Emotion and Healing in the Energy Body

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The Bandhas Embracing Your Vital Energy

The word bandha means to hold, lock, or embrace. These potent practices train you to direct your prana, or vital energy, to different centers of your body. Bandhas provide direct demonstration of the Law of Dharma as you witness the immediate reactions in your body to specific actions you take. The basic principle with each bandha is first to accumulate energy in an area of your physiology, then release it. This process of building a force and then unleashing it discharges obstacles from the pathways of energy circulation. Like Traditional Chinese Medicine, yoga envisions the body mind as a network of energetic channels through which life force flows. These pathways are known as srotas and nadis. Srotas are circulatory channels in the physical body, whereas nadis exist in the subtle body. Health and vitality are dependent upon life energy flowing freely through the physical and subtle biological passageways.

Prana the Universal Life Force

Prana The Universal Life Force

In Chapter 6, Walking Yoga's Eightfold Path, we described prana as the life force or energy that exists everywhere and is manifested in each of us through the breath, but prana isn't exactly the same thing as breath or oxygen. Prana exists in all living things. It doesn't have consciousness it's pure energy. Every cell in your body is controlled by prana. Prana animates all matter. Prana can be a difficult concept to comprehend it may become clearer if you understand what it isn't. Once a body completely dies, administering oxygen won't bring it back to life, so obviously, oxygen doesn't equal life. Life is animated by more than oxygen it's animated by prana. Prana is also not the matter it animates, nor the spirit it propels. Prana is universal energy that's in the air, in all matter, and is used by the spirit. You breathe in prana along with air, and prana regulates your body, from your nervous foot tapping the floor to your thoughts about your weekend plans.

Self Healing

Sit in easy pose with your arms stretched straight out in front. Put your fruit in your right hand (if you are male) or your left hand (if you are female). With the opposite hand cover the fruit, keeping your hand about 4 to 6 above it. Keep your arms straight with no bend in the elbows. Close your eyes, go inward, and concentrate. Create a connection between the navel and the fruit so that you gather the energy of the navel and project it in blessing into the fruit. This is for self-healing. The praan, the life force energy, lives in the navel point. You are taking that life force and blessing the fruit. With the hand above, you bless the fruit below. Fruit is often used as a kind of psychic storage device. Fruit is etheric and grows well above the earth. It has a subtle quality that lets it easily absorb pranic energy and become a useful tool in healing exercises.

Distant Healing

Prana colored by the thought of the sender may be projected to persons at a distance, who are willing to receive it, and healing work done in this way. This is the secret of the absent healing, of which the Western world has heard so much of late years. The thought of the healer sends forth and colors the prana of the sender, and it flashes across space and finds lodgment in the psychic mechanism of the patient. It is unseen, and like the Marconi waves, it passes through intervening obstacles and seeks the person attuned to receive it. In order to treat persons at a distance, you must form a mental image of them until you can feel yourself to be en rapport with them. This is a psychic process dependent upon the mental imagery of the healer. You can feel the sense of rapport when it is established, it manifesting in a sense of nearness. That is about as plain as we can describe it. It may be acquired by a little practice, and some will get it at the first trial. When rapport is...

The Origins of Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu Yoga is inspired by the life and teachings of the Indian spiritual master Swami Kripalu (1913-1981). Revered in India for his love of God, service to humanity, and mastery of yoga, Swami Kripalu was an accomplished scholar and musician who maintained a rigorous schedule of 10 hours of intensive spiritual practice per day. Through the disciplines of yoga, he awakened the latent life force energy of prana and kundalini within Yogi Amrit Desai, a close disciple of Swami Kripalu, came to America in 1960 to study art and teach yoga. In 1970, Yogi Desai had a profound yoga experience that led him to adapt Swami Kripalu's traditional teachings into a format suited to the needs of active Westerners. He called this approach Kripalu Yoga. Kripalu Yoga is unique in that it teaches a practitioner how to activate prana and harness this life force energy for healing and spiritual growth.

Chakras Mudras Mantras and Mandatas

All about chakras wheel of life force energy Meditations on mudras Chanting with mantras Mandala circle power In yogic thought, the body contains seven energy centers, called chakras (literally wheels ), that store energy, or the life force, prana. Westerners would interpret the chakras as nerve centers, but they are much more than this. They are centers of psychospiritual energy that don't precisely correspond to any tangible physical structure. While the body contains many energy centers and subenergy centers, there are seven primary chakras along the midline of the body. Different people have different names for these chakras and place them in slightly different locations, but in essence, most agree that these seven chakras begin at the base of the spine (where the kundalini energy we talked about in Chapter 7, Can You Breathe lies coiled and waiting to be activated) and continue along the spinal cord, ending in the seventh chakra at the crown of the head.

Implement Your Insights

Spontaneously implement the theory of yoga into the experience of life. Meditation, regulating the life force, learning to hold and circulate energy, and moving with awareness are the fundamental technologies that need to be mastered for you to gain the full benefits of yoga on the level of your body, your mind, and your soul.

Breath Control Pranayama

Prana refers to the life force or energy that exists everywhere and is manifested in each of us through the breath. Ayama means to stretch or extend. Prana flows out from the body, and pranayama teaches us to maneuver and direct prana for optimal physical and mental benefit. After all, breathing is life. You can go for months without food, days without water, but only moments without breath. Breathing affects all our actions and our thoughts, too. Mastering your breath is an important step toward mastering the rest of yourself

Meditation on the Breath

Meditating on the breath is one of the most basic, yet most powerful, approaches to meditation. The breath is the vital life force of the universe, and the vehicle of consciousness within us. Just sitting in quiet stillness and bringing the awareness completely to bear upon each inhalation and exhalation of the breath is one of the simplest ways of practicing meditation. As experienced meditators know, however, simple does not necessarily mean easy. It is the nature of the mind to think, so even with the clear intent to focus awareness single-pointedly upon the breath, it is the nature of the mind to wander off to pursue other thoughts. The response to this natural tendency is simply to bring the awareness gently back to the breath when such interruptions occur.

Law The Law of Giving and Receiving

The second spiritual law of success is the Law of Giving and Receiving, which states that the universe operates through dynamic exchange. Your body is in constant and dynamic exchange with the body of the universe. Your mind is dynamically interacting with the mind of the cosmos. Life is the flow of all the elements and forces that comprise the field of existence. The harmonious exchange between your physical body and the physical universe and between your personal mind and the collective mind is expressed as the Law of Giving and Receiving. Because your body, your mind, and the universe are in constant and dynamic exchange, stopping the circulation of energy is like stopping the flow of blood. Whenever blood stops flowing, it begins to clot, to coagulate. Whenever a river stops flowing, it begins to stagnate. This is why you must be open to giving and receiving in order to keep the life force circulating within you. With every pose you assume, complementary pairs of muscles are...

The Celltheory and the Thoughts

Some people are extremely body-conscious, and possess no idea of the Self. They live irregular, indisciplined lives and fill their stomachs with sweets, pastries, and so on. There is no rest for the digestive and the eliminating organs. They suffer from physical weakness and diseases. The atoms, molecules and cells in their bodies produce discordant or inharmonious vibrations. They have no hope, confidence, faith, serenity and cheerfulness. They are unhappy. The life-force is not operating properly. Their vitality is at a low ebb. Their mind is filled with fear, despair, worry and anxiety.

