Expansion of Memory

Swami Niranjanananda Saraswati

For people who are in the process of learning and education it is important to improve their memory, concentration and power of attention. Among the yogasanas the best practice is the headstand. When the blood comes to the head and the cells of the brain are oxygenated, there is a sensation of freshness. Other asanas such as surya namaskara are also recommended.

In pranayama the best practice is bhramari, as it will reduce the agitations of the mind and bring about deeper concentration.

Then the memory aspect of the subconscious is tackled through the practice of trataka. Trataka or candle gazing, one of the shatkarmas of hatha yoga, can improve the memory and has improved the memory of many people. Ten minutes of trataka are recommended. This is what you can do at home.

When under stress

When you are in the classroom and when you are under pressure, at that time regulate your breath. While you are studying or writing take at least five minutes of slow and deep breaths even as you continue your performance. The breath regulates the nervous system; slow and deep breathing helps regulate the brain waves so that there is less nervousness, anxiety, fear and forgetfulness. A few minutes of breath awareness, making the breath long and deep.

While you are doing that, use the free hand to press the middle point of the thumb. You have to keep the arm straight. Just pressing the middle point of the thumb will also de-stress the mind.

Memory is blocked only when there are stresses in the mind; otherwise memory is the natural behaviour of the mind. It is memory which determines how you will act the next second.

—27 July 2014, Swabhoomi Rangamanch, Kolkata, India