Tag-Archive for » Yoga «

@ Insomnia and stress relieved

I was periodically meeting an young person in a store. He was obese. I gave him my handouts (2) and suggested to try the technique (1) at night, to enjoy good sleep (4).  Whenever I met him on business, I inquired about his practice and spoke a few encouraging words. I also loaned him two books on eating healthy (6). He practiced the ‘focusing on breathing’ technique (1) by himself for about 9 months. He told me that he had severe insomnia and depression for many years and was on medication. He shared the following feedback when he came to my first class. His previous report on cutting down his mental health medicines is at (5). 

Insomnia

Before: He had insomnia almost all his life. Sometimes he could not sleep for two days in a row.

Now: He has been using the segment mode (3) and enjoying sound sleep.  His insomnia is completely resolved.

 Stress at work

Before: He works in a packing and shipping store. Being the person responsible for handling customer complaints about damaged parcels, he had to face the angry outbursts of some customers, sometimes even threatening physical gestures. Such situations were unnerving and extremely  stressful to him.

Now: He is able to keep his cool in such situations. The claims due to damaged parcels upset the owner of the store as she had to bear the losses. She used to take out her frustration on the employees. One day all the employees were almost walking out of the store. This guy was the one who kept his cool and persuaded the other employees to stay back, explaining that the owner was behaving like that due to her own stress and she did not mean to hurt their feelings. He is surprised at this dramatic change in his own attitude and attributes it to his practicing this calming technique.

(1) How can I focus on breathing?
(2) Documents for download
(3) Segment mode
(4) Hows to enjoy quality sleep and conquer insomnia?
(5) His previous feedback on cutting down mental health medicines
(6) Two books:  “Eat more, Weigh less” by Dean Ornish M.D and “Mindless eating” by Brain Wansink Ph.D. He liked these books and started using the ideas from them, like cutting down his meat consumption. He also started practicing Yoga at home using a DVD. He lost about 20 lbs. as  a result.

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@ A practical no-nonsense approach that really works

Testimonial from Alfred (1) who had great hidden potential for meditation and spiritual growth that was just waiting for a spark to explode (sort of). His experience illustrates the quote in the spiritual filed “When the student is ready, the teacher appears”.

He found my website on-line among other local organizations for Yoga and meditation. He felt that he found what he was just looking for. He attended only 3 classes and took off unbelievably on his own, like no other client.

He has been kind enough to e-mail his insights and experiences (2) and let me publish them under the pseudonym ‘Alfred’. I am learning from his insights. I was puzzled why with all his inherent wisdom, he needed to learn the very simple breathing and stretching techniques I teach. When I queried  him and asked for his testimonial he sent this wonderful description. This is the kind of endorsement I was looking for all these years. These techniques do help people like him with hidden potential, to make a simple beginning and then keep going on their own steam.  I am grateful to  Alfred for this feedback and his periodic insights and experiences.

“I am a middle aged businessman who in most all respects enjoys a good life.  I have enough money to keep me from worrying, my relationships with wife, family and friends are good and so is my health.  Despite all of my good fortune I was aware for some time of some missing element in my life.  I had always been interested in the human mind and have read quite a lot about cognition and psychology.  The one message I received over and over again was that the practice of meditation with mindfulness as a goal is something which many very credible people advocate.

I did a quick Google search and found Suryanarayana Chennapragada’s (CS) web site.  CS has developed a simple meditation technique which combines counting breaths and simple yoga to create a calming disposition.

I met with CS and took 6 (3) private classes.  Since attending those classes, I have only missed 2 days of meditation, both because of international travel.

I like CS’s approach very much because, not only is it immediately effective, but also because it is not steeped in any religious dogma or “new age” philosophy.  It is a practical no-nonsense approach that really works well for me.

I look forward to my hourly morning meditation.  It centers me for my busy days, allows me to turn off the noise in my head and enjoy the present and it has enhanced my personal relationships. “

(1) Alfred 
(2) Alfred’s progress – Posts 
(3) Actually he attended 3 classes but felt they were six. May be because we had a great rapport!

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@ I finally had a good night’s sleep

Feedback from a young Engineer who just completed his masters and looking for a job. Seeing the great distress he was in, his friend, a patient of my daughter Padma Sripada (1) asked me to help him.  He did three classes at frequent intervals, as he was to leave Albany shortly. He learned the basic techniques – ‘Waiting for sleep’ (2) , ‘Waking up routine’ (3),  ‘Stretching for beginners’ (4) ‘Loosening exercises of Yoga’ (5). After he left Albany, I am continuing to work with him by periodic phone and e-mail contacts.

