Thursday, 30 April 2020

5 Yoga Asanas for Boosting Your Immunity

Yoga is a miracle when it comes to health and wellness. As it works on the mind, body, and spirit, you are rewarded with holistic overall wellness. Your body gets fitter and stronger. Your immunity gets strengthened, and you are able to have a better grip on stress and anxiety. 

When stress hormones like cortisol accumulate in the body for long periods of time, it results in hormonal imbalance and the immunity of the body decreases. It also increases inflammation. Yoga helps in balancing all the 7 chakras of our body, thereby resulting in overall health and vitality. 

In today's post, we are going to discuss 5 yoga asanas that can help in boosting your immunity to a large extent when practiced at least five days a week. Breathe deeply while you hold the asana. Focus all your concentration on the inhalation and exhalation. Try holding each asana for 10 seconds and then gradually increase it to a minute. 

1. Setu Bandhasana (The Bridge Pose)

Setu Bandhasana or the Bridge pose instantly relaxes the entire body. If you are feeling stressed and anxious, lie down on your yoga mat and try the asana. 

Effect on Immunity: It improves blood circulation in the body and opens the heart thereby healing the respiratory system. It also facilitates digestion. You will experience an increase in energy after doing this asana a few times. 

Chakra: This asana chiefly works on the Vishuddha or the Throat Chakra. It helps in getting relief from a sore throat, thyroid disorders, and anxiety. When the throat chakra is activated, you can express your thoughts and feelings easily. 

You can also try variations of the asana to increase your balance and strength. 

2. Bhujangasana (The Cobra Pose)

Another wonderful Yoga Asana for strengthening your immunity is the Bhujangasana or the Cobra pose. It is great for people who suffer from asthma as it opens up the heart and the lungs. 

Effect on Immunity: It improves blood circulation in the body. It is also therapeutic for people who face stomach disorders as the asana facilitates digestion. It improves the function of various organs such as the liver, pancreas, gallbladder, and kidney.

Chakra: Bhujangasana balances all the seven chakras of the body. It increases energy in the body and elevates your mood. 

3. Dhanurasana (The Bow Pose)

Dhanurasana or The Bow Pose is another wonderful asana that improves your appetite and digestion. 

Effect on Immunity: Practicing this asana regularly will keep gastrointestinal disorders at bay. It strengthens the muscles of the back, thereby relieving back pain. The yoga asana is beneficial for curing respiratory and menstrual disorders. It is also great for diabetes patients. 

Chakra: This asana activates the Manipura chakra or solar plexus of the body which is the center of vitality. 

4. Ustrasana (Camel Pose)

Ustrasana or The Camel Pose is one of the best yoga asanas for boosting your immunity. 

Effect on Immunity: It is a great heart opener that prevents the body from any respiratory diseases. If you are suffering from the common cold, practicing this asana can heal your body. It also improves digestion by toning the abdominal region. It makes the spine flexible. The yoga asana strengthens the shoulder, arms and back muscles. 

Chakra: This asana activates the Anahata or Heart Chakra. When this chakra is activated, we feel balanced and calm. We are able to radiate unconditional love and joy.

You can also practice interesting variations of this asana to spice up your yoga session. 

5. Matsyasana (The Fish Pose)

Matsyasana or The Fish Pose is often called "destroyer of diseases." 

Effect on Immunity: It is one of the best yoga asanas for boosting immunity as it tones the pituitary, parathyroid and pineal glands. It heals backache and menstrual pain. 
It is a powerful yoga asana that can help you get relief from respiratory ailments such as sore throat, cold, fever. 

Chakra: This asana activates the Sahasrara or Crown chakra where wisdom lies. When this chakra is activated, you are able to make the right decisions without any fear. The asana also opens the Visuddha or Throat chakra and Anahata or Heart Chakra. 

These are some yoga asanas which when practiced regularly can boost your immunity and give you joyous health. As they activate the chakras, you experience love, joy, and bliss. 

Focus on your breath when you practice the asanas. All these asanas are great at curing stress, anxiety, and fatigue. 

