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+ Blessed to have you in my life

Latha (name changed) was severely affected by insomnia. A brief background about our association: She worked with me for a few years in the company I worked for in India when she was in her twenties. She was sincere, hard working and smart. Her husband who also worked with me sought my help for her insomnia. I worked with her by email and whatsapp calls.  We managed to be in touch, in spite of the time difference between USA and India. On my request she sent this testimonial.

“Thank you so much for your time to help me with my insomnia (1). It is almost 10 months now that and I must say that being guided by you every moment with your regular follow ups has helped me get better by at least 80%.

Post counseling sessions from you, I learnt and practiced the following

1. Focused breathing: Counting mode, Segment mode, Tip mode, 911 mode (2). This practice has now become a habit, happening automatically.

2. Handling stress: Being mindful of the thoughts and penning down the same on a piece of paper for a thought free sleep! (3)

In addition to this, I am back with my Isha kriya, Yoga and Walking too (4).

I believe that any association during one’s life adds meaning and this is what our almost 2 decades of association has done. Added meaning to my life! Blessed to have you in my life. You helped us grow professionally and personally too.

I assure you that I shall continue to practice and overcome the problem completely!

With Gratitude!’

(1) Relief from sleep problems – Success stories
(2) Focusing on breathing
(3) Thoughts are like …
(4) Isha Kriya

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‘Practitioners’ Feedback 12/19/17

The first ‘Practitioners’s meetup’ was off to a good start with 3 people in attendance. A summary of the feedback is posted below.

My purpose in joining this group

– Review and reinforce focus on breathing practice and learn new ideas, also remind anything I have lost.
– Peace of mind, Better health
– To take advantage of the energy of a group – together for the same purpose.

Today’s ‘Take home’ ideas

– Positive affirmations
– Tongue tip positioning to relax the lips and jaws, Sitting on a pillow to keep the back in a healthy posture, Yoga
– Chanting “May we all be happy” on the out-breath, Sitting posture, Tongue tip positioning, Keeping the resting hand fingers in the meditation finger lock.

Overall evaluation of the session

– Very useful  2
– Useful  1

Suggestions for the future

– Explain more on improving relationships
– Dim the lights if possible? (Organizer’s response: My apology for not taking care of this aspect though it was pointed in the last meetup.  I have made a special note for the next meetup.)

I plan to attend the next meetup

– Yes  3

My sources of stress

– Work  2
– My health
– Relationships
– Home 2
– Things I can’t control
– Family member’s health

I cope with my stress by

– Exercise  2
– Meditation – 3
– Yoga 2
– Getting busy with reading
– Breathing deeply

Books on meditation taken with deposit

– ‘How to talk to kids so they listen and how to listen so they talk” by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish $7

Total love donations offered – $15

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‘Beginners’ Feedback 12/5/17

The first meetup was off to a good start with 4 people in attendance, two were new to ‘counting breaths meditation’ and two were already practicing it. A summary of the feedback is posted below.

My purpose in joining this group

– For relaxation
– Explore new techniques
– Progress in my process of learning
– Always trying to learn

Today’s ‘Take home’ ideas

– Counting method
– Counting breaths with fingers
– Practice more often
– Need to relax my mind more

Overall evaluation of the session

– Very useful  3
– Useful  1

Suggestions for the future

– This looks god to me, no suggestions
– Dim the lights? (Organizer’s response: Certainly this will be taken care of in the next meetup.Thank you.)

I plan to attend the next meetup

– Yes  3
– May be  1

My sources of stress

– Work  2
– Taxes
– My health
– Relationships
– Home
– Lot of school work pressure

I cope with my stress by

– Exercise – 4
– Meditation – 3
– Yoga
– Getting away

Books on meditation taken with deposit

– ‘The art of happiness” by Dalai Lama

Total love donations offered – $15

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+ Endorsements for the new meetup group

Practitioners and friends offered encouraging endorsements on facebook and in private messages for the newly created meetup group for ‘Counting Breaths Meditation’  (1).

Emily Marynczak, AAHCC and Bradley Method Certified Birth Instructor #(AAHCC is for American Association for Husband Coached Childbirth.) on facebook

“My friend Suryanarayana Chennapragada is a wise and compassionate teacher. If you’re available and interested in connecting to your breath for all the amazing benefits of mindfulness PLEASE check out this generous offering.”

“Go if you can! In these dark times learning to tune and calm yourself is more important than ever. CS is a wonderful teacher!”

Cindy Wheeler – Physical Therapist (PT) at Spotted Zebra Learning Center; Creator/Instructor at Columbia Physical Essentials on facebook

“Highly recommended local/E. Greenbush, NY area event. Breathing & meditation with “CS”. He’s a great resource & practitioner of his methods of meditation. Try to attend one of his sessions. Contact him directly as needed, or ask me.”

