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Eleven specific imagery and chronic pain control techniques that are effective for pain control include:

1) Altered focus:

This is a favorite technique for demonstrating how powerfully the mind can alter sensations in the body. Focus your attention on any specific non-painful part of the body (hand, foot, etc.) and alter sensation in that part of the body. For example, imagine your hand warming up. This will take the mind away from focusing on the source of your pain, such as your back pain.

2) Dissociation:

As the name implies, this chronic pain technique involves mentally separating the painful body part from the rest of the body, or imagining the body and mind as separate, with the chronic pain distant from one’s mind. For example, imagine your painful lower back sitting on a chair across the room and tell it to stay sitting there, far away from your mind.

3) Sensory splitting:

This technique involves dividing the sensation (pain, burning, pins and needles) into separate parts. For example, if the leg pain or back pain feels hot to you, focus just on the sensation of the heat and not on the hurting.

4) Mental anesthesia:

This involves imagining an injection of numbing anesthetic (like Novocain) into the painful area, such as imagining a numbing solution being injected into your low back. Similarly, you may then wish to imagine a soothing and cooling ice pack being placed onto the area of pain.

5) Mental analgesia:

Building on the mental anesthesia concept, this technique involves imagining an injection of a strong pain killer, such as morphine, into the painful area. Alternatively, you can imagine your brain producing massive amount of endorphins, the natural pain relieving substance of the body, and having them flow to the painful parts of your body.

6) Transfer:

Use your mind to produce altered sensations, such as heat, cold, anesthetic, in a non-painful hand, and then place the hand on the painful area. Envision transferring this pleasant, altered sensation into the painful area.

7) Age progression/regression:

Use your mind’s eye to project yourself forward or backward in time to when you are pain-free or experiencing much less pain. Then instruct yourself to act "as if" this image were true.

8) Symbolic imagery:

Envision a symbol that represents your chronic pain, such as a loud, irritating noise or a painfully bright light bulb. Gradually reduce the irritating qualities of this symbol, for example dim the light or reduce the volume of the noise, thereby reducing the pain.

9) Positive imagery:

Focus your attention on a pleasant place that you could imagine going - the beach, mountains, etc. - where you feel carefree, safe and relaxed.

10) Counting:

Silent counting is a good way to deal with painful episodes. You might count breaths, count holes in an acoustic ceiling, count floor tiles, or simply conjure up mental images and count them.

11) Pain movement:

Move chronic back pain from one area of your body to another, where the pain is easier to cope with. For example, mentally move your chronic back pain slowly into your hand, or even out of your hand into the air.


Some of these techniques are probably best learned with the help of a professional, and it usually takes practice for these techniques to become effective in helping alleviate chronic pain. It is often advisable to work on pain coping strategies for about 30 minutes 3 times a week. With practice, you will find that the relaxation and chronic pain control become stronger and last longer after you are done.

Sometimes, after you are good at using the techniques, you can produce chronic pain relief and relaxation with just a few deep breaths. You can then start to use these techniques while you are engaged in any activity, working, talking, etc. With enough experience you will begin to feel a greater sense of control over the chronic pain and its effects on your life.

Resource: http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/chronic-pain/11-chronic-pain-control-techniques

Yoga Principles
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Tattvas and Gunas

In the beginning was SHŪNYĀKĀSHA – “emptiness” or “the void”.

Shūnyākāsha is more than “nothingness”, it is an immense potency of dormant energy in which “everything” exists in a latent state of potentiality. Everything conceivable can be brought into existence, just like text written, or pictures drawn, on an empty sheet of paper.

As creation began, the divine, all-encompassing consciousness took the form of the first and original vibration manifesting as the sound “OM”.

Just like light, sound is vibration, energy. Light and sound are the forms that the Divine Self takes in the Universe. OM is the reflection of the absolute reality. OM is “Ādi Ānadi” - without beginning or end.
In the Vedas it is said:

NĀDA RŪPA PARA BRAHMA – The form of the Supreme is sound.
The vibration of OM symbolises the manifestation of God in form. The silence between two OM-sounds reveals the formless, divine principle.
OM embraces “all that exists” – past, present and future, all spheres of the Cosmos, the world and its underlying reality, mind and matter, cause and effect, the path and the goal. The Mantra OM is the “name of God”, the vibration of the Supreme, the all-encompassing Mantra. The essence of all wisdom has its roots in this sound. In the triad A-U-M the divine energy (Shakti) is united in its three elementary aspects as:

BRAHMĀ SHAKTI – the creative power that manifests the Universe
VISHNU SHAKTI – the preserving power that sustains the Cosmos
SHIVA SHAKTI – the liberating power that brings about transformation and renewal .

At the beginning of creation as the sound of OM divided the unity of Shūnyākāsha, two powers emerged from it:
PURUSHA – original consciousness
PRAKRITI – primordial nature

Prakriti is the eternal stream of divine energy and Purusha is the divine Self, the unchanging, omnipresent and omniscient witness of all events and mutations of Prakriti. To ensure that nature (Prakriti) would always maintain a connection to the divine (Purusha) the force of attraction developed as an aspect of Prakriti.

