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Postures Influence the Mind

Postures Influence the Mind

Psychological research suggests simple actions and postures can project power, persuade others, increase empathy, boost cognitive performance and more.

We tend to think of body language as something that expresses our internal states to the outside world. But it also works the other way around: the position of our body also influences our mind.

As the following psychological research shows, how we move can drive both thoughts and feelings and this can boost performance.


Simple Postures That Boost Performance

1. Pose for Power
If you want to feel more powerful then adopt a powerful posture. Carney et al. (2010) found that when people stood or sat in powerful poses for one minute—those involving open limbs and expansive gestures—they not only felt more powerful but had increased levels of testosterone flooding their systems. Powerful poses take up more space, so spread your body and open up the arms or legs. When you dominate the space, your mind gets the message.
2. Tense up for Willpower
Tensing up your muscles can help increase your willpower. In a series of 5 studies Hung and Labroo (2011) found that when people firmed up their muscles they were better able to withstand pain, resist tempting food, take an unpleasant medicine and pay attention to disturbing information. So, if you need to increase your willpower, tense your muscles. It should help.
3. Cross Arms for Persistence
If you’re stuck on a problem which needs persistence then try crossing your arms. Friedman and Elliot (2008) had participants do just that and found they worked longer at a set of difficult anagrams. In fact about twice as long. Their persistence led to more correct solutions.
4. Lie Down for Insight
If crossing your arms doesn’t work then try lying down. When Lipnicki and Byrne (2005) had anagram solvers lying down, they solved them faster. Since anagrams are a type of insight problem, lying down may help you reach creative solutions.
5. Nap for Cognitive Performance
While you’re lying down, why not have a nap? Napping is an art-form though. Nap too long and you’ll suffer from sleep inertia: the feeling of being drowsy for an extended period. Nap too little and there’s no point. Where’s the sweet spot?

Brooks & Lack (2005) compared 5, 10, 20 and 30 minute naps to find the best length. For increased cognitive performance, vigour and wakefulness, the best naps were 10 minutes long. Benefits were seen immediately after 10 minute naps but after longer naps it took longer to wake up. Five minute naps only provided half the benefit, but were better than nothing.
6. Gesture for Persuasion
The way people’s hands cut through the air while they talk is fascinating. But it’s more than just a by-product of communication. Maricchiolo et al. (2008) found that hand-gestures help increase the power of a persuasive message when compared to no use of gesture. Most effective are gestures which make what you are saying more understandable. For example, when referring to the past, point behind you.
7. … and Gesture for Understanding
Gestures aren’t only helpful for persuading others, they also help us think. In a study of children, Cook et al. (2007) found that children who were encouraged to gesture while learning, retained more of what they learnt. Moving our hands may help us learn; more generally we actually seem to think with our hands.
8. Smile for Happiness
The very act of smiling can make you feel happy, whether it’s justified or not. Strack et al. (1988) had participants holding pens in their mouths either so that it activated the muscles responsible for smiling, or not. Those whose smiling muscles were activated rated cartoons as funnier than others whose smiling muscles weren’t activated by the pen in their mouth. So, forcing a smile really does make us see the world in a better light.
9. Mimic to Empathize
If you want to get inside someone’s head, you can try copying their behaviour. Those who are good at empathising do it automatically: copying accent, posture, expressions and so on. If you can copy it, you will feel it yourself and then you’ll get a hint of what others are feeling. It’s what actors have known for years: mimicry is a great way of simulating others’ emotional states.
10. Imitate to Comprehend
The idea that copying helps us understand others works for thought as well as emotion. In an experiment by Adank (2010), participants found it easier to decipher an unfamiliar accent if they tried to imitate it themselves. Some psychologists go further, claiming that imitating others helps us predict what they are going to do (e.g. Pickering & Garrod, 2007).

Embodied Cognition

Many of these studies support a theory about human life (and indeed all life) called ‘embodied cognition’. The idea is that we don’t just think with our minds, we also think with our bodies. Our mind isn’t a brain in a jar, it is connected to a body which moves around in an environment.

As life becomes increasingly virtual, played out on screens of varying sizes, we need reminding that the connection between mind and body is two-way. Human intelligence is more than abstract processing power; it’s about the interaction between mind, body and the world around us.




For Wake Up World

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thumbnail Surya Namaskar with Mantra, Chakra and More zoom
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Surya Namaskar

Surya Namaskar is the famous Sun Salutation exercise of yoga. Traditional Surya Namaskar is a combination of movement and stretching asanas, combined with breathing pranayama, yoga bija mantras, chakra concentration, and bhakti devotion. Surya Namaskar was developed as a complete spiritual practice that integrates every major system of yoga. Surya Namaskar is considered by many experts to be the most complete exercise in the world.


Surya Namaskar sequence

The term Surya Namaskaara means ‘salutation to Sun’. Surya Namaskaara is an exercise sequence, which has both the physical and the spiritual aspects. On the physical side, it involves a series of aasanas or yogic postures, which provide the body with a most complete exercise. Virtually all the parts of the body, including the thoracic and abdominal organs, are exercised and rejuvenated with vitality. Spiritually, the Surya Namaskaara is method of propitiating the Sun-god and enjoying his blessings. These include faster progress in meditation, a sharp intellect, a sound health, and acquisition of spiritual wisdom.

Surya Namaskaara consists of three important elements each of which needs to be carefully attended to for maximum possible benefits. If proper attention is not given to detail, the results may not be attained in full.

1. Asanas or bodily postures : Surya Namaskaara is an exercise sequence involving twelve different body postures, as if to signify the twelve signs of the zodiac through which passage of the Sun results in the formation of twelve months of a year. This exercise involves six postures, which proceed in one direction, and another six, which mark the return to the original position. It is virtually equivalent to the Sun traversing six signs of the zodiac to give rise to one ‘ayana’ of six months and returning through another six signs to give rise to another ayana, thus constituting the Uttaraayana (the northerly course ) and the Dakshinaayana ( the southerly course). The completion of a cycle of Uttaraayana and Dakshinaayana brings the Sun back to its original position from where the next solar cycle starts. Even as the apparent movement of the Sun through the zodiac is of importance to astrologers, so also is the practice of the Surya Namaskaara to them.

2. Breathing : Yogic practices lay great stress on regulation of breathing which helps the yogi to gain control over the life force within the body as well as outside. Synchronisation of breathing with physical postures is thus an important constituent of the practice of Hatha yoga. In Surya Namaskaara the different postures when correctly practised appear rhythmical, one naturally leading to the other. The sequence of breathing, consisting of inhalation, exhalation or retension, has also been advocated as it would most naturally be during the various postures. It requires some extra attention in the beginning to be able to synchronise the breathing with the physical posture. With practice, the sequence of posture and breathing would get integrated and appear natural. Obviously, the best results from the practice of Surya Namaskaara can only be expected when the posture and the breath proceed in harmony.

3. Incantations or Mantras : Surya Namaskaara is not undertaken merely as a physical exercise though it is eminently qualified to be levelled as the most effective bodily exercise. It is practised with a religio-spiritual intent as well. The propitiation of the Sun is one intent, and the consequent spiritual benefit accuring from a benevolent Sun the other. Each of the twelve postures of this exercise sequence is associated with a mantra or potentiated incantation.

A specific mantra has to be chanted as a specific posture in the sequence is attained. it is thus a synchronisation of posture, breath and mantra, all together proceeding in a sequence. Each of the mantras literally is an affirmation salutation to the Sun. But those who know about the mantras are also aware that the literal meaning of a mantra is of little consequence. It is the energy hidden in the structure of the mantra that is of significance. It produces a tremendous impact, often in a highly subtle manner, when uttered in the prescribed manner and sequence. Since the mantras here involve a form of worship of the Sun, the element of devotion becomes important. The Surya Namaskaara is thus a physical exercise (body postures) integrated with praanaayaama (controlled breathing) and devotioned worship (chanting of mantra).

The Sequence of Postures

It is appropriate now to describe the various postures that constitute the different steps of the Surya Namaskaara.

Stand erect facing east, feet together. The feet, buttocks, back, neck and head should lie in the same vertical plane. Fold the two hands together in front of the chest, eyes closed and body relaxed.

Breathe naturally.

The starting shloka : (The prayer.) Dhynam

Dheyah sada savitru mandala madhyawarti Narayanah sarasijasana sannivistahaKeyurawan makara kundalawan kiriti Hari hiranya-maya-vapur-dhruta shankha chakrah.

|| Meaning
Oh! Surya Narayana YOU are the crown glory, carrying shankha chakra in your hands.
YOU are the creator of joy and destroyer of sorrows.
YOU cover the entire universe with the golden twilight.
YOU are the Master, the Provider of the entire universe.
Oh! Sun God make all my efforts as bright and brilliant as the sun in the solar system.

Surya Namaskar sequence

Oordhva Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer with raised arms ) :
Raise both arms above the head, hands folded together. Carry the arms as far back as possible,
extending the spine at the same time.

Inhale the breath while raising the arms.

Hastapaadaasana ( the forward Bending):
Bend forwards, withdraw the stomach and place the palms of both hands on the ground on either side of the of the feet. Keep the legs straight at the knees.

This posture should be attained gently without exerting too much. It may not be possible in the beginning to attain the final position as described here. Exhale while bending forward.

Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana (the horse) :
Retaining the hands where they are ( on the ground on either side of feet), stretch the right leg backwards as far as it goes, bending the left leg at the same time, without altering the position of the left foot Inhale deeply while this posture is being attained.

Parvataasana (the mountain) :
Move the right foot forward and the left foot backwards so that the two feet lie side by side.
Lower the head, left the buttocks as high up as possible. The legs and arms must be straight and the soles of the two feet must be on the ground, the heels also touching the ground.

Ashtanga Namaskaaraasana ( salutation with eight points) :
This posture is so called because eight body points ( two hands, two knees, two feet, chest and forehead) are made to touch the ground. Lower the body and let the feet and the knees touch the ground. Pull the abdomen in while lowering the chest and the forehead to the ground even as the hands remain on the ground close to the chest. The hips and the abdomen have to be pulled up to keep them off the ground. Hold the breath outside.

Sarpaasana ( the cobra ) :
Straighten the arms while arching the head and the spine backwards. Lower the hips. Only the hands and feet should
touch the ground while the rest of the body remains of the ground. Inhale deeply, filling the chest with air.

Parvataasana ( the mountain ) :
Regain the position as shown in fig. 5
Exhale while attaining this position.

Ashwa Sanchaalanaasana ( the horse ) :
Attain the position shown in fig. 4. The right leg must be extended backwards and the left leg brought forwards.
Inhale deeply.

Hastapaadaasana ( the forward bending ) :
Come back to the position shown in fig. 3.
Exhale deeply.

Oordhva Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer with raised arms ) :
Attain the position shown in Fig. 2.
Inhale while the body and the arms are lifted up.

Namaskaaraasana ( the prayer ) :
Return to the same position as Fig. 1.
Breathe normally.





