How does yoga replace negative addictions?

House Yoga Vidya Bad Meinberg

101. Is it energetically unfavorable to wash / shower / bathe immediately after practicing yoga?

Reply from Sukadev: It is usually recommended to wait about 30 minutes before showering or bathing after practicing yoga. So the energies can be better stored.

102. What is the position of yoga teaching on abortion?

I have been working in a pregnancy counseling center since the beginning of this year. There I also conduct conflict counseling, which is a great challenge for me, as I feel very close to the unborn souls and pray for them and / or sing mantras at the appropriate time. What is the position of yoga teaching on abortion? Is it true that the timing of incarnation is likely to be weeks after conception? I question the subject of abortion anew every day. Maybe you can send me a few thoughts on this. And what can I give the women along the way?

Answer from Sukadev: This is not an easy subject. According to the yoga scriptures, the moment of pre-reincarnation is usually the moment of conception. It is said that at this moment the soul comes into the womb. In the first weeks or months, however, the soul is still quite loosely bound to the embryo and until the moment of birth this soul can also leave this body and another soul can enter this body. The moment of birth is the full beginning of reincarnation. So, according to yoga teaching, one takes the body of a soul through abortion. Therefore, one should generally not have an abortion. However, it is not the same as killing someone who is already born; abortion does not do permanent harm: the soul is ultimately immortal. And she will find a way to incarnate, just through another mother (or the same mother a little later). Only the mother (and the father) will experience a karmic reaction (often both, especially the mother, feel it later as emotional suffering). That is how I understand the yogic scriptures and the teachings of my Master Swami Vishnu-devananda.

103. Pleasure and Yoga

As a beginner in yoga and zen, I made the following experience: In meditation (zazen), thoughts first take a back seat and then pleasant, relaxing, pleasurable images and sensations arise. I have the feeling of withdrawing into an oasis of calm or even of fleeing from everyday life, which is currently characterized by exam stress. After meditation, my sense of taste is often more intense, the senses perceive more intensely. Sometimes I also experience my sexual desire as stronger. So my question is how to deal with pleasure? Is it rejected in yoga? Sivananda teaches the way of renunciation. Can pleasure be affirmed as part of oneself? Does lust lead to God, to unity, to constant - as opposed to ephemeral - lust? I see a danger in connection with lust, the danger of addiction. I once had a time when I found relaxation exercises to be an escape from everyday life. So what to do Consider such images as makyo, as Zen teaches, and move on to enlightenment? I would be very grateful to you for answering these questions, because as a beginner I find some of Sivananda's statements to be hostile to pleasure and at the same time I think that life, love and pleasure cannot be separated.

Reply from Sukadev:

In the Indian yoga system it is said that there are 4 main goals in life that are worth pursuing:
- Kama = sense satisfaction, "lust"
- Artha = professional success, financial security
- Dharma = fulfilling one's duties in family, society; selfless service to one's neighbor
- Moksha = liberation, unity with God, self-realization
The consideration of all 4 categories constitutes the art of the spiritual life. These 4 levels are necessary for a full life. Ethical and spiritual principles should be applied at all levels. Then everything can be spiritualized and become a means of liberation. Frustration, blockages as well as holding on to one of the first levels can hinder progress on the fourth level. Conversely, it is often the case that exercises that want to lead you to liberation (moksha) (e.g. meditation) sharpen your senses in the first place so that you can enjoy better (kama), gain self-confidence and energy to advance professionally (artha) to open one's heart to be able to help others or to find one's task in life (Dharma). So these are not to be seen as opposites, but as mutually supportive. The vast majority of spiritual aspirants should orient their lives so that needs from all categories are harmoniously met. So spiritual life is by no means hostile to pleasure. There is also the philosophy of pure renunciation, but it cannot be used in its pure form for the majority of people and which Swami Sivananda did not teach for the majority of people either. An important goal of his teachings, writings and also of the "Divine Life Society" organization he founded is to enable people to spiritualize their entire everyday life, to make their everyday life "divine" (hence also "Divine Life").

104. Pain when swallowing

For a few weeks now I have had a strange kind of pain when swallowing "empty", on the right below the larynx, not palpable from the outside. One doctor said it could be psychosomatic, but it feels damn "concrete" compared to the usual constricted throat when you are anxious, frustrated, or angry, for example.

Reply from Sukadev:
You can gargle salt water and try bhramari breathing for a "tight neck" or pain. If you don't know this, I can explain it to you.

105. Stinging in the chest region, cold hands and feet

I am 26, quite athletic and have had significant health problems for a few months. It started with a frequent stinging in the chest area. I continued to do sports, the performance was then sometimes 10% lower than usual, but not really bad. Finally, I went to see a heart specialist, but they didn’t find anything unusual. But the problems didn't go away. The following complaints occur again and again at irregular intervals: stitches in the chest, sore throat, and above all cold hands and feet. I actually always have the latter when it's just a little cold, but as soon as I'm in the warmth, I start to sweat, often at night too. What can the causes be? The heart specialist said that there was definitely nothing to do with my heart, otherwise I would not be as physically capable. Can you tell me something about it?

