Super Brain Yoga: Another case of digestion?

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By Nithin Sridhar

While browsing through the net, I came across this video about an exercise intended to stimulate neuron activities in the brain that in-turn leads to increased concentration, memory power, and significantly improve other functions of the brain. The anchor in the video calls it ‘Super Brain Yoga’.

But, even a cursory look will make it obvious to Indians, especially South Indians, that the so-called ‘Super Brain Yoga’ is nothing but a squatting ritual that many South Indians do in temples, especially in the temples of Lord Ganesha.

In Tamil, this Hindu ritual is called as ‘Thoppukaranam’, which means to hold ears. The ritual involves holding of the earlobes with hands crossed in front of the chest and using thumb and forefinger, and performing squats. The squats may be performed for 18, 32, 108, or 1008 times depending on the Sankalpa (vow) taken by the devotee.

It is important to note that this practice is mainly prevalent in temples dedicated to Lord Ganesha. Ganesha is presiding deity of this sensory universe and thus is the remover of obstacles and the granter of wishes. More importantly, Ganesha represents knowledge, intelligence, wisdom and Vivekam (discrimination) and his wives Siddhi and Buddhi are the representation of worldly accomplishments and transcendental knowledge respectively. Thus, Lord Ganesha is intimately connected with faculties of brain and mind.

The general belief among the Hindu devotees who practice ‘Thoppukaranam’ is that the practice is a kind of austerity, which would grant wisdom, intelligence, and success in all endeavors. The practice is also used as an austerity of repentance (prayashchita) so that people may develop better Vivekam (discrimination) to not commit the same mistakes again.

This general belief combined with the fact that Thoppukaranam is mostly prevalent in Ganesha temples, clearly establishes the fact that the connection between Thoppukaranam and the functions of the brain has been well ingrained in the minds of the devotees, who have been practicing it for a very long time now, though this fact may not always be explicitly acknowledged because the useful effects on the brain is just one aspect of the whole ritual. In any case, Thoppukaranam is clearly a Hindu practice rooted in Hindu philosophy and Yoga.

Therefore, it is very alarming to discover that even a simple practice as Thoppukaranam has become the target of secularizing forces, who uproot Dharmic practices from their roots, secularize them, and finally digest them. Thanks to these secularizing forces that Thoppukaranam has now been transformed into ‘Super Brain Yoga’, which is being taught to the people as a brain-stimulating ‘scientific’ exercise, and which is being touted an outcome of decades of recent scientific research, but without any significant reference to the Indian practice. More importantly, the practice that is being promoted as ‘Super Brain Yoga’ is only a diluted version of Thoppukaranam, which has been completely uprooted from its spiritual and Dharmic foundations. And this Super Brain Yoga has also been registered as a trademark and is being promoted as such.

Rajiv Malhotra in his Indra’s Net explains how in two stages Dharmic spiritual practices are uprooted, digested, and reformulated by secularization forces. In the first stage, the practice is reformulated as a health program. This will bring it on a neutral ground. This digested practice is then reformulated as the practice of Abrahamic religions. The first stage has already been accomplished in the case of Thoppukaranam and slowly the second stage may also materialize.

It is high time for Indians and advocates of Hinduism to awake from their slumber and reclaim their knowledge systems and practices. In this direction the Traditional Knowledge Digital Library (TKDL) is doing a very good job. The work must be expanded to include other branches of Indic knowledge. More importantly, it is necessary for Hindus to study, learn, and practice their own Dharmic practices. Such an adoption of Dharmic practices on a mass scale will not only help people in their lives, it will also help to transmit the Indic knowledge to future generations in an unadulterated form. Further, it will assist Indians to counter any cultural appropriation attempts in the future. (Photo: Youtube)

  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Commendable

  • Jennifer Alterman

    Mr. Shridar, I am very sorry that you feel this ancient ritual has been stripped from the Hindu people. I am saddened by your perspective, yet fully understand and respect it. However, I am very thankful for this practice as my students with anxiety, PTSD, chemo brain and physical conditions have been able to find relief from their suffering. I sincerely thank the the Hindu people for having the foresight to share this ancient practice and I thank God that He is opening the doors of healing for those in need. नमस्ते

