"Integrated Yawning and Stretching Technique" or "AuraPuri"

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Preview of the DVD: The Chakra System (in-depth) & The Yawning & Stretching Technique

Revitalize your Chakra System by utilizing the dynamic energies of yawning and stretching.

Part One (Introduction)
  • Integrated Yawning & Stretching Technique
  • Yawning & Stretching and the Lymph System #
  • The Brain & Cholesterol ##
  • Yawning & Stretching and our Energy Centers
  • Our Energy Centers or Chakras
  • Intermezzo - Being centered in the Heart
  • Seven Levels of Well-Being
Part Two (Exercises)
  • Crown Chakra
  • Brow Chakra
  • Throat Chakra
  • Heart Chakra
  • Solar Plexus Chakra
  • Cholesterol & the Brain ##
  • The Senses
  • Sacral Chakra
  • Root Chakra
  • Shoulders & Pelvis
For # and ##, please see the notes at the very end of this article.

Part One
Introduction

Integrated Yawning & Stretching Technique  - The Videos
(Seven YouTube video clips of about ten minutes each.)


The spoken word of this video-introduction is not as extensive as the printed text of this current article.

  • Note 1:
    If you would like to quickly proceed to Part Two (Exercises), please click here to watch the six ten-minute video clips that introduce the seven energy centers (or chakras) and the set of exercises that will help you to soon reach a more wholesome state of good health and vitality.
  • Note 2:
    The last video-clip of this series will offer some handy suggestions on how to apply what you've learned, throughout your normal working day.
  • Note 3:
    What is offered here is not something along the lines of a "get rich quick" or a "loose pounds quickly" scheme! If your aim is to truly become healthy again, be prepared to do these exercises over an extended period of time. For many illnesses it may require from one to three years of steady and intense practice of this "Integrated Yawning & Stretching Technique" for the final result to become fully stable and eventually irreversible.


Integrated Yawning & Stretching Technique - The Description

Yawning & Stretching together, belong to some of the most important physical movements that all of us do throughout the day - or actually... that all of us are supposed to do throughout the day. After all, if we do yawn, or if we do stretch, doesn't it often go something like, "Oh, I'm sorry!" while we hide a reluctant yawn behind our hands, or while we stretch ourselves to the smallest extent possible?
Don't we often just stretch ourselves in secret, hiding our stretches from most anybody, except maybe from the one we are facing in the bathroom mirror?
Of course, before we go to bed we are supposed to yawn and stretch! It is not for nothing that our body spontaneously sets us up to do so. And we should do the same yawning and stretching when we wake up in the morning. But... we don't or hardly do it, having been made to believe that somehow it is not socially acceptable... at least not in public.
Luckily things are changing, but still, all too often we just don't have the time for it, or... we don't make time for it. Instead, we rush off to work and then, later in the day, we wonder why during the day we were so tired or sleepy. And when night comes, when we are finally ready to go to sleep, we are often so tired, too tired even to yawn & stretch, sometimes even too tired to fall asleep. (Gosh, it sounds like sex!)
Don't we often wonder why we cannot easily fall asleep, and don't we often wonder why - after we eventually fell asleep - why we could not wake up refreshed and with ease? 

The Lymph System and Yawning & Stretching

Yawning and stretching may very well be one of the most important self-healing mechanisms that is built-in into our own body's dynamics. We've all seen how cats yawn and stretch, we've seen dogs do it and we may even have seen ducks do it or swans. But we humans are probably the only type of being on earth that doesn't really fully appreciate that self-healing mechanism that yawning and stretching actually is. If it is something we do, it's the kind of thing we prefer to do away from others, not necessarily in the closet but surely mostly only in the privacy of our bedroom or maybe our living room. (Gosh, it still sounds like sex!)
We all know that yawning and stretching is catching... when someone yawns, doesn't almost everyone follow suit. It must be something we need, or why would we be doing it so automatically when we see others do it.

Although not generally known,
the most important function of yawning and stretching is
that their combined movements activate and mobilize our lymphatic system.

As most of us live quite a sedentary life (or should we call it a slouching life?) our lymphatic system - which is a system that doesn't have a pumping heart to move its fluids - almost entirely relies on physical body movements to circulate them. If we don't move, those lymph liquids don't move, they just don't get circulated well enough to be effectively discharged into our circulatory system to be transported to the various filtering glands where carbon dioxide, toxins, lactic acid and metabolites are removed to be eliminated from the body via the kidneys and the urinary system.

From http://www.healtouch.com/csft/csf.html

Incidentally, in the brain we have an enormous number of tiny red blood vessels or "capillaries". Those capillaries reach every part of the brain. But in addition to these red blood capillaries in the brain we also have as many white blood cell holding "pre-lymphatic perivascular structures" *. More on that later.
(Click here and read section 3.6 of a science thesis dealing with these structures)
By the way, the volume of lymph fluid in our body is double the volume of our blood and the number of lymph vessels is also twice the number of blood vessels.

We know we should be quite mobile, we should move a lot, but we often don't - at least not without some resistance, some reluctance. Thus most people's lymph system (or auto-immune system) has gotten rather sluggish and slow. It is not for nothing that we get all kinds of sicknesses and diseases: cancer, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, arthritis, mental fatigue, depression, schizophrenia, dementia, hives, shingles, colds, flues etc.
This is not to say that "yawning and stretching" is a miraculous cure for any of that, but surely its energetic dynamic is what the body comes equipped with: to cleanse, heal and restore itself to full functioning with relative ease while undoing dis-ease. 

The Brain & Cholesterol

The following notion is probably a new thing to most of us: the brain consists totally of brain cells - well, of course - but did you know that these brain cells are actually... fat cells?
In fact our  (CNS) - which includes the brain - has an abundance of these cells. Overall the brain cells are lipid molecules. These neurolipids or fatty acid molecules have various functions:
  1. They give structure to our Central Nervous System,
  2. Specific fatty cells (Schwann cells) - especially in the brain - provide the insulation or myelin sheaths for the nerve cells that carry electrical impulses to and from the spinal cord. 
  3. Another function is the role these lipids play in energy exchange.

But did you know that these fat cells consist mostly of cholesterol!

Cholesterol!
Isn't that curious?
The same type of cholesterol that we have in our blood!

Although this cholesterol (when it is the 'bad' kind) can clog the cardio-vascular circulatory system, it is also the cholesterol (when it is the 'good' kind) that is supposed to run freely through that circulatory system to reach our brain and tissues of the nervous system. That very same cholesterol that can be so bad for us, is actually indispensable for the proper functioning of our brain and nervous system.

By the way there is currently a new appreciation developing about the benefits of both HDL and LDL cholesterol in the sense that the distinction between good and bad is fading. What used to be called bad cholesterol (LDL) is in fact very important for muscle building, thus muscle-building activities will make use of LDL cholesterol... Exercising does not just burn energy, by means of LDL fatty tissue muscle tissue is created. (HDL helps removing LDL from glogged arteries)

Shouldn't we wonder why we have cholesterol in our blood and why our brain is mostly cholesterol?
Shouldn't we wonder about what the relationship is between the brain and our body's cholesterol, wherever it happens to be located?
Let's say you live a normal life, I mean a normal good life and everything is going quite fine. Nothing is really too stressful, you sleep well, you eat reasonably well, you even exercise regularly, you are in good shape and all that. Well, in that case, you do all your movements energetically, naturally and easily. In that case also, your lymphatic system is OK, your cardiovascualr system is OK, your nervous system is OK*, your muscles are OK, everything works OK. When that is the case, your brain rejuvenates itself by itself. Everyday it actually rids itself of old brain cells and everyday the lymph and the red blood system take great care to replace old brain and nerve tissue with new tissue.
Hm, come to think of it, could it be that that cholesterol in our blood is meant for that? Could it be that cholesterol is waiting in our veins, ready to occupy our head, to occupy our mind positively so to speak, instead of worrying us?
Too many people of course don't live that kind of good life! What really happens with most of us, is that at the end of the day we tend to say or think, "I should have done this...", "I should have done that...", or "I should not have done this..." and "I should not have done that..." Eventually we go to bed but we can't sleep - not right away anyway - and we find that our thoughts are going round and round in circles, circling inside our brain. Actually one could almost say that our brain's fat cells are being stirred in their container while having a hard time being replenished in due time!
People that are not generally happy - this could be you of course - people that feel too often somewhat low or depressed, people that have been traumatized, people that have been prevented or are stymied to live their life the way they'd like to live, their physical dynamic energetic state is falling short.
Let's say, this is about you. Let's say that you want to be joyful and playful but that you have almost given up. Let's say that it appears to be hard for you to simply be happy in this world, that you feel kinda' held back... if that is the case, could it be that your brain cells don't get replaced and rejuvenated often enough anymore. Could it be that why life seems to be the same old grind... the same old stuff?

