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YL Nov 2021

Published by Daya Nidy, 2021-10-29 10:00:03

Description: November 2021


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Om Ganapathaye ! FIFTY TWO YEARS IN THE PROPAGATION OF CLASSICAL RISHICULTURE ASHTANGA YOGA Yogacharini Padma offers us a colourful INTERNATIONAL bouquet of images highlighting the online MONTHLY NAVARATRI 2021 celebrations entitled “Celebrating Ammaji: The Divine Mother” so competently curated Vol.52 No. 11, NOVEMBER 2021 by Selvi Dhivya Priya Bhavanani from 6 to 16 October. This very special series broadcast every evening at CONTENTS 6pm, brought together so many members of our Worldwide Gitananda Yoga Family who offered their BECOMING A NOBLE HUMAN BEING - 02 loving dedications for our beloved Ammaji. The front THROUGH YOGA cover features the Yogashaktis, Yogacharinis and Yoga Sadhakis who heartfully shared their amazing life MUDRAS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION - 05 experiences with Ammaji while the back cover features the YOGNAT Stars who offered their cultural talents as HOW DO MENTAL HEALTH AND YOGA GET ALONG ? - 08 a Guru Dakshina to the Living Siddha of Pondicherry. IN PRAISE OF OUR BELOVED AMMAJI - 09 This issue features many pearls from Ammaji (on Mudras), Swamiji (on dangers of smoking) and Dr AMMAJI, THE ENERGY OF TRANSFORMATION ! - 10 Ananda (on Pranayama) with the special highlight being a few of Ammaji's insightful poems that were PEARLS OF AMMA'S WISDOM - 12 read out by our participants during the Navaratri series. The release of the innovative 75-Yogasana THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF - 15 Tribute by the CYTER of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth is PRANAYAMA covered and we also showcase what we hope will be THE ETERNITY OF CHANGING PERSPECTIVES - 22 the first of many articles from Sri C Ramanathan, a PRECIOUS PEARL - PLOUGHING OUR MINDS - 24 valued member of our Yoga family. An important THE WHIRLING OF THE DERVISHES - 26 announcement is made about the upcoming SMOKING YOGIS, BEWARE - 27 Gitananda Nada Yoga online 7-month immersion course to be conducted by Yogacharini Sangeeta and AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV YOGASANA TRIBUTE! - 29 Dr Ananda from December onwards. ANNOUNCEMENT OF ONLINE IMMERSION - 31 We pray to all the great Gurus to bless us all INTO GITANANDA NADA YOGA during these times of unprecedented challenges. May their grace enable us to transcend all manifest suffering FEEDBACK ON DHIVYA PRIYA BHAVANANI'S - 32 and transform our lives forever. \"NAVRATRI 2021-CELEBRATING AMMAJI\" SERIES The official publication of Yoga Jivana Satsangha (International); Vishwa Yoga Samaj (Worldwide Yoga Congress); Sri Kambaliswamy Madam (Samadhi Site); SPARC (The Society for the Preservation of Ancient Rishi Culture); ICYER (International Centre for Yoga Education and Research) at Ananda Ashram, Tamil Nadu. Published from Ananda Ashram City Centre at Yoganjali Natyalayam, 25, II Cross, lyyanar Nagar, Pondicherry-605 013, India. Editor and Publisher : Ammaji Yogacharini Meenakshi Devi Bhavanani, Editor: (I/C) Yogacharya Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. Phone: +91-0413-2241561. E-mail: [email protected]; Website: Printers : Sarguru Printographs, Villupuram, Tamil Nadu, India. Subscription Rate: Indian Rs. 500/year; International 50 Euros/ year. Note: All subscribers will be sent e-copies of Yoga Life every month from January 2021 onwards and hence are requested to register their preferred e-mail at icy[email protected] to ensure uninterrupted receipt of the journal.

BECOMING A NOBLE HUMAN BEING THROUGH YOGA Yogacharya Dr ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI Ashram Acharya and chairman, ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry, India. The science and art of Yoga has for millennia guided humanity in its search for truth. Even in each individual's personal and social life, Yoga has provided tools and techniques to manifest health, happiness, social harmony and spiritual realization. So many cultural concepts of Yoga continue to guide us towards shaping our thoughts and the interpersonal relationships that sustain our social life. All of these are part-and-parcel of the timeless unitive ethos of Sanathana Dharma. Vasudaiva Kudumbakam — The whole world is one family. This is an excellent concept which helps one to understand that division on the basis of class, creed, religion and geographical distribution are all 'man-made' obstructions towards oneness. One can then look upon all as his own and can bond with everyone irrespective of any barrier. Pancha Kosha — The concept of our five sheaths or bodies helps us to understand how all our actions, emotions and even thoughts can influence our surroundings and that “No man is an island”. The concept of “Nara” or psychic disassociation helps us to be aware of why things happen to us and others in our daily life. Chaturvidha Purushartha — The four legitimate goals of life tell us how we can set legitimate goals in this life and work towards attaining them in the right way, following our dharma to attain artha (material prosperity), kama (emotional prosperity) and finally the attainment to the real goal of our life, moksha (spiritual prosperity). Chatur Ashrama — This concept of the four different stages in life, helps us to know how,what and when to perform the various activities in our life. Brahmacharya is the period from birth till 27 years and is the period for study, conserving the creative impulse and channeling it towards elevating spiritual pursuits. Grahasta is the period of responsibility, spanning the period from 27–54 years in which we learn to care about others in the family and the social network, fulfilling our dharma towards both the young and the old. Vanaprasta or retirement is the period after 54 years when one's life can be played over again and again in the mind with a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction having not to worry about anything at all. Sanyasa is the Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 02

EDITORIAL period of life when after performing our duties to the best of our ability for 81 years and after having attained perfection in life we renounce everything for the divine. Pancha Klesha : Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (ego), Raaga (attraction), Dwesha (repulsion) and Abinivesha (urge to live at any cost) are the five Kleshas or mental afflictions with which we are born into this human life. Through Yoga we can understand how these control our life and see their effects on our behaviour. These 'Kleshas' hinder our personal and social life and must be destroyed through the practice of Patanjali's Kriya Yoga which is Tapas, Swadhyaya and Iswar Pranidhana (Atman Prasadhanam). Nishkama Karma : Selfless action and the performance of our duty without any motive, are qualities extolled by the Bhagavad Gita which is one of the main yogic texts. Performing one's duty for the sake of the duty itself and not with any other motive helps us to develop detachment (Vairagya) which is a quality vital for a good life Karmasu Koushalam : 'Skill in action' is Yoga, says Yogeshwar Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita. 'To do our best and leave the rest' is how Pujya Swamiji Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj used to describe the best way of life. Even if we don't practice the other aspects of yoga, we can be 'living' yoga, by performing all our duties skillfully and to the best of our ability. A great artist, doctor, worker, singer or sportsman can be a Yogi by performing their duty to perfection and without care for the rewards of the action, even if they do not practice any asana, pranayama etc. Samatvam : 'Yoga is equanimity' says the Bhagavad Gita. Development of a complete personality who is neither affected by praise nor blame through development of Vairagya (detachment) leads to the state of “Stitha Prajna” or “Sama Bhava”. This is a state of mind which is equally predisposed to all that happens, be it good or bad. Such a human is a boon to society and a pleasure to live and work with. Yama –Niyama : The Pancha Yama and Pancha Niyama provide a strong moral and ethical foundation for our personal and social life. They guide our attitudes with regard to the right and wrong in our life and in relation to our self, our family unit and the entire social system. The Pancha Yama are the “Do Not's” in the Sadhaka's life. Do not kill (Ahimsa), do not be untruthful (Satya), do not steal (Asteya), do not waste your god given creativity (Brahmacharya) and do not covet that which does not belong to you (Aparigraha). These guide us to say a big “No” to our lower self and the deviant tendencies such as violence etc. When we apply these to our life we Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 03

