Yogic Techniques On Breath And Breathlessness
The Sage then whispered, “Sitting on the peak with the view from the eternal, the subtle is visible and not hindered invisible anymore by the gross. Below in the mundane is the choice to be the muck or in yoga to reach out to the blissful reality as the lotus of knowing. The knowing discarding away belief as the peaks view is the ancient truth worth each breath in the mundane world.”
These loud thoughts of the Sage are reflected below-
1. All our youth, our energy flows upwards, which constantly rejuvenates the body. From the age of 27 onwards, our energy begins to flow downward progressing with age. This energy flow downwards is accelerated when the mind is scattered, overburdened and not centered. Yoga redirects the energy upward. Yoga must be practiced with this insight.
2. From the start to finish of a yoga session, be present within the eternal Aum. This eternal Aum is called, the nada, the resonance of the divine heard and unheard. In this process, the breath clings on to the Aum recited. Breath then is becomes like a creeper climbing up the eternal pillar of joy and knowing. This surely will get the energy surging upwards!
3. Our body is a product of karma and ego. We were born to complete the past. We are today the sum total of the past. The lighter beings carry less of the past and future to live in the eternal present. Yoga brings us to the present as the truthful center that overflows in bliss shedding the past and future the mind carries as baggage. The mind brought to its calm true state of bliss rising up into the absolute present then shapes the body as the calm tranquil mind free of burden delights in feeding the rejuvenative energy to the body.
4. Know the upward climb of yoga to be the various states of the body transcended by the mind and finally reaching the single pointed blissful awareness of the soul. This is however a foundation needing to be built with each asana (posture), concentrating on the energy within each chakra and ascending above finally to perch between the eyebrows.
5. Each chakra has been described by the ancient wisdom so that the upward journey by a yogin could be mapped with milestones to invoke the divine essence at each of these energy centers so encompassing each facet of our life to ensure harmony in the upward climb.
6.Ha means the Sun and Tha means the Moon. The word Hatha is derived from the knowing of these two energies of the sun and the moon. Five times a day, our breath switches to the right nostril, the energy of the Sun. When we are excited, inspired, divinely absorbed or in intense concentration, we breath through our right, the Sun energy. At times of sunrise or sunset, we would be breathing through our right. When we are sad, sleepy, ill, tired or in a very relaxed mood, we must be breathing through our left nostril, the Moon energy. The Sun energy increases the metabolic rate and results in weight loss but in excess could result in a burn out of energy. The Moon energy rejuvenates and is normally predominant while we are sleeping. Hatha yoga is the union of these two energy fields through breath as the subdued mind climbs to the divine with the grace of harmony and balance between the two energy fields.
7. Nadi- shuddi, a pranayama (breathing) practice of alternative nasal breathing is important at the early stages of the yoga session. This practice cleanses the nadis, which are the 72000 energy points running through our body and enables the mind to single-pointedness when practiced with visualization and mantra counts. Nadi-shuddi is like dusting and cleansing the mind and body. Since our yogic journey upwards will invoke powerful divine energy we need to make our mind and body compliant with this higher energy by doing the nadi-shuddi.
8. While doing yoga, be aware of the moment of breath when you exhale to inhale and inhale to exhale. The mind normally flutters at this moment of change in breath with stray thoughts. To turn this disadvantage into an advantage, develop a fixed thought pattern through japa (repetitive recitation of mantra) to latch the mind to the divine single pointedness. Every time you inhale, ask yourself, Who am I, and when you exhale, I am That even as you recite your mantra to achieve the yogic objective of the calm state of I AM, the residual truth.
9. Remember that for yoga to be effective, the healing essence and the rejuvenating energy are the vital for the body, which relies on its primary source, the mind. The mind in turns relies on the vast space of divinity as the mighty Void or the overflowing Absolute in the form of pure bliss. This union of the body, mind and the spirit is prana breath, divine knowing and grace. The Oneness in the trinity is bliss.
10. Upon each break to inhale, our state of awareness falls below from wisdom to intellect as we meditate. The Siddha technique to harness the change in state of mind is to let our awareness during the descent for breath be on the chakra on we are contemplating. As we ascend chakra, so does our awareness too of the particular chakra and focusing our inhaled breath through that chakra provides the bandha, which locks up the energy each chakra up building a foundation.
11. The bandha, is the process of consciously locking up or creating a dam for the energy already built up. In our ascent upwards, we would wish to climb on foundations of energy fields that serve as the safety net on which we can bounce up higher each time we land when descending for the next breath. The bandha, the lock, creates this energy field. To create a bandha, using our muscles gently with subtle attention to the deity we are with of that particular chakra in the awareness.
12. There is a bridge within the mind between the conscious single thought and the unconscious void/absolute thought. In yoga, this is a process of surrender of thought process to the lamp lit within. To keep the intellect alive and nourished through the brightness of wisdom, break through the inner vision of the third eye, between the eyebrows and hold on to the consciousness while perched there. This will focus will carry the mind through the divine journey with adequate grounding on return back to perform normal day to day work.
The mind is the master of senses five;
He is the head of the body habitat;
There is a steed (breath) he rides to his destined goal;
The masterly one the steed carries,
The feeble one it throws away;
That steed the Prana Breath is!
Siddhar Thirumulanathar, a Siddha Sage, the Grand Guru to many Sages who attained Light.