Could be! Let's have a look. 

* In 1927, Cushing described cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) motion as the third circulation (the first and second circulatory systems being the cardiovascular and lymphatic systems)

The Lymph System and Cholesterol

For starters, perhaps you hardly yawn and stretch anymore, the circulation of your whole system doesn't work too well anymore and those brain cells... well, they just sit there. Could it be that those cells have gone bad, something like cooking oil turned rancid?
It may very well be that your brain cells' good cholesterol has turned into the bad kind.
Some centuries ago in Europe, when Renaissance scientists started to practice anatomy on human remains in order to find out what their internal organs looked like, they found, after dissecting the craniums of their specimens, that the brains of many (curiously enough often the remains of criminals and inmates from workhouses and asylums) did not reek too well, that they were "kind of smelly".

That should make one want to think afresh.

Maybe, although it is not a happy thought, we should think of it this way: if we are not living a happy and open life, a joyful and dynamically energetic one, could it be that our brain is on it's way to "going bad"?
Now, that - a brain going bad - that could be what makes us forget to sleep well, to think well, that could be what makes us forget and 'forget' to live well.
I suggest that, as our brain cells don't get reworked or replenished - meaning, if the "bad" cholesterol doesn't  get filtered out by those white blood cell holding "pre-lymphatic perivascular structures" * (Click here to read section 3.6 of a science thesis that deals with these structures) - they turn bad, and it is then, so to speak, that the thoughts that are associated with those brain cells, go round and round in circles in our mind, keeping us awake, but not freshly awake and definitely not acutely and happily aware.
Let's see what we can do about it. I suggest that we've got it in us to get it right again; that it just something that can be re-awakened or re-activated again. 

Yawning & Stretching and our Energy Centers

Wouldn't it be nice if we could get rid of those old brain cells? And, while we are at it, wouldn't it be nice if we could also rid ourselves of any other waste products that have such a hard time leaving our bodies?
Well, we are going to do just that. That is what the yawning and stretching exercises dealt with here are about. What we are going to do is yawning and stretching, but in an integrated way.
Although up to now it may have sounded as though it is primarily the brain that needs our attention, but we are not going to do this yawning and stretching just for the brain, we are going to do it for the whole of us, our whole being... and also not just for the body but for the less physical aspects of us as well: our spirit, our mind, our creative faculties (the procreative system included), the systems that we use to express ourselves functionally and the faculties we use to express ourselves emotionally. We will even work on that body level where our will power is situated - not only our gut feelings but also the gut as related to our digestive system and system for elimination.

I've broken the "Integrated Yawning & Stretching Technique" down into seven main steps according to the seven centers of energy or chakras that we find in all their various forms and formulations in the physical as well as the metaphysical build-up of our entire human reality.

You may know already that we have seven energetic centers of concentrated, enhanced feelings in our being, a complex of inner energies that in Oriental terms goes by the name of the Chakra System. The Western notion of those energy centers or chakras is generally believed to have its origins in Oriental thought, especially Hinduism, as understanding of the nature of these centers was spread widely by Yoga teachings as well as Ayurvedic healing practices. Various other terms to do with the human energy body in general (such as the aura) and the concentrations of energy within it in particular (such as Shakti, Qi and Kundalini) amongst many other Ayurvedic and Yogic terms (such as yin, yang, etc.) have found their way into current Western alternative ways of people helping each other healing themselves. Reiki, Healing Touch, Energy Medicine, Acupuncture, Reflexology, Feng Shui, etc. have greatly popularized that terminology.

It would not be totally right however to conclude that the notion of for example chakras solely originated in the East. In the West there exist similar notions although they were never fully and clearly given specific formalized names. In the West though, these notions tend to have more negative connotations about them (as will be illustrated below) whereas in the East chakras are primarily seen and experienced as positive faculties, unless they ended up as temporarily deficient or defunct and thus in need of balancing.
Let me illustrate the Western notions about these energy centers with a few examples. Each example points at a location of emotional energy in our body and is just one of many other examples that can be given for each location in particular.
I'll leave it to the reader to tag each of the following examples with the appropriate chakra label. I'm purposely listing the examples in random order, enticing the interested reader to put them in some logical sequence according to the conventional oriental descriptions of the chakras. (The chakras will be described in more detail in the section that follows the examples.) 
  • The chest center: Imagine a mother seeing a child who is suddenly crossing the road. Imagine how the mother would quickly bring both her hands to her chest, holding her breath while doing this.
  • The forehead center: You are sitting at your desk pondering a challenge that is confusing you greatly. You are bringing your hands to your forehead massaging your face and rubbing your eyes. You only seem to see objections or impediments to any possible creative solution.
  • The navel center: You may once have experienced an uncomfortable empty feeling in the pit of your stomach area, a nervous anxiety felt physically just above your belly button. You may remember how you reached there with both your hands to express concern or to bring some comfort? 
  • The creative center: Imagine that you once heard someone say, "My stomach turned when I heard how this child was sexually molested..." You may feel a certain nervous sensation in the lower belly area around the sexual glands and organs. 
  • The neck and shoulder center: Imagine someone who lost her job a while ago and who cannot seem to come up with any reason to find herself worthy of life, let alone another job. There she sits, shoulders hunched, head pulled in and bent forward, repeatedly bringing her hands to her neck as if to massage it while attempting to breathe but just not managing it. 
  • The anal/pubic center: You may know someone who is quite "anal", maybe obsessive compulsive. Try to imagine vividly that you see that person acting out that way. Can you imagine how you might be contracting your own muscles in the lower pelvis and buttocks as you are visualizing it?
  • The crown of the head center: You may once have been throwing up your hands while looking upward in utter despair, having given up all expectations in finding peace within yourself and the world, "No hope in hell even!" so to speak, and you felt like saying, "Just forget about heaven, even God.

Our Energy Centers or Chakras

What follows is a more formal description of the chakras with some added insights that may differ from the more conventional view on this subject.

1. Starting from the bottom up of the spine upwards, you'll first find the Root Chakra. Its color is Red.
The Root Chakra's energy runs from the anal area to the mouth and vice versa, following the length of the alimentary tract. Interesting (and you may already have spotted it,) when one yawns a little more intensively than usual, one does a lot of work with the whole body. Notice that when one yawns, from the moment one opens one's mouth that there is at the same time a lot of stuff happening "down there". In general the Root Chakra has to do with one's physical well-being.
2. The second chakra from the bottom is the Sacral Chakra. It is assigned the color orange.
The Sacral Chakra has to do with sexuality, creativity, the sexual organs, their hormones and other glandular secretions: human procreativity but also, but that more in general, physical creativity. It depends on one's age how that creativity gets expressed and realized. Overall this chakra deals with the physical creative impulses and energies needed to realize (to make real) what we imagine and visualize to create. This second chakra from the bottom works in close concert with the second chakra from the top: the Brow Chakra.
3. The third chakra is the Navel Chakra and has been assigned the color yellow.
The Navel Chakra has a lot to do with our gut and... gut feelings... our body's belly brain...
Come to think of it, when we address our gut feelings, we are expressing something like, "If I had a free will and if my mind were clear I would know exactly what to do!"
Our physical willpower is concentrated in this energy center (also called 'hara' and it emanates from there.
(Click here to read a Scientific American article that describes how the intestinal system (our gut) can be considered our body's second brain.)
4. The chakra next up is the Heart Chakra. Its color will be indicated a little later.
The Heart Chakra that has to do with "heart felt" emotions. But there is much more to this center of emotional energy.

