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@ 9th Grader with ADHD improves

Prakash (not his real name), a 9th grader with ADHD attended 8 of my classes over 5 months (1) . He has been attending special classes at school. His class performance was reported to be very good. His mom was averse to medication and wanted to try ‘focusing on breathing’ and related techniques to help improve his symptoms (2). He is my first client with ADHD. 

Prakash, his mom and younger brother in 6th grade jointly attended first 5 classes. Then he continued with solo classes.

What were his problems?
Anxiety, Anger, Impatience, Stress, Lack of focus, Nervousness, Frustration, Uncontrolled laughter and Lack of eye contact.

What modes did he practice?
First I introduced the regular modes of ‘focusing on breathing’. He liked them but the restless movement of his body and uncontrolled laughter ware not showing much reduction. On a hunch, I introduced the ‘Dynamic modes of ”focusing on breathing’ as an experiment (3). He liked these techniques a lot and practiced them on his own with very little prompting from his mom.

When did he practice?
Bedtime, Waking up, waiting, Stressed, Walking, Tired

His mom’s assessment of his improvements.

Anxiety: Reduced by 60%

Impatience: Reduced by 50%

Focus: Improved by 70%

His younger brother in 6th grade wrote his own impressions with the permission of his mother during the evaluation session.  

Anxiety: Decreased a little   

Patience
Before: He couldn’t wait
Now: He entertains himself doing the 911 mode and enjoys it.

Focus
Before: He couldn’t make eye contact. His head always faced the window.
Now: This is slowly decreasing.

Frustration
Before: When he was mad, he was yelling and out of control.
Now: This is slowly decreasing.

He does some chanting/ prayers taught to him by his grandma. He has been taking 1000 mg of EPA+DHA per day in the form of Fish oil on my suggestion.

I added waking up  routine and simple stretching and moving based on Yoga to his daily routines (4).

(1) ADHD – Page from National Institute of Mental Health 
(2) How can I focus on breathing?
(3) Dynamic modes
(4) Waking up routine    Loosening exercises – Yoga

Updates:
Feb 9, 2014: His mom said that in he recent PTA meeting with Prakash’s maths teacher, she said his focus improved and he could be put in regular class instead of the special class next year.

April 19, 2014: During the class 2 weeks back, his mom said his behavior was sometimes out of control at home. He was in the habit of pinching her and his younger brother and apologizing soon after. But he did nothing of that kind at school or outside. I told her privately his out of home behavior showed he had enough self awareness and self control with other people. I advised her that if he pinched her next time she should immediately tell him firmly “I don’t like to be pinched”. She should not get angry or blame him or comment on him at all.

Today when I called her to know how this new response to his pinching was working she said it had drastically reduced and she was happy for this improvement.

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@ Insomnia, Anger and Anxiety relieved

Feedback from a client who did 4 of my classes over 5 weeks. She had done the 10 day residential program of Vipassana 7 years back (1). She liked the program but could not derive any benefits from it as she had no inclination to practice it at home. Read more on this at (2). After she learned and practiced the ‘focusing on breathing’ in my classes she reported significant benefits detailed below. 

She practiced ‘focusing on breathing’ (3) at bedtime, on waking up and when driving.

  • Insomnia

Before: Had difficulty falling asleep, waking up at least 2 times and not able to go back to sleep after waking up.  

Now: All the sleep problems are totally resolved.

  • Anxiety in the morning

Before: A lot of anxiety in anticipation of job relocation. 

Now: “I put this out of my mind” she said.

  • Anger at work

Before: A lot of anger at work

Now: No anger at work. If someone upsets me at work, i let it pass. 

She also reported 

  • I accomplish more at work
  • Better focus/ concentration
  • More patience
  • More relaxed

(1) Vipassana
(2) Traditional teaching of meditation failed 
(3) Waiting for sleep

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Category: Relaxation to Meditation  Comments off

@ “Easy and Effective. It works! “

I thank Chaitanya Mudivarthy Ph.D (1), my nephew, for posting this recommendation for me in Linkedin.  I am delighted that he highlights the most important aspect of the techniques – that it suits today’s busy people who can’t spare time for Yoga and such practices.

“CS Rao (Suryanarayana Chennpragada) is an excellent yoga practitioner. He is one of the few who realized the problem with current generation – impatience and lack of time to put yoga into practice in their daily routine. His solution to this is simple and practical – ‘counting breaths’ (2). This technique works!

I have been practicing this technique since 2006 with great results.

I have suggested the technique to numerous friends with ADD, anxiety disorders, and depression. One thing I hear back is how easy and effective the technique is.

Above all, CS Rao is an excellent human being with tremendous knowledge in general in the fields of science, medicine, and spirituality.”

(1) Chaitanya Mudivarthy – Linkedin Page
(2) ‘Counting breaths’ is an ancient technique devised by the Buddha 2500 years back. My adaptations of this technique to suit busy beginners are two. One is using the fingers. This practice leashes the mind far more effectively than just counting the breaths in the mind. The second adaptation is for beginners to practice lying in the bed at night and morning to make the practice ‘excuse free’ and get them hooked on it. These have  made this ancient technique available to people of all ages and cultures.

The ‘focusing on breathing’ practices presented in this site are radically different from Yogic breathing practices. Yogic breathing practices require you to change the current pattern of breathing, to conform to the given guidelines. We are warned to learn those practices from a trained teacher, to avert potential harm from wrong practice.

