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Health

Why You Should Use Spray Supplements and Vitamins

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The use of Spray Supplements and Vitamins have become increasingly popular. This is because our bodies have complex muscles that require various nutrients to function well. The nutrient can either be macro or micro. Macro-nutrients are those we require in large amounts, and they can be easily consumed by the food we eat. Examples of these are carbs, proteins, fats, and lipids.

On the other hand, micro-nutrients are those that are required in small amounts. Missing them in our regular diets is easy. Examples of these are vitamins and minerals. Vitamins are either fat or water soluble. These properties make it hard to have proper nutritional levels of vitamins in our bodies. Urine removes excess water-soluble vitamins and we need to take them daily.

Fat-soluble vitamins also pose serious problems when consumed in large amounts. Use vitamin supplements to ensure you get the optimum amount of vitamins and reduce wastage.

Do spray supplements and vitamins have any side effects?

Everything under the sun has its own set of pros and cons. This does not mean that we should accept anything on the market based on the benefits it offers to us. It is good and wise to know the cons of whatever you might be using so that you can know how to cautiously deal with it. In respect to the spray supplements and vitamins; there are some side effects associated with their use and these might include the following:

Some of the challenges associated with high vitamins intake

  • A headache, although it is not severe and in any case is easy to treat
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Birth defects
  • Excess Vitamin A can cause liver toxicity
  • Consumption of excess Vitamin C can cause increased iron absorption and kidney stones
  • Excess Vitamin B-6 can cause nerve damage
  • Vitamin D can cause irregular heart rhythms and lead to calcium deposits

What is the best solution then?

It is hard to get all the vitamins we require on a daily basis from the diet. It is also not healthy to consume them in large amounts since they will end up as waste or cause other problems in our bodies. The best solution to this is the use of vitamin supplements. These supplements are sold as either;

Among all these; spray supplements and vitamins are the most popular due to some reasons we will cover after looking at how they work and how safe they are to our bodies. However, for a quick mention, these sprays have the least secondary components.

What are their benefits? How do they help?

Taking spray supplements and vitamins will be essential and effective to our health in the following ways:

  • Vitamin deficiencies can lead to serious health problems and diseases like pellagra and poor eyesight. Taking spray supplements and vitamins reduce these risks to negligible levels.
  • They eliminate the swallowing part altogether. This means they are more efficient in terms of use. No water needed to take them.
  • They address more specific problems. For example, Instavit has a line of sprays that address sleep problems and immunity. ‘Better You’ is famously known for their magnesium spray supplements and vitamins.
  • Nutrition guru, Brooke Alpert and medical physician Susan Blum agree that spray supplements and vitamins are absorbed in the body in a super way. The body absorbs them effectively and in the short time possible.
  • They save you dollars: You can end up wasting your time and money if you follow the vitamin dieting program but you can’t go wrong with supplements. It is easy to flush the good stuff you consume without even knowing it especially when vitamins are concerned.
  • Some people have difficulties activating the majority of the B vitamins, and most spray supplements provide the activated forms of vitamins B

How do they work?

Among all the types of vitamin supplements, spray supplements and vitamins are the most popular due to the way they work. Their main mode of absorption is either through the skin or the digestive tract and more so the tongue. By using those two absorption methods, they bypass the digestion process. For example, a pill requires breaking down in the body and then waits for the system to distribute it to the various parts of the body.

The body’s metabolic processes have their own inefficiencies, and there are probabilities of improper absorption. With the spray supplements and vitamins, there is 100% efficiency in absorption, and this occurs within the shortest time possible.

How fast do they work?

These spray supplements and vitamins are effective, and they work very fast. Also, they are more affordable. They are in the pure state since they contain no fillers or binder agents. They are mostly in an active state. The same aspect also makes their absorption fast. Spray supplements and vitamins are directly absorbed into the system when taken through the skin or the tongue.

Any type of supplement takes at least 2-4 weeks to start working. In the case of minerals, more than 90 days might be required before seeing the effects of the dose. However, don’t confuse these long durations with inefficiencies. Always take the recommended daily intake of spray supplements and vitamins as prescribed.

The final take

We cannot conclude this section without pointing out some few things. Irrespective of how easy it is to get and use the spray supplements and vitamins, it is always advisable to seek medical advice before starting to use any of them. In most of the times, the proportion of vitamins we need is in line with our daily caloric requirements. If you copy another person’s strategy, you might only end up passing expensive urine.

There can’t be any fixed ratio of vitamins supplements and vitamins for all of us. In any case, you should also be cautious to avoid consuming more than you require. They might end up as wastage or cause you more harm than good. What you take your supplements with also matters. If you take them with caffeinated drinks, this greatly hampers their absorption.

 

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Healing

Reiki Symbols: Meanings, Purpose, and Practice

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Reiki Symbols Image

Reiki symbols are both a visual and auditory focus, although in the Western tradition the main importance is given to the visual aspect. Thus, the Symbols not only increase the power of Reiki but also serve as the focus for our intentions.

In this article, I will share with you the basic Reiki symbols, their meaning, purpose, and the sacred energy that each of them expresses.

Symbols in Reiki

Reiki symbols have always been surrounded by mystery and have been recognized as Sacred Symbols of great power.