Intermezzo - Being Centered in the Heart

The spectral colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet) are often brought up when chakra energies are discussed. As indicated above, the colors for the three lower chakras are - in sequence - red, orange and yellow.
I haven't identified and named the top three chakras yet, the ones above the Heart Chakra, so let me mention them for now in relation to their associated colors. From the top down they are the Crown, the Brow and the Throat Chakras and their colors are - again in sequence - purple, indigo and blue.

Imagine that you take the bottom three chakra colors (red, orange yellow) and that you take the top three chakra colors (purple, indigo and blue) and that you bring them together. There where they meet - between the yellow and the blue - you get green!

Now, isn't that curious, green is the color for the Heart Chakra!

Putting it differently: visualize "Mother Earth's" energy ascending from below through the Root, the Sacral and Solar Plexus Chakras, also visualize how the forces from the universe above - "Father Sun's" energy so to speak - descend from above through the Crown, Brow and Throat Chakras. Now visualize that these two grand energetic flows join up in the Heart Chakra... Now isn’t it that how we get balanced?

Could that be why nature's flora is generally green?

The "coming together" of these grand energies into each of us, while concentrated and centered in the Heart Chakra, is what causes the Heart Chakra - the core of our being - to be a most powerful center. The Heart Chakra is where we create and realize balance, harmony, where we can experience life and love in its finest form.
But there is even more to the Heart Chakra....but more on that later, for now let's return to the remaining chakra descriptions. 

Our Energy Centers or Chakras (continued) 

5. The next chakra up is the Throat Chakra, and as noted above, its color is blue.
The Throat Chakra employs energies that enable us to express ourselves functionally as well as vocationally, very often aided by powers of verbal expression, for some poetic even, for some more melodious, as through song. This chakra deals with how we function in the world as related to our fellow human beings. The word "vocation" by the way, has to do with how we respond to our calling (an internal or external voice that may be calling us) and how we voice ourselves through our functioning in the world.
6. The next chakra up is the Brow Chakra, the color being indigo.
Think of indigo as the color of the night sky and imagine being outside on a starry night, feeling inspired to ponder the deeper questions of life, the very personal ones and the more fundamental, universal ones. Imagine that you conclude that (1) intelligence, (2) aspiration, (3) inspiration and (4) imagination are involved in this. These four together form one complex continuum that represents the creative aspect of something grand that is normally only intuited as an aspect of all reality. Some special structures and glands that we carry in our head in addition to our brain are especially suited to operate in and process these levels of reality.
7. The uppermost chakra is the Crown Chakra and is usually represented by the color purple.
Through the Crown Chakra we can realize the unconditional oneness of all reality from which a full range of energies manifest themselves into a dimension transcending presentation of varied phenomena, from the smallest to the largest, the grossest to the subtlest. It is through this chakra that we integrate the physical and metaphysical realities of our entire being. The complexity of our brain in combination with the pineal gland and structures like the five paired ventricles is well suited to not only intuit but also contact full reality - some call it divine - even with the individual physical manifestation that we now enjoy living as a human being on earth.

 Seven Levels of Well-Being

There is a sequence to the functionality of the chakras, related as they are to seven levels of individual and personal well-being (notice the intended "strange" numbering):
7. Spiritual well-being
6. Mental well-being
5. Vocational well-being
4. Emotional well-being
3. Will-power or volitional well-being
2. Creative well-being
1. Bodily well-being
One could say that the three lower chakras (1 to 3) emphasize the physical realities of our well-being and the three upper chakras (5 to 7) deal more with the metaphysical realities of our well-being, and, as indicated earlier, they join to balance each other as they get centered in the Heart Chakra: balancing our well-being as a whole.
That balance of our whole reality is expressed in and from the heart, the core of our being from which we live and love.

Let's go through the above sequence in more detail, first from the bottom up until we reach the Heart Chakra and then from the top down until we again reach the Heart Chakra:
  • The Root Chakra (red) has to do with our bodily well-being and forms the physical health base (our grounding) for the next chakra up:
  • The Sacral Chakra (orange) is concerned with our creative well-being as it is supported by and arises from our bodily well-being. 
  • The Solar Plexus chakra (yellow) follows this up while dealing with how we with a "free will" and a "clear mind" work out and put into action our volitional well-being by giving shape to the creative impulses that come from the Sacral Chakra.
  • After that manifestation in the Solar Plexus, we reach and realize balance in the Heart Chakra (green): our emotional well-being. Once we respond to those balancing dynamics, we become empowered to use the "divine" or "universal" energies from the three top chakras. 
  • At this point we turn to the uppermost chakra, the Crown (purple) which represents and expresses our spiritual well-being and is the source inspiration for the Brow Chakra below. 
  • Through the Brow Chakra (indigo) we peruse and stimulate the energetic powers of intelligence, imagination, aspiration and inspiration - belonging seamlessly together - as we express it through our mental well-being. 
  • This is followed up by the way we express all of the above through the energetic powers of the Throat Chakra (blue) which represents our vocational and functional well-being. 
  • And thus we return to the Heart Chakra, from where and through which we emote all our physical as well as metaphysical realities.
There is another very interesting and important aspect about the core or center in our being. In, from and through the Heart center originate three axes: a vertical axis, a horizontal one and an axis at ninety degrees to the first horizontal one: 
  1. Our physical well-being (from below) and our metaphysical well-being (from above) are brought together on the vertical axis. 
  2. On the horizontal axis, running between the left and right sides of our body, yin and yang characteristics are brought together so that they can balance into one integrated whole. Individually as man or woman we can than restore our original wholeness as it was intended for each of us from conception on. 
  3. On the other horizontal axis (the one between our front and back) our past and future are represented: that what is behind us and pushes us, and that what is in front of us and pulls us. After we have balanced our past and future, e.g. when not escaping into weird things, living in the past or being obsessed with the future, we live in the current moment: we are always just simply present.
At the cross point of these three axes, the point that in geometrics is called 'O' or 'Origin', we find and recognize our original authentic being: who we are when we are truly centered, when we are ourselves, authentic and original, from and in which we live and love in fullness and wholeness. 

Part Two
Exercises

Click here to watch the videos that introduce the 7 chakras and the series of exercises that help revitalizing them.

The text in this section parallels the spoken word on the DVD and the YouTube videos that demonstrate these exercises. However the directions and explanations in this text expand in more detail on a number of topics.
If you have the DVD or have been watching the YouTube videos, it is advisable to first practice the yawning and stretching exercises while watching, then at a later opportunity you can do the exercises again by following the directions from this text, but at your own pace.
The "Integrated Yawning & Stretching Technique" as demonstrated in this Exercises section is broken down according to the seven energy centers or chakras that are distributed throughout the human body as described in the "Introduction". 

Crown Chakra

In this first exercise we are going to concentrate on the head and the brain, that area of our body that physically processes Crown Chakra energies. The main aim of this exercise is to see if we can clear the brain from those cells that have, so to speak, served their purpose - the ones that have been "overstaying their welcome". These are the cells that are mostly connected to our negative thoughts, the ones that keep us awake at night, and also the ones that can almost incessantly keep our internal dialogue going.  
  1. Move both your hands - clasped together with interwoven fingers - above your head. Hold the elbows wide while bending them slightly backwards. Hold your interwoven hand-palms above your head forming a sort of crown. Your hands may be turned up or down.
  2. Now close your eyes tight, real tight and breathe in. When you do this and while you inhale, you may hear some rumbling in your ears. That rumbling is important.
  3. Do it again, and listen for it while holding your breath... then exhale.
  4. Again, with your eyes tightly closed breathe in, but now, loosen your interwoven hands and stretch your arms out while you yawn again. Make sure that you make a sound with your vocal chords during this yawn. You may have noticed that the sound you made was pretty high - it should be. If not, do it again and go for a high pitch.
  5. While you stretch your arms, clench your hands tight like fists, really squished and yawn again. Notice, as you do that, how you are also stretching your biceps.
  6. Did you notice that while you closed your eyes tightly and while you were listening to the rumble inside your head that your face felt as though it looked sort of ugly?
  7. Do it again and see if you can feel it... yawn and inhale... hold your breath... yawn and exhale.
Ugly face? Yes? But did you also find that it actually felt good? Try it again, and when you are done, this time also say that it felt good, "Ah, that feels good!" Did you notice that when you said "That feels good!" that your face started to feel and look rather blissful?!

It must be good for you, of course! We are talking to ourselves but... in a positive way when we say those kind of words. All too often we speak in negative terms to ourselves like,
“I should do this better...",
"Next time I have to fix this up..." or
"I shouldn't have done this..."
What about turning it around and say,
"Ah, this feels good, I'm doing the right thing!"
When you do that more often, you are going to feel more blissful and when you feel more blissful you are going to be a way nicer person to be with, and of course there will be much less stress and strife in your life.
So what happened, what actually took place inside your brain during this stretch of yawning?

In the brain we have an enormous number of tiny red blood vessels or "capillaries". Those capillaries reach every part of the brain. In addition to these red blood capillaries we also have as many white blood cell holding "pre-lymphatic perivascular structures" in the brain.
Click here and read section 3.6 of a science thesis dealing with these structures.)
What these structures do - when we squeeze our brain as much as we just did - they pick up waste products from our brain cells. In addition though, when we tighten our facial muscles and when we stretch our arms, when we squeeze our hands into fists AND when we yawn at the same time, the lymph vessels also absorb the waste products from the muscles that we squeeze and stretch: the lymph cells pick them up and transport them to the lymph nodes, and later, at some special locations under the clavicles and in the groin, the lymph system drains its charge into the red blood system which eventually transports the waste products to the liver and kidneys and... eventually... you go to the bathroom to get rid, so to speak, of those bad "thoughts", "feelings" and "sensations| as well as other unwelcome substances or toxins that you may have picked up during the challenging moments of your daily life.
So what you just did, you concentrated on the brain and squished out many "bad" brain cells as well as toxins and other waste products. But at this point they are still in the lymph system as they have not been transported to the filtering glands (e.g. the liver and kidneys) yet. 

Brow Chakra

The next chakra that we are going to take care of is the Brow Chakra.
  1. This time we are going to put our hands on the level of the brow, about four inches away from the temples on both sides of the head. Notice that as you do this, you may already feel that you want to squeeze your hands real tight.
  2. Now while you are doing that, put some inside pressure behind your eyes, but this time don't tighten them, just keep them closed and start a yawn. Direct your yawning into the front of your brain, it is a bit hard to explain how to do that but just try it somehow. So yawn into your forehead and "into your eyes".
  3. Inhale... hold... exhale....and again but now with a deep yawn and... a sound with your vocal chords!
  4. You may already have noticed when you did this, that the pitch is a little lower that when you did the previous exercise for the Crown Chakra.
  5. Do this again and when done, again say to yourself that it feels good, "Mmm, my gosh, this feels so good!"
  6. Repeat this sequence, but now turn and twist your shoulders, your head slightly tilted back, the spine arched backwards.
Something else to be aware of! Did you notice that when you did the previous movement, that your hands and fingers were stretching and squeezing in an alternating manner?
Also, did you notice that you were bending, twisting and straightening your wrists as well? Spontaneously! Isn't it something?! Of course you had to, you've got lymph vessels and lymph nodes in the wrists, in the elbows (and of course under the armpits and in the chest area).
The thing with the lymph system is that it does not have a pumping organ like a heart to move its fluids around, so this bending, twisting, squeezing, inhaling, exhaling and yawning is really the only dynamic that keeps this system functioning effectively so that it can pick up and transport carbon dioxide, lactic acid and other metabolites that our muscles and other organs let go off when we stretch, clench and squeeze them.

Another very important thing about yawning: there are three phases to it. The first phase is accompanied by inhalation, then there is the phase during which you hold your breath, followed by the third yawning phase when you breathe out.
Although it might not be obvious, but the middle phase is more important than one would at first suspect. Of course you have to breathe-in air (first phase) to take in the oxygen that is needed for your energy metabolism. At some point later that oxygen combines with carbon in your system,
much of which is a remnant from that energy metabolism process. This then produces the carbon dioxide that is usually seen as a waste product to be quickly eliminated (during the exhaling third phase).
But that carbon dioxide is not immediately a waste product, because while you are stretching and yawning and before you breathe the carbon dioxide out, it serves another purpose - especially during the second holding-the-breath phase: as you are holding your breath and while tensing your muscles during stretching, that carbon dioxide (CO2) inside the body tissues combines with water (H2O) to become carbonic acid (H2CO3) which helps dissolve crystallized waste material that you've been accumulating in your body because of normal and needed activities such as physical work, intense brain activity, mental concentration, sports, etc. (and yes even the 'fight or flight' responses) that you did without enough relaxation afterwards.
Carbonic acid (H2CO3) together with Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) form the carbonic acid and sodium bicarbonate buffer system which is one of three systems that maintain the optimal alkalinity level (pH) of the body: its cellular structures, the brain and the Central Nervous System as a whole. When one's pH is not maintained between 7.35 and 7.45 the enzyme systems and other biochemical and metabolic activities will not function normally. 
(There is also residue from sometimes inappropriate DNA methylation.
The 'New Scientist' article in the link above deals with 'waste residue' and our DNA See especially 'Chemical caps called methyl groups onto our DNA'.)

Without that dissolving process in which carbon dioxide serves as a catalyst, certain waste products will not be absorbed by the lymph system. Unless those waste products have been processed for elimination, they cannot be eliminated from your system.

It has also been discovered that people with panic attacks for an hour before their attacks have a very low readings of carbon dioxide in their system, this is likely caused by hyper-ventilation. It shows though that a low carbon dioxide presence in the system may contribute the onset of panic attacks.

So during this middle phase of yawning and stretching, for those who suffer from arthritis or rheumatism, people who suffer from fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome, those who have chronic muscle pain or frequent muscle spasms or those who have over-sensitive nerves, and those who suffer from depression, the crystallized waste products in their bodies that can be the cause of these ailments, can get more efficiently dissolved and disposed of. So, holding your yawn, even if only for a brief moment while you are stretching, is very important. It will pay off to be very attentive of that holding phase in all of the upcoming exercises.

Throat Chakra

The next energy center we are going to pay attention to is the Throat Chakra. The Throat Chakra has to do with how we express ourselves.
Remember the Crown Chakra represents our spiritual health, the Brow Chakra represents the energies of spiritual health through creative imagination, inspiration, aspiration and intelligence and the Throat Chakra in turn expresses that in how we speak for ourselves, how we speak out, how we answer to our calling and how we voice ourselves in our vocation through our calling. Thus the Throat Chakra has also very much to do with how we professionally function in the world.
When we concentrate our yawning and stretching on the throat and the neck, an additional process, not well known to most of us, gets stimulated: under the clavicles the lymph vessels dump their waste into the "sub-clavicle veins" of the circulatory system.
By the way, further down the line, when our blood reaches the liver or the kidneys, those glands can do their work only well enough if there is enough lymph in the blood - much like your washing machine: it won't work as intended if you don't add soap to the water with the clothes to be washed. Part of that lymph fluid that gets dumped into the red blood system ensures that the filtering organs do their work more efficiently so that the filtering can be done more effectively.
  1. We begin by putting our clenched hands on the same level as the throat with our elbows bent and wide while pushing them to the back.
  2. While we yawn into this area, the sound that our vocal chords make is going to be lower again. So yawn and inhale... hold... and exhale.
  3. With this exercise we are also going to pay extra attention to the shoulders, because as the Throat Chakra deals with your answer to your calling, it has also much to do with the weight on your shoulders: responsibility. And as you know, most of us take way too much on our shoulders, or if not that, we get too much put on them. But now we want to get rid of that excess.
  4. So start squeezing it out - squeezing those shoulder muscles - They squeeze out all that stress that our muscles have picked up over the years.
  5. Yawn and inhale... hold... and exhale...
  6. Notice again the sound that you make.
  7. While repeating this, now bend from the waist and 'tumble' left and right, while you also turn your torso. All very good for the spine.
  8. Repeat this and while you keep your head backwards, now stretch your arms wide and observe that when you do that, that the shoulders loosen up.
  9. You have been ridding yourself of all that stuff that you wanted to get rid of, another reason to say again, "This feels good!"
I hope, eventually that comes by itself.
By the way, we are doing these exercises while sitting down as for some it is easier to retain their balance, but there is of course nothing against doing them standing up as well. 

Heart Chakra

For the Heart Chakra we will concentrate on the chest area. But when we concentrate on this area it's not only to be aware of oxygen entering our lungs, it is also to become aware of a gland behind our breast bone or sternum. Behind the sternum is a very important gland: the 'thymus gland' and it produces the leukocytes or white blood cells that are needed in our lymphatic or auto-immune system.
Anatomists of the 17th and 18th centuries found that the bodies on which they performed their dissections (the bodies of criminals and the poor, those from the workhouses and asylums) that their thymus glands had become atrophied - had almost died off, disappeared. They thought that this atrophy had to do with aging and that it happened to everybody. They did not consider well enough though that their sample did not represent normal, well functioning humans and that atrophy of the thymus gland could very well be more prevalent amongst those who found reasons to give up hope in life and happiness, than amongst others. It stands to reason, that when you don't appreciate yourself, when you don't love yourself enough - also when you don't appreciate the existence of other people with enough love - that the internal organs that represent that appreciation and which safe-guard it on the physical level, that those glands, become sluggish, dysfunction and may eventually atrophy. If you don't love yourself and you don't love others, your auto-immune system that is supposed to take care of the stresses of life and to defend it against external invaders into one's environment, may find less and less reason to stay around.
At any rate, it has been found that the thymus gland does not have to atrophy and that it can be re-stimulated into effective functioning.
In this exercise we are going to re-stimulate the functioning of the thymus gland. If we do this every day, the thymus gland will actually increases in size and... you will also spontaneously start to appreciate yourself more. After all, it's on the level of the heart and as it is said, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself..." well, if you don't love yourself, how can you love your neighbor?!
So all this has to do with loving ourselves and others but actually in the first place... our own body. If we didn't have a body, there would be nothing to love, not self, not others.
  1. Hold your elbows on the same level as the heart and lungs, and while pulling them backward, bend your arms and hands toward your shoulders and yawn deeply while you focus on your inhalation, holding and exhalation.
  2. Again, notice the sound from the vocal chords: it is lower again than with the previous exercise.
  3. Now, while doing this, also push out your breast bone... inhale... and hold... expand the sternum...and exhale.
  4. Do this sequence again but now, while you are holding your breath, pay attention to your ribs to one side of the sternum and spine... and exhale.
  5. Breathe in again but now more into one side of the lungs while you expand the ribs on that side of your body... hold... and exhale.
  6. Repeat the previous steps for the other side of the rib case and lungs.
While you are holding your breath for an extended time, feel the muscles in between your ribs, in the front as well as the back. They hold so much stress and... many bad memories as well, probably from when you were disciplined, or from when you had to carry your weight (and maybe other people's weight as well) or from when you were not allowed or enabled to be free, when you were made to feel down. All that is all carried in those muscles, and now by stretching them, the physical deposits of those negative feelings - the depressed feelings as well as the repressed ones - you are actually going to expel them. You are going to dissolve them and later, through the urinary system, you will eliminate them.

Did you observe that as you were doing this that you were starting to twist and turn your spine? Did you already notice that some of your vertebrae were trying to slip back into place? You may already have heard some clicking and felt some spontaneous spinal vertebrae adjustments. 

Solar Plexus Chakra

After all these exercises the blood contains so many waste products that we now have to get rid of them. The organs that we have in our body that can filter them out are of course the liver and the kidneys. It's too bad that these organs - in too many of us - just 'kind of hang out' there just like we used to just 'kind of hang out', maybe smoking, maybe drinking. Let's see if we can massage them back to a higher vitality. The liver was already massaged during the previous exercise when you twisted and turned your torso and concentrated on the thymus and the lungs, inflating and deflating the ribcage. In this exercise we are going to pay special attention to the kidneys.
  1. Place your thumbs on your back just above your hips, to the left and right of your spine.
  2. There are two soft spots there. For most people those are not just two soft spots, they are sensitive spots, they can even be quite painful. That's where your kidneys are. When that area is sensitive it means the kidneys are stressed, they must have had too much going through them that they could not treat effectively. (There was likely not enough lymph type of fluid in the blood.) They have been working overtime doing the filtering without really being able to get rid of all the waste products.
  3. At this point, with your thumbs still in the kidney region, your fingers around the waist, start pushing your elbows gently backward, and slowly twist and turn the torso.
  4. Lean forward to the left, then lean backward to the right, then lean forward to the right and twist back to left.Initiate a yawn and keep repeating these movements.
  5. Inhale... hold your breath... and exhale while you let your vocal chords make a very low sound, almost a roar.
  6. Do this again without the twisting, but now, when you are breathing in, lower your diaphragm and push your belly out while also arch back a bit. Inhale... hold ... exhale.
  7. Relax to a normal sitting position.
Let's just take a break for a few moments and deal with some outstanding issues. 

Cholesterol and the Brain

I already mentioned that our brain and much of our nerve tissue (even our spinal chord) consists mostly of cholesterol... fat that is! But the fat around our intestines also consists mostly of cholesterol.

That begs the question, is there a brain/belly connection and does cholesterol have anything to do with it?
Maybe it can be said,  - around 1998 I read an article in an English science magazine about the bovine brain in the belly of cattle - that the cholesterol around our intestines, the way it deals with nerve tissue there, that it points to something like a 'body brain'.

Maybe we can say, that in our head we have our 'mind brain', while the fat and nerves around our intestines represent something that could be called our 'body brain'.

Click here to read a 2010 Scientific American article that describes how our intestinal system - our gut - can be considered our body's second brain.)

I'm not saying that the excess fat that we may have in that area represents the body brain, it is only the fatty nerve tissue closest to the intestines that should be seen that way.

Could that have to do with the fact that cholesterol gets (or should be) transported from the digestive system to the brain to rejuvenate the brain's nerve cells (except that for most of us, it doesn't reach the brain but instead it ends up clogging our arteries)? Could it be that cholesterol is supposed to be picked up by the blood, move through the veins, to be sent to the brain in order to help replacing or rejuvenating those brain cells that we dealt with in our very first exercise, the Crown Chakra exercise? 

Why do we yawn?

The answer one hears most often is that we yawn to bring oxygen to the brain. But is that actually so? Maybe it is 'kind of stupid' to say that, as that is only a very small detail in a larger picture. Let's find out...

Imagine that you are waiting at a bus stop, and while there, you are wondering aloud why there are so many trailer trucks on the highway driving into and out of town. Let's say that someone answers you with, "Well, that's obvious..." and while pointing at the large gas tanks that are suspended underneath the trucks that are racing by, that person adds, "Those trucks bring gasoline into and out of town..." ignoring the fact that the trailers that are being pulled are filled with food and building supplies, etc.
Of course you know that such an answer is silly. It is the same with yawning: do we really yawn to deliver oxygen to the brain?
No!
Although oxygen drives an important part of the yawning process, it is not the just oxygen that is at play here. The reason why we yawn is to ensure that the circulatory and lymph systems work well, especially in case of the lymph system so that it can carry off the waste remains from our metabolism or from its defenses to keep external environmental invaders at bay. In addition, in case of the blood supply to the brain, oxygen is needed to prepare the brain but especially to help open up its doors for the materials needed to rejuvenate the brain cells: potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, etc. Those minerals are supposed to be supplied timely and regularly, but when the supplies are not delivered in time or readily available, yawning kick-starts the tired brain's metabolism.
Too bad it is most of the time "just in time" and at the last moment. 

The Senses

Now that your brain is getting its cells spruced up, it is probably good to also pay attention to non-material input for the brain - not just physical nutrients that physically sustain it, but also fresh mental input that keeps the brain vibrant and alert.

Possibly up to quite recently you may have lived in a rut, you may have been doing the same kinds of things day after day, you may have smelled the roses once in a while, but much variation there may not have been in your day-to-day life. We all tend to become children of habit and after a while we take our sensorial input for granted. But now that our brain is getting reworked physically, it would be good to give our senses some new fresh input, mentally and sensorially.
For the sense of smell, next time when you buy flowers, smell them even more attentively. If you are interested in essential oils or aromatherapy, good for you, smell their fragrances but also smell the fragrances of nature more attentively, the fragrance of the baby's skin, the fragrance of the person you love, the fragrance of when you've just washed yourself, or after you have been for a nature walk.

For the sense of sight, colors: red orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, pink, turquoise, burgundy, and all the shades and hues in between! Every week buy yourself some flowers, not only for their fragrance but also for their color. (Don't wait till your partner gets them for you, buy them for yourself or buy them for the two of you.) Every day concentrate on a different color in your bouquet. Maybe one day red stands out, you probably need red for a fresh physical start, another day purple may stand out, maybe you need purple for finer inspiration. Another day or week you don't want flowers, you may just want to buy a plant with beautiful green leaves, maybe because you are in the phase of creating or achieving balance or you are ready to... celebrate it.
When you go to bed, what you wear, pick a different color, a color that you feel freshly attracted to (which of course might depend on your subconscious needs): red for a new beginning, orange to find creative solutions and yellow for applying them, green for the balance and blue to talk about it, to express it or even to sing about it, indigo to get new inspiration or to let your mind become alert again, and purple to become more aware of the higher, more subtle realities.
For the other senses like touch and hearing start looking more at art, go to concerts, museums, bookstores. Look at art books and think of travel to get in touch with what you saw in the books that inspired you to travel. As for touch, when dressing yourself, get yourself some garments with materials of different textures, and feel what it does to you.

And we haven't even talked about the sense of taste... surprise yourself, the past is a poor template for the future, you may now appreciate tastes you never thought you would.

By the way, although it may seem counter-intuitive if you are from a more Western culture and have acquired somber feelings about wearing black, wearing black is actually very good as it enables you to absorb less familiar energies. Black enables you to take in the unfamiliar and your mind... (after all, your mind is now more nimble with all that new sensorial input) is going to be able to reinterpret and re-evaluate things that you once may have thought were not for you.

As distinct from black, white protects you: it wards off that what is not supposed to come at you. So if you are experiencing a period during which you are in need to protect yourself, use white.
Following that, after you have regained trust and self-confidence use black but...with appropriate color accents: when you use black, make sure that there is just a touch of color, maybe some orange one day, some red the next or blue, etc., what-ever seems right. That accent color then represents the main trans-formative theme you want to concentrate on for that day.
Let's return to the exercises. 

Sacral Chakra

The next chakra, the Sacral Chakra is situated in the sacral region and is controlled by the sexual organs and hormones. Its function is six-fold as it deals with creativity in a wide range of modalities, presenting itself across practical, emotional, individual and social levels.

Notice the six segments of this chakra as they can be seen clairvoyantly.

After birth a baby's creative impulses are for the first time separate from the physical connection to the mother and depending on the age of the individual, this chakra's energy takes on different roles and meanings - and all that very much under the influence of a variety of hormones and other glandular secretions:
  1. When a baby turns toddler, playful creativity and creative play become prevalent in a child's life.
  2. When a child reaches school age, creative learning and learning in a creative environment is of paramount importance to a child.
  3. During puberty a child's "private parts" are for the first time taking center stage in the context of sexuality and procreativity.
  4. When mature an adult's creativity may begin to focus more and more on the creative guidance of those under their care.
  5. When older and wiser still, life as realized by an adult at full maturity may inspire others to be creative in new ways. (Sometimes even quite different from previously accepted ways.)
  6. By the end of human life, creativity may take on more universal connotations - after all, the human being is then getting ready to pass on from the physical realm into a realm that may be beyond it.
    Sacral Chakra exercises:
    1. For this set we are going to stand up. Make sure that you have enough room to move.
    2. Put your hands to the left and right of your sexual organs, in the groin area where it is soft and warm. The reason we place our hands there is that it is the location of some of the most important lymph nodes. We have lymph nodes under the arm pits and we have lymph nodes in our 'leg pits': the groin. Because most of us live such a sedentary life, the lymph nodes in this region can be more sluggish than the ones in the armpit region so they need some extra attention.
    3. Put your feet about a foot and a half apart, lean back a bit while you also twist your torso slightly to one side.
    4. Now push out that side of the groin even more (the side that is already pointing forward).
    5. Letting go of your hands now, push that part of the groin forward. Were you able to do it while also yawning?
    6. Try it again.
    7. Now the other side, twist your torso the other way while you push that side of the groin forward.
    8. It is the groin we want to stretch, the lymph nodes there need to be stimulated so that they eventually drain themselves into the circulatory system.
    9. The lymph nodes under the arms and in the groin but also the ones in the chest and the belly are the ones that are affected the most in the case of certain cancers. When we start draining them, the chances for cancer to develop decrease.
    10. While you are doing these stretches also notice the back of the knee of the leg that is forward, it is also stretched!
    11. Now along with the other movements stretch one arm up and one arm downward and notice the stretched inside of your elbows, notice your ankles, notice your wrists. You are stretching them all.
    12. So while doing this exercise you actually stretch the whole of your lymphatic system, one side at a time.
    13. Practice this again while yawning and again, as before, notice the holding phase of your breathing.
    14. In this position you may even start to feel like Marilyn Monroe... she knew she was beautiful. You know that too now... about yourself!
    When doing this, you may already have felt that this is good for all the soft organs inside your body, while also, at the same time, all the lymph vessels and lymph nodes are getting vitalized. And all that while you are feeling, "I'm beautiful, I love myself!"
    Of course, if I may say so, if God loves us, we have to return it by loving ourselves lest we, by not feeling that we are lovable, call God a liar!
    Love and compassion... If God is compassionate, we can be compassionate too, and when we are compassionate with ourselves we will also be compassionate with the world. 

    Root Chakra

    The last chakra we are going to take care of is the Root Chakra and as mentioned in the Introduction its energy runs from the anus to the mouth, from the bottom of our being to the top and vice versa. That's why you will find that we are going to involve our whole body with this chakra.
    1. While standing up, stretch your left arm upwards, your palm pointing up, your wrist bent back and your fingers stretched.
    2. At the same time, while standing on your left leg, stretch your right leg sideways, your foot stretched as well, your toes pointing out and away from yourself, all the while stretching your right arm down and out, your palm pointing down and bent at the wrist.
    3. As you do this, observe that your calves and thighs are tensioned and that the knees are straight.
    4. Initiate a deep yawn, with the usual inhalation, holding and exhalation, again ensuring that the vocal chords make a sound... quite a low one.
    5. Now change position, standing straight on the right leg and having the right arm up, the left arm down and out while the left leg is stretched sideways.
    6. Again initiate your yawning and again pay attention to the breathing and the sound you voice is making.
    7. We can do this sitting down as well: imagine that you are sitting inside a balloon, a big balloon. Imagine that while you push your left leg and foot forward that you push them against the inside wall of the balloon, then while pulling the left leg in, push out the same way with the right leg and foot... alternate these movements a few times.
    8. Keep doing this repeatedly while you are now also getting your arms involved, push them against the insides of the balloon in an alternating manner.
    9. Initiate your yawning again, and again pay attention to the breathing as you did in all the previous exercises.
    At this point we have covered the seven chakras and concentrated our yawning and stretching on all their energy locations. We pretty well covered our whole body... but still, more integration is in order! 

    Shoulders & Pelvis

    When the Heart Chakra was addressed, we discussed the relationship between it and three axes: the two horizontal ones and the vertical axis - the three directions that control the three dimensions of the world we live in: the "three degrees of freedom".

    I'll get back to those axes when I relate them to our shoulders and hips. But first we have to acknowledge that our shoulders and hips have something in common. In the first place both are an equal distance away from the center of our body, in the second place both carry most of our stresses: stresses in the hips, stresses in the shoulders, we get back pain, we get neck pain: pain in the butt, pain in the neck!

    We are going to do some special exercise for those two parts of our body. When those areas are balanced and move easily together as if in a dance, our whole being will be more open and all our energies will move more freely.
    Let's break the shoulder and pelvis exercise down into small parts. 

    The Pelvis

    We are going to take care of the hips first. The hips can - actually, they have to be able to - move easily around the vertical and the two horizontal axes... rocking smoothly forwards and backwards, rolling up and down at the sides, while turning in a half circular fashion - altogether a gyrating kind of continuous three dimensional pretzel like movement. Yes! Much like belly dancing!
    Many people have some problem with fat around their hips. But we are in luck, people that are overweight when they do the following movements, they will actually start to feel quite a bit of lightness there. It is actually unbelievable that they can feel that light! 

    1. The pelvic tilt

    This is the first part of a complete body dance that we will attempt to perform at the very end of this exercise section.

    We will start the pelvic exercises by tilting the pelvis up-and-forward and back-and-upward along the horizontal axis that runs between both sides of the hips.

    This exercise is extremely important for women after they have given birth, but also for men, especially men that are over sixty or so and are likely to get urinal and prostrate problems. This is going to help control the muscles around the bladder.
    1. Stand with your feet about a foot apart and at the same time pull your pelvis forward and upward. Hold this position for a second, then return the pelvis to the normal relaxed position.
    2. Do this again...
      forward and up... let go...
      and again,
      three times altogether.
    3. Observe that as you are pulling your pelvis upwards that the buttock muscles and the muscles around the sexual organs are getting a good exercise as well. Pull those muscles in tightly, as though you are holding your water.
    4. Repeat three more times, then relax for a moment.
    Now we are going to move the pelvis up and down the other way: instead of forward-and-up it will now be backward-and-up.
    1. Push the bottom of your buttocks backward and up - a totally different set of muscles are involved now, especially those around the lower spine and in the waist!
    2. We are now ready to combine the previous two movements: forward/up and backward/up.
    3. Repeat this three times. Are you starting to feel that lighter weight yet?
    4. And again three times, but now while you inhale and exhale with each tilt.
    And what about yawning? It might even have come by itself. 

    2. The hip tilt

    In this portion we are going to move the hips along the axis that runs at a ninety degree horizontal angle to the hips.
    1. Move your left hip up while you are also lifting your heel (leaving your toes on the floor.) It is OK to bend your left knee.
    2. Return to a relaxed position and do it again... altogether three times.
    3. Now do the same with the other hip, also three times.
    4. After this, alternate between both sides in sequence while you also concentrate on your breathing.
    5. Do this again, but now allow yourself to get your arms involved. Let them sway freely with the movements while you also allow your knee and ankle movement to become more fluid
    The dance is starting to take shape, isn't it?! 

    3. The pelvic twist

    Let's take a breather as we are getting ready for the third portion of this sequence. This time we are going to move the hips along the vertical axis of the spine, rotating them back and forth.
    1. Stand up straight, concentrate on the spine and move one hip forward, then let it return to the normal relaxed position.
    2. Repeat this three times altogether.
    3. Now move the other hip forward and again relax, repeat this also three times.
    4. Now do both sides sequentially, three times back and forth for both sides.
    5. Repeat this, but now with some special attention to your breathing.
    6. But be aware, if you are moving your shoulders with this you are cheating, so see if you can keep the shoulders still while you are just rotating the hips along the vertical lower portion of the spine.
    7. It is OK to rotate your head in the same or the opposite direction, but try to keep the shoulders and the chest area still.
    8. If that is too hard, you can put your hands against a wall to help keeping shoulders in a still position while you are rotating the hips.
    Of course this whole set of movement is extremely good for the lower spine.

    If you are experiencing muscle pain, don't force yourself. Go just up to the point of pain but keep it acceptable. It has to feel good! It is not about, "No pain, no gain." If you feel pain, gently stop, slow down, relax! Next time you'll go further by itself. 

    4. The belly dance

    Let's put the three movements together into a belly-dance like continuously rotating movement.
    1. So there you go, try to go clockwise first and attempt to have all three elements flowing from one into the other: the pelvic tilt, the hip tilt and the pelvic twist.
    2. Now the other direction: counter-clockwise. (Remember the "Hula Hoop" days?)
    You may noticed that one side is easier than the other side. But that will improve over time.
    After you have loosened up this area, you may start to hear some clicking in the lower end of the spine: your vertebrae are starting to self-adjust. You may also feel and hear this clicking in your knees and your ankles. That is of course welcome, it's all part of the self realignment that the "Integrated Yawning and Stretching Technique" is attempting to awaken. 

    The Shoulders

    The final set of exercises will concentrate on the shoulders, and again we are going to use the three axes or the "three degrees of freedom". 

    1. The shoulder tilt

    The first part of this set of movements is going to take advantage of our ability to slouch! Slouch? Yes!
    Remember that you were not supposed to slouch. Didn't your mom and dad repeatedly warn you not to do it? But you know what, slouching can be good, you just have to do it with positive intent... that makes all the difference. So let's do it right.
    1. Imagine a horizontal line running through your shoulders from one side to the other.
    2. While standing up, bending forward a bit, drop your shoulders forward and just let them hang.
    3. Feels depressing? Well why not? Let's get into it!
    4. You may even try to look depressed... imagine that the pressure of life got you down and that you finally want to drop it all. So let's do, just let it go... all that responsibility that was so unfairly put on your shoulders!
    5. Why not think it aloud, "They should do it themselves! Why do they let me do all the work? Why do I constantly have to be at the ready - instantly even?!"
    6. Of course it's OK that you do lots of work for people, but at some point it may be the right time to let go of some of it... maybe even much of it. Let's at least pretend that we can.
    7. Drop your shoulders even more and let your hands almost reach the floor. Shake your hands and drop all that tired energy that your hands seem to be holding on to. "Hhrr..." Let go, you don't want it anymore! You only want to do what's good for the world but... not from guilt, not under duress, not under pressure.
    Now did you let it go? It's OK, give all that negative energy to the earth... the earth will turn it into manure.
    1. Now that we have let go of much of it, we can now stand up straight again.
    2. Reach your hands up to the sky while you arch backwards as though looking the sun in the eye, saying," Give me more energy! Give me the energy and the passion to live!"
    3. That positive energy released quite a load of negative material and you want to drop it all, so bend forward and downward again, dangle your arms and shake that heaviness loose... all that stuff that has dragged you down... "Here, earth, you can turn it into plants, beautiful flowers, things that make me happy. I want to get rid of it, it surely did not make me happy, especially the way I was forced to use that energy!"
    4. Now we straighten up again, we'll let the sun shine on us again, and, as though we are a flower, we open up our petals and say, "Thank you, thank you sun for all that energy, and thank you earth for taking all that stuff that we don't want but that you can turn into all kinds of goodness."
    2. The shoulder twist

    In this part we are going to move the shoulders back and forth around the vertical axis. While doing the following movements try to hold your head and hips still.
    1. Standing erect and keeping the spine in mind, pull one of you shoulders forward while you push the other one to the back.
    2. Hold this position for a second. You can use the elbows to accentuate the direction. (If you want to raise them, that’s good.
    3. Some people may not be able to raise the elbows yet as there might be a lot of pain in that area. Do whatever you can, as long as it is comfortable.)
    4. Now do the same with both your shoulders, but the other way around.
    5. Again hold this position for a second then relax.
    6. Now repeat these two movements three times in sequence, taking care to breathe normally.
    7. Feel the twisting of your spine but also, while you are rotating, feel how your lungs are moving the oxygen in your lungs. Put your mind in your body!
    8. Repeat three more times, but this time allow your arms to move freely, you can even bend and straighten them in an alternating manner.
    3. The shoulder lifts
    1. Standing up straight, lift you left shoulder up, then gently move it back and forth a few times...
    2. Now rotate that shoulder around a few times...
      first one way...
      then the other way.
      (You may notice some clicking of the vertebra and shoulder bones.)
    3. Relax into your normal position and after a moment stretch your neck and bend your head
      to the left and the right...
      then back and forth...
      and eventually rotate your head first one way...
      then the other. 
    4. Relax for a moment.
    5. Lift your left shoulder up again, but now, while holding it still, pull your other shoulder down.
    6. After holding it for moment move it gently back and forth...
      then rotate it around one way...
      then the other way. 
    7. Relax for a moment and now reverse this set of movement for the right shoulder:
      lift up...
      back and forth...
      rotate one way...
      rotate the other way...
    8. Relax.
    9. Again gently bend your head and neck...
      move it sideways...
      rotate one way...
      rotate the other...
    10. Relax.
    11. Lift the right shoulder up again...
      back and forth...
      rotate one way...
      rotate the other way.
    12. Relax.
    13. Again rotate you head and neck...
      and again relax.
    14. Now while still standing erect, at the same time and in an alternating manner rotate both your shoulders, first one way and then the other way.
    It is OK to have your head moving freely with this, but also, after a few rotations allow your arms to move freely. Let them sway as freely as they can.
    As you probably already felt, this it is very good for freeing up the movement of the shoulder blades.
    Combine all this with some attentive breathing. 

    Finishing it all off, the complete dance!

    All that wonderful energy that runs in such physical ways through your body has now been revitalized and rekindled in a most integrated manner. It will get even better over time, and stay that way when you attend to the self healing powers of yawning and stretching as described in this integrated technique regularly, say, for about seven minutes every day, maybe three and a half minutes in the morning and three and a half minutes in the evening. In fact, doing these movements interspersed throughout your daily routine while varying your attention from one aspect of the technique to another, is even more effective.

    Here's a good way to keep yourself reminded.

    Get a brightly colored sheet of paper and cut it into seven strips. Go through your house to seven different areas that you often pass through during your normal daily routine, take one of the strips and place it on the floor of each of these areas - near a doorstep is best. Every time you come across one of those strips, you are reminded to practice your yawning and stretching.
    Let's' say you need to do some vacuum cleaning, so you go to the closet where the vacuum cleaner is, "Ah look, there's that colored piece of paper!"... as soon as you see it - even before you take the vacuum cleaner out - do some exercises first, then proceed with your vacuuming. When you are done, and as you are about to return your vacuum cleaner, "Ah, there's that piece of paper again!" and again you do some yawning and stretching. When you go to the kitchen, when you go to the bathroom, when you go to the carport, on the seven spots where you put a strip of colored paper you will be reminded.
    When your friends ask you, "Why do you have these pieces of paper lying all around?" you say, "So that I don't forget to yawn and stretch!"
    Before you know it becomes natural again.
    When everything is right, let's say now, after you have practiced the separate exercises as demonstrated, see if you can do all the movements together in a seamless sequence. You might be able to turn it into a complete body dance...

    Why not try it now!
    Before you know you are dancing - a most wonderful thing!

    If at some point in your life you catch yourself dancing spontaneously, perhaps then you can stop yawning and stretching, because then your life is fully integrated and... you are celebrating it.

    ~~~

    Notes:

    # 3.6 Pre-lymphatic Channels

    Interstitial transport happens both by diffusion and convection. Movement of large molecules and particles in the interstitium is not always uniform (Jain and Gerlowski 1986), suggesting the existence of preferred pathways ("pre-lymphatic tissue channels"; Casley-Smith 1980), but the significance of these channels and even their existence has been questioned (Casley-Smith 1982b). Drainage can be achieved via "pre-lymphatic channels" as seen in the central nervous system: there is little doubt about the quasi-lymphatic function of the "pre-lymphatic" perivascular spaces in the brain. These spaces (Virchow-Robin spaces) connect to the cervical lymph nodes (Casley-Smith et al. 1976), and this connection is important for both drainage and immune response to brain infections (reviewed by Esiri and Gay 1990; Weller et al. 1996). Based on these functional criteria these channels have been occasionally classified as lymphatic, although they are devoid of an endothelial lining. However, capillary filtration is greatly reduced in the brain due to the blood brain barrier, and the majority of drainage is accomplished via the cerebrospinal fluid by the arachnoid villi and the adjacent specialized venous sinuses of the dura (Weed 1922/1923). There are several other vascular structures whose classification based on immunohistochemical and functional criteria remains inconclusive. These structures include the canal of Schlemm in the eye (Foets et al. 1992) and the perivascular spaces of the liver. It has been shown that genes specific for lymphatic endothelial cells, e.g. the receptor tyrosine kinase VEGFR-3, can be upregulated in non-lymphatic endothelial cells that fulfill a lymphatic function (Partanen et al. 2000). In the liver both blood vascular endothelial cells and hepatocytes line the perivascular spaces of the discontinuous liver capillary endothelium (Spaces of Disse). Despite little evidence they are assumed to fulfill a draining function, especially since the liver lobules themselves do not contain lymphatics (Niiro and O'Morchoe 1986; Trutmann and Sasse 1994). Also non-endothelial cells with an endothelial function have been shown to express VEGFR-3, e.g. the trophoblast cells of the placenta (Dunk and Ahmed 2001).
    The matrix-lined channels seen in some melanomas are reminiscent of pre-lymphatic tissue channels. It was suggested that these channels participate in the tumor circulation, and such a behavior has been termed vasculogenic mimicry (Maniotis et al. 1999; Folberg et al. 2000). Tumor cells are known to contribute to the intima of tumor vessels, but the absence of endothelial cells in vasculogenic mimicry as described by Maniotis et al. remains controversial (McDonald et al. 2000). 

    ## "Glymphatic System" and "Cerebral Spinal Fluid"

    Various paragraphs in these two sections need to be rewritten with the "Glymphatic System" and "Cerebral Spinal Fluid" in mind to reflect the following quote: 
    "One of the reasons why the glymphatic system had long eluded comprehension is that it cannot be detected in samples of brain tissue. The key to discovering and understanding the system was the advent of a new imaging technology called two-photon microscopy which enables scientists to peer deep within the living brain. Using this technology on mice, whose brains are remarkably similar to humans, Nedergaard and her colleagues were able to observe and document what amounts to an extensive, and heretofore unknown, plumbing system responsible for flushing waste from throughout the brain.The brain is surrounded by a membrane called the arachnoid and bathed in cerebral spinal fluid (CSF). CSF flows into the interior of the brain through the same pathways as the arteries that carry blood. This parallel system is akin to a donut shaped pipe within a pipe, with the inner ring carrying blood and the outer ring carrying CSF. The CSF is draw[n] into brain tissue via a system of conduits that are controlled by a type [of] support cells in the brain known as glia, in this case astrocytes. The term glymphatic was coined by combining the words glia and lymphatic.The CSF is flushed through the brain tissue at a high speed sweeping excess proteins and other waste along with it. The fluid and waste are exchanged with a similar system that parallels veins which carries the waste out of the brain and down the spine where it is eventually transferred to the lymphatic system and from there to the liver, where it is ultimately broken down.While the discovery of the glymphatic system solved a mystery that had long baffled the scientific community, understanding how the brain removes waste -- both effectively and what happens when this system breaks down -- has significant implications for the treatment of neurological disorders."
    For the Glymphatic System see:
    M. Nedergaard. Garbage Truck of the Brain. Science, 2013; 340 (6140): 1529 DOI: 10.1126/science.1240514
    University of Rochester Medical Center (2013, June 27). Brain's 'garbage truck' may hold key to treating Alzheimer's and other disorders.ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 9, 2013, from http://www.sciencedaily.com­/releases/2013/06/130627142402.htm#.Uc19sogHP9g.facebook
    . Also see http://vimeo.com/45485034

    4 comments:

    anital said...

    I live in Edmonton Alberta Canada. Is there anyone that teaches these Chackras exercises? Thank you

    Anonymous said...

    Good read, well explained and easy to follow! very helpful

    Wim (William) Borsboom said...

    Well, thank you... after all these years you are the first one (from the thousands who have done the exercises) to comment on this site...
    When I was teaching and demonstrating them, I of course did all those exercises daily (multiple times a day)... now that I'm retired from active teaching, I (have to) remind myself daily to do them, even I did lapse for some time... such it is being a human :)

    Benjamin said...

    WOW! I knew there was something about tawning and stretching, because i started to this alot lately during meditation.

    After googling about it, the latest reasearch tells it is about also cooling the brain.

    And finaly i came over your site, wich has exercises dedicated to yawning and stretching.

    After first exercise, feeling very good. Refreshing and positiv effects.

    My throath really opened up, like a lions roar, I had to laugh.

    Thanks!

    Benjamin
    from Norway