Category Archives: Dharma of Tantra

18 Amazing Benefits of Yoga, According to Science

Yoga is becoming more mainstream in western cultures as those who practice it realize the numerous physical, mental, and emotional benefits that come with the ancient art.

Science has proven that yoga can have a transformative effect on the body, resulting in everything from lowered blood pressure to disease prevention. Here are some of the many health benefits of yoga, as proven by science.

1. Regular Yoga Practice Relieves Stress and Anxiety

Almost every benefit that comes from regularly practicing yoga stems from the activity’s proven stress-reducing properties.

Stress has become the norm in our everyday society. With high-pressure careers, children’s demanding schedules, and little time to focus on self-care, more adults than ever are experiencing dangerously high levels of stress.

Those who experience frequent stress and anxiety are at a higher risk for clinical depression, high blood pressure, chronic disease, insomnia, and a host of other problems. When the body becomes regularly anxious or stressed, it may never get the signal to return to normal functioning.

This can lead to a prolonged ‘fight or flight’ response that is incredibly draining on the body and the mind.

Preliminary research shows that practicing yoga can have the same stress-reducing effects as exercise and relaxation techniques, which makes sense because it is essentially the combination of the two.

The controlled breathing that is inherent in practicing yoga is probably the biggest factor in reducing stress. When focused on breathing, participants have little room to engage in irrational fear, worry, or other obsessive thoughts, many of which are contributing to their stress levels.

Yoga also helps increase mindfulness and the focus on gratitude, both of which help to ease anxiety.

When we take the time to practice yoga, we are taking time to care for ourselves. This has taken a back seat in our current culture, and yoga can teach us to get back to basics.

Focusing just 20 to 30 minutes a day on the self-healing practice of yoga can then lead to other beneficial activities. It can be a gateway to a more calm, focused life.

Bottom Line: Yoga can help reduce stress and anxiety by focusing on breathing and increasing mindfulness and focus on gratitude.

2. Practicing Yoga Improves Cardiovascular Health

Heart health is crucial to our overall wellness. Hypertension and coronary blockage leads to hundreds of thousands of deaths every year.

Relaxation is incredibly helpful when it comes to heart health as it relaxes the blood vessels and reduces blood pressure while increasing blood flow to the heart. Because of its combination of breathing, meditation, and slow controlled movement, yoga is one of the most relaxing exercises on the planet.

Yoga, especially the more energetic forms, also increases the heart rate. This makes it as beneficial to your heart as any other form of exercise. In fact, yoga may actually lower the risk of heart disease as much as traditional exercise such as brisk walking.

Those who are interested in the cardio benefits of yoga should try out the more active forms such as ashtanga yoga, which provide more of a bump in heart rate than other forms. They might also consider pairing a vigorous form of yoga in the morning with a relaxing form in the evening to provide more stress-reducing and sleep benefits.

Individuals who have suffered a heart attack or are recovering from other heart-related issues also benefit from yoga. Because they are unable to perform more strenuous exercises such as jogging or bicycling, the low-key and less strenuous poses of yoga give them the exercise they need without taxing their already strained heart muscle.

In addition, those who have suffered a cardiac event also benefit from the stress-reducing effects of yoga. Having a life-threatening heart attack or stroke can induce acute emotional stress, which continues to have a negative effect on the heart even after the event is over.

Those who have heart-related illnesses often have to face the fact that they have a life-altering condition. This can often cause grief or depression, both of which are proven to be eased by yoga.

Bottom Line: Yoga improves cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure, offering relaxation benefits, and increasing blood flow to the heart. It’s also beneficial for those recovering from a heart attack.

3. Yoga Strengthens Brain Activity

As we age, our brains change. Certain parts, such as the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus, shrink. Because these areas are crucial to our learning, memory, planning and other mental activities,

This can lead to frustrating memory lapses, inability to focus, and a struggle to retain new information. In extreme cases, in can even lead to neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia.

Not surprisingly, yoga promotes a more focused, calmer mind through its controlled breathing and focus on relaxation. What may come as a surprise, though, is that yoga can actually change the physical makeup of your brain matter.

Using MRI scans, scientists have detected more cells in certain brain areas of those who practiced yoga regularly. Yoga practitioners had larger brain volume in their somatosensory cortex, visual cortex, hippocampus, precuneus and posterior cingulate cortex. These areas are in charge of visualization, concept of self, and directing attention.

Scientists attribute these benefits to the focused breathing in yoga, which maximizes oxygenation and blood flow to the brain. These benefits also led to fewer depressive symptoms and increased memory performance in practitioners.

The happier and more positive thoughts that flow from yoga can also help change the chemical composition of the brain and ‘rewire’ it to focus more on positive thoughts.

When we break the habit of reacting to stressful events with anxiety and negative thoughts, which yoga helps us do, we encourage the mind to embrace more beneficial thinking. This helps us embrace the present moment and let go of harmful anxiety.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps increase brain matter in various areas of the brain, leading to better memory, less depression and more focus. It also helps rewire the brain for positivity and promotes a calm mind.

4. Practicing Yoga Can Lower the Risk of Cancer

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the United States. In fact, one of four deaths in the U.S. can be attributed to some form of cancer.

Practicing yoga may prevent the genetic mutation from expressing in those who have a family history of cancer. This means that it can have powerful cancer prevention properties. It can also help reduce fat stores in the body, which reduces the likelihood of cancer developing and spreading.

Chronic stress, which yoga helps to reduce, weakens your immune system and leaves you more susceptible to diseases like cancer. It can also enable cancer cells to grow and spread as it increases negative hormones and certain growth factors.

The stress-busting quality of yoga can boost your immune system and regulate hormones, both important cancer-fighting tools.

In addition to cancer prevention, a regular yoga practice with the soothing music from yoga DVDs can also help those who are battling cancer by lowering inflammation, boosting energy, and lifting the mood. One study showed that regularly practicing yoga for three months was effective in improving thenegative moods of those undergoing treatment for breast cancer.

Cancer treatments can also cause fatigue and zap strength in those undergoing them. Yoga has proven beneficial in combating these symptoms and can improve range of motion in patients and help them stay limber and active.

Bottom Line: Yoga can help prevent cancer by reducing fat stores and preventing genetic mutation expression. It can also assist those undergoing cancer treatments by keeping them limber and boosting energy.

5. The Deep Breathing and Poses of Yoga Improve Digestion

Devotees of yoga believe that all health begins in the gut. If we are digesting food, air, water, and energy properly, every other part of the body and mind suffer.

Yoga improves our body’s internal rhythms, which assist in how we digest and detoxify. Even if you don’t currently suffer from any outward signs of impaired digestion, increasing our body’s ability to remove toxins is extremely beneficial.

Many people suffer from poor digestion and constipation. Not only is it uncomfortable, but it can also lead to colon cancer and other diseases.

Still others have developed chronic digestion disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome or Crohn’s disease. These disorders can have a serious impact on our quality of life.

Relying on laxatives or other interventions is not a good way to combat digestive issues, and many find that a high fiber diet is not enough to resolve their issues. That’s where yoga can come in handy.

Deep breathing, the cornerstone of all yoga practices, is like a mild massage for the digestive tract. Breathing brings life force into the body, and helps cleanse it of dangerous toxins.

There are also a number of different poses, such as the peacock and nauli, that are designed specifically to get waste moving through and out of your body. Many of these are best done in the morning on an empty stomach and after a glass of warm water with lemon.

In addition to being helpful for improved digestion on its own, the practice of yoga also encourages individuals to take care of themselves with a healthier diet, more rest, and fewer processed foods and beverages.

The increase in self-care helps not only with digestion, but with feeling good as a whole.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps move toxins through the body with deep breathing and specific poses aimed at improving digestion.

6. Those Who Practice Yoga Are More Aware of What’s Going on in Their Bodies

The term ‘body awareness’ can take many forms, each of which can be enhanced by the practice of yoga.

As we grow into adults, most of us start losing touch with our bodies as matters of the mind take over. We focus so much on our thoughts and feelings, we forget about the mind-body connection and how powerful it is.

This can lead to a reduction in the enjoyment of simple pleasures such as the feel of the sun on our face, or the warm breeze across our skin.

It can also lead to a disconnection between ourselves and our bodies. As we age, this disconnection becomes more pronounced, which is why we often hear of seniors experiencing more falls and accidents than their younger counterparts.

When we’re aware of and connected to our bodies as we step into our yoga pants, we’re able to better enjoy the present moment and understand what impact it has on us both physically and mentally.

Yoga brings body awareness to the forefront. Each pose is focused on one or more body parts and as we breathe in and out, we are only only aware of that breath but also of the part of the body we are currently stretching.

Yoga is also based on being aware of what your body is and is not capable of. Because no pose should be forced, those who are practicing yoga must listen to their body and make adjustments based on what it is telling them.

Bottom Line: Yoga helps increase the mind-body connection. This enhances enjoyment of the present, and also encourages us to be more in tune with how our bodies move.

7. Yoga Practice Lowers Sugar Levels in the Blood, Decreasing Diabetes Symptoms

Diabetes is an epidemic that is becoming quite common in the United States. A condition that is triggered by high blood sugar, either due to lack of insulin production in the body or the body’s lack of response to insulin, diabetes can lead to a dependence on medication, amputations, or even death.

Type 1 diabetes tends to develop in childhood or early adulthood and is usually genetic while type 2 diabetes usually develops in adulthood and is often a product of an unhealthy lifestyle.

