Ask Yogi Maharaj- Dr. Malik

Ask Yogi Maharaj

=> Dr. Malik

Yogi Maharaj Dr. Malik our Editor (since 2003) is a  recognised international expert and an authority on the subject of Yoga. He started his training under the
guidance of Yogis from the Himalayan region at the age of six and also received instructions from Sufis, Lamas and Sadhus. He is an accredited Yoga teacher
specialising in Kundalini, Hatha and Laya Yoga. Founder and pioneer of Yogology, a spiritual technology which combines ancient traditions and principles of
Laya, Hatha, Kundalini and meditative practices, Yogi Malik began teaching this over 20 years ago. He has spent a lifetime dedicated to researching, teaching and
sharing his knowledge on yoga. He is also a practitioner of related alternative therapies, including Shamanism.

Q: I was told by one of my friends that there is a yoga exercise which is done standing in water and for that you have to suck in water and then spit it out. Apparently, it makes you defy old age?
M. Tomas – Bedford
A: There are quite a few yoga exercises that are done in water. These help build stamina, strength and stability. A popular term used in modern times has been Aqua Yoga. This style of yoga is also a development on some ancient yoga postures along with integrating other disciplines.

The exercise that your friend is probably alluding to is most likely the matangini mudra. This is an ancient exercise that has been recorded in one of the oldest books  on classical yoga – The Gheranda Samhita. 

Traditionally and popularly, the word mudra has been associated with sacred hand gestures or gestures of power (energy). In this specific context matangini mudra, (which I presume your friend referred to), is documented in the above book as a yoga exercise performed in water. (There is also a hand mudra that is known as the matangi mudra.) Here, I will be discussing the practical yoga asana that is described as matangini mudra that is mentioned in the ancient classical yoga book
above. It is stated that this exercise should be performed on your own, in a place of solitude. It should also be practised with great care and diligence.
Traditionally this exercise has been done by yogis standing in places of 

natural beauty and clean water such as streams and rivers. It is, however, not advised to do so in today’s world as there is much pollution. You may end up making yourself ill if you accidentally ingest something nasty such as plastic related debris. Sit in a bath of water or similar kind of utensil, so that the water is neck high. Next inhale the water through the nose and spit it out from the month. Now do this again, this time suck the water in from the mouth and then release it from the nostrils. Do this exercise a few times. Regular performance will, according to the Gheranda Samhita makes you as mighty and strong as an elephant. Other direct benefits of performing such an exercise is that it delays old age and improves your longevity.

Q: I am 29 years old and spend most of my day working in front of a computer. I am an IT technician. Can you explain any yoga pose that might be suitable for me to help me with my lower back. Sometimes it feels tight and other days it just feels heavy in the evening.
T. Kane

A: Practising yoga regularly, even just once a week will help you improve overall health and provide the body with much needed movement.  Here is one yoga exercise that I have enjoyed performing over the years and hope that you will find  that it works for you to loosen the tightness that you feel. Its an ancient
pose and there are several variations of the Baddha Konasana (cobblers pose which has been explored in depth in previous issues of the magazine). Here
is one version that you can try. Sitting on the floor with your knees bent, keep your spine straight and head up. Bring the soles of your feet together as if in prayer  pose. Drop the legs with knees bent to either side and hold the feet together. Holding your feet, move your legs up and down as if they were butterfly 
wings. This exercise may be difficult to perform in the initial stages, but as you get used to it, gradually the hips, groin and back area will become flexible and  

open up. You can perform this exercise in one sitting for at least two minutes. !e inner thighs and muscles of the leg will be given a natural massage and pull. This is a great hip-opener exercise and also strengthens the pelvic and spinal region giving your back the necessary supportive movement. 

You may also like to try navasana (boat pose) to support lower back strength. Lie down on your back keeping your legs together. To support your head, place your hands behind the base of your neck. As you breathe in, lift your head and upper body off the floor. Slowly bring legs up together on an inhalation if possible so that you are in a 45 degree angle. To help you come into this position, bend knees when lifting and then when you find your centre, straighten the legs. Your body weight should be resting on your buttock. If you find it difficult to keep the legs and spine straight at the same time, just modify the pose. The shoulders should be rolled forward slightly and arms straight on either side at same level. You can leave palms facing up, down or to the side. This exercise is excellent for toning muscles and losing weight in the stomach. In addition to building stamina, regular performance helps release anxiety and stress located in the stomach region. A natural inner
muscle massage is given to the stomach and the muscles of the back as you stretch up and down, helping to release toxins. Repeat the exercise at least  two to three times.

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