"Yoga is a light, which once lit, will never dim. The better your practice, the brighter the flame." - B.K.S.Iyengar

This post is a part of Blogging with a Purpose series in association with Blogchatter. My theme for this year is Physical, Mental, and Emotional Wellness. 

Zesty Radha (Mythological Monologues #26)

The predestined hour came
Krishna left for Mathura
Taking my smile in His eyes
My love and devotion in His heart
Immortalizing our memories 
In the bountiful lap of Nature.
Leaving behind my Shyam in Vrindavan,
The melody of His flute in my heart
His Divine Name entwined with mine
Together we will be called
RadheShyam till the end of time. 

On my birth,
I kept my eyes closed
Everyone thought I was born blind
Years rolled by, doctors failed 
To give me my vision
I-Radhika opened my eyes 
For the first time when Krishna-
My journey and destination
Was in front of me
My world was illuminated by light
I was filled with zest 
Immersed in the color of Mohan.
Krishna is the vast entire Cosmos
I am His essence.
Waves do not have any identity 
Without the Sea
The Sea do not want to exist
Without its waves. 

Sitting by the banks of Yamuna,
I often bask in the melody of His flute
Smile of ecstasy in lips
Tears of love in eyes
Losing track of time and space.
They ask me in bewilderment, 
"Where is the sound of flute?"
With a smile, I say,
"In my heart. I can hear it always."
"Can you see Him too?" 
"Yes. In my reflection in the river."
I say looking at Govind smiling at me.
Love is that dazzling Divine light
The very Nature of every soul
That gives life to the entire world 
Physical separation is like a cloudy sky
The Sun is eternally there
Even when it is not visible.

Every place that I go, 
He is there with me.
Every sentence that I say, 
He is there in it.
Every breath that I take, 
He is dissolved in it. 
Sun rays can never be 
Separated from the mighty Sun
Heartbeats cannot be 
Parted from the Heart
The Soul can never be disjointed 
From the Super Soul.
Radha is in Shyam
Shyam is in Radha
His Divine name entwined with Mine
Together we will be called
RadheShyam till the end of time. 

©Purba Chakraborty

Yudhishthira (Mythological Monologues #25)

With this poem, the A to Z blogging challenge 2020 finally comes to an end. I hope you enjoyed my series of Mythological Monologues. Thanks to all my readers for their tremendous love, support, encouragement, appreciation, and feedback. 

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Yudhishthira (Mythological Monologues #25)

In the garb of a Yaksha,
Once Lord Dharma asked me
The greatest wonder of the world;
Countless people die everyday
Yet the ones that are living desire to be immortal;
I-Yudhisthira never forgot my answer.
With the arrival of Kaliyuga
Departure of Vasudev Krishna
There remained no purpose of my life.
I recognized the hour of my retirement
Left the kingdom of Hastinapur
In the able hands of my grandson, Parikshit 
And embarked on my final journey
With my four brothers and Panchali.
An unfamiliar dog joined us 
In our pilgrimage to the Himalayas.

As I walked towards
My final destination,
The journey of my life flashed
In front of my eyes. 
Like a boat trapped in a tempest,
My destiny took me to places
One day living in the forest
The other day at the palace;
My life was checkered by
Deceit and Manipulation in one box
Love and Devotion in another box
I stayed steadfast in both
At the face of lies and deceit,
My unshakable calmness irked the ones
Most precious to me
Yet I stayed calm under the
Umbrella of knowledge
The one enemy that is invincible is anger
Mastery over the mind
Is the only gateway to freedom.

As we continued our journey,
Panchali fell first.
A distressed Bheema asked the reason
"Excessive attachment to Arjuna", I said.
Then fell Sahadeva followed by Nakula
Pride in wisdom and looks, their folly
Next fell Arjuna, another victim
Of the vice of pride 
In being the most skilled archer.
Last of all, Bheema tires and falls
His only flaw was gluttony. 
I was left with the dog as my companion
As I climbed on top of Mount Sumeru.
Indra, the King of Heaven appeared
Inviting me to enter his chariot
Without the dog accompanying me.
At once, I refused to leave
My faithful and loyal companion
In exchange of the pleasures of Heaven.
Lord Indra asked me to act wisely
"If I leave the dog, my heart
Will no longer be a Heaven
Of Dharma and good deeds.
What use is Heaven then for me?"
I answered, folding my hands
When the dog magically 
Transformed into Lord Dharma,
Saying that I passed the final test of my life.