EDITORIAL can definitely have better personal and social relationships as social beings. The Pancha Niyamas guide us with “DO'S” — do be pure (Saucha), do be contented (Santhosha), do be disciplined (Tapa), do self-reflection (Swadhyaya) and do be grateful to the divine for all blessings (Ishvara Pranidhana). They help us to say a big “YES” to our higher self and the higher impulses. Definitely a person with such qualities is a God-send to humanity. Even when we are unable to live all of these Yogic concepts completely, the very attempt by us to do so will bear fruit and make each one of us a better person. This will enable us to be of value to those around us and a valuable person to live within our family and society. These are values which need to be introduced to the youth in order to make them aware and conscious of these wonderful concepts of daily living which are qualities to be imbibed with joy and not learnt with fear or compulsion. The parents and teachers can by example show their children the importance of these qualities and when the children see the good examples of their parents living these principles they will surely follow suit sooner than later. When this manifests, India will surely become a Vishwa Guru as each and everyone on this planet begins to adopt these life transformative teachings. May we all prove to be worthy and loving children of our Divine Mother Yoga! Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 04

MUDRAS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION Ammaji Yogacharini MEENAKSHI DEVI BHAVANANI, Ashram Acharya and Director ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry, India. Life is no doubt 'the long dream', as our venerable Vedantists like to describe it. But it is fully within our own power to create our life as a 'sweet dream' and not turn it into a 'nightmare'. We can develop the Art of Mudras, or 'conscious gestures', and fill our 'dream life' and that of others too with Mudras of love and affection. ‘Gesture' implies 'to move, to reach out'. A gesture may be emotional, as in 'it was a gesture of love'. Or it may be physical, 'his friendly gesture of clasping my hand did wonders for my mood'. It may be mental, as in 'it was a gesture of good will (good thoughts)'. Yes, our thoughts are also 'gestures' which have the power to reach out, touch and affect others in a profound manner. A smile is one of the most heart-warming 'gestures' we humans can experience. We can 'gesture' thoughts and emotions through our eyes: affection, interest, hatred, boredom, distrust. Gestures of the eyes are the greatest tools of lovers. Gestures, in Sanskrit Mudras, are a device of union, a tool of communication much deeper than words, and hence, more profound and more potent. It is very easy to speak lies, to say things one does not mean, to express false or shallow sentiments. But, Mudras, gestures, cannot lie. That is why it is said, 'Actions speak louder than words.' Whose dull day has not been flooded with sunshine through Mudras of love and affection? A small child spontaneously throws her arms about her mother's neck, and the mother's heart surges with intense joy. A man and his wife share a knowing look across a crowded room at a social function, and their bond is strengthened. One finds a red rose on one's desk on a rainy day and knows, someone, somewhere, cares. A Yoga mat is discovered outlined with flowers, in the early dawn, and the 'birthday boy' knows his students remembered and cared in an imaginative gesture inspired by affection. A huge, spontaneous grin appears on the friend's face, as two people pass on the street, saying without words, 'How the very sight of you delights me!' Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 05

MUDRAS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION Carrying the teacher's bag, opening the door for an elderly neighbour, allowing others to enter a building before ourselves, standing when elders enter the room, being attentive and quiet when others speak - are these not Mudras of love and affection? Backing our feelings and thoughts with actions - not with words - is this not the art of using Mudras of love and affection? Remembering another person's favourite food and serving it in an attractive manner, being on time for appointments with near and dear, saying a cheery 'Good Morning' to a sleepy husband or child, every single day of one's whole life! Not forgetting to give a pat on the back to a dejected friend, allowing one's fellow student to have the last chapati on the plate, even though one is terribly hungry - are these not true gestures of love and affection? Creatively cheering up all those with whom we associate by making even small events into memorable occasions - a favourite special fruit garnished with a flower left on a plate at the door, a candle lit in the darkness on the corner when an electrical blackout hits, tying a red ribbon around the black dog's neck, drawing Kholams, decorative designs, at the entrance - all acts which show we care enough to create beauty in our lives - these are gestures of love and affection. Cutting a news item and sending it to an interested friend, sharing a much-loved book of poetry, keeping relationships alive with letters and cards – Mudras - gestures - of love and affection, a reaching out, a touching, soul to soul. Pasting a sweet note on the windshield of a dear friend's vehicle; decorating the dining hall for Christmas to please our foreign friends, even though we may be Hindus, telling the cook the lunch was great when it truly was, bringing a flower garland each Thursday to place around the Guru's portrait and flooding the lecture hall with its sweet sight and smell; are these not gestures which create a beauty in the everyday life? Replacing a burnt-out light bulb, silently, without fanfare in the dorm, cleaning up the dog's mess right on the stairs before class so other students will not step in the muck, being on time for meals, serving others food with a smile and cheerful words, arriving in class several minutes early to sit quietly to attune the mind before the teacher arrives. Do these actions not create harmony and peace all around? Celebrating a beloved teacher's birthday in style, filling balloons with flowers and bursting them over his head as he walks through the door, presenting a giant Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 06

MUDRAS OF LOVE AND AFFECTION card embossed with 'TO THE WORLD'S GREATEST TEACHER' to one's mentor...are these not Mudras of love and affection? The Hindu culture has a vast repertoire of Mudras of love and affection. One of my fondest memories is being invited to a sit-down lunch, literally, on the ground with the luscious meal laid out on banana leaves, in the thatched hut home of one of my Yoga students several years ago. It was the middle of the South Indian summer, hot to roast in, and no electricity at high noon! Not to worry! My young hostess spent the entire two hours I was her guest in fanning me with a lovely hand-held fan made from palmyra leaves! What a wonderful Mudra of love and affection! Gestures which transmit these very necessary human emotions abound in this culture ranging from the delicacy and awareness with which food is served to the gentle massaging of the elder's feet to the loving touch of the mother as she plaits her daughter's hair. How one could go on and on, enumerating all the random deeds of kindness and senseless acts of beauty which make our human life a 'sweet dream' instead of a nightmare. 'Maya is Maya', and the Divine covers Itself with a magic veil, constantly changing, unstable as a drop of water on a lotus leaf. All is unreal, no doubt, in the sense that all is impermanent and ever changing. Our life is truly, as our Rishis tell us, a long, long dream from which we will eventually awaken into the Bright Light of Truth. But meanwhile, as we travel the great and narrow pathway from humanity to Divinity, we can create so much beauty, joy and merriment along the way with the small Mudras of love and affection. And as we sail along the river of time, flowing past forms which rise and fall on our horizon, we can sing cheerfully with the old American folk philosophers who sang so wisely and so well a Vedic truth in all their ebullient innocence: “Row, row, row your boat Gently down (up) the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a (sweet) dream”. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 07