In the Reiki system, the symbols are taught starting with the Second level. These symbols have always been the subject of controversy among the various Reiki schools.

A turning point in the history of the Western Reiki school was the publication of Diane Stein’s book “Essential Reiki: A Complete Guide to an Ancient Healing Art“. Teachers of the traditional Reiki school DO NOT recommend to read this book as it violated the Reiki traditions. Diane Stein published all the Reiki symbols in that book, and this is how they became public.

The fact is that the teachers of the Traditional Reiki school teach to keep the Reiki symbols in secret in view of their sacredness.

In addition, only a person who has never experienced the Power of Reiki Symbols is able to share these symbols with the uninitiated. Those people who really understand and feel the Reiki Symbols understand the huge responsibility of keeping the Reiki traditions that prevent them from sharing the Reiki Symbols and mantras to the uninitiated.

I am a representative of the Traditional Reiki school, so in this article, I will talk about Reiki symbols without naming them or showing them. I think that this article will be useful primarily to those who have already been initiated into the Second level of Reiki, but for the rest, it will be only introductory information.

The traditional Reiki school teaches the Symbols according to the Hawayo Takata method:

Stage 1: the students memorize the symbols;
Stage 2: the students practice drawing the symbols on paper;
Stage 3: the students destroy the paper with the symbols.

Now Reiki practitioners use many additional Symbols, but most practitioners use the four basic Reiki symbols.

Reiki students get introduced to the Three Reiki Symbols when they get attuned into the Second level of Reiki. And the fourth Reiki symbol they learn when they become Reiki Masters.

Originally, the symbols were not part of the Reiki system. Mikao Usui started using them when he began introducing Reiki to people unfamiliar with spiritual practices. In other words, he was using symbols to help people in spiritual development. Reiki symbols were supposed to be a focus for the mind, as well as mantras.

Mikao Usui With His Students Picture

The Use Of Reiki Symbols

The Reiki symbols that Dr. Usui used in the initiation process have tremendous energy that can awaken certain areas of consciousness and teach us how to create the material out of the immaterial, whether it’s healing the body, building relationships, or coping with life situations.

Reiki practitioners should be well prepared before beginning to learn the art of Reiki symbols. Because the symbols are sacred, they are revealed to a practitioner only at the right time. To comprehend their true meaning is possible only after preparation. The practitioner should have a strong spiritual background and at least a couple of years of regular Reiki healing practice based on Reiki Level 1 before he/she gets introduced to the Reiki symbols.

The Reiki symbols are carriers of very powerful sacred energy and in various combinations are able to awaken creative intelligence. They help us to make a qualitative leap to another level of consciousness. The Symbols reveal the universal truth, and we gain deep knowledge when we start interacting with their energy.

Moreover, Reiki symbols contribute to the strengthening of the human energy body, which makes the process of awakening irreversible. They also help to accelerate karma, increase endurance, and eternal vigilance.

Traditional Reiki Symbols

Distance Reiki image

When our thoughts are concentrated, we can put them into action. That’s what the Sacred symbols are for.

As already mentioned, the second level of Reiki opens access to the three Reiki Symbols. And the third Reiki level opens access to the fourth – Master symbol.

Each Symbol corresponds to a mantra, which is the sound vibration of the Symbol and some Masters also say that the mantras are basically the names of the symbols. By chanting the mantra, you focus on the intention, and the form turns into the essence.

So, the traditional Reiki symbols are:

1st symbol – CKR

This symbol activates the process, leads the energy in the right direction for achieving the desired result. The energy of this symbol moves in a spiraling direction from limitless potential through thought and essence. CKR symbol focuses on physical body healing.

2nd symbol – SHK

This symbol takes the practitioner to the mental and emotional energy levels. It focuses on the emotional body healing and works through our subconsciousness.

3rd symbol – HSZSN

This symbol creates a so-called “bridge” between us and the person and/or the situation in which we want to heal or harmonize. It focuses on the mental body healing and works through our consciousness.

Understanding the Reiki Symbols

Every Reiki practitioner should establish a connection with each Symbol and the aspect of Reiki energy that is embodied in them. Having an inner understanding of the vibrations accompanying the Reiki symbol’s mantras, we can completely abandon them and concentrate immediately on the manifestation of the energy associated with the particular symbol.

You should understand that it’s not easy. It may take years of meditation before you can achieve this. But with regular practice, you will achieve the desired results!

In most Reiki schools, the Masters teach the four basic symbols. However, there are many other symbols obtained through channeling by the creators of the new Reiki schools. In this article, I will share with you only those symbols that are traditionally used in Reiki, their characteristics, as well as the energy that is expressed through them.

Now let’s go deeper into the understanding of each of the four Reiki symbols.

Symbol 1: CKR

CKR symbol image

The shape of the First symbol (also known as CKR symbol) is at least partly found outside Japan. This symbol is also found in Indian and Celtic culture. Partially it’s expressed in the SO and CHA symbols of the SOLANCHA system.

In Japanese teachings, on which relied Mikao Usui, Symbol 1 is connected with Earth energy. And as we know, Earth energy is necessary for grounding. It is also associated with the Hara.

