I was very mischievous as a child. In school I was found standing on my seat more often than sitting on it! Now many years later as I sit and reminisce I remember the punishment I got at home… “Thoppu Karnam”. Unfortunately (and now I think, fortunately) it was daily ritual for me. “Stand in the corner and give me 10” was a constant in my life. Basically they were squats crossing the hands in front of the chest, hold the ear lobes asking God for forgiveness. It is practiced as an offering of obeisance to Lord Ganesha, or the elephant-faced God who removed the obstacles in our path and inertia of the mind.
Recently, this ritual has found a lot of attention from Scientists the world over. A study into the method and its effect on the nervous system has gained momentum and shown its immense benefits to the brain. It actually caught my eye when I saw a write-up by celebrated Yale neurobiologist Dr. Eugenius Ang. He has even gone as far as prescribing it for patients with Alzheimer’s and children with autism and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The Concept behind the exercise:
So what is the Science behind this exercise was obviously my first question. Western medicine describes the human body as a logical mixture of endocrinal glands. Blockage of anyone gland affects the entire body and mind e.g. inactivity of the thyroid makes you obsessively tired, the pituitary could make you excessively tall or short… so on and so forth. Yoga shastra describes these as Chakras. Each chakra is associated with one of the seven endocrine glands, and also with a group of nerves called a plexus. It describes Chakra as invisible spherical whirlpools of etheric energy that function as pumps or valves, regulating the flow of energy through the body acting as transmitters and receivers of Cosmic Energy drawing various forces and energies into the body. So let us co-relate the Endocrinal Glands with the Chakras:
1. Root Chakra: At the base of the spine and connected to the sacral plexus, the rectum and the prostate gland.
2. Sacral Chakra: below the navel and in the center of the abdomen, is related to the prostatic plexus, the adrenal glands, the gonads, and the kidneys.
3. Solar Chakra: associated with the solar plexus, the spleen, the pancreas, the liver, and the gall bladder.
4. Heart Chakra: connected to the cardiac plexus, the thymus gland, and the pericardium.
5. Throat Chakra: connects to the thyroid gland at the level of the throat, which governs the basal metabolism.
6. Eye Chakra: connected by the vagus nerve and the cervical ganglion and associated with the pituitary gland, governs our sub-conscious mind.
7. Crown Chakra: relates to the pineal gland and governs the entire nervous system.
So how does this magical Yoga work? Its effect is bi-fold. Based on the principles of subtle energy and ear acupuncture firstly it clears our endocrinal glands or chakras. Secondly and more importantly by directing energy from the lower chakras towards the brain (where it gets converted into higher frequency and subtle energy utilized to enhance its proper functioning) and the energy from the higher chakras towards the base transforming itself into other forms of energies with a much lower frequency) evening out the yin and the yang. This exercise if properly executed facilitates the movement of energy and synchronising the spiritual aura with his physical body subtly and easily integrating the intuitive and emotion-based right hemisphere of the brain with the logical left hemisphere.
How hard is it?
Phew!!!! Something so complex to understand should surely be hard to do!!! The good NEWS is it isn’t!!! That’s right! It is child’s play (ok I am serious, not just playing with words). Ten to twelve rounds once a day is all you need to get maximum benefits of this super easy and effective Yoga…
Step 1: In the morning, stand facing the sun, with your feet pointing straight ahead and spread about shoulder width. Keep the tongue pressed firmly into the roof of the mouth
Step 2: Place your left hand on your right ear lobe, thumb on the front of the lobe with fingernail facing outward and second finger behind the ear lobe. The right ear lobe represents the left brain. When you hold the right ear lobe this way, you energize and activate the left brain and pituitary gland.
Step 3 Now place your right hand on your left ear lobe, so that your thumb is on the front of the lobe facing outward. The left ear lobe represents the right brain. Holding the left ear lobe this way energizes and activates the right brain and the pineal gland.
Step 4 Press both earlobes simultaneously, making sure your left arm is inside your right.
Step 5 As you press on the earlobes, squat down as fully as you can, keeping your back straight. Do 10 to 12 rounds, inhaling through the nose on the way down and exhaling through the mouth coming up.