Getting a handle on cakras Your wheels of fortune

If you choose to focus your meditation on a cakra (one of the options in the earlier list), you first need to understand the concept of cakras. According to Yoga, the physical body has a more subtle energetic counterpart that consists of a network of energy channels called nadis (pronounced nah-dees) through which the life force (prana) circulates. The most important channel, called the sushumna-nadi or gracious channel, runs along the axis of the body from the base of the spine to the crown of the head. In the ordinary individual, this central conduit of subtle energy is said to be mostly inactive. The purpose of many Hatha Yoga exercises is to clear this channel in particular of any obstructions, so that the life energy can flow freely in it, leading to better health and also higher states of consciousness. Manipura ( jewel city, pronounced mah-nee-poo-rah) Located at the navel, this center distributes the life force to all parts of the body and is especially involved in the...

The Theory Underlying Kripalu Yoga

Kripalu Yoga is based on the yogic belief that body, mind, and spirit are connected by the flow of an intelligent life force called prana. Attuning to this energy not only enhances health, but it also stimulates psychological growth and spiritual awakening. Kripalu Yoga utilizes a wide variety of techniques, including asana practice, meditation,

Body Beyond the Body The Five Sheaths of Existence

In Chapter 8, Hatha Yoga May the Force Be with You, we briefly mentioned the five sheaths of existence, but they're worth touching on again here because they're intimately connected with the state of your health. The first sheath consists of your physical body. The second is the vital body, made of prana, the life force. The third sheath is your mind, including your emotions and thoughts. The fourth sheath is your higher intellect, and the fifth sheath is the bliss sheath, filled with positive energy and inner peace. Being human means we originally existed in the bliss sheath, and we have to work our way down into the physical body, then find our way back out to the bliss sheath again.

Scriptural references

This asana is widely mentioned in many ancient texts. The Hatha Yoga Pradipika says Knees straight and forehead on the knees, hands on toes in a sitting position. It directs vital energy into the back especially in the sushumna the digestive power is increased, the obesity reduced. Man becomes free of diseases and maintains the body in a healthy condition. It is similarly described in such books as the Gherand Samhita and the Shiva Samhita. In fact, the Shiva Samhita is more specific in praising this asana. It says A person who perfects this asana and does it daily induces vayu (vital or pranic energy) to flow through the back in the sushumna.

Activating the Kundalini

Each of us in our own way is charming, creative and alive. We are each born with the innate capacity to able to both master and accept our circumstances. If we use our gifts wisely we can accomplish much and achieve happiness. The human path is about learning to connect with our soul essence, tap our vital energy and discover our gifts so that we can successfully navigate our life.

The Second Center Creativity Chakra

The second chakra, called Svadhisthana, is associated with creativity in all its expressions. It is located in the area of your sexual organs, and the energy of this center can be used for biological reproduction. When channeled into higher energy centers, it fuels the creative force that enables you to paint a beautiful picture, write a novel, play music, build a business, or create a life of love and abundance. When your vital energy is flowing through your center or creativity, you cocreate your life.

Therapy and Group Healing

Kundalini yoga is a powerful tool that helps us unleash our vital energy. Regular practice unblocks and transmutes energy that is being held as stress, pain, anger and fear. Combined with the meditations, the breathing, movement and positions help clear our psyche, cleanse our subconscious and balance our emotional energy. However, the dynamics of the healing process often require outside support and interaction as well.

Identity in the Lower Triangle

The basic problem with unresolved anger is that this vital energy is consumed and unavailable for living our lives and creating our dreams. Unresolved anger creates blind spots in our psyche, which results in indecision, the inability to commit and even the inability to know what we want in the first place It is my experience that when I know what I want, go for it and achieve results, I experience a sense of satisfaction in my life. I believe that this is true for all of us.

Thought Power and Practical IdealismIII

The disorder and disharmony of the physical body is called a physical disease and the conflict of the mind is called a mental disease. Both of them have their ultimate root in ignorance and can be cured only by the knowledge of reality. When you worry about the experiences of the world, a depressing mental disturbance originates in your mind. By the effect of mental disturbance, the smooth and regular flow of vital currents is disturbed. When the vital currents flow improperly, the Nadis become disorganized. Some of them get more vital energy and some get less. Thus, the whole system becomes out of order. In this way mental disharmony is the cause of physical diseases, which can be cured only by removing the cause.

Psychological Presuppositions

A stimulation of the senses takes place by a vibration that proceeds from the object outside. This happens in two ways (1) by the very presence of the object and (2) by the light rays, sound, etc., that emanate from the object, which affect the retina of the eyes, the drums of the ears, or the other senses. We have five senses of knowledge and through them we receive all the information concerning the world. If the five senses are not to act, we cannot know if there is a world at all. We, thus, live in a sense-world. When sensory stimulation is produced by vibrations received from outside, we become active. Sensory activity stimulates the mind through the nervous system which connects the senses with the mind by means of the Prana or vital energy. We may compare these nerve-channels to electric wires, through which the power of the Prana flows. The Pranas are not the nerves, even as electricity is not the wires. The Prana is an internal vibration which links the senses with the mind....

The Expansion Of The Self

Material with which and through which the Ego works. Let us realize that the physical body of man is identical in substance with all other forms of matter, and that its atoms are continually changing and being replaced, the material being drawn from the great storehouse of matter, and that there is a Oneness of matter underlying all apparent differences of form and substance. And then let us realize that the vital energy or Prana that man uses in his life work is but a portion of that great universal energy which permeates everything and everywhere, the portion being used by us at any particular moment being drawn from the universal supply, and again passing out from us into the great ocean of force or energy. And then let us realize that even the mind, which is so close to the real Self that it is often mistaken for it--even that wonderful thing Thought--is but a portion of the Universal Mind, the highest emanation of the Absolute beneath the plane of Spirit, and that the...

Mental and physical diseases

We could give many other examples of diseases that are physical in cause. These could include contagious diseases such as cholera, smallpox and any ailment that arises through insufficient food or food that is harmful. All these diseases require a direct approach through any healing system that is available and that brings results. Many diseases, especially modern diseases, do have their main root in the mind. Besides all mental illnesses, these include such diseases as cancer, diabetes, indigestion and so forth. It is these types of diseases that are particularly amenable to cure through yoga practices. In these cases also, any healing system should be adopted that will bring results. They are directly related. The treatment of some diseases will need a more direct physical approach whether from medicine, yogasanas, pranayama or whatever is suitable. The healing system adopted should be one that brings mental relaxation, removal of phobias and any other mental imbalance. In this...

Assert The Majesty Of Your Real Self

John Murray. You are not Miss. X.Y. Banerjee. You are not Mr. S.R. Iyer. You are not Mrs. A.M. Iyengar. Endeavour to remove this body idea. Attempt to eliminate this sex idea. You are neither a male nor a female. Transmute the sex energy or reproductive energy into spiritual energy or Ojas Sakti by pious thoughts, constant Satsanga, ceaseless Atmic enquiry, study of Atma Jnana books, mental drill and meditation. Remember always, I am. I exist. I am a centre of consciousness in the ocean of life. I am a centre of thought, influence and power.

The Fifth Center Expression Chakra

Have the confidence that you are capable of communicating your needs. When the fifth chakra is obstructed, a person will often feel that he is not being heard. To feel alive and empowered, it is important that this energy center is clear. Energy blockages in this area are often associated with thyroid problems or chronic neck pain.