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Advanced Yoga Practices

Advanced Yoga Practices
Directory for Main Lessons


1-9 (Not Used)
10 Why This Discussion?
11 What is Yoga? What is Religion?
12 The Essential Ingredient – Desire
13 Meditation – Awakening the Silent Seed
14 Meditation Q&A – Not much Happening
15 Meditation Q&A – Restlessness
16 Meditation Q&A – Bliss
17 Meditation Q&A – Was I asleep?
18 Meditation Q&A – Finding the time
19 Meditation Q&A – What tradition to follow?
20 Meditation Q&A – Enlightenment without God?
21 Meditation Q&A – Objects of meditation
22 Meditation Q&A – Vibratory quality of mantra
23 Meditation Q&A – Watching the clock
24 Meditation Q&A – Does meditation cure sickness?
25 Meditation Q&A – Effect on high stress situations
26 (Not Used)
27 Meditation Q&A – Location of mantra
28 Meditation Q&A – Will I become a milquetoast?
29 Meditation Q&A – Alcohol, tobacco and drugs
30 Meditation Q&A – Diet
31 Meditation Q&A – Enjoying the great outdoors
32 (Not Used)
33 Meditation Q&A – A new way to sit in meditation
34 Meditation Q&A – Meditation and world problems
35 Meditation Q&A – Enlightenment milestones
36 Meditation Q&A – The fifth dimension
37 Meditation Q&A – Group meditations
38 What is your time line?
39 Pranayama – Cultivating the soil of the nervous system
40 (Not Used)
41 Pranayama – Spinal Breathing
42 Pranayama Q&A – Is this natural?
43 Pranayama Q&A – Relationship to meditation
44 Pranayama Q&A – Finding the spinal nerve
45 Pranayama Q&A – Breathing is slowing down
46 Pranayama Q&A – Which way is up?
47 Pranayama Q&A – Chakras?
48 Pranayama Q&A – Pranayama and health
49 Pranayama Q&A – Perspiration
50 Pranayama Q&A – Managing the time
51 Pranayama Q&A – Strange gurglings
52 Pranayama Q&A – Big little nerve
53 Pranayama Q&A – Light and sound
54 Kundalini – A code word for sex
55 Mulabandha – Enlivening sexual energy upward
56 Sambhavi – Opening the third eye
57 Q&A – The guru is in me?
58 Q&A – Step by step
59 Q&A – Some mantra particulars
60 Q&A – Unexpected interruptions
61 (Not Used)
62 Q&A – Duration of one spinal breathing cycle?
63 Q&A – Cool and warm currents in pranayama
64 Q&A – The ecstatic silver thread
65 Q&A – The pineal and pituitary glands
66 Q&A – Arriving, not leaving
67 Bhakti – The science of devotion
68 Q&A – Relationship of traumatic experiences and bhakti
69 Q&A – Kundalini symptoms, imbalances, and remedies
70 (Not Used)
71 Yoga asanas – A wonderful billion dollar industry
72 Q&A – Please tell me exactly what to do
73 Q&A – More on chakras
74 Q&A – For this life, and the next one
75 Siddhasana – Living in a fountain of ecstasy
76 Q&A – Siddhis: Are powers real?
77 Q&A – Still more on chakras
78 Q&A – Pleasure and the path
79 Q&A – Mantra reminders
80 Q&A – Physical fitness and yoga
81 Q&A – Charging ahead too fast?
82 (Not Used)
83 Q&A – There she goes. Kundalini, that is.
84 Q&A – The art of doing nothing
85 Q&A – Enlightenment milestones revisited
86 Q&A – Finding your meditation routine
87 (Not Used)
88 Q&A – The magic of bhakti
89 Q&A – The caduceus: a snapshot of you and me
90 Caduceus correction, and ida/pingala review
91 Yoni mudra kumbhaka – Purging the third eye, and much more
92 Q&A – The Star
93 Q&A – Changing times
94 Some house cleaning tips
95 Q&A – Stabilizing ecstasy
96 Q&A – Spinal breathing startup review
97 Q&A – Tantra: Help for sex maniacs and ordinary lovers
98 Q&A – Yoga and marriage
99 Q&A – Practices, front end and back end
100 Q&A – What is enlightenment?
101 Q&A – What is brahmacharya?
102 Q&A – Importance of smooth long-term meditation routine
103 Q&A – Destiny and free will
104 Q&A – Stubborn energy blockages
105 Q&A – Hitting a wall at mulabandha
106 Q&A – Mantra and breathing in meditation
107 Q&A – Self-pacing in postures and practices
108 Kechari mudra – A giant leap for humankind
109 Q&A – Bhakti, meditation and inner silence
110 Q&A – Romantic love
111 (Not Used)
112 Q&A – Bhakti: Up close and personal
113 Q&A – Bliss, ecstasy, and divine love
114 Q&A – Kechari: “Throat jamming” in stage 1
115 Q&A – Mantra, language and meaning
116 Meditation – First enhancement of mantra
117 Q&A – Finding a mantra with no meaning?
118 Q&A – Strong pulse in meditation
119 Q&A – Some other approaches to mulabandha
120 Q&A – “Getting enlightenment”
121 Q&A – Pratyahara: Expansion of the senses inward
122 Q&A – Witnessing
123 Q&A – Importance of the Q&As
124 Q&A – Keeping it simple
125 Q&A – Kundalini heat
126 Q&A – Relationship of pratyahara, intellect and bhakti
127 Q&A – Siddhasana or padmasana?
128 Q&A – Siddhasana and pressure in the head
129 Nauli – Raising kundalini with your abdominal muscles
130 Q&A – Vibrations at the root
131 Q&A – Coordinating sambhavi and spinal breathing
132 Q&A – What is sin?
133 Q&A – Nectar
134 Q&A – Yoga and Western Psychology
135 Q&A – Kundalini currents in legs and arms
136 Q&A – Vigyan Bhairav Tantra – the 112 techniques
137 Q&A – Getting both feet into paradise
138 Q&A – Would you like to get reconditioned?
139 Dynamic Jalandhara – The chin pump
140 Q&A – Chin pump: Coordinating head rotation and breathing
141 Bhakti article (from here) in Hindustan Times
142 New “Links” section – Share your favorite yoga website
143 Chin Pump – Effects in the lower body
144 Q&A – Chin pump lite (without kumbhaka)
145 Q&A – Overdoing it with asanas
146 Q&A – Shaktipat: Direct transmissions of spiritual energy
147 Q&A – Sequencing of asanas, pranayama and meditation
148 Q&A – Why practices twice a day?
149 The eight limbs of yoga, and samyama – Melting the darkness
150 Samyama practice
151 Q&A – Samyama: Settling in with your sutras
152 Q&A – Thinking about meanings versus doing samyama practice
153 Q&A – Yoga Sutra translations, and on becoming “super-normal”
154 Q&A – Samyama: “Let go and let God”
155 Q&A – Samyama: Lightness, lurching … and levitation?
156 Q&A – Muladhara/root and integration of practices
157 Q&A – What is inner silence?
158 Q&A – Too relaxed in meditation?
159 Q&A – Too many thoughts in meditation?
160 Q&A – Extreme sensitivity to meditation – what to do?
161 Q&A – Dark nights and the rise of inner silence
162 Virus and Updated Spam Alert
163 Q&A – Sublime clarity
164 Q&A – Human power
165 Q&A – Desire and change
166 Q&A – Pay It forward
167 Q&A – Living on air and sunlight alone?
168 Q&A – Is pain a prerequisite for inner peace?
169 Q&A – Is this ecstatic conductivity?
170 Q&A – That’s kundalini?
171 Spinal bastrika pranayama – Pressure washing your karma away
172 Q&A – Spinal bastrika energy, sleep, and time of practice routine
173 Q&A – Spinal bastrika cycle time
174 Q&A – Sex and Sambhavi
175 Q&A – New experiences
176 Q&A – Dissecting samyama
177 Q&A – Advanced siddhasana
178 Q&A – Dharma
179 Q&A – The star revisited
180 Q&A – Off to a good start in meditation
181 Q&A – Expectations and our time line
182 Q&A – Healthy skepticism
183 Q&A – Movements and automatic yoga
184 Q&A – Teleportation, samyama & siddhis
185 Q&A – Role of the intellect
186 Meditation – Second enhancement of mantra
187 Q&A – Establishing and maintaining daily practice
188 Q&A – Mantra Design 101
189 Q&A – Where is the third eye?
190 Q&A – Sambhavi during meditation?
191 Q&A – How to cultivate ecstatic conductivity
192 Q&A – Tips on kechari
193 Q&A – Extending practice time safely
194 Q&A – More flashing lights
195 Q&A – Mantra, thoughts, and attention
196 Q&A – Refining a sound in the mind
197 Q&A – Kechari sensations
198 Targeted bastrika – A laser for karmic cleansing
199 Managing the opening of the crown
200 Q&A – Follow-up on a sensitive meditator
201 Q&A – The drama of a premature crown opening
202 Q&A – Free form versus structured practices
203 Q&A – Reflections on some dramatic experiences
204 Summary of principles, abilities, and practices
205 Q&A – More on kechari
206 Q&A – Varieties of spinal breathing
207 Q&A – Left or right side imbalances
208 Q&A – Inner energy collisions and strong emotions
209 Fitting daily practices into a busy schedule
210 Q&A – Handling automatic yoga and siddhis
211 The new Web Site is up and running!