Along with lowering blood pressure and keeping weight in check, yoga helps with diabetes by reducing the levels of sugar in the blood, all of which help slow the rate of progression and lessen the severity of complications.

Though it’s a more gentle form of exercise than most people are used to, yoga still provides a workout. The boost in heart rate experienced by yoga practitioners can improve glucose metabolism and increase insulin sensitivity, both beneficial to diabetes sufferers.

Cravings for sweets is a common symptom of diabetes, and the ensuing consumption of sweets only aggravates the problem. Deep breathing, yoga positions, and meditation can help reduce these cravings.

When we become more aware of the mind-body connection through the practice of yoga, we can identify what our bodies really need and make healthy decisions about what we put in our body.

Bottom Line: Regular practice of yoga can decrease blood sugar levels, keep weight in check, and reduce stress, all of which help improve diabetes symptoms.

8. The Practice of Yoga Can Help Regulate Your Adrenal Glands

Adrenal fatigue syndrome can cause lack of energy, disrupted sleep, anxiety, and a number of other symptoms that are triggered by a sustained ‘fight or flight’ response in the body. This can result from prolonged levels of stress, a traumatic event, or a stressful living situation.

When your adrenal glands are not functioning correctly, too much cortisol is released into your body and it compromises your immune function. Those who have adrenal fatigue syndrome get sick more often and have a lowered level of energy to deal with the sickness. They are also more susceptible to osteoporosis and high blood pressure, and tend to gain more fat in the abdomen area.

Mastering the breathing that is the center of all yoga practices is a key element in managing stress levels. Because high stress is the main contributing factor to adrenal issues, it makes sense that this type of breathing will lower cortisol levels and lessen the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome.

When we practice yoga, we also give our minds a chance to quiet down and take a break from any negative our repetitive thoughts that often take over when our adrenal glands are overwhelmed.

This can be a beneficial time to check in with ourselves and identify how we’re feeling. Those experiencing high stress often put themselves last, which only leads to more stress.

Yoga encourages us to to take some time for ourselves. When we look deep, breathe, and practice self-care, we can often deal with negative emotions and the situations that are causing them.

Bottom Line: The regular practice of yoga can reduce stress and lessen the release of cortisol, helping to combat the symptoms of adrenal fatigue syndrome.

9. Yoga Strengthens Bones

Weight-bearing activities have long been known to strengthen bones, which is why many of those who are at risk for osteoporosis are encouraged to begin a strength-training workout regimen. Yoga training, with its many positions that  put pressure on different body parts, can be considered weight-bearing and has shown the ability to build bone mass in scientific studies.

In contrast to other, more intense cardio exercises like jogging or weight training, yoga does not damage cartilage or stress the joints. Instead, it lengthens and holds muscles, which creates tension on the bone. This helps to build bone strength.

The release of cortisol, the hormone triggered by stress, is another factor in osteoporosis. Yoga, with its relaxing and stress-calming nature, can reduce the amount of cortisol that is released and therefore lessen the impact it has on the bones.

As few as a dozen yoga poses held for 30 seconds each, if done on a daily basis, can be enough to ward off osteoporosis and strengthen bones in the spine, arms, and legs.

Bottom Line: Performing weight-bearing exercises, including various yoga poses, can reduce calcium-destroying cortisol and build bone density.

10. The Healing Powers of the Breath Aid in Improved Respiration

Yoga is all about harnessing the healing powers of the breath. Though all of us must breathe to live, most of us do not breathe efficiently.

Experts agree that to feel your best, you should breathe approximately 5 to 6 breaths per minute. However, most of us take anywhere from 14 to 20 breaths per minute, which is three times faster than what is healthy.

Breath changes depending on emotion, and vice versa. When we get panicked, upset, or angry, we tend to breath more shallowly and at a faster rate. When we get used to breathing this way because of chronic stress, our body gets used to it and we develop the habit of breathing quickly even in normal circumstances.

When we breathe at a slow and relaxed pace, we are signaling to the brain that it can rest and that no dangers are present. This reduces stress hormones, turns off danger warnings, and allows our body to recover.

Not only do we turn off the ‘fight or flight’ response of our nervous system when we breathe deeply, but we also increase chest wall expansion and lung volumes. This is beneficial to all who practice yoga, but can be especially important for those dealing with a respiratory illness or condition such as asthma.

Everything in yoga is based on the breath. Pranayamic breathing exercises can be performed anywhere when you are in need of stress relief or relaxation. Make sure the air quality in your practice environment is good, however – consider getting an air purifier if that is not the case.

All other forms of yoga, from the extremely gentle restorative yoga to the more intense vinyasa and ashtanga practices, also rely on a basis of breathing deeply and being aware of how your breathing affects every part of your body and mind.

Bottom Line: All forms of yoga are based on breathing. The regular practice of yoga teaches us how to pay attention to the breath and can improve lung volume and chest capacity, helping those who deal with respiratory issues.

11. Chronic Pain Can Often Be Managed Effectively with Yoga

Chronic pain, whether caused by a disease like fibromyalgia, an accident, or a side effect of treatments for other conditions, can easily impair quality of life. If bad enough, it can also trigger brain structure changes that are linked to impaired cognition, anxiety, and depression.

The regular practice of yoga can help those with chronic pain manage it on a number of levels. If pain is due to muscle or joint issues, such as the case with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or back pain, the simple act of regular stretching with a yoga ball chair and range of motion exercises can be enough to significantly reduce pain.

The increased flow of oxygen to brain and muscle tissues that results from the breathing and movement of yoga also help improve energy levels and general feelings of well-being, making it easier to deal with physical pain.

This breathing, combined with the physical movements of yoga, can help release muscle tension held in your body. This often decreases pain or, in some cases, relieves it entirely.

The benefits of yoga as it relates to pain management do not stop there, however, Yoga also appears to increase gray matter in your brain through a process called neurogenesis. There are also indications that it can strengthen white matter connectivity. Many researchers believe that reduction of gray matter and weak connectivity are the most significant factors in chronic pain.

Yogis dealing with pain can also benefit from the stress reduction and decrease in cortisol release the practice brings. This not only helps with tension, but can also help them cope with the anticipation of pain. Instead of having a ‘fight or flight’ reaction to pain, those who have practiced yoga may be able to form a more gentle reaction that does not trigger additional stress.

Bottom Line: The breathing and movement associated with yoga can help those suffering from muscle or joint pain. Regular yoga practice can also trigger changes in the brain that can help chronic pain sufferers deal with and lessen pain symptoms.

12. Those Who Practice Yoga See Fewer Allergy Symptoms

Do you deal with the misery of itchy eyes, scratchy throat, fatigue, and congestion that comes with allergies? Millions of people suffer from allergies brought on by pollen, grass, dust, pet dander, or other substances to the point that it affects their work, their social life, and their sleep.

How do allergies develop? Many scientists have studied the phenomenon and found that an allergic reaction occurs when your immune system over-responds to an otherwise harmless substance. Your body mistakenly treats this substance like a dangerous invader and releases histamines.

Histamines are a faulty immune response, and they can condition the body to display symptoms that start to resemble a disease. Many argue that, to be susceptible to allergies, sufferers may have a compromised immune system, weak digestive system or be experiencing toxic overload.

Yoga addresses many different levels of wellness that can lead to a reduction in allergy symptoms. Stress is a leading cause of a poor immune system and digestive problems, and can also be a toxin that makes the body weaker.

As we’ve already addressed many times in this article, the regular practice of yoga is one of the best stress reducers on the planet. Of the many benefits of stress reduction, an improvement in allergies is just one.

Kriyas, or cleansing practices, are another element of yoga that can help with allergies. These practices range from rapid breathing exercises to gentle cleansing of the nasal passages with salt water, which can remove viruses and pollen from the nose.

Studies have also found that regular yoga practice may reduce inflammation in the body. Another harmful effect of stress, inflammation can worsen allergies and cause attacks to be more severe.

Bottom Line: Those who practice traditional yoga or engage in cleansing kriyas can reduce their susceptibility to allergies and also improve the symptoms associated with them.

13. The Increased Blood Flow and Reduced Stress Associated with Yoga Can Increase Fertility

Couples who have struggled with conceiving a child often turn to fertility drugs or even more intensive measures of in vitro fertilization to realize their dreams of having a baby. Before turning to costly and sometimes side-effect laden treatments, couples should first explore the more gentle treatment of practicing yoga.

Yoga enhances fertility in the ways one might expect: by reducing stress that can often harm the chances of conceiving. Stress can lead to the release of an enzyme, called alpha amylase, which can impact a woman’s fertility. Many women who have problems conceiving are stressed to begin with, then become more stressed as they fail to conceive. This can lead to a vicious cycle where stress continues to increase each month, making it more and more difficult to get pregnant.

In addition to stress reduction, yoga can also increase blood flow to reproductive organs, which not only improves their function but also improves hormone function.

All regular yoga practices can help with fertility, but those who are actively trying to conceive may benefit from the more targeted fertility yoga practice. This is aimed specifically at nurturing, supporting, and strengthening the endocrine and reproductive system.

Fertility yoga incorporates specific poses that re-balances the system and strengthens muscles and organs that are used during pregnancy and childbirth. This helps make for a healthy pregnancy once a woman conceives.

Bottom Line: The stress reduction and rebalancing benefits of yoga can help women who want to conceive. Those struggling with fertility issues may want to practice targeted fertility yoga that helps with both conception and a healthy pregnancy.