Connecting with this symbol while meditating on it will help you increase your energy level and straighten your Hara.

CKR symbol focuses energy on what you direct it to and amplify it.

Symbol 1, like all the others, can be used alone or in combination with others.

In order to activate the Symbol, it is necessary to say its mantra three times.

Mantra CKR

The mantra of this symbol translates as “power increase” or “placing all the powers of the universe here”.

Symbol 1 (CKR) Characteristics

Meaning: power, energy.

Purpose: directs energy towards desired results.

Tasks:

  • serves as a catalyst;
  • activates and enhances energy.

Possible Benefits:

  • the physical body healing;
  • gives other symbols extra energy;
  • concentrates energy on a particular goal;
  • energy protection;
  • purifies and energizes water and food;
  • cleanses and charges crystals and any other healing stones;
  • purifies and energizes any material objects.

So, Symbol 1 is used to increase power. When you visualize Symbol 1, your access to Reiki energy increases several times. CKR focuses energy on one point, calling for the Divine help in healing.

Symbol 2: SHK

Reiki Healing System Image

In Western teachings, Symbol 2 is associated with physical and mental well-being. In the Japanese tradition, it is associated with harmony. I support both of these associations since SHK energy grants calmness of mind and emotional balance.

Unlike Symbol 1, Symbol 2 uses the energy of Heaven, which is also called “Light”. Working with this energy helps to develop intuition and psychic abilities because it is related to the mind. Moreover, Symbol 2 helps us to make contact with the energy of the Higher Self, or Spirit.

You can draw or visualize this Symbol when you need to better understand the situation. In traditional teaching, practitioners draw this symbol on their Third eye chakras during the Reiki healing sessions. In distance Reiki healing, it is recommended to focus on this symbol when the patient is experiencing psychological or emotional distress.

Symbol 2 has very subtle energy. Therefore, usually, it takes more time for a Reiki practitioner to feel it. However, regular meditations on this symbol will eventually help you to start feeling it and then you will discover its great power. Symbol 2 can be used in a combination with Symbol 1 to enhance emotional cleansing.

Mantra SHK

This mantra translates as “Earth and Heaven become one”. Or some Masters may translate it as “God and man become one”.

Symbol 2 Characteristics

Meaning: healing, harmony, happiness.

Symbol: embryonic state, the beginning of the external form.

Purpose: to bring harmony and healing.

Tasks:

  • calm and relax the mind;
  • open direct access to the subconscious levels.

Different Ways to Use the SHK Symbol:

Reiki energy penetrates where healing is needed at any level: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. When we use Symbol 2, we direct energy to the emotional level, and this is the key to effective healing. Painful emotions or trauma that are deeply hidden in our subconsciousness, come to the surface. Only after emotional relief, can we expect that healing from physical illness will occur. Anger, despair, rage, grief are the most common root factors that create disease.

Reiki Animal Healing with SHK Symbol

animal reiki healing image

Pets cleanse houses and people from negative emotions. If the family is in crisis, the pet takes the hit and is not always able to cope with it. One way or another, your pet’s health is a reflection of your energy or the energy of the environment you live in.

Reiki practitioners use Symbol 2 to help relieve emotional pain in pets as well as in humans. When I use SHK in my healing sessions for pets, along with the healing, the emotional blocks of the owner of the pet get released. I often receive information about the root problem of the pet’s disease during the Reiki session. Usually, this information comes through the SHK symbol. And its always connected to the emotional problems of the owner of the pet.

Example of Reiki Animal Healing With the Help of SHK

I’ll share with you one example from my practice. I was healing a cat who accidentally damaged his back. This severe damage affected his paws so he couldn’t walk. When I was giving a healing session to the cat, the information about his owner came through the SHK symbol. The information was about his owner.

The owner’s daughter just a month ago moved out of the house and went to college. So the mother (the owner) was suffering a lot because she didn’t know how to live without her beloved daughter always being around. She was afraid of thinking about the future and moving forward. So, her cat took this emotional block on himself and he couldn’t move because of the fears of his “mom”.

After explaining this to my client she took the responsibility and started working on healing her emotional trauma along with Reiki healing sessions for her cat. In a couple of months of our “teamwork”, the cat was able to walk again!

How Does SHK Work?

Symbol 2 focuses energy on the emotional body and thus enhances its effect. This helps the patient to focus on the specific emotional blocks and quickly get rid of them.

Use the SHK symbol at the beginning of the healing session or when it’s necessary.

I noticed that sometimes Reiki practitioners (including myself) forget to use the SHK symbol. And this is totally ok! The thing about this symbol is that you should always trust your intuition whether you need to use it or not. If you remembered to use this symbol during your Reiki session – it’s great! But if you forgot about it, then there was no need to use it. When you’re performing intuitive healing, the intuition should lead the process.

SHK and Kundalini

kundalini mantra image

Many Reiki practitioners use Symbol 2 as a tool for helping the Kundalini awakening. You may notice that this symbol makes Kundalini practices and meditations go much easier and smoother.

Symbol 3: HSZSN

Symbol 3 is composed of 5 Japanese hieroglyphs (Kanji) that can be read as a phrase.