HOW DO MENTAL HEALTH AND YOGA GET ALONG ? Selvi DHIVYA PRIYA BHAVANANI, Deputy Director Yoganjali Natyalayam, Pondicherry “Yoga is the 'unitive impulse' of life, which always seeks to unite diverse streams into a single powerful force” - Swamiji Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj Mental Health is a dynamic state of internal equilibrium which enables us individuals to realize our own potential, work productively and fruitfully, contribute back to our surroundings, cope with the normal stresses of daily life and use our abilities in harmony with the universal values of society. It keeps us at the state of homeostasis without much effort. In the Patanjala Yoga Sutras, Maharishi Patanjali gives an answer as to how Yoga can bring out mental health and well being. He says, 'Yogah chitta vritti nirodhah': Yoga enables the stilling of the whirlpools of our mind. When the turmoil ceases, peace will manifest. The five Kleshas (inborn errors) are the five mental afflictions that the mind is subjected to. They can be explained in brief as: Avidya (Ignorance), Asmita (Ego), Raga (Attraction), Dwesha (Repulsion) and Abinivesha (Survival Instinct). Patanjala Yoga Sutras suggest Kriya Yoga to work on the five kleshas. Kriya Yoga consists of self-discipline (Tapas), self-reflection (Swadhyaya) and complete surrender to the higher self (Ishwara Pranidhana). Through such self effort, we can overcome the distortions that throw us off balance. We regain our mental balance (Samatvam), a sense of inner ease and stability (Sukha Sthanam) and then wellness (Swastha) and peace (Shantham) will be the natural outcomes. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 08

IN PRAISE OF OUR BELOVED AMMAJI An adapted song by Yogacharini SRI DEVI, Senior Mentor, Gitananda Yoga, Switzerland. Amazing Ammaji how sweet the sound Who taught thousands of girls and boys We once were lost, but now we're found Were blind but now we see It is Ammaji who taught our hearts to hear And Yoga became a way of Life How precious does that Time appear? We shared with beloved Ammaji Through many Dangers, Toils, and Snares We have already come It is Ammaji holding us safe thus far And Gratitude will lead us Home Amazing Ammaji how sweet the sound Who taught thousands of girls and boys We once were lost, but now we're found were blind but now we see And Gratitude will lead us OM Thank you, Divine Ammaji Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 09

AMMAJI, THE ENERGY OF TRANSFORMATION ! Yogacharini VIJAYA, Senior Mentor, Gitananda Yoga, Berlin. Divine Beloved Ammaji, Namaste ! With this message I want to send you my cordial greetings to the Navaratri Celebrations. You are my spiritual Mother, my Yoga Shakti. Where would I be today, if I hadn't met you? All the years before I didn't know anything about Yoga or even that Yoga existed. My life was busy, but it was filled with something like emptiness. I contemplated this and said to myself, 'There must still be something else'; or 'this can't be everything, there still must be something else'. What this 'else' was, I didn't know. Then I came to Yoga and learned to know you. A totally new process inside started. I started to question my way of life, my way of dealing with things happening to me. I started to ask myself, 'What is right, what is wrong? Am I happy? What is happiness?' And also contemplating on your sentence: 'Swadhyaya: To know yourself. What is the best in your body, mind, emotions and what is the worst? We have to know this, otherwise no spiritual growth is possible!' From this time till today this process is going on. I feel in this year 2021 this process has become more intensive and also tougher. To this one of your wise words, 'If we are going to grow spiritually, we have to change. But everything has to be rooted in Stability = Dharma.' And also, 'If you change a small thing, you change everything. Change occurs in small steps.' I love you for all your beautiful wisdom and words of help and support to get through the times of struggle. 'One cannot force anything. The tools are there to prepare the mind for that moment, when you are ready for that insight.' Over the years I was blessed to be in Ashram several times. Each of these visits were learning experiences towards a deeper understanding of the meaning and nature of Yoga and the Yogic life. How could it be otherwise? I had you as the greatest role model for Yoga Life, for Yoga Skill in Action, for the beauty of a human being living Yoga. With your infinite love and empathy, you made someone out of me for whom Yoga has become part of life. Today my life is unthinkable without Yoga. I am infinitely grateful to you for this. Ammaji, you are my foundation, as are the teachings of Dr. Swami Gitananda and the teachings of your wonderful, great teacher son Dr. Sir, Dr. Ananda. I strive Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 10

AMMAJI, THE ENERGY OF TRANSFORMATION ! to live according to these teachings, according to the Yogic principles and I strive to pass them over to my students. Yogic way of life is not easy, but as you have pointed out so many times. 'Once you are on the Yogic path, there is only one safe way to go. Straight on! You can't go back! And here are some more words of yours to get the right attitude. 'If we have a good moment, let us be smart enough to enjoy it. If we have an unpleasant or difficult moment, let us be clever enough to endure it.' WHERE DOES THE BALANCE LIE ? What is mental health, I really don't know. But I do know what happens when we lose it. Difference is lost between day and night, And we forget what is wrong and right. Up and down, we are furiously flung By our emotions, highly strung. Where? Oh, where does the balance lie? 'Look deep inside', say our Rishis, wise indeed. - Selvi Dhivya Priya Bhavanani Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 11

PEARLS OF AMMA'S WISDOM Compiled by Yogacharini VIJAYA, Senior Mentor Gitananda Yoga, Berlin. Swami Gitananda's Teachings People are able to teach Swamiji's teachings only when they are able to face themselves. Those who are strong, not pitying themselves, Swadhyaya is very important in Gitananda Yoga (less emphasized in other schools). Swadhyaya To know yourself: What is the best in your body, mind, emotions and what is the worst? We have to know this, otherwise no spiritual growth is possible! Prana The link between consciousness and matter. To get Prana absorbed into the body/blood, one must be well hydrated. If one falls into negativity, one stops to drink water. Also, if people don't like water/drinking water; this is a sign of negativity. As long as Prana moves, the mind moves. Morals and ethics allow the movement of Prana in a positive, evolutionary way, so that good will manifest! Dharma / Karma DA = stability; MA = mine. Dharma is that, which creates my stability. KAR = action, that is what I need to do to create this stability. Shiva rides a bull. Bull is a symbol of stability. If we are going to grow spiritually, we have to change. But everything has to be rooted in Stability = Dharma. Yoga Once you are on the Yogic path, there is only one safe way to go: Straight on! You can't go back! Love Love is a profound interest. Profound implies also caring about the other person. For this one needs a depth of character. Then a natural concentration towards what we are interested in will happen! This is also the essence of Bhakti! Love is a profound interest that respects and cares. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 12

