In December 2018 I went on 300hrs Meditation Teacher Training in Rishikesh India with Shree Mahesh Heritage. Rishikesh is also known as The Home of Yoga it is full of Ashrams and Yoga Shala’s where you can either learn to teach yoga, or just attend classes. But currently Shree Mahesh Heritage is the only school to offer 300hrs of meditation teacher training. Rishikesh is located in the foot hills of the Himalayas along the Ganges. When I first saw the Ganges it was breathe taking. I couldn’t believe how clean and aqua blue it looked after seeing lots on TV about how dirty and diseased it is. Of course this part of the Ganges is nearer to it’s source so it has less pollution. There are lots of Baba’s (holy men) walking around wrapped in orange cloths with no shoes and dreadlocks. The shops are full of silver jewellery, clothes, bags and ornaments and there are 2 bridges across the Ganges where you can walk to the other side, or some prefer to use their motor bikes to get across, you will also find cows crossing and Monkeys on there waiting for food.
On the course I learnt many different techniques to help you get into meditation, like chanting, visualisations, staring, breathing, writing, walking, sounds, vipassana and more. My favourite was chanting and also breathing worked very well for me, but everyone is different so it’s best to sample a few and then choose a technique that you find most useful. We went to fire ceremonies (Ganga Arti) along the Ganges, where Hindus worship the Ganges, as one of their goddess’, which was a very spiritual experience. After 1 month when the course had finished and meditating for at least an hour every day. I did notice a difference in myself. I felt much more calmer than I had previously had. I cannot wait to share what I learnt with people and I will be running meditation classes in the near future.
A lot of people who come to my yoga classes for the first time don’t even realise that part of yoga is about breath control also known in Sanskrit as Pranayama. So why is the breath so important? As we all know we cannot survive without oxygen, around 2 minutes without it and we have passed into the spirit realm! Oxygen is delivered around the body through our blood. So that means if you have cardiovascular or Respiratory problems the oxygen is not being delivered around the body as it should be. For example low blood pressure or asthma. So once Oxygen enters the blood stream, it sends a fresh supply to the brain, and the brain uses nerve signals to control the organs and muscles! Without Muscles we cannot move! So this is why the breath is so important.
When we breathe we breathe unconsciously so we don’t have to consciously think “oh I must take my next breath now”, it just automatically happens, which is controlled part of the autonomic nervous system. However sometimes the breath can become shallow and we do not use the full capacity of our lungs, especially if we do not get enough exercise and if we are stressed or anxious. This can lead to ailments.
So what can you do once the breath is shallow? You can take conscious control over your breath. There are many different pranayama techniques in yoga each one used for different ailments. Some are energising some are calming and soothing. Also the first step to developing self awareness is taking your focus towards the breath, it makes you notice whats going on inside rather always being focused on the external. Also controlling the breath can help many ailments, and lets not forget that cancer hates oxygen!!
I will be posting some pranayama techniques and their benefits at some point.
I have decided to start a blog I am not sure how much I will use it but I intend to write about my yoga journey and about some Massage stuff too. Hopefully it will help others to find peace in their lives. Watch this space !!