Reply from Sukadev:
Unfortunately, I am not a doctor and therefore cannot say anything specific. You may want to ask a sports doctor. Perhaps you need to modify your training a bit, occasionally insert 1-2 days of regeneration time, etc. Perhaps it is also psychological or a general overload, and a psychotherapist can help you.
Kneipp affusions are very good for cold hands and feet: put your hands and feet in warm water for approx. 40-60 seconds every day, then in ice-cold water for 20 seconds, e.g. in a bucket or with a shower hose.
The following breathing exercise is a simple yoga exercise that can be particularly helpful for stinging the throat and chest as well as for psychological tension:
- Put a hand on your stomach. Breathe in very evenly and relaxed for about 4 seconds, while your stomach goes out. The chest and shoulder girdle do not move.
- Breathe out very evenly, relaxed and almost completely for about 8 seconds, while the stomach goes in. Here, too, the shoulder girdle and chest do not move. You can also repeat inside a few times: "I let go completely." Take about 8-10 breaths like this very consciously. You will immediately feel better. Practice this daily or as needed.
Otherwise I can advise you to practice yoga regularly. Yoga is a very comprehensive system that helps you to contact the intelligence of your body. Everyone has the ability to heal themselves. This can be activated through yoga. Still, if you have serious problems, you should see a doctor.

106. Iyengar Yoga

You teach yoga holistically, how is your relationship with Iyengar? Yoga according to Iyengar seems to me to be very focused on correct asanas, the "rest" seems to be missing - right?

Answer from Sukadev:
There are several ways to teach asanas. We adhere to the rishike series as taught by Swami Sivananda and Swami Vishnu-devananda (and by many other Indian masters). Iyengar has developed his own style that is very physical and suits some. We also have lessons in our classes where we pay great attention to physical correctness. But we are of the opinion that the correct
Posture must be felt from the inside out, not visible from the outside. Otherwise, of course, we pay a lot of attention to the energetic, mental and spiritual dimensions of the asanas (which is not the case with Iyengar).

107. Birch pollen allergy and nasal cavity growths

I have had a cold for a long time and my doctor found not only a birch pollen allergy but also nasal cavity growths or constrictions and said I had to have an operation. I want to work around this, as further operations may be necessary afterwards. I heard from acquaintances that the growths recede by constantly pulling up cold water. Is that so or are there other methods?

Reply from Sukadev:
You must decide together with your doctor whether or not an operation is necessary for your problem.
There is an exercise group in yoga called "Neti".
This can be very healing for the nasal cavities, and I know some people who have been able to avoid surgery with it.
There are three main variations:
(1) Draw cold water up through your nose (2-3 times a day)
(2) Pull lukewarm salt water up through your nose, preferably with a special nasal pot for neti. Salt concentration: 1/2 teaspoon to 0.2 liters.
(3) Put a catheter through your nose and pull it out at your mouth
All three forms are best learned from a competent yoga teacher.
(1) and (2) can also be tried without personal guidance. You can get a little more information at and under (search for "Neti" with the browser) and in the books "Yoga for all stages of life" and "The great illustrated yoga book" as well as "Science of Pranayama ". All three books are im
Yoga Vidya shipping available (

108. Muladhara Chakra

I meditate in the morning and yesterday I experienced something. I suddenly had the feeling that I was sitting in the fire, my buttocks, below the Muladhara Chakra and also my thighs were very hot (that was my feeling). But it was pleasant. Please tell me something about it, it bothers me a lot.

Answer from Sukadev:

This is a sign that an energy blockage has broken and energy has found a new path. This is a very positive sign. Meditate on as before, the cosmic force will manifest itself in the way that is right for you.

109 Inflammation of the intestine

A student of mine who has just started has severe digestive problems and an inflammation of the rectum (she often has it). She has already gained yoga experience in another course and is determined to participate as much as possible and asked to what extent some asanas could possibly be harmful. She is not receiving medical treatment but with a naturopath who has recommended her yoga. At first I gave her a general answer (special attention to what is good for you, etc.), but I am very unsure, especially about the asanas or breathing exercises that stimulate digestion. What can i tell her

Reply from Sukadev:
If the alternative practitioner recommends yoga, you need not have any concerns. Overall, yoga helps to harmonize digestion, to stir up the digestive fire, and that means in particular to set self-healing processes in motion. Regular yoga practice can help very many people with digestive problems. When it is said that "digestion is stimulated", it means that the digestive organs are positively influenced. Daily practice would be best here. We particularly recommend holding the forward bend and the swivel seat for a long time. Deep relaxation is also very important. The participant may be able to clarify with the HP whether she is allowed to exert herself a little physically, or whether the yoga should mainly be relaxing. Diet is of course also very important. It can be assumed, however, that the HP will advise your student on this.

110. Round back hollow back

For years I have had a hunched back, hollow back and restricted shoulder joints, and now and then a little problem with sciatica. I used to do physiotherapy for a long time, but after I was told "it won't get any better", I stopped going. I've since discovered that this is not true - it will take some time, but there are definitely improvements.
15 years ago I did yoga for the first time, at first irregularly, after 2 children (now 1 1/2 and 4 1/2) I go regularly once a week and would like to practice a little (more) at home every day. Unfortunately, I don't have that much time at the moment - but it's always enough for the sun salutation. Are there specific exercises that I can use to effectively improve my posture?