212 Q&A – Whole body mudra
213 Q&A – Conscious sleeping
214 Q&A – Finding your spiritual “hook”
215 New Web Site Enhancements
216 Q&A – Kundalini jolts and self-pacing in practices
217 Q&A – Responsibility
218 Q&A – Meditation sensitivity and head movements
219 Q&A – Irritability in activity
220 Q&A – Opening the heart chakra
221 Q&A – Expanding Heart Space
222 Q&A – Chimes in Inner Space?
223 Q&A – Kechari Stage 1 and-a-half? (a dialog)
224 Q&A – Automatic Kechari and Visions
225 Q&A – Clearing the Clouds
226 Q&A – Expansion on our mind
227 Q&A – Meditation, Activity, and Sleep
228 Q&A – Heart Opening and Service
229 Q&A – Spinal Breathing in Inner Space
230 Q&A – Crown and Third Eye
231 Q&A – Dusty Rooms
232 Q&A – Meditation and Automatic Yoga (a dialog)
233 Q&A – Yoga and Religious Beliefs
234 Q&A – Inner Wisdom Shining Through
235 Q&A – Blending Inner Silence and Ecstasy
236 Book Update and an Important Notice
237 Kechari Image Added to Web Site
238 Resuming Lesson Postings
239 Spinal Breathing Pranayama and Asanas
240 Regarding One’s Highest Ideal
241 Smoothing Out Pranayama
242 The Tsunami and Yoga
243 Meditation and Powers (Siddhis)
244 Going for a Smooth Start in Meditation and Pranayama
245 New AYP eBook Now Available
246 Intelligence, Bhakti and Genius
247 Nausea
248 Culture, Samadhi and Snow
249 AYP Book is on Amazon USA as of Today
250 Balancing Practices with Advancing Experiences
251 Visions and Nodding off in Meditation
252 Self-Pacing, Surrender and Enlightenment
253 A Book List and a Brief History of the Rise of Yoga in the West
254 The One is the Many and the Many are the One
255 Everyone Can Teach Yoga
256 Yoga for Our Children
257 Introducing the Open AYP Forum
258 Divine Ecstasy – Is That All There Is?
259 Fear and Enlightenment
260 The Difference Between Enlightenment and Perfection
261 Kundalini Surge
262 Beyond the Cycle of Birth and Death
263 The Secret of Yogic Concentration
264 Astral Projection
265 Backup Website Launched, plus New Book News
266 Harvesting the Best from India
267 About the Word “Hindu”
268 The Secrets of Wilder Novel is Available
269 Leapfrogging to Samyama – Moving Inner Silence Outward
270 New AYP Forums Launched on
271 Kechari Story – From Tongue-Tied to the Yoga Super-Highway
272 Addiction, Abusive Conduct, Tough Love and Yoga
273 Importance of Cultivating Inner Silence
274 What’s the End Game in Yoga?
275 Navi Kriya – The Middle Way
276 Granthis – The Three Knots
277 Crown, Ajna and Spiritual Intuition
278 (Not Used)
279 Read New Yogani Writings in the AYP Interactive Community
280 Kundalini Reminders
281 Yoni Chin Pump – Leveraging Two Practices
282 Bhakti, Deep Meditation and on Becoming the Mantra
283 Is Enlightenment an Illusion?
284 Ecstatic Energy in Higher Stages of Kechari
285 Balancing Asanas with Deep Meditation
286 Yogic Dying
287 Crown Strategy and Kundalini
288 Yoni Spinal Breathing Pranayama – Balancing Energy in the Head
289-296 (Not Used)
297 Is an Awakened Kundalini the Same as Enlightenment?
298 Deep Meditation, Purification and Karma
299 Cosmic Samyama – Advanced Yoga Nidra
300 Samyama and Yoga Postures (Asanas)
301 Prayer and the Principles of Samyama
302 The Far-Reaching Consequences of Samyama
303 Siddhis – Super-Normal Powers
304 Diet, Kundalini, and the Nectar Cycle
305 Must We Become Vegetarians?
306 Vitamins, Supplements and Herbal Remedies
307 Hallucinogens and Yoga
308 Addictions and Flights of Fancy
309 Yoga, Overcoming Hunger, and Weight Control
310 Fasting A Powerful Spiritual Practice
311 Inner Silence, Eating Habits and Mind-Body-Spirit Connection
312 Shatkarmas, Bodily Purification and Enlightenment
313 Cleansing of Mouth, Nasal Passages and Sinuses
314 Colon Cleansing
315 Intestinal Wash
316 More Shatkarmas and Overall Guidelines
317 Eleven Key Questions on Samyama
318 Is the Witness the Same as Enlightenment?
319 Amaroli Urine Therapy
320 Kundalini and Refined Sensory Perception
321 An Inquiry about Ending Suffering
322 The Witness as Underlying Cause of Self-Inquiry
323 Roles of Knowledge, Philosophy and DirectExperience
324 Self-Inquiry From Inspiration to Realization
325 Relational and Non-Relational Self-Inquiry
326 Styles of Self-Inquiry and Bridging the Gap
327 The Evolutionary Stages of Mind
328 On Becoming “Ripe”
329 Pitfalls of the Mind
330 Self-Inquiry and the Limbs of Yoga
331 Non-Duality and Ecstatic Kundalini
332 Darshan, Shaktipat and the Global Web of Awakening
333 Dissolving the Witness in Unity
334 Advaita (non-duality), Free Will and Karma
335 The Role of Desire in Self-Inquiry
336 A Confirmation of Unity
337 Dare to Dream
338 Bhakti You are the Doorway
339 Your Chosen Ideal
340 Transforming Emotional Energy for Enlightenment
341 Bhakti and Self-Pacing
342 Bhakti and Your Yoga Practices
343 What is Karma?
344 Transcending Karma and Putting It to Good Use
345 The Spiritual Evolution of Action
346 Mapping the Transformation of Action
347 The Role of Service
348 A Journey from Here to Here
349 The Convergence of Bhakti and Self-Inquiry
350 Practices for Moving Beyond the Witness Stage
351 Adding Self-Inquiry to Core Samyama Practice
352 How to Boil a Frog
353 Alternate Sutra for Self-Inquiry Samyama
354 Is Mind the Enemy?
355 Deep Meditation Reminders
356 How to Recognize Relational Self-Inquiry
357 Who is the Perceiver?
358 Can I Trust the Mantra?
359 Pratyahara The Forgotten Limb of Yoga?
360 Acts of Surrender
361 Ramana Maharshi and AYP
362 Ideological Jnana Yoga (Advaita-Vedanta)
363 Liberation of the One is Liberation of the Whole
364 Each Practice in Its Own Time
365 The Range of Sensitivities to Deep Meditation
366 Suggestions for Under-Sensitive Meditators
367 Suggestions for Over-Sensitive Meditators
368 The Solar Centering Enhancement
369 Alternate Approach to Mantra Enhancements
370 Clarifications on the Solar Centering Enhancement
371 Self-Directed Mantra Enhancement Strategy
372 Witnessing versus Focused Attention to Dissolve Obstructions
373 Fear as a Cause of Under-Sensitivity to Deep Meditation
374 Samyama and Solar Centering
375 Out of Our Heads
376 Beyond Death
377 Inner Sound During Meditation
378 How Does Pranayama Awaken Kundalini?
379 Swallowing Air
380 Catching the Attaching
381 Ida, Pingala and Kundalini Awakening
382 Is Ecstasy a Prerequisite for Enlightenment?
383 Yoga Asanas (postures) Traditional or Modern?
384 Baseline Systems of Practice and Research on Modifications
385 Review on Building a Baseline Practice Routine
386 Group Practice
387 Retreats
388 Our Role as Teachers
389 Why Wont You be My Guru?
390 When Will I be Enlightened?
391 Changes in Bhakti from Dual to Non-Dual
392 The Aloneness of Enlightenment
393 On Self-Defense and Forgiveness
394 Satsang The Importance of Spiritual Community
395 The Power of the Pen, and the Keyboard
396 Do Online Forums Inhibit Spiritual Progress?
397 Deep Meditation and Analysis Paralysis
398 Is Self-Inquiry Necessary for Enlightenment?
399 Mind Faster than the Speed of Light
400 Theory and Practice
401 Mulabandha and Full Yogic (belly) Breathing
402 About that word “Advanced”
403 The Question with No Answer
404 On Jumping to the Third Mantra Enhancement405 The Uncertainty of Life
406 Kundalini Conundrum
407 Pranayama for Relaxation or for Kundalini Awakening?
408 Samyama, Elbow Grease and Non-Duality
409 Asanas (Postures) and Premature Kundalini Awakening
410 Early Signs of Kundalini Awakening
411 Less is More
412 Will Kechari Mudra Practice Deform the Soft Palate?
413 Is Enlightenment No-Thing or All-Things?
414 Off to a Good Start with Meditation, but
415 Samyama and Prayer for Dissolving Global Problems
416 From Third Eye to Sixth Sense, and Beyond
417 Automatic Yoga Revisited
418 Gurus, Teachers and Self-Sufficiency
419 Wheres the Shaktipat Coming From?
420 The Doctor Is In
421 Spirits?
422 Curing Kundalini Excesses
423 Why So Much Fuss about What is So Simple?
424 After the Ecstasy
425 Urgent Bhakti and Overdoing
426 Enlightenment Time Line
427 Taking the Leap to Direct Experience
428 The Transformation of Ego
429 We Can Do This
430 Freedom