Healing Expansion and Evolution

Incorporating the following thoughts into your healing ritual and into your general awareness during the day will facilitate your healing process and your contribution to global healing. Mata Mandir has recorded his own version of this mantra on his Self Healing CD - part of his Yoga of Sound series. I was on the Yoga Technology site last night and came across the Ra Ma Da Sa CD by Gurunam. I played the small clip. A few minutes later I realized the sample was over but I could still clearly hear the music I had never heard this music before but really recognized it deeply within me. One of the suggestions for me to do daily to help increase my pranic energy is to listen to this or chant daily. Last night when I went to bed I heard the music clearly as what I heard on the CD for over two hours. I could feel it vibrate throughout my body. Even right now the music is playing again inside me. I can hear it clearly and feel its vibrations.

The Awakening Process

(3) Alignment is the integration or the result of activation and allowing. The goal is two fold (1) to align our energy with universal energy, so that universal energy effortlessly flows (3) Alignment has both and active and a passive component. The active component involves applying the locks or performing subtle internal movements in the chakras and along the spine. The passive component happens naturally when the blocks in the body have been released. The physical and energy bodies automatically align when the resistance to the natural state and flow is gone.

The First Three Principles

We have said something of Prana in our little book, The Science of Breath, which many of you have read. As we said in that book, Prana is universal energy, but in our consideration of it we will confine ourselves to that manifestation of Prana which we call vital force. This vital force is found in all forms of life - from the amoeba to man - from the most elementary form of plant life to the highest form of animal life. Prana is all-pervading. It is found in all things having life, and as the occult philosophy teaches that life is in all things - in every atom - the apparent lifelessness of some things being only a lesser degree of manifestation, we may understand that Prana is everywhere, in everything. Prana is not the Ego, but is merely a form of energy used by the Ego in its material manifestation. When the Ego departs from the physical body, in what we call death, the Prana, being no longer under the control of the Ego, responds only to the orders of the individual atoms or...

Disconnection from our Souls

To deal with depression requires embracing our feelings of sadness. We are sad because we are not experiencing the love that we came here to experience in the human form. We must find out why we are not experiencing love. We must learn how to open up our hearts and our psyche to universal love. We must train ourselves to embody this love. This is one of the basic reasons that we come to planet Earth-to learn how to release resistance to love and to fully allow this universal energy to flow through our being.

Occult Therapeutics

(IV) Distant healing, or absent treatment, is performed in precisely the same way as is the treatment when the patient is present. We have given some directions regarding this form of treatment in Chapter XIV, Science of Breath, which, coupled with what we have just said in the last paragraph, should give an elementary working knowledge of the subject. Some healers form the picture of the patient sitting in front of them, and then proceed to give the treatment, just as if the patient were really present. Others form the mental image of projecting the thought, picturing it as leaving their mind, and then traversing space entering the mind of the patient. Others merely sit in a passive, contemplative attitude and intently think of the patient, without regard to intervening space. Others prefer to have a handkerchief, or some other article belonging to the patient, in order to render more perfect the rapport conditions. Any, or all, of these methods are good, the temperament and...

Parapsychology and Subconscious Thoughts

Practice of telepathy, thought-reading, hypnotism, mesmerism and psychic healing clearly proves that the mind exists and that a higher mind can influence and subjugate the lower mind. From the automatic writing and the experiences of a hypnotized person, we can clearly infer the existence of the subconscious mind which operates throughout the twenty-four hours. Through spiritual Sadhana change the subconscious thoughts and mind and become a new being.

Activating the Chakras

The mantra can be vibrated up the spine, chakra by chakra. Slightly pull on the energy centers as you chant each sound. This internal stimulation helps activate and align the chakras. Set your intentions and ask for healing for yourself, others you wish to include, the Earth and Yogi Bhajan. Then release these prayers to the universe. During the meditation concentrate only on doing the meditation, the mantra and the effects you are experiencing. Get into the sensory experience and awareness. The more you are present to your experience, the more effective you are in creating a sacred healing space. You will use the space that you have created at the end to share healing energy.

Nd and rd Chakras Digestion and Power Center

When the belly is relaxed, digestion and elimination can occur in a natural and peaceful matter. Imagine you were a large or small intestine and that you had to carry out your job under the adverse circumstances that we create by holding in our bellies, blocking the energy flow and cutting off the breath. You wouldn't get the job done properly, so matter how hard you tried.

Ananda Yoga for Higher Awareness

Ananda Yoga is a classical style of hatha yoga that uses asanas and pranayama to awaken, experience, and control the subtle energies within oneself, especially the energies of the chakras. Its object is to use those energies to harmonize body, mind, and emotions, and, above all, to attune oneself with higher levels of awareness. Two unique features of Ananda Yoga are (1) special Energization Exercises to recharge the body with energy and (2) the practice of silent affirmations while in the poses to consciously direct the subtle energies and raise one's level of awareness. Ananda Yoga is a relatively gentle, inward experience. While not a vigorous or athletic practice, it can be challenging on the inner levels.

Controlling the motion of the exhalation and the inhalation follows after this

The controlling of the vital forces of the body. Prana is not breath, though it is usually so translated. It is the sum-total of the cosmic energy. It is the energy that is in each obdy, and its most apparent manifestation is the motion of the lungs. This motion is caused by Prana drawing in the breath, and is what we seek to control in Pranayama. We begin by controlling the breaht, as the easiest way of getting control of the Prana.

The Three Steps of Nature

WE RECOGNISE then, in the past developments of Yoga, a specialising and separative tendency which, like all things in Nature, had its justifying and even imperative utility and we seek a synthesis of the specialised aims and methods which have, in consequence, come into being. But in order that we may be wisely guided in our effort, we must know, first, the general principle and purpose underlying this separative impulse and, next, the particular utilities upon which the method of each school of Yoga is founded. For the general principle we must interrogate the universal workings of Nature herself, recognising in her no merely specious and illusive activity of a distorting Maya, but the cosmic energy and working of God Himself in His universal being formulating and inspired by a vast, an infinite and yet a minutely selective Wisdom, prajna prasrta purani of the Upanishad, Wisdom that went forth from the Eternal since the beginning. For the particular utilities we must cast a...

The S in Sex Stands for Spirituality

Mae West once said, Sex is an emotion in motion. How true One of the benefits of the fourth yama, brahmacharya (see Chapter 6, Walking Yoga's Eightfold Path ), is that it teaches you to separate lust from a purer, spiritual connection. When you're fraught with emotional desire for the physical, you cannot perceive a deeper reality. Transcending intense emotions permits the spirit to manifest itself. Mae West once said, Sex is an emotion in motion. How true One of the benefits of the fourth yama, brahmacharya (see Chapter 6, Walking Yoga's Eightfold Path ), is that it teaches you to separate lust from a purer, spiritual connection. When you're fraught with emotional desire for the physical, you cannot perceive a deeper reality. Transcending intense emotions permits the spirit to manifest itself.

Spirituality Not a Matter of Gender

But do you want to live more spiritually What does spiritual mean for guys The same thing it means for anyone Life is mysterious, beautiful, sometimes sorrowful, sometimes joyful. Bad things happen, good things happen or at least, things happen we tend to label bad or good. No matter who you are or what gender you happen to be, yoga encourages you to embrace your life and live it with respect, reverence, contentment, and in harmony with everyone and everything else on the planet.

