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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Tricks with the tip of the tongue!

  • No. I am not responsible if you have come to this blog with any "different ideas" after reading the headline .
  • Connecting the tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth or palate of the mouth is a well kept secret in Yoga, meditation and martial arts schools. I came across this technique while reading about Tai-Chi secrets and got it well corroborated during the Pranic healing classes. Lets discuss why this should be done. 
  • Again I would like to highlight that this not written from a position of authority but certainly is shared as a practitioner who has experienced the benefits first hand.

You need to have basics on meridians as described in Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM).  This roots back to Indian scriptures but Chinese medicine has developed this into multiple areas in a much matured way like acupressure, acupuncture, applications in martial arts like Dim mak etc. Let me try to explain this as easily as possible.

First lets see how to connect this. Take the tip of the tongue to one inch behind your upper teeth inside the roof of your mouth and without pressing hard just touch it softly and let it settle down there. Saliva may secrete and you can swallow the same. It should settle down quickly.

It is told that new born kids by default have their tongue connected to the palate even when it is sleeping. Now lets go through the reason.
    • Energy channels that carry Prana / Chi are called as meridians in Chinese and "nadis" in the Indian system.There are 72000 nadis in human body which are the energy channels and there are 12 major organs. There are 12 main meridians that energize our major organ systems. 
    • Two meridians are known as the Master Meridians – they are in charge of all the rest.They are called the Conception or Central Vessel (CV) and the Governing Vessel (GV).
    • The very fact they are called “vessels” gives us a clue. A meridian is a line of energy; a vessel is some sort of container. These two meridians, the Master Meridians, are important because they “contain” the secret of energy and vitality.
    • Both of these meridians begin at the perineum – that part of the body between the genitals and the anus. The Central Vessel travels up the front - through the Chest, soft tissues of the body, bisecting the belly button - and ends at the tip of the tongue.
    • The Governing Vessel (governs our movement) travels up the spine - through the hard bony tissues of the vertebrae, over the bones of the cranium - and ends at the roof of the mouth.
    • To keep the tip of the tongue at the roof of the mouth completes the “microcosmic circuit” and allows the energy to flow.
    • Doing Mula Bandha (You can google if you want to know more) helps this circuit to close at the perineum. This is the lower lock and connecting the tongue is the upper lock. Actually doing Jalandhara bandha should provide the upper lock but I have not seen or read any text highlighting this.

With this circuit closed we can tap the energy where we want.
  • When we tap the sternum, we direct this flowing energy to the thymus gland, stimulating its function – producing T-cells, thereby enhancing the immune response.
  • We can also tap over the right lower rib cage to stimulate the liver, the cranium to stimulate the brain, etc. 
  • The other advantages include feeling more energetic, noticing that ones aura expands as we do it. I have read some reports that it helps in improving the overall speed of recuperation. 

    If one has heard about "Kechari Mudra" it is similar but an advanced form. The tongue is taken further back and inserted into the hollow area of the nasal pathway from the top of the throat. It is believed that amrut from bindu flows down and is collected at a point called Lalana chakra located some where between the throat and nose.

    So what is the use of knowing this? You can connect your tongue to your palate if required all the times except when it is not possible like eating, talking etc. Don't connect the tongue to the palate when you are excreting / urinating. 

    It is certainly recommended that you connect the tongue to the palate during your Yoga classes, pranayama practice or during meditation.

    I am sure you would find this useful if you are a regular practitioner!

    Happy reading :)

    1. Yes. This is the best you can do with your tongue when you are all alone. :).
    2. If you are a chronic smoker, alcoholic or a non-vegetarian, please do not bother yourself with this since it does more harm to you than good.
    3. Due regards and gratitude to people who helped me understand this.

    The COPIS of Thoppukaranam / Kaan Dhand !

    1. Read this blog after reading my article "The Yang side of Love", which is a 5 part series, and this blog is sort of sequel for the earlier article. URL to Part 1/5 is here...
    2. COPIS - Acronym for "Customer -Output - Process - Input - Supplier", a very popular mapping tool in Six Sigma studies is slightly modified for my topic as follows:
    "Conditions - Output - Process - Input - Symptoms".
    3. I am going to explain what I have learnt and I am practising. I am not an expert and I  strongly urge that this article be seen as a motivator for you take this up in your life. Its always advisable to approach a Yoga teacher / Pranic healing foundation and take this formally through a guru.
    4. Though this is recommended for all, there are some exceptions which is written below.

    This blog shall primarily deal with dos and don'ts of "Thoppukaranam" and how to benefit from that. Lets start with "Conditions", which are like to preconditions before you start this.