In western Reiki schools, HSZSN is used for distant Reiki sessions. Japanese Reiki system uses this symbol as “a connection tool”. And it makes sense. For performing distant Reiki healing, we have to establish a real connection with the Universe and with the patient. From a certain point of view, when we send healing, we do not act as if we are separated from the patient. We become one with him/her so that he/ she can heal himself/herself.

Meaning: connection, unity, purpose.

SHK Mantra translates as “No past, no present, no future”. Some Masters use another translation – “The Buddha in me contacts the Buddha in you”. Or you may also hear another translation of this mantra – “God in me recognizes God in you’.

When we are using the SHK symbol we go beyond time and space. This is how we are able to send energy distantly and even to the past (for example, when we’re performing past trauma healing) or the future (for example, when we performing manifesting of the goals or harmonizing the situation).

Tasks:

  • establishing the connection with a person/event/situation beyond time and space;
  • creating unity between the beginning and the end;
  • building “a bridge” between “the Divine in me” and the Divine in another person or situation;
  • cleansing the space.

Different Ways to Use the HSZSN symbol:

The HSZSN Symbol Is a Portal to the Akashic Records

Akashic records image

The symbol 3 is often used as a portal to the Akashic Records. By meditating on the 3rd symbol you can get access to the information about your karmic goals, lessons, agreements, and debts which can help you to establish your karmic healing.

Past-Present-Future Healing

When working with Symbol 3, the lines between the past, present, and future are blurred. This symbol shows you that your past, present, and future exist in the same time-lapse. So, the first step in working with this symbol is learning how to feel this.

When you keep working with the HSZSN symbol you will discover that now it’s much easier for you to receive information about the future through this symbol. Let me share with you one helpful trick on how to see the future timelines easier. You simply need to tap into the feeling of unity of the present and the future moment. And then draw the HSZSN symbol two times. The double HSZSN symbol will create a “gate” into future timelines.

Though you’ll be able to see future events, keep in mind that there is an unlimited quantity of possible timelines in the future. So, you never know which one you’ll be able to see. You may see the one that is the closest to the one you’re on right now. But keep in mind that if you change your behavior or make different choices then you may switch the timeline to another one. And it’s possible to see that timeline through the HSZSN symbol too.

Symbol 4: DKM

When a Reiki practitioner becomes a Reiki master, he/she gains access to the 4th Reiki symbol which is also called the Master symbol. This symbol also consists of hieroglyphs.

Symbol 4 is rooted in Buddhist traditions. It is found in the sacred text of Mikkyō – a part of Tendai Buddhism teaching followed by Mikao Usui. This symbol is also used in an esoteric Buddhist ritual in which the follower becomes one with the Buddha’s true nature and reveals his inner light. That is why Usui chose this symbol as the highest symbol of development in Reiki practice.

In the Western Reiki system, this symbol is associated with the mastery of spiritual practice. In Japanese tradition, it is associated with the acquisition of power.

The Purpose

Reiki Master Cosmos Image

The main purpose of the Master symbol is to establish a direct connection with one’s inner Master.

Your Inner Master is the part of you that has already reached enlightenment. This part is hidden from us, but we gain it through consistent spiritual practices.

The master symbol attracts the energy of the higher vibration, which enhances the healing result.

The DKM symbol can be used in combination with other Reiki symbols to strengthen them and purify the intent behind the Reiki practice. This Symbol sheds light on any situation; physical, mental or spiritual condition. In addition, it clears all obstacles in the way of solving problems, even the most profound ones.

Meditation on the DKM Symbol

When we are meditating on this Symbol it helps us develop self-awareness and promotes spiritual development.

One way to meditate on this symbol is to draw it in front of you and enter it as if it was a hologram. During meditation, it often takes some color, most often it becomes violet. You can intuitively visualize it in a specific color to enhance the energy.

The DKM Mantra

This mantra translates as “Great Enlightenment” or “Bright Shining Light”. There are many other translations of this mantra. However, all translations refer to “the Light”. Therefore, when pronouncing this mantra, we should visualize the Light.

Alignment With Reiki Symbols

reiki attunement image

Before you start using Reiki symbols in your healing practice, you should make sure you’re aligned with each of them. To achieve it you need to perform the alignment practice with each symbol. This practice will make you capable of using Reiki symbols effectively. Also, it will increase your visualization abilities, improve your healing power, harmonize your life, and balance your spiritual path.

Usually, the alignment practice is performed daily for at least 30 minutes for 21 days after initiation. However, I noticed that not all Reiki masters teach this practice. And many Reiki practitioners use Reiki symbols without being aligned with them. Some masters explained to me that it’s due to the fact that along with the attunment you get automatically aligned with the symbols. However, I cannot agree with this.

You see, Reiki attunement is the initiation into the Reiki system. And the alignment with the symbols is the result of your consistent spiritual practice. A Reiki Master doesn’t have the ability to align you with the symbols. This is your own responsibility and your path.

After I tell people about the alignment practice and they start consistently performing it, they see how much easier it is for them to feel the Symbols’ energy and how much more effective their Reiki healing sessions are. Therefore, if for some reason your Reiki Master didn’t introduce you to the alignment practice, you can do it now. I’m sure very soon you will see amazing difference in your Reiki practice.

