Tag-Archive for » calm «

@ I cut back my mental health medicines

Second report (1) from a young man who practiced the technique from my handouts. He did not attend my classes  and I did not give him detailed instructions. When I met him occasionally on business, I used to encourage him. 

” I work in a stressful job where even taking time to walk away from a situation wouldn’t calm me down. At one point I was on three different medications for more than 2 years (3). I decided to try practice ‘focusing on breathing’ (2) because it was simple and I figured what could it hurt?

I started practicing it at night, so I could get proper sleep, then gradually moved my practice into my day. I made it a daily thing, even if it is just for a few minutes a day. I even found I was doing it with out thinking about it.

I could calm my mind more easily. Then I could go back to deal with a particular situation more clearly.

After a time of using the finger modes of the breathing technique (2), I was able to cut back one out of three of  my mental health medications. Don’t get me wrong – this isn’t a cure all. I am still on one medication but one is a lot better then three (4). Plus with a clearer mind, I find my life in general more manageable, and I am finding I can enjoy my life again.”

(1) His previous report on insomnia
(2) How can I focus on breathing? 
(3) Xanax – 10 mg – for Anxiety;    Wellbutrin 20 mg for Depression and   Prozac 60 mg for Depression
(4) Stopped Xanax and Wellbutrin. Now only on Prozac – 60 mg

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@ Felt fresh at the end of a 3 hour ‘car trip’ – Alfred’s progress

See (1) to know about Alfred. 


This week was interesting because I took a trip to the ocean to fish with an old friend. One day I meditated on the sand on a beautiful ocean beach with the sounds of surf and shore birds. The next day I practiced on my friend’s deck in an urban area. The change of place in some ways distracted me a bit but also it made my “journey” different and I learned something from it.

I am doing pretty much the same practice as last week. However I am constantly refining subtle elements such as body scanning, breathing technique and mindfulness.


Meditation is considered a practice because it is something that, for most people, must be learned and developed. The natural state of human consciousness is not tranquil and serene. One of our evolutionary inheritances is to be on guard against danger. Although imminent danger is absent from many of our lives, our atavistic memory can keep us in a slightly edgy and nervous state. To achieve calm and clarity of thought through a meditative practice is to rise above these instinctual tendencies. This does not mean that you become blind to reality. By first recognizing needless anxious thought and then redirecting your mind, you are actually becoming more in tune with the real world and gain the additional benefit of well being.


I took a 3 hour car trip and applied calm and alert thought practices while driving. Not only was the trip very pleasant but, in addition, my perception of time became elastic and I felt as fresh when I completed the trip as when I started.

(1) Alfred

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Posts of Alfred’s progress

@ Seminar at the Bethlehem Central Middle School

I offered the first seminar at this school library on May 15, 2013. It was organized by the Bethlehem Healthy Kids Committee. Anna McMahon, a member of this committee and great supporter of this technique was instrumental in setting this up. Seven women, two men and two girls attended. I distributed select handouts from my website to the adults and children. (1) 

 Adults – Feedback

Scanned images of the feedback forms

I came to know about this seminar from

  • Anna McMahon – 2 responses
  • Healthy Kids Committee – 2
  • Husband/ Healthy Kids Committee
  • Posters at the school
  • Times Union – Bethlehem Blog
  • Healthy Kids Committee Face book post

The seminar was …

  • Very useful –  8
  • Useful – 1

I will use this technique to relieve my (concern)

  • Sleep, Stress
  • Sleep and Relaxation
  • Sleep, Stress
  • Stress at work and Insomnia
  • Stress reduction
  • Stress, Anger and Relaxation
  • Headaches, Anxiety, Stress I have with my family
  • Anxiety, Panic
  • Self and Wife

Comments/ Suggestions (if any)

  • I want to practice this and feel better.
  • Wonderful. Very excited to start working on this and looking at your website!
  • Great Presentation.
  • Very practical and user friendly. I look forward to practicing it.
  • I am really looking forward to trying this with stress and sleep.
  • Very helpful. I feel very relaxed after practicing this technique.
  • I had been feeling tense all day, but now I am feeling more relaxed.
  • Helpful. I have used other counting breaths methods but this simplifies the process so the focus is not so much on counting that you forget to breathe and just enough focus on counting and breathing to keep your mind from wandering.
  • Very practical. Great tips and modifications.
 Children – Feedback

Scanned images of the feedback forms

I am in ….

  • Grade 5
  • Grade 4
When I practiced the breathing I felt …
  • Happy, at peace and slightly sleepy
  • Calm and sleepy
I want to try this technique when I….
  • Can’t go to sleep
  • Am stressed at school
I think this practice will help me for ….
  • Sleeping and keeping my cool
  • Going to sleep

(1) Documents for download

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Please send your comments  through the ‘ABOUT – Contact’ page.

Parent page: Past seminars

@ Silencing loud thoughts – from Alfred

See (1) to know about Alfred.