    • Conditions - This is the set of dos and don'ts to start with. Never proceed to next stage unless you understand this follow and are prepared to follow it.
      1. Be more sensitive to yourself and your body - Most of us are not sensitive and not aware of the changes in the body. We have taken our body for granted. We are talking about movement of subtle energies in the body and hence we need to be more sensitive to ourselves.
      2. Avoid using a cell phone or listening to iPod during this 60 seconds just like we do it when we are jogging or in a tread mill. This takes our awareness of our body.
      3. Energy moves freely when there are no blocks hence it is always advisable to do a little bit of stretching and if possible deep breathing before doing this. (It is ideal to practice Thoppukaranam after a brief session of Pranayama on an empty stomach.)
      4. Its ideal to be a vegetarian as meat and pork eaters have significant amount of dirty energy in their bodies and hence do not practice this till you predominantly survive on a vegetarian diet. We are what we eat.
      5. Never over do. Prescribed is 7 squats a set and a maximum of 2 sets per day, ie. 14 squats. Problems of over doing this are discussed in the symptoms sections. I am highlighting it here also since this is very important.

    • Output - Actually don't worry about. Most of us should feel mentally fresh with more energy (at the top of our head) instantly. If you are not feeling so, don't worry. In few days you should feel the difference. Please ensure that you don't increase the count just because you are keen to see the results. This may end up with some undesired problems. So, never ever over do.
      • As discussed extensively in the last blog the prime outputs for this activity are as follows:
        • Partially awakens Kundalini energy.
        • Cleans the chakras in a quick way and balances the energies in the chakras.
        • Energy from Mooladhara / Basic chakra moves up to the brain and hence mentally we are fresh and more active. As I understand since it is balancing  energy also moves the other way. Hence it is recommended after doing meditation too.
        • Quite a number of studies are available now that it helps mental disorders, autism and increases grades for dull/ weak students.

    • Process - How to do it
      1. Wear something comfortable. Remember you are going to squat. 
      2. Face East direction. People about 40 years can face North.
      3. Stand comfortably and keep your feet shoulder width apart. Spine straight but not tense. Look straight. There is normal tendency to look down and hence the upper torso bends / curves to the front. Avoid this.
      4. Connect your tip of the tongue to the roof of the mouth palate. This is a very important step and I shall blog the importance of this separately. At this point of time understand that the energy circuits in the body gets connected properly when we do this. (I have added this link later.. read about this here
      5. Hold the ears with alternate hands as shown in the following URL. Ensure that the right hand is outside and the left is inside. Also please ensure that if I stand in front of you I should be able to see your thumbs.                                             
      6. Now squat fully without bending your upper torso (try as much as possible), as you squat (sit), inhale softly and as you try to get up exhale softly. Inhaling and exhaling are through the nose only. It is important to get the sequence right, "SQUAT - INHALE, GET UP - EXHALE". Please note that in our normal exercises this sequence shall be in reverse. When you squat please ensure your heal is still on the ground.
      7. Do it 7 times to start with a day and increase it to 14 times. NEVER EVER OVER DO.   

    • Inputs - The inputs for this activity are the following:
      • Our faith in yogic science. Faith moves mountains (within us).
      • Will power to adhere to a schedule and not to over do it.
      • Sensitivity to our own body.
      • And of course a vegetarian diet and little bit of physical exercise.
      • Do it in front of your pooja room and thinking of Lord Ganesha. It helps in your spiritual development also. Atheists and non-Hindus can still practice without this step. This isn't a religious activity but a yogic exercise without any chanting.

    • Symptoms
      • Normally there are benign symptoms as described above. I would strongly encourage to see videos in you tube or articles in the internet to fully convince yourself of the benefits.
      • Over doing it may lead to undesired results like Insomnia, over heating of the body, weakening of the body, pain and discomfort, skin rashes and some times excessive or unregulated sex drive. Experts say that Non-vegetarian diet practitioners and over doers of this exercise,  some may experience "Kundalini Syndrome", which needs specialized treatment. I really don't know what this means but it certainly is not a desired state to be in.
      • People with high blood pressure, knee / joint problems, underwent hip surgeries please consult a doctor or a qualified yoga teacher before doing this.
      • Any signs of discomfort is seen, please discontinue and consult a doctor or a qualified yoga teacher / Pranic healing practitioner.
      • This is not advised for females during the monthly period and not certainly for pregnant women. 
      • I believe, kids from the age of 8 years can practise this. Again ensure that they don't over do this.
      • I am aware of the practise in India to do this 108 times in the Ganesha temple. If you notice people who are doing this are doing it mechanically and incorrectly. I believe, we can do 108 squats mechanically there is nothing wrong it that. But avoid doing more than 14 times if you are practising it in the correct procedure.