14. A Consistent Yoga Practice Can Lead to a Balanced Metabolism

Your metabolism is the basic biochemical process that converts the food you eat into the energy you need to live. A sluggish metabolism can mean weight gain, low energy, and problems with regularity.

Though long thought to be a practice focused mostly on relaxation and stretching, yoga can actually be a moderately strenuous workout that increases muscle, increases heart rate, and revs up the fire of your metabolism.

In addition to increasing heart rate to boost metabolism, the practice of yoga also affects digestion, circulation, and muscle tone, all of which have an impact on how efficiently your body creates energy.

With the majority of your digestive tract located in your core, the yoga positions that engage the abdomen, especially those that involve twisting or bringing the knees to the chest, can wring out toxins and encourage waste to pass through your body.

Circulation is another factor important to your metabolism. If your body has poor circulation, your organs suffer from a lack of nutrients and oxygen, which slows metabolism. The deep breathing inherent in yoga helps open up arteries and release pressure, all of which help with proper circulation.

Many people make the mistake of thinking yoga is not strenuous enough to build muscle mass. However, the weight bearing features of many of the poses target large and small muscle groups, building them in size and density.

When we build muscle, we not only increase strength, but we also burn more calories. Muscle burns more than fat, and the more calories we burn, the more our metabolism rate increases.

Bottom Line: Yoga has an effect on digestion, circulation, and building muscle, all of which positively affect your metabolism.

15. Practicing Yoga at any Time of Day Helps You Sleep Better

Sleep is crucial to our energy levels, mood, concentration, and ability to be happy and successful in our everyday lives.

Those most sleep experts recommend that adults get 7 to 9 hours of quality sleep per night, most of us get far less than this. Even if you are in bed for the necessary hours, inability to get to sleep, waking up frequently, or tossing and turning can turn those hours into less-than-quality rest.

Insomnia or reduced sleep quality can be the product of stress, underlying illness or disease, poor sleeping conditions, vitamin deficiency, or hundreds of other factors. This often makes it difficult to identify what issues are at play.

Though every person may have a different reason for not sleeping well, yoga can have a beneficial effect on everyone’s sleep quality. Because the nervous system is responsible for a restful sleep, yoga’s calming effects are especially helpful.

A calm mind leads to a calm body, both of which play a part in how easy it is to get to sleep and how restful that sleep is. Many people are bothered by a ‘busy mind’ that simply cannot shut off at the end of the day.

Yoga teaches us how to breathe deeply and disconnect from our worries and from those distracting thoughts that tend to keep us up at night. By giving ourselves the tools to put thoughts aside and instead focus on our breath, we give ourselves an excellent tool for the perfect night of sleep.

Although a regular yoga practice done consistently at any time of day will undoubtedly affect your sleep, those who really struggle may benefit from poses done at night that are specifically aimed at helping you sleep more soundly.

These poses include uttasnasanahalasana, and savasana and should be done as close to bedtime as possible.

Others benefit more from a Kundalini yoga sequence before bed that incorporates long, slow breathing and meditation. It’s best to try out both methods to see what leads to a better night of sleep for you.

The Bottom Line: The stress-relieving benefits of a consistent yoga practice can help improve your sleep quality. Those with sleeping problems can also benefit from a bedtime routine that includes specific poses or deep breathing paired with meditation.

16. All Forms of Yoga Work Wonders on Your Range of Motion

Range of motion is important to our overall quality of life, and it decreases as we age. Important for injury prevention as well as as our ability to do daily tasks with minimal discomfort, range of motion can be increased with regular yoga.

Why does range of motion decrease as we age and how can yoga combat this? As we get older, the tissue around joints tend to thicken and cartilage decreases. The knees and hips are especially susceptible to these depletions, making them more prone to injury in older individuals.

As muscle mass decreases, this also affects our range of motion as we age. Our ease of movement decreases, and general fitness levels tend to drop.

When range of motion decreases, it often triggers a snowball effect. Movement becomes more difficult, so individuals tend to move less often. This, in turn, triggers more movement impairment.

Yoga is based on controlled, prolonged stretching. This type of movement is still comfortable for those who are experiencing a lack of flexibility or injury that restricts range of motion.

Not only is yoga a practical exercise for those in this situation, but it also tends to reverse the lack of flexibility that they experience.

A daily practice of prolonged stretching that is inherent in any yoga program elongates the muscles and enables joint flexibility.

The slow, deliberate process of gently stretching muscles over a long period of time is both beneficial and achievable for those of all ages. It can be done throughout the lifetime and rarely needs to be suspended due to injury or other ailments.

Bottom Line: The gentle and prolonged stretching that makes up the core of yoga helps increase range of motion and preserve it throughout the lifetime.

17. Practicing Yoga Can Help Treat Arthritis

Arthritis is an excruciating affliction that severely impacts quality of life. Rheumatoid arthritis, or RA, can occur at any age, and is triggered by a faulty immune system. Osteoarthritis, or OA, is a degenerative disorder that usually takes place as a person ages. It’s estimated that there are over three million cases of OA in the United States per year.

While medication can greatly help both those suffering from RA and OA, exercise is always recommended as well. Because arthritis is characterized by painful swelling in the joints, many forms of traditional exercise may be unbearable.

Yoga is incredibly easy on the joints and is usually a comfortable activity for even the most severe arthritis sufferers. The gentle stretching of yoga can ease joint discomfort and the focused breathing can help those in pain distance deal with the chronic distress.

The muscle-building and energy-boosting effects of yoga can also help those with arthritis. OA and RA tend to zap energy, which leads to a sedentary lifestyle and muscle atrophy. Those who practice yoga tend to be more active, which lessens arthritis symptoms.

The psychological benefits of yoga on those suffering from arthritis are also to be noted. Those with arthritis who regularly practice yoga suffer from less depression, improved coping abilities, stress reduction and an enhanced sense of well-being.

Bottom Line: Yoga is a safe and effective form of exercise for those suffering from both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. It helps ease joint discomfort and boosts energy and a sense of well-being.

18. Practicing Yoga Leads to a Healthy Lifestyle and Enhanced Self-Care

Bad choices lead to more bad choices. A lack of exercise can easily lead into bad eating habits, which leads to weight gain, which leads to even less exercise.

A sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle results in a depressed mood, low energy levels, and an overall pessimistic attitude.

Sometimes, it just takes one thing to start turning it all around. Yoga can be that one thing.

Because it can be practiced by individuals at any age and in any shape, yoga is a practice that can be adopted by virtually everyone.

Yoga increases our awareness, which often leads practitioners to start making changes in every part of their lives. As they develop more self-awareness, they often make changes that include healthier food choices, fewer toxic relationships, and more time to take care of themselves.

Over time, these choices add up to a much healthier and happier lifestyle. The increase in overall quality of life can even equal more years on your life.

Bottom Line: Yoga increases self-awareness, which leads to other healthy choices and overall increase in wellness and happiness.

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Feel It In Your Bones: On the Anavamala

Feel It In Your Bones: On the Anavamala

I have a little story to tell. It turns out the girls track team at my local high school is the fastest in the country; they recently won first place in the nation. No one can figure it out, as it is a tiny little high school, but we know it has something to do with the coach – he gets amazing results year after year. He makes these average girls believe they can run that fast, and year after year they rise to the occasion.

What does he tell them?  How does he communicate it?  I remember reading in college about a psychologist named Rosenthal who came up with the concept of the ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’. He designed a study, in which teachers were told that a certain class they were teaching was made up of kids with high IQs: “gifted” students. And sure enough, these randomly composed classes consistently achieved significantly higher scores when tested at the end of the year. And they wondered, what is it that the teacher is doing with these kids?

Then they changed it around and told a new set of teachers, “these ten kids in your class are the gifted ones, the ones with the high IQs” and again, those randomly selected ten kids would end up outscoring the others. Rosenthal decided that there was a kind of non-verbal communication of higher expectations going on, something about the gestures, body language, the eye contact (which is so powerfully communicative), something about the tone, that made these kids understand they were capable of achieving highly, and were expected to do so.

At one time, it was considered impossible for a human to run the mile under four minutes, but in 1954, a guy named Roger Bannister cracked that mythical barrier. After that, it didn’t take long for many others to follow. The idea that a four minute mile was impossible had limited athletes for years, until the conviction that it was possible freed them to attain it.

This is what the Shiva Sutras mean by “jnanam bhandha” : ‘knowledge’ is bondage.

We learned recently that, of all the organs and tissues of the body, it is the bones that are most receptive and responsive to neurochemistry, to the mood chemistry. So we really do ‘feel it in our bones’ when we have a belief or an emotion.

When we do yoga, we move our bodies around, so are working with gesture, tone, and posture, to embed in the bones the understanding that we are one with the underlying principle of Universal Being – Consciousness, (Sat-Chit-Ananda), which yogic sages sometimes call the deathless Self.  It is good to have a teacher, a coach if you will, who can communicate that conviction when our own might falter. That is the function of the Guru.

So when we do hatha yoga, the whole purpose is not to extract admiration for standing on our heads, but to prepare the body for a deep somatic cognition of our infinitude.

II: The Anava Mala

Kashmir Shaivism, a school of Tantric philosophy and technique, offers the analytical tool of the three “malas,” or impurities, to help us cognitively unveil the obstacles to the experience of our infinite nature. These malas are likened to veils obscuring the truth. If they were tangible, physical things, they would be easier to overcome, but the fact is they are ever so subtle!