  • Breathe as if breath was a wheel turning slowly. No end or beginning – the transition between breathing in and breathing out, infinite and smooth.
  • Meditation is not work. It is not like stacking fire wood where there is a beginning middle and end. It is a gift you allow yourself. Like eating a bowl of ice cream when you eat it slowly savoring each taste.
  • The goal of meditation is not to stop thinking. Thinking is like breathing and is always there. You can think differently however. You can silence loud thoughts that demand your attention. Redirect your thoughts towards physical sensations. Think of the sound of a woodland stream and imagine you are the water. Try to feel all parts of your body at once. Let these quiet thoughts put you into a calm and tranquil place.

(1) Alfred

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* Feedback from Grade 3-5 Students

The school counselor of a local school searched on-line for Yoga classes to help the students reduce stress before and during the state tests. She found my website and requested me to train the students in grade 3 to 5 in the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique (1) as an optional after school activity. I conducted two classes on April 17 and 24, 2013 for 9 students.

In the first class I demonstrated different modes of the technique and we all practiced each of the modes on one hand. In the  second class I asked for their verbal feedback on how they practiced the technique after the first class. I asked each of them to demonstrate any one mode and corrected the wrong demos. Several of them said they liked the ‘Staring mode’ (3) or the  ‘911 mode’ (4).

At the end of the first class, I collected feedback from them in a simple form with 3 open ended questions. The scanned images of the completed feedback forms are presented at (2). A summary of their responses is presented below.

When I practiced the breathing in today’s class, I felt … 

  • Calm and relaxed – 3 responses
  • Calm/ Really calm – 3
  • Good and happy
  • Relaxed
  • Relaxed, Calm, Focused

I want to try this technique when I …

  • Go to sleep – 2
  • Am mad – 2
  • Mad or tired
  • Stressed with school
  • Mad at my sister or stressed
  • Mad, angry and stressed
  • Am taking a  test

I think this practice will help me for ….

  • NYS test/ Tomorrow before the state tests – 2
  • Calming down, Stop being stressed, angry and mad
  • After being bullied
  • Getting up in the morning
  • When my sister is mad at me
  • Settling down
  • Falling asleep and calming down
  • A lot of things

The principal also participated in the class and gave the following feedback in the same form –
During the class she felt relaxed, calm, focused and stress free. She wanted to try this technique when she needed to refocus, before running a race and after a stressful day. She felt that this practice will help her in refocusing and training.

Feedback from the school counselor after the first class: “I heard great things about your class from the principal and the students.  You will be here again next week for the conclusion. Thank you for the wonderful opportunity to provide a stress free learning opportunity for our students!”

Honorarium: Before doing the classes the counselor inquired about my charges. I said I loved teaching the simple technique to children and if the school was happy with the classes, they could offer me whatever they like. I am thankful to the PTA (Parent Teacher Association) of the school for the generous compensation they offered me. My plan is to follow up this group of students till they adopt the technique as their own, practicing it whenever they needed to  calm themselves or maintain their focus.

(1) How to be Calm and Focused? – Handout for children
(2) Scanned images of the feedback forms
(3) Staring mode
(4) 911 mode

Related page
Training children

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@ Letting all the little things fall away

Feedback from a young man. A few months back, I gave him the handouts (2) and suggested to try the technique at bedtime, to get good sleep. On my subsequent visits, he said he was using the technique and happy about it. On my request, he recently sent the following feedback.  

“As someone that deals with the public on a daily basis, I take a lot of abuse and my job has a lot of stress. As a result, I’ve become short tempered, especially when I have a bout of insomnia which I’ve had most of my life.

By using the ‘focusing on breathing’ technique (1), I am able to calm my self physically and mentally, letting all the little things that bother me throughout the day fall away. It helps me to keep things in perspective and get a decent eight hours of sleep every night. (3)”

(1) How to enjoy quality sleep and conquer Insomnia by ‘Focusing on breathing’?
(2) Documents for Download

March 21, 2013: He said “The other day I had too many customers and some of them were rude. To keep my cool, I went to the back room, did my breathing for a while, calmed my self down and came out. I do this so I can have a good night’s sleep without thinking of all such incidents.
July 6, 2013: I cut back on my mental health medicines 

Related pages
Relief from Insomnia – Success stories

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@ ‘Counting breaths’ helped me calm myself during my mammogram

First of its kind report from a woman, on how she practiced ‘Counting breaths’ to calm herself during a mammogram screening. Prior to the screening, she was practicing the technique to get sleep and to be calm under stress.  

“I had to repeat my mammogram to clear the doubt of the radiologist on the first screening report. This time, more views were taken than before, some of them with extra compression, to get a clearer picture. In one of the views it hurt and I yelled. One more hurting view was  going to be taken. This time I didn’t want  to yell like a baby. I badly needed a coping technique. The ‘counting breaths’ technique came to my mind (1). I immediately started counting my breaths. The hurting view was done in a few seconds and I went through it without distress.

It was a big relief for me to have this technique handy for coping with such a stressful situation.”