THE SCHOOL OF COURAGE: AN INTERVIEW WITH AMMAJI Samadhi Real Yoga will lead to Samadhi, but only if we stop desiring it. When we love everything, we are moving towards Samadhi. Samadhi will happen, when we deserve it. Samadhi is waking up from a long, long journey. From a long, long dream! Yoga Tools One cannot force anything. The tools are there to prepare the mind for that moment, when you are ready for that insight. Citta Vritti Doing our tasks to 100%, there is no place for Chitta Vritti. Yoga and Character To enter into the higher aspects of Yoga you need the strength of character. That's why you will meet Yogis who have never practiced Yoga and many Yogis, who have nothing of a Yogi in them! Samyama and the Ego In a person with ego, no Samyama is possible. The Ego can sit for hours in Padma Asana, especially when there is somebody witnessing this! Change If you change a small thing, you change everything. Change occurs in small steps. Virtue Virtue is its own reward. Yama and Niyama do not give you anything in a material sense but much in a spiritual sense. Teacher/Teaching There is no way to try to teach anyone. If they don't want to learn it, no teaching is possible. Meditation Meditation is concentrating more and more on less and less! Modern medicine Modern medicine can keep you alive, but cannot give you life (happiness…) Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 13

THE SCHOOL OF COURAGE: AN INTERVIEW WITH AMMAJI Jattis - Shaking is waking - Kicking is removing out toxins - Swaying/swinging calms the emotions Responsibility Responsibility is the ability to respond. The first step is to accept, that “I am totally responsible for myself” Sense of Self People run here and there and are not able to 'hear' the sense of Self. Nowadays people are not able to sit in an empty room alone without sensual attraction longer than 5 minutes. Asanas / Pranayama Asanas produce stillness of the body Pranayama produces stillness of breath and emotions This becomes the bridge between the mind and Dharana Yogic Intelligence If we have a good moment, let us be smart enough to enjoy it. If we have an unpleasant or difficult moment, let us be mature enough to endure it. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 14

THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF PRANAYAMA Yogacharya Dr ANANDA BALAYOGI BHAVANANI, Ashram Acharya and Chairman of ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry. The Gurus of Vedic times placed great importance on pranayama and advocated its practice in order to unleash the hidden potential energy known as the Kundalini Shakti. In the Prasnopanishad we find the following statement: 'All that exists in all the three worlds is under the governance of Prana (life force)'. It is said in the Shiva-Svarodaya, 'The prana verily is one's greatest friend, companion and there is no greater kinsman than the life force.' In the Yoga Vashistha, Sage Vashistha says that when the energy of the life force is restricted, the mind dissolves, like a shadow of a thing, when the thing is absent. The systematic practice of Yoga, as codified by Maharishi Patanjali, places pranayama as the fourth limb or anga of Ashtanga Yoga. He puts it above yama- niyama and asana and says that one must practice yama-niyama and try to master asana in order to be able to practice pranayama. He defines pranayama as, 'The regulation of the movements of inhalation and exhalation.' He also states that by the practice of pranayama, the darkness that hides the light of wisdom is destroyed. He goes on to advise us that our mind attains fitness for the samyama practices (of dharana, dhyana and samadhi) through perfection in pranayama. Patanjali has said that pranayama is regulated by place, time and number, meaning that at various times in our Yoga sadhana, different pranayamas are required to be practiced in order to attain the ultimate spiritual goal of moksha (liberation). Rishi Gheranda stresses moderation in diet for pranayama sadhana and says, 'Half the stomach should be filled with food, one quarter with water and the other quarter left empty for practice of pranayama.' Rishi Gheranda also advises that pranayama should be practiced facing either east or north and that the nadis must be purified by either samanu (using the bija mantras) or nirmanu (using shat karmas) methods before pranayama. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Swatmarama says, 'Disturbed breath leads to a disturbed mind, hence cultivating a steady and quiet breath will enable control of the mind and prolongation of life.' He also says, 'The lord of the senses is the mind, the lord of the mind is the breath; the master of breath is the nervous system; quietness of the nerves and concentration depend solely on the steady, smooth and rhythmic sound of the inhalation and Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 15

THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF PRANAYAMA exhalation.' He warns us that, though pranayama can cure all diseases, it may cause a multitude of problems if performed wrongly. Views of Eminent Yoga Masters Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri has said that prana needs water and moves over water. This explains why ancient yogis lived near the water bodies. He used to stress the importance of proper diet and pure lifestyle in pranayama sadhana. If the mind is concentrated on higher positive thoughts, then the pranic forces will be powerful and manifestation of these thoughts will be even greater. Padma Bhushan BKS Iyengar in his book, Light on Pranayama says, 'Pranayama has taught me to be punctual and disciplined despite hardships.' In his book, Light on Yoga he explains the following interesting analogy: 'The mind is like a chariot drawn by two horses that are prana and vasana (desires). The chariot moves in the direction of the stronger force and so if the breath prevails, the desires are controlled, senses held in check and the mind is stilled. On the other hand if desire prevails, breath is in disarray and the mind is agitated and troubled.' Sri I. K. Taimni in his book, The Science of Yoga says, 'Prana is the vital life force that connects matter with energy and mind with consciousness.' He claims that the chitta vrittis can be controlled through the manipulation of pranic currents using the art and science of pranayama. He emphasizes that yama and niyama must be practiced and asana mastered before embarking on pranayama sadhana. This is because pranayama can awaken the potential energy of Kundalini and if students are not ready physically and mentally, they may suffer physical and psychological disturbances and may even go out of their minds. Sri Swami Satchidanandaji taught that, 'Even if you miss doing the Yoga postures occasionally, don't miss the breathing practices. Prana is the best tonic. Simple breathing can heal. Prana is the vital force that makes up the entire cosmos; it is the Parashakti or cosmic power. While pranayama helps improve physical health and well-being, that is a secondary benefit; the main benefit is control of the waves of the mind through regulation of the prana.' Swami Rama claims that for Hatha Yogis, pranayama is the final way of liberation. He says, 'For the Raja Yogis, pranayama is an important step to awaken the sushumna leading to the state of deep dhyana and ultimately the arousal of Kundalini Shakti.' Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 16

THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF PRANAYAMA Health Benefits of Pranayama Pranayama has immense therapeutic potential in a wide range of psychosomatic disorders and can be used either as a monotherapy or in combination with asanas and other aspects of Yoga. Importance must also be placed on the right diet and right attitude while practicing pranayama, as the body needs raw materials such as vitamins, minerals and water to heal itself through pranayama. According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, when the nerves are purified by pranayama the body becomes slender and lustrous, gastric fire increases, inner sounds are heard, and excellent health is attained. Brain Function Memory, intelligence and creativity are enhanced through the practice of pranayama. This is of great value in children as it helps them to realize and actualize their inherent potential in all walks of life. Yogic breathing, through a single nostril, also increases spatial scores, speed of mental processing and dexterity of the tasks. Mukha bhastrika improves the speed of reaction and this is useful in mentally challenged children who have a delayed reaction time. Pranayama produces an improvement of neural function at both central and peripheral levels of the nervous system and also produces a balance between the sympathetic and parasympathetic aspects of the autonomic nervous system. This homeostatic samatvam (balance) is of use to combat stress disorders that are the scourge of our modern times. Pranayamas such as nadi shuddhi and nadi shodhana are important for cleansing the nervous system and it is said that nadi shuddhi can cleanse all the 72,000 nadis. Just as water, when run in opposite directions, cleanses the water pipe, the process of breathing in the opposite nostrils leads to turbulence and cleansing of the nervous system. Right nostril breathing influences the left brain while left nostril breathing the right brain function. Right brain is the creative, artistic, intuitive aspect whereas the left brain is the analytical and calculating aspect of our personalities. Thus, alternate nostril pranayamas help cerebral cleansing and the creation of a balanced personality. As these alternate-nostril-breathing techniques stimulate different divisions of the central and autonomic nervous systems, they Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 17

THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF PRANAYAMA have useful implications in treating psycho-physiological disorders associated with hemispheric and autonomic imbalance. Spatial performance of males is better during right nostril breathing (surya nadi pranayama) and verbal performance better during left nostril breathing (chandra nadi pranayama) . In females it was found that spatial performance is better during left nostril breathing. This points to subtle gender based physiological responses to such techniques that need further study. Thus, many learning disabilities can be treated using pranayama. Emotional Health Emotions and breath are known to have a deep relationship. Animals such as the rat and rabbit have fast breathing and so are extremely nervous, mentally unstable, emotionally restless and live only for short periods of time. In contrast, the elephant and turtle are slow, deep breathers and consequently have calmer personalities and longer lives. Conscious, deep and regular breathing can synchronize and reinforce inherent cardiovascular rhythms and modify baroreflex sensitivity. This may be attained by practice of pranayamas such as ujjayi, savitri, sukha, sukha purvaka and pranava. Autonomic and Metabolic Function Right nostril breathing correlates with the activity phase of the basic rest activity cycle. It activates the sympathetic nervous system as shown by an increase in the oxygen consumption, whereas left nostril breathing (chandra nadi pranayama) decreases sympathetic activity as manifested by an increase in volar galvanic skin resistance. Surya pranayama results in correction of low blood pressure to normal levels, increased heart rate, increased skin conductance and increased body temperature. This also significantly increases metabolism, and is very useful in obesity and hypothyroidism. Right nostril breathing significantly increases blood glucose levels, whereas left nostril breathing lowers it, and this is useful in understanding the mechanism by which Chandra pranayama helps the diabetic patient. Chandra nadi pranayama produces a decrease in systolic, diastolic and mean blood pressures and this can be used as a prophylactic means to combat rises in blood pressure associated with everyday stress and strain of life. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 18

THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF PRANAYAMA Left nostril breathing produces a significant increase in the baseline GSR suggestive of reduced sympathetic activity to the palmer sweat glands. This helps us understand the mechanism by which Chandra pranayama helps to reduce blood pressure of hypertensives. As diabetes mellitus and hypertension coexist in a vast majority of patients, Chandra pranayama can be used in such patients with great benefit to reduce both blood sugar as well as blood pressure. Circulation Yogic breathing involves improvement in oxygen consumption with better oxygen delivery, utilization and minimal energy expenditure. A higher work rate with reduced oxygen consumption per unit of work, without increase in blood lactate levels, has been reported. There is an accompanied increase in peripheral blood flow, along with a decrease in body weight. This is beneficial to patients suffering from diminished peripheral circulation and intermittent claudication. Regular and continuous use of any muscle prevents fat deposition, increases flexibility and heightens performance. Ujjayi with long and short kumbhaka (breath holding) may exert its effects by alterations in the skeletal muscle activity, autonomic discharge, and cerebral blood flow. This is useful in treating geriatric patients who have impaired cerebral circulation. It is also useful in treating patients who are unable to do more vigorous practices. Breathing Disorders and Lung Function Kapalabhati produces an increase in the low frequency and decrease in the high frequency band of the heart rate variability spectrum indicating increased sympathetic activity. This may help asthmatic patients for whom sympathomimetic drugs are lifesaving in acute asthma. It is also useful in stimulating depressed patients and those suffering from disorders of excessive sleep, such as narcolepsy. Lung function has been reported to improve in numerous studies after pranayama training, and the benefits include prolongation of breath holding time with increase in Forced Vital Capacity (FVC), Forced Vital Capacity in first second (FEV1), Maximum Voluntary Ventilation (MVV), Peak Expiratory Flow Rate (PEFR) and lowered respiratory rate. Patients of chronic lung diseases such as asthma, emphysema and bronchitis can derive immense benefit from these changes in lung function. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 19

THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF PRANAYAMA Relaxation Breathing is the key to bridging the gap between body and mind and thus is of vital importance in treating psychosomatic disorders. Savitri pranayama produces a relaxant effect on the cardiovascular system and is extremely useful in hypertension, as well as coronary artery disease. The long-term manipulation of breathing, by practicing slow deep breathing, results in the overstretching of pulmonary stretch receptors and this chronic manipulation may result in vagus blockage, thereby decreasing vagal manipulation. This also leads to a re-conditioning or re-learning of a healthy pattern of breathing with ample tidal volume and a slow rate. Abdominal breathing is correlated with better and more profound relaxation in any schedule of relaxation. Savitri pranayama when performed in savasana produces deep relaxation and this helps alleviate the stress in many psychosomatic disorders such as hypertension, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic ulcer and asthma. References Aaarti Sood Mahajan and R. Babbar. Yoga: a scientific lifestyle. JOY: The Journal of Yoga – October 2003; Volume 2, Number 10 Backon J. Changes in blood glucose levels induced by differential forced nostril breathing, a technique which affects brain hemisphericity and autonomic activity. Med Sci Res 1988; 16: 1197-99. Bera TK and Rajapurkar MV. Body composition, cardiovascular endurance and anaerobic power of Yogic practitioner. Indian J Physiol, Pharmacol 1993; 37(3): 225-228. Bhavanani Ananda Balayogi, Madanmohan, Udupa K. Acute effect of Mukh Bhastrika (A Yogic Bellows type breathing) on reaction time. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2003; 47(3): 297-300. Bhavanani Meenakshi Devi. Study Sheets on pranayama for 6-month International Yoga Teachers Training Course at ICYER, Pondicherry.1998 Bhole M.V et al. Significance of nostrils in breathing. Yoga Mimamsa 1968; 10(4): 1-12. BKS Iyengar. Light on pranayama. George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London 1981. BKS Iyengar. Light on Yoga. Unwin Paperbacks, London 1984. Block RA, Arnott DP, Quigley B, Lynch WC. Unilateral nostril breathing influences lateralised cognitive performance. Brain Cognit 1989; 9:181-90. Georg Feuerstein. Teachings of Yoga. Shambhala Publications, Inc. Boston, Massachusetts, USA, 1997. Gitananda Giri Swami. pranayama: The Science of Vital Control. Presented as a paper at the All-India Yoga Chikitsa Seminar, Sri Narayan College, Quilon, Kerala, May 20th through 23rd, 1971. H R Nagendra. Pranayama the art and science. Vivekananda Kendra Yoga Prakashana Bangalore, 1998. Jella SA. The effect of unilateral forced nostril breathing on cognitive performance. Int J Neuroscience 1993; 73: 61- 68. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 20

