Why do we hold ear lobes and squat down to the ground before Ganesha?

 It is a common simple ritual to hold left ear lobe with right hand hand and right earlobe with left hand's pointer finger and thumb and slowly squatting down to the ground before Ganesha. Lord Ganesha is also prayed for awakening our awareness which is needed to do any task to fulfillment.

 When we did mischiefs , especially at school, the Indian teachers gave a small punishment. This is in Tamil is called "Thoppu Karanam". Now Brain studies shows this punishing act infact improves brain function for both young and adults. 
 See this video demonstration of how the EEG patterns change when some one does this Ganesha Ritual.

It is called as Ganesha Yoga or Super brain yoga. Good for autistic or normal children or adults to increase concenration, focus in studies or attention or memory.  This is one of the yoga exercises children do at our Uni5schools as a part of the curriculum.

Super Brain Yoga:

If you feel negative emotions, scared, anxious of the your health and worried of your life, then do super brain yoga.

It is a simple exercise

1.Close the fist in both hands and knocks on the two sides of your temples (side of the fore head).

2. Then hold your right earlobe with the index finger and thumb of your left hand. Make sure that the thumb is facing away from you.

3. Hold your left earlobe with the index finger and thumb of your right hand. Once again, make sure that your thumb is facing away from you.

4. Continue to hold your lobes and criss cross your legs (the right leg over the left leg.

5. Exhale through your nose, and slowly lower yourself into a squatting position.

6. Hold your breath. Then inhale through your nose as you  way back up to a standing position. Continue holding your lobes .

6. Repeat this 14 more times for a total of 15 times.


In Tamil

In English

 “Thoppukkaranam” or “Super Brain Yoga!”
By P.S.Swaminathan
Specially written for Uni5 Children on the occasion of Ganesha Chaturthi, September 2015

An Indian prayer form to Lord Ganesha is now being patented in USA as “Super Brain Yoga”! What is being practised for generations in India is now packaged by Yale University School of Medicine as Super Brain Yoga to increase intelligence. The internet is filled with copious information on Super Brain Yoga!
We are talking about our simple "thoppukkaranam!" (Tamil), a basic routine of holding the ears by crossed hands and do the procedure of sit-down and stand-up, which we do as an offering when praying to Lord Ganesha! It is common especially in the villages of Tamil Nadu to see devotees briskly do this “thoppukkaranam” in front of Ganesha first thing in the morning. This has been proved scientifically to increase the brain activity. The gentle pressure applied on the ear lobes in a particular fashion while a person moves his body up and down is associated with improving memory power.
Please see the link below to view the “scientific” explanation, at its marketing best:

Now that it is getting wide popularity in the USA, there is hope we will pay more attention to “Super Brain Yoga”, as we are always fascinated with anything that is foreign, and hopefully start doing it, after perhaps paying hefty fee to learn the technique!
* * * * * * * * * * * *
The rustic sounding Tamil expression “thoppukkaranam” has always kindled the curiosity and its origin remained shrouded in mystery and evasive. But, everyone understood that the word refers to the particular form of sitting down and standing up! Many queries put to various seniors over the years on the source went without a satisfactory explanation. That is, till the eyes fell on the pages of “Deivatthin Kural”, (Voice of God), a book based on the various discourses given over the years by the Sage of Kanchi, Paramacharya, Sri. Chandrasekharendra Saraswati Swamiji. Here is a rough translation of what Swamiji has said in the form of a story.

The one who taught us the “thoppukkaranam” is none other than Lord Maha Vishnu! Once, the playful Ganesha snatched the disc or “chakra” from the hands of his uncle Vishnu in a childish prank, and put it inside his cavernous mouth and swallowed it at once! Taking it back from Ganesha would be a herculean task. Moreover, Ganesha is very strong, as tough as an elephant! No threats will work on him because he is after all the destroyer of all fears and obstacles. At the same time, he is very chubby, cute, light hearted and can be satisfied very easily by even simple gestures. Knowing this well, Vishnu thought of a game plan to make Ganesha to have a hearty laugh so that the disc would come out! With his sprawling four hands, Vishu held on to his ears and repeated to sit down and stand up. Seeing this unusual posture, rhythm and routine, Ganesha started to laugh uncontrollably and in that process, as expected by Vishnu, the disc fell down which was immediately collected by Vishnu! “dhorbi: karanam” is an expression in Sanskrit, that came to be called in due course in Tamil derivative as “thoppukkaranam”. Karanam means “ears”; “dhorbi:” refers to “with hands”. Thus it means holding the ears with hands (and do sit-up!) The gesture that was initially propagated by Lord Maha Vishnu to please Ganesha continues to be practiced by some even today in many parts of Tamil Nadu. In its latest avatar with a fanciful foreign name of “Super Brain Yoga”, may we pray to Ganesha to make it popular once again! On a serious note, there are innumerable concepts and philosophies behind the form and worship of Ganesha, who fills the hearts and minds of devotees.
Sri Ganeshaya Namaha!

Other variations of this yoga is in Web sites which also describe the benefits: (Scientific research)

Another good explantion