The desire for union and the striving for expansion are “natural”; they are intrinsic impulses of nature. Why does the seed that was planted in the lap of the earth sprout? Because the impetus for growth and duplication lies in its nature - uniting, unfolding, growing, multiplying, protecting, preserving and nourishing; put concisely, “loving” is the fundamental characteristic of Prakriti. Love contains the impulse for development and expansion, and this love is part of the Divine Being.
In a progressive sequence the three GUNAS (essential qualities) and the five TATTVAS (elementary principles) emanated from Prakriti. These form the basis of all manifestations, of all subtle and gross forms.

The five Tattvas are:

PRITHVĪ – Earth
ĀPAS – Water
TEJAS – Fire
VĀYU – Air
ĀKĀSHA – Space

However, without some impetus the Tattvas cannot unite. For that they require the participation of the Gunas, which are characterised by the following qualities.

Gunas: 
RAJAS – activity, movement, restlessness, passion
TAMAS – rigidity, laziness, darkness, ignorance
SATTVA – harmony, light, purity, knowledge
Tattvas and Gunas are the primordial forces that have an effect on both the physical and astral planes. They influence all forms of life physically, psychically and spiritually from the beginning of their earthly existence to their end. Through the multi-layered combinations of these basic powers the human body, with its highly complex organ, nerve and brain functions, comes into existence and the psyche and mind are formed.

The diverse interactions between the five gross Tattvas, which form the physical body, are known as Prakritis (natural forces). There are twenty-five Prakritis that influence and regulate the systems of the body.

The Tattvas that are flowing aimlessly around in space are independent forces without visible effect. It is not until several of these primordial, undirected forces are concentrated at one point that something qualitatively new is produced. However, first an assembly point must be formed so the energy can be focused and assimilated. The most highly developed and most powerful centre on earth is the human. So just as bees collect around the queen bee, all forces and Tattvas follow when the Ātma enters the embryo. In order for a human form to be constructed the orderly combination of an immense number of effects is necessary. In the same way, but at a lower intensity, animal and plant life come into being.

The Cosmic forces are collected within the human body at certain central points, the CHAKRAS. These function like powerful power stations. They draw in cosmic energy, transform, store and distribute it, and then radiate it out into the Cosmos again.

The Tattvas that combined to form the body as a dwelling for the soul again detach from one another at death and return to the Cosmos. The soul then continues to wander, waiting to produce a new form again under suitable conditions. This cycle is known as CHORASI KĀ CHAKRA , “The Wheel of Rebirth and Death”.

According to Indian philosophy there are 8.4 million types of living beings that are divided into three categories: NABHA CHARA, THALA CHARA and JALA CHARA – living beings that exist in the air, those that live on or under the earth and those that live in the water. They are further divided into four different classifications according to their method of birth in these three earthly spheres:

JARĀYUJA – in the womb (humans and mammals)
ANDAJA – in an egg that is hatched (birds, reptiles, fish, etc.)
SVEDAJA – through division (lower forms of life, bacteria, etc.)
UDBHIJJA – through seed (vegetation)

Each of these groups has certain aptitudes and abilities called KALĀ in Sanskrit. Plants possess one Kalā, lower life forms two, egg-laying animals three, and mammals and humans four. While plants and animals remain at the level of their genesis, humans can develop up to sixteen Kalā through exercises, concentration and following the principles of Yoga. They can acquire twelve supernatural powers in addition to their four natural aptitudes.

Therefore, the attainment of a human birth is the greatest stroke of luck for the soul. To enable this, with God’s grace, innumerable Cosmic powers act in combination; and this joining is comparable to a great fire. Qualitatively the souls of all beings are the same: they are differentiated only in the degree of their development. A small candle flame is “fire”, but when several flames are combined a brighter light, a stronger power, results. A human lives more intensively and more consciously than an animal, and is distinguished from all other life forms through the gift of the intellect (BUDDHI).

Without faltering the wheel of rebirth keeps turning, and the soul wanders through the circle of existence driven by God’s plan and KARMAS (actions) . Human life offers the only possibility of ending this cycle. The cyclic laws of nature also bind humans, but with the help of the intellect they are capable of exploring the world, themselves and also the supernatural powers. Only humans are capable of understanding “What is God”. Only humans can realise God. That is why it is possible for them to emerge from the cycle of rebirth and, as a consequence, also help others to do so.

The practice of Yoga supports and accelerates the development of humans as it imparts to them knowledge of the true dimension of earthly life, its purpose and potential.

The evolution of consciousness attains fulfilment in the divine state of SAMĀDHI where Knower, Knowledge and the Object of Knowledge become one. Since the beginning of its existence the individual self has sought to gain knowledge about “the Self”. While in Samādhi the self recognises that it and the one sought for are one and the same – therefore also “the Knower” and “the object of knowledge” are the same – and so begins the blissful experience of unity, displacing the wrongly cherished illusion of duality.

