Ask Ananda’s Experts
Questions and Answers About Meditation, Yoga, the Spiritual Life, and More

Category: Health and Healing

Page 1 of 12 Next

Nirmal
UK

Question

A friend of mine is desperately wanting to become a vegetarian, however is facing some issues. She is allergic to many vegetarian food sources and is prone to anaemia. She has anaphylactic reactions to nuts, seaweed, mushrooms and chickpeas; and is sensitive to pomegranate, potatoes, eggs, soya, dairy and fermented products. Do you have any advice considering her dietary restrictions and guilt surrounding her meat-eating?

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Nirmal,

This is not an easy question to answer, since your friend is anemic and has many allergic reactions to vegetarian foods.

Paramhansa Yogananda recommended to eliminate beef and pork as they are high in saturated fats and toxins. Fish, chicken and sheep are not as evolved animals as cows and pigs, so she can eat those.

Besides eating fish, chicken and lamb, she can focus on what she can eat in the plant kingdom, and see if it works. Experiment, use common sense, and consider seeing an ayurvedic practitioner that can work with her diet and tailor it more specifically to her needs.

Blessings,

Diksha

April Bryson
USA

Question

My chiropractor suggested I do the plank pose every day to strengthen certain muscles. I do not see this pose in my Raja Yoga book. Did Swamiji not teach it? Also, how does a person know which of the many poses to do? I did yoga postures while at The Expanding Light retreat, but don’t include it in my routine. Should I?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear April,

Plank pose is one of many helpful poses that Swami Kriyananda didn’t include in The Art and Science of Raja Yoga, for the simple reason that one can write about only so many poses.

I suspect that your chiropractor has determined that certain of your so-called "core" muscles need to be strengthened in order to support your spine properly. I would say, follow his/her recommendation and see what happens.

As for how to know which poses to do in general, it’s best to work with a qualified yoga teacher who will take into account your overall goals, special considerations, and your chiropractor’s advice in order to develop a routine that is right for you.

Blessings,

Gyandev

Pain from the Past
August 3, 2015

Tom
United States of America

Question

i am as a child, 34 years old without ever knowingly meditating and with a large amount of repressed physical and psychic pain. I am trying to learn to find love in myself, overcome my pain and find my center and balance. I experienced a release of emotion and non physical pain when I tried yoga for the first time yesterday and afterwards as well. Can you give advice on how to get the most from yoga in these regards or how else to deal with this pain?

Nayaswami Gyandev

Nayaswami Gyandev

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Tom,

I congratulate you on doing something about these difficulties. It’s not at all unusual to have such difficulties, and for yoga practice to bring about a release—sometimes pleasant, sometimes less so.

As for how to practice, in general, take it easy. Don’t use your practice to try to get things to “come up.” Rather, be gentle, and let your practice work its own magic, so energy releases as it will rather than forcing it to release, which can lead to unpleasantness.

As to how to deal with the pain, first of all, know that for it to come out doesn’t mean that you have created a new problem—it was in there anyway, And for it to come to the surface naturally can be the first step in dealing with it in a healthy way.

Another important point is to accept yourself—past and present. Pain can get much worse if you think that you should be—or should have been—someone different. The past was what it was, you’ve learned from it, now it’s the present, and you’re a different person. Do your best to move forward without guilt or self-condemnation.

As Paramhansa Yogananda’s guru put it, “Forget the past. The vanished lives of all men are dark with many shames. Human conduct is ever unreliable until man is anchored in the Divine. Everything in future will improve if you are making a spiritual effort now.”

Blessings,

Gyandev

kiran
India

Question

I am suffering from depression which is caused by the problems of fear of decease n fear of death.i have been practicing haung-sau and om meditation techniques from last 1 year but these thoughts are keep coming during meditaion.plz advice to avoid these negative thoughs during meditation and general advice to improve my condition

Nayaswami Diksha

Nayaswami Diksha

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Kiran,

Sometimes during times when one experiences depression, fear or other negative emotions, it might not be enough to practice meditation, as the heart is too agitated.

Try adding meditative activities, like walking meditation with a repetition of a positive affirmation like this one by Swami Kriyananda:

"I am strong in myself, I am complete in myself. The joy and perfection of the universe, await discovery within my inner being."