The Alignment Practice (Meditation)

Here are quick instructions on how to perform the alignment practice. But keep in mind, that this practice is designed only for those Reiki practitioners that have already received the Level 2 (and up) Reiki attunement.

  1. Take a sitting posture for meditation. Make sure that your arms and legs are not crossed. Take a couple of deep breaths until you feel that your body completely relaxed.
  2. Invite the Reiki Energy with the intention of aligning with the Sacred Reiki Symbols.
  3. Raise your hand in front of you with the palm open and directed away from you. Draw in the air in front of you Symbol 1 (CKR) and say its mantra 3 times. Alternatively, you can draw the symbol in the air in front of you with your index finger or with your index and middle fingers folded together. Visualize the Symbol where you drew it. Now enclose it between your palms.
  4. Close your eyes and continue holding the CKR symbol between your palms. Keep saying the CKR mantra for at least 10 minutes (preferably aloud, but if not possible, then whisper or say it mentally).
  5. Raise your hands with the CKR symbol between them above your head and place the symbol in your Crown chakra. Visualize the CKR symbol entering your Crown chakra, spreading throughout your body and merging with it.

Perform the same actions for aligning with other symbols.

The Bottom Line

There are lots of misleading information about Reiki symbols all over the Internet. You can also see lots of books about the symbols and their interpretation. Obviously, this article is just a summarized guide to Reiki symbols but doesn’t include the full information about them. How can you recognize the true information about Reiki symbols? I always follow one simple rule – if the book or Internet article includes the pictures or names of the symbols, then I can’t fully trust the information in it. The main rule about Reiki symbols is that their images and mantras should be kept secret and if the author doesn’t follow this rule, then he/she probably doesn’t really understand the sacredness of the information he/she shares.

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Yoga

Understanding the Niyamas for Attaining a Higher State of Consciousness

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Niyama Image

In classical yoga, ‘Niyama’ refers to the second limb of yoga that leads to achieving ‘God Consciousness’. Niyama has to do with self-discipline and spiritual observances. When we learn how to put the 5 Niyamas of yoga into practice, we maintain a positive environment for our growth and develop the self-discipline and inner-strength necessary to progress along the path of yoga. Moreover, these 5 Niyamas are wonderful tools for cultivating happiness, self-confidence, and making every day meaningful.

8 Limbs of Yoga

There are 8 limbs of yoga, and Niyama is the second limb.

The first limb: YAMA

Yama is a set of ethical norms that teaches us to communicate with others in the right way. To be brief, it means one thing: treat people the way you want them to treat you.

The second limb: NIYAMA

The step of forming the self-discipline and uplifting spirituality. This step involves regular visits to temples, meditative practices, a study of nature, thinking and walks.

The third limb: ASANA

Asana means ‘posture’ or ‘pose’. So by saying ‘asanas’ we mean body poses. Yoga practitioners know that our physical bodies are temples for our souls. Body care is one of the most important stages on the path to spiritual growth and enlightenment. Performing certain asanas, a person learns concentration and self-discipline.

The fourth limb: PRANAYAMA

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama Image

Pranayama is the ability to control your breath. It is a set and a system of special techniques that make it possible to establish a relationship between breath, mind, and emotions. Literally, pranayama translates as ‘extension of the prana’ or ‘breath control”. Pranayama practice allows you to rejuvenate the entire body and prolong your lifespan. We can practice pranayama as a separate type of yoga technique, or use it as a component of the complex of yoga practice.

The fifth limb: PRATYAHARA

‘Pratyahara’ means ‘gaining mastery over external influences’.

The purpose of this limb is to achieve a state of the distraction of the senses from the surrounding reality and the circulation of the gaze and consciousness inside of you. In other words, pratyahara is the ability to concentrate and not be distracted by various external stimuli. This step gives you the vision of the internal systems, understanding what can stop your personal and inner growth.

The sixth limb: DHARANA

Dharana means ‘concentration’ or ‘single focus’. By concentrating and abstracting, we get distracted from external ‘noise’.  This is how we can calm down our minds, which distracts us from knowing more than we are able to understand. It helps us to see the limitless of our possibilities. At this stage, there is a skill to slow down the thought process by focusing on sound, image, energy or body.

The seventh limb: DHYANA

pranayama meditation image

Dhyana means ‘contemplation, reflection’ and ‘profound, abstract meditation’. This is the stage of the full development of the properties of meditation and concentration. Conscious inhibition of thought processes allows one to calm the mind, to feel serenity, not to give rise to new thoughts. To reach this stage, you need endurance and strength. For achieving this, you have to put a lot of effort and time.

The eighth limb: SAMADHI

Samadhi is a state of intense concentration that can be achieved through meditation. This is a state of bliss and understanding. On this stage, you extend the boundaries of your Self. You start feeling the connection between the divine origin and all living things, unity with nature and the world.

Samadhi is the highest stage of meditation, in which a person experiences oneness with the universe. In samadhi, the mind becomes still. You become totally aware of the present moment.

What Is Niyama?

As you can see, Niyama is the second limb of yoga. Niyama is the Sanskrit term for duty or observance recommended by yogic philosophy and teaching as part of the yoga path. In the Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali, he outlines five niyamas as part of the second limb of yoga.