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  • Rakesh Manchanda

    Commendable

  • Jennifer Alterman

    Mr. Shridar, I am very sorry that you feel this ancient ritual has been stripped from the Hindu people. I am saddened by your perspective, yet fully understand and respect it. However, I am very thankful for this practice as my students with anxiety, PTSD, chemo brain and physical conditions have been able to find relief from their suffering. I sincerely thank the the Hindu people for having the foresight to share this ancient practice and I thank God that He is opening the doors of healing for those in need. नमस्ते

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Beat Summer Heat With these Coolers

This summer soothe yourself with these drinks

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Summer drinks
This summer lets these drinks cool you down. Pixabay

The summer has is upon us and with its sweltering heat wave, and all we can fancy is a cooling drink that will soothe our body and mind.

Add ingredients like raw mango or hibiscus which are native as well healthy, to your summer coolers. Mohit Madan, Manager – Rick’s, Taj Mahal, New Delhi shares some tasty and refreshing drinks to beat the heat.

Jal Jeera

A popular traditional Indian beverage bursting with strong flavours. Serve chilled to bring down soaring summer temperatures! It has a rejuvenating and cooling effect, and is considered to be good for digestion as well.

Ingredients:

1 fistful coriander leaves

1 fistful mint leaves

5 ml ginger juice

15 ml lime juice

� tsp pepper

1 tsp tamarind

2 tsp roasted cumin powder

Boondi (Crisp and fried gram flour tiny balls) as per requirement

300 ml water

Method:

Add coriander, mint, ginger and lime in a blender, add a little water and grind to make a smooth puree. Transfer the puree into glass bowl. Add remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve chilled.

Drink
Try some cooling drinks that will soothe our body and mind. Pixabay

Panna

Aam Panna is a much celebrated summer cooler in north India and in some parts of South India like Hyderabad. It is made from unripe mangoes. It is healthy, seasonal and easy to make at home. The taste is palate friendly (and children should be encouraged to drink this rather than aerated beverages or those with excessive preservatives). It is rich in Iron and Vitamin C; and hence, builds immunity and works well as a natural iron booster. Aam panna has plenty of heat resistant properties and is best consumed during the intense summer months.

Ingredients:

1 unripe mango

2 tbsp powdered sugar

� tbsp black salt

� tbsp black pepper powder

5/6 mint leaves crushed

� tbsp roasted cumin seed powder

1 glass chilled water

Ice cubes

 

Masala Chaas / Buttermilk

Masala chaas, is one of the oldest healthy drinks that is known by many different names in different parts of India. Traditional chaas is wonderful as a digestion as it contains more lactic acid than milk. It is loaded with probiotics which is very important for our health.

Ingredients:

1 cup yoghurt

2 cup cold water

2 green chili (add as per taste/ preference)

� cup cilantro

� inch piece ginger

� tsp roasted cumin powder

� tsp chaat masala

Pinch of salt

Method

Combine all ingredients in blender and blend to smooth consistency. Serve right away sprinkled with little bit more cumin powder. Serve chilled.

Summer drinks
Summer drinks that will rejuvenate you amid lockdown. Pixabay

 

The Virgin Sangria

Sangria is traditionally made with wine, but, here we have an innovative version that is a combination of juices. It is both refreshing and healthy and should be served as a chilled summer beverage.

Ingredients:

� cup cranberry juice

� cup apple juice

30 ml honey syrup

15 ml lime juice

� cup sparkling water

� cup Strawberries, Blackberries and Raspberries

Lime wedges and Mint sprigs

Method:

Combine all ingredients into a small pitcher. Stir to perfection to combine. Pour it in glass and add fruits. Serve with garnish mint sprigs on top.