Reply from Sukadev:
Of course you can improve a lot with yoga exercises and also deep relaxation, visualization, etc.
In the following I will give you a few exercises that are usually helpful. In the case of existing health problems or problems, you should definitely speak to your doctor or physiotherapist and ask him beforehand whether you can do these exercises and they will not harm you.
Particularly useful are:
Against hunchback:
all backward bending exercises, especially the fish.
1. Fresh (Matsyasana): lie on your back, legs straight, arms straight under your body, palms down, weight on your hands, elbows, buttocks, inhale, lift your head and upper body, exhale, return the back of your head to the floor. Pull your shoulder blades together well and expand your chest upwards.
2. Virasana (warrior), similar to Gomukhasana (cow head pose): Sit on your left heel, bring your right leg over your left thigh, lift your right arm and bend your elbow so that your right upper arm is next to your right ear or behind your head. Move your left arm back and try to get both hands behind your back. Change the position of the feet and hands.
3. Cobra (Bhujangasana): Lie on your stomach, put your hands below your shoulders, elbows close to your body, pull your shoulder blades together, shoulders back down, shoulders away from your ears, inhale, lift your head and upper body while continuing to pull your shoulder blades together and shoulders give it to the back and down, arching the chest forwards. Do not go into the hollow back, i.e. do not bend the lower lumbar spine. Slightly tense your glutes to protect your lower back. It shouldn't hurt your lower back.
Hollow back:
A certain hollow back is natural. Most yoga exercises actually help against a very pronounced hollow back.There are a few things that are important to avoid or do not get wrong with some exercises. For example:
With all stretching and stretching exercises upwards, tilt the pelvis forward and tense the outer gluteal muscles a little, which prevents you from getting too hollow back (e.g. when stretching upwards in the sun salutation).
For all forward bends: bend from the hips, keep your lower back straight. Standing forward bend: tilt your pelvis back, straighten your back. Seated forward bend: first stretch a long way up, then bend forward from the hips.
Crocodile exercises while lying down are also good.
A preventive measure for sciatica is the grasshopper (lying on its stomach, arms stretched under the body, palms down or fists, chin on the floor, inhale, lift both legs straight). But be careful, if you already have problems or an acute matter, you should of course not practice this.
Shoulder joints: hands on shoulders, arms out from shoulder joint, a couple of times forward, a couple of times backward.
Warrior or cow head, see above. Any movement or exercise where you raise and bring your arm back.
As I said, to be on the safe side, talk to your doctor about this before you start practicing.

111. Tingling and twitching during asanas

The following happens during my exercises: As soon as I start to let go, an almost electrical tingling sensation runs through me, usually starting in the left leg. It feels as if someone is tickling me inside my leg, so that I usually stop at the latest when this tingling sensation occurs Body continues to rise, and it is usually associated with twitching of the limbs, which is in harmony with the tingling sensation. So far I have found the feeling too intense to be able to endure it any longer. Since it is currently happening with every exercise, no matter what posture I adopt, I am quite unsure of how to proceed. Does anyone have advice for me?

Reply from Sukadev:
Your problem can have 2 causes:
(1) nervous nature
(2) energetic in nature

(1) Nervous causes: this may be related to the sciatic nerve. In this case, when doing the asanas, you should make sure that you do not bend your lower back forward when you bend forward, but keep it very straight. You may refrain from bending forward, plowing and shoulder stand for 1-2 weeks. You should also not sit cross-legged for 1-2 weeks. Sitting on the heel or sitting on a chair with a natural lumbar curvature is good. Crocodile exercises and back bends are also recommended. Do turning exercises gently. Hiking is also considered very good. After that has calmed down a bit, you can start the exercises again. If that doesn't calm down, you should see a doctor. There can be various organic causes, including a slipped disc. (2) Energetic causes
Often everything is physically in order. Energy blockages can be released through yoga exercises and other energy practices. Then, when the energies are released, there may be twitching and tingling. These are then to be assessed positively. They help the energy to break through and are usually associated with pleasant sensations. In order to harmonize the process, I recommend: - deep conscious abdominal breathing leads to the inner center: Breathe out completely, also into it. Then breathe in comfortably (fill lungs 3/4 full) with your stomach out. You may want to place a hand on your stomach to feel the movement of your stomach. Inhale for approx. 3-4 seconds, exhale for approx. 3-4 seconds.

- Pure satiated food helps to break down energy blockages (see
- Mantra repetition (e.g. Shiva Chants cleanses the Nadis (energy channels)
- Walking grounds, as well as work in the ground (gardening etc.)

Whether your tremors / tingling are energetic or nervous is difficult to diagnose by email. One criterion is: In the case of energetic causes, there is an overall increased feeling of energy, an increased feeling of happiness and often a reduced need for sleep, in the case of nervous causes usually not. If you take part in a seminar with us, we can certainly help you very competently (

112.Which yoga exercises specifically help build muscle?

Reply from Sukadev: All yoga exercises that are strenuous also develop the muscles in question. Here are a few examples: For the leg muscles: Standing exercises such as Virabhadrasana. For the arms: scorpion, handstand, crow, peacock, fish from the lotus. For the abdominal muscles: Navasana lying on the back (abdominal muscle exercise), Kukkutasana. For the back muscles: cobra, grasshopper, bow, boat, fish, bird. For the neck muscles: Isometric neck muscle exercises, triangle. At
In all of our Asana Intensive (Yoga Bodywork) seminars, special emphasis is placed on building muscle ( However, these are not designed for beginners.

113.Who is Sage Sukadev?

Reply from Sukadev:

Sukadev (from whom I got my spiritual name) was the son of Vyasa, who collected the Vedas and wrote numerous scriptures
or has narrated (Bhagavatam, Mahabharata, Brahma Sutras etc.). He is said to have lived around the beginning of the Kali Yuga (around 3500 BC according to classical
Indian chronology) Sukadev is considered to be a self-realized sage who has combined jnana (wisdom) and bhakti (love). On our website you can find an article how Sukadev told the Bhagavatam about the Parikshit.

114.Which religion do you consider yourself to be?

You see a lot of Hindu influences, then a cross in between. As Western Europeans, we are actually "casteless" and can therefore not be Hindus?

Reply from Sukadev:

I do not consider myself to be a specific religion. According to the passport, I am a Protestant Christian and I also enjoy going to church from time to time. I have great reverence for the Buddha's teachings and feel very inspired by some Sufi sages. Have tales and stories of Hasidic rabbis
always fascinates me. My main spiritual practice is of course yoga, which is also cross-religious in India. I think associating yourself with a fixed religion is more of a European concept. In China, the same person could be Taoist, Buddhist, and Confucian. In India one does not know of some great masters like Kabir (16th century) or Sai Baba of Shirdi (19th century) whether they were more Hindu or Muslim. And the great innovator of yoga, Ramakrishna (19th century) had phases of Hindu, Muslim and Christian practice. So I don't see myself as belonging to any single religion, but I have great respect for those who do that.