Anna McMahon DirectorLinton, Cambridgeshire Linton Children’s Book Festival UK, on facebook

“The simple breathing techniques helped a friend of mine through a period of depression/insomnia, and have helped me cope during difficult dentistry. Highly recommend.”

A participant of my past seminar at the East Greenbush Community Library in an email message

“I enjoyed your class at the library. You are a very good instructor. However, I don’t like to drive in the dark. Let me know if you start again in the Spring, please.”

(1) meetup group for ‘Counting Breaths Meditation’

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++NEW++ meetup group

I am happy to announce the formation of a meetup group for ‘counting breaths mediation’. It fulfills the long standing need of interested beginners and also the practitioners who wish to refresh and expand their practice. Now we have a place to set up meetings for both groups of people. If you wish to learn or practice with a group you are invited to sign up on the meetup website (1).

This meditation helps you to calm yourself anywhere,anytime, reduce stress, improve sleep and practice sustained meditation on a daily basis. It has  whole range of mind/body benefits (25). The sample testimonials show its immense potential (26).

First Tuesday of every month: Dec 5. Then on Jan 2, Feb 6, Mar 6, Apr 3, May 1

Time: 6 to 7.30 pm.

The first meetup is scheduled on Tue Dec 5 from 6 to 7.30 pm.

Where do we meet? We will meet at the office of Padma Sripada MD (Internal Medicine), my daughter (2).

Come in and enjoy the session. At the end make a love donation.

Group limited to ten.

Please reserve your space by signing up on Meetup or call # 518-956-3433 and leave a message with your name and number. I will call you back to confirm.
See (27) for the address of the location and directions.

(1) meetup group for ‘counting breaths meditation’
(2) Address and Directions to Columbia Internal Medicine, my daughter’s medical office where I work and offer classes        Google map

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+ Select list of Books on “Relationships”

I love the insights and practical suggestions in the self help books written by

Susan Forward

Mark Goulston

Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, Al Switzler

Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Karl Pellimer

Harriet Lerner

Gary Chapman

Harriet B. Braiker and more

Click  on (1) for the complete list.

(1) Select list of books on “Stressful relationships”

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+ What to Avoid to Improve Your Head-to-Toe Wellbeing by Travis White (8)

When it comes to overall health and wellbeing, sometimes it’s just as important to think about what harmful activities and behaviors to avoid as knowing what activities to incorporate into your daily life. Everyone knows that for head-to-toe health, one has to eat right, exercise, and practice mindfulness.

But there are also specific activities you must avoid in order to be the best you, from head to toe.

Stop your irregular sleep pattern
The devastating effects of lack of sleep are about more than just feeling tired. Sure, irregular and inadequate sleep makes your body feel tired. But there is so much more that can go wrong when you don’t sleep right (1).

Lack of sleep can seriously affect your mental health. It can lead to memory loss, cloudiness, and the inability to make decisions. It can also make you more impulsive and easier to anger. Poor sleep can compromise your immune system, harm your vision, and negatively affect your skin.

It’s important to keep to a sleep schedule – even on the weekends. Your body works better when you have a definite sleep cycle, not one that changes every day. If you have trouble sleeping, try utilizing a pre-bed relaxation routine every night.

“A relaxing, routine activity right before bedtime conducted away from bright lights helps separate your sleep time from activities that can cause excitement, stress or anxiety which can make it more difficult to fall asleep, get sound and deep sleep or remain asleep,” says the Sleep Foundation (2).

Avoid napping during the day if you can and make sure to get some exercise. A tired body is a sleepy body and a sleepy body is a healthy one.

Stop overworking yourself
Nothing can negatively affect your whole mind and body like stress. It’s a silent killer that takes its roots in the brain and manifests all over your body. As the American Psychological Association points out, long term chronic stress can damage your body’s systems by making it constantly think it’s in “fight or flight” mode, triggering the release of hormones (3).

“These hormones cause the heart to beat faster, respiration rate to increase, blood vessels in the arms and legs to dilate, digestive process to change and glucose levels (sugar energy) in the bloodstream to increase to deal with the emergency. The SNS response is fairly sudden in order to prepare the body to respond to an emergency situation or acute stress, short term stressors. Once the crisis is over, the body usually returns to the pre-emergency, unstressed state. Chronic stress, experiencing stressors over a prolonged period of time, can result in a long-term drain on the body. As the SNS continues to trigger physical reactions, it causes a wear-and-tear on the body.”

Stress can even have a negative impact on your skin (4). By increasing production of certain hormones, it can cause higher oil production or inflammation. In turn, you might see bad flare-ups of conditions like acne and psoriasis. Stress also makes it easy to let your skin care regimen fall to the wayside, sometimes causing you to skip your daily washing or moisturizing.