The three malas according to Shaivism are: anava mala, mayiya mala and karma mala.

  1. The mayiya mala is the illusion of multiplicity: we see the multiplicity of things, but we do not see the equally valid unity behind all things.
  2. The karma mala is the illusion of doer-ship. The ego creates a resume of actions, good and bad, which it identifies with as itself, getting farther and farther away from understanding that it is all universal power, volition and material that is ‘doing’ everything.
  3. And finally there is the anava mala, the particular veil we are concerned with today…

The word “anava” is derived from “anu” meaning tiny, infinitesimal, and this mala is the illusion that we are strictly limited to being small, inadequate, finite individuals. One of my favorite illustrations of the anava mala comes from the book of Exodus in the bible. The burning bush, God Himself, tells Moses to go to Pharaoh and demand freedom for the Israelites. The first thing Moses says in response is: “Who am I?” And what he means is, “Im nobody, not good enough, not powerful enough, to approach mighty Pharaoh.” Burning Bush says, “never mind who you are, Im God, and Im telling you to do it”. Then Moses goes on to have a long argument with the Bush as to his total inadequacy to the task: “I am thick of tongue” (they think maybe he stuttered). “The Israelites wont believe me”, and finally, ”Can’t you send someone else?” The Bush gets plenty annoyed at Moses and keeps assuring him, “Look, I’m God, and I am going to assist you, so get going!”

This doesn’t mean that the Exodus was a cakewalk. In fact, it was a harrowing ordeal that strengthened and tested the Israelites in epic proportions.

One thing, a paradox, about this aspect of egotism, this ‘poor little me, I’m so small, so powerless’ is that, at the end of the day, the anava mala is a kind of arrogance. Who are you to be so monumentally limited that the Divine itself is incapable of working through you? The ego clings to anxiety and inadequacy as a shield against the enormity of the Self. The ego fights its assimilation into the vastness with every weapon, especially this seemingly humble, innocent and harmless notion of insufficiency and unfitness. That is why the Guru-Shakti, the Guru energy of the Universe, may put you through a harrowing, to show to you that you are capable, and indeed, infinite.

Back to the girls track team we considered at the beginning of this article. The coach has a ‘track record’ of success, so this demonstrates the possibility that winning the national championship is possible. The thing is that if the girls accept this truth, they also have to accept a path of intense discipline, mental and physical, to realize that potential…

Do we accept the teaching that we are truly the Self of the Universe? Do you believe deep down in your bones that you are eligible for enlightenment, for Self-Realization? Let us do our personal practice as if we are accepting the mantle of our ultimate identity. We will feel it in our bones.

This article was originally published on Mary’s website:

RADICAL BODY: Living Tantra for Modern Life / Join 11 modern teachers of Tantra as they explore the teachings and practices of Kashmir Shaivism, Kundalini and the Chakras. 11 Workshops over 3 Days, February 24th-26th, 2017. CLICK to Sign Up or to get more information. 

RADICAL BODY: Living Tantra for Modern Life / Join 11 modern teachers of Tantra as they explore the teachings and practices of Kashmir Shaivism, Kundalini and the Chakras. 11 Workshops over 3 Days, February 24th-26th, 2017. CLICK to Sign Up or to get more information.

Mary Reilly Nichols

Mary Reilly Nichols


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How to Generate Good Karma …

  1. Be mindful. Buddha writes: “Mind precedes all mental states.”[5] This means that you must reflect on your own actions and how they affect other actions around you. Like practicing self-focusing, you should be mindful of your actions and decisions. They reflect on how others respond to you.
  2. Be kind. There is an old adage of: “treat others like you want to be treated.” This golden rule can help to reverse bad karma by promoting goodness and kindness. Give compliments to people such as: “What you said about [x] was really intelligent.” or “This dinner is really good. Thanks for cooking for me!”
  3. Practice chanting a mantra. Language can be a powerful tool. To create a positive mindset, you can practice a chant or mantra. [6]

    • Try practicing a self-affirmation in front of a mirror on a daily basis. You can say something like: “I will be a more positive person today” or “I will complain less about my problems.” This will help build up your self-confidence and develop a positive routine.
    • Chant a mantra related to your spiritualism. For example, Catholicism repeats words on a rosary. “OM MANI PADME HUM” is a Buddhist mantra. Whatever your religion or spirituality is, find if there is a chant or mantra that you can use to feel closer to your faith.
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How to Heal Bad Karma

Heavy karma can trap us in terrible patterns. We attract the same types of people, jobs, illnesses, events, accidents, and unneeded burdens into our lives. The much-needed break in the karmic cycle occurs when we analyze our personal karma and take the necessary steps to resolve it.

Bad karma feeds off resentment. It makes you attract people who give you even more reason to be resentful.

Put into practice these 7 strategies to become unstuck from your current karma and manifest a new reality:

1. Identify your karma.

Identifying your karma means pinpointing in what areas of life you feel stagnant. Is it in your career that you can’t seem to break through, or a love relationship that just won’t move forward? Have you been suffering the same struggles with certain family members for too long?

We are each bound to a unique karma that locks us in unwanted circumstances. Reflect honestly on your obstacles and understand where the problem lies. When and how did this all start? The first step to untangling yourself from your karmic knots and advancing towards your true potential, is to revert to the origin of the issue.

2. Sever toxic ties.

Feel no remorse in cutting off people who invade your field of energy with burdensome karma. Life is complicated enough — don’t let the wrong people complicate it even more! This doesn’t mean you should create ill-will between you and another person, but that you should politely and respectfully distance yourself from people who bring you more harm than good.

You don’t need to offer too many explanations; a simple note of closure that wishes them well will suffice. If the person’s energy doesn’t feel “right” and they constantly inflict stress on you, you owe it to yourself and your karma to let them go their own merry way.

3. Take responsibility.

You begin to feel your energy shift when you admit your wrongs. Taking responsibility is difficult to do because your ego doesn’t like to be blamed, but it widens your perspective. You start to see where you might’ve gone wrong, and how to do things differently the next time a similar situation arises. You learn from your mistakes. This is not to say that you should feel guilt or dwell on the past, but simply that, in the future, you promise to consult your karma first when faced with a decision.

4. Heal your karma.

Perform actions that nourish your spirit and invoke well-being on every level. Go back and close open doors, alleviate old pains, and comfort your inner child. Learn to accept your karma and work with the universal cards you’ve been dealt. Carry out deeds that counteract accumulated karma from long ago, and contribute to the wellness of our world. Time doesn’t heal all wounds — it engrains them more deeply. Only by healing your karma can you evolve out of your past.

5. Defy your weaknesses.

We perceive ourselves to be weak in certain areas and strong in others. Maybe you think that you’re good at pleasing others, but bad at standing up for yourself. What you don’t realize is that your weaknesses are your secret strengths: they define you just as much as your more prominent traits do.

Learn to see your weaknesses as karmic attributes of your complete being. Don’t become the “victim” of your vulnerabilities; this invites all sorts of karmic scenarios that play on your sensitivities. Develop, instead, the courage to defy your downfalls and take the reins of karmic patterns.

6. Take new action.

If you see that the old ways of doing things aren’t benefiting you, modify your behavior. Sometimes we’re so stuck in acting a certain way that we don’t see its obvious drawbacks. Act on principle; this is the simplest and most underrated way to compensate all karmic debts and generate positive karma. Do good, even when you’re not expected to. Take care of yourself and others. Steer clear of compromising situations. In short, act in ways you would want others to act towards you.

7. Forgive everyone.

Nothing frees you quite like forgiveness. And this virtue comes more easily when you acknowledge its transformative graces. To forgive is to detach — from the anger, bitterness, and frustration you harbor internally. Bad karma feeds off of resentment — it makes you attract people who give you even more reason to be resentful. We often wonder why we can’t escape the wheel of negativity — instead we avoid the truth that it’s our very emotions that reel us into such cycles.

Karma is a unique force to each of us — every person is fighting his or own karmic battles. But the sooner we identify the sources of our unsettled karma and take action to resolve it, the sooner we experience the miracle of liberation to fulfill the greater purpose of our lives.

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Tantra – Mantra and Yantra: a Scientific Study in Creation, Calculation and Consequence

By Dr. Bindu Purohit, M.B.B.S.
Physician and Surgeon
Remedial Astrologer

Eternity is the most coveted stage in the Indian scriptures. Through mystical practice, the process of amalgamation that takes place between an individual, an intermediary source such as Mantra and Yantra, and the Supreme Divine Power can turn that which is mortal into immortal substance and grant us deliverance from age, maladies and death. The ancient spiritual seers of India envisioned a divine Yantra, or divine mystical form, which turned into an elixir of immortality. Since very remote times people have applied the science of Yantra to solve their physical, mental and other material problems. By doing so, they create a level of health in mind and body that are no less precious than this immortal elixir.

Colour, smell, sound and forms have a direct bearing on our mental states. Each of them strikes the mind in its own way and creates a complicated network of wave patterns that are conducive to health and beneficial for the practitioner. Science has discovered infinite energy in the fission of atoms. Mystical strokes on the mental screen can generate energy in a similar way.

The ways of mysticism are strange. They are even stranger for the mystical truth they contain. Mantra is the most significant among the different approaches of mysticism in that it attempts not only to analyze the human mind but also to synthesize it. Mantra Shastra, or ancient Mantric scriptures, describe in every detail how the human mind can be distributed in different directions in order to reunite it into a single whole.

Shastras are called Shruti or “Something that has been passed on through generations as an oral tradition”. An implicit quality of Mantra is that it is a form of knowledge that has to be communicated in spoken words. It can not be written down. The ancients presumed that something gets lost between sound and its inscription. A written script can be analyzed, but the actual force of sound with its articulation, pitch and tone and the specific arrangements of multiple sounds are totally lost as soon as they are scripted.

The Vedas were preserved through oral tradition for thousands of years.  Their documentation was ignored on purpose because the sonic power of the Vedas would be dissociated and therefore lost. The whole calculation would alter with the written word. The ancients understood that if sounds came to be represented by written symbols or alphabets, their finer, subtle sensibilities would be marred. Documentation would render them lifeless. That’s why scripture has always been passed through the ages in the form of Shruti.

Mantra is a word or a phrase propelled with power. It is a methodical set of notes pronounced with a particular pitch, articulation and tone. Its rhythmic incantation sends specific, one-of-a-kind vibrations through the medium of the ether present in the atmosphere. These vibrations gradually affect the different cells of the body. Incantation merges the energy of sound and will power. It is only when the horizontal and the vertical sound waves of the words achieve the same wavelength as those of the juxtaposing energy waves of the body that the Mantra achieves perfection and galvanizes itself. This can be achieved by constant repetition of the Mantra in its characteristic rhythm and tone. If a sound or a word in a Mantra is dislocated or interchanged, the desired effect will not be produced and render the incantation futile. The precision of a Mantra is its only inherent steering force.

It was in order to reflect the wholesome effect of the constant incantation of Mantra on himself that man devised Yantras in the form of temples. The domes in the architecture of our temples are very significant. They are miniature replicas of the sky. The sound of OM is lost under the sky and doesn’t reflect back to the one who produces the sound. A dome, on the contrary, reflects the sound back to the source itself. Constant incantation creates a circle of sound: one emanating from the source and the other reflecting back to it. This encircling effect transports the devotee to an inexplicable spiritual elevation. If the incantation is practiced in solitude, this sonic circle should put a definite end to the thought current. In other words, the turmoil of thoughts subsists only in the absence of the circle of energy round the devotee. The moment the circle is complete, the energy pacifies and channels itself into spiritual power unto the desired goal of the devotee. The domes of the temples, therefore, symbolize a mystical process that has been lost over the years through disuse.

When the scholars of the west visited Indian temples for the first time they considered them unhygienic because of the congestion caused by lack of proper ventilation. Later they were amazed to discover that the devotees sitting in these ‘closed temples’ were among the healthiest people in all of India. This was when they realized that the incantation of a particular sound like OM purifies and purges the atmosphere by striking it regularly with vibrations.

Our seekers of Mantra have been meditating for centuries in closed caves that hardly admit any light or air and yet they have been healthy and content. This is because there are particular utterances that purify and others that defend against disease. For these reasons these sounds have been called Nad Brahma, the highest sublimation of sound.

The Pranav Mantra, or OM, symbolizes the whole universe. The Rigveda, which is the original treatise on Mantra, attached optimum significance to this Pranav Mantra. Maharshi Aurbindo has said, “‘OM’ is the signature of the Lord; with the help of ‘Om’ one can realize the Divine”. Patanjali’s Yoga sutras, in the same strain, proclaim – “Pranav is the spoken symbol of God and thus it has the realization of God and the Universe.”

Nad, or sound, is regarded as a form of Brahma. This signifies that sound is omnipotent and the ultimate energy. Mimansa philosophy established Mantra as a form of God. Each Mantra corresponds to a patron god or goddess. Each Mantra, sound and intonation has a particular articulation that can be revealed through systematic analysis. The ancient visionaries with full knowledge of the power of sounds devised words or phrases that exert tremendous effects. These words and phrases are the original seed Mantras. The scholars and seekers determined through their experience and experimentation the frequencies peculiar to each Mantra and have prescribed the exact number of times a Mantra has to be repeated to create the desired results.

Musical symphonies create soothing effects on the human mind as well as the body. Rhythmic chanting of Mantra vibrates through the medium of the ether in a similar way. Mantras create particular sonic patterns whose waves influence the cells of the body. This impact can reach far beyond local effects. It can even be directed to a person who is thousands of miles away. This phenomenon is similar to a radio that can receive electromagnetic waves from the atmosphere and reproduce sounds that originate thousands of miles away.

Several laboratories in the west have recently undertaken experiments with sound and its possible impact on living systems. Some of these experiments have come up with significant conclusions. For example, one of them demonstrated that plants that normally bear flowers in six months blossom and bloom in two months with the effect of particular sounds. In Russia, the milking of cows has been influenced with certain sounds. Humans may also therefore respond to the impact of sound.

The medical world already makes skillful use of many forms of ultrasound therapy for both diagnosis and treatment. Medical scientists have successfully carried out numerous therapeutic experiments with sounds and musical compositions.

Music has proved to be a miracle cure for many a hopeless medical cause. For example, a 10-year old English girl, Catherine Fisher, fell into a coma after a bicycle accident. In the 12th day of her coma her desperate parents decided to play their little daughter some of her favourite music. They took a. tape recording into her hospital room and played some of the tunes with which she used to dance at her ballet classes. Then, for the first time since her accident, Catherine opened her eyes and smiled.

Doctors explain that areas of the brain that become tired can be revived by the introduction of familiar sounds or voices. Perhaps this is one of the mechanisms that helped young Catherine.

Experiments have been carried out to show the effects of music on sleeping people. When cheerful music is played to the sleeping people, they get up in a cheerful mood. Contrarily, if a person wakes up in the midst of noise or harsh music, s/he will be irritated and indignant in her/his mood. Thirdly, if pathetic music is employed to wake someone up, the person will be found sad in disposition. These three responses from the experimental subject’s point of view have no rhyme or reason. Yet they sufficiently demonstrate the effect of sound on the human mind and thus uphold the concept that sound can affect the cords of the psyche.

Incantation can provide remedies to almost all maladies. In this therapy the body cannot be superior to the conscience or the spirit. If the conscience is pure there is no reason for the body to be diseased. There is no shelter for the maladies.

In a non-medical experiment, Miss Watts Huge of London created a device she called an audiophone that she wrote about in her popular book Voice Figure. The audiophone has a sensitive vibrating membrane that she scatters with particles of different colours. These particles get momentum from the vibrations of the membrane and form different pictures that sometimes look like rivers, serpents, mountains and trees.

Using the same instrument, a Bengali student from India intoned the Bhairavashtak metre for Madam Kinlang of Paris. While the young man was singing, the particles of the audiophone’s membrane galvanized and in a few minutes formed into the patron god of the metre, Kal Bhairav.

The preceding thoughts can help us to understand why Mantra is considered to be all-important in making a Yantra effective. Mantra and Yantra are the two divisions of an ancient sacred science. Mantra interconnects with Yantra, and vice versa. Yantra is a representation of a Mantra in a graphic or other substantial form like an icon. A Mantra’s energy can be preserved in a Yantra as if it is in a battery.

Yantras are usually metallic because metals are good conductors of energy. They are made of gold, silver or bronze sheets that are consecrated and mystified. Yantras are powerful in proportion to their consecration and the mystic powers at the command of their makers. The electromagnetic power created by the incantation of a Mantra is intentionally preserved and discharged through a Yantra. The electromagnetic waves of the Mantra charge the Yantra to produce the requisite energy for the purpose of the Mantra. These waves are directed towards definite directions in order to expand the area of their effects. There have been hundreds of different forms of Mantras that represent the farthest limits of imagination and the deepest human sentiments.

A Yantra is therefore an instrument or tool that directs the functional force of a particular Mantra. Yantras symbolize divine power at its first manifestation. The process of making a Yantra embodies a journey from the minutest form of expression of a Mantra to the definition, description and presentation of its material form.

One of the definitions of Yantra is “machine.” Although many modern machines are based on the philosophy of Yantras, the sacred scriptures of India clearly describe how ancient Yantras were hundreds of times more powerful than our machines of today. Yantras are not inanimate entities like modern machines. They are living sources of mystical energy. Their fabrication and function are different from machines. Yantras have been much more functional and significant than machines to our ancestors, who attached due respect and reverence for them by adopting Yantras as integral parts of their social behaviour.

The purpose of technical machines is physical. Their structure and use further the material gains of the user. Yantras, on the other hand, are infused with mystical powers to become independent entities. They are not considered to be merely material. Yantras are invented with definite purposes. A complicated mystical process goes into mystifying even the metallic materials from which they are made into very special elements. The practitioner attains this stage for these elements through ardent and tedious meditation.

Dr. Alaxander Pavlovich of the department of computer research in Moscow University has stated that he was fascinated by the geometrical charm and sound form of the Shree Yantra. The Shree Yantra is particularly charming if one gazes at it intently for a long time. One can experience an indescribable mesmerism by observing the Shree Yantra, whose sophisticated equations would take even the most modern computer a hundred million operations to calculate.

Yantras are diagrammatic representations of Mantras in the ethereal medium. The incantation of a Mantra produces various vibrations in the atmosphere. These particular sound waves create a source, which is a Yantra. Our ancient practitioners of Yantra perfected this process and employed it for human welfare.

In their operational stage, Yantras relate to the Subconscious mind. As carriers of spiritual power, Yantras affect the human body as well as the environment around it. Our body substance is composed of five natural elements. It is also imprinted with numerous energies from its surroundings. A Yantra is a sketch of the total impact of these energies and their lines of influence impregnated into form. The sound waves of a Mantra create mystical effects on the human mind. A Yantra with its linear sketches and letters also affects the human mind in its own way.

Mantra has formed an essential ingredient of all faiths in one form or another. The most noble purposes and divine attributes have always been ascribed to Mantra. Yet the mere mention of the word “Yantra” conjures up a kind of fear or dread in the society of India today. Our common belief holds that the mystical powers of Yantras are often exercised to destroy human life out of vengeance. Such baseless fears misrepresent the whole Yantric concept by incorrectly labeling it as a destructive art. Scholars and all those who hold this highly spiritual practice in great esteem must combat these misinterpretations and misgivings and campaign to popularize the real significance of Yantras at the same time.

Spiritual Yantras are created with great thought and reasoning. They are undeniably impressive, made expressly to stimulate a special kind of mental activity and evoke psychosomatic force. Highly trained experts can utilize Yantras in ritual as offerings, meditations and rites that can change a person completely and give him or her a new direction in life.

Almost all Yantras available in standard forms have specific purposes assigned to them. Their operations strike corresponding fibres of the human form to activate the desired elements. Incantation and consecrated geometric representation are the central science of the mystical process of Yantra. A Yantra contains the potential to acquire total control over one’s body and can be functional in producing its desired effects through these very specific operations. It is amazing that the processes that were visualized and embodied by our noble ancestors thousand of years ago are still operational and effective with great precision today.

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OSHO on Awareness, Femininity, Love, Sex …”Sex Trumps the Donald”

Sex trumps the Donald

Sex trumps the Donald

Donald Trump offers another speech full of lies and distortions to convince American voters that “crooked Hilary” is a “world-class liar.”

Another male chauvinist beating his chest and pumping his fists to persuade a gullible populace, Wilhelm Reich’s “Little Man,” with the usual rhetoric, essentially declaring that I am your man – follow me and we will win. Manipulating what the Nobel laureate, Czeslaw Milosz, called “The Captive Mind” with breathtakingdisregard for the facts.

This is an ancient deception. These bloated male egos have led humanity where exactly? Into millennia of wars and violence rather than peace. Into a world divided by race, by indoctrinated beliefs in the mind and artificial lines on the map. Into competition rather than cooperation. Into destruction rather than creativity. Into the conquest of nature rather understanding that we are part of nature, into the mind over the heart, into logic over love.

Just about everything has been dominated by the masculine view. Whether it is politics, religion, business, the military, the law, the media – men have been running the show, since forever. Not to mention the terrorist organisations, the drug cartels, the mafia, the human trafficking organisations, the individual violent criminals, the rapists…. Hello! Has mass hypnosis made us that unconscious of the obvious?

The female majority has been largely excluded from any influence in the direction of our world. The feminine qualities, whether in men or women, have been denigrated, abused, humiliated – or ignored.

So, what is the end result of all these masculine qualities? A violent, divided world – drowning in displaced, homeless, hungry, poor people – that is close to self-annihilation through global warming or a nuclear winter.

Good try guys! Or, as our favorite male boss might say, “You’re fired.”

Insanity has been defined as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Before we wipe ourselves off the face of the Earth, would anybody be so bold as to suggest doing something different?

Osho explains exactly what and why:

“The long condemnation of feminine qualities has gone deep into the blood and the bones of women. It is man’s conspiracy to prove himself superior to women – which he is not.

“Man is deep down aware of the fact that the woman has something which he does not have. In the first place the woman is attractive to him, she looks beautiful. He falls in love with the woman, the woman becomes almost an addiction to him – and that’s where the trouble arises.

“The feeling of dependence on women, which every man feels, makes him react in such a way that he tries to manage the woman as a slave – spiritually a slave. He’s also afraid because she is beautiful. She is beautiful not only to him – she is beautiful to whomever looks at her, to whomever comes in contact with her. Great jealousy arises in the egoist, male chauvinist mind….

“In India, there are religious scriptures… and they suggest that if you want to have peace in your house, giving a good beating to the woman once in a while is absolutely necessary. She should be kept almost imprisoned. And that’s how she has lived – in different cultures, different countries, but her imprisonment has been almost the same…. Because men condemned woman – and they had to condemn her to keep her in control – they reduced her almost to a subhuman category. What fear must have led man to do this? – because it is sheer paranoia….

“Man continuously compares and finds the woman superior. For example, in making love to a woman, a man is very inferior because he can have only one orgasm at a time while the woman can have at least half a dozen, a chain – multiple orgasms. Man simply feels utterly helpless… so he has tried not to give her even the first orgasm. The taste of the orgasm can create danger for him.

“If the woman knows what orgasm is, she is bound to become aware that the one orgasm is not satisfying; on the contrary, she is more thirsty. But the man is spent. So the most cunning way is not to let the woman know that anything like orgasm exists in the world….

“It seems to be a conspiracy. Vatsyayana, the first man in the history to write about sex energy, to explore it in a scientific way, wrote the first treatise on sexology five thousand years ago – Kamasutras, aphorisms on sex. He has gone into the subject as deeply as possible from all directions… but even Vatsyayana does not mention orgasm. That is simply unbelievable – that a man who inquired so deeply into sex did not come across the fact of orgasm.

“No, my feeling is that he is hiding a fact – and to hide any fact is a crime, because that means you allow the false to continue as if it is the truth. And it is not an ordinary fact concerning chemistry or geography; it is something which is the most important in human life.

“The experience of orgasm not only gives you the ultimate pleasure that the body is capable of, it also gives you the insight that this is not all. It opens a door. It makes you aware that you have been unnecessarily looking outside; your real treasure is within.

“Meditation was discovered by people who had deep orgasmic experiences. Meditation is a byproduct of orgasmic experience. There is no other way to first find meditation…. Orgasm brings you naturally into a state of meditation – time stops, thinking disappears, the ego is no more. You are pure energy. For the first time you understand: you are not the body and you are not the mind; you are something that transcends both – a conscious energy.

“And once you enter into the realm of conscious energy, you start having the most beautiful experiences of life, the lightest, the most colourful, the most poetic, the most creative. They give you fulfilment and contentment on the one hand – as far as the body, the mind, and the world are concerned.

“On the other hand, they create a tremendous, divine discontentment. Because what you have experienced is great, but the very experience of it makes you certain, for no reason at all, that there must be greater experiences ahead. Before you knew anything about orgasm, you had never dreamed about it; now you know it. This is going to become an incentive to seek and search: Is there anything more juicy, more blissful, more psychedelic than any psychedelics can deliver to you?

“This search led man toward meditation.

“It was a simple insight into the orgasmic experience.

“What happens? – time stops, thinking disappears. The feeling of “I” is no more there. There is a feeling of iciness – pure, existential – but there is no ego attached to it. I, me, mine – they have all been left far behind. This gives you the clue for meditation. If you can manage a transcendence of time, a transcendence of mind, you will be entering into an orgasmic space alone – without a woman, without a man.

“To be exactly true, meditation is non-sexual orgasm. But half of humanity has not known orgasm for centuries. And because the woman has not known orgasm, you should not think that man has been in a better position. Not giving orgasm to the woman, he has to lose his own orgasm too….

“The woman’s sexuality is something very great. Man is finished within a few seconds; the woman is not even warmed up. Man is in such a hurry – as if he is doing some duty for which he is paid and wants to finish it quickly….

“The woman was warming up and the man is finished – not that he has attained orgasm; ejaculation is not orgasm. The man turns on his side and goes to sleep. And the woman – not one woman but millions of women are crying tears after men have made love to them because they have been left in a limbo. You have encouraged them and before they can come to a conclusion, you are out of the game….

“In not allowing the woman the first orgasm, the man has to learn to finish as quickly as possible. So the woman has lost something tremendously beautiful, something sacred on the earth – and the man has lost.

“Orgasm is not the only thing in which the woman is powerful. Everywhere in the world the woman lives five years longer than the man; her average age is five years more than the man’s. That means she has more resistance, more stamina. Women are sick less than men. Women, even if they are sick, heal themselves more quickly than men. These are scientific facts.

“One hundred and fifteen boys are born while one hundred girls are born…. By the time they are marriageable… only one hundred boys and one hundred girls will be left. Girls don’t die easily.

“Women don’t commit suicide as much as men; men’s suicide rate is double…. As far as murder is concerned, the difference is vast. Man commits murder almost twenty times more; a woman, very rarely….

“And still, after all these facts established by science, the superstition continues that man is stronger. Only in one thing is he stronger and that is that he has a muscular body. He is a good manual worker.

“Otherwise, on every point he feels – and he has felt for centuries – a deep inferiority complex. To avoid that complex, the only way is to force the woman into an inferior position. And that is the only thing that is more powerful in man: he can force the woman. He is more cruel, he is more violent, and he has forced the woman to accept an idea which is absolutely false: that she is weak.

“And to prove that the woman is weak, he has to condemn all the feminine qualities. He has to say that they are all weak, and all those qualities together make the woman weak.

“In fact, the woman has all the great qualities in her. And whenever a man becomes awakened, he attains to the same qualities which he has been condemning in women. The qualities that are thought to be weak are all the feminine qualities. And it is a strange fact that all the great qualities come into that category. What is left are only the brutal qualities, animal qualities.

