"Om Shanti Om"

"Om Shanti Om"
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yoga path peace asanas pose

How does yoga work?

Yoga uses asanas (postures), focused concentration on specific body parts, and pranayama (breathing techniques) to integrate the body with mind and mind with soul.

The body

Yoga asanas (postures or poses) help condition your body. There are thousands of yoga poses, and in Sanskrit, these poses are called kriyas (actions), mudras (seals), and bandhas (locks). A kriya focuses on the effort necessary to move energy up and down the spine; yoga mudra is a gesture or movement to hold energy or concentrate awareness; and a bandha uses the technique of holding muscular contractions to focus awareness.

The mind

Yoga focuses on the mind by teaching you to concentrate on specific parts of the body. For instance, you may be asked by the instructor to focus deeply on your spine, or let your mind go and have your body sink into the floor. This awareness keeps the mind-body connection sharp and doesn't allow a lot of time for external chatter (like worrying about what you're going to have for dinner or the presentation at the office that you're preparing for). Instead, the focus is internal, between your head and your body. An example is savasana (the corpse pose), which is practiced by virtually all schools of yoga. During savasana, you lie on your back with your eyes closed and just let your entire body sink into the floor. The idea is to not fight any thoughts you have, but to let them come and go while the instructor leads you through visual imagery to help you focus on how your muscles feel. The desired and often obtained result is to drift into a peaceful, calm, and relaxing state. Savasana is generally the final pose of a yoga session before final chanting and/or breathing exercises.

The spirit

Yoga uses controlled breathing as a way to merge the mind, body, and spirit. The breathing techniques are called pranayamas; prana means energy or life force, and yama means social ethics. It is believed that the controlled breathing of pranayamas will control the energy flow in your body. It is my experience that controlled breathing helps me focus on muscles that are working, and during savasana, it slows down my heart rate, calms my mind, and leads to a deep, inner calm and sense of relaxation.



What seems like a slow start—breathing deeply, in and out—fires up your prefrontal cortex, the brain's center for higher thought. You just got smarter: In one study, people scored higher on cognitive tests after 20 minutes of yoga.

Your intense focus helps quiet your noggin's amygdala—a.k.a. your emotional network. That means more control over feelings such as anger and fear.

At the same time, happy brain chemicals like GABA may rise, making yoga a natural treatment for your gloomy moods.

Nervous System
The triple threat of breathing, focus, and movement ignites the parasympathetic, or "rest and digest," nervous system, the antidote to the fight-or-flight stress response.

The vagus nerve, one of your body's neural highways, carries that chill-out message to all your internal organs. Ahhh.

Lungs and Heart
Memo received: Your lungs expand to keep the belly breaths (and oxygen) coming.

Your heart also benefits. The effect is so strong that a regular yoga practice can lower your resting heart rate—in and after class.

The adrenal glands ease back on production of the stress hormone cortisol, which has been linked to cravings for fatty foods. Post-yoga, it may be easier to resist snacking.

Immune System
That vagus nerve may also alert your immune system, which releases a stash of immunity-enhancing cells. You could now be better primed to fight off infections.

Balance and Strength
If you feel like a human teeter-totter at first, keep at it. Yoga—even just twice a week for a month—can improve your balance (key for cruising through your days uninjured).

Folding yourself into positions also stretches your muscles, tendons, and connective tissues close to their maximum capacity. Repeating these movements—under the watchful eye of a certified pro—can strengthen your core and limbs. And it will ramp up your flexibility, protecting your joints and muscles from damage.

Sources: Neha Gothe, Ph.D., Wayne State University; Sat Bir Khalsa, Ph.D., Harvard Medical School; Jennifer Rioux, Ph.D., University of New Mexico


baby girl innocent red flower

nature is like a child
it smiles and gives happiness
not a corrupt thought
pure, untainted

when it is angry
it thunders with black clouds
with sparks of lightning
but soon  it is all gone
and the bright sun comes back again

nature is like a child.....

Beautiful Woman

beautiful woman soothing wallpaper

not lust personified
but divine and pure
pure as nature
like we were once long ago


greenery trees forest
why does the color green calm us?
because it is nature in peaceful repose

why does the color black frighten us?
because that is when nature is angry

why does the color red excite us?
because the black night sky turns red when a storm is about to come


approaching rain clouds

approaching rain storm clouds may frighten us
but the water it gives us is life

a mother scolding us
for our own good

dark stormy clouds raining

rain city lights

storm clouds city skyscrapers

rain meadows green


A brook can be a friend in a special way. It talks to you with splashy gurgles. It cools your toes and lets you sit quietly beside it when you don't feel like speaking

mountain river rapid boulders

Wild rivers are earth's renegades, defying gravity, dancing to their own tunes, resisting the authority of humans, always chipping away, and eventually always winning.
 — Richard Bangs, River Gods

river stream falling mountain

What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt—it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else.
 — Hal Boyle

river dense forest

The song of the river ends not at her banks but in the hearts of those who have loved her. 
— Buffalo Joe

calm river alpine trees

The mark of a successful man is one that has spent an entire day on the bank of a river without feeling guilty about it.
— Chinese philosopher

dry river bed scenery

A man of wisdom delights in water. 
— Confucius

water covered tall dark trees

A river is the cosiest of friends. You must love it and live with it before you can know it. 
— G.W. Curtis, Lotus Eating: Hudson and Rhine

river setting sun

Rivers hardly ever run in a straight line. Rivers are willing to take ten thousand meanders and enjoy every one and grow from every one. When they leave a meander, they are always more than when they entered it. When rivers meet an obstacle, they do not try to run over it. They merely go around but they always get to the other side. Rivers accept things as they are, conform to the shape they find the world in, yet nothing changes things more than rivers. Rivers move even mountains into the sea. Rivers hardly ever are in a hurry yet is there anything more likely to reach the point it sets out for than a river? 
- James Dillet Freeman, Rivers

river rapids quick flow nature

The trees reflected in the river—they are unconscious of a spiritual world so near to them. So are we. 
— Nathaniel Hawthorne

river stream colorful forest
Water is God's gift to living souls, to cleanse us, to purify us, to sustain us and to renew us. 
— Jewish Bridal Celebration Ceremony