To deal with chronic stress, first reduce the stressors in your life and make your home a stress-free space (5). If you can’t reduce them all (which nobody can), you have to be able to deal with them through relaxation. Meditation, focused breathing, exercise, and yoga can all help with this. Remember, it’s not only ok to take a break every now and then, it’s essential.

Stop eating all that sugar
Excess sugar consumption will not only cause you to pack on the pounds, but it will also make you more tired and has even been linked to non-obesity-related heart disease. It can even affect your skin by causing a breakdown of the natural collagen that gives it that healthy “plump” look, and producing more testosterone which can enlarge pores and increase oiliness (6).

“Over the course of the 15-year study on added sugar and heart disease, participants who took in 25% or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10% added sugar,” quotes a study in the Harvard Health blog (7).

In your daily life, one big change you can make it to replace all beverages with water and unsweetened coffee and tea. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. And the changes you’ll see and feel in your body will be tremendous.

(1)  11 signs you are sleep deprived Health.com
(2) Healthy sleep tips – The Sleep Foundation
(3) Stress effects on the body – American Psychological Association
(4) Signs of stress – Healthline
(5) How to Optimize Your Home for Healthy, Stress-free Living– REDFIN.com
(6) Do You Have ‘Sugar Face’? The Cut.com
(7) Eating too much added sugar increases the risk of dying with heart disease – Harvard Health Publishing
(8) LearnFit.org

How to get a good night sleep – a step by step guide

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Meditation and Essential oils for sleep -2

The second workshop on the topic was jointly done by me and Glenn Kakely at Venture Inward on Oct 9, 2017 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Four females and one male attended.

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Anxiety, Sleep
  • Sleep, Anxiety
  • Daytime relax, Sleep
  • De-stress
  • De-stressing during the day

I like these ideas

  • Relaxation during the day
  • Can’t wait to try the ‘segment mode’ (2)
  • I enjoyed CS’s method of delivery – Calming voice
  • Waiting in traffic – Stare at the red light
  • Focus on breathing throughout any scenario in the day
  • Will be sharing with others

Seminar evaluation

  • Very satisfied – 5

Comments

  • Very informative and helpful
  • I am looking forward to trying this technique
  • Amazed!
  • Very informative, Kept it simple
  • Very knowledgeable, Humor

Receive Annual Updates?

Yes – 5

Enroll  for ‘Follow up classes’ on this technique?

Yes – 3

Join a ‘Support group for Meditation’?       

Yes – 3

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ Call #477-6566 to register.
(2) Segment mode

Related pages: Public Seminars

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Meditation and Essential oils for sleep -1

The first of the two part workshop on the topic was jointly done by me and Glenn at Venture Inward on Sept 11, 2017 from 6.30 to 8.00 pm (1). Four females and one male attended.

I will use this technique for my (concern) 

  • Sleep
  • Falling asleep and staying asleep
  • Sleep issues
  • Son

I like these ideas

  • Breathing techniques
  • Focus on breathing and counting

Seminar evaluation

  • Very satisfied – 4
  • Satisfied – 1

Comments

  • Seems to work quickly
  • Very informative

Receive Annual Updates?

Yes – 3

Enroll  for ‘Follow up classes’ on this technique?

Yes – 2

Join a ‘Support group for Meditation’?       

Yes – 1

(1) ‘Venture Inward’ Call #477-6566 to register.

Related pages: Public Seminars

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Meditation and Yoga classes for children

I offered classes on ‘Gentle Yoga stretching’ and ‘Meditation on breathing’ to thirty nine boys and girls from 5 to 13 years at the Albany Hindu Temple on Aug 14, 17, 18 and 19, 2017. Each class was for 40 minutes and repeated on two days (1).

Meditation: All of them practiced the ‘Counting mode’ and ‘Tip mode’ , multiple times, counting the breaths aloud along with me (2) (3). We all practiced at simulated times of practice – at bedtime lying down to get sleep, on waking up still lying, to drive away the sleep, sitting on the bed cross legged as in sitting meditation, standing on the floor like waiting in a line, walking  and running.

  • When asked how they felt, a few commented
    • I felt calm
    • I felt relaxed
  • Asked when they would like to practice the meditation, some replied
    • At the doctor’s office
    • When tired
    • When I have an argument with my friend about which game to play
    • At bedtime
    • On waking up
  • Other comments
    • An 8 year old boy said he practiced at bedtime and also told his mom to practice, as she does not sleep well!

One kid’s mom said that her 6 year old son had been practicing at bedtime from day one and claimed that he felt more fresh on waking up.

Yoga: We all practiced the movements shown in the video ‘Stretching for beginners’ (4). These movements gently move and stretch all the muscles from fingers to shoulders, toes to hips, neck to eyes. All the joints get a gentle massaging movement at the same time.

(1) Albany Hindu Temple
(2) Counting mode
(3) Tip mode
(4) VIDEO of stretching for beginners

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