Try walking in nature and relating to the beauty of flowers, trees, and the sound of birds. Focus on deep breathing, and feeling life’s energy and vitality flowing through you. Feel the joy of your own being.

Spend time with positive supportive people.

Find a way to serve other people. Sharing and giving to other people will help you expand your self identity. As you feel more joyful, then you will find that the meditation practices will be more effective.

Right now, it is better to focus on self-expansion, through service to others, through meditative activities, and feeling the joy of your existence. And if you are taking prescription medication for depression, continue that.

Blessings,

Nayaswami Diksha

leow
singapore

Question

Do you have any recommendations on how to use acupressure to stop drowsiness?

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Thanks for your question. I am familiar with acupressure through charts and books but not an expert, so I will simply address the drowsiness factor. The first step is to look at your life and see why you are feeling drowsy and when. Are you pushing yourself too hard and do you need a rest, etc.? If so, seek a more balanced schedule. Paramhansa Yogananda taught that we must be practical in our idealism.

A balanced diet can also be a very important factor. Sometimes when people first switch to a vegetarian diet they may add in too many carbohydrates, such as rice, bread, or potatoes to make up for the meat and fish proteins that have been eliminated from the diet. If you suspect this may be a factor in your own situation, see if you can add in some eggs to make up for the proteins so you don’t rely so heavily on rice, for instance. Too much rice or bread can make a person drowsy.

But if you feel affected by drowsiness to the degree it is interfering with your life, a few things can help. If it overcomes you at an inopportune time, then the fastest way out of it is to focus deeply and strongly at the point between the eyebrows (the spiritual eye). Visualize a bright light there. This can banish drowsiness very quickly.

If you are driving a car, please understand that your drowsiness puts lives at risk (your own and others) — so your duty is to either pull over and take a nap, or have someone else drive. If your drowsiness is not severe, you can take a cup of strong coffee or black tea if you know that will help you. Remember when you are driving or using heavy machinery your first duty is to not kill anyone. Of course, under normal circumstances, you should only drink caffeine in the morning, so that you can sleep again at night. This is important in cases of drowsiness because you don’t want your sleep cycles disturbed and thus causing more drowsiness.

The Superconscious Living Exercises can be very helpful, and you can watch an informal video of them here.

May you be well.

ruchit
India

Question

Is there any way in yoga to heal ourselves if we are infected by harmful diseases , recently i was diagnosed by an herpes zoster virus in my body and i heard that to remove it permanently i need to take help to yoga,

if you know how can i heal myself, please provide guidance to me, it'll be really appreciated.

Mary Kretzmann

Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Village

Answer

Thank you for your question. There are several forms of herpes zoster, but I will answer in a general way.

Whenever you are told something is incurable, instead think of it as simply resistant to healing, but not impossible to heal. The pattern of the illness may be that it is typically incurable. But all things are potentially mutable, so apply your best energy to the situation.

Here are my suggestions:

Please read Divine Will Healing by Paramhansa Yogananda. It is available from Ananda Publications in India (and at Crystal Clarity in the USA). Read from it each day to increase your positive frame of mind for healing.

Please also purchase Scientific Healing Affirmations by Paramhansa Yogananda. There are many suitable affirmations in the book. Read it through, and learn to do some of the affirmations with depth and attention. Please start by doing this powerful affirmation daily, and then learn others. Also helpful is Swami Kriyananda’s book, Affirmations for Self-Healing.

One more suggestion is to play the Gayatri Mantra CD daily for at least one month. This is to help you to heal the body cells and also reset your body vibration to a higher level. It might also be helpful to listen to the  AUM: Mantra of Eternity cd playing very softly while you sleep. This can bring changes in consciousness within about 3 weeks. These mantras will help your soul to dissolve some old energies that may be holding you back. You can experiment with both CDs and see which one resonates with you most deeply, and focus on that one for a while. I want you to feel that there is some flexibility in this process.

Of course, please do learn to meditate as this will help you to focus deeply on your healing affirmations and visualizations.

Paramhansa Yogananda said, "I know many cures". One that he mentioned for skin ailments was coconut oil. Try to get the purest non-hydrogenated form you can buy. This is a known antiviral. So you can use it topically and you can also eat it daily. A typical dose to heal a chronic viral load would be about three tablespoons a day. You can also simply eat a good amount of fresh coconut daily.  These are simply my suggestions, and I advise you to use this as a starting point for your own research, but I have seen coconut oil help many ailments.