The Five Niyamas are:

  1. Śaucha (शौच): purity, clearness of mind, speech, body, and soul.
  2. Santoṣa (सन्तोष): contentment, acceptance of others and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self.
  3. Tapas (तपस): austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, perseverance.
  4. Svādhyāya (स्वाध्याय): study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches and actions.
  5. Īśvarapraṇidhāna (ईश्वरप्रणिधान): contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness.

Mastering these 5 Niyamas is necessary in order to practice asanas, pranayama and all other stages of the “eight-step path of yoga”.

If you want to practice Niyama you will need to fully focus on developing self-control. Let me share with you 5 ways to bring niyamas in your daily routine.

5 Ways to Practice Niyamas

Niyama #1: Saucha

yoga asana image

As I already said, Saucha focuses on purity, cleanness of mind, speech, body, and soul.

Saucha niyama teaches us to observe perfect purity. A person who practices yoga must observe the purity of his/her own body because it is a temple of the spirit.

The one who practices yoga must keep clean not only his/her physical body, but also the food he/she eats, and the house in which he/she lives.

The most important thing in practicing Saucha is the purity of the soul. In this regard, if a person is really serious about practicing yoga, then he/she should get rid of envy, anger, lust and other negative emotions.

And os course, the speech of yogi should be free from lies, curse, profanity, gossip, flattery, and judgments.

Niyama #2: Santosa

Daily Prayer And Meditation Image

Santosa focuses on contentment, acceptance of others and of one’s circumstances as they are, optimism for self.

Santosa involves the ability to find satisfaction from life, despite all the suffering and losses that we might face.

The main purpose of the second Niyama is to teach us to be happy, friendly to others and grateful for all that God gives us. The practice of Santosa involves being unattached to the material world and life events while accepting everything that life gives you as lessons.

Usually, we try to avoid situations that give us discomfort. But acceptance means being willing to see the problem and go in the direction that scares you (leaving your comfort zone). If there is something in your life that you avoid, Santosa encourages you to be honest with yourself and admit it. For example, if you are exhausted but don’t admit it, you won’t take steps to heal and recover.

Niyama #3: Tapas

Osho Kundalini meditation image

By practicing the third Niyama, we should develop such qualities as austerity, self-discipline, persistent meditation, and perseverance.

Discipline is very important for advancement in yoga practice. Take time for yoga every day: spread out a mat to practice asanas and meditate. Let this be the basis of your consistent practice.

If you practice Tapas, you will be able to fully take control of your desires and obsessions. Eventually, this niyama will help you to overcome your own ignorance.

Niyama #4: Svādhyāya

Mala Beads Prayer Image

This niyama focuses on the study of self, self-reflection, introspection of self’s thoughts, speeches, and actions.

In the process of practicing the fourth Niyama, we get engaged in the realization of our own essence. We can also say that Svadhyaya is a so-called ‘prism’ through which can we see the Divine within us.

In this regard, in the process of mastering the fourth Niyama, we should devote ourselves to the study of yogic Sutras, Vedas, other sacred texts, and spiritual literature, as a devotion to our spiritual development.

Choose a text for spiritual reading and devote yourself to reading this book in the morning before watching the news and checking your emails. Let these words that you read be your parting words for this day. Think about these words during the day, and in the evening analyze their impact on you.

Niyama #5: Īśvarapraṇidhāna

praying girl image

This niyama focuses on the contemplation of the Ishvara (God/Supreme Being, Brahman, True Self, Unchanging Reality), attunement to the supreme consciousness.

The divine principle is universal, even though there are many religions and spiritual teachings. In one way or another, many believe in a power that transcends us, and it doesn’t matter what each of us calls it. Devotion is a key aspect of faith.

The purpose of the last Niyama is to plant in the heart of the disciple the highest degree of piety through which the mind comes to Samadhi.

This Niyama teaches that we should always remember to dedicate the results of our efforts to God so that everything material that is valuable for us turns into a feeling of love for the Supreme.

The Bottom Line

Consciously approach the practice of these niyamas. Practice them only if you feel you are ready for the next step in your spiritual development, not because someone says so.

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Yoga

Pranayama for Beginners: Reveal the Power of Your Breath

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Pranayama for Beginners Image

Pranayama is a system of breathing exercises that can significantly increase your energy level. Yogis use this technique not only for the purpose of improving the physical body but also as a way of controlling the flow of life energy. There is a saying that by controlling his breath, the yogi controls the thought, and by controlling the thought, he controls the breath (prana).

In this article, I will share with you what pranayama really is, what are its benefits, and how you can practice it.

What Is Pranayama?

Prana‘ is the Sanskrit word for breath, “life force”, or “vital principle”. ‘Ayāma‘ can be translated as “the suspension of breath” or “control”. Thus, “pranayama” can be translated as “control over vital energy”.

I’m sure many of you have heard the word “breatharianism“. This is a lifestyle in which a person eats not physical food, but prana. But the paradox is that, in some way, we are all breatharians, because food is made of prana, water is made of prana, and air is made of prana. Life is impossible without prana. We consume prana every day. But only pranayama allows us to consume prana most effectively. The pranayama practice increases the amount of energy consumed and also reduces the need for sleep and food.