Daily Practice Program

Practice of the full program is recommended for maximum benefits physically, mentally and spiritually, and will fully prepare you for future practices especially the advanced techniques of kriya yoga. However, those who don't have the time to do all the practices should try to do as many as they can and aim to eventually

Controlling The Emotions

The undesirable emotions, such as Fear, Worry, Anxiety, Hate, Anger, Jealousy, Envy, Melancholy, Excitement, Grief, etc., are amenable to the control of the Will, and the Will is enabled to operate more easily in such cases if rhythmic breathing is practiced while the student is willing. The following exercise has been found most effective by the Yogi students, although the advanced Yogi has but little need of it, as he has long since gotten rid of these undesirable mental qualities by growing spiritually beyond them. The Yogi student, however, finds the exercise a great help to him while he is growing.

Story Of An Old Man And A Donkey

May move about fearlessly in forests. One may not be afraid of the machine gun in the battlefield he may fearlessly expose his chest to the bullets. Such fearless people may be afraid of slight public criticisms They may even die of such criticisms. He who is leading a spiritual life, who has outgrown society's fragile man-made rules, must be above public opinion and criticisms. He will have to hear the shrill pure, inner voice within, the voice of the soul and follow this voice at all costs, despite public criticisms of all sorts. Many spiritually great men have given up their lives to keep up their convictions in the path of Truth. You can grow spiritually if you are above public opinion. Mark how Gandhiji stuck tenaciously to his principles despite public criticisms. Even if the whole world opposes you, you will have to stick to your principles and fight out, single-handed, even if it be.

Spiritual Cause And Effect

Rated them from their fellow men, and from the happiness known to those of moderate means. They are feverish and restless and constantly on the search for some new excitement which will divert their minds from the contemplation of their real condition. They feel a sense of their duty toward the race and although they do not quite understand the feeling behind it all, they endeavor to balance matters by contributing to colleges, hospitals, charities, and other similar institutions which have sprung up in response to the awakening consciousness of the race to the reality of the Brotherhood of Man and the Oneness of All. Before the end comes, they will feel in the depths of their soul that this success has not brought them real happiness, and in the period of rest which will follow their departure from the physical body, they will take stock of themselves, and readjust their mental and spiritual affairs, so that when they are again born they will no longer devote their entire energies...

Spiritual Evolution

The Yogi Philosophy teaches that the Soul has existed for ages, working its way up through innumerable forms, from lower to higher, - always progressing, always unfolding. That it will continue to develop and unfold, through countless ages, in many forms and phases, but always higher and higher. The Universe is great and large, and there are countless worlds and spheres for its inhabitants, and we shall not be bound to earth one moment after we are fitted to move on to higher spheres and planes. The Yogis teach that while the majority of the race are in the unconscious stage of Spiritual Evolution, still there are many awakening to the truth, and developing a spiritual consciousness of the real nature and future of Man, and that these spiritually awakened people will never again have to go through the chain of continued unconscious rebirth, but that their future development will be on a conscious plane, and that they will enjoy to the full the constant progression and development,...

The Spiritual Principles

As man unfolds spiritually he feels his relationship to all mankind, and he begins to love his fellowman more and more. It hurts him to see others suffering, and when it hurts him enough he tries to do something to remedy it. As time goes on and man develops, the terrible suffering which many human beings undergo today will be impossible, for the reason that the unfolding Spiritual Consciousness of the race will make the pain felt so severely by all that the race will not be able to stand it, and they will insist upon matters being remedied. From the inner recesses of the soul comes a protest against the following of the lower animal nature, and, although we may put it aside for a time, it will become more and more persistent, until we are

Traditions of the guru

Longer in human form to guide their followers instead other gurus have taken over the role of transmitting their teachings. In the present day the Pope can be regarded as the guru for Roman Catholics and the Dalai Lama for Tibetans. In Hinduism there are four jagat gurus (universal gurus) in four centres throughout India who act as spiritual leaders for millions of Hindus. On a more personal level, each priest, parson, mullah, rabbi, etc. can be considered as a guru for the group of people that he spiritually instructs. Even the cults of antiquity had gurus. The Druids were spiritual teachers who helped their disciples to higher levels of awareness in ancient Egypt, Greece, etc., many of the well-known philosophers were gurus Hermes Trismegistus, Plato, Socrates, Archimedes and others - all had many disciples. Lao Tse, Shankaracharya, Kabir, Guru Nanak, St. Augustine, St. Teresa, the Jewish prophets, the Sufi saints and others too numerous to mention were all gurus. These teachers...

Kundalini Yoga to activate the central nervous system and stimulate the pituitary gland KY kriyas

Sit in easy pose with your hands curled like lion's claws, the palms facing outward. Begin to punch with your hands fixed in this claw-like position. Form your mouth into an 0 shape and breathe in and out through the 0 shaped lips. Move quickly and the force of your punching hands will create the breath rhythm. Use this motion to release your inner anger. Be physically, mentally, and spiritually aggressive. After 2-1 2 minutes, intensity your motion as if you really were a lion making a ferocious attack. Continue another 1-1 2 minutes. Inhale, hold the breath, and tense the entire body, and exhale. Repeat this inhale, hold, and tense two more times. This exercise will help clear away depression.

The Heart Of The Ribhu Gita

Abide as That in which there are none of the three kinds of bodies (gross physical, subtle internal, or formless and most subtle), dreaming and sleeping), none of the three kinds of souls (those who are fully prepared to advance spiritually, those who are not fully prepared, and those who are not prepared at all), none of the three kinds afflictions (those of the body, those caused by the elements, and those caused by subtle beings and powers), none of the five functional layers of being (gross physical, vital, emotional-psychic, mental, and that of formless bliss), no one to identify himself with them - and be always happy, without the least trace of thought.

Kundalini Yoga for inner vitality and stamina KY kriyas

3) Stil in easy pose, hook the fingers toqether at the center of the chest with the right palm facinq down, Forearms and elbows are parallel to the ground. Inha e deeply. Exhale completely with force and apply mul bhand. Inhale - hold the breath, apply mul bhand and mentally raise the pranic energy from the base of the spine to the top. Continue this breath cycle for 3 minutes.

The Manifestation Mantra and Meditation

Since sharing the Ah Meditation with the world through Wayne Dyer, I have made some refinements to this meditation. You should meditate to the sound Ah, repeating it out loud and use it to raise your Kundalini energy (the energy of pure desire, a spiritual energy which lies dormant at the base of the spine in the sacrum bone) from the base of your spine to your third eye chakra. Then you should also speak out loud about the thing you are trying to manifest

Mula Bandha Pelvic Floor Root Lock

In Sanskrit, the word bandha means lock. In yoga, bandhas are special positions that lock or seal in energy. Yoga practitioners believe that a vital life force energy called prana ( air, breath, or life force energy in Sanskrit) runs through the body and sustains us with its life-giving energy. By sealing off certain parts of the body, a man can lock, or trap, the energy inside his body to intensify its vitalizing effects. For this reason, various bandhas are often applied during the exercise of pranayama or meditation to intensify the effect of these yoga practices (see Chapter 16).

