevitable in the modern world because of the imbalance between the demands of one’s environment and one’s capabilities. In fact, it is “distress", which causes the problem “Distress” can be defined as “every physical and mental tension that we experience as unpleasant”. The envi- ronment today is very demanding. From childhood onwards, the development of capacities and capabilities of the individ- ual is not able to keep pace with the increase of demands on them. This gap in most cases goes on widening as one ages. Stress is related to the individual’s inner and outer environ- ment and his/ her tolerance capacity. As both of these are dif- ferent in different people, each individual has to settle for their own method for managing his/ her day-to-day problems. It must be clearly understood that we are responsible for our own health and happiness and have a duty to take care of these Divine gifts. Yogamaharishi Dr Swami Gitananda Giri used to often say, “Health and happiness are your birthright" Claim them! Spiritual realisation is you goal Seek it! ". It is through our own efforts and will power that we can ultimately solve the problem of stress and reclaim our birthrights as human beings. This book is intended to help us to understand how Yoga can help to prevent as well as alleviate this modern pandemic of stress. It also helps us to realise that Yoga is not just per- forming some contortionist poses or huffing and puffing some Pranayama or sleeping your way through any so—called “meditation”. Yoga is an integrated way of life in which awareness and consciousness guide our spiritual evolution within this very social system. not in some remote cave in the mountains or hut in the forest. ’_ g. The Author, Yogacharya Dr. Ananda {Q 4; Balayogi Bhavanani is the Chairman of » ”'. ... Yoganjali Natyalayam and the International "" Centre for Yoga Education and Research at Ananda Ashram, Puducherry, South India. (www. icyer. com)