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Yoga And Meditation Go Hand-In-Hand

Dec 27, 2007
Western Researchers are currently studying the healing effects of beta-endorphins released during yoga and meditation that may be curing people of everything from asthma, ADHD and high blood pressure to diabetes, multiple sclerosis and cancer. "Ayudervedic healing," as it's called, has been in practice for over 5,000 years but didn't arrive in the United States until the 1970s. The healing is based on three areas -- diet, herbs and meditation yoga -- particularly "Sahaja Yoga."

In recent years, Sahaja yoga and meditation has caught a lot of media attention for its alleged healing properties, as well as its use at Rikers Island prison in New York City to treat mentally disturbed criminals. It is believed that Sahaja relaxation technique can instill a sense of deep spirituality and facilitates the release and circulation of beta-endorphins associated with wellness. The end goal of its meditation is a sense of inner awakening and union (sometimes referred to as "kundalini").

Students of this branch will study the three vertical energy channels within the human body: the sun channel (governing our thought processes), the parasympathetic / nervous system channel (governing our body processes) and the moon channel (governing our emotions).

In addition to these three channels, millions of chakras (literally translated from Sanskrit to mean "wheels" or energy centers) are swirling around us, keeping the channels in motion. Chakras can vary from religion to religion, but Sahaja relaxation technique focuses on several in its yoga and meditation:

- the crown chakra (pituitary gland / consciousness);
- the third eye chakra (pineal gland / sleep and awakening);
- the throat chakra (thyroid / growth and maturity);
- the heart chakra (thymus / stress and wellbeing);
- the solar plexus chakra (pancreas / digestion and energy);
- the sacral chakra (groin / sexuality and reproduction);
- and the root chakra (adrenal gland / basic fight or flight instincts and kundalini awakening).

Another study is the Raja relaxation technique tradition (the "king" of yoga or "royal path"), which is heavily steeped in spirituality. Practitioners believe in a serious code based upon self-restraint, quietude, concentration, regulation of breathing, uniting body and mind through action, withdrawing from the senses and studying religious texts.

Often retreats are offered (by places like the Margaret Austin Retreat Center in Texas or the Chopra Center in Carlsbad, California) to help students immerse themselves in a new way of thinking. Students will learn about the Eightfold Path and the seven chakras, in addition to yamas and niyamas (code of conduct and religious observances, respectively).

Curious parties can go to SahajaYoga website for more information on the teachers, philosophy and practice of yoga and meditation. If you're in the California region, another highly acclaimed meditation expert and retreat guide is Deepak Chopra, who can be found at Chopra website.

Also, if you go to the Yoga website studio search, you can look up Raja relaxation technique studios near you. IAYT has information regarding healing yoga.
About the Author
Mike Selvon's yoga portal has some more useful information on yoga and meditation. Visit his web site and leave a comment at his yoga therapy blog.
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