Anti-stress methodology in adults and children

Right understanding or Right knowledge is the perfect antidote to master stress. With the right understanding of prevailing stressful situation one has to explore and evolve alternate modes of handling it to come out of stress.

An adult empowered with various experiences, is more mature and is better placed to take appropriate decision even under stressful situations. Anti-stress measures in adults progresses through the stages of relaxation, acceptance and understanding based on the situation one is in. Intervention can be through yogic tools and techniques for relaxation; counselling; SWAN method to prioritize and solve problems; satsang – right company of friends, mentors and guides; and medication where stress has manifested at the physical level as disease.

SmileInStress

Smile-In-Stress

A child is dependent and has to abide by the decisions and instructions from parents at home and teachers at school. He/she has neither the requisite experience, skill, maturity nor bandwidth to take decisions. The responsibility for eliminating stress from a child’s life lies in its perpetrators – family, teachers and the education system.

They have to be provided a stress-free environment with appropriate tools and techniques.

  • The tools for providing right inputs and counsel could be bedtime stories, parents playing with them, friendly discussions, etc., Remember “the best gift parents can give to their child is, their time”.
  • Appropriate asana practices, pranayama, yoga nidra and other relaxation practices are yogic tools available to alleviate stress through relaxation both in adults and children.
  • Keep the negative environmental factors at bay or provide the right inputs about negatively influencing elements around them. For this a parent has to give some time to the child, be aware and observant about their environment, inputs, movements, changes in behaviour, etc.,
  • Diet – when, what, how much, prepared by whom, etc. also plays a role on influencing stress.

To do the above efficiently, parents and teachers need to be in a relaxed, energised and empowered state.

In situations where parents and teachers have a little role to play appropriate inputs through counselling may help. For example, education system may put pressure on the child. This is beyond the scope of parents and teachers to correct. However, they can take the effort to represent to the appropriate authorities with suggestions for improvisation. This effort could be in addition to counselling the child and keeping them in a relaxed state.

Hence, stress mastery through right understanding is the route for adults. Stress alleviation through relaxation is the best option available for children. During late-adolescence or early adulthood one can explore counselling along with relaxation techniques to handle stress.

As a person moves from a dependent (child) stage to independent (adult) stage one progresses from managing stress to mastering stress.

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Ancient Indian Univerisities

Since the times of vedic civilization, through gurukuls and ashrams, education always had prominence in Indian society. And with evolving times, many centers of learning were established across ancient India of which Takshashila and Nalanda are the most famous ones known today. Below is a list of major ancient universities that flourished across ancient India.

Takshashila University

 Taksha

Takshashila (1000 BC to 500 AD), one of the universities in ancient Bharat is also the oldest amongst the universities on earth.  Each teacher was an institution and enjoyed full autonomy in his work.  Takshashila was a home to over 10,500 students where the students from across the world came and specialised in over 64 different fields of study like vedas, grammar, philosophy, ayurveda, agriculture, surgery, politics, archery, warfare, astronomy, commerce, futurology, music, dance, etc. Takshashila can be hailed as the intellectual capital of Bharat.

Vikramashila University

 Vikramshila-University

Vikramashila (1203 AD to 1800) was founded by King Dharmapala in the eighth century. It was comparable to Nalanda University that flourished during as well, with over 100 teachers and over 1000 students listed in this University. This university was well-known for its specialized training on the subject of Tantra (Tantrism)

Nalanda Unviersity

Nalanda University, Nalanda, Bihar

Nalanda University (425 AD to 1205 AD) was established by Shakraditya of Gupta dynasty.  Nalanda was the world’s first university to have residential quarters for both students and teachers. It also had large public lecture halls.  The library of this university was the largest library of the ancient world and had thousands of volumes of manuscripts on various subjects like grammar, logic, literature, astrology, astronomy, and medicine.  This was the place which was sanctified by the stay of Buddha and saw a number of discussions on the Buddhist doctrines.

Vallabhi University

 vallabhi univeristy

Valabhi University was established in Saurashtra of modern India.  It championed the cause of Hinayana Buddhism.  Students from across the Gangetic plains came to learn in this university.  Gunamati and Sthiramati, the two famous Buddhist scholars are said to have graduated from this University. This University was popular for its training in secular subjects and students from all over the country came to study in this University.

Pushpagiri University

 pushpagiri

Pushpagiri University was established in 3rd century in ancient Kalinga kingdom and was spread across Cuttack and Jajpur districts. It flourished for the next 800 years till 11th century. The university campus was spread across three adjoining hills – Lalitgiri, Ratnagiri and Udayagiri. This was one of the most prominent centers of higher education in ancient India along with the universities of Takshashila, Nalanda and Vikramashila.   Lalitgiri is said to have been commissioned by early 2nd century BCE itself and is the oldest Buddhist establishments in the world.