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Five Poses For Kapha — Spring Time

Springtime is kapha time of year. It’s cool, wet and heavy. You might be feeling more sluggish and congested during this time of year and perhaps a little less motivated emerging from the cold, heaviness of winter.

Yoga for this time of year should focus on stimulating and energizing, building heat and boosting circulation. Here’s five poses that’ll help you do just that!



1. Sun Salutations (Surya Namaskar)

Sun Salutation SequenceOne of my personal faves, this series of poses relax the nervous system while energizing and toning the entire body. Kick them up a notch by synchronizing the breath with the movement and focusing on creating internal heat and a sensation of lightness in the mind and body. Try ten rounds as a short morning practice or include three to five rounds at the start of any longer yoga practice.



2. Chair Pose (Utkatasana)

Chair poseOtherwise known as “Fierce Pose”, it turns up the heat in the large muscle groups and will strengthen your body and your resolve (I like to call it the “Seat of Power”), especially if you throw a little “Victorious“ ujaiyi breath into the mix! See if you can hang with it for ten or more breaths and be sure to direct your energy upward (look up) and focus on creating a sensation of buoyancy from the knees up.






3. Bow Pose (Urdhva Dhanurasana)

Integral Yoga Bow PoseHello backbends! Backbends are synonymous with energizing and stimulation, this pose works on the internal organs (digestive, endocrine and respiratory) and ups the kapha-reducing factor by massaging the belly and chest (two popular kapha hang outs). Try a couple or three rounds and keep the breath moving!






4. Crow Pose (Bakasana)

Crow Pose YogaWhat better pose for feeling “floaty” than one that practically dares you to fly away! The real secret to this pose is that it not only looks pretty, it also builds core strength (a lot of it) and heat (a lot of that too!).





5. Warrior III (Virabhadrasana C)

How-To-Do-Warrior-III-PoseHas energy written all over it. If you’ve ever practiced this pose you know that it can feel like a standing dance party. Lots of muscles come into play to make this pose work, and the secret to sticking it?… Let go of what holds you back and don’t forget to breathe!




Source: DoYouYoga


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Five Poses for Vata — Autumn Time of Year

Autumn is vata time of year. The drying wind brings the promise of cooler temperatures and might leave you feeling anxious, dehydrated, disorganized and disconnected.

Yoga for this time of year should be warming and grounding. It should focus on building strength, heat and connection in a way that isn’t too stimulating or dynamic. Try these five poses!


1. Standing Forward Bend (Uttanasana)

Love this pose for bringing me back down to earth. This one releases the back and opens the hips (both areas where vata energy likes to hang out). Bending the knees slightly, rooting through the feet and focusing on creating a sensation of heaviness and stillness is great way to boost the vata-reducing qualities of this pose.


2. Triangle (Trikonasana)

There are so many ways to do this pose. The best way for vata time of year is to focus on the energy in your feet and legs. Ground the pose by intensifying your connection with the earth. Take a half or full bind if that’s available to you and turn your focus inward to create a sensation of warming stillness.


3. Hero Pose (Vajrasana)

It’s impossible to feel flighty in this pose (if you do, put something under your hips to stabilize them and take the pressure off the knees). If the sensation in the hips isn’t enough to bring your focus to your body, then the deep, penetrating stretch to the knees and front of the legs will do the trick. Either way it’ll warm you up and settle you down the way a good vata season pose should.


4. Downward Dog (Adhomukha Svanasana)

To me this pose feels like home. It’s a great pose for vata time. It’s all about strengthening, opening and creating a refuge from the agitation (of life or even the rest of the yoga practice). Add to it a full, balanced, warming breath and you’ve got yoga’s version of comfort food. Child’s pose is also a suitable alternative.


5. Warrior II – (Virabhadrasana B)

Ready to feel strong, centered and connected? This is your pose. For my money it’s one of the few poses that never feels awkward or unsure (pretty much no matter how you do it). Kicking up the stability factor in this pose is just a matter of grounding through the feet and creating a sense of balanced heaviness from the hips down. Add that warming breath and you’re sorted!


Source: DoYouYoga


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Swami Ramdev Philosophy of Practice

A seeker desirous of awakening his kundalini should practise daily and methodically :

  • bhastrikå prånåyåma for 5 minutes
  • kapålabhåti for 30 minutes
  • båhya prånåyåma 11-21 times
  • anuloma-viloma for 30 minutes

with perseverance, rhythm, absorption, faith and sincerity.


In the beginning, when one feels tired one can take rest in between. If one meditates on OM with each breath while doing pråƒåyåma, the goal will be achieved sooner. After anuloma-viloma one must do bhråmari and udgμitha for 5 minutes each, meditating upon the divine radiance.

In the end one must go on inward journey by concentrating the mind along with pråƒa (life-breath). Thus, by meditating upon ëOÀKÅRAí [OMKARA] along with pråƒa one can reach the highest firmament of yoga.



Although various procedures of pråƒåyåma are described in
scriptures and each pråƒåyåma has its special significance, yet all the
pråƒåyåmas cannot be practised daily. Therefore, with the grace of my
preceptors and on the basis of my own experience, I have condensed
within eight procedures the whole process of pråƒayama in a distinct
scientific method and spiritual way. The benefits which accrue from
the complete practice of this pråƒåyåma are briefly listed below:

  • The three do¶asñvåta, pitta and kaphañbecome balanced.
  • The digestive system becomes completely balanced and all stomach ailments are cured.
  • All the diseases of heart, lungs and brain are cured.
  • From the common disorders like obesity, diabetes, cholesterol, constipation, flatulence, acidity, respiratory troubles, allergy, migraine, blood pressure, kidney ailments, all sexual diseases of male and female, etc to the incurable diseases like cancer are cured.
  • High immunity is developed.
  • One can protect oneself from hereditary diabetes, heart disease, etc.
  • It gives protection against falling and greying of hair, wrinkles on face, poor eyesight, weak memory, etc,. i.e., old age will be delayed and one will live longer.
  • There will be radiance, glow, lustre and serenity on your face.
  • Spiritual power (kunOEalin∂ jågaraƒa) will be attained through purification, penetration and awakening of cakras (energy centres).
  • With the mind getting very stabilized, serene, cheerful and enthusiastic, one will get rid of diseases like depression, etc.
  • One will start going into dhyåna (meditation) automatically and one will develop the capacity of practising meditation for hours together.
  • All the diseases of the gross and the subtle body and the flaws like lust, anger, greed, delusion, egoism, etc. are eradicated.
  • Negative thinking is eliminated, and one who practises pråƒåyåma is always full of positive thinking, energy and self confidence.