 

Raspberry Hibiscus Ice Tea

Recipe:

240 ml Water

5 gram loose hibiscus tea

5 pieces raspberry

5 large mint leaves

2 table spoon honey

Also Read: Homecations: The New Way To Unwind This Summer Amid Lockdown

Pour loose hibiscus tea into pitcher and set aside. Bring water to boil. Once boiling, remove from heat and pour it over the loose tea. Add raspberry, mint, and honey and let tea steep for 15 minutes. Pour tea through a fine strainer in separate pitcher and place it in refrigerator until its cold. Serve tea over ice and garnish with mint. (IANS)

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Health Benefits of Sendha Namak Consumed During Navratri Fasting

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sendha namak
Rock Salt. Pixabay

Sep 25, 2017:  Rock salt or Sendha namak, is mostly consumed during the fast. In Ayurveda, it has been suggested to consume sendha namak during a fast, as it has constituents which are soft on stomach and body. It is believed that sendha namak is the purest form of the salt, hence can be consumed during the Fast.

Sendha Namak is found in the crystalline form and is considered to be the best quality out of all forms of the salt. It is unprocessed and raw salt which constitutes potassium, copper, iron, calcium, copper, etc.

Some incredible health benefits of Sendha Namak (Rock Salt)

 

Metabolism and Immunity

Sendha Namak enhances the functioning of the body and lifts levels of metabolism. It reinforces immunity system to battle sicknesses.

Stabilises Blood Pressure

As table salt has the high amount of potassium, individuals with hypertension are encouraged to control the use. One can incorporate sendha namak in their eating routine as it helps in controlling blood pressure.

Digestion

Sendha name or Rock salt is helpful in stomach infection and also enhances absorption. It is effective in acidity.

Also Read: Navratri 5th Day, The Tales That Speaks About Mother-Son Relationship 

Respiratory problems

Sendha namak rock salt is helpful for individuals having respiratory issues. A sore throat, dry hack, tonsils, and so forth can be dealt with by gargling with sendha namak in tepid water.

Skin benefits of sendha namak

Sendha namak or Rock salt can enable you to evacuate clogged pores. You can likewise utilize it as a face wash for sound and shining skin. It is a brilliant exfoliator and can enable you to dispose of dull and dead skin

Hair benefits of sendha namak

Blending rock salt with cleanser will enable you to retain normal scalp oil. Utilize it with conditioner to increase voluminous hair.

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Tomato a day, Keeps Doctors Away ! 7 Health Benefits of Tomatoes

Here are some interesting health benefits of tomatoes

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Health benefits of tomatoes
Health benefits of tomatoes. Pixabay

Sep 21, 2017: Tomatoes are loaded with nutrition and oxidants that help to keep you salubrious and your wellbeing fit as a fiddle. The numerous health benefits of tomatoes can be credited to their abundance of nutrition values and vitamins, including vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, and vitamin B6, folate, and thiamin.

Tomato is taken as both, a vegetable and fruit and is an essential part of cooking all over the globe, particularly in the Mediterranean locale. If you consume tomatoes daily, it tends to lift your lifestyle. You may find them in incalculable diverse sustenances, including pastas, pizzas, ketchup, different refreshments, and as an included flavor component in dishes from breakfast to supper.

Here are some interesting health benefits of tomatoes

Enhances vision

Vitamin A in tomatoes enhances your vision and also forestall night-visual deficiency and macular degeneration.

Keeping up blood wellbeing

Tomato contains vitamin A, potassium, and iron that is fundamental for keeping up ordinary blood wellbeing.

Health benefits of tomatoes

Decreases danger of heart disease

The lycopene in tomatoes can secure you against cardiovascular diseases. Expending tomatoes frequently helps diminish the levels of cholesterol and triglyceride in the blood, lessening the deposition of fats in the veins.

Also Read: Eat According to Your Blood Type and See the Benefits Yourself! 

Useful for digestion

Eating tomatoes on a regular basis can keep your digestion sound as it avoids constipation as well as and loose bowels.

Health benefits of tomatoes

Reduces hypertension

Tomato reduces hypertension, ie the ‘high blood pressure’. This is due to the potassium found in tomatoes. Potassium reduces the tightness in blood vessels, thus enhances the flow and lowers the stress on the heart.

Skin care

Tomatoes help in maintaining healthy bones, teeth, skin, and hair. Limited application of tomato juice can also cure severe sunburns. They are also dominant in fighting the skin aging.

Health benefits of tomatoes

Stops urinary tract infection

Tomato consumption also diminishes the frequency of urinary tract infections as they have relatively more water content that stimulates urination. It also eliminates toxins, salts, excess water, uric acid from the body.


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