Arohan and awarohan psychic passages

Bindu Chakra

These two psychic passages are widely known throughout the world, especially in mystical circles. They are used in various types of healing methods. In acupuncture there are two types of pranic passages (meridians) - normal meridians (called sei-ke) and abnormal meridians (called ki-ke). The normal meridians, twelve in number, are used in diagnosis and treatment. The abnormal meridians, eight in number, have no yin-yang interrelationships. The two principal abnormal meridians are called the meridian of conception, running up the front part of the body directly in front of the spine, and the governor meridian, running inside the spine (refer to Religion and Parapsychology by Motoyama of Japan). These two meridians correspond exactly with the arohan and awaro-han psychic passages of kriya yoga. The front passage is yang, whereas the spinal passage is yin. These principles of yin and yang have deep implications and roughly correspond with the yogic principle of ida and pingala. In...

Balance Of Prana And Apana

Much of the wisdom of the body's design is shown through the location and function of the subtle energies. Prana is the energy of activity and inflow. Its central location is the lungs and heart. Apana is the energy of elimination and its central location is the area below the navel point and in the lower pelvis. This set creates a balanced and efficient flow between both areas and the subtle energies they hold. You will draw in energies you need and eliminate toxins, old thoughts, and sticky emotions.

Pranayama Nadi Shodhana Stage

The essential requirement of nadi shodhana is slow, deep and rhythmical breathing. This results in less number of breaths every minute, for as one breathes more deeply the frequency of respiration automatically decreases. In everyday life most people breathe fifteen to twenty times per minute. These are generally shallow gasps which utilize only a very small portion of the available lung capacity. As such, a lot of energy is used in breathing, with a relatively small return in terms of the energy that we induce into the body. In other words, we could easily induce the same or even more vital energy into the body, in the form of oxygen, and expend less muscular energy by breathing slowly, deeply and rhythmically. Rhythm too is important, for spasmodic, jerky respiration also tends to use up far more muscular energy than smooth and relaxed respiration. This is one of the reasons, although not the main one, for practising nadi shodhana pranayama to train us to habitually breathe in a...

Bhaga lingarchana prita

The Life-force of the Universe. Ever ready to elevate all creatures. The One who purifies the three worlds. Satisfied by the Creation of Shri Sadashiva. The di Shakti who produces this Universe. The Foundation and Support of the Creation.

Meditation Nada Yoga Part

Nada yoga is an important sadhana of many sects. These include Radha Soami Satsang, Kabirpanthis and many others. Nada is known by many different names. It is called shabda (sound), sural (sound), nam (name), akashvani (sound of the ether), dhun (tune), Nad-i-asmani (the heavenly harmony), vani (word), the word, holy spirit, the holy ghost, logos and many other names. In Zoroastrianism it is called sraosha. It is widely discussed and praised in the holy scriptures of the Sikhs, the Adi Cranth Sahib. It is also the 'music of the spheres' described by the Greek mystic Pythagorus. He conceived the whole universe and each individual as a monochord, with its single string connected at the lower end to gross matter and at the upper end to pure consciousness. In between were all the different layers of subtle energy or nada. This relates directly to nada yoga, for the aspirant first perceives gross

Mantras in Sahaja Yoga

In Sanskrit, 'manana' means to meditate. A mantra is that which is uttered in meditation. It is the phonetisation of vibrations into a specific sound which has a direct effect on the inner being. When a realised soul (Sahaja Yogi) utters a mantra, he she mediates spiritual energy for the specific purpose for which the mantra is intended.

Kriya Yoga Practice

At a slightly more subtle level there is prana or energy that coordinates 'physical energy' or matter. In modern scientific terminology it is widely called bioplasmic or bioluminescent energy. It is also called odic force, vital energy and an assortment of other names. This type of prana streams through everything from the smallest pebble to the mightiest galaxy, from the tiniest insect to man. It is the link between mind and matter. In man, this level of energy is collectively called the pranamaya kosha (the vital or etheric sheath). Most people in yogic circles tend to understand only this level of energy as being prana. There is no objection to this, but by our definition prana encompasses all types of energy. Few people seem to be able to identify this aspect of their being, but if it is out of balance, then they will certainly feel the effects in the form of illness and fatigue. Bioplasmic energy is a part of our human framework, and can certainly be experienced and known when...

Releasing blockages and dissolving the subconscious mind

Systematic yogic sets that focus on specific centers and systems in the body field. These are combined with a number of powerful breathing techniques that purify and supercharge the bloodstream with oxygen, electricity and the other vital chemicals in the air. The charged and purified blood then flows into the areas are saturated with blood due to the pressure of the positions and movements, with the result that the nerves begin to charge and fire completely, the capillaries in the related organs and glands open and discharge their toxins, the cells discharge accumulated waste and vitality and life force begins to flow back into these centers.

Tools for Advanced Ritual and Practice

There are many spiritual tools available to enhance and accelerate your spiritual progress. They will attract spiritual energy to you, focus your attention, and even dissolve your karma. These tools have been used in India for thousands of years. A mala has one bead at the end that is called the meru (the Sanskrit word for mountain ). This bead contains the accumulated spiritual energy of all the mantras recited using the mala. When using a mala, you should not cross over the meru. When you reach the meru, you should start counting backwards, until you reach the meru again, and then continue backwards again, never crossing over the meru. In India, fire is the messenger between human beings and the gods. Fire is called Agni. Agni himself is a god. He creates gold out of mud and is pure energy. Lighting a candle brings in powerful spiritual energies and immediately transforms your space. I have never seen a ritual more powerful than lighting a candle. Lighting a candle brings different...

A summary of bhakti yoga

You don't then the emotions will rebound and once again cause you disturbances. The best method is to direct all one's emotions towards one subject or object of veneration. One should try and convert emotions into devotion and surrender and dedicate all one's aspirations to the object of devotion. One should offer all the fruits of actions, either spiritually or mentally. This is bhakti yoga, but it is not easy.

Your Personal Energy Cycle

Just as people have different body types, they have different energy patterns. Maybe you tend to wake up ready to take on the world, but by nighttime, you can't wait to crawl into bed. Or maybe you don't want to see another human face before 10 a.m., but at midnight, you are ready to rock. While individual energy fluctuations can be a matter of habit (you can accustom yourself to working the night shift, for example), working with your natural energy flow will make yoga easier and more enjoyable, and a regular yoga practice will smooth out your natural energy flow.

Gratitude In Half Standing Forward Bend

TADASANA (Mountain Pose) Start by establishing equal weight on both feet and a tall, bright posture through the spine and crown of the head. Bring your palms together in front of the heart center. Pause and imagine a sun at your heart, shining brighter with each inhalation. Sense gratitude for the life-giving energy of the sun, for the prana (life force) that flows through you and all beings. 'Salutation, ' she says, seems so formal and stiff. It has nothing to do with the heart. Namaskar means 'to bow,' to recognize with your whole being. Reaching up, bowing forward to the earth in prostration the meaning is inherent in the movement. Eventually, you are going to have an ecstatic experience of the life force entering your body. Surya Namaskar also embodies the spirit of yoga in the West It is intensely physical but can be infused with devotion. And like so much about yoga today, it reflects both ancient ideas and modern innovation. Understanding its history and meaning will allowyou...

Dont Forget to Breathe

Breathing deeply and well during exercise keeps a steady supply of oxygen in the blood so muscles can work at their peak. Breathing keeps the mind calm and focused, which will further enhance your workout. And since the breath is the vehicle by which prana, the universal life force, enters the body, you'll certainly want to breathe

Practice Of Concentration

You can concentrate internally on any one of the seven centres of spiritual energy. Attention plays a prominent part in concentration. He who has developed his powers of attention will have good concentration. A man who is full of passion and all sorts of desires, can never concentrate on any object even for a short period. His mind will be restless like that of a monkey.