The Essence of Pranayama

Breathing exercise image

Most often, pranayama is associated with breathing exercises that have a beneficial effect on the body, saturating it with oxygen. However, yogis use this technique not only for the purpose of improving their physical bodies but also as the way of controlling the flow of prana (vital energy).

Prana is the vital energy that fills everything in the Universe. It saturates all living things with life, providing physical bodies with strength. Breathing allows us to absorb prana and control its flow. It is believed that the basis of the entire existence consists of “energy” and “consciousness”, which are very closely interrelated. Prana gives energy to the forming of consciousness.

According to Patanjali, pranayama is the length of time between inhalation and exhalation. During this period, the time of assimilation of prana increases, the fluctuations of the mind decrease and the perception expands. But how is it possible to reduce the excitation of the brain by holding the breath? This is due to the fact that nerve impulses in some parts of the body are suspended, and the structure of brain waves is harmonized. Therefore, pranayama is one of the most important elements in Hatha yoga.

Buddha on Breathing

While holding the breath, there is a deep calm of the mind.

The sutras describe such an episode in the life of the Buddha.

One day, during his sermon, a disciple asked, “Why is the world so imperfect?” Then Brahma, the Creator of the world, who was also present at the Buddha‘s sermon, said that he created this world ideal, and only because living beings have too fast and short breath, their prana “jumps” in the body, and therefore there are “jumps” in the consciousness, and because of this we all see this world so imperfect. This is quite an interesting version, which is worth testing through your own experience. By stopping your breath you can calm your mind. And once your mind is calm you will be able to see the perfect world.

Quality of Prana

It is important to note that since pranayama allows you to effectively receive prana, it matters very much the quality of prana you receive.

It is best to perform pranayama in a clean place with fresh air – somewhere in nature, away from the city.

But if such ideal conditions are not available to you, then, at least, make sure to practice pranayama during a proper period of time.

The Best Time For Pranayama

Pranayama should be practiced early in the morning. The earlier the better the quality of prana. The optimal time to practice pranayama is the so-called Brahma Muhurta. It’s an hour and a half before sunrise. This is a period that has a state called “Nirguna” – the absence of the influence of energies on space. This is the best time for any spiritual practices. This period lasts 48 minutes.

The time before sunrise has the state of Sattva guna, that is, a state of joy and balance between the body and the mind. And after sunrise, begins the time of Raja guna, that is, a state of never-resting mind. And then Tamas guna period starts and lasts whole day till evening. Tamas guna is what leads to destruction – the way by which nature destroys things. Therefore, it is not recommended to practice pranayama during this time.

Always pay attention to during what period you going to perform your pranayama practice since the time of the day affects the quality of prana! Be mindful of what prana you consume.

Pranayama Benefits

Anuloma Viloma Pranayama Image

1.Longevity increase

Pranayama allows you to lengthen the breath, which, according to the ancient yogis, increases longevity. Thanks to pranayama, a person learns how to properly use the lungs.

The fact is that in everyday life, most often only the top of the lungs is involved, which leads to oxygen starvation and accumulation of stagnant air in the lower part of the lungs. The ability to use the entire volume of the lungs allows us to become less exposed to respiratory diseases, increases the level of vital energy and makes it easier to cope with stress and anxiety.

2. Emotional balance

Pranayama practice affects our Central nervous system. Breathing affects the hypothalamus, which is responsible for emotional responses and the transformation of perceived reality into experience.

3. Improves Cardiovascular health

Pranayama increases the blood circulation and oxygen capacity of the blood which helps improve the cardiovascular function of your body.

4. Deep concentration

Pranayama allows you to harmonize the flows of prana in Ida and Pingala. This allows you to direct the energy into Sushumna and achieve a state of deep concentration.

5. Reduces risk of Hypertension

Pranayama allows our bodies to relax and be free of stress and tensions which helps in bringing down hypertension.

6. Detox

Pranayama helps to remove all accumulated toxins from your body.

7. Cures Digestive problems

Pranayama helps in alleviating digestive problems and also helps reduce bloating.

8. Heals Sinusitis

Regular pranayama practice helps treating or preventing sinusitis. Moreover, it helps in clearing out the nasal passages and stuffy noses.

9. Provides good-looking skin

Regular Pranayama can remove the blemishes and wrinkles from the skin and provide fresh oxygen making your skin glow in health.

Preparatory Practice

pranayama meditation image

As a preparatory practice for mastering pranayama, it is recommended to master the so-called “full yogic breath“. In fact, this is exactly the breath that is recommended to breathe in everyday life. And, sadly, most of us don’t breathe properly. Most of us breathe through shallow breathing, or at best through chest enlargement. With this breathing, energy costs for muscle movements are large, and the amount of assimilated air is low. How can we fix it? The answer is we should master the full yogic breath.

Full Yogic Breath

1. Close your eyes.

2. Place your hands on your stomach, slightly interlacing the fingers so that the fingertips come to the second knuckle of the opposite hand. Your navel should feel cradled.

3. Begin to breathe deeply into the navel, into the belly.

4. Practice breathing with a controlled, slow breath so that you feel the fingers slide apart on the inhale and back together on the exhale.

