In the Indian tradition, the elephant-headed deity Ganapati, is worshipped as the remover of obstacles. Yogic squats with specific hand position (Thoppukaranam), a physical act of worshiping this deity, are practiced throughout India, especially in the South.
Testimonial on super brain yoga−a similar practice using the thumb and a finger to apply pressure to each earlobe while doing knee bends and taking breaths−shows increased class participation, concentration, improved quality of academic performance and social skills in a sample of US school students. To our knowledge, there is no study to date using Thoppukaranam. Hence, current study examines the effect of traditional practice of Thoppukaranam on cognitive and psychological states in healthy individuals. You have more information in this link: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4097921/#ref3
“Brain Squats” as I call the technique, also known as Thoppu Karanam or Super Brain Yoga has enabled people to achieve mental, physical and spiritual well-being. With the inherent yogic practices, one can attain a higher state of awareness and improved bodily function along with a coherent spiritual connection. Followed by people for thousands of years, it is among the most popular practices and routine to establish control over mind, body, and soul.
One of such traditional practice is Thoppukarnam (Brain Squats) from Indian schools. It is accepted from the Gurukulam education system. It is also called as “Uthak-Baithak” in Hindi or in Tamil, “Thoppukaranam”. It is not a punishment form in the classroom as popularly known in Indian educational system but a confirmed Yogic practice for many who wish to take the steps while offering prayers. The devotees pray for pardoning themselves for any error or mistake made by them which is caused by bad intent. It is a way of punishing themselves via this process and often on a marginal note, it is a common scene in temples. It signifies the person’s quest for redemption by punishing himself through this practice.
Derived from words “Thorpe” meaning hands and “Karanam” meaning ears, Thoppukaranam is a well-known Yogic process which is believed to improve the concentration of the mind and to activate the parts of the brain which then helps in one attaining a higher sense of alertness. As per the Hindu Yogis, the “Brain Squats” effect this practice has, activates the brain’s energy connections. It helps in achieving a supreme level of consciousness through a simple process.
It has gained support from various research studies, and most of the developed countries have adopted it as a regular exercise which is also recommended by Doctors. It is also implemented in Schools competently. With its far-reaching effect on the human brain, it is becoming popular among masses especially in India and western countries as well. It is aptly named as Superbrain Yoga which earned its reputation especially in western countries like the USA where special workshops are duly carried out to support and teach eager people to learn and master this technique. I named this technique BRAIN SQUATS as you exercise in reality not only the body but also the brain.
Following are the various steps to carry out this practice which enables the brain to get higher functioning and better cognitive abilities.
Physical Exercise for the Chakras and the Brain: BRAIN SQUATS
STEP BY STEP PRACTICE
Face the sunrise/east. For Seniors or if you have physical problems face north.
This form of yoga should be done in the morning, so that your concentration and stress relief is present throughout the whole day.
Follow the next steps:
- Remove all jewellery and stand up straight.
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth right behind your teeth (as if you were about to say “La”). Leave it there throughout the exercise.
- Take your left hand and cross your upper body to hold your right earlobe with thumb and forefinger. Make sure that the thumb is in front.
- Now take your right hand across your upper body to hold your left earlobe. Again, make sure that the thumb is in front. At this point you’re pressing both earlobes simultaneously. Make sure your left arm is close to your chest and inside your right arm.
- Inhale deeply through your nose and simultaneously squat down.
If you can go down almost to floor level that is the best. If possible, hold the position for two or three seconds
- Hold your breath and do not exhale until you start making your way back up to a standing position. You will exhale through your mouth.
- Repeat this squatting action between 14 and 21 times and with the time you can increase until doing this exercise 15 min every day.
Remember to keep holding your earlobes and to keep your tongue touching the roof of your mouth throughout the entire exercise.
- Your posture makes a big difference. Make sure your back and shoulders are straight, and your torso, spine, and neck erect. Your feet should stay flat on the ground and your shoulders must widen. If your posture is not correct, you won’t be able to make the most of this exercise.
- The tongue touches the roof of your mouth.
- DO NOT PRACTICE this yogic exercise 2 days before, during and 2 days after menstruation.
- Important to breathe as follows:
- Inhale through your nose as you squat down.
- Exhale through your mouth as you stand up.
- Your feet need to be flat all the time on the floor.
- Maintain a gentle pressure holding the earlobes throughout the exercise with thumb in front and the finger to the back.
- Do not flatten the curve of the lower back or arch back.
- Keep knees centered over feet while going down.
When do you see the benefits?
You will feel a difference in your concentration levels within a few weeks.
You will begin to notice significant changes within the first three months of your practice, and in seven months, you will realise how your cognitive abilities have improved.
If you practice Superbrain Yoga every day, you will begin to experience these benefits:
It nourishes the kidney meridian
It provides you with energy, as the kidney meridian is activated by exercising the legs.
From drawing, painting to any activity that requires creative thinking, your child’s performance will be better than before. She’ll pick up new skills a lot faster and need to put in less effort to get more things done.
Calms the Mind
Does your child struggle to sit in one place and pay attention to her classes? If yes, then Superbrain Yoga will help. It’ll calm her mind, de-stress her and ease anxiety.
Improves Cognitive Function
Since it’s yoga for the brain, she’ll be able to recall and remember more. Her brain will be much sharper and she’ll get used to ‘thinking on her feet’.
One of the biggest benefits is that it lowers stress. More cortisol affects the quality of life negatively but with Superbrain Yoga, you don’t have to worry about that. Less stress also means she’ll be able to focus better, relax, and let go – leading to learning and performing cognitive or physical tasks with confidence.
If you’ve been feeling depressed a lot lately, you’ll find that practising Superbrain yoga every day will help. It also helps to tackle conditions like mood swings, ADHD, OCD, and any mental health problems which are reversible.
The physical benefit of Superbrain Yoga is that the sense of balance improves. This means you won’t be prone to falling or slipping on the ground since your feet will be well-grounded when walking or running.
Boosts Sex Drive
A heightened sex drive is one of the best benefits of Superbrain Yoga. And who doesn’t want better sex? It also revitalizes your kidneys and helps to combat adrenal fatigue.
Emotional blockages or negative energy in the body manifests physically. If you’ve got any blockages in your life, it’ll show up sooner or later in the form of disease, injuries, physical trauma, etc. When you do Superbrain Yoga correctly, it will help to release the blockages and circulate positive energy throughout your body. This will make you feel good and also improve your productivity in all spheres of life.
Improves Energy Levels
Your child’s metabolism gets a boost, she’ll feel more energised, and won’t get tired easily.
This type of yoga makes you a more positive person and emotionally healthier. The way you look at life and how you do things will change completely.
- This type of yoga makes you a more positive person and emotionally healthier. The way you look at life and how you do things change completely.
You have more information and scientific evidence in the below link: Verma, S. & Kumar, K. (2016). Evidence based study on super brain
yoga and its application on alpha E.E.G. in adolescence. International Journal of Science
and Consciousness; 2(4): 40-46.
You also have in the folowing link physical exercises for the Chakras: