Progressive Pulse: In learning about the power of NAAM Yoga, I’ve heard there are many benefits that can actually help improve our health like improve blood circulation and lower blood pressure. Can you elaborate on this?
Elena Vasilenka: Yes, indeed, some of the benefits of Naam Yoga practice can be the improved circulation and lowering of blood pressure. Healthy circulation is important to your well-being. The way Naam Yoga exercises work on circulation is through deep, fast breathing for prolonged periods of time (minimum of 3 minutes), which increases the oxygen consumption of the body. You also move during those breathing exercises so your heart beats faster, which increases blood flow to your muscles and back to your lungs.
We also work with breathing exercises that incorporate long, deep and slow breath work. Research has shown that this type of breathing can aid in lowering high blood pressure. When people are under stress they take shallow breaths and also unconsciously hold their breath. Holding your breath diverts more blood to the brain, and changes the blood’s chemical balance, making it more acidic. More acidic blood in turn makes the kidneys less efficient at pumping out sodium. And as we all know high sodium intake is linked to high blood pressure. So by learning to breathe long and deep during a Naam Yoga Class, a student can achieve great results in stress reduction and overall enhanced well-being including lowering blood pressure.
Progressive Pulse: I started the daily program from your new DVD: NAAM Yoga Therapies for Happiness and I was surprised to find that even though the program does not involve a lot of physical movements, I was challenged in a good way with the repetitive breath work and by holding my arms up during the exercises.
Elena Vasilenka: Yes, NAAM Yoga Therapies for Happiness is done fully in a seated pose, which makes it possible to be done by anyone, regardless of their age, health or fitness level. Yet it can still be challenging even for a fit and young person like you, Steve, because for example, our shoulders store a lot of stress and emotions, so the exercises work with shoulders and help you release those emotions, which can be more difficult when you are going through more stressful times. Our wrists correspond to our stamina, and elbows to the digestion, so you might feel some pain in those areas while doing the exercises if you need some healing there. You can adjust the program to your level by going slower or faster on any given day during the exercises and still receive all the benefits from it.
Progressive Pulse: In the meditation portion of each daily practice you encourage us to chant. What language is this and if we don’t understand the words completely will we still reap the benefits?
Elena Vasilenka: In Naam Yoga we use chants from many traditions and in different languages, as Naam is a universal practice and doesn’t have a religious association. Chants that you will find on my DVD are in English, Gurmukhi, Hebrew and Sanskrit. Even though you might not know some of those languages and do not understand the meaning of the mantra, Naam is the Divine language, the language of the Heavens. It is easily understood by your subconscious mind, your heart and soul. Anyone can benefit and heal by working with Naam, regardless of their culture, religion or native language. The sound of the chant and the music helps to retune the brain so that negative thoughts begin to dissipate, bringing a new sense of clarity and add to the benefits of the meditation.
If you like to know more about the science behind the vibrational healing,mantra, breathwork and the power of Naam, please check out www.naamscience.com
Progressive Pulse: NAAM means word correct? Can you explain the power of the word and how our internal dialogue can affect our moods?
Yes you are right Steve, Naam means Word –the creative Word from which all things were manifested. Working with the Word or Naam is the most secret and powerful practice known to yogis and Kabbalists. Each word we think or speak, each emotion we feel has a tremendous amount of energy. We are writing a book of our life with the words that come out of our mouth. One right word can make you make you feel happy, and one wrong word can ruin your entire life. When you chant mantras and work with Naam all of your words become even more powerful tools of manifestation, so I highly encourage you to start using positive words every time you speak or think about yourself or others, in order to create a positive reality and a better life for yourself every day.
Unhappy and depressed people usually have very negative mental tapes constantly running in their heads: “I can’t do that”,” I am too fat, too ugly, too stupid”, and the list goes on. What happens, whether you know it or not, you attract more of the things into your life that you think and speak about, as you are constantly creating with the word. It is a cycle -what you say, you become and the more you become what you say, the more you focus on it, so it doesn’t stop. I used to be one of those people with negative mental and verbal chatter. Working with the Naam Yoga Therapies program helped me to realize how important our words are, and how it is my responsibility to use my speech wisely, to uplift myself and others through it, and not to destroy and hurt. Chanting mantras is a powerful tool to achieve a more positive state of mind as they are like positive affirmations, repeated over and over and over again, slowly pushing out the negativity from your brain and planting the seeds of loving thoughts in your mind. When you think better thoughts, you start feeling better feelings, and then you are speaking more kind and positive words.
Progressive Pulse: Can you explain how our breath ultimately can control our thoughts?
Elena Vasilenka: Yogis believe that breath is the king of the mind, and the mind rules the senses and emotions. Every emotion you experience has its own breathing pattern. For example when we are angry our breath is rapid, when we are anxious, it is shallow. By learning how to work with your own breath, by becoming mindful of your breath patterns, especially when under stress, one can reduce anxiety and negative emotions and become more positive. When you start consciously working with your breath, your mind is no longer in control of you, you can control your mind and choose to have positive thoughts, versus negative. As I already mentioned before our thoughts affect our emotions, and then emotions manifest in the physical world through the speech and actions. So practically speaking your breath, when used consciously, can affect your experience of life, and make you calmer, happier and a sweeter person.
Progressive Pulse: Your DVD is a daily practice, Monday- Sunday for about 25 minutes each. When will someone potentially begin to notice the benefits in their life and what are some of those benefits?
Elena Vasilenka: Yes, the program is designed to be used every day for 25 minutes, which makes it easy to incorporate into your daily schedule. It is recommended to practice it for at least 40 days to 120 days to increase the benefits and to start seeing the changes in your mood and emotional state. I have students who felt a difference in their mood after the first week, and one student just completed 80 days out of 120, and told me that she never felt happier in her life. I personally felt different and better from my very first Naam yoga class. After just a few months of regular practice I started to feel happier than ever before. The results will vary upon each student, but I encourage all my students to make Naam practice a part of their daily life. Just like many people take a daily multivitamin, I strongly believe that Naam is that spiritual pill that we need every day to maintain a healthy and peaceful emotional state.
Thank you Steve for the opportunity to share this with your readers. If anyone wants to reach me, they can email me at Elena@naamyoga.com, and check out my site www.elenavasilenka.com for more information on the program. Get the DVD for NAAM Yoga for Happiness by Elena Vasilenka here: