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OGA AND PARENTING continued

Pauline Sebina

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To continue on yoga and parenting, this week we consider the fourth limb of yoga which is pranayama or breath control.

To recap, breath is the link between the outer world of activity and inner world of silence. Prana is the subtle life force inside us, subtler than the breath, and is what makes us tick. Through proper breath control, and applying the numerous breathing techniques we are able to keep the prana level high and this leads to better control of emotions, among the many benefits.

Parents will attest that a dreaded scene is when a child throws tantrum at any point in time, or sulks when they don’t get their way. The likely uncontrolled response by the parent does not help the situation either. Consistent regular practice of Pranayama is a very effective empowering tool for both the child and the parent. The more the practice, the greater the realization that emotions don’t have to rule our lives, and this leads to freedom and better self- awareness. Without this awareness and experience, there may be a tendency to erroneously define oneself or a child by their emotive disposition from time to time.

When the breath is deep and long (as opposed to short and shallow), it calms the mind. Doing yoga asanas with this deep long breath bring benefits like the ability to exercise patience, tolerance and to engage one another productively in times of disagreement. Raising a child with these human values is a big step to creating a better world by developing transformational leaders of tomorrow. On the health front, some respiratory disorders which children tend to be prone to can be alleviated by the regular practice of pranayama.

The last four limbs of yoga – pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses), dharana (practicing one pointed attention), dhyana (a state of being keenly aware without focus), and samadhi (bliss) all lead to a culmination of a deep meditative state. A calm meditative state of mind whether for the parent or child is one of the major sources of energy which leads to a calm but alert state of mind.
More next week

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YOGA corner

YOGA AND GOOD HEALTH

Pauline Sebina

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While we’re still on the mental benefits of meditation, I wish to take a moment to appreciate the increasing awareness about wholistic yoga (yoga stretches, breathing exercises and meditation) in Botswana, judging from the inquiries we receive at Art of Living, especially the referrals from medical doctors and practitioners of mental wellness.

The reality is that meditation is a practical tool that addresses problems from the depth, not superficially. As you’ve seen from the previous articles, its benefits cut across many medical conditions but also just promotes a very good state of wellbeing. Let’s consider the next mental benefit of how meditation is the best tool to remove bad habits like smoking, or over indulgence in alcohol, for those who have an earnest desire to stop.

Meditation is good at helping get rid of bad habits because it creates or raises self-awareness. It reaches unimaginable depth of one’s core of existence, that only brings out the truth about us and our situation. It takes one past the delusions that one tends to hide behind to remain in a comfort zone.

When the truth gets revealed to you, there’s no argument or debate, no bias, no judgement, no justification, no need to defend yourself, it’s just the truth! This is unlike when someone tells you of your weakness or shortcoming. This is what makes meditation effective, and it becomes a lot easier to deal with as well as eliminate the habit from its root cause.

Consequently, you’re able to see the reality about life without that bad habit. Imagine how many lives, families, marriages, careers are destroyed due to bad habits by children, spouses, parents, workers, friends and so on. All is not lost, as meditation provides you with the chance to claim back your purposeful life.

Related to the benefit of breaking habits is that of breaking addictions. Meditation gives a natural “high” much better than the destructive “high” from drugs or alcohol which just leads to a regrettable crash. Meditation does not only deal with the addiction, but will also deal with the root cause of the addiction, presenting a longer lasting solution.

On 25th May 2019 at 3.30pm there’ll be a live Peace Meditation with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar the Founder of Art of Living Foundation as part of his yearly peace initiative of “I Meditate Africa” – www.bit.ly/VoiceOfAfrica.

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YOGA corner

YOGA AND GOOD HEALTH

Pauline Sebina

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We concluded last week’s Yoga Corner with the introduction of ‘meditation and good health’, highlighting the vastness of the subject and that there isn’t a part of our lives that is not touched or affected by meditation.

Starting with the category of physical benefits, and with probably the most favorite of slow aging, I’m sure that most us would like to slow down the aging process, especially in the most natural and harmless way.

Studies have shown that experienced meditators often look a lot younger than their «true» age, and they also arguably live longer than people who do not practice meditation as a lifestyle.
Scientific studies have been published, which I will not delve in to avoid being technical, explaining why meditation is the very best way to freeze “father time”, but I encourage those interested on the details to read more on the subject.

According to leading health and longevity researchers, stress accelerates our biological clock leaving us looking and feeling old long before our time (as you read this you may even think of one or two people yourself). Mediation is a natural tool to counter stress, hence slowing down the biological clock so to speak.

Granted there are very few people who are not yogis but still live even beyond a hundred. And if you were to interview these people, you would find that their general disposition is that of inner peace, very little or no stress at all. These are the fortunate ones. Most of us need to make an effort to reach the state of inner peace amidst chaotic surroundings. This is where meditation as part of yoga comes in.

The next physical benefit is that of beating addiction whether it is alcohol, tobacco, food, coffee, prescriptions, illegal substances, the list goes on. Researchers have found that there are physiological and psychological reasons why meditation is the best, most effective way to naturally overcome any addiction. It has been proven to give a “natural high” through the brain’s “happiness center”.

Indeed, the brain researchers have built a mountain of evidence showing that meditation can help immensely in beating addiction, healthily and naturally. When one practices meditation regularly, the mind develops the power as well as the inner strength to observe the coming and going of urges and cravings without emotions and in a detached manner. More next week……..

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