115 Jesus - Master or Prophet?

In some articles you mention Jesus, for some he is a God, for others a Son of God or a prophet or none of the above - is there still room for other religions?

Reply from Sukadev:
Writing about Jesus is extremely difficult because it is easy to hurt other people's religious feelings. I mean, God is so great that He has manifested himself in different ways in history and given humanity different ways of spiritual practice. Swami Vishnu-devananda, my master, liked to say: "The ways are many, but truth is one". Whether one sees Jesus now as a prophet / master among many, or as one of many incarnations / sons of God or as THE Son of God, is not so important to me. It is more important to follow his teachings: "Love your neighbor as yourself". "Love God with all your heart and mind". I hope that Christians will continue to advance on the path of tolerance and love and practice what Jesus taught.

116.What is samskaras and vasanas, please?

Reply from Sukadev:
Samskaras are all impressions in the subconscious. It contains all memories, skills, impressions, wishes, etc. Vasanas are wishes. By the way, there is a Sanskrit-German dictionary on our website where you can find the most used Sanskrit Are allowed to find terms.

117.What can we do now for world peace?

Reply from Sukadev:
Swami Vishnu-devananda (1927-1993), the master in whose tradition we stand, had warned against terrorist attacks on a large scale many times in the seventies and eighties. In a lecture I heard myself at the beginning of the 1980s, he said: "All terrorists have to do is hijack a plane and steer it into the World Trade Center. And in no time 10,000 people will be dead." Swami Vishnu-devananda, who felt that peace and humanity would not come automatically even in the 21st century, recommended against hatred, war and terror:

(1) Daily prayers for peace: Everyone should send thoughts of light, love and peace into the world for at least 1 minute every day. In the Yoga Vidya house we chant the mantra "Om Namo Narayana" for world peace for 1 hour every day from 7 pm to 8 pm. In all Yoga Vidya centers, all yoga lessons and meditations are started and ended with prayers for peace. It would be nice if all recipients of this email send out thoughts or prayers of peace every day, be it with the mantra "Om Namo Narayanaya" or by mentally repeating "May peace be on earth" several times. Hatred gives birth to hatred. And according to yoga teaching, this hatred rises into the world of thought (Akashic Chronicle) and forms powerful black thought-clouds. These clouds of thought then rain in the form of wars, terrorist attacks and suffering. The more people send out thoughts of peace, the more the power of hatred can be mitigated. Let us create light clouds of thought of peace and love
(2) intensive practice, of yoga and meditation: If one arrives at one's immortal essence through intensive practice, one need not be afraid of whatever lies ahead
(3) Be peaceful in relationships with other people, especially with people of different faiths, members of other religions, nations and peoples
(4) Working for peace. Swami Vishnu-devananda even risked his life by flying for peace in an ultra-light aircraft from West to East Berlin in 1983 and from Israel to Egypt via the Suez Canal in the early 1970s. Now we can especially take part in peace marches, worship services and minutes of memory.
(5) Passing on the wisdom of yoga and meditation: Before the fact that people previously had inconceivable opportunities to destroy others and can even extinguish life on the planet, the passing on of spiritual knowledge has become a priority. If a sufficiently large minority can be induced to find peace within themselves and to become the channel of divine light, this can change the consciousness of the majority.

118. Yoga for thrombosis?

A student in my yoga class was very good at practicing yoga. She has had problems with her legs for some time. The doctors found her to have thrombosis and forbade her to continue practicing yoga. What do you think about it ?

Answer from Sukadev:
If a doctor has forbidden something, then as a yoga teacher one should not make contrary recommendations.
The best advice would be to give the student a yoga pose chart to show to her doctor. The doctor should then decide which exercises can be helpful and which cannot. You may be able to recommend that she see another doctor.
If there is a risk of thrombosis in the legs, doctors usually advise not to reverse the position and to avoid anything that would squeeze the legs, i.e. to avoid cross-legged positions. Normally, however, movement would be good (such as sun prayer, abdominal muscle exercises, crocodile exercises) as well as stretching exercises (forward and back bends, rotating seated positions, standing positions, etc.). Breathing exercises in a sitting position that does not press the legs, and of course deep relaxation and meditation (not cross-legged). But to what extent these exercises are good for the student should be decided by a doctor.

119. Are there mantras that are particularly suitable for Europeans?

Which mantra do you think is right for a European? How important are the sound vibrations?

Reply from Sukadev:
The classical Indian mantras are in Sanskrit and are particularly powerful because of their sound vibration. German words usually do not have the same power because they have always been different over the centuries
were pronounced, and are emphasized differently in every German dialect. Mantras, on the other hand, are original sounds. They were revealed to the sages in meditation many thousands of years ago. It is even said that Sanskrit evolved from the mantras, and not the mantras from Sanskrit.

