02 Dec Yoga for a Healthier Brain
I have recently been practicing an amazing and very effective technique of yoga for the brain.
Practicing this technique increases oxygen and blood flow to the brain. This causes an increase in brain function.
It is a very old technique that is still nowadays practiced in some part of India especially in Tamil Nadu as a daily morning sadhana “practice” in front of statue of Lord Ganesha. This technique is called in sanskrit, Thoppukaranam or Palikarsha.
I was told that in India they used to use “Thoppukaranam” as a punishment for naughty children. I find this quite fitting especially since, according to Dr Eric Robins from Los Angeles and Yale neurobiology researcher Dr. Eugenius Yang, Jr, studies shows that children that practice this technique daily improve their grades drastically.
Just the other day, I was watching an animated movie with my godson Gustu based on Hindu pantheon involving Ganesha and Vishnu and I was delightedly surprised to see that this practice was mentioned. The story goes like that:
“The very naughty young Ganesha had snatched the disc or “chakra” from the hands of Lord Vishnu in a childish prank. Vishnu tried to get it back but Ganesha put it inside his mouth and swallowed it. Ganesha was very strong being an elephant and very mischievous making it very difficult for the Lord Vishnu to get it back. Knowing this well, Vishnu devised of a game plan to make Ganesha laugh so that the disc would come out! With his four hands, Lord Vishnu held on to his ears and repeatedly started to squat down and stands up. Seeing this unusual routine, Ganesha started to laugh hysterically and, the disc fell down which Lord Vishnu immediately snatched back.”
Because this practice improves the flow of blood to the brain, it helps you perform all sorts of brain functions more easily. This ranges from simple things involving endurance and hand to eye coordination, to more complex tasks like creativity and imagination.
The best part about it is that anyone at any age can do it. This technique is good for everyone from adults who need to perform more, University students, adult that suffering from memory lost, Alzheimer patients, senior citizens, school children, disable people.
This practice stimulates the pranic energy circulating up and down in spinal channel also called “sushumna nadi” or “meru danda” . It raises the energy up the spine, energizing the brain, nerves system and the right and left-brain hemisphere. What happens is you are accessing the lower energies of the body and bringing those energies up through the rest of the body. This allows the upper parts of the body to leverage the energy better. Neurobiologist Eugenius Ang says the earlobes that we pinch are acupuncture points that stimulate the brain corresponding to the opposite brain`s hemispheres.
If you practice this daily you can trust that your brain is getting sharper with every practice.
Here’s this great practice you can try to feel the benefits right away. Called the Yoga for the Brain Exercise
Stand up. With your left arm first, wrap it over your chest and grab your right ear lobe with your pointer finger and thumb, gently squeeze the earlobe. Then the right arm over the left arm and grab your left ear lobe. The ear lobes are acupressure points with many benefits. Then spread your legs hips wide apart. Then do squats slowly for 2-3 minutes as your gently squeezing your ear lobes. You’ll feel a boost in natural energy. It’s a great exercise to do everyday.
For people that find squatting challenging, You can even do this sitting down visualizing the yourself doing this practice while breathing and still reap the benefits.
If you are more experienced yogi you can use kechari mudra. Putting the tip of your tongue on the soft part of the palette. This will intensify the practice.
Try this yoga for the brain today and will reap the benefits and perform mental functions better and with greater ease, not just now but later in life as well. Namaste.