First procedure : Bhastrikå Pråƒåyåma

Sitting in a convenient meditative pose and filling the breath inside
up to diaphragm through both the nostrils and then breathing it out
gently is called bhastrikμa pråƒåyåma.
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during bhastrikå
While filling the breath inside during bhastrikå pråƒåyåma one
should think (resolve) in his mind whatever is noble and pure in the
Universe, such as divine power, energy, sanctity, serenity and bliss,
is instilling into my body along with pråƒa. I am getting suffused
with divine powers. The pråƒåyåma done with this divine resolution
is essentially beneficial.
The duration of bhastrikå
There should be inhalation of 2½ seconds and exhalation of 2½
seconds in a rhythmic flow. Thus by doing it non-stop, one can do
bhastrikå pråƒåyåma 12 times in one minute. One should do it for
5 minutes in one sitting. In the beginning one may have to take rest
in between. It takes about a week to develop the practice of this
pråƒåyåma for 5 minutes non-stop.
Healthy persons and slightly sick persons should practise bhastrikå
for 5 minutes daily. Those who are suffering from cancer, lung
fibrosis, muscular dystrophy, MS, SLE and other incurable diseases
should do this pråƒåyåma for 10 minutes. Thus bhastrikå is done
12 times in one minute and 60 times in 5 minutes. If done in two
sittings in incurable diseases like cancer this pråƒyåma is best done
120 times. Normally pråƒåyåma is best done empty stomach. If
for some reason one is not able to do pråƒåyåma in the morning it
can also be done 5 hours after mid-day meals. If persons suffering
from incurable diseases practise pråƒåyåma both in the morning and
evening, they will soon benefit more.
Special precautions
ı Those who are suffering from high B.P. and heart disease,
should not practise bhastrikå at vigorous speed.
ı We should not inflate our stomach while filling the breath inside
during this pråƒåyåma. If you fill in the breath up to diaphragm
it will inflate the chest up to ribs, not the stomach. The name of
diaphragmatic deep breathing only is bhastrikå.
ı Practise it at a slow pace in summer season.
ı Those whose both nostrils are not properly open due to excess of
cough or sinus problems, etc, should first close the right nostril
and do recaka and pμuraka with left nostril. Then they should
close the left nostril and do recaka and pμuraka with the right
nostril at slow, medium or vigorous speed as per their capacity.
Then in the end, they should do bhastrikå pråƒåyåma using
both iOEa end piΔgalå energy channels. One must practise this
pråƒåyåma for 5 minutes daily. Keep your eyes closed while
doing this pråƒåyåma and meditate on ‘OM’ in your mind with
each inhalation and exhalation.
ı All kapha diseases like colds, catarrh, allergy, tuberculosis,
asthma, chronic catarrh, sinusitis, etc, are cured. Lungs become
strong and by getting purified air heart and mind also become
ı All the throat diseases like thyroid and tonsilitis are cured.
ı The three do¶as become balanced. Blood is purified and toxins
and foreign matter are expelled from the body.
ı Pråƒa and mind get stabilized. This is helpful in pråƒa- elevation
and awakening of serpent power (kuƒOEalin∂ jågaraƒa)


Second Procedure : Kapålabhåti Pråƒåyåma

Kapåla means ‘brain, forehead’, and bhati means ‘glow, radiance,
lustre, luminosity, etc.’ The pråƒayåma which gives glow, radiance,
lustre to the brain or forehead is called kapålabhåti. The procedure
of this pråƒåyåma is a bit different from bhastrikå. In recaka and
pμuraka in the bhastrikå pråƒμayåma, equal pressure is exerted on
inhalation and exhalation, while in kapμalabhμati the whole attention
is on recaka, i.e. exhaling vigorously. No effort is made to breathe
in, the air that is breathed in naturally is allowed to be inhaled; the
whole emphasis is on throwing the air outside. While doing this there
is naturally contraction and expansion of abdomen and special force
is exerted on mulådhåra (pelvic plexus), svådhi¶¢håna (hypogastric
plexus) and maƒipμura cakra (solar plexus).

The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during kμapalabhμati
While doing kapålabhåti pråƒåyåma one should resolve in mind that
with the air exhaled by him all the diseases and disorders of the body
are being thrown out, being eradicated. The recaka (exhalation)
procedure should be performed with the feeling that he is expelling
all the physical diseases and disorders as well as the mental flaws
and distortions like lust, anger, greed, delusion, envy, attachment,
aversion, etc. With this resolution of eradication of diseases and
disorders while exhaling, one gets a lot of benefit.
Duration of Kapålabhåti pråƒåyåma
The breath should be exhaled in a rhythmic flow once in a second
and should be held up effortlessly. If done non-stop kapålabhåti
pråƒåyåma is done 60 times in one minute or 300 times in 5
minutes. Very sick and weak persons get tired in 2-3 minutes in the
beginning, but in 10-15 days every person becomes capable of doing
kapålabhåti non- stop for 5 minutes. Kapålabhåti must be done for
5 minutes in one sitting. One cannot get full benefit if it is done
for a lesser time. With the increase in capacity after a long practice
as well as with the maturity of experience one can do kapålabhåti
pråƒåyåma up to 15 minutes. A healthy and even slightly sick person
should do kapålabhåti for 15 minutes. In three rounds in 15 minutes
kapålabhåti is done 900 times.
Persons suffering from incurable diseases like cancer, AIDS, hepatitis,
leucoderma, vitiligo, psoriasis, excessive obesity, infertility, cysts/
nodules in uterus, ovary, breast or any where in the body, MS and
SLE should do kapålabhåti for half an hour. It would be better if
such incurable patients do kapålabhåti for half an hour both in the
morning and evening. For healthy and slightly sick persons once a
day is sufficient.
ı It increases glow, radiance, lustre and beauty of the face and
ı All kapha disorders like asthma, respiratory diseases, allergy,
sinusitis etc are cured.
ı All the diseases of heart, lungs and brain are cured.
ı Obesity, diabetes, flatulence, constipation, acidity and kidney
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and prostate diseases are definitely cured.
ı With the regular practice of this pråƒåyåma for about 5 minutes
daily, an obstinate disease like constipation is cured. Diabetes
can be regulated without any medicine and the weight due
to abdominal fat can be reduced by 4-6 kgs in one month.
Blockages in the arteries of heart are removed.
ı The mind remains stabilized, serene and cheerful. Negative
thinking disappears and one gets rid of depression.
ı The cakras are cleansed and a divine energy starts circulating
in all the cakras, right from mulådhåra cakra (pelvic plexus) to
sahasråra cakra (cerebral gland).
ı This pråƒåyåma especially improve the health of stomach,
pancreas, liver, spleen, intestines, prostate and kidneys. Even
if one does not get much benefit by doing many åsanas for
stomach disorders, he can be benefited more than all the åsanas
by doing only this pråƒåyåma. This is the best pråƒåyåma for
giving strength to weak intestines.


Third procedure : Bμahya Pråƒåyåma (with three bandhas) :

ı Sit properly in siddhåsana or padmåsana and throw the breath
out, as much as you can, in one go.
ı After throwing the breath out, apply mμulabandha, udd∂yåna
bandha and jålandhara bandha, and hold the breath out as much
as you can.
ı When you feel like breathing in, take the breath while relaxing
the bandhas slowly.
ı After taking in the breath, throw it out again as before, without
holding it up.
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during båhya pråƒåyåma
Like kapålabhåti, in this pråƒåyåma also all the disorders and do¶as
are being expelled while breathing out, this is what we should say
to ourselves. We should know it for certain that the stronger is our
power of thinking, the sooner will disappear all our afflictions. If our
mind is inspired by a noble resolution, all our mental and physical
diseases will be eradicated and we will be benefited all over.