    The objective of this article is to share the good things I have learnt with others... யாம்பெற்ற இன்பம் பெறுக இவ்வையகம் ... This article is certainly not written from a position of an authority or as an expert but as a friend sharing his experience. Hope you liked it...

    Happy reading :)

    PS: I am initiated to this correct process through the Pranic healing course and hence my due gratitude to them. 

    Friday, June 25, 2010

    The Yang side of love! - Part 5/5

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    Now coming back to our original topic of canning and admonishments, let’s understand what we accomplish when we do this to a kid who is in school just living their abundant energies in an intense and innocent way.

    • When we or our kids are engulfed by a sense of fear then we pollute / congest our throat chakras. That stems higher creativity importantly among other visible effects that are known to us.
    • Kids generally love everything by default and hate things that are not in tune with their frequencies. When they develop a sense of hatred for either the teacher in the class or the school itself, the heart chakra gets polluted or congested. It equally applies for adults too for relevant situations.
    • Now let’s come to most interesting part. As individuals depending what stage of life we are in and what our nature is we all have abundant energies in the lower chakras, and now if the upper chakras are congested then how do these move up?
    • In my opinion per the theory I explained so far, Terrorists and sadists are bunch of helpless souls whose heart chakra is full of hatred and their basic chakra is full of energy to be utilized for destructive purposes. It is important to highlight that their Ajna chakra which is their seat of will, should also be very strong for them to stick to what ever they do.
    One of the best explanations I have ever heard on admonishing students is from the Yoga guru BKS Iyengar (he is the Kaliyuga Patanjali) few years back. In one TV interviews the interviewer asked him that “Do you beat your students during Yoga classes if they are not doing the asanas correctly?”

    If you are student of martial arts you would have noticed that your master comes and kicks your thighs if the weight is distributed on your knees and heals and not on the thighs. Though painful, this increases awareness on the thighs and the posture gets corrected.

    The response from the Yoga Guru was as follows: (Not verbatim, something like this)

    ”My consciousness is trying to reach my student’s consciousness through my words and his/her ears and since its not reaching in the right way and quickly, my consciousness is trying to reach theirs through my hands.”

    When we are angry at our kids then we pollute our heart chakra and pollute our kid’s throat and heart charka with the fear of admonishment we instill in this. So should the admonishment be avoided?

    Not at all. But this should be rightly balanced. And how can that be balanced? Some pointers as below:

    • The admonishment should not be an intemperate outburst of our anger or impatience.
    • It can’t be an expression of our inability to control the situation or them.
    • It can’t be the manifestation of our ego “I have told you something and you are not listening”.
    • The intention should not be to punish or control them but to correct them. Instill a sense of self esteem in them that they voluntarily repent for their mistakes. After scoldings give them lots of love so that they still feel loved. 
    It simply called as the “Yang side of Love” as it is done in the right measure, balanced with advice but more importantly it is for the betterment of the receiver.

    May I also suggest that both the parents and teachers should practice "Thoppu karanam" daily - not as a sense of punishment but as a yogic exercise.

    As long as this spirit is seen in every teacher and parent I think we can avoid loosing another kid to this sort of stupidity. 

    Yours Yangly!

    Happy reading :)

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    The Yang side of love! - Part 4/5

    Part 1/5      Part 2/5     Part 3/5       Part 4/5      Part 5/5

    Have you heard about “Thoppu karanam” in tamil nadu and “Kaan Dhand” in hindi. This is the 60 second program to balance the energies. Here one is asked to hold the ear lobes with alternate hands (right hand should hold left ear lobe and vice versa) and then do squats. (sit down and get up). This is a very simple and effective technique to clean the chakras and balance the energies. If it is done properly as per procedure (see links for the correct procedure to do this) then the energies in the lower chakras move up and vice versa, balancing the chakral system.

    Now let’s understand the history of this Kaan Dhand as per Hindu scriptures. It is said that Lord Vishnu once was visiting Kailash, the adobe of Lord Shiva and on the way he sees Lord Ganesha. Lord Ganesha, who is a kid then, takes Vishnu’s chakra (one of the weapons of Lord Vishnu) and swallows it. Lord Vishnu requests Lord Ganesha to return the Chakra but Lord Ganesha refuses to do so.