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Yudhishthira was the eldest son of King Pandu and Queen Kunti in the Hindu epic Mahabharata. He later became the King of Hastinapur. 

Xerophilous Shikhandi (Mythological Monologues #24)

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

Xerophilous Shikhandi (Mythological Monologues #24)

Neither a man nor a woman
I- Shikhandi, the daughter of King Drupad
Born as an incomplete, painful story
A half-finished beautiful portrait
A half-sung song with lyrics forgotten;
I remember every memory of my past life
as the graceful princess of Kashi - Amba.
I was cruelly abducted by Bhishma
My life turned into a spectacle
I was abandoned by my lover, Salva
Humiliated by plenty of men
Denied of justice, forsaken by all.
On seeing the volcano of my pain,
Lord Shiva blessed me to be the reason for 
Bhishma's death in my next birth.
I immolated myself that very moment
and was reborn as King Drupad's daughter.

Neither a man nor a woman
I- Shikhandi, the daughter of King Drupad
Raised as a brave and powerful son
Trained in warfare and statecraft
Married to the daughter of King Hiranyavarna
Abandoned by my wife for my gender;
Like a xerophilous plant, 
I survived without love in the forest
Acquired a male body 
At the mercy of a Yaksha. 
When blisters of agony 
was draining my life,
I remembered my purpose:
To complete my unfinished story
To be the reason for Bhishma's death.

Neither a man nor a woman
I-Shikhandi, the vivacious Amba reborn
Surrendered to the Cosmic plan
Awaited my chance to be the instrument of
God in establishing Dharma. 
When the Pandavas were clueless
How to defeat the great warrior Bhishma,
I rode on Arjuna's chariot,
guided by Lord Krishna on the 
tenth day of the Kurukshetra war.

At once, Bhishma recognized me 
He lowered his weapons 
Unwilling he was to strike a woman
for I was Amba in his guilt-ridden eyes.
Seeing the perfect opportunity, 
Arjuna, hiding behind my back
shot a volley of arrows at Bhishma
pinning him to the ground
immobilizing him for the war. 
I- Shikhandi became a vital instrument
Of Lord Krishna in making the Pandavas win.

I- Shikhandi embody all queer people;
In the eyes of the Lord, 
We are valuable, loved, and cherished
unlike the man made society 
that ridicules and suppresses us. 

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Shikhandi is the eldest daughter of King Drupad in the Hindu epic, Mahabharata. She later became a male and was instrumental in helping the Pandavas win in the Kurukshetra war. 

Warm-hearted Sudama (Mythological Monologues #23)

Monday, 27 April 2020

Warm-hearted Sudama (Mythological Monologues #23)

The fragrance of true friendship
Never fades and evaporates with distance;
It dwells in the kernel of heart
Like the most mellifluous Bhajan,
The petrichor of monsoon
The aromatic flowers of Vasant
The vibrant colors of Holi.
My prized memories with dear Krishna
Take away all my scorching agonies
Like a whiff of perfumed zephyr-
Stealing butter from nearby households
Finding clay pots of freshly churned butter
Escaping the eyes of everyone and relishing it.
Every day, a new prank and hatching stories
To avoid getting caught by anyone.
Getting lost in the melody of His flute,
Experiencing Oneness with the Cosmos. 