Odantapuri University

 odantapuri

Odantapuri University was established by Dharmapala of Pala dynasty during late 8th century in Magadha (which is in modern day Bihar) and flourished for 400 years till 12th century.  The famous Acharya Sri Ganga who was a professor at the Vikramashila University was a graduate of this Odantapuri University. According to the ancient Tibetan records there were about 12,000 students studying at this University. Ancient Tibetan texts mention this as one among the five great Universities of its time, the other four being Vikramashila, Nalanda, Somapura and Jagaddala Universities – all in ancient India.

 Somapura University

 somapura

Somapura Mahavihara  was established during late 8th century in Bengal and flourished for 400 years till 12th century.  The University spread over 27 acres of land of which the main complex of 21 acres was one of the largest of its kind. It was a major center of learning for Bauddha Dharma (Buddhism), Jina Dharma (Jainism) and Sanatana Dharma (Hinduism). Even today one can find ornamental terracotta on its outer walls depicting the influence of these three traditions.

ABC of Yoga Education – Gill Adarsh Mat.Hr.Sec.School

We Congratulate! the management of Gill Adarsh Matriculation Higher Secondary School, Royapettah for providing the wonderful opportunity to their teachers to attend ABC of YOGA education workshop organised by Ankur Learning Solutions Pvt Ltd and conducted by Satyananda Yoga Education Charitable Trust.

ABC of Yoga education provides an insight into the meaning and depths of education, role of an educator and how Yoga helps an educator (teacher) to ably fulfil his/her responsibility in nurturing holistic and confident adults.

Shri Soundararajan and Shri Ranga Rajan conducted this program to the Junior teachers on 30th Oct 2014. Smt Uma Jeyagopal and Smt Aruna conducted the program for Senior teachers on 6th Dec 2014.

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We appreciate the interest, active and enthusiastic participation by the teachers in this program.

For conducting ABC of Yoga Education program in your school, you may reach us at ankur@blissgroup.com or 98400 76654

That was Wonderful

I was surrounded by darkness. I couldn’t see a thing.   “Where am I?”, I could feel someone near me, but who was it? A small light was beaming miles away. Suddenly someone caught my hand and said, “Ankur, can you see it?” Oh!! That was a relief, it was Ankitha, my twin sister.

We both walked fast to reach it.Just one step and then one more. I stretched my hand to touch the light, Ankitha was still holding my hand tightly. “No!!!”, we both yelled.

Suddenly there was light all over. I turned my head to see Ankitha who was staring at the meadow with her jaw dropping. Suddenly she noticed feathers below her feet.   Ankitha picked it up to examine it. We wondered about its texture and colour. We followed the trial in silence.  Suddenly a lovely cry of a bird startled us. “Wow!!”, it was a bird with majestic blue eyes, long golden red feathers and it gave out a musical cry. “It is a PHOENIX”, she whispered in surprise. It was sitting on a rock. “I am Fawkes, I have been told that the first human to enter this magical world will be the only one who can help me”, she said.

“But what should we do?”,Ankitha asked. “I had a  magical feather with me, that made me special. I lost it and I am getting old. You have to complete your task of getting it. Take right and remember it must be done by sunset”, it said with a twinkle in it’s eyes.

Without another word we took right and Ankitha lead the way. I raised my eyes to see a black door. We ran to the door and pushed it. “Are you nuts Ankur!! Turn left”, she said. There was another door. Putting my head down, I looked at her. She had a scroll of parchment. She read it out aloud,“One will lead you to Heaven and One to Hell. Solve me if you can and that will lead the way. I am so fragile that you can break me by saying my name. And I can help you win the game”

Abinaya-Agastyaa-Shofia

“This is not gonna work!! I am off, that Fawkes is a freak. She must be kidding,” I said. “Ssh! be silent. Ahh!! that is it, it’s SILENCE”, Ankitha said jumping up and down. The door opened and it was dark. A suit of armour was standing on the other side. As I went near it, it took out it’s sword, facing me. “Oh!! My God, am I to fight him?” And there was another sword which came out of thin air. I caught it and the fight began. He swung his sword towards me, but missed me by inches. Far away Ankitha covered her mouth with her hand. The next moment the sword cut me deep in my hand making me bleed. Horror struck me. I just raised my sword and pierced it through his chest. He fell down with a ‘clunk’. It was over, and the door he guarded was open.

We went through the door and to our surprise we saw the feather, but it was about 50 miles away and was floating in mid-air. “How are we to get it ?” she said. And suddenly it struck me, “Maintain Silence”, I said. And the feather slowly settled on my out stretched hand. The next moment we were near Fawkes. “Oh!! Thank you so much dears”, she said. She flew and sat on my hand, got the feather and something like a pearl of tear touched my hand. I winced but the wound in my hand was gone. “You have got to go home, if not now, then you can never”. And with a goodbye, I just opened my eyes to see my house and Ankitha sleeping on her bed.