    Lord Vishnu tries every trick in the book and finally performs the first “Thoppu karanam” or “Kaan Dhand” in front of Ganesha. Lord Ganesha who is a kid then laughs uncontrollably on seeing this funny squatting by Lord Vishnu. When he laughs uncontrollably the chakra which is swallowed by Ganesha comes out of his mouth and falls out. Lord Vishnu takes it and walks away. It’s a Sanskrit term called “Dhorbihi Karanha”. Karan – means ears.

    Now look at some of the parallels to this story and the actual science. Lord Ganesha is always represented as the Lord in Muladhara Chakra…. Auviyaar’s Vinayagar Agaval in Tamil says ”Mooladharathu moondezhu Kanalai Kaalaal Ezhuppum Karuthu arivithu”… When the ‘Thoppu Karanam” is done properly it activates muladhara chakra and this energy from basic chakra has one way to move and that is upwards.

    What is ever astonishing is the fact that most of the Hindu rituals are a sublimed and well blended action of spiritual development and yogic science with a practical application for common man. The sad part of this is that most of us don’t understand the reason behind the rituals and most of them are labeled as superstitious

    How has this ritual / funny practice come back to light and is a topic of discussion now? A noble soul, Maste Choa Kuk Sui, a Chinese Philippino understood the secrets of Yogic science and tried to explain the benefits to the larger public. As you can imagine this was ignored since it was given free of cost. Then he branded this as “Super Brain Yoga” and charged about $12-15 per session to teach this and Yo!, there are many takers.

    Check out here:

    Check the testimonials here:

    Google about Super brain Yoga and you will get some You tube videos also where they have discovered that this simple exercise / ritual also mitigates issues of Autism, memory loss etc.

    Part 1/5      Part 2/5     Part 3/5       Part 4/5      Part 5/5

    ....Continued in Part 5

    The Yang side of love! - Part 3/5

    Part 1/5      Part 2/5     Part 3/5       Part 4/5      Part 5/5

    So one of the secrets of happy and healthy living is all about first cleaning them and balancing the energies in all these chakras. How can we balance the energies in these chakras is there an easier way to do it?

    Would you be surprised if I say that there is program to do this in 60 seconds? Yes. In just 60 seconds clean the chakras and balance the energies. Interested? Then Read on,

    All the fitness programs like Yoga, Martial arts, work out in the gym typically cleans and balances these chakras without us knowing it. Walking is a great way to balance the energies. One of the greatest learning for me recently is the understanding that the first step to conscious living is in being aware of this aspect that manifests in every action of ours.

    Before I go on to explain the 60 second program let me establish the link between the overactive kids and the chakral energies. Children typically have highly activated Muladhara chakra and as they reach the puberty, their Swadhistana also becomes highly energized. Does not matter what we say they have to expend their energies and hence they become very naughty and troublesome at times. This over energized basic chakra typically helps them find our weakest nerve and make them step on it at the weakest moment J.

    Another interesting aspect I read is about the linkage between Visudhi chakra and the swasdhitana (sex) chakra. Visudhi in the throat represents higher creativity (active in artists, poets, painters, designers, engineering experts, software professionals (not the programmers but the architects) etc) and swadhistana is the center of lower creativity and procreation as explained. So a person who is highly creative - by default and by god’s design should be very active in sex life too, since the energy channels are connected and shared. This perhaps explains why artists have a very active sex life.

    For my rational friends who are adamant about proof, let me tell you this. There is no proof scientifically (it cant be shown as a physical entity) that the chakras exist but of late there are kirlian scanners which scan and give the energy level and the quality of energy in human body just like X-ray machines.

    So what is the 60 seconds program?

    Part 1/5      Part 2/5     Part 3/5       Part 4/5      Part 5/5

    ....Continued in Part 4

    The Yang side of love! ....Part 1/5

    This is a 5 part blog and hence don’t waste your time on this if you are not interested in any of the below.

    • How Chakras / psychic centers in human body, influence your psychology and hence an essential sub-system of your “mind”?
    • If you are interested to know why artists also have a great sexual drive?
    • How to manage the excess energies in your child or how to manage the excess sexual drive in teen just reaching puberty?
    • How to balance the energies in your chakras within 60 seconds?
    If you find this little slow paced, blame it on "Few rounds of Singapore sling", as much of it is written at 30K feet above sea level in SQ flights under the influence of the blamed.

    Part 1/5      Part 2/5     Part 3/5       Part 4/5      Part 5/5

    News clips in the last few days about how a young boy committed suicide after his school admonished him for his mistakes probably canned him, was probably disturbing me for 2 reasons:

    • When a young boy decides to sacrifice his life for such a trivial thing I am just wondering where are we headed and this disturbed me a lot.
    • Punishments / canning were so common during my school days and what has changed so much in the last 2 decades that this drives suicidal tendencies among kids. I am still trying to figure out this aspect.