In contrast, these breathing practices do not suggest any pattern for breathing, except in one mode. We passively watch the breaths, like watching the actors on a movie screen. These practices are totally safe whatever way you do them, even for children.

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@ Walking like an ‘Energizer Bunny’

Feedback from a practitioner who attended one of my recent seminars (1). He liked the technique and shared his experience that you can see at (2). He wanted to extend his practice to walking (3) and wanted a demo of the practice. I showed him at my office and he recorded it. His message below shows he liked it and found it useful. 

“I have been doing the walking and breathing exercises that you showed me in the busy and bustling New York City.

It has helped me to cope with the stress of the city and to walk fast, like a NewYorker LOL.  In fact I ended up walking faster than a NewYorker, more like an energizer bunny.”

(1) Past seminars
(2) Easy as 1-2-3 breathing method
(3) Walking practice

Related page
Relief from ‘Fatigue’ due to Exercise/ Work

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@ “It has proven useful” An LCSW Client

A LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker) who attended 10 of my classes over 7 months wrote this in her Holiday Greetings Card: “Thank you for all that you have taught me about the breath in our “Classes” (1). I do use what I learned and it has proven useful. “ 

She had chronic insomnia, taking sleep medication for many years. She was in the habit of watching TV and reading a book to get tired and fall asleep. In spite of my repeated suggestions, she did not try the extended breathing practices to get sleep to be able to gradually cut down the medication (2). But when giving me the greeting card, she said she would request her doctor to reduce the dosage of her sleep medicine at her upcoming visit. Apparently her practicing the breathing at all the other times made enough impact on her anxieties to think of cutting down the medication.

(1) Level I – Focusing on breathing
(2) How to Enjoy Quality Sleep and Conquer Insomnia?

Related pages
Relief from Insomnia – Success stories

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@ The beginning of a journey

Feedback from a remarkable client, a Chiropractor who attended 4 of my classes over a period of 6 weeks. Immediately after the the first class, he reported big changes in his way of looking at daily experiences and his new style of responding to them. 

“It began with a chance meeting with a stranger, leading into a conversation of meditation and counting breaths (1).

Shortly thereafter, I was called to action after a road rage incident prompted me to move forward with exploring the possibility of living in the moment, being aware of all my actions.

Since beginning counting breaths (2) I began to notice the color of the autumn leaves for the first time in over 50 years.

An inner peace was overcoming me while driving to the extent the radio playing my favorite music was perceived as noise.

At home, a more peaceful time was experienced, reading rather than watching the television. A sense of clarity and focus began to evolve.

My leisure time now is spent in quiet, conscious of breath with a sense of awareness I have not experienced in the past.

I’ve become comfortable with peaceful time, reading, which is now part of my daily life.

My counting breaths these days consist of calming and happy thoughts. I no longer think about the past or worry about the future. I work on living in the present, experiencing what happens in the now.

Through ongoing practice, awareness and an internal peace have been the one of the greatest accomplishment in my personal life…..and the journey continues.”

(1) This is another classic instance of ‘everything falling in place’ when the person is ready for change. As he explained in person – let me call him Frank, (not his real name), was at a party and heard two other people talking about meditation and counting breaths and joined the conversation. One of them – let me call him Alfred (not his real name) talked about my classes and techniques. Frank was interested and gave his e-mail ID to Alfred for sending my reference. Frank did not get the e-mail. But for some mysterious reason, Alftred followed up with something unusual. He printed his e-mail message and mailed it to Frank. When Frank got my information, he visited this website and felt this is something he would like to try. He has been coming to my classes and “thus began his journey” into the world of reality!
(2) How Can I Focus On Breathing? For different modes of breathing.

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@ Relief from Depression, Addictions, Anger and Disturbing thoughts

Feedback from a client whom I was meeting periodically on business. He initially practiced the technique from my handouts on his own. He was thanking me for the help he was getting from the  technique. On seeing the remarkable improvements he reported like resolving insomnia and even getting off one of the three medications for depression, I persuaded him to attend my classes. His report –

“I have been using the finger segment technique (1) for about six months and now taking classes (2) to expand upon that foundation.

  • As a result I went from 3 anti depressants to 2.
  • I have found my desire to self medicate with alcohol and tobacco lessen. It is not to say that I don’t slip up. But I have gone from several drinks a day, to may be a few per week. Smoking is all but eliminated with the exception of the occasional pipe tobacco but cigarettes  are done. I can’t stand the taste anymore. (3)
  • The biggest change is that I no longer get angry as easily as before. When I do get angry, I don’t hang on to that anger. (4)
  • My disturbing thoughts and feelings are all but gone. It feels as though a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders. (5)
  • Now I am working on my weight problem (6) and making life changes to live happier and healthier.
(4) Reducing or eliminating Anger – Success stories
(5) He had recurring thoughts of hurting others or himself, from his teen age causing him lot of distress.
(6) His original weight was 300 Lbs for a height of 5’7″, which is a BMI of 46.  He is making great changes in diet and exercise habits and started caring for his health like going to a doctor for an annual physical and getting blood work done for the first time on my prompting. When he was in deep depression, he had no inclination for improving his health or having goal for his life, even though he was under 3 medications. Now he has started sort of a new chapter in his life.

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