How to protect and preserve sensory organs?

               Sensory organs of our body play an important role in our life. Sensory organs help us in understanding about us and our surroundings. Sensory organs help us in perception and reasoning with the removal of doubts and questions. Because of such an important role, preservation and protection of sensory organs become important.

             Yoga as a medicinal system has certain activities which are directly related to the protection and preservation of various sensory organs. These activities are usually considered to be outside of the eight limbs of Yoga, but definitely being important for good health.

Kapalbhati:

               Kapalbhati is a respiratory exercise for purification of the respiratory system. As an exercise system, it involves our nose, nasal cavities, diaphragm, abdomen and other body parts involved in respiration.

               In literary terms, Kapalbhati is made up of two words ‘Kapala’ meaning skull and ‘bhati’ meaning shine. Kapalbhati is beneficial for the removal of dust and any other unwanted material from nasal area and other components of respiration. It also helps in clearing the brain because of which called as Kapalbhati.

  In literary terms, Kapalbhati is made up of two words ‘Kapala’ meaning skull and ‘bhati’ meaning shine. Kapalbhati is beneficial for the removal of dust and any other unwanted material from nasal area and other components of respiration. It also helps in clearing the brain because of which called as Kapalbhati.

Steps for doing Kapalbhati:

  • Sit in a comfortable position, like padmasana (Lotus pose).
  • Move the diaphragm by sudden exhaling movements with the sudden release of air from lungs producing frontal movement of the chest and full expulsion of air through the nostrils, producing a hissing sound.
  • No self-inhaling should be done. It will be passive.
  • Repeat the exercise 2-3 times with a gap of a minute or so in between with each phase consisting of 20 to 30 strokes of sudden exhales.

Health Benefits:

  • Kapalbhati helps in purification of the respiratory
  • It helps in increasing the oxygen intake, thus helping in blood purification and removal of tiredness.
  • Kapalbhati helps in strengthening of various nerves and brain parts.
  • Kapalbhati provides relief in health issues/diseases having an impact on lungs, throat and chest diseases like chronic bronchitis, asthma, pleurisy, and tuberculosis.

Precautions:

  • The air should be exhaled from the lungs with a sudden, vigorous inward stroke of the front abdominal muscles.
  • The abdominal stroke should be complete and the breath should be expelled fully.
  • During Kapalbhati movement thoracic muscles should be kept in contracted position.
  • Inhaling should be automatic without willful expansion, with relaxed abdominal muscles.

 

Trataka:

Trataka is a combination of different exercises (usually four) which are developed for the strengthening of another sensory organ called as eyes. Trataka helps in treating weak eye muscles, relieving eye strain and curing of certain eye diseases.

‘Trataka‘ is a Sanskrit word meaning concentrated gaze at a particular point with awareness about it. The most common form of Trataka is to gaze the rising sun or other light sources having no harmful effect on eyes. Apart from that four major forms of Trataka which can be practiced easily in a room  are:

  • Dakshinay Jatru Trataka: Move your face slightly forward and fix the eyes on the tip of your right shoulder. Keep the eyes focused with no winks for 20-30 seconds followed by the second form of Trataka (Vamajatru Trataka).
  • Vamajatru Trataka: Move your face slightly forward and fix the eyes on the tip of your left shoulder. Keep the eyes focused with no winks for 20-30 seconds.
  • Namikagra Trataka: In this form of Trataka both eyes are fixed on the tip of your nose and kept focused for a significant duration (20-30 seconds). Repeat the process 3-4 times for similar durations.
  • Bhrumadhya Trataka: Bhrumadhya Trataka is another form of Trataka in which the eyes are focused on the space between your eyebrows.

Other guidelines:

  • Trataka exercises should be performed in a comfortable sitting position like padmasana or vajrasana. These positions help in keeping the backbone straight and channelise the meditative energy.
  • Ideal gaze time should be anywhere between 20-30 seconds. But at the start or in the case of any discomfort decrease the time with increased repetitions of gazing.
  • Give sufficient rest to eyes (around 60 seconds) after each cycle of Trataka by the closing of eyes.
  • Persons with the presence of acute myopia should perform the Tratakas with closed eyes condition.
  • It is not recommended for children below 12 years.
  • Relaxation of eyes can be enhanced by reciting the stretched “OM” mantra, three times and then placing each palm on your eyes after rubbing the two with each other.
  • You can also do it without "OM" by creating vibrations in the body (to channelise chakra system) by other means, as seem suitable. Vibrations will also work on your hearing sensors improvement.

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