THERAPEUTIC AND SPIRITUAL POTENTIAL OF PRANAYAMA Joshi N, Joshi VD, Gokhale LV. Effect of short-term 'Pranayam' practice on breathing rate and ventilatory functions of lung. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1992; 36(2): 105-108. Madanmohan, Rai, U.C., Balavittal, V., Thombre, D.P. and Swami Gitananda. Cardiorespiratory changes during savitri pranayam and shavasan. The Yoga review 1983; 3: 25-34. Mitti Mohan S. Svara (Nostril dominance) and bilateral volar GSR. Indian J of Physiol Pharmacol 1996; 40(1): 58-64. Naveen K.V et al. Yoga breathing through a particular nostril increases spatial memory scores without lateralised effects. Psychol Rep 1997; 81(2): 555-61. Pancham Singh (Translator). The Hatha Yoga Pradipika. Sri Satguru Publications, Delhi. SSP Edition 1979. Raghuraj P, Ramakrishna G, Nagendra HR. Telles S. Effect of two selected Yogic breathing techniques on heart rate variability. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1998; 42(4); 467-472 Rai Bahadur Srisa Chandra Vasu (Translator). The Gheranda Samhita. Munshiram Manoharlal Pub Pvt Ltd, New Delhi 1996. Rai L et al. Effect of induced left nostril breathing on body functions in adult human males. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1983 (Supplement 1); 5: 74-5. Raju PS, Madhavi S, Prasad KVV, Venkata Reddy M, Eswar Reddy, M Sahay BK, Murthy KJR. Comparison of effects of Yoga and physical exercise in athletes. Indian J Med Res 1994; 100: 81-87. Rakesh Giri, Ganesh Shankar. Swara Yoga – an introduction and its applications. Nisargopachar Varta 2001; January: 18-20. Ray US, Hegde KS, Selvamurthy. Improvement in muscular efficiency as related to a standard task after Yogic exercises in middle aged men. Indian J Med Res 1986; 83: 343-348. Selvamurthy W, Nayar HS, Joseph NT, Joseph S. Physiological effects of Yogic practices. Nimhans Journal 1983; 1 (1): 71-80. Shannahoff-Khalsa DS. Lateralised rhythms of the central and autonomic nervous system. Int J Psychophysiology 1991; 11: 225-251. Shirley Telles, R Nagaratna & HR Nagendra. Breathing through a particular nostril can alter metabolism and autonomic activities. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 1994; 38: 133-7. Spicuzza L, Gabutti A, Porta C, Montano N, Bernardi L. Yoga and chemoreflex response to hypoxia and hypercapnia. Lancet 2000; Oct 28; 356(9240): 1495-6 Telles S Nagarathna R, Nagendra HR. Physiological measures of right nostril breathing. J Altern Complement Med 1996; 2 (4): 479-484. Telles S, and. Desiraju T. Oxygen consumption during pranayama type of very slow rate breathing. Indian J Med Res 1991; 94: 357-363 Telles S, Desiraju T. Heart rate alterations in various types of pranayama Indian J Physiol, Pharmacol 1992; 36(4): 287-288 Udupa K, Madanmohan, Bhavanani AB, Vijayalakshmi P, Krishnamurthy N. Effect of Pranayam training on cardiac function in normal young volunteers. Indian J Physiol Pharmacol 2003; 47: 27-33. Wertz DA, Bickford RG, Shannahoff-Khalsa D. Selective hemispheric stimulation by uninostril forced nostril breathing. Human Neurobiology 1987; 6:165-71. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 21

THE ETERNITY OF CHANGING PERSPECTIVES Ammaji Yogacharini MEENAKSHI DEVI BHAVANANI, Director ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry. Editor's note: In his benediction for Ammaji's book of poetry, 'A Heart that is Distant' Pujya Swamiji in 1993 made the following comments that are so apt. ''The collection of poems in this volume are unique, artistic expressions of spiritual insights, by a sensitive and gifted poetess. Smt. Meenakshi Devi believes that poetry is the end product of a long process: An experience which culminates in a spiritual realisation, which then must be given form and communicated through a rhythmic and musical medium. Hence, she strives to maintain metre and rhyme in most of her works. For her, a poem may be ten years in the making, rooted in an inner search and realisation. Thus, she is a rare artist in the modern world. For her a streak of light across the morning horizon can contain a moral lesson. Enemies can be the greatest friends. She finds modern life devoid of spirit and uses harsh images to alert her readers to the dangers of twentieth century industrialisation and materialism. Her images are rooted in the Hindu culture, and she can see the raison d'etre for all things, even for Kaikeyi's apparent perfidy. Hers is a spirit which ponders the immediate, the tiny, in order to understand the distant, the infinite. She finds the Universe in a tiny flower and Divine Light in a small child's smile. She is a poetess of everyday, and revels in the mystic nature of the common place. No need to go anywhere, says she. Everything we long for is contained within. She is rare amongst the rarest of modern writers: One who has achieved some spiritual realisation, and yet is able to communicate it at a common level. ‘A Heart that is Distant’ is written by one who has discovered that though she lives in the midst of a bustling noisy world, that mystic, luminous Inner Silence is the true realm in which she dwells.'' Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 22

THE ETERNITY OF CHANGING PERSPECTIVES The upside and the downside Are much different than the backside Not to even mention clearly The inside and the outside. Thus know you won't be able To catch me with a label Or pin me on the wall of mind With prejudices stacked behind The neatly painted frame, For I'll ne'er remain the same. Perhaps one day in time I'll be subtle and sublime Yet you may meet me after Bubbling with silly laughter. And the layers differ too. On the surface I may be blue Yet several fathoms down Bliss and peace are found. The moon shows us new faces At different times and places, And the river never does stand still. Should I? Should you? Could we? And even if we will, we can't. Nature's rules are stern and strict But one certainty we can predict. We will never be the same. The Law is Constant Change. We grow, expand – or shrink and die. In that one fact all real Truth lies. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 23

PRECIOUS PEARL - PLOUGHING OUR MINDS Shri C. RAMANATHAN Yoga enthusiast and Retd Manager, State Bank of India, Puducherry 'Maatru Devo Bhava'- Honour our Ammaji as God. Let us salute, extend our pranams at the lotus feet of our beloved Ammaji, who is the Living Siddha of Pondicherry, Puduvai Kalaimamani with so many awards, titles et al. This Noble soul has given a 'Precious Pearl' to this World to awaken the minds of so many- our dear and beloved Dr. Sir , Dr. Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani. Staying where you are in life requires minimal effort. It takes a burning passion and drive to go beyond the surface of our potential to soar high. Dr. Ananda in these past two years, has wonderfully explained the solutions to this quandary to overcome our stress, tension, miseries during the pandemic - through many insightful sessions. Have you ever felt that what you are communicating to people is ultimately ineffective? Once you realise that the miscommunication error comes from the communicator and not the receiver, it redefines the way you perceive interactions in life. If it takes four Chapatis to satiate your hunger, though the fourth Chapathi is the one to quench your hunger, it is meaningless without the groundwork of the preceding three Chapatis. The case is similar when it comes to communication as well. Only 10% of the communication we put across reveals the 'essence of teachings, message, desired results'; the earlier 90% is based on preparing the mind to receive the inner meanings for our best understanding. In Bhagavad Gita, Lord Krishna in the first few chapters, took more time to prepare the mind of Arjuna to fight the Kauravas. All initial chapters of Gita prepare to transform Arjuna to Kshathriya to get ready for war/fight. After harvesting, a farmer ploughs the soil so many times to enable the land to accept the new seed to germinate as he knows that in an unprepared soil, even healthy seed might die. Similarly, the unprepared mind will never be fit enough to be receiving the essence of Communication. Metamorphosis of a dragonfly: In the bottom of a pond, there live a colony of insects and they try to come up, but only few succeed. One insect came up to settle on a Lily leaf on the surface of the pond, got exposed to sunlight , air and then metamorphosis happened. The insect began to develop wings and took off as a dragonfly. It was excited to see a new world. After flying around for a while, it sat on the lily leaf and saw other insects which were not ready to come out 'to change'. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 24