    “Good living is in balancing the extremes”, said one wise man. Everything in life needs to be balanced and this is the secret to happy life. I believe, like everything else the love and affection we shower on our kids also needs to be moderated. This moderation starts from the day the child is born.

    It is believed that a child's psychological development in the initial years is largely due to the “touch” sensation it receives from its parents especially its mother. As we understand excessive affection (excessive physical contact) increases the dopamine levels in the kids and makes it disobedient and selfish. On the other hand excessive retribution and absence of mother’s touch actually increases the levels of nor-adrenaline in the child’s body, making it feel insecure, depressed and unmotivated.

    Importance and emphasis on moderation is stressed in many areas in Bhagavad Gita and many other Hindu scriptures. My friend Thiruvallular, who lived 2000+ years before in his Thirukural has mentioned that "நகுதற் பொருட் அன்று நட்பு....மேற் சென்று இடித்தர் பொருட்டு..." This highlights that friendship is not about laughing and agreeing with your friends always but when required, to differ in opinion and censure the friends if they are wrong.

    You also would have probably read that Buddha realized that excessive self mortification and ascetic life would not lead to enlightenment and accepted the rice porridge offered by a lady named Sujatha to recover from fatigue. His disciples, who thought that Buddha has abandoned the path for enlightenment, deserted him for some time but joined him later. This again highlights the importance of balance and moderation.

    So if there has to be a balance between showering affection and admonishment then that should be at right times and at right levels. How as a family and as a society can we do this in the right measure?

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    Continued in Part 2....

    The Yang side of love! - Part 2/5

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    I tried to answer the following questions:

    ·        Have I been admonished / canned at school and did it have a positive impact on me?
    o       I vaguely remember getting canned in primary school but don’t know / can’t remember if that had a positive impact on me.
    ·        Have I been admonished / canned by my father and did it have a positive impact on me?
    o       Definitely yes for both the questions.
    ·        Would I agree if my kid’s school admonishes / canned them for potential situations?
    o       Admonishment – Yes.
    o       Canning – Definitely no.

    The more I thought about this, the more I am convinced that the problem lies some where else. The issue is in improper emotional and psychological development of the child for which the parents are largely responsible which manifests and drives them to the extremes like this. I could not understand any other way to explain the problem. I believe, it is wrong to fully keep teachers or school responsible for such incidents. Let me qualify that I am not passing the opinion for a specific incident in news but sharing a larger perspective.  

    Let’s also look at the Indian Yogic way on the root cause and the solution to the problem. Let me explain the concept first and then identify the root cause and the solution to this.

    Human beings are psycho-somatic organisms and our western medical science is still in the nascent stages of development to understand the psychology of a being. They are largely obsessed with brain and central nervous system as the components of human mind and our energies are devoted to unravel them.

    Indian philosophies, in my opinion have a very comprehensive view of this and one of the subsystems of the human mind that is elaborately discussed are our seven chakras which apart from having a spiritual dimension has a significant psychological dimension too.

    Without going into too many details let me highlight the following:
    ·        There are 7 Chakras in the body they are the Basic / Muladhara chakra, Swadhitana / Sex Chakra, Manipura / Navel chakra, Anahata / heart chakra, Visudhi / Throat chakra, Ajna Chakra and Sahasrara chakra.
    ·        These are the psychic and energy centers in the body. They generate, store and distribute life force energy for various systems in the body and each of them is responsible different psychological aspects. You can google about chakras if you need more details.
    ·        It is said that typically human beings like us constantly live in the lower 3 chakras which deals with survival (Muladhara), procreation (Swadistana) and seat of lower emotions (Manipura), which means bulk of energies revolve around these chakras.
    ·        The path to enlightenment is all about recognizing the potential, subliming the energies and taking it to the higher chakras from the lower.
    ·        So typically when some one has lots of physical energy then it is attributed to overactive Muladhara chakra. Athletes typically have a very strong basic chakra. This chakra is also related to prosperity and hence people who are poor would have under activated / weak basic chakra.
    ·        The results of over active swasdhistana / sex do not require any explanation. When teens reach puberty they tend to have more energy concentrated in their sex chakra.
    ·        Typical egoistic, adamant personalities like me should be having over activated manipura chakra.
    ·        When the Anahata has more (pure) energy then love, kindness, compassion manifests in a person and so on.
    ·        Our day today life style significantly congests energies in the chakras, pollutes them and makes it either over or under activated.
    ·        Hatred and anger congests heart and solar plexus chakras. Fear congests throat / Visuddhi chakra.

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    ....Continued in Part 3.