This supreme knowledge is transmitted to us through two spiritual Tattvas, ANUPADA TATTVA and ĀDI TATTVA . Anupada Tattva (also called Guru Tattva) is the universal, divine principle that leads the creation from “darkness into light” – from unconscious existence to conscious existence. Ādi Tattva is the divine Self, ĀTMĀ . Therefore it is also called ĀTMA TATTVA or ĀTMA GYĀNA .

Self-Realised Yoga Masters are known as BRAHMANISHTA SHROTRIA, the knowers of Brahman, and TATTVA DARSHI, the knowers of the Tattvas. Their knowledge and experiences are unlimited; they transcend time, space and intellect. One who possesses self-knowledge and knowledge of the Tattvas has acquired the highest knowledge realisable by a human – with this one becomes the “knower of God” (BRAHMA GYĀNI) and the Self merges into the divine consciousness and becomes one with God.

Srī Mahāprabhujī wrote in one Bhajan:
Infinite is the experience of the Tattva Darshi Gurudev.
The blessed ones who have recognised this cross the ocean of ignorance.

I had searched everywhere – including heaven and hell –
And in all three worlds I found no-one comparable to the Sataguru.
The struggle of the Yogi to become free of passion, anger, attachment, greed and ego

Is more difficult than the battle waged on the battlefield.

Resource: http://www.chakras.net/yoga-principles/2-tattvas-and-gunas  

Yoga Principles
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Jīvātmā, Ātmā and Paramātmā :: Soul, Self and God

In Yoga we differentiate between

JĪVĀTMĀ – Soul
ĀTMĀ – Self
PARAMĀTMĀ - God

Jīvātmā is the individual, and Ātmā and Paramātmā are Universal.
PARAMĀTMĀ is the Supreme Principle, whatever we call it: God, Supreme Self, Divine Self, Love, Truth or Reality.

ĀTMĀ may be described as God’s ray of light, which exists as the “light of life” in every living being. It is part of PARAMĀTMĀ and is therefore identical in nature with it. Just as the seed of a tree contains all the qualities of the tree, the Ātmā also carries the qualities of the Supreme Self.

JĪVĀTMĀ, the individual soul, is the reflection of the Ātmā within an individual; a “wave” that emerges from the ocean of existence and wanders from embodiment to embodiment, and after a long process of development and experience again returns to the unity of the Ātmā. The soul that has manifested itself in a form, however, does not identify with its divine essence but rather with its attributes, the physical body, the mind, the thoughts, etc. The aim of the path of Yoga is to dispel this illusion.

What is the reason that the individual soul separates from God? The cause lies in the principle of Ahamkāra, the ego. Here ego means ‘the will to exist’; it is the aspiration for manifestation and self-expression in the sense of “I want to exist”. Ahamkāra is the seed from which the variety within nature comes into existence. The difference in form is relevant only to the external manifestation and to the expression of consciousness and intellect – the essence, however, is the same within all, Ātmā.

Just as the water in clouds only appears to be different to the water in the ocean, in the same way the individual only ‘appears’ to be different to God. In reality there is no division – it only exists externally, in the form and in the qualities. The individual follows the path set down by cosmic law, which has the same validity for all life forms. The aim and purpose of life is in the ongoing development and enlightenment of the consciousness, which achieves its ultimate expression in the conscious union of the individual soul (Jīvātmā) with the divine Self (Ātmā). The opening of the individual consciousness of the Jīvātma to the all-conscious-existence of the Ātma is called enlightenment or realisation.

Enlightenment means that there is no longer any corner of the consciousness remaining in darkness.
One cannot explain or describe the Ātmā. The closest comparison is with light or space. Space cannot be cut, burnt or otherwise destroyed. Space always remains space. One can divide space by fences or walls to create “individual” spheres that can be shaped or decorated differently, but as soon as the demarcations are removed the undivided, unified space again emerges.

Just as walls divide space, the body, mind, intellect, disposition, qualities and experiences assembled as the “person”, mark the boundaries of the Self for a while. The body dies, the person changes, but not the Ātmā. Our true Self is unborn, unchanging and immortal; it is the “king” around whom the cosmic forces gather in the royal household, and again disperse after he has left his palace (the body).
The philosophical schools of India, particularly Yoga philosophy, have examined the essential question regarding our existence - “Who am I?” - and given us an answer to this.

Examine yourself: Are you the body? The mind? Your qualities, thoughts or feelings? Or are you something else? As you continue to search more deeply you realise the more subtle aspects of your being, right up to the level of the elements. Then finally you recognise that you are not the Tattvas or Gunas either, and experience yourself as:

SAT – truth
CHIT – consciousness
ĀNANDA – bliss

Sat-Chit-Ānanda is the essence of the divine Self that lives within you, the eternal, infinite and immutable Ātmā.
The only true reality within us is the Ātmā. Everything else is unreality. Ātmā is TRIKĀLADARSHI , the knower of past, present and future, and also CHAITANYA, the conscious witness of everything that happens.

 Resource: http://www.chakras.net/yoga-principles/7-jivatma-atma-and-paramatma

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Yoga is deeply connected to loss of weight. The exercises help to reduce the unwanted fat from our body and thus help us to reduce the extra weight.
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