“That was wonderful!!!”

Story by Y.Abinaya, P.Agastyaa, M.Shofia, Class XI,

Mahatma School, Madurai,

Published in Ankur Katha 2013

CYF 2014 at Chinmaya Vidyalaya

School level event of Children Yoga Festival 2014 was conducted at Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Virugambakkam on 10th Dec 2014. Children presented interesting yoga based themes – Protect flora and fauna, Conserve our forests, Yoga and Health, etc., during the festival.

The festival included – theme based demonstrations, quiz, oratorical skill demonstration, etc., where the children enthusiastically participated.

It was heartening to note that the children have developed a more holistic approach to yoga post their participation in Children Yoga Festival 2013.

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We Congratulate the management and Yoga instructor (Mr Venugopal) of Chinmaya Vidyalaya, Virugambakkam for providing this wonderful opportunity to their students for the second consecutive year.

Hope more schools come forward to provide this wonderful opportunity to introduce to their students a holistic and enjoyable approach to yoga.

The Tallest Tower

Everybody is running towards the ten-acre large playground at the heart of the town.  All educational institutions and business establishments have also declared the day off so that everyone can witness the event.  The event actually started a week ago but no one was able to witness what was going on inside because of the huge 100 feet screens erected around the ground blocking the visibility to passers-by.  This has been the talk of the town since two weeks when the screens were first raised.

Rishi is the organiser and invited all the schools and college students as special invitees for the event.  Ankur and Ankita are busy running around overseeing the arrangements.

At 10 am, the scheduled time the screens were dropped down.  The whole ground was filled with students, their parents and other curious audience from the town and around.

One could see a huge tower made of sticks running about 100 feet high.  By the side of that lay a huge brick tower 110 feet high.  There were two more empty sites next to these, probably allocated for two more towers.  In front of these huge towers was a podium from where Rishi started addressing the audience.

“Dear friends, I know you are all curious about the happening here?  One huge tower made of bricks and one made of sticks are to my right.  The place towards my left is allocated for two more towers to be built in front of you.  Let me introduce you the background. What started as a casual conversation between me, Ankur and our respected Mayor a couple of months ago about who is more powerful, humans or animals or inanimate objects has culminated into this wonderful event.

It was decided to conduct a competition and we summoned the best architects to build the tallest towers made of sticks and bricks.  The effort started a week ago and the result lies in front of you towards my right.  These towers are completed.  The brick tower is higher of the two.

More interesting part of the event will unveil in front of your eyes. We have also requested the best dog trainer and gymnast trainer to train dogs and men to form a dog tower and human tower respectively.  They have one hour to complete the task.”

Rishi turned towards the dog trainer and the gymnast trainer and asked, “Friends are you ready?”

The excitement was obvious in their faces as they nodded.

Rishi turned towards the Mayor and requested, “Sir, may I please request you to start the timer inaugurating the second part of the competition.”

Mayor then switched on the high digital timer with a remote, inaugurating the competition.  Whistles blew.  From behind came running a huge chain of dogs and trained gymnasts.

5…10…15…30…45…50…55.  As the time passed the size of the tower started growing higher and higher.

It was surprising to see dogs scaling up the backs of their friends in such an organized manner.  Everyone was awestruck and was in full of admiration of the dog trainer for the wonderful work he has put in.

It was 58 minutes.  The dog tower was 98 feet high.  The human tower is now 135 feet high and still going strong and fast.

human tower1

59 minutes and Ooops… the human tower collapsed. Huge casualty.  All the people above the third level of the structure came down with a thud.  There was absolute silence for a second.  People were shocked.  The doctors and ambulance were rushed immediately to attend to the injured.

Mayor ordered an enquiry. The human tower trainer was surprised at the sudden turn of events. Each gymnast in the human tower is an expert. He believed that the feat though difficult did not deserve this kind of ending given the ability of each participant in the structure. The enquiry report pointed to one gymnast in the third level of the human tower.

Ankur is in conversation with Rishi at his backyard. “I agree with you Rishi that humans are the most capable and strong species on this world but their biggest strength is also their weakness. No doubt they are also the weakest species”.

Ankita flew in just then and was surprised by the statement. “Why do you think so Ankur?”

“As I was flying around helping the victims of last week’s crash, I observed a glee joy in the face of the culprit. I was taken aback and silently followed him. I was surprised as he shared this as his success with his friends. This guy at the third level of the human tower was slighted by the guy at the second level from the top during the practice session.  He wanted to teach him a lesson.  He also had a score to be settled with the trainer. He used his expertise for hurting and causing injury to his fellow team mates.” explained Ankur

There was silence for a couple of minutes.

Rishi broke the silence. “The power of sticks, bricks and dogs were all guided by humans.  It was possible because of their capability.  No other creature could have done this feat.  Humans are no doubt ablest and strongest creatures on this planet.  Humans have the freedom of choice and the power of Will.  They are bestowed with intelligence and creative ability.  They can use it either in a creative and constructive manner as they had exhibited in other towers or for destructive purposes affecting harmony and peace as seen in the human tower.”

“The best of talents, skills and human capabilities are of use, only when applied in a constructive, harmonious and all-inclusive manner”, Rishi concluded.

SSM Lecture Series Inauguration – Photo Feature

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It’s Now Official – 21st June – World Yoga Day

175 Countries endorsing

June 21 as World Yoga Day

in an international forum

is a testimony to the below facts.

  • Yoga is a science.
  • It’s beneficial for all irrespective of the caste, creed, gender, faith, nationality, etc.,
  • Every individual in the global community need to adapt and integrate it into their lifestyle.
Yoga - Reaching The Heights

Yoga – Reaching The Heights

We Welcome The World Community to embrace Yoga and Be Happy

Positive results of yoga nidra

Swami Ameet Malhotra, Occupational Therapist cum Researcher, UK, shares some interesting experiences he had with some of his clients, at World Yoga Convention 2013 held commemorating Golden Jubilee celebrations of Bihar School of Yoga, Munger, on 26th October 2013.

“While working in a prison, an inmate came to a class once and then I did not see him again.  Six months later I received a letter saying that, thanks to the yoga nidra, he had given up the life of crime.

In another case, there was a patient who had a stroke eighteen months previously, and who was told that she would never be able to breathe into her abdomen again.  Two yoga nidras later, not only was she breathing into her abdomen, but she was out walking every day in the country side.

Yoga Nidra

Yoga Nidra : Photo Courtesy – Triyoga.com

A third case occurred while working with alcohol and substance misuse patients.  One patient had been drinking around eighty units of alcohol a day, and as a result, the staff thought he had done some permanent nerve damage.  After about two weeks of talking to him and trying to build trust, I convinced him that we should do yoga nidra.  The night before, his hands had been shaking so much that he had to have someone help him have a cup of tea.  We did one yoga nidra and as he emerged from the practice, he had a big smile.  He raised his hands up, perfectly still, and he looked at his hands in disbelief.  The consultant psychiatrist said, “What did you do?” I said, “We did yoga nidra”.  He did not know what it was, but I said, “Look, I am writing a paper on it.””

The above is an excerpt from the author’s research paper “The Lived Experiences of Yoga Nidra Practitioners: From Relaxation to Spirituality”, published in Oct ’14 edition of  “Yoga” Magazine by Bihar School of Yoga.

One can experience Yoga Nidra at Ankur Ksehtra or any of the Satyananda Yoga Centres spread across Chennai. Details @ 98400 76654

SSM Lecture Series on LifeSkills education

“Sastra Sagara Mathan”

 “Gems of LIFE-SKILLS education from our scriptures – A journey into the Indian Wisdom”

Milk ocean churning

Ancient Indian scriptures abound with universally applicable life-skills wisdom. Ancient Indians evinced interest in the minds of people from across the world as they excelled in all spheres of life – economics, science, politics, astrology, astronomy, medicine, mathematics, fine arts, philosophy, education, tourism, trade and commerce, etc. by integrating scriptural wisdom into their life-style.

India was a leading world economy till about four centuries ago. Disintegrating our educational system from traditional wisdom by the colonial powers led to loss of national pride and rapid downfall of our society. It is now time to dive deep into this ocean, bring out gems of wisdom and reach this valuable treasure to humanity in an organized structure so that one can learn, understand and apply the same in daily life to be happily successful in pursuit of life’s goals.

“Sastra Sagara Mathan” is an initiative by Beeja – a trust involved in study, research and archiving of traditional Indian wisdom apart from structuring and evolving programs to enhance the life-skills of children of current generation in an enjoyable format. In these sessions scriptural oceanic treasure is churned by the learned to bring out gems of life-skills education and reach it to the education community to ultimately take it to the children in a joyous format.Samudra-Manthan-The-Churning-of-the-Ocean-of-Milk

The plan…

  • A series of lectures are held wherein one scripture/book of wisdom is taken in each lecture and the expert shares stories, concepts, philosophy, tools and techniques mentioned in the scripture under discussion to enhance one or more domains of life-skills in an Individual.
  • The expert then engages in discussion with the teaching community to clarify doubts and explore means of integrating the wisdom into the education system.
  • The conclusions and learning in the session is then integrated into the life-skills curriculum, syllabus, books and other programs & tools.
  • These sessions are held in schools or common venues with school principals and teachers as invitees apart from other educationists.

Ankur is glad to reach out this series to education community.

Requests for holding SSM lectures in your education institution may be forwarded to ankur@blissgroup.com

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