There are different mantras in India. OM, RAM, OM NAMAH SHIVAYA are among the particularly well-known. "Rama" literally means "joy", "Shiva" means "the loving one". There is nothing to prevent Europeans from having love and joy
You can choose the mantra that suits you best. It is only important that it is a "moksha mantra", that is, a mantra that is suitable for meditation. A mantra is particularly powerful if one has received an initiation into it. But you can also repeat a mantra without initiation. Swami Sivananda not only recommended RAM, but has in
various mantras initiated. OM is just as powerful as RAM. Pick the one that is easiest for you to meditate with.
Of course, those who get into meditation better when they repeat a German name of God, such as "GOTT", "JESUS" or "JESUS ​​CHRIST", can do this too. A number of people also repeat, "LORD JESUS ​​CHRIST
Have mercy on OUR ". It is best to try it out and then let your intuition guide you.
You can find more about mantras in Swami Sivananda's book "Japa Yoga", which was published by Yoga Vidya Verlag. Here you go to the shop >>>
Further information on this topic can be found on our website >>>

120. Addiction problems

Do you have any advice for people who suffer from addiction problems or obsessive-compulsive behavior?

Reply from Sukadev:
I am not a psychologist or a psychotherapist. These would probably be the best contacts for such a problem.
However, accompanying every therapy and sometimes also effective on its own is the daily practice of yoga, especially asanas (yoga postures), pranayama (breathing exercises), deep relaxation and meditation. This gives you access to yourself, to your own real needs. And you get the strength to meet the actual needs and no longer need substitute gratifications. I know very, very many people who, through regular yoga practice alone, have gained the strength to overcome addiction problems for years.
It often helps to live in a yoga environment for a while, for example to attend a yoga seminar in the Yoga Vidya house for a week ( or .htm. This is how you get good impetus, strength and inspiration.
There was also a book "The Yoga Path from Addiction and Dependency". I don't know if it's going to be moved, though. But you can try to see if you can still get it.

121. Cross-legged seat

Is sitting with your legs crossed for meditation bad for your veins, even for a long time?

Reply from Sukadev:
Varicose veins are a complex topic and it is best to consult a doctor or alternative practitioner.Much depends on the type and severity of the symptoms.
Usually, the cross-legged seat is considered a very good prevention against varicose veins. Varicose veins are virtually unknown in people who sit on the floor. Since the distance between the feet and the heart is not that great, and the muscles of the legs are compressed as if by a support stocking, the arterial pump in a cross-legged seat can pump the venous blood to the heart much better than in a seated chair. However, there are more advanced forms of varicose veins where there is a risk of squeezing a vein. In this case, sitting with your legs straight, or crossing your legs so that, can be helpful
no vein is squeezed. You can experiment a little and look or feel how the size of the veins changes or not when you sit down. You can also meditate while sitting on a chair. You should be in the chair
but don't sit motionless for too long.
As I said, only a naturopath or doctor who has examined you can give specific advice for the respective case.

122. Breathing exercises, lung cancer and yoga

Can you say from your yoga experience whether certain breathing exercises are particularly recommended and whether certain things have to be observed (perhaps caution with Kapalabhati?) Is there anything you know about experiences with lung cancer and yoga?

Reply from Sukadev:
I would recommend the following breathing exercises, which of course would have to be learned step by step:
- Simple abdominal breathing, inhale for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds
- Slowed abdominal breathing: inhale for 4 seconds, exhale more slowly (up to 8 seconds)
- Alternating breathing without stopping: 4 sec. on, off for 4 seconds
- Alternating breathing without stopping: 4 sec. on, off for 8 seconds
- Alternating breathing with gentle holding: 4 sec. on, hold for 4 seconds, off for 8 seconds (the pause can possibly be increased slowly)
- Brahmari
- Sitali / Sitkari

I am firmly convinced that these breathing exercises, carried out gently and consciously, can at least give a cancer patient relaxation, more vitality and increased freedom from pain. Whether the healing effects are documented
I can't tell you.

123. Shortened tendons

I have shortened tendons on my legs / calves. Which exercises are then particularly effective and can correct this quickly?
Is it possible that one can grow through yoga because the tendons can stretch further?

Reply from Sukadev:
For shortened tendons on the legs and calves, the forward bends are very effective. You can take a look at the exercises on the pages:

These exercises are of course to be seen as part of a series of exercises, e.g.
Exercise plan_Rishikesh_Beginner

If you are familiar with yoga, you can also practice the following exercises:
- one-legged forward bend
- Balancing act
- From the supine position: leg-to-head position

The best way to learn the yoga exercises is of course in a yoga center, for example in the Yoga Vidya Center Cologne
(Yoga-Vidya Center at Eigelsteintor, Lübecker Straße 8-10, 50668 Cologne, Tel: 0221 - 1394308, Fax: 0221 - 1394309,
Indeed, it is possible that the tendons will become longer again, and that yoga will also give you a few inches of height. Regular exercise is important. It is astonishing how little effort can be made to achieve a great effect. There is probably nothing better than yoga for making the body more flexible.

124. Positions in the sun salutation?

Include e.g. knee kisses etc. also in the series of inversions in the broader or narrower sense?
Would you advise against it if you have retinal problems (sun salutation) or does it also depend on the length of time you stay in the head-down position?

Reply from Sukadev: The standing forward bend (knee kiss) in the sun salutation is also one of the inverse positions in the broader sense. But you should ask your doctor whether this position is questionable, as it is not held for very long.
You could also replace the forward bend with a squat. This means that you go from position 2 to a crouching position (keep your head up) by bending your knees. From here you can go to position no. 4 normally. In positions 8 and 10 you let your head up again.

With a little skill you can practice this variation of the sun prayer. Here are the movements of the sun prayer with the numbers, as they are practiced in Yoga Vidya: SuryaNamaskar beginner
Or SuryaNamaskar beginner

125. Access to sexual energy

1. Men often have more sexual pleasure than women. Does this mean that they have better access to your sexual energy?
2. If I feel no or hardly any desire for sex, is the Svadisthana chakra (almost) closed so that no energy can flow? Or is the energy in me immediately and unconsciously and unnoticed converted into spiritual energy?
Is the energy there and just cannot flow, or does it not exist, because otherwise I would feel it?
3. Should I try to get access to my sexual energy (tantra course) in order to use it specifically for my spiritual advancement or should I be happy not to get into the temptation of wasting energy in the first place because I abstain from sex without difficulty?