5. Breathe like this 15-20 times as deeply as you can without discomfort or force.

6. Slide the hands up to your ribcage. A good estimation is to have the pinky fingers hang over the edge of your ribs with thumbs right below the pectorals.

7. Keep breathing, except now inhale into the belly, in to the ribs. Fill the belly first before expanding the hands on the ribs. Visualize the breath filling in your body from the bottom up. First the belly, then the ribs. Feel the ribs expand in all directions – not just forward, but sideways and into the back body.

8. As you exhale, retrace the steps from the inhale. Exhale starting from the ribs, finshing off with the belly. The navel drawing in should help fully expel your air. Don’t force your breath in either direction, in or out.

9. Repeat this another 15-20 times. Into the belly, into the ribs. Out from the ribs, out from the belly

10. Separate the hands and place them on your chest, resting the palms above the heart center with fingertips gently curled over the collar bones.

11. Continue breathing. Start into the belly, into the ribs, into the chest. Filling up your torso with breath from the bottom up, all the way to your fingertips. Feel the breath rise along the spine, expanding the insides in all directions. Exhale the way the breath came in. From the chest, through the ribs, out of the belly.

12. Keep the spine as tall as possible. Just by following the breath from the bottom to the top, from the top to the bottom, you’re already mindful of how the spine is stacked.

13. Repeat this 15-20 times.

After you’ve found your full yogic breath expanding throughout these three areas of the body, allow the breath to normalize. Pay some attention to how it feels as you inhale and exhale. Find your smooth, natural breath, keeping a tall spine and your eyes closed. You’ll know when to stop.

Pranayama for Beginners

Eckhart Tolle Quote About Meditation and Breathing Image

If you decide to learn pranayama, you should not immediately begin to practice some complex practices. In case of failure, the desire to master pranayama may disappear for a long time. Therefore, you should start with some simple techniques. One of the simplest (but at the same time very effective) techniques is called “Nadi Shodhana“.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama

There are three main energy channels in our bodies: Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. Ida is the left channel, Pingala is the right channel, and Sushumna is the Central channel.

The right channel is traditionally considered a masculine energy channel, as it shows masculine qualities. The left channel is a feminine energy channel. For the yogi it is important to balance Ida and Pingala channels and let the energy flow through the Central channel – Sushumna. Only in this case, is balance and harmony possible. And this is the goal of Nadi Shodhana practice.

Regular practice of Nadi Shodhana offers an energy boost in the body and releases stress and anxiety. It should be practiced in the morning in fresh air with empty stomach.

Instructions

  1. Sit comfortably on flat ground.
  2. Now close right nostril with your right thumb and breathe from left nostril. Then close your left nostril with middle and ring finger and breathe out from right nostril.
  3. Now closing in the left nostril breathe in deeply with right nostril and then close right nostril and breathe out deeply with left nostril. Do the repetition.

Bhastrika Pranayama

This is another very simple pranayama that is suitable for beginners.

In this pranayama, body gets the maximum amount of oxygen due to complete inhaling and exhaling.

Instructions

  1. Sit comfortably on a flat ground.
  2. Take a deep breath through both nostrils and fill the lungs with air and then exhale completely with a hissing sound.
  3. Repeat

Kapalbhati Pranayama

This pranayama is very effective in curing stomach disorder, obesity, digestive disorder and other problems related to stomach.

Instructions

  1. Sit on a flat floor folding your legs, keeping the spine straight and close the eyes.
  2. Keep the right palm on right knee and left palm on left knee.
  3. Take a deep breath and exhale with all your force so your stomach will go deep inside.
  4. When you exhale with hissing sound try to think that your disorders are coming out of your nose.
  5. Do not stress on inhaling. Inhalation should not involve any effort. Inhaling will be done automatically after each exhaling.

Sheetali Pranayama

‘Sheeta’ means ‘cooling’, which is exactly the effect of this pranayama. It’s great for relieving stress, anxiety, and tension.

Instructions

  1. Sit in a comfortable position with the back and head erect, hands on the knees in Jnana mudra and eyes closed.
  2. Make a puckered circle with your mouth then stick out your tongue and curl the edges inwards to form a tube.
  3. Inhale slowly and deeply through the tube as if sucking air through a straw to the count of 4.
  4. Fill up your abdomen and chest to full capacity.
  5. Retain the breath.
  6. Straighten your head and exhale through the nostrils until all air is expelled.
  7. Repeat

Bhramari Pranayama

This is the excellent breathing practice which plays an important role in releasing agitation, frustration, and anger. It is the best breathing exercise in calming your mind.

Instructions

  1. Sit comfortably on a flat ground.
  2. Place your index fingers on the forehead and with the remaining fingers close your eyes.
  3. Start inhaling through both the nostril deeply and slowly.
  4. By keeping mouth close, exhale by making a humming sound like “hmmm”. While making humming sound say “Om” in soft humming sound.
  5. Repeat.

The Bottom Line

Pranayama is an amazing practice that can allow you to gain quite an interesting experience. Its advantage is that pranayama for beginners and exercises like full yogic breathing can be mastered by anyone without any difficulties.

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