YOGA KRIYA INCREASES THE MEMORY BETTER THAN BRAINY MIND GAMES
Memory helps us to lead the life in a systematic and systematic manner, linking to past and future, our current actions. Without this faculty, life, as we know, will not be possible as it involves our conscious and subconscious actions and reactions.
The memory includes the functions of input encoding, storing and recovering them as required.
Memory is not a sequential, pictorial or linear encoding as we normally do filing in cabinets. The process is complex involving many brain centers and even body cells as well. It is more apt to understand them as reconstructions of the input that was received earlier with emotional aspects as well.
Emotions are thought to be of significant importance in the memory process. Stress (both positive and negative) can influence this process as well, through the neurohormonal axis.
A balanced approach is vital to us to be Healthy and this must include the care of both these internal and external tools.
It is easy to care the physical and external tools as they are mostly in our control. We may use methods like exercise, healthy food selection; avoidance of intoxicants etc helps us keep these external tools in health.
But the internal tools would require a more specific and continuous approach as it is time bound and reacts with many other stimuli as well. An example
of a situation where a person is stressed out. Even after the external stimulus of stress is over, the internal body continues in stress till the chemicals (hormones etc) are dissolved/flushed out of system and mind settled the emotions. Rebuilding the damages is another area of balancing this and completing the act.
We cannot directly touch these internal tools and so Yogic seers have designed specific methods to balance and keep them healthy!
Yogic Kriyas (Yoga based actions) are designed to cleanse and activate this internal environment/tools. There are specific areas/systems that help us influence these internal tools and the kriyas focus on these areas to achieve cleansing and control of them.
Neti (Nasal passage cleansing), Basti (Large intestine cleansing), Dhouti (Gastric tract cleansing), Nauli (Intestinal cleansing), Bhati (Frontal brain and related areas cleansing) and Trataka (eyes and higher brain functional areas cleansing) are the six main practices outlined.
These may be performed with different products from pure water to various solutions prepared, specially designed threads and clothing material to air as well. It is to be but certainly be understood that expert guidance is a must to practice these techniques. They do have pre and post procedures which if not done are harmful as well. The technique itself is not easy and has to be a guided procedure.
These actions/techniques influence the internal functioning of the system cleansing them initially and slowly as one proceeds help to gain control and mastery over these functions as well. So are they called as “Yogic” (a process that which helps one to move from external to internal – unifying!).
Coming back to memory, it is a tool that we use to respond to our external environment. This is achieved from experience, learning, storing information and many such processes which we have undergone in this life. Many of them are inherited as well!
But due to many life factors, this response is diluted to the level of Re – Action than Action! Example – withdrawing hand from fire is an action spontaneous and exhibited through our memory. This might be a response from previous memory stored in genes through generations. We even call it instinct! This is positive and active (as against re – active) as we do not carry it forward through emotions or any feelings. But imagine a situation where someone shouts at you, you start connecting this event to all inputs stored and charge with emotions of guilt, fear, hatred etc and then we respond (may be in seconds but Re – acts!). We were under influence of our involuntary nervous system clogged with emotions and memories. This is what is cleared/cleaned. So it’s not mere physical cleansing that is done but is aimed at controlling/mastering these internal functions.
Once we start cleansing these areas the internal functions operate smoothly and thus capability to store, retrieve and use the information in a more efficient manner results – which is called as improving memory!
External tools like brain games and other activities, food etc are helpful but limited where in Yoga and related activities are more keen to the core of the Human functions and are so better result oriented. Please do bear in mind yoga is not to be classified and used as an individual activity like postures/breathing etc but are to be used as a “Program” integrating and involving the whole person and so aptly named as Holistic. Such engagements will bring about Transformation than a mere change.
The article is written by Dr. Divya Sharad , Medical Officer (SPPC)