Pujya Shri Baba Ramdev Maharaj ji – also known as Baba Ramdev, the modern age Yogic Guru who has helped the entire nation of India breathe differently and healthfully – was the special guest speaker at a recent EO Kolkata event.
Baba Ramdev's educational show is broadcast on several TV channels in India, and total viewership is in the millions. He has regularly conducted Yoga Science camps all over the world. In addition, Baba Ramdev helped establish institutions that now promote the practice of Ayurveda, the traditional system of holistic medicine developed in India.
As you can probably guess, it was an honor to hear Baba Ramdev speak. He briefed us about the hazards of modern lifestyles and how they hamper the growth of individuals, both mentally and physically. He believes that unless one maintains a certain level of discipline in life and controls how much one eats and drinks, it is difficult to remain healthy for a long time. He demonstrated simple exercises that can be practiced anytime and anywhere to ensure a healthy and stress-free life. He also explained the simple techniques of Yoga and how each of the Yoga exercises can benefit the human body. He focused on stress-reducing exercises that can help prevent high blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
As you can see from the above photo, EO members and spouses tried some of his exercises during the presentation. Baba Ramdev also demonstrated some of the more complex Yoga poses while we sat and watched in awe— he made the human pretzel look quite easy.
I left the event feeling rejuvenated and energized, and later I checked out Baba Ramdev’s website. He claims that we shouldn’t “spend time or money on expensive treatments, since almost all diseases are cured permanently from practicing Pranayama Yoga. It is surprising, but it is true that this is the cheapest and only permanent cure to most incurable diseases.”
The only permanent cure? Sounds too good to be true. But at least busy entrepreneurs can use some basic Yoga poses to relax and escape from their daily hectic routines.
In need of a little rejuvenation yourself? Check out some of the videos and books on Baba Ramdev’s website.
Breathe Away Your Stress
According to Baba Ramdev, it helps to practice these simple breathing exercises, or Pranayams, anywhere you go:
- Bhastrika - Sit in a calm, meditative posture with a straight backbone. Inhale breath with force and speed from both nostrils. The stomach and chest will balloon up and shrink fast. Practice this 10 times. Inhale deeply and retain the breath as long as it's comfortable, and exhale. This completes one round, and most people can easily do 10 rounds. Take two to three deep breaths after each round to avoid tiredness. This should strictly be done according to one's own capacity and comfort levels. The benefits are plenty. Inflammatory diseases of the nose and chest, asthma, etc., can be cured or prevented. It also creates extra strength in the body and purifies the nervous system.
- Sitali - Fold the tongue like a tube lengthwise and push it out of your mouth. Inhale through the tongue with a hissing "siiiiiiiiii" sound. Hold both cheeks swollen like a balloon, and hold your breath as long as you can. Lower your chin to your throat and keep it there if it enables you to hold your breath longer. Lift up your chin and release your breath slowly through the nostrils. The remaining breath may be vented out through the mouth. Practice this six times. Sitali is a "cooling pranayama." The cool feeling helps to calm down the mind by removing tension and anxiety. The respiratory system becomes more vigorous.
- Bhramri - Breathe in long and deep through both nostrils. Hold your breath for as long as you can. Exhale slowly through the nostrils - very slowly - so as to produce a humming sound like a bee. Repeat the cycle several times. You will feel vibrations in the entire body, including the ears and face. With continuous practice, the vibrations spread like a ring around the body and help to relax the body and ease tension. Bhramri, also known as the doorstep to meditation, helps to improve concentration and reduces anger and fear. In public meditation, the sweet humming sound generated from different people sitting in a circle helps increase concentration.