“The woman is more loving…. Love has its own strength. For example, to carry a child in the womb for nine months needs strength, stamina, love. No man could manage it. An artificial womb could be placed in man – now scientific technology has come to the point where man could have a plastic womb implanted but I don’t think he could survive nine months! – they are both going to jump into the ocean….

“I don’t think there is any man who can have a pregnancy or who can bring up children. It is the strength of the woman. But it is a different strength. There is one strength which is destructive, there is another strength which is creative. There is one strength which is of hatred and there is another strength which is of love.

“Love, trust, beauty, sincerity, truthfulness, authenticity – these are all feminine qualities, and they are far greater than any qualities that man has. But the whole past has been dominated by man and his qualities.

“Naturally in war, love is of no use, truth is of no use, beauty is of no use, aesthetic sensibility is of no use. In war, you need a heart which is more stony than stones. In war, you need simply hate, anger, a madness to destroy.

“In three thousand years, man has fought five thousand wars. Yes, this is also strength but not worthy of human beings. This is strength derived from our animal inheritance. It belongs to the past, which is gone.

“The feminine qualities belong to the future, which is coming.”

Osho addresses women directly:

“There is no need to feel yourself weak because of your feminine qualities. You should feel grateful to existence that what man has to earn, you have been given by nature as a gift. Man has to learn how to love. Man has to learn how to let the heart be the master and the mind be just an obedient servant. Man has to learn these things. The woman brings these things with her, but we condemn all these qualities as weaknesses….

“The women’s liberation movement has to learn one fundamental thing: that is not to imitate man and not to listen what he says about feminine qualities, the feminine personality. The feminine qualities are clear….

“I don’t mean that someone is superior and someone is inferior. I mean that they are unique. Women are women and men are men; there is no question of comparison. Equality is out of the question. They are not unequal and neither can they be equal. They are unique. Rejoice in your feminine qualities, make a poetry of your feminine qualities. That is your great inheritance from nature….

“And if men and women both can live these qualities, the day is not far away when we can transform this world into a paradise…. Then only can wars disappear. Then only can marriage disappear. Then only can nations disappear. Then only can we have one world: a loving, a peaceful, a silent and beautiful world.

Excerpted from: Osho, Sermons in Stones, Talk #17

By Dr. John Andrews for OSHO Times International.

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Quotes – Tantric Energy

‘If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration” – Nikola Tesla

“Where there is matter, there is geometry.” Johannes Kepler

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What can White Tantra Healing do for you?

WHITE TANTRA HEALING (WTH) enables you to release stress, anxieties and pains easily and quickly.


1. Lessen the intensity of negativity of whatever you want to clear.

1a. Check how strongly you feel about your issue.

Use a SUDS (Subjective Units of Distress) Scale of ‘0’ (not at all) to ’10’ (the worst it could be).

1b. While you alternate tapping on the right and left sides of your body in any way that is comfortable for you:

  •  on your forehead
  •  with crossed arms
  •  on the opposite bicep
  •  on your lap
  •  with your feet on the floor

1c. Focus your mind on your problem with this statement:

“Even though I feel [LIST YOUR FEELINGS, INCLUDING ANY PHYSICAL SENSATIONS] when I think about or when I remember [FILL IN DETAILS]


  • “Even though I’m feeling afraid of [heights/ dogs/ speaking in public/ anything else]”
  • “Even though I feel frustrated and angry at my [parents/ children] when I think about how they don’t listen to me.”
  • “Even though I feel anxious and scared and can’t sleep when I think about [my finances/ my illness/ losing my relationship]”

1d. Add a strongly positive affirmation

Examples of positive statements:

  • “I still love and accept myself, wholly and completely”
  • “I remember how good it felt to have a hug from [NAME OF PERSON]”
  • (or substitute any other strong positives)

1e. Assess your SUDS for how strongly you feel your issues, tracking your progress.

1f. Repeat these steps (1a-1e) until you have completely reduced the intensity of the issue you are working on.

You can use TANTRA to wipe away anything unpleasant that you wish to release.

Negative thoughts, feelings and symptoms rapidly melt away.

1g. It is really helpful to write down the exact words you use.  I urge my guests to use a journal.

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The Lingam (Penis) Massage: Awakening a Man’s Sexual Energy for Healing and Personal Transformation.

The Lingam (Penis) Massage: Awakening a Man’s Sexual Energy. 


Lingam is the Sanskrit word for the male sexual organ and the translation of the word refers to a pillar of light. In Tantra the Lingam is honoured and respected as it is a channel for sexual energy and pleasure.

The lingam massage focuses on clearing energy, blockages and promoting healing, and the pleasure that is gained from it is purely a side effect of the massage.

Although the aim of the massage is not to achieve an orgasm, it is very common for a man to become highly aroused resulting in an orgasmic climax. The intense sexual pleasure will be felt throughout the whole body, not just around the genitals.

The massage should be relaxing, stimulating, erotic, healing, exhilarating, liberating and leave the receiver with a great sense of emotional, mental, spiritual and physical well-being whilst experiencing a sensual arousal and high levels of sexual pleasure.

It is essential that the giver and receiver are both fully relaxed and that their intentions are set for the same purpose, so that the massage is not confused with being to purely receive sexual gratification. The energy between both people should be flowing freely so that the energies can intertwine, synchronise and harmonise rhythmically.

The massage focuses on removing blockages that are caused by a build up of toxins and when these are removed sexual, physical, emotional and spiritual health is vastly improved, as the energy (prana/life-force) is able to flow around and through the body.

The massage should be carried out in a calm and peacefully setting, with a comfortably warm temperature, a subdued lighting with candles and gentle tunes playing in the background so that the right ambiance is created.

To start the massage both partners should be sitting or standing face-to-face touching hands or looking into each other’s eyes. The breathing should be synchronised beginning with deep breaths that fill the lungs.

When the breathing techniques have energised the giver and receiver, the person receiving the massage should lie face down on the bed and when comfortable, a full body massage can begin. The massage should consist of small strokes along with firmer kneading pressure to disperse the energy and release any tension that is being held.

Working from the feet upwards, using both hands the giver should massage the whole of the legs, the inner thighs, pelvis and then move up to the buttocks, lower back and then onto the shoulders. A head and face massage can also take place, however, this depends on the receivers preferences.

Then, the person receiving the massage should turn to lie on his back with plenty of pillows propped under his head so that he is in a comfortable position and able to watch the front of his body being massaged along with his lingam. A cushion should be placed just under his hips to elevate the pelvis slightly.

It is important to make sure the breathing remains deep for both the giver and the receiver so that the connection remains and the energy continues to flow between the two.

Sexual energy is a powerful force and when it is harnessed it can induce high levels of emotional, physical, sensual and sexual pleasure.

The receiver should have his legs slightly apart with the knees bent, and again the massage should work its way up the body, starting with the feet, then the calf muscles, thighs, abdomen, chest and shoulders.

The lingam massage is a series of more than 25 different holds that build and release pressure that will feel similar to waves rising up and then crashing down (some powerfully, while others will be gentler and with less force). The energy will be building, dispersing and spreading over and throughout the whole of the body.

Once the receiver is fully relaxed the lingam massage can begin.

Prior to massaging the lingam it is essential to ask permission before touching it to pay respect and honour it as a sacred organ.

The giver should place a few drops of massage oil or lubricant onto the hands, warming it slightly between the fingers. Beginning at the very top of the thighs massage the lubricant into the skin moving upwards to where the top of the legs meet the crease of the pelvis.

Working on the muscles alternating between stroking and kneading. Apply a little pressure to loosen any tension by pressing in and then releasing slightly at the end of each movement.

With slow and slightly firm pressure begin to massage the lower part of the pelvic bone with the fingertips using small circular motions.

To further stimulate the blood flow to the lingam area, while still using the fingertips in small circular motions gently massage the area just slightly above the pelvic bone. It is at this stage that many men may feel a natural instinct to participate actively as the body will begin to feel aroused.

The profound feeling felt within the lingam massage is the process of allowing the body to accept the pleasure whilst remaining in total surrender, so the receiver will feel the sensations that occur when fighting the urge to respond.

Before the massage takes place ask the receiver whether they prefer the testicles to be stroked very gently or for a soft, but firmer, knead and pull to take place. Each person will have their own preferences, so it is always better to check to ensure maximum comfort.

Slowly begin to massage the perineum paying special attention to the “sacred spot” which is a small indentation halfway between the anus and testicles. In slow circular motions press gently and massage to fully relax this very sensitive area. This circular spot may feel tender and hold pain and tension so massage very carefully at first.

Massage downward from the base of the lingam to the anus, alternating between strokes, circular motions and a very soft and gentle pulling or tugging on the delicate skin.

Pay attention to the receiver to ensure they are fully comfortable, not in any pain and relaxed at all times.

Moving towards the testicles, very gently and slowly, use one hand to stroke and massage this area to loosen the scrotum sack, while using the other hand to firmly massage the pubic bone.

While massaging the oil into the skin pay close attention to the receiver to ensure they are fully comfortable, in no pain and also to ensure they are still breathing deeply—if necessary gently remind them to remain focusing on the breath throughout.

