Sign up and get a FREE meditation audio
* indicates required

My shoulder update – deja-vu – rotator cuff re-torn (yet again!)

rotator-cuff-tear.jpg
Rotator Cuff tear

As I mentioned in my previous shoulder update, I had surgery on my right shoulder on January 5, 2017 to fix a tear in the rotator cuff. If you recall, I had the same kind of surgery on the same shoulder in 2013. However, the cuff got torn again only a few months after the surgery. At that point I had decided to live with the torn rotator cuff as my pain was minimal. Moreover, I developed enough of the adjoining muscles to be able to do more than 65-70% of my yoga moves.

It was toward the end of 2016 that I suddenly developed a sharp and fairly persistent pain in my right shoulder. That pain, for a reason that I cannot explain, gradually began to increase and became quite intolerable. That is when I decided to again search for a surgeon who can help me in the situation. Finally I talked to a surgeon at Duke who said that she would be able to use a fairly recent treatment option that could fix the shoulder. So, I decided to have another surgery, which would be the third on the same shoulder.

Continue reading »

Laghu Shankha Prakshalana (colon cleanse – short version)

lsp-udarakarshana.jpg
Udarakarshanasana

In the classical yoga text, the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, six cleansing techniques, called Shat-karma, are described. These are:

  1. Neti (nasal cleansing)
  2. Basti (like an enema)
  3. Dhauti (alimentary canal cleansing)
  4. Trataka (for the eyes)
  5. Kapalabhati (breathing technique for purifying the nervous system)
  6. Nauli (abdominal churning)

The practice of Dhauti as given in the Hatha Yoga Pradipika is as follows (chapter 2, verse 24):

"A strip of wet cloth, four angulas wide (i.e. seven to eight centimeters) and fifteen hand spans (i.e. one and a half meters) in length is slowly swallowed and then taken out, as instructed by the guru. This is known as dhauti."

As you can see, this practice is not very easy to do as it involves swallowing a long piece of wet cloth and then taking it out. To do this technique, one needs guidance from a competent guru and a fairly long time to get comfortable with it. As such, it is not commonly practiced as the technique for internal cleansing.

Continue reading »

14-day Meditation Intensive, May 1-14

padmasana01.jpg
Padmasana (Lotus Pose)

I am pleased to announce the next Meditation Intensive. In this program, I will discuss the basic concepts of meditation and practice several of the concentration (dharana) and meditation (dhyana) techniques. Most of the information that I will be sharing is based on the concepts discussed in Patanjali’s Yoga Sutras and related classical yoga texts.

No prior asana, pranayama or meditation experience is required.

Here are the particulars:

  • What: 14-day Meditation Intensive
  • When: Monday, May 1 – Sunday, May 14, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 AM
  • Location: 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Daily Routine: Light stretching (10-15 minutes), Pranayama (15 min), Relaxation (10-15 min), Meditation – discussion and practice (45 min)
  • Commitment: A firm commitment to follow this schedule and attend every day
  • Fee: $90 (cash, check or paypal)
  • To register: fill out the registration form, providing information in all the fields, and submit it online

Strongly recommended

  • Light,’sattvic’, nutritious, VEGETARIAN food
  • No alcohol, drugs, tobacco or any other item of similar nature
  • A personal commitment to continue the practice after the program is over

Please visit here for more details…

Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. I look forward to your participation.

Upavishta-konasana (Seated wide-legged forward bend)

upavishta-kona01.jpg
Upavishta-konasana

Upavishta Konasana – उपविष्ट-कोणासन –

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

(Seated wide-legged forward bend) is an intermediate level pose and helps a great deal in stretching the inner thigh and inner knee muscles and the entire spine. It also brings about a sense of calm to the mind that helps relieve stress and anxiety. The word upavishta means "seated" and kona means "angle".

Instructions

Continue reading »

My yoga practice – post shoulder surgery

pada-prasarita-uttana.jpg
Standing wide-legged bend

After my shoulder surgery on January 6, I met with my doctor four weeks after the surgery for my first post-op follow-up. At that time she told me that due to the nature of the surgery which involved the use of a human graft, the recovery is going to be quite slow. It could take up to a whole year before I gain full range of motion and strength. Of course, since using human graft is a relatively new procedure, not much data is available from actual case studies to make a good, realistic assessment of the recovery time. It is not even clear what "full recovery" means. In my doctor’s estimate I may regain full range of motion; however, I may gain only about 80-85% of my previous strength in my arms and shoulders. These follow-ups will continue every four weeks for the next few months.

My current yoga practice

Continue reading »

14-day Pranayama Immersion, March 27 – April 9

nadi-shuddhi1-small.jpg
Vishnu Mudra

I am pleased to announce the next Pranayama intensive. In this program, we will be practicing some of the main pranayama techniques given in our ancient yoga texts. I will also discuss the underlying concepts in the practice of pranayama and all the wonderful benefits that the practice can bring us.

No prior pranayama or meditation experience is required.

Here are the particulars:

  • What: 14-day pranayama intensive
  • When: Monday, March 27 – Sunday, April 9, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 – 7:30 AM
  • Location: 4000 Bearcat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Daily Routine: Light stretching (10-15 minutes), Pranayama (40 min), Relaxation (15 min), Yoga philosophy/meditation (15-20 min)
  • Commitment: A firm commitment to follow this schedule and attend every day
  • Fee: $90
  • To register: fill out the registration form, providing information in all the fields, and submit it online

Continue reading »

Surya Namaskar Yogathon (108 rounds), Saturday, March 18

SN
Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutation)

Surya Namaskar Yogathon (108 rounds) – Saturday, March 18, 7 – 11:30 AM!

I invite you to join us for this memorable yoga event where we will practice 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar (Sun Salutations). Surya Namaskar, practiced to the accompaniment of beautifully chanted mantras,
will not only invigorate and energize you but also lead you into a state of deep meditation.

  • Event: Surya Namaskar Yogathon (108 rounds of Sun Salutations)
  • Location: Hindu Temple (HSNC), main Cultural Hall, 309 Aviation Parkway, Morrisville, NC 27560; temple phone: (919) 481-2574
  • When: Saturday, March 18, 2017
  • Time: 7:00 AM to 11:30 AM (on-site registration starts at 6:30 AM)
  • Program Fee (donation to the temple – includes veggie lunch): $20 with pre-registration or $25 on the day of the event; In addition, please try to find sponsors who might be willing to pledge money per round that you complete.
  • Program: Om chanting, invocation prayer, a brief discussion of the mantras associated with SN (a chart of SN is available on my website here), practice 108 rounds of Surya Namaskar accompanied by the chanting of beautifully rendered Surya Namaskar mantras, yoga nidra (deep relaxation), brief session of pranayama to balance out the flow of prana, closing chants.
  • Lunch: Vegetarian lunch will follow the event
  • Light snacks, tea/coffee will be available in the hallway during the event.
  • To register: please fill out the registration form on the HSNC website and submit it online. You can make the payment on the same page.

Continue reading »

What causes suffering?

In a previous article, I talked about how to make right choices in life so we can diminish or prevent future suffering. In this article I will expand a little more on the concept of suffering and discuss the various causes of suffering. We’ll turn our attention to one of the sutras from Patanjali (sutra 2.15):

परिणामतापसंस्कारदुःखैर्गुणवृत्तिविरोधाच्च दुःखमेव सर्वं विवेकिनः॥१५॥

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

pariṇāma tāpa saṁskāra duḥkhaiḥ guṇa-vr̥tti-virodhācca duḥkham-eva sarvaṁ vivekinaḥ ॥2.15॥

"To one of discrimination, everything is painful indeed, due to its consequences; the anxiety and fear over losing what is gained; the resulting impressions left in the mind to create renewed cravings; and the constant conflict among the three gunas, which control the mind."

What this sutra tells us is that a person with sharp discriminatory wisdom (the Sanskrit term used in the sutra is "vivekin") begins to realize that all life experiences are either actively or potentially full of suffering. When I read this sutra for the first time, it seemed a little strange to me that a person of wisdom should feel any suffering at all. After all, the purpose of all yoga practices is to attain enlightenment which will put an end to suffering. It took a little deeper reflection to understand the significance of the sutra.

Continue reading »

How to make proper choices in life

At every step in our life, we are presented with multiple options to choose from. The choices that we make today can have a serious impact on our future. We can be faced with simple questions like "which shirt should I wear for the party?", or whether or not I should eat this ice cream, or more serious matters like picking the right profession or career or picking the right life partner. Every option that we pick, every decision that we make, can have short-term and long-term implications.

What propels us to make inappropriate choices?

In a previous article, I wrote about how the mind functions and how we tend to be driven more by our ego rather than the pure intellect. Based on our past experiences, the ego likes to pick those choices which gave us a pleasurable experience in the past. For example, if we enjoyed a piece of cake in the past, in our memory bank it gets labeled as a "pleasant or enjoyable" experience. Next time when we are given the choice of eating a cake vs. not eating it, the ego will decide to eat the cake even though the intellect knows that it may not be good for our health. When we repeatedly make choices which are pleasant but not desirable, it can lead to much suffering in the form of disease or other physical and mental ailments. This also ties into the theory of Karma which can be summed up in this oft-heard statement, "as you sow, so shall you reap". As per this theory, our current thoughts and experiences are driven by our past actions; also, our future experiences will be driven by our present thoughts and actions.

Continue reading »

21-day Yoga Immersion, Feb 6-26

warrior2
Virabhadrasana (Warrior2)

I am pleased to announce the next 21-day Yoga Immersion program. The past programs have been very well received by all the participants. For most of them, it has been truly a life-transforming experience. I invite you to join me on this exciting and deeply rewarding 21-day yoga journey. Here are the particulars:

  • What: 21-day yoga immersion
  • When: Monday, February 6 – Sunday, February 26, 2017
  • Time: 6:00 AM – 7:30 AM
  • Where: 4000 Bear Cat Way, Suite 102, Morrisville, NC 27560
  • Cost: $125
  • Continue reading »