“Using ‘Focusing on breathing’ techniques helped me handle insomnia and anxiety in a better way. For a long time, I always got anxious during those situations where I had to deliver my best, to achieve success. Unknowingly, I was getting anxious, failed to control my anxiety and over stressed myself. Due to chronic high stress level, I lost my daily routine and had very poor sleep. I became restless, could not focus and concentrate on anything and failed to perform even minor tasks which were easily handled by me, during stress free times. I figured out that I had to get back to good sleep routine to help my mind and body. Even after knowing this fact, no matter what I did, I could not help myself to get sleep, for more than an hour or two at night.

I was advised by my friend, to meet Mr. Suryanarayana Chennapragada (C S). He carefully listened my problem and analyzed my situation with great patience. Later the same day, he walked me through his ‘focusing on breathing’ techniques, one by one. His breathing techniques are “very simple to learn and adapt”. That night I practiced the techniques lying on the bed. After a week of sleeplessness nights, I finally had a good night sleep. During three more sessions, Mr. C.S taught me how to use the breathing techniques in various combinations. As per his strong advice, I consulted a Doctor who  prescribed a medication to bring my anxiety under control quickly. I am continuing both medication and breathing practices. My long term goal is to completely depend on breathing practices, rather than medication.  I totally believe it is possible.  I thank Mr. C S for his “patience and dedication”.

(1) Padma Sripada M.D
(2) Waiting for sleep
(3) Waking up routine
(4) Stretching for beginners
(5) Loosening exercises from Yoga

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@ Yoga thoughts – From Alfred

See (1) to know about Alfred.

I have not missed a day of meditation yet which tells you that I am valuing it. On some days I am left with ideas which I call “Yoga Thoughts” which I write down and am sharing with you now.

Yoga Thoughts
  • Breathing is an endless spiral, breathing in (taking), pause (stillness), breathing out (releasing), pause (calmness)
  • It is simple and at the same time it is complex
  • One of block to tranquility is excitedly thinking about what you are going to do next. Thinking about your next meal, your next conversation with someone you like, the upcoming trip to the beach, all these block you from the present. When you have these types of thoughts while meditating, you are valuing the future over the present, like a child who whines that they are bored on a long car trip. Being happy in the moment is the greatest show of gratitude and the only way to access grace.
  • It is not profound every time you fill your car with gas.
  • Our thoughts tether us. If you are afraid of flying, hold that thought.
(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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* Fibromyalgia pains mostly come down

Here is a remarkable report from a woman who suffered from Fibromyalgia pains for about 10 years and got mostly relieved from them by practicing the breathing and other techniques of this web site. She also experienced significant behavioral change. She attended only my introductory session and then practiced on her own, using the content of this web site.

“I am a very hyperactive person and have been fighting Fibromyalgia pains for about 10 years. For my fibromyalgia, my doctors suggested medication and advised me to be active. I do not like taking medications, hence I ruled out that option. I heard from friends that Yoga would help. I tried it but I kept spraining myself. I also tried meditation but couldn’t control the brain activity.

We live in New Jersey. Our family visited Albany NY in March2012. When our friend there heard about my Fibromyalgia pains, he suggested to talk to Suryanarayana Chennapragada (C S) about the technique called “Focusing on Breathing” that he was teaching. I had not heard of this technique before. When I called C S, he readily offered to teach this technique to me and my husband. During his two hour session, we were taught different ways of concentrating on our breathing.

I have been practicing the breathing technique every day, for the past 3 months. I practice it when I feel like I am getting stressed out. I always practice before going to bed. I use it during work, on my way to work, while driving kids around and when I go to bed. I also practice the ‘Level III – Meditation’ technique described in C S’s web site countingbreaths.com.

I gained these benefits in the last three months:
I have seen a tremendous change in me. It has helped me to be calm. Most of my fibromyalgia pains have come down. My family and friends have also commented about the change they saw in me. What I like most about the technique is that by using it, I can now calm myself on my own and take the stress away.

Even though I was at first apprehensive about trying this unknown technique, I am a big fan of it now. It gives me the independence from pain. It has also taught me to rely on myself. My husband also uses the technique and he says it has helped him as well.