Reply from Sukadev:
1. I would assume more biological (evolutionary) reasons, and less that the access to sexual energy is better. Some yoga masters also say that women put more energy into emotions than men, while men put more energy into sexuality. Therefore, it is easier for many women to develop devotion and love for God.
2. Sexual energy is one of the manifestations of the Swadhisthana chakra energy. If you feel little or no desire to have sex, it just means that your energy is not manifesting in that way. In return, your energy will manifest in a different way.
3. It is not advisable to try to activate sexual energy in any way. On the contrary, be glad that you can practice Brahmacharya without difficulty - provided you are not in a relationship and your lack of interest in sexuality is an obstacle to your partnership.

126. Yoga for pregnant women

In my yoga group there is a pregnant woman (in her 3rd month). What kind of exercises is she allowed to do and which are not for the time being.

Reply from Sukadev:
In the first 3 months women can basically do everything that is done in the yoga beginners course. Exercises that pose a risk of the woman falling (e.g. headstand without assistance) and exercises that are very strenuous should be avoided. There are no such strenuous exercises in a yoga beginners course anyway. During breathing exercises, pregnant women should only hold their breath very briefly or not at all. With alternating breathing, pregnant women will best practice the exercise at their own pace. Breathe in for 4 seconds, breathe out for 8 seconds is a good rhythm. Some women can hold their breath for 4 seconds after a while. It is important that the rhythm is perfectly comfortable so that the fetus does not suffer from a lack of oxygen. Also with Kapalabhati she should only hold her breath as long as comfortable. In the second 3 months most of the exercises can be done normally. Exercises in which there is a lot of weight on the stomach (cobra, bow) must be modified or replaced (e.g. with cobra with outstretched arms, instead of bow cat, camel or crescent).

127. How often is it useful to meditate? Where can I find different meditation techniques?

Reply from Sukadev:
1. Duration of meditation: Basically, it is important to meditate daily. The ideal is to meditate for at least 20 minutes at a time. But you can also have several shorter meditations. In the beginning, it is not advisable to meditate for more than 1 hour a day unless a competent meditation teacher deems it advisable.
2. There are different techniques of meditation. You can find out a lot about it
in an article of mine: meditation. You will also find good literature there.

128. "Yoga for the Heart"

Today I offered a course by telephone to the VHS in Düsseldorf on the subject of "Yoga for the Heart". Can I offer such a course without a doctor or is the risk too great?

Reply from Sukadev:
Yoga is not dangerous, on the contrary, it is a very good thing. And I am assuming that you will start the yoga classes gently. If it is written: "Yoga for the heart", that is ok. If it is written: "Yoga for the Cure of Heart Disease", that is not ok. Yoga has been shown to prevent heart disease and strengthen the heart. You must not promise healing effects. And if participants do indeed have heart disease, they should certainly ask the doctor.

129. What can I do about my hollow back?

Reply from Sukadev:
Hollow back in and of itself is not a bad thing to a certain extent. People naturally have a slight curve in their lower back. If this curvature is a little stronger, it is called a hollow back. But if you strengthen the abdominal muscles and back muscles, stretch the leg muscles and psoas muscles, and do regular twisting exercises, you never need to get back pain because of a hollow back, even if the hollow back does not completely disappear. Otherwise, there are a number of yoga exercises that can help against a hollow back. However, it is difficult to "teach" this through email. It would be best if you visit a qualified yoga teacher and let him or her guide you.

130. Bandhas and Mudras

What is the difference between the effects of Jalandhara Bandha and Kechari Mudra? Can the latter also be used with Anuloma Viloma - or is Jalandhara Bandha more or less mandatory here? Then it is unclear to me with what intensity the bandhas and mudras are performed at all. In Uddhiyana Bandha, is the stomach pulled in very tightly or is it more or less only indicated?

Reply from Sukadev: Swami Vishnu-devananda taught us for Anuloma Viloma Jalandhara Bandha, and not Kechari Mudra. The scriptures also describe Jalandhara Bandha for Anuloma Viloma. Uddhiyana Bandha: If you do Uddhiyana Bandha after exhaling, the abdomen is already drawn in very firmly and completely. When practicing Uddhiyana Bandha after inhaling as part of Maha-Bandha, Uddhiyana Bandha is only gently practiced, i.e. only gently pulling in the lower abdomen.

131. Reimbursement of costs for a Hatha Yoga course

How can I cleverly argue against a rejection of the reimbursement of costs for a hatha yoga course of 7 evenings because of my so-called "lack of basic qualification" (educational or medical training)?

Reply from Sukadev:
If you do not have the basic qualification required by the health insurances (state medical or educational), your efforts will be in vain to get the costs for the courses you have given from the health insurances. Because the health insurers have recently committed themselves even more to insisting on this "basic qualification". Therefore, the participants of the yoga courses in our Yoga Vidya centers do not get the course costs reimbursed by the health insurance.
But there are also a number of yoga teachers trained by us who work independently with health insurance companies. Some even without "basic qualifications", especially if the local clerk does not know the exact status of the rules or a regional office ignores it. In general, however, no matter how you argue, they cannot be persuaded to reimburse course fees.

132. Energy perception

I have contact with various people who I have the feeling that they are drawing energy away from me. What can I do to neutralize this energy sucking effect?

