You will learn different breathing techniques to give benefits such as muscular relaxation, mental tranquility, balancing the brain hemispheres and slowing down your heart rate.
Yoga nidra is a special relaxation technique that has a deep effect on the body, the energies and the mind. Nidra, meaning sleep, is a deep relaxation form of yoga, and a technique to awaken the connection between body, mind and soul. The practice is like a deep sleep while you are still awake. This ancient practice is becoming more popular as a form of meditation and mind-body therapy, and has multiple physical benefits.
- Reduce your stress
Suffering from hypertension, hypothyroidism or poor sleep? Deep relaxation exercises are known to reduce blood pressure, ease stress and improve sleep. They can also stimulate thyroid function, reduce the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome and adrenal insufficiency (although there is a lack of scientific evidence to back this up) and aid in the recovery of muscle fatigue and repair.
- Bring joy into your life
The practice of yoga nidra has some pretty powerful psychological benefits as well. It can help heal psychological wounds and assists those dealing with depression and dependency. It brings a profound sense of joy and well-being.
- Connect with yourself
Taking this one step further, yoga nidra is also a way to connect with your deeper, spiritual self. It restores the body, senses and mind to their natural function and awakens a subconscious awareness that allows you to feel no separation. Oneness, wholeness, tranquility and well-being are experienced on a universal level. This beautiful sensation comes to those who are available to receive it; an all-encompassing unconditional love for self and the universal self, which are understood to be the same thing.
Chanting simply means singing (rhythmic speaking) certain sounds or words. It calms our emotions, helps you to meditate better, produces positive energy and aids in enhancing our overall health. Here are some of the benefits chanting has on our body, mind and soul.
It is surprising to know that chanting benefits our body in so many ways:
- Research carried out by Alfred Tomatis, the hearing expert from the French Academy of Science and Medicine who pioneered the Electronic Ear and championed sound therapy, found that chanting sounds have a therapeutic effect on the body. It soothes all our bodily systems and activates the body’s natural healing process. It also plays a part in reversing heart disease.
- According to a study at the Cleveland University, USA, the rhythmic tones involved in chanting create a melodious effect in the body called the neuro-linguistic effect (NLE). When we know the meaning of the mantra we are reciting it creates a psycholinguistic effect (PLE) on the body. The NLE and PLE effects are byproducts of the production and spread of curative chemicals in the brain. The research concludes that this is the real reason why chanting provokes curative effects in us.
- A study by Dr Alan Watkins, senior lecturer in neuroscience at Imperial College London, revealed that while chanting our heart rate and blood pressure dip to their lowest in the day. Doctors say that even listening to chants normalises adrenalin levels and brainwave pattern and lowers cholesterol levels.
- Using chants as part of our exercise regimen helps facilitate movement and body flow.
- Studies prove that making chants a part of our daily yoga can help achieve greater weight loss in a shorter span of time.
- Neuroscientist Marian Diamond from the University of California found that chanting helps block the release of stress hormones and increases immune function. It also keeps our muscles and joints flexible for a long time.
- The body’s energy and vitality are augmented by regular chanting.
A calm mind begets a healthy and vibrant you.
- Dr Alan Watkins says when we chant the vibration of the sound calms the nervous system and a profound sense of peace is obtained. It also de-stresses and facilitates better concentration and memory power.
- According to Dr Watkins, chanting promotes a sense of well-being and helps us bond better with people around us, especially when practised in a group.
- Chanting eliminates negative thoughts so we can enjoy whatever we do and achieve success easily.
- It helps control our mind and emotions.
- Alfred Tomatis highlights that chanting aids in getting over addictions like smoking, alcohol and drugs.
- Chanting is said to bring about a transformation that leads us closer to the Divine. Psychologists believe that chanting mantras (especially the name of God) helps us become aware of the Supreme Being and unite with him. Thus chanting aids in connecting with the Divine.
- Chanting alters our consciousness and is believed to raise people’s psychic power.
- Spiritual gurus claim that when we chant sacred words it provides us with the power to attain our goals and lift ourselves above mere earthly pleasures.
- Religious authorities believe that chanting harmonises the physical, emotional and intellectual forces. This harmony makes us a complete being.
- Chanting enhances our spirituality by letting us transcend to higher spiritual thoughts.
(Benefits adapted from completewellbeing.com)
Date: Thursday 14 January, 7.30-8.45pm
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