PRECIOUS PEARL - PLOUGHING OUR MINDS Here lie the four major 'realisations' of our Life. ● Aspire: First point for any transformation is to realise and recognise where you don't belong - you do not belong to the 'colony of insects' anymore as you had aspired to 'change'. ● Transform: This dragonfly, even if it wants to go back to its own colony, it cannot. The colony of insects, who have not yet transformed will reject him outright, as he does not look like any one of them – he has changed, you have developed wings. Everything in life has a 'price' to pay. ● Change: Any being is capable of transformation - transcend and grow beyond his old patterns to attain an entirely new form. 'Change' is the order of our life. “That which does not change, does not grow - it dies and wanes”. Keep moving as movement is the only way forward. ● Inspire: After transforming himself, all this dragonfly can do for other insects is to keep flying there, hoping that by looking at him, they get inspired and decide to take the big leap. As a human being, all we can do is to try and if at all you can inspire even one other human being, you have achieved your purpose. Mind is always wavering; it is difficult to control but with practise and will power you can try to become a true Yogi. If you want to get a real pearl, you have to dive deep into the Ocean. Efforts must be put in for achieving good results. People are unhappy for two reasons: 1. Trying to make others happy 2. Expecting everybody to be happy with/for you. But once we realise happiness comes from within, we achieve our goal. Our beloved 'Precious Pearl' Dr Ananda ji has toiled hard during the past two years of difficult pandemic times, by ploughing and preparing our minds, enabling us to strengthen from within, to face these tough times, motivating and wishing us always - through his 108 morning sessions followed by modern scientific Yoga conceptual topics, 'Tell me Appa', 'Scintillating Saturday' sessions, '108 Vishwa Yoga Prarthana' etc. all continuously without any break; despite his own difficulties in managing various challenges. Many have realised their value of Life. Let all of us pray for him and his well-being - May the Divine bless him and his family with good health, happiness and long fulfilling lives. May the great Gurus guide and enable us to achieve our goals!! Om Shanthi, Shanthi, Shanthi! Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 25

THE WHIRLING OF THE DERVISHES Ammaji Yogacharini MEENAKSHI DEVI BHAVANANI, Director ICYER at Ananda Ashram, Pondicherry Up and down Why fume and fret? and all around Let those chemical atoms Am I on a merry-go-round? No! The \"I\" rides the Dance and prance Fluctuating emotions creating shades of shadow! as though astride a Perceive - detach and let it go. bucking bronco This world's a juggling, trying to throw a picture show. \"me\" off! To be happy But I won't let go! Watching where it takes \"me\" look upon it so! through each moment of Beloved! Look! the day both high and low You see above, below! The dervish whirl The emotions are insane! Of that there is no doubt! so gay and free till the mists lift Hear the crazy energy from the mind! Shout! Let the calm settle soft after the storm! When trotting high on hormones Enter the still silence warm, Don't take them seriously, enjoy the cosmic trance just enjoy the ride. Wait a moment then decide which rises! before the act. Out of this wild, whirling, It's a fact that \"all this will pass\"! capricious dance Why get upset? comes ... dread order! There ... in that amazing quietude ... be salvation! (moksha) Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 26

SMOKING YOGIS, BEWARE ! Yogamaharishi Dr. SWAMI GITANANDA GIRI GURU MAHARAJ, Founder of ICYER at Ananda Ashram. When I was just a schoolboy, cigarettes were referred to as 'coffin nails.' Every puff was another nail in the coffin. We were aware even then of the dangerous effects of tobacco on health, but at that time, in the early 1940s, there was not much factual evidence. Today, there is. Yet surprisingly, cigarette smoking has actually increased. Billions of dollars are being spent trying to find a cure for cancer without any regard for its cause. We want our bad habits and good health, too. It can never happen, for we are defying nature's laws. If we remove the causes of disease, we can have natural good health. Some of these causes are difficult to remove because they are created by impure air, pollution from industry and motor vehicles. But we can always stop smoking. Many sincere yoga students believe that they can continue to smoke cigarettes and offset the harmful effects by doing extra pranayama (breath control). This is a dangerous assumption. Pranayama opens up new cells to atmospheric air. These young, tender cells may be more vulnerable than the older, more resilient, cells. Pranayama may actually be more dangerous for cigarette smokers. This is particularly true if one feels drowsy after doing pranayama. Or, after smoking a cigarette that \"used to give them a kick,\" they now experience a let-down. The condition is popularly referred to as 'shirt pocket poisoning.' More technically, it is carbon monoxide suffocation. The carbon monoxide in the cigarette smoke displaces the oxygen in the lungs, creating a poison, causing chemical suffocation. Among the detrimental effects of this suffocation are a hazing of the mind, drowsiness, a reduction of visual sharpness, a slowing down of reflex reactions, an increase of blood pressure and, among longer range effects, hardening of the arteries. Nausea and dizziness often accompany these reactions, indicating a reduction of the output of blood from the heart. In the normal metabolism of bodily processes, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are created when haemoglobin gets broken down in the blood. Normally, in a healthy nonsmoker, less than one percent of this haemoglobin gets broken down each day. But in the light smoker it's about three percent, and in a heavy smoker eight percent or more. Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 27

SMOKING YOGIS, BEWARE ! Above the one percent range, a slowing of thought as well as feelings of being tired and lethargic are observed. When a three percent level is reached, visual sharpness is impaired and acute sensitivity to light is experienced. It may here be noted the relationship between blood impurity and the increased need for eyeglasses. At five percent the skin appears to be shallow and often takes on an ashen or dusky hue. Babies born to women in this grouping already have a bloodstream set for all the diseases associated with addiction to nicotine. The child is actually born with the craving, and his or her skin often reflects the toxic state of the mother. At seven percent, heart disease is a corollary. Susceptivity to any condition considered epidemic is suggested by a reading of twelve percent or more. Here the blood vessels are heavily coated with cholesterol, inviting disease into the body. Cigarette smoking reduces the blood flow, but raises the blood pressure. There is a dangerous trend among modern yoga teachers to separate one's lifestyle from yoga. Immoral persons who indulge in bad habits and pose as experts in pranayama and meditation call themselves yogis simply because they have a flexible body. This is an obstruction to spiritual life. Pujya Swamiji, the Lion of Pondicherry Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 28

AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV YOGASANA TRIBUTE A unique compilation of 75 Yogasanas by the CYTER of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav is a year-long initiative of the Govt of India to celebrate and commemorate 75 years of Independence with a series of events celebrated across the country as a peoples' movement. Team CYTER (Centre for Yoga Therapy, Education and Research) of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth, Pondicherry has added to the grandeur of this celebration by paying rich tribute to the Nation through an innovative and unique commemorative volume 'AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV YOGASANA TRIBUTE', showcasing 75 different Yogasanas to mark the 75th year of Indian Independence. Each Asana performed by a member of the CYTER Team celebrates one year of Indian Independence. Every page also showcases appropriate quotations from traditional Yoga texts such as the Srimad Bhagavad Gita, Patanjala Yoga Sutra, Hatha Pradipika etc. The commemorative volume was officially released by Prof Subhash Chandra Parija, the Honorable Vice Chancellor of Sri Balaji Vidyapeeth at a solemn event held on the auspicious occasion of Vijayadashami, 15th of October 2021 at the SBV campus. The guests were welcomed by Yogacharya Dr Ananda Balayogi Bhavanani, Director, CYTER, who highlighted the purpose of this event, acknowledging the Hon VC Sir for initiating this presentation by sowing the thought of such possibility in our minds. He also expressed gratitude to the management and administrators for supporting all Yoga therapy, education and research activities of CYTER. Felicitation was offered by Prof AR Srinivasan, Hon'ble Registrar, SBV who praised the Team CYTER for always rising to the occasion. “Health is wealth, and this publication will enable more and more of our fellow countrymen and women to manifest health and happiness in their lives”, he stated. The commemorative volume, e-book as well as a video of the Yogasana were released by the Honorable Vice Chancellor of SBV Prof SC Parija who also delivered a Special Address to mark the occasion. Prof SC Parija expressed his delight by congratulating the team and praised the efforts put in to bring out this commemorative volume aptly now. He admired Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 29

AZADI KA AMRIT MAHOTSAV YOGASANA TRIBUTE the skill of all the demonstrators and commended their expertise and grace exhibited in each and every page. He said that this would motivate practitioners to update their skill levels and strengthen individuals' efforts to continue practising Yoga regularly to attain these postures. He said, \"One of India's greatest strengths is its vibrant culture and Yoga is a priceless jewel of our beloved Nation”. “When we share our gift of Yoga with the world, we are sharing a living tradition that promotes salutogenesis, wellness and abundance.\" He reiterated SBV's commitment towards the innovative integration of traditional systems of healing such as Yoga with the modern empirical medical science. “Integrative medicine is the future, and we at SBV through CYTER and its services over the past decade have created a working model that can be adopted by others worldwide”. Dr Usha Carounanidy, Director Accreditation and other members of the faculty and staff of SBV also attended this event. Vote of thanks given by Yogathilakam Dr Meena Ramanathan, Deputy Director, CYTER who while thanking everyone applauded the special efforts of Yogachemmal Sri G Dayanidy, Asst Prof, CYTER who had made immense contributions in compiling and designing the volume. The Yoga Instructors, PhD research scholars, and PGDYt students of CYTER were thanked for their skill in demonstration and Sri P Velmurugan for his excellent photography of the intricate practices. The program ended with the chanting of Shanti Mantra. The e-book can be downloaded for free from Book release by Prof. SC Parija, Hon'ble VC of SBV Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 30

ANNOUNCEMENT OF ONLINE IMMERSION INTO GITANANDA NADA YOGA Yogacharya Dr. Ananda and Yogacharini Dr Sangeeta are delighted to share with you our new \"baby project,\" the Online Immersion in Gitananda Nada Yoga: Yoga of Vibration and Sound. This immersion elucidates the principles and practices of Nada Yoga handed down through the Guru Parampara of Yogamaharishi Dr. Swami Gitananda Giri Guru Maharaj. Each of the Six Modules blends traditional teachings with modern scientific perspectives through multicultural and multimedia approaches. Each of the Six Modules consists of four weeks of classes. Classes meet once a week, on Thursdays, from 4:30 pm to 6pm IST. Each week consists of a 90-min live session plus the equivalent time of self-study (weekly videos, audio materials, study guides and short report assignment). Please note that there is a one-week break between each module. Classes will commence on December 2, 2021, and are scheduled to end on June 16, 2022. Students will have one extra month to submit a final project. MODULES AND DATES 1. Intro & Appreciation- December 2, 9, 16 and 23, 2022. 2. Pranava AUM- January 6, 13, 20 and 27, 2022 3. The Chakras- February 10, 17, 24, 2022 and March 3, 2022 4. Carnatic Music and Mantra Yoga - March 17, 24 and 31, 2022, and April 7, 2022 5. Relaxation- April 21 and 28, 2022; May 5 and 12, 2022 6. Yoga Therapy Applications - May 26, 2022; June 2, 9 and 16, 2022 Participants attending all sessions (live or recorded), completing all six modules, assignments and final project will be eligible to receive a Certificate in Gitananda Nada Yoga, authorized by ICYER at Ananda Ashram, India. Open Info Class on Friday, November 5, 2021, 6pm-6:30pm IST. For more information, and to receive a link for the open class, email: [email protected] Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 31

FEEDBACK ON DHIVYA PRIYA BHAVANANI'S \"NAVRATRI 2021-CELEBRATING AMMAJI\" SERIES Navaratri 2021 was very special indeed as our dynamic Young Shakti, Selvi Dhivya Priya Bhavanani organized a grand online get together of the entire worldwide Gitananda yoga family. Entitled “Celebrating Ammaji: The Divine Mother” the online series was held at 6pm onwards every evening from 6th to 16th October 2021. It commemorated the 78th Jayanthi of Pujya Ammaji and gave expression to the love we all have for her through the manifestations of the TRISHAKTIS (Sri Durga Devi, Sri Lakshmi Devi and Sri Saraswathi Devi). The Worldwide Gitananda Yoga Family came together to present enthralling music and dance sessions enriched by the exploration of the divine influence of Ammaji on her near and dear ones with faculty and senior students of ICYER, YOGNAT and the International Gitananda Yoga Family. The full playlist can be viewed on Heartfelt feedback poured in from all over the world and we give below a select few. Thank You Dr Sir and Dhivya for this whole experience and letting me be part of it. It is especially beautiful to be part of Dhivya's growth. Lots of Love. Yogasadhaki Tejaswi, Mumbai Congratulations, dear Dhivya Priya and Dr. Ananda for your joint efforts and beauty manifested. Thank you for keeping us inspired and motivated by example, and for honoring the Divine Shakti Ammaji. Always grateful to receive your invitations. Yogacharini Sangeeta Laura Biagi, Gitananda Yoga, Italy. I enjoyed watching this series of videos so much - it did indeed celebrate Ammaji. What a brilliant idea to bring together people who are not only close to Ammaji, but also friends with each other. Their joy at being together, telling stories about Ammaji and life at the ashram was plain to see. Well done Dhivya for putting the series together. You are amazing and your family must be so proud of you. Sue Walker, Member Team 52, UK. A great BIG \"Thank You!!!\" to Dhivya Priya, Ammaji and Dr. Anandaji for all the efforts present and necessary to manifest this Divinity, showing how this is possible and what it can look like. Yogacharini Aishwariya, Gitananda Yoga, Canada. Thank you Dhivya for this tremendous effort and success in honouring Ammaji. It was a complete honour and pleasure to be a part of it. Yogashakti Marion (Mugs) McConnell, South Okanagan Yoga Academy, Canada. Indeed, congratulations for a marvelous effort by all concerned, especially Dhivya Priya who is revealing the great depth of talent she has inherited from her parents and grandparents who must be extremely proud of her achievements over the last 2 years. Yogashakti Mataji Margo Hutchison, Gitananda Yoga, Australia Vol.52 No. 11, November 2021 32

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