Sandeep Ananda, head of yoga at Ananda in the Himalayas, on how mantra meditation and yogic rituals help
1. Start the day with a few rounds of mantra meditation as soon as you wake up. Try 11 repetitions of the Gayatri mantra for mental clarity or 11 rounds of the Maha Mrityunjaya mantra for healing.
2. If you practice jal neti keep these pointers in mind:
– The water must taste as salty as your tears
– It must be as warm as your body
– It must not flow down the side of your cheek but flow out of the nostril as straight as a thread
– After you finish neti, forcefully exhale from each nostril by tilting the head to the side to ensure that all water is out
3. Practice 20 minutes of alternate nostril breathing to increase immunity, detoxify the body and stabilise the mind.
4. Basic asana practice in the morning:
– Begin with 10 rounds of tadasana, where you lift up on your toes, lift your arms and then bring them down.
– 10 rounds each (on both sides) of side bending
– 10 rounds of twists (kati chakrasana) while standing
– Five to seven rounds of Surya namaskar
– End with shavasana
5. In the evening, centre your mind with trataka. In a dark room, stare at a candle flame till your eyes fill up with tears. Then close your eyes and try to stabilise the image of the flame in one place. Practice three rounds of this. It would take 10-12 minutes.
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