Message Of Brahmacharya

The vital energy, the Veerya, which supports your life, is a great treasure for you. It is the quintessence of blood. Brahmacharya is truly a precious jewel. It is the most effective medicine or nectar which destroys diseases, decay and death. This Atma or immortal soul is verily the nature of Brahmacharya. Atma resides in Brahmacharya. Sensuality destroys life, lustre, strength, vitality, memory, wealth, fame, holiness and devotion to the Supreme. Death is hastened by letting out vital energy from the body. Life is saved and prolonged by preserving it. Those who have lost much of their Veerya or the vital energy become easily irritable and lazy. They easily succumb to any disease. They meet with premature death. Do not look at obscene pictures. Do not speak vulgar words. Do not read novels that excite passion and produce ignoble, undesirable sentiments in the mind. Shun bad company. Do not go to Cinemas. Give up onions, garlic, hot curries, chutnies and spiced dishes. Take wholesome,...

Kriya Yoga An Introduction

Kriya yoga does not ask you to abstain from your sexual life. Why should it Sexual activity is a natural part of life, so why abstain from it Kriya originated from the ancient system of tantra, and of all the spiritual systems tantra is the most understanding regarding sexual life. In fact, under correct circumstances tantra has encouraged the use of sex as a means to evolve spiritually. Of course there is much written about the conservation of sexual energy and its sublimation into spiritual power. This idea has been sadly misunderstood. When people write about sublimating sexual energy and directing it into higher channels they generally

Ong Namo Guru Dev Namo Adi Mantra

The palms of the hands are flat together (Prayer Pose Mudra). The positive side of the body (right or male) and negative (left or female) are neutralized. The Mudra is then placed in the center of the chest (the Sternum) at the 4th Chakra, the Heart Center. Your neutrality is at the center of your Chakra Energy centers. The eyes are closed and focused on the 6th Chakra, the Third Eye the space in between the eyebrows and about 1 2 inch up.

Observing chastity in thought and deed

Yogically speaking, you must extend the ideal of chastity to action, speech, and even thought. We leave it up to you to determine where, in your own case, you can change your behavior to bring it more in line with Yoga's moral orientation. Bear in mind that Yoga isn't asking you to go against human nature, which includes sexuality. Rather, Yoga invites you to consider your higher spiritual potential. The Yoga masters recommend chastity not for prudish reasons but because it's an effective way of harnessing your body's vital energy. The practitioner who is firmly grounded in chastity supposedly obtains vigor or vitality.

Kundalini Yoga An Introduction

Prana is life force. It is the life force of the atom. Apana is elimination or the eliminating force. These are two forces, positive and negative in us which are governed by pingala and ida that is, right and left. When we join these two energies under the power and the science of Kundalini Yoga, we mix the prana with apana and bring, under that pressure, the Kundalini up. And when it passes through the central nerve or Sushumana it And it is a good information to the medical people. Under the eighth vertebra there is a cavity. We call it prana center. Good In that prana center, with the breathing up to the tip of the tongue and on to the ida and pingala which adjust the temperature of the body, we breathe pranic energy. Pranic energy is the life force of the atom. If fifty years ago, I would have come and talked to you about atomic energy, you would have said, go away - - we don't understand you. When I talk pranic energy, don't feel that I am talking...

Kundalini Yoga series

Comments This set increases vital capacity, muscle coordination, aids digestion, and brings overall nerve strength. If done consciously, it adds power and will to your action. It opens the power of pranic energy from the navel center along the entire spine. It is the master set for the athlete who needs immediate power and long range endurance.

Finding Your Personal Guru

You've heard the word, we're sure, but you may be confused as to what a guru actually is. A guru is a spiritual teacher. You can have many spiritual teachers in your life, but traditionally, you have only one guru, and you attach, spiritually, not only to the guru but to the guru's lineage (in other words, the particular tradition out of which that guru comes, what he or she has studied, what school or branch of yoga he or she is associated with). Literally, the word guru means dispeller of darkness, and that is the guru's role to help you dispel your own spiritual darkness. We Westerners like to question, and our doubting natures are only encouraged when we hear story after story about spiritual teachers and leaders who have gone astray. Our modern world is full of temptations, and sometimes gurus, priests, evangelists, healers, and others whose purpose is to lead others to a higher spiritual plane cave in to temptation. A true, enlightened guru will remain your spiritual guide for a...

Stand With Your Feet About 50 Cm Apart

Spiritually the elm's power is communication, and for us that means communication with other kingdoms of nature so through its presence, communication with animals, plants, nature spirits and our ancestors can take place. Both in ancient Britain and classical Greece, the elm was used in death rituals. An old English name is elven wood, pointing to its connection with nature spirits.

Bhastrika Bellows Breath

Bhastrika Breath

Bhastrika (pronounced bah-STREE-kah) is a powerful technique. Progress with it slowly to make the foundation strong. The bellows breath brings heat to the body and is excellent for weight reduction. It clears energy, purifies the physical body, and opens up restrictions in the spine, permitting a freer energy flow.

To Activate The Central Nervous System And Stimulate The Pituitary Gland

With your hands fixed in this claw-like position. Form your mouth into an O shape and breathe in and out through the O shaped lips. Move quickly and the force of your punching hands will create the breath rhythm. Use this motion to release your inner anger. Be physically, mentally, and spiritually aggressive. After 2 1 2 minutes, intensify your motion as if you really were a lion making a ferocious attack. Continue another 1 1 2 minutes. Inhale, hold the breath, and tense the entire body, and exhale. Repeat this inhale, hold, and tense two more times. This exercise will help clear away depression.

The Root Cause of Tension

It is a method that has been preached by all the religions throughout the ages. When Christ, Buddha, Mohammed and various other religious leaders urged people to change their attitude to others, they showed deep insight into the basis of a happy, tension free life, the stepping stone to higher consciousness. When Christ said Love thy neighbour as thyself, it was not meant in a moralistic sense or only to bring about social harmony. This attitude is helpful in reducing mental tension and turmoil and so aiding our lives both mentally and spiritually. It is very practical advice. Of course on a higher level - love thy neighbour as thyself - is the state of realization that each person must come to when he has cleared out the mind and realized the unity of existence. But now we are concerned with its utilization at a lower level. The various injunctions of religions were aimed at bringing about mental relaxation and clear mindedness so that the individual would be able to become more...

The Purity of the Breath

There is something very beautiful and serene about the breath. The breath is our life force. The breath connects us to all that is. The breath is pure energy. Physical sensations connect with reality. Mental thoughts distance us from reality. Our goal in working with the breath is to develop a sensory awareness that connects us with the most primal reality and energy of life. Being present to our breath in our body is one important way to cultivate this awareness. In this meditation we want to simply be with, expand and relax with the purity of the energy and the wave of the inhale and exhale.

For Further Information

With more than 345 pages, the Sivananda Yoga Website (www.sivananda.org) is one of the most extensive sources of yoga information available on the Internet. By visiting the site, you can find comprehensive information regarding the teachings of yoga the various activities of the Sivananda Yoga centers throughout the United States and the rest of the world Sivananda Yoga teacher training courses recommended books and other supplemental materials and an online yoga boutique. The site contains innovative enhancements, such as interactive, animated instruction in the chakras for those who are interested in the subtle energy anatomy of yoga (see Chapter 7) and downloadable files of yoga screensavers that may appeal to the techie in you. Information is available on the Website in English, French, German, and Spanish.