(1) Counting mode
(2) Tip mode
(3) Segment mode


I have been using the ‘tip mode’ (2) or ‘segment mode’ (3) whenever I opened my mouth for dental work. Absolutely no stress! My dental surgeon who did root canals and extractions under local anesthesia commented every time “I wish all my other patients were like you!”

Related pages
Relief from Anxiety – Success stories
Relief during dental work

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@ I find tremendous improvement in my sleeping pattern

Received following feedback from a lady who practiced ‘Focusing on breathing’  (1) by visiting this website and with a few tips from me over the phone. I met her along with her husband, by chance, at a party, as we were sitting at the same table. During casual talk with her husband, I told him about my activities. I told about ‘Focusing on breathing’ and this website helping people. He said his wife was suffering from insomnia and may be interested in it. I gave him the name of this web site. He gave me his business card. I called his wife about once a week, to address any questions she may have and suggest some tips. It is very satisfying to receive this remarkable feedback from her.

“I was suffering from insomnia since past few years.

I practiced the ‘Segment mode’ (2) of the breathing technique since past few months, as suggested by Mr. C.S. Rao (Suryanarayana Chennapragada). I have been practicing the technique at bedtime and after waking up in the morning.

I find tremendous improvement in my sleeping pattern. I am able to sleep better and I no longer feel tired.  I feel calm and relaxed the whole day.

I strongly recommend this technique to everyone who has insomnia. I thank Mr C. S. Rao for developing these modes of breathing which will benefit lot of people.”

(1) How can I focus on breathing?
(2) Segment mode

Periodic updates (I try to get periodic updates) 
2/6/13:  “I am sleeping better these days. I am still doing the ‘segment mode’. I find a lot of improvement.”

Related pages
Relief from insomnia – Success stories

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Please send your comments through the ‘ABOUT -Contact’ page.

* I was never so calm before

Feedback from a woman who attended series of my classes. She has chronic mood disturbances and taking medication. She has been practicing  ‘Focusing on breathing’ (1) mostly at bedtime along with some complementary practices. Her recent feedback –

“My mind is a lot calmer. I have never been so calm before. I have been talking very balanced with my family members. The diet changes you suggested have helped me a lot.”

(1) ‘Focusing on breathing’

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* Many problems resolved, my face glows

Feedback from an African American client Christine (not her real name) who attended four of my classes over 5 weeks. She reported multiple problems when she came in. She absorbed the techniques and practiced them with all her heart. On my advice, she read most of my articles on Relationships (1). She came out of most problems in a surprisingly short time of 5 weeks. Details –

“I was really stressed out on my job at a medical office, due to my boss. I had to always to prove myself and be constantly on the go. I could never stop to even think where I was and what I was working on.I learned in the classes how take breaths and relax more effectively in my daily life. The breathing techniques I have been using are the ‘Tip mode’ and the ‘Segment mode’ (2), in the morning and night. I also do a lot of breathing  during the day (3).
Due to these practices, my body balance has changed and my mind has become so relaxed that nothing and no one stresses me. I am so calm even when dealing with others at work. My skin complexion has changed. I now have a bright glow in my face.

I thank ‘C S’ (Suryanarayana Chennapragada) for helping me achieve total peace of mind.”

I had a personal interview with her to inquire about the several problems that she had but did not mention in her above feedback. She let me know their status as described below.

Stressful interactions with boss

Before: Her boss was very intimidating and being mean in his daily interactions with her as well as other employees. She used to take his words seriously to her heart and tried to respond to them in all earnestness. As nothing she said or did made any difference to his behavior she was getting angry and frustrated. She used to clench her jaws and grind her teeth.
Now: After practicing the breathing at bedtime and during her interactions with her boss, she stopped taking his mean style seriously. She listens to him and tells herself that he is the one who has the problem, not she. His verbally abusive behavior  has nothing to do with her.

Jaw tension and Grinding of teeth

Now: Reduced by 95%

Migraine pains

Before: Almost every day, lasting for 2 hours.
Now: Once in a while.

Shoulders puffed up

Before: Whenever she heard his mean words, which was every day.
Now: None, in spite of his behavior  being same.

Hears everything in sleep

Before: In her sleep she used to hear all sounds around her. She used to wake up twice in the night.
Now: She sleeps undisturbed,till the alarm goes off. She does not hear any sounds. Recently her husband commented with a surprise that she was able to fall asleep even when the the TV was on. 

Hours of sleep

Before: She used to sleep at 10 and wake up at 3 am and was not able to get sleep for at least 30 minutes, due to her racing mind.
Now: She sleeps undisturbed all through the night, till the alarm goes off at 6 am.

How she felt on waking up 

Before: Felt exhausted
Now: Feels great.

Back pain and Neck pain

Now: She has them only slightly. To avoid neck pain she stopped holding the phone between her cheek and shoulder. Her chronic stress was straining her muscles in her jaws, neck, shoulders and back.

(1) My articles on ‘Relationships’
(2) How can I focus on breathing?
(3) Daytime practice
(4) Releasing tension in the jaws

Related pages
Face looks bright and healthy – Success stories

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