I thank C S for teaching me this technique and having the patience to follow up with me.”

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Related pages
Relief from chronic pains – Success stories 
How to relieve chronic pains by ‘Focusing on breathing’ PDF

* Seminar at the ‘Hope Club’ Jan 26, 2012

This was the third seminar at the American Cancer Society’s Hope Club (1). 4 persons participated. All were software engineers from India. The seminar was for one hour. The summary of their feedback is below.

The seminar was …..

  • Excellent – 4

I will use this technique to relieve my (concern)………….

  • Anxiety, Stress, Muscular pain
  • Sleep
  • Stress, Sleep  disturbances
  • Stress, Anxiety some times

Comments/ Suggestions about the class (if any)……….

  • I also want to attend follow up classes to learn Yoga, Meditation techniques, Postures to release my stress, Muscular pains.
  • This is my second class. I enjoyed very much. Somehow I feel so concentrated while doing my counting breaths technique.
  • This class is very useful at this stage to me as I suffered from continuous thoughts in mind during night that caused a disturbed mind.
  • This class was so useful, I felt happy as learning this technique would be useful for keeping my mind in concentration.

Related posts
Feedback from one of the participants of this seminar “Feeling more concentration”

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* Stress, Anxiety and Sleep improved

An young medical student attended three of my classes (3) over a period of two months. His mother asked me to help him, as she was worried about his anxiety and obesity. At the end of the third class, he made a self assessment of how he practiced and the change in his concerns.  Here is a brief report –

What modes did he practice and when?
Tip mode, segment mode, counting mode and staring mode at night to sleep,  Feeling mode in an emergency during the day and 911 mode when stressed (1). He practiced in the morning and when waiting,  bored and even when working.  He also practiced the loosening exercises from Yoga (gentle stretching movements) 3 times a week, in addition to his daily running (2).

How did he feel in mind and body?
He felt more focused, less stressed and felt rested. He had 8 hours of very good sleep.

What was the change in his concerns?
Stress reduced by 50%
Anxiety reduced by 30%
Sleep problem reduced by 95%

(1) Six modes of ‘Focusing on breathing’
(2) Loosening exercises from Yoga
(3) Seminars and classes

Related pages
Relieving Anxiety and Fear – Success stories
Relieving insomnia – Success stories
Relieving stress – Success stories

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

“My back pain of 25 years standing is reduced by 80%”

Received this feedback from a person who attended my classes at the Albany Hindu Temple.

“I was suffering from back pain and sleep disorder for the last 25 years.  I was diagnosed with herniated disk and arthritis in L4 & L5.  Six years ago, I was hospitalized twice. I have been taking numerous pain relievers, muscle relaxers and narcotics for severe pain and spasms until last year.  I have been getting treated for 10 visits once in 6 months by Chiropractors and Physical Therapists.  Massage would make me feel good for a week. All  these would help for a week and then I would reach a plateau. I spent numerous hours and dollars at the pain clinics. Needless to say how much money was spent thru the Insurance Company.  I tried all kind of things from home remedies to old Grandma remedies to gain some relief without success.

A few months back,  I asked Suryanarayana Chennapragada (CS)  if he could teach me how to practice “SuryaNamaskar” (Sun salutations of  Yoga).  He mentioned about the ‘Focusing on breathing’ technique for relaxation and simple stretching exercises.  I had seen his brochures at the temple and other places.  I read them but never practiced.

I thought that I had nothing to lose, let me give it a try, may be this would work. I was meeting with CS every week, to learn the relaxation by breathing and stretching exercises.  After couple of weeks, I saw improvement in my sleep pattern and back pain.  I have been doing the breathing and stretching exercises for the past 3 months for about 30-45 minutes a day.  In this period, I did not take a single pain medication and had a good night sleep.  After mowing the lawn for about 3 hours, I would feel my back a a little sore but after a shower, breathing & stretching exercises I feel a lot better. After 30-45 minutes I am back to normal with no pain. Currently may pain is 20% of what it had been for so many years.

‘Focusing on breathing’  technique combined with the stretching exercises helped a lot with my back pain and sleep disorder. I  strongly suggest these techniques to everyone to reduce stress, back-pain and gain profound energy.  There is nothing to lose but a lot to gain, that too, without spending any Dollars.”

Related pages
How can I focus on breathing?
Relief from chronic pains – Success stories 
How to relieve chronic pains by ‘Focusing on breathing’ PDF

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