Today we are spending large amounts of time daily in front of computer screens, cell phones, other electrical items or an electrified urban environment. In the process we are exposing ourselves to powerful artificial electrical energies on many levels. This is a necessity in the information technology era. But it has potential physical and psychological side-effects we should carefully consider.
How do we compensate for these high tech electrical energies that can disturb our nervous systems as well as our mind and emotions? Here Yoga and Ayurveda have much to offer. Ayurveda helps us through right care of the body and appropriate daily life style, balancing our doshas, improving vitality and immunity. Yoga helps us calm the mind by relaxing the body, deepening the prana, turning the senses within, and promoting meditation, silence and transcendence.
A few simple practices below.
Make sure to take adequate water and liquids throughout the day and never allow yourself to dehydrate. This weakens our immune system and circulation. Good liquids include fruit juices of all types and coconut water but taken at room temperature with a little ginger, mint or tulsi.
Sipping hot water throughout the day is good, sweetened with honey. Herbal teas like tulsi, sage, mint, ginger, turmeric, cloves and cardamom, also sipped warm regularly during the day are very helpful. Green or jasmine tea or Indian chai tea with spices are good. Nervine teas like brahmi (hydrocotyle or bacopa), particularly with a small amount of calamus (vacha) or ginger powder, is very good.
Brahmi ghee taken in warm milk with turmeric is also good, can aid in sleep if taken with a little nutmeg as well.
INCENSE AND AROMAS
Use incense and aroma therapy to clear and energize the air around us, including sandalwood, vetivert (khus), champak, frangipani, rose, jasmine, myrrh, and loban.
Fragrances that open the lungs are helpful like eucalyptus, mint, sate, tulsi, basil, and cinnamon, with possible steam therapy (svedana). Sandalwood is best for calming the mind and Sandalwood oil can be applied to the forehead to keep us cool and calm.
Outdoor havans and Vedic fire offerings are excellent when possible, particularly Agnihotra using ghee and dried cow dung at sunrise and sunsent.
Pranayama should be performed morning and evening and periodically during the day , taking not only mere coffee or tea breaks but pranayama breaks. Make sure your prana is flowing and circulating within and around you continually. Don’t let your breath become shallow or irregular. Remember to breathe in from your belly or navel region. This massages the internal organs and also draw the energy up to the head.
Use a neti pot or special Ayurvedic nasya oils like Anu Tailam to make sure your nostrils are clear and open.
Alternate nostril breathing or nadi shodana is important, inhaling through the right nostril to stimulate the mind and exhaling through the left, or inhaling through the left nostril to calm the mind and exhaling through the right.
PRATYAHARA AND SENSORY BREAKS
Make sure to go outside daily, particularly at morning and sunset, where you can see the sky, clouds, moon or stars. Exercise your distance and depth vision and your ability to see the subtle colors of nature. This also calms the mind and deepens our awareness.
Screens are two dimensional and can flatten and depress our minds, reducing our awareness of the third dimension and causing a loss of perspective, making us think in terms of black and white or rigid dichotomies.
Screens cause superficial thinking and promote emotional reactions, not deep thinking or contemplation. Artificial light and colors also lack the variations of natural light and color, irritating the eyes and causing the mind to lose its subtle vision. Compensate for this screen conditioned mind by practicing distance vision outwardly and visualizing boundless space within your minds and hearts.
We gain prana through natural sensory impressions but lose it through artificial sensory impressions. Indoors at least have plants, flowers and water basins or fountains nearby wherever you spend most of your time during the day. Outdoors greet the Sun and Moon, trees, mountains, waters, clouds and sky. Remember you are a cosmic being.
WALKING, HIKING AND YOGA ASANAS
Walking and hiking are very helpful for our entire body and mind, particularly in gardens, by lakes, rivers or the ocean, or in the hills and mountains. Experience yourself as part of nature and Mother Nature will give you her grace.
Your body belongs to the Earth and your mind belongs to Infinite Space. Experience your Cosmic Self that is all pervasive.
Yoga asanas are great, particularly if we have to stay indoors, including inverted poses to clear the head, or right and left balancing poses, particularly spinal twists to bring about balance. We must learn to release all tension from our joints and muscles. Such Yoga asanas should be done slowly with a steady energy but not forcefully, allowing for a deeper relaxation.
NATURAL SENSE OF TOUCH
Learn to touch the ground and dig the soil if you can, feeling the presence of the Earth, as well as being around plants, grass, leaves and branches, even rocks and stones. At least have flowers or plants like tulsi, aloe or ficus around your home or apartment. These are all part of your greater being. Contact with pets is important or being connected to the animals around us like watching the birds.
Share therapeutic massage with those you are safe with, particularly using special Ayurvedic massage oils made in a sesame or coconut oil base. Ayurvedic massage oils can be applied to protect the skin and strengthen immunity, countering dryness.
USE OF SACRED SOUND
Mantra, chanting and singing to clear the voice and vibrate the nervous system are excellent and can throw off negative electrical energies that accumulate in our aura.
Expansively chant OM repeatedly, or chant deeply OM Namah Shivaya to create inner peace or simply repeat OM Shanti Shanti Shanti.
Chant whatever primary mantras you prefer and have energized by your regular practice. Use your voice to vibrate your pranic energy and let it flow throughout your body, mind, home and environment. Do your favorite kirtans and bhajans on a regular basis.
Above all learn to silence and empty the mind, letting go of all disturbed thoughts, emotions and electrical energies irritating the mind, particularly at night, so that your consciousness and prana can be renewed in deep sleep. Meditate regularly during the day, even only for a few minutes at a time, observing your thoughts and connecting with nature.
The silent mind full of space and light within naturally heals itself and promotes positive thinking and deeper awareness. Let your mind renew itself in space and silence.
Remember your eternal and infinite Self-nature that pervades the entire universe!
Dr. David Frawley