Duration of båhya pråƒåyåma
Filling in the breath effortlessly in 3-5 seconds, throwing it out
effortlessly in 3-5 seconds, holding it out for 10-15 seconds, and
again filling it in 3-5 seconds and doing båhya pråƒåyåma by
exhaling it, in this way båhya pråƒåyåma is completed in about 20-
25 seconds. It is better if two båhya pråƒåyåmas are done non-stop
one after the other. If in the beginning one has to take 1-2 normal
breaths between two prånåyåmas, one may take them. Normally one
can easily do båhya pråƒåyåma 5 times in 2 minutes, and that is
generally sufficient. Persons suffering from rectal prolapse, piles,
fissure, fistula, vaginal prolapse, excessive urination, scanty urination
and venereal diseases can practise it up to 11 times. Seekers desirous
of awakening kuƒOEalin∂ and of being μurdhvaretå (with upward
movement of semen) may practise it maximum 21 times.
It is a harmless pråƒåyåma. It dispels the unstability of mind. It
improves the digestive power and is beneficial in stomach ailments.
It makes the intellect sharp and subtle. It cleanses the body. By
promoting the upward movement of semen, it removes the sexual
disorders like nocturnal emissions, quick ejaculation, etc. In båhya
pråƒåyåma all the organs in the abdomen are strained a lot and slight
pain is felt in the weak or diseased part of the abdomen in the beginning.
Therefore, for giving some relaxation and therapy to the abdomen
this pråƒåyåma should be done by applying the three bandhas.


Fourth procedure: Ujjåy∂ Pråƒåyåma

In this pråƒåyåma we contract the throat while doing the pμuraka
(inhaling) and when we breathe in by contracting the throat, we
make a sound like snoring. We sit in a meditative pose and breathe
in through both the nostrils. With some contraction of the throat we
feet the friction of air in the throat. There should not be any friction
of air in the nose. A sound is produced with the friction in the throat.
In the beginning we should practise only pμuraka- recaka (inhalingexhaling)
without applying kumbhaka (holding in). After the pμuraka
we should practise the kumbhaka gradually as long as the pμuraka,
and after practising for some days we should double the duration of
kumbhaka. If the kumbhaka is to be done for more than 10 seconds,
we should apply jålandhara- bandha and mμulabandha as well. In this
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pråƒåyåma we should always do the recaka (exhaling) with the left
nostril and keep the right nostril closed.
This pråƒåyåma is beneficial for those who suffer from colds, cough
and catarrh throughout the year, for those who suffer from thyroid
problems, snoring, sleep apnoea, heart disease, asthma, lungs
diseases, for those who suffer from throat problems like tonsilitis,
thyroid glands, etc, and for those who suffer from insomnia, mental
stress, hypertension, dyspepsia, rheumatism, dropsy, tuberculosis,
fever, spleen disorders, etc. It should be practised regularly to keep
the throat fit, healthy and melodious. It is an excellent pråƒåyåma
for awakening kuƒOEalin∂, ajapå- japa, meditation, etc. It also rectifies
the lispy (defective) speech of children.


Fifth procedure: Anuloma- Viloma Pråƒåyåma Method of

closing the alternate nostrils
Raise your right hand and with its thumb close the right nostril
(piΔgalå nåOE∂) and while closing the left nostril use the ring finger
and middle finger of the right hand. The palm of the hand should not
be in front of the nose; it should instead be held away to the right
side. (Vide Illustrations Nos. 2 and 3 at the outset).
Since iOEå nåOE∂ (left nostril) represents moon, lunar power, coolness
and calmness, anuloma- viloma pråƒåyåma is started from the left
nostril for cleansing the nåOE∂ (energy channel). Closing the right
nostril with the right hand thumb, we should gently fill the breath
inside through the left nostril. When the inhalation is complete, we
should close the left nostril with the ring finger and middle finger
of the right hand and exhale completely through the right nostril.
The rate of inhalation-exhalation should gradually be increased
from medium to vigorous. Inhale vigorously with full force and then
exhale. Make the rate of inhaling and exhaling slow, medium or fast
according to your capacity. If you do pμuraka (inhaling) and recaka
(exhaling) at a fast rate, there is a loud sound of breathing. After
you have exhaled completely, keeping the left nostril closed, fill in
complete breath through the right nostril and exhale it through the
left nostril. Thus, one set is completed. You have to do this procedure
non-stop, i.e. inhaling through the left nostril and exhaling through
the right nostril, and then inhaling through the right nostril and
exhaling through the left nostril. One starts feeling tired by repeating
this series for one minute. When you feel tired, take some rest and
begin the pråƒåyåma again when you feel better. Thus you can begin
this pråƒåyåma by doing for 3 minutes and go up to 10 minutes.
After practising regularly for a few days the capacity of a learner
starts increasing, and in about a week he can do this pråƒåyåma nonstop
up to five minutes.
With the constant practice of anuloma- viloma the energy lying in
the mμulådhåra cakra (pelvic plexus) starts awakening. Vedas call it
being μurdhvaretas (one with an upward movement of semen), and
in the language of modern yoga it is known as ‘kuƒOEalin∂ jågaraƒa’
(awakening of serpent energy). While doing this pråƒåyåma
one should chant and meditate upon ‘OM’ in his mind with each
inhalation-exhalation. By doing so, the mind gets situated in the
sublime state of dhyåna (meditation).
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during anuloma viloma
While doing this pråƒåyåma, you should think in your mind that with
the friction and churning of breath in iOEå and piΔgalå nåOE∂s, su¶umƒå
nåOE∂ is getting awakened. From the eight cakras right up to the
sahasråra cakra (cerebral gland) a celestial light is moving upward.
My whole body is aglow with a celestial light. As per illustration
No. 16, one should meditate upon a celestial light, illumination
and energy inside and outside the body, and realise ‘o≈ kha≈
brahma’. One should think that God, the controller of universe, is
suffusing him with divine energy and divine knowledge. Initiate
yourself into the discipline of ‘‹aktipåta’. Guru (preceptor) is only
a catalyst for attaining ‹akti (energy); he only connects you to
divine vibrations. In fact, ‘‹aktipåta’ (instilling of energy) is done
by OM, the Supreme Lord, the limitless ocean of energy. Thus,
by practising this anuloma-viloma pråƒåyåma, by getting suffused
with divine vibrations, one will be blessed with a lot of physical,
mental and spiritual benefit. A light will stir up automatically
from mulådhåra cakra (pelvic plexus), kuƒOEalin∂ will awaken, you
will become ‘μurdhvareta’ (one with upward movement of semen)
and will find yourself automatically suffused with divine energy.
Duration of anuloma- viloma pråƒåyåma
Filling in the breath with a rhythmic flow for about 2½ seconds
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through the left nostril, and without holding it up, throwing the
breath out gently through the right nostril in about 2½ seconds, and
immediately after throwing it out through the right nostril, filling in
the breath effortlessly through the right nostril in 2½ seconds, and
without holding it up, throwing it out in a rhythmic flow through the
left nostril in about 2½ seconds. this procedure should be done nonstop
for about 5 minutes. although it may be a bit tiresome in the
beginning. Don’t use too much of force and don’t raise the elbow too
high while doing anuloma-viloma ñ this will enable you gradually in
5-7 days to practise anuloma-viloma for 5 minutes at a stretch.
One set of anuloma-viloma pråƒåyåma will be performed in 10
seconds, i.e., 6 times in one minute. In a sitting of 5 minutes anulomaviloma
is performed about 30 times, and if a healthy person or a person
suffering from light common ailments does it for the prescribed
duration of 15 minutes, it will be performed about 90 times. Persons
suffering from incurable diseases like cancer, leucoderma / vitiligo,
psoriasis, muscular dystrophy, SLE, infertility, HIV, AIDS, kidney
diseases, etc. should practise anuloma-viloma pråƒåyåma up to 30
minutes. When the practice gets perfected anulom-viloma prμa§nμayμama
can be done for 15 minutes or even half an hour at a stretch.
ı This pråƒåyåma cleanses seventy-two crore, seventy-two lakh,
ten thousand, two hundred ten nåOE∂s (energy channels). With the
cleansing of all the nåOE∂s the body becomes completely healthy,
radiant and strong.
ı All the våta diseases like arthritis, rheumatism, gout,
Parkinson’s Disease, nervous debility, etc., all pitta diseases
like urinary diseases, tissue diseases, spermatorrhea, emissions,
hyperacidity, heart burn, skin rashes etc., all kapha diseases like
colds, catarrh, chronic rhinitis, sinusitis, asthma, cough, tonsils,
etc., are cured. All the three do¶as are pacified.
ı Blockages in the arteries of heart are removed. With the regular
practice of this pråƒåyåma, almost 30-40% blockages are removed
in 3-4 months. We have tried it on a number of patients.
ı All disorders of cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL, etc are
ı Negative thinking is transformed into increasingly positive
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thinking. One starts attaining bliss, zest and fearlessness.
ı In short, this pråƒåyåma purifies the body, the mind, the thoughts
and the dispositions. All the diseases of the body are cured, and the
mind is cleansed and gets absorbed in the meditation of ‘o≈kåra’.
By doing this pråƒåyåma 250-500 times, the serpent power
(kuƒOEalin∂ ‹akti) which lies with head downward in the pelvic
plexus (mμulådhåra cakra) holds its head upward, and the process of
kuƒOEalin∂- awakening sets in.
To know more about it and the precautions related to it, please refer
to the chapter ‘Ways of kundalini- awakening and precautions’.