Reply from Sukadev: Be generous with your energies. If you practice yoga or meditate regularly, you know techniques with which you can restore the energy. So give your energy to others. If you envision yourself giving voluntarily, you will lose even less. As a further aid, so that you can regenerate your energy immediately while sharing your energy:
- Repeat a mantra and imagine that with the mantra you come into contact with the divine. Consciously give man the divine power of the mantra
- Breathe in and out deeply with your stomach. As a result, your prana regenerates immediately
- You can imagine that when you breathe in you are receiving light and power from above. With a smile, as you exhale, imagine that you are consciously sending this light and power to people
- become aware that there is a divine core in every human being. If you see or feel this divine core in every human being, then you will experience inspiration in the presence of every human being ...

Otherwise: Be aware that you are not the energy body. Feelings of energy come and go. When you become aware that your self, your true nature, is independent of external energy states, you can maintain equanimity and draw strength and bliss from within.

133. Love for all people.

How can I love all people? Why should I and how can I do that?

Reply from Sukadev: 1. Because there is the same consciousness in everyone, and we are ultimately all like cells of one body. And because it's a wonderful experience. 2. It's a long way ... But the most important part is: Make it yours. Make this resolution. Then you can work on it:
(a) Send blessings to everyone every morning. I.e. repeat the words in the mind (and feel from the heart): "May all beings be happy". or "I send light and love in all directions"
(b) When you meet someone, greet them inwardly with all your heart (before you speak to them). For example: "May you be well" or: "I greet the divine in you", or I really wish him "good day" from the bottom of my heart
(c) Learn to see the world through someone else's eyes. You can make an exercise out of this: Try every day (or once a week) to see the world from someone else's perspective. So you can get to know the greatness of the inner world of every person
(d) Especially when there is someone you don't like so much, make it your business to like him / her. That doesn't mean that you have to agree to everything he does and thinks. It can even be that you have to defend yourself or do something against injustice. Nevertheless, you can do this with love or with understanding.
(e) Be patient with yourself. "All" includes yourself. It takes a while, and you can learn to love your own humanity too.

134. Are there any special exercises for a tennis elbow or ways to improve the symptoms?

Reply from Sukadev:
The most important pieces of advice for someone with tennis elbow from a yoga standpoint: - Yoga exercises are generally good. The flow of life energy and relaxation activate the self-healing powers - During yoga exercises you should not overload your elbows - During exercises that strain your arms (e.g. dog and stick, ie No. 5 and 8 in the sun prayer; inclined plane), should Don't keep your elbows straight, but rather slightly bent - a vegetarian diet, especially food combining and raw vegetables, as well as fasting with fresh juices, especially carrot juice, has helped many people with joint diseases

- There are physiotherapeutic exercises that strengthen the muscles around the joint so that the joint is relieved. These exercises should be best instructed by a good physical therapist
- Yoga exercises cannot replace treatment by a competent doctor

135. Pranayama

What rules should I use to extend or extend the practice times?the Kumbhaka times? Which chakra / s should I focus on at this stage of the practice? Does alternate breathing make sense without combining it with other breathing techniques?

Reply from Sukadev:
You can lengthen the kumbhaka times as long as it remains comfortable and the rhythm of inhalation: stopping: exhalation remains roughly 1: 4: 2. As long as that is comfortable for you, you can extend it to 16:64:32. In principle, you can gradually extend the exercise times for alternate breathing to up to 2x 45 minutes. You can also do alternate breathing as the only breathing exercise. Otherwise, it makes sense to practice 3 rounds of kapalabhati before alternating breathing. You should have learned Kapalabhati from a teacher, otherwise mistakes will creep in. Concentrating on the Ajna Chakra makes the most sense when breathing alternately. Otherwise the following applies: If you want to extend the alternating breathing time to over 20 minutes and want to intensify the pranayama as a whole, you should structure your diet fully. That means in particular a vegetarian wholefood diet, no alcohol and no tobacco. You can find more about this on our website under Yoga_Ernaehrung When doing intensive pranayama, you should also practice at least a few asanas a day so that the body is ready to carry more of the prana.

136. Irregular passage of time in meditation

Unfortunately, I do not have the opportunity to retire to a specially designated room or corner for meditation at home. I have something like a small altar that I use for orientation, but it's in the middle of the bedroom. In addition, I have a very irregular schedule, i.e. I don't keep any fixed times for meditation. Is that bad?

Reply from Sukadev:
You can also meditate in your bedroom. It is good that you have an altar. If at all possible, it would be good if you can reserve a corner of the room for meditation, so that the spiritual one
Vibration can build up. But if that doesn't work, it's okay. If you can't keep a regular meditation time, try the following: Create a regularity in the midst of the irregularity: That is, always get up 20 minutes earlier, so that you can start your day with meditation. Or: On the late shift, meditate in the morning, and on the early shift in the afternoon / evening. A certain regularity helps the mind get into the good habit of meditating and calm down more quickly. But the most important thing is to meditate for at least 20 minutes a day.

137.What is special about Surya Bheda?

What happens on the energetic level with Surya Bheda? What is special about this technology?

Reply from Sukadev: I answer, of course, out of my tradition (Swami Sivananda - Swami Vishnu-devananda). Other Masters may have said otherwise on this subject. Surya Bheda is one of the more advanced breathing exercises and should only be practiced by more advanced students. Normally one should first practice 3 rounds of Kapalabhati and then 20 minutes of alternating breathing with Bandhas and Samanu concentration in order to harmonize the energy system.
Then you create a conscious energy imbalance with the energy awakening and heating exercises Bhastrika Ujjayi Kumbhaka and Surya Bheda: The solar energy should be increased, the body, the energy system and the mind should be heated. This melts any blockages. And above all: This activated fire energy can then ignite or awaken the most powerful sleeping energy, namely the Kundalini Shakti, of course only when one is ready for it.

In Bhastrika, after violently inhaling and exhaling, one breathes through the right one. Nostril (solar energy channel), then holds your breath and exhales on the left (the moon energy channel). With Ujjayi Kumbhaka one always exhales on the left after stopping, and with Surya Bheda one breathes in on the right and exhale on the left. It is therefore very important to do one or more exercises from the following categories according to Surya Bheda (and also according to Ujjayi and Bhastrika): - Cooling exercises (Sitali, Sitkari, Chandra Bheda)
- Moon energy strengthening exercises (Khechari Mudra, inversions such as headstand, shoulderstand, Shambhavi Mudra)
- General harmonizing exercises (meditation, deep relaxation)

All of these exercises as well as explanations of the effects of these exercises can be learned during the Kundalini Yoga Intensive Weeks in House Yoga Vidya (Kundalini). I strongly advise against using Surya Bheda, Ujjayi and Bhastrika without observing the basic rules and without guidance from
to practice with a yoga teacher. You can be very powerful. If you are interested in theoretical explanations, you will find something in Swami Sivananda's book "Wissenschaft des Pranayama", published by Yoga Vidya Verlag, readable online under Pranayama

Kapalabhati and alternating breathing in their simple variations, on the other hand, can be practiced safely by everyone (see Kapalabhati alternating breathing)

138. Meditate. What tips are there for noisy neighbors?

I have suffered from severe depression for many years and would like to take up meditation seriously and regularly. Since I unfortunately live in a very badly soundproofed apartment with very loud and inconsiderate neighbors, I would like to know if you can give me a tip on how I can learn to deal with this problem and with my negative thoughts towards these people?

Reply from Sukadev:
The best solution is certainly to use ear plugs and thus switch off external noises. Meditation can be very helpful to you. However, I advise people with depression against using abstract techniques. So-called "saguna meditation techniques" such as mantra meditation, tratak and quality meditation are best suited. There are of course other techniques, but since you seem to be familiar with mantras, I would certainly advise you to practice mantra meditation. By the way: I am in India more often. In India, in the most sacred places, it is often only possible to meditate with ear plugs. The noise in India is considerably greater in the holy places than in the West, even with inconsiderate neighbors. You have to know how to help yourself ...

139.What can be done about knee problems?

A yoga student of mine has acute meniscus problems. She hadn't had any knee complaints for years. After the first yoga class (beginners' course) she was in pain again every day. What can be the cause?

Reply from Sukadev:
It's such a thing with the meniscus ... If in doubt, a doctor should also be consulted to investigate what actually caused the knee pain. It doesn't really have to be the meniscus if the knee hurts. And a doctor should always be consulted with medical matters.

Actually, there is no exercise at all in the first lesson for beginners that could strain the meniscus (or the knee at all). At most, sitting on the floor during the initial explanations could be stressful. It is likely that the knee problems have nothing to do with the yoga class and would have come without the yoga class.

In general, from a yoga standpoint, the following can be said about knee problems:
- Exercises that strengthen the quadriceps are good, especially the hero position. The knee must not be bent more than a right angle, and the knee should not hurt
- Riding a bike is considered excellent
- Be careful in cross-legged and kneeling positions. These must not hurt. Perhaps the participant should be doing pranayama on a chair or sitting against the wall with her legs stretched. During sun prayer she should be very careful not to hurt her knees. Especially in position 4 (half moon), the knee should be right-angled (and not acute-angled). If the knee hurts, the participant may have to modify the sun prayer more strongly or have to forego the sun prayer altogether.

140.Which mantra is good for fasting?

I fast once a week and have been looking for a mantra to start and end this day for a long time. Just not eating is too mundane for me. Can you give me a mantra

Reply from Sukadev:
On the day of fasting you can sing or recite especially the "OM NAMAH SHIVAYA" and the "Om Tryambhakam". Shiva is also the aspect of asceticism and healing. It is therefore particularly beneficial to begin and end the fasting day with Shiva mantras.

141.What is a good daily rhythm for yoga teachers?

What can I do as a teaching yoga teacher to find a good daily rhythm and what should I do with all the energy in the evening after the yoga classes, even though I am physically dead tired and need to sleep?

Reply from Sukadev:
You are now experiencing a common phenomenon experienced by many yoga teachers and most of our city center staff. You have to find a daily routine that suits you.

The nice thing about teaching yoga is this feeling of being connected with a higher force, which you can also feel after the yoga class. Be grateful for that! For some, however, this brings some difficulties in falling asleep, as it is now with you ...

Help with being "turned up" after yoga lessons is:
- Before going to sleep, do any activity for about 10-20 minutes that will help you to calm down a little: going for a walk, reading something, gentle pranayama (e.g. alternating breathing in a very gentle rhythm), meditation or prayer. - Set a fixed time for when you go to bed, regardless of whether you are turned up or not. - When you lie down, do some deep relaxation and give yourself the suggestion before deep relaxation such as: "I want to wake up during this deep relaxation" or "please dear subconscious, let me fall asleep in 5 minutes", or something similar
- If necessary, practice several deep relaxation techniques in a row
- Become aware of how much sleep you need. If you teach late, you won't be able to get up at 5 a.m. Apparently you used to have at least 7 hours of sleep and felt comfortable with it. Make sure you get the same amount of sleep and set yourself a fixed time
when you get up. The staff at the Yoga Vidya Centers have found that getting up at 6:30 a.m. and meditating at 7 a.m. is usually best.
- If you can't do all the early morning practices, do at least one thing, and then do the other practices after your husband has left the house.

By the way: this is only a temporary phase. After several months, at the latest after a year, your body, energy system and mind will have got used to the new rhythm and the new tasks. But it is important that you really keep a rhythm.