I- Sudama have not met my loving friend
Since years yet I feel him in my heart
Providing love and solace whenever I need.
At the merciless hands of poverty, 
My wife asked me to seek help 
From Krishna, the King of Dwarka.
I embarked on my long journey to Dwarka,
Taking a handful of beaten rice for Krishna. 
The thought of beholding the effulgent face 
Of my dear friend after years of separation 
Inspired me to walk steadily to His palace. 
I- Sudama, a poor Brahmin was received
With bounteous warmth, joy, and respect 
By Krishna's wife, Rukmini. 
The long-awaited beautiful moment came
Krishna and I looked at each other
Tears of love flowing down our eyes
My heart overflowing with affection and devotion.
With trembling hands, I offered Him my gift
Feeling embarrassed in the midst of the grandeur.
Krishna took the handful of beaten rice
Savored it the way he savored butter in childhood
The cheerful and contented smile on His face- 
It made me forget my purpose of visiting Him. 

At that moment, Krishna was not the King of Dwarka
Sudama was no longer a poor, destitute Brahmin
Our differences were dissolved in the nectar of love.
Krishna insisted me to sit on His throne
As we recalled our childhood stories, 
Krishna washed my tired feet 
With water and sandalwood.
I stayed at the palace for two days
Basking in the euphoria of Divine Love.
Krishna embraced me before I left His palace.
As I walked towards my home, 
The cruel realization dawned on me;
The ecstasy of meeting Krishna-
It made me forget my purpose of visiting Him.
I failed to ask for any help
I wept as I thought of my wife and children
Starving since days without complaint.
I was speechless when I reached home
Instead of my hut, there was a palace
My wife, dressed in the finest clothes greeted me.
I knelt down as tears of joy rolled down my eyes
"O Krishna! You know my heart more than I do
You heard all my unsaid words 
You felt all my unexpressed anguish
You saw all my uncried tears.
The blessed ones who have You as their friend
Never need to worry about anything."

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Sudama was a Brahmin childhood friend of Lord Krishna. His story of meeting Krishna in Dwarka is mentioned in the Bhagavata Purana. 

Vibhishana (Mythological Monologues #22)

Saturday, 25 April 2020

Vibhishana (Mythological Monologues #22)

All that I prayed for,
The One I meditated on
From early childhood,
He is right in front of my eyes.
Since time immemorial, 
The only goal of my life has been
To keep my wavering mind transfixed
At the benign feet of the Lord. 
Despite being surrounded by mud and muck,
The pure Lotus blooms, untouched. 
With His Divine Grace, 
I-Vibhishana aspired to stay untouched 
From materialistic desires and egoistic pursuits
Despite belonging to the family of Rakshasas.
The lotus flower and I desired the same destiny-
To serve the Lord despite every visible odd.

All that I prayed for,
The One I meditated on
From early childhood,
He is right in front of my eyes.
Transformed and Transcended I am
With the resplendent vision of Lord Rama.
All my psychical identities slowly strip off
Like years of dust accumulated on my body;
Attachments and ties evaporate into nothingness
I find the door to liberation in my Lord's eyes
My soul unites with the Super Soul
Personal Consciousness merges 
With the Divine Consciousness.
From a mental and emotional man,
I- Vibhishana become a spiritual man
Illumined by the Divine Light,
I experience the boundless, undivided joy 
One with the Cosmos, I feel
I am in the Sun, the Moon, the Cloud, and the Stars. 
The Creator is in me; I am in the Creator
I get transcended to the spiritual realm. 

All that I prayed for,
The One I meditated on
From early childhood,
He is right in front of my eyes.
Despite being warned by his allies and devotees, 
My Lord chose me- a demon devotee
An ordinary lotus born amid mud and muck
Without looking at my birth and circumstances.
 His instrument I became in the Cosmic Drama
I played my part with the utmost devotion 
To ensure the victory of good over evil
In the Great Lanka war. 
They said, "You will be called a Traitor
for betraying your own kith and kin."
I said, "I am ready to pay this small price.
I have experienced the merging of 
My Soul with the Super Soul.
Once the river merges with the Ocean, 
It loses its identity
The river becomes the Ocean."

©Purba Chakraborty

Note: Vibhishana is the brother of Ravana in the Hindu epic, Ramayana. He was a great devotee of Lord Rama. 

Urmila (Mythological Monologues #21)