Mind And Its Mysteries

Practice of telepathy, thought-reading, hypnotism, mesmerism, distant healing, psychic healing, etc., clearly proves that mind exists and that a higher developed mind can influence and subjugate the lower minds. From the automatic writing and the experiences of a hypnotised person, we can clearly infer the existence of subconscious mind which operates throughout the twenty-four hours. Mind is the greatest force on this earth. He who has controlled his mind is full of powers. He can bring all minds under his influence. All diseases can be cured by psychic healing. One is struck with awe and wonder at the marvellous and mysterious powers of the mind of a man. The source or home or support of this mysterious mind is God or Atman. The mind becomes that on which it dwells. This is an immutable psychological law. If you begin to think about the Dosha or defects of a man, for the time being at least your mind dwells on the bad qualities and becomes charged with these qualities, whether the...

What Is the Himalayan Institutes Approach to Yoga

The Himalayan Institute of Yoga Science and Philosophy (Himalayan Institute) teaches a holistic yoga that aims to provide a bridge between body and mind. The Himalayan Institute, founded in 1971 by Sri Swami Rama (1925-1996), is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping people grow physically, mentally, and spiritually by combining the best of the knowledge from both East and West. The Institute's international headquarters is located in Honesdale, Pennsylvania. It offers programs in yoga through branch and affiliated centers throughout the United States and the rest of the world. The Himalayan Institute's approach to yoga utilizes the traditional practices of raja yoga to unify body, mind, and soul.

Transmutation Of The Reproductive Energy

The Yogi exercise for transmuting reproductive energy is simple. It is coupled with rhythmic breathing, and can be easily performed. It may be practiced at any time, but is specially recommended when one feels the instinct most strongly, at which time the reproductive energy is manifesting and may be most easily transmuted for regenerative purposes. The exercise is as follows Keep the mind fixed on the idea of Energy, and away from ordinary sexual thoughts or imaginings. If these thoughts come into the mind do not be discouraged, but regard them as manifestations of a force which you intend using for the purposes of strengthening the body and mind. Lie passively or sit erect, and fix your mind on the idea of drawing the reproductive energy upward to the Solar Plexus, where it will be transmuted and stored away as a reserve force of vital energy. Then breathe rhythmically, forming the mental image of drawing up the reproductive energy with each inhalation. With each inhalation make a...

Yogic Breathing Exercises

Finally, to complete the introduction to three-part yogic breathing, place your hands on your upper chest, below your collarbones. As you inhale, allow your abdomen to rise as it fills with oxygen. Next, allow your chest and ribs to rise and expand. Finally, feel your upper chest, all the way out to your shoulders, expand and rise. Feel your breath rise completely with your hands resting lightly on your upper chest. As you exhale, allow the upper chest and shoulders to deflate. Allow your hands to register the sinking sensation of your upper chest as it lowers to its original position. Next, allow the air to empty out of your chest as it sinks back down. Finally, let your abdomen contract as you completely expel any remaining air. Practice breathing in and out in this fashion for several minutes As you inhale, allow your abdomen, then chest, and finally upper chest and collarbones to fill with rich, freshly oxygenated air. As you exhale, reverse the movement feeling your upper chest...

Breath Control Equals Mental Control

There are actually five manifestations of prana that act as vital energy in the body, depending on where they are. Each type complements one of the five nerve centers and is associated with one of the body's primary energy centers or, chakras (see Chapter 20, Chakras, Mudras, Mantras, and Mandalas, for more on chakras) Prana (PRAH-nah) not the prana that is the universal life force, but a sort of sub-prana rules the respiration process. It manifests in the heart chakra in the chest, flows into the body through inhalation, and moves up toward the brain. Udana (uh-DAH-nah) lives in the throat and controls swallowing. It also serves as the force dividing the astral body (the vehicle of the spirit) from the physical body at the time of death. It's the vital energy of speech and manifests through the Mercury chakra in the throat. Vyana (vee-AH-nah) flows throughout the entire body, regulating blood flow as well as muscle and joint movements. It's the vital energy of circulation and...

The influence of asanas on ones mental outlook

However, we will say that this concept should not be taken lightly, for scientists in Russia have actually detected and photographed this energy body. There it is called bioplasma or bioluminescence. This energy travels in and around the body in specific pathways, which in yoga are known as nadis. These pathways easily become blocked and prana becomes congested in certain areas, which can lead to physical and mental disorders. Asanas encourage free flow of prana and thereby facilitate good health. Further, this energy body is intimately connected to the mind. As such the uninhibited flow of prana brought about by asanas, leads to mental equilibrium and calmness.

Application of the right system

For specific ailments some systems are better than others. It is important to choose the correct healing system for the treatment of a given disease. Some systems act more directly others act more subtly. Gem therapy, perfume therapy healing methods act slowly. The important and colour therapy, for example, have a very thing is the final result . . . abundant good subtle influence on the mind and body. Thehyealth. are not very useful in the treatment of diseases such as dysentery. Allopathic medicine, on the The Place of y ga as a healing system of these healing systems, whether doctor, masseur, chiropractor, naturopath or whatever. knows the limitations of the system that he follows. People who prescribe a method of treatment must know its limitations and its remedial powers. They must know the field in which that particular system is useful and stick to that field. Ailments that cannot be treated should be left to other healing systems that can...

Matsyendrasana Spinal Twist Lord of the Fish Pose

Close your eyes for a few moments and put your attention on your spine. Envision the life force flowing up from the base of your spine through your pelvis, into your abdomen, up through your heart, through your throat, between your eyes, and into your head. Imagine the thousand-petal lotus flower at your crown chakra opening. Activate the intention to live your life from a more expanded state of awareness as a result of energy flowing freely through your body.

Modern science and prana

The most astounding and revealing investigation into the phenomenon of the energy body was initiated over thirty years ago. This paved the way for the research that is now being conducted in various quarters. It opened the normally closed eyes and minds of some scientists to new possibilities. Without this initial path-finding research there would still be an atmosphere of disbelief surrounding the subject of the energy body. The research was not carried out in universities or by scientists, but by an ingenious technician in his own house, aided by his wife. His name was Kirlian and he lived in the city of Krasnodar near the Black Sea. There were further surprising facts to be discovered. The bioluminescence is a sure indication of the state of health of the organism. In fact the energy body indicates that a disease will occur before it actually happens. Each organism, whether plant, animal or human has a characteristic pattern when it is in a healthy condition. When the organism is...

The Eight Limbs of Yoga

Pranayama means control (or extension) of the breath in Sanskrit. The breath (prana) is more than just the air we take in and exhale, however. Breath is also synonymous with vital energy, or the life force. Without breath there is no life. Practitioners of yoga believe that it is essential to learn to control the breath in order to still the mind. Consequently, detailed practices have been developed to enhance the flow of breath, or vital life force. These practices include various ways of inhaling, retaining, and expelling the breath. The practice of pranayama is so vital to yoga that you will find a separate section detailing the most frequently practiced of these breathing techniques in Chapter 16.

