"All the World's a Stage We Pass Through" R. Ayana

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

How to Live Better and Wiser for Longer

How to Live Better and Wiser for Longer
Monk: I'm 120 thanks to yoga and celibacy

Daily yoga sessions can help you stay strong and supple, but can they help you live to 120? Photo / 123RF.com

Daily yoga sessions can help you stay strong and supple, but can they help you live to 120? Photo / 123RF.com

Looking remarkably unlined for his claimed 120 years, an Indian monk who says he is the oldest man to have ever lived puts his longevity down to no sex or spices, and daily yoga.

Hindu monk Swami Sivananda was born on August 8, 1896, according to his passport. If true, his life would have spanned three centuries. But despite his apparent age he remains strong enough to perform yoga for hours at a time.

He is now applying to Guinness World Records to verify his claim. It currently lists Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, who died in June 2013 aged 116 years and 54 days, as the oldest man to have ever lived.

India's passport authorities confirmed Sivananda's age from a temple register, the only record many Indians even decades younger have of their date of birth. However, it would be extremely difficult to independently verify his age.

Sivananda was featured by local media this year, with the Times of India noting he looked 50 years younger than his apparent age but taking his claims at face value.

Sivananda, from the holy city of Varanasi, grew up in extreme poverty and chose to become a monk, saying he owed his age to "yoga, discipline, and celibacy".

"I lead a simple and disciplined life. I eat very simply -- only boiled food without oil or spices, rice and boiled daal with a couple of green chillies," he told AFP after a two-hour yoga session in Kolkata, the eastern Indian city where he had come for a short visit.

Standing 1.58m tall, Sivananda sleeps on a mat on the floor and uses a wooden slab as a pillow.

"I avoid taking milk or fruits because I think these are fancy foods. In my childhood I slept many days on an empty stomach," he said.

Sivananda said he had not previously come forward to claim the record because he did not seek publicity, but was eventually persuaded by his followers to apply.

The elderly man lost both parents before he was six and was given away by his relatives to a spiritual guru, whom he travelled with around India before settling in Varanasi.

Fit and without any medical complications, he lives independently and even travels alone on trains.

Sivananda, who was born in colonial-era India without electricity, cars or telephones, says he is not enthused by new technology and prefers being on his own.

"Earlier people were happy with fewer things. Nowadays people are unhappy, unhealthy and have become dishonest, which pains me a lot," he said.

"I just want people to be happy, healthy and peaceful."

Ancient Yogic Practice Proven to Protect the Brain in Breakthrough Study

B R E A T H E 


Researchers at the University of South Carolina (USC) have found that an ancient yogic practice called Thirumantharim can protect the neurons in our brains, helping to guard against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Dr. Sundara Balasubramanian, a biochemist and research assistant professor at Medical University of South Carolina conducted a study wherein a control group sat and read quietly for twenty minutes while another group of participants practiced controlled breathing and Om chanting for the same duration. The results they found were quit shocking.

Sixty percent of the group who practiced yogic breathing realized a marked increase in Nerve Growth Factor (NGF), an important protein the body uses to protect the neurons of the brain.

Balasubramanian calls the practice a systematic exercise, and he couldn’t be more correct.

The Himalayan Academy states that Thirumantharim, from the Sanskrit language, literally translates to ‘Holy Incantation.’ The entire yogic practice involves much more than just breathing, and includes the essence of Raja, or ‘royal’ yoga as well as siddha yoga, a practice which was shared only with a few aspirants, and that could give practitioners special powers called siddhis.


Siddhis are essentially super-natural skills, meaning they are not experienced, sadly, by the common man and woman. Siddhi means ‘accomplishment’ or ‘perfection’ in Sanskrit. These skills are obtained by recognizing the emptiness (or rather zero-point state) of the Universe. It is no wonder that practicing just a small fraction of the exercises from the ancient Thirumantharim text would give someone the ability to avoid one of the most common illnesses of our age.

Maybe breathing like a yogi for ten minutes every day won’t help you walk on water, but Patanjali, a yogic sage who compiled many thousands of years of yogic teachings said in the Yoga Sutras:

“Janma-osadhi-mantra-tapah-samadhi-jah siddayahsamadhi.”

Which translates to:

“Births, herbs, mantras and tapas can help you to attain Samadhi and its accomplishments.”

Tapas, or ‘the disciplines’, include breathing properly. Mantras like ‘Om’ also have a known healing component studied by modern scientists and ancient sages alike for its ability to alter the physiology profoundly. This one chant has been proven to alter us at the molecular level – is it any wonder that a combination of deep, yogic breathing, and the utterance of ‘Om’ can change our neuronal health?

The pharmaceutical industry has tried to develop synthetic forms of Nerve Growth Factor to deliver to the brain in order to reverse Alzheimer’s and other forms of neurodegeneration, but a simple practice can profoundly change the brain, as evidenced by the surprising results found at USC. There is no need for another expensive ‘brain medication.’ Ancient yogic practices hold the keys for healing – and they are free for anyone who wants to try them.

Photo Courtesy of: Oscillation Yoga

For more information about longevity see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/longevity
For more information about yoga see http://nexusilluminati.blogspot.com/search/label/yoga
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