Rub a few more drops of oil into the hands then place one hand at the base of the lingam with a gentle but slightly firm pressure. Very slowly pull the hand up from the base to the head of the lingam with a very soft squeezing motion pulling slowly up and then releasing. Then using the other hand start at the base of the lingam and very slowly and gently massage the opposite way, stroking in a downward motion. Keep using alternative hands and very gently increase and decrease the pressure, using variations of speed while keeping a rhythm flowing.

The head of the lingam is a channel for sexual energy while making love and by applying pressure to it, the energy can be awakened and released. Massage the whole of the head with one oiled hand cupped around it and from the wrist use circular stroking movements. Wrap the other hand around the base of the lingam adding a small amount of pressure, however, if the receiver is nearing ejaculation, move this hand back to the perineum to place pressure there whilst slowing down the stroking motions at the head.

Allow a few drops of oil to drip from the head of the lingam down to the testicles and then complete a full stroking motion from the head down to the testicles and then upwards in the opposite direction. Then stroke from the testicles in downward strokes back down towards the anus.

Repeat all of the above motions building and releasing pressure, allowing energy to disperse and to encourage a complete relaxation of the overall genital area.

If at any time the receiver comes close to climax, just slowing down and placing pressure in the perineum area will release the desire to climax so the massage can continue. Another method that can slow down ejaculation is to gently squeeze the head of the lingam while the receiver focuses slowly on taking deep breaths.

A lingam massage is as much a spiritual and healing practice for the giver as it is for the receiver. It is essential that the attitude and mindset is of the correct intention so that the focus is purely on the sexually awakening aspects of it that influence the energy flow, rather than the concern being for sexual gratification or eroticism. Even though the massage will likely feel erotic and sexual, this is not the purpose of the massage.

The lingam massage will bring on a full sense of relaxation and liberation to the whole body and mind, surrendering to the mindful pleasure that is found in two people uniting to perform a ritual of giving and receiving.

Part of the pleasure for the male is found in the passive role that is played so that he is fully conscious and fully aware of each sensation that is taking place and is free to submerge fully into relaxation so that the body is highly sensitised and awakened to each movement that is taking place.

There is no shame at all to be found in this massage and it is very common for a male practitioner to massage another male or a female to massage a male with no sexual connection or energy being passed from one to the other. The massage focuses on the spiritual and healing aspects, however, it is also perfectly normal and natural for feelings of eroticism to take over the whole body, resulting in ejaculation. The body will likely shiver and pulsate as Kundalini energy is released with the receiver being elevated to a higher spiritual plane.

The receiver should remain resting in silence or for several minutes after the massage has taken place so that they can fully absorb every sensation their body is feeling and so that the mind and spirit also are awakened to every aspect of energy clearing, rejuvenation, healing and cleansing that has taken place.

The mind of both the giver and receiver at this stage will likely be at a very conscious and highly awakened level. The mind will be in a meditative state, which will allow the opportunity to feel completely in the present moment. Unprecedented emotions and sensations will be flushing through the minds and bodies, as the giver and receiver are both transcended into a heightened physically and mentally aware primal state.

Soft music should continue to play, or if your partner prefers, the room can be still in a peaceful silence.

The after effects of this deeply sensual and healing experience will be felt in deep and intense waves of sexual energy that will circulate the whole mind, body and soul, lasting for hours and very likely many days after the massage.

Is Pelvic muscle awaking necessary before Lingam massage?

The importance of Pelvic floor massage in men
Many Tantric practitioners start lingam massage without awaking of the pelvic floor muscles to help men with premature ejaculation. To have more effective result it is recommended to awake the pelvic floor muscle by massaging prior starting the lingam massage. While it might result in activation of Shame in the body sprit but some research show that awaking of floor muscle prior lingam massage provide a better outcome.
The other helpful thing is to invite men to have some exercise to awake the floor muscle; following is one that exercises which I found in  
Though the joints within the pelvic girdle are designed more for stability than for movement, they do allow for subtle motion (large movements come from the hip joints and lumbar vertebrae). An exception to this is the coccyx or tail bone which normally has about 30 degrees of movement at its joint with the sacrum. Significantly, several of the pelvic floor muscles as well as some fibers of  the Gluteus Maximus attach to the coccyx. Positions such as squatting or child’s pose in yoga can help to open up the pelvic floor. Lowering your perineum / pelvic floor gently onto a rolled up towel or mat, small soft ball, or other appropriate object and letting the pressure slowly stretch the muscles can be helpful. Care must be taken, especially for those in pain, not to overdo and thus aggravate your symptoms. Using full breaths to slowly, gently, and rhythmically ‘bulge’ the pelvic floor muscles downward and outward on the inhale can also help open this area up. You must be sure to let the breath do the stretching and resist any urge to assist by straining.

Catalina Panamariyof's photo.


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The Lakshmi Tantra

This ritual is a powerful invocation for a blessing of abundance and wealth.
INVOCATION:  Chant each of the following lines one time:


– Salutations to the principle of the guru that exists in everyone

– Salutations to the First among the Celestials

– Salutations to the empowerer of speech.  May that principle guide your pronunciation of mantras.

– Salutations to her who is the source of all abundance.

Next, you will make a series of “mudras” or hand signs to amplify the energies within … point your thumbs up into the air (as in giving the thumbs up sign) and chant


Touch your thumbs to your little fingers and chant:


Touch your thumbs to your ring fingers:


Touch your thumbs to your middle fingers:


Touch your thumbs to your index fingers:


Then place your palms together, as in prayer and chant …

OM HRIM KARATALA … and turn the hands to the back of each other so the palms face outward and chant

With your palms open facing upwards as in supplication and surrender . . .


and then chant the following mantra 108 times on the Mala beads:


and then chant back 108 times back (without jumping over the meru) around the mala:


(this is the mantra to attract abundance and prosperity – but if you want to remove every obstacle between you and abundance then chant this:)


and conclude by chanting just the following once:


This is a very esoteric Tantra and if you chant this every day for 40 days you WILL be blessed with ABUNDANCE!  As you chant, feel the feelings of having what you desire.  For example, imagine how good it will feel to deposit a big check 😉  Some people chant the words, but silently say “Thank You” after each line.  Gratitude magnifies the request!

It does take a little longer, but I find that I can easily do it all within 15-20 minutes.  The repeated chants can be said rapidly …. I usually put on some seascape new age type music which really helps to take me to a high meditation.

Follow by chanting the very powerful and effective Maha Lakshmi Ashtakam :


(The sloka chanted by Indra)
Indra Uvacha: Namasthesthu Mahamaye Sreepeethe Surapoojithe Sankha Chakra Gada Hasthe Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: I offer my worship to Maha Lakshmi, who symbolizes the great illusion and who is worshipped by all Devas. I worship MahaLakshmi who resides in Sri Peetam and who carries Sanku(Conch), Chakram(Disk) and Gadha(Club) in her hand.

Indra Uvacha: Namasthe Garudaroodhe Kolasura Bhayankari Sarva Papa Hare Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: I offer worship to the one who has Garuda bird as her vehicle and who was feared by even Demon “Kola”. I worship MahaLakshmi who destroys all sadness.

Indra Uvacha: Sarvagne Sarva Varade Sarva Dushta Bhayankari, Sarva Duhkha Hare Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthute

Indra speaks: I offer worship to the one who is all knowing, giver of all boons, remover of all dangerous enemies. I worship Maha Lakshmiwho is remover of all afflictions.

Indra Uvacha: Siddhi Buddhi Pradhe Devi Bhukthi Mukthi Pradayini Manthra Moorthe Sada Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi confers great powers, desires, good intellect, enjoyment and Liberation (heaven). I worship Maha Lakshmiwho is the personification of all mantras and who is ever shining and radiant.

Indra Uvacha: Adyantharahithe Devi Adi Sakthi Mahesvari Yogaje yoga Sambhoothe Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi is the one who is without beginning or end. She is the primordial energy and Maheswari. I worship MahaLakshmi who was created out of yoga and who sustains yoga sakthi.

Indra Uvacha: Sthoola Sookshma Maharowdhre Mahasakthi Mahodhare Maha Pape Hare Devi Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi represents both the gross and the subtle manifestations of life. She is very scary to the bad. She is the great energy. I worship Maha Lakshmi who destroys the greatest sins.

Indra Uvacha: Padmaasana Sthithe Devi Para Bramha Swaroopini Paramesi Jaganmathar Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Maha Lakshmi who has lotus as her seat symbolizes the ultimate reality. I worship Maha Lakshmi who is Parameswari and the mother of the universe.

Indra Uvacha: Svethambharadhare Devi Nanalankara Booshithe Jagat Stithe Jaganmathar Maha Lakshmi Namosthuthe

Indra speaks: Wearing white clothes Devi Maha Lakshmi is adorned completely with jewels. I worship Maha Lakshmi who is the omnipresent Devine Mother.

If you chant this Ashtakam once, your sins will be forgiven … if you chant it twice you shall be blessed with wealth … if you chant it three times you shall overcome your enemies!!!  

Closing Prayer

Om Mahalakshmyai cha vidmahe
Vishnu patnyai cha dhimahi
Tanno Lakshmihi prachodayat

Translation: “Om. Let us meditate on the Great Goddess Sri Lakshmi, the consort of Sri Maha Vishnu. May that effulgent Maha LakshmiDevi inspire and illuminate our mind with understanding.”

Conclude with:  OM SHANTI OM SHANTI OM SHANTI OM! (Peace!)

Abundance and prosperity are GOOD things!  The more we have, the more we can SHARE!  So asking for them is to be encouraged 🙂
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