Body of Light and Sound

With the practice of Kundalini Yoga, each major and minor center is systematically charged and vitalized, so that the encoding that continuously fires in these patterns, based on the energy channels that have developed to imprint these impressions, begins to give way to a more evenly balanced and complete energy flow to all the nerves, glands, organs and cells of these centers.

Religious and traditional aspects

In other scriptural texts of India there are various other definitions, but all of them point to basically the same concept. In the Chhandogya Upanishad prana is said to be the internal matrix, and vayu (loosely defined as air but actually also meaning life force, energy, wind), the external matrix of energy. In this context we see this as merely a division of the same energy, the prana here being designated as that energy which lies within the body and makes up the mind-body complex at its various levels of subtlety. It is this aspect with which we sciousness. In other words the passage can be read as follows For we being many (humans) are really one consciousness and one body (of prana or universal energy), for we are all partakers of that one consciousness. This clearly shows the agreement between yogic, Christian and ancient Indian concepts. In ancient China the concept of universal energy was prevalent. Instead of prana they called it ki. Like yogic thought, they had a very high...

Symbolic and spiritual significance

The sun was not only worshipped because of its material nature and power, though it might well have been by less informed persons. The sun itselfis a symbol. It symbolizes spiritual illumination and knowledge, the light in the darkness of ignorance. It represents the essence, the spirituality which exists in all material things. It is this essence which is worshipped by the more enlightened people ofthe ancient cults and religions. The material sun is the manifestation of the deeper, hidden background or substratum. This has been clearly explained by Paracelsus, the medieval alchemist, as follows There is an earthly, material sun, which is the cause of heat and all who are capable of seeing it, even those who are blind, can feel his heat. And then there is an eternal sun, which is the source of wisdom and those who are spiritually awakened will see this sun and be conscious of His existence.

The Ultimate Strength

Prana has always played a vital role in hatha yoga. Ancient Tantric texts, like the Hatha Yoga Pradipika and Gheranda Samhita, list various techniques to help build, channel, and regulate life force. In these writings, asana is described as the foundation for hatha's deeper practices because it is so accessible and helps to free life force The process ofholding a pose while breathing through it dissolves pranic blockages. Different postures unlock prana in different ways. Forward bends, for example, increase the types of prana that calm, soothe, and ground backbends unblock pranic forces that are more expansive and revitalizing. A key reason you feel better after class is that the practice has helped move your life force in a way that is more balanced, complete, or suited to your particular mental and physical needs. The principles of how different asanas affect life force are explained in both the hatha tradition and Ayurveda. The more we learn and practice these teachings, the more...

Pause for a couple of seconds between inhalation and exhalation keeping the throat soft

In belly-to-chest breathing, you really exercise your chest and diaphragm muscles as well as your lungs and treat your body with oodles of oxygen and life force (prana). When you're done, your cells are humming with energy, and your brain is very grateful to you for the extra boost. You can use this form of breathing before you begin your relaxation practice, before and where indicated during your practice of the Yoga postures, and in fact whenever you feel so inclined throughout the day. You don't necessarily have to lie down as we describe in the following exercise. You can be seated or even walking. After practicing this technique for a while, you may find that it becomes second nature to you.

The Divine Life Society

In the Eleventh Lesson I have dealt with the Serpentine Power or the mighty pristine Force underlying all organic and inorganic matter. This Force is in a dormant state and is sleeping a sleep-trance in almost all persons in the basal Muladhara Chakra. When this sleeping Force is roused to action, it pierces through the various centres of spiritual energy in the human body and reaches the crown of the head or the Sahasrara Chakra where She is united with Her Consort, Lord Siva. That Yogi who has taken the sleeping Kundalini to the Sahasrara Chakra and united Her with Lord Siva alone has attained the Goal, not others. The process by which this sleeping Power can be roused to action and taken to the top of the head has also been described with beautiful illustrations. The Yogi who has succeeded in achieving this union becomes the Lord of all powers and knowledge. In the last Lesson on Spiritual Vibrations and Aura I have stated what vibration and aura mean and various means of producing...


Sit in easy pose with your arms stretched straight out in front. Put your fruit in your right hand (if you are male) or your left hand (if you are female). With the opposite hand cover the fruit, keeping your hand about 4 to 6 above it. Keep your arms straight with no bend in the elbows. Close your eyes, go inward, and concentrate. Create a connection between the navel and the fruit so that you gather the energy of the navel and project it in blessing into the fruit. This is for self-healing. The praan, the life force energy, lives in the navel point. You are taking that life force and blessing the fruit. With the hand above, you bless the fruit below. Fruit is often used as a kind of psychic storage device. Fruit is etheric and grows well above the earth. It has a subtle quality that lets it easily absorb pranic energy and become a useful tool in healing exercises. To finish Inhale, press your fruit against your navel (If you have a banana, be careful not to squash it) and press your...

Breathwork in Action

And notice how it brings you back to your center. Use the Dirgha breath when you are feeling pressure and strain to circulate the life force throughout your body. Be conscious of your breath, and your awareness will stay centered in the midst of turbulence. According to yoga, this is the true value of pranayama.


In the beginning, the physical aspects of the postures will affect you the most. In time, and as you progress, you will become more aware of the flow of prana, life force, moving through your body. As your practice evolves, these subtle, but deep movements will reawaken your awareness and control of your body, leaving you both relaxed and full of energy.

Phoenix Rising

To get a glimpse of your essence, you can practice asanas that peel away the characteristics that you usually identify yourself with. Parivrttaikapada Sirsasana (Revolved Split-Legged Headstand) is a pose that may help you find the core of your being. By going upside down, separating your legs as far from center as possible, and twisting the torso all at the same time, you will be forced to let go of your normal orientation. In a pose such as this, you will need to reach deep inside yourself and down into the earth for a compass in order to keep from toppling over. As you reach inward, you will feel yourself getting closer and closer to an elusive center. This energetic center in yoga is called the sushumna tiudi, or central channel oiprana (life force).

Energy Opening Poses

Life energy flows up and down the spinal column. In yoga, the seven chakras are connected through three energetic pathways known as Ida, Pingala, and Sushumna. When these channels are open, vital energy is able to flow freely. The vital energy rising up through the spine is known as the awakening of Kundalini, sometimes visualized as the uncoiling of a snake at the base of the spine. These final poses are designed to release congestion in the spine, enabling prana to nourish every organ, tissue, and cell in your body.

Advice To Students

Loss of this vital energy is the cause of disease, miseries and premature death. Therefore, take particular care to preserve this vital energy. Practice of Brahmacharya gives good health, inner strength, peace of mind and long life. It invigorates the mind and the nerves and helps to conserve physical and mental energy. It augments the strength and courage. It gives power to face the difficulties in the daily battle of life. A perfect Brahmachari can, like Jnanadeva, move the world, can command nature and the five elements. Develop faith in the Vedas and the power of Mantra. Practise meditation daily. Take Sattvic food. Do not overload the stomach. Repent for your mistakes. Admit your faults freely. Never try to hide your faults by lame excuses or by uttering falsehoods. Obey the laws of nature. Take plenty of physical exercise daily. Perform the prescribed duties at the appointed time. Develop simple living and high thinking. Give up vile imitation. Get thorough...


A cleansing process, such as a fast, will eliminate the waste accumulation if the body still has reserves of vital energy to draw on, but may or may not supply the deficient items. If the body is seriously depleted of energy, a fast may actually accelerate the disease process.

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