Sixth Procedure: Bhråmar∂ Pråƒåyåma

Inhale completely, press lightly at the root of the nose near the eyes
with the middle fingers of both hands, keep the mind centred on the
medullary plexus (åj¤å- cakra). Close both the ears completely with
thumbs. (Vide Illustration No.4 at the outset). Now, humming like a
bee and resonating ‘OM’, breathe out. Repeat this procedure.
The noble resolution (‹iva saΔkalpa) during bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma
This pråƒåyåma should be done by identifying your consciousness
with divine consciousness and God’s existence. One should have in
one’s mind this divine resolution or thought that God’s compassion,
peace and bliss is raining on him. God is enriching him with pure
intellect (ætambharå praj¤å) by dispelling all his ignorance with His
divine light illumining his åj¤å cakra (medullary plexus). Thus by
doing this pråƒåyåma with pure intentions one feels a nebula of light
in his åj¤a – cakra and starts going into meditation automatically.
Duration of bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma
Inhaling for 3-5 seconds, and closing the ears, eyes, etc, as per
the procedure, breathing it out in 15-20 seconds, makes one set of
bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma. After completing one set, one should again
breathe in for 3-5 seconds with a rhythmic flow, and humming like
a bee breathe it out in 15-20 seconds according to procedure. Thus,
everybody should do bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma at least 5-7 times nonstop,
which will take about 3 minutes. Those who are suffering from
cancer, depression, Parkinson’s Disease, migraine, heart disease and
some other incurable disease or who are desirous of fathoming the
depths of yoga can do bhråmar∂ pråƒåyåma 11-21 times.
It dispels the instability/ fickleness of mind and is beneficial in
mental tension, agitation, high B.P, heart disease, etc. It is very
useful for meditation.


Seventh procedure : Udg∂tha Pråƒåyåma

Inhale for 3-5 seconds in a rhythmic flow, and breathe it out in about
15-20 seconds while chanting the sacred word ‘OM’ methodically.
After one chanting is complete one should again breathe deep inside
for 3-5 seconds in a rhythmic flow and breathe it out in 15-20 seconds
chanting ‘OM’. Thus, everybody must do udg∂tha pråƒåyåma about
7 times in about 3 minutes. Those who are suffering from incurable
diseases and the learners (sådhakas) desirous of fathoming the
depths of meditation can do udg∂tha pråƒåyåma for 5-10 minutes
or even longer. Both bhråmar∂ and udg∂tha are gentle and effortless
pråƒåyåmas. Therefore, if a sådhaka practises them for longer
duration there is no possibility of any sort of harm.


Eighth Procedure : Praƒava Pråƒåyåma

After doing all the aforesaid pråƒåyåmas, concentrate your mind on
inhalation and exhalation, and meditate upon udg∂tha (OM) with
your pråƒa. God has made poles in the shape of ‘O≈kåra’. This
piƒOEa (body) and this brahmåƒOEa (universe) ñ both are in the form of
‘O≈kåra’. ‘O≈kåra’ is not a particular person or figure; it is a divine
power which is controlling and regulating the whole universe. Turn
yourself into a spectator (=Soul) and while inhaling deeply and
exhaling subtly your respiration rate should be so subtle that you
do not feel like hearing the sound of your breath, and even if one
puts a cotton swab before your nose it should not shake or quiver.
Gradually increase the practice and try to breathe in and breathe
out once in one minute. Thus, try to look at the breath inside. In
the beginning the friction of breath will be felt on the tip of nose.
Gradually you shall be able to feel the touch of breath deep inside
you. Thus, by chanting ‘O≈kåra’ with every breath as a spectator
(=Soul), one starts going into meditation automatically. Your mind
will become highly one-pointed, absorbed in and identified with
‘O≈kåra’. Along with ‘praƒava’ the great Gåyatr∂ mantra from the
Vedas should be chanted and recited, imbibing its meaning. Thus,
through meditation a seeker can become identified with Brahman,
the very essence of Existence, Consciousness and Bliss, and can
attain the unique divine ecstasy of samådhi. Even while going to
bed one should meditate into sleep, By doing this his sleep will be
blessed with yoga; he will get rid of nightmares and will have a
quick and sound sleep.
Duration of praƒava pråƒåyåma
When as a spectator (=Soul) we concentrate our mind on the
rhythmic flow of breaths, the pråƒa gets subtle automatically, and
we inhale once in 10-20 seconds and exhale in 10-20 seconds.
Through long practice a yogi takes one breath in one minute. After
bhastrikå, kapålabhåti, båhya pråƒåyåma, anuloma-viloma, bhråmar∂
and udg∂tha, this praƒava pråƒåyåma is done, which is another
form of vipa‹yanå or prek¶å dhyåna. It is completely meditationbased.
Everybody must do this meditation-based pråƒåyåma. Yogis
practising samådhi do this penance of breathing accompanied with
meditation of praƒava for hours together, according to the availability
of time. There is no sound of breathing in this procedure, i.e., this
soundless penance takes a seeker into the deep silence within, where
his senses merge in the mind, the mind in the pråƒa and the pråna
in the Soul, and through Soul a seeker realizes the universal Soul,
supreme Soul and Brahman. It is the path which has pråƒåyåma as its
starting point from where it gradually and spontaneously leads from
the constant practice of pråƒåyåma to pratyåhåra (withdrawal), from
the constant practice of pratyåhåra to dhåraƒå (concentration), from
the firm and constant practice of dhåraƒå to dhyåna (meditation), and
from the constant practice of dhyåna to samådhi (absorption). With
this pråƒa-sådhanå (prånåyåma), there is a union of dhåraƒa, dhyåna
and samådhi, and sa≈yama is attained (trayamekatra sa≈yama¨).
From sa≈yama a sådhaka attains praj¤åloka, which gives him selfhealing,
which ultimately blesses him with the experience of selfrealization.
He is encompassed by a dazzling aura which works as
an impenetrable armour to protect the sådhaka (seeker) from all
diseases, disorders and polluting influences.

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