It is also advised to eat a healthy diet, of course, and to avoid artificial sweeteners as these seem to interfere with natural cures for herpes zoster. Another powerful remedy is oregano oil, another known antiviral.

Please do the affirmations and listen to the mantras, and know they will help to heal you directly, and also they can serve as a divine magnet to bring healing solutions to you. Paramhansa Yogananda demonstrated miraculous healing power, so please pray and ask him to guide you in your healing process.

I hope these suggestions are helpful to you. Use the mantras and affirmations to raise your vibrations and to help to dissolve the old karmic pattern. Then choose any of the above remedies and apply them with a positive mind. Put your faith in God even as you apply the remedies. God is the healer, but if you also use remedies, ask Him to infuse them with healing potency.

Be well.

Mary Kretzmann

Director, Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

James
UK

Question

I am a highly sensitive person suffering from depression since childhood. In the past I’ve experimented with hypnotherapy and shamanic journeying. I’ve not felt myself since. I continue to be plagued by dark thoughts and presences. I’ve practiced light worker ceremonies in the past. I feel this darkness wants to destroy me. How do I finally free myself? I’ve tried everything. Do I face it without fear? The darkness holds onto me so tightly.

Nayaswami Savitri

Nayaswami Savitri

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear James,

We are very sorry to hear of all your difficulties. In a private e-mail to you, I will send a long list of suggestions from Paramhansa Yogananda’s and Swami Kriyananda’s teachings which offer many excellent suggestions on how to pull away from the forces of darkness, which seems to have a strong hold on to you.

To sum it up, Yogananda says: "Never fear the darkness or beat at it with a stick. Instead, turn on the light and it will vanish as though it had never been." The dark forces are a reality, but we should never give them more power by fearing them or angrily fighting them.

"Turning on the light" means to add as much spiritual power into your life as possible. Having a God-realized guru to help you is one of the best possible things you could do.

Sometimes we really do not have enough strength to overcome dark forces alone, but the Great Ones certainly do! It’s a matter of inviting their energy and light into your life and then, though it might take some time, you will see that by being in a partnership with this best-of-all kind of Divine help, you come out of your cave of inner darkness and depression into the clear light of perfect, unending joy.

As you have found out, hypnotism and shamanic journeying definitely can cause psychic problems. Be sure to leave these things alone in the future.

Finally, I suggest that you ask for further help from having others pray for you. Please contact the Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry and request healing prayers. I will pray for you also. Take heart! This is not a hopeless situation, especially if you are willing to put out enough strong, positive energy to meet what is troubling you.

Thomas Petak
Australia

Question

Hi, I really hope you can help me figure out this dilemma. My mother is mentally ill and she has an extremely negative influence on me. She has no friends and my dad, my brother and me are the only family she has in Australia. Due to her condition she is the source of conflict in our family.

Is it correct to remove myself from her life to seek a more harmonious environment? Even if she ends up alone, experiencing unimaginable suffering?

Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you so much.

Nayaswami Parvati

Nayaswami Parvati

Ananda Village

Answer

Dear Thomas,

I certainly do appreciate that this is a difficult situation for you. What comes to my mind first is, do you feel you are doing your mother any good by being physically present with her? This may seem like a strange question, but do think about it seriously. If being in her presence has “an extremely negative influence” on you, as you have written, then I would doubt that this is the case.

In such an intense situation – the negativity you experience, and the fact that she is your mother – I would think that it is best to remove yourself from it. This may seem heartless in one way. But at the same time, I would also suggest that you not abandon her. I think you should put a lot of effort into understanding healing prayers done at a distance, and how to do them effectively. Then every day set aside time after your meditations to pray deeply for her. If done correctly and regularly, your prayers will have a much more healing effect on her than your physical presence. Here is the link for healing prayer on Ananda’s website. There is a 10-minute video on the right side of the screen for doing Healing Prayers at a distance.

Your mother is already experiencing suffering, whether you are with her or not, so I wouldn’t put too much emphasis on this. The karmic ties between people can be very deep, so it’s good to recognize them and to try to do something about them, especially when they are very negative.

I hope these suggestions and information will be helpful to you.

In divine friendship,

Nayaswami Parvati

Page 1 of 12 Next