Pranayama question


#61

Since we are back to the original question of pranayama, here is a new dimension to consider. Prana that is adopted by the body (and exists in five different grades of purity) is derived from the infinite cosmic life-force of the universe. It needs replenishment. Similar to the air-breathing cycle, there is a prana-breathing cycle that brings about its exchange with the life-force.

Ordinarily, prana-breathing remains a sub-conscious activity. Pranayama makes it alive, regulates it and connects it with air-breathing. Prana being energy sustains our subtle bodies, manomaya kosha etc. Though in the initial phase of reactivating the prana cycles, air-breathing couples itself with prana-breathing and drives it, eventually prana-cycle turns by itself like a fly-wheel. This makes air-breathing redundant for a while, to allow air retention (kumbhaka) either inside or outside. Kumbhaka has to happen, any deliberate one is with risks.

?When the posture has been conquered, then the motion of the prana is to be broken and controlled, and thus we come to pranayama; 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 body, and its most apparent manifestation is the motion of the lungs. This motion is caused by the prana drawing in the breath and is what we seek to control in pranayama. We begin by controlling the breath, as the easiest way of controlling the prana.? (Vivekananda, pg 214)

However, this is really advanced and should be practiced only under a teacher’s watch. Until, this stage is reached, other pranayama exercises are mainly breathing ones.

Though some people appear allergic to sutras, it is recommended for spiritual attainment that asana, pranayama, yama and niyama which are extremely complementary are secondary means of yoga. For reaching the break-through point of pratyahara, these four need to be practiced concurrently.


#62

[QUOTE=core789;35017]Richard Dawkins is such an ass, intellectually-speaking,i.e his ideas.The conceit of materialist science or ‘biological’ evolution.

I feel he just has got it wrong .Even though alot of folk may worship and respect him, hiis ideas can sound conceited.[/QUOTE]

I agree. I tried to give him a chance one time by picking up his famous book, “The God Delusion” because even atheists and their arguments deserve to be heard, but all I got was dogma after dogma. Nothing was reasoned, it just read like a series of declarative statements about religion. We even discussed this book in our Philosophy of Religion class, and most of us in the class were very critical and unimpressed with Dawkins. Now bear in most people in the class are atheists and agnostics.

The irony is Dawkins comes across as a religious fundamentalist himself.


#63

Adam,

I think he’s great how he honestly seeks for truth, without asserting any supernatural views. I’m not sure I’m a big fan of his lack of tolerance and compassion.

He’s an atheist… And yes He does’nt sit on the fence, i agree which you could say is his strength. But I think his picture is fundamentally lacking.


#64

So there are clearly dangers to practicing Pranayama incorrectly. What exactly are they? Are we talking permanent damage to oneself? A trip to the hospitals casualty ward? Death?? What are we looking at?


#65

[quote=Surya Deva;35021]I agree. I tried to give him a chance one time by picking up his famous book, “The God Delusion” because even atheists and their arguments deserve to be heard, but all I got was dogma after dogma. Nothing was reasoned, it just read like a series of declarative statements about religion. We even discussed this book in our Philosophy of Religion class, and most of us in the class were very critical and unimpressed with Dawkins. Now bear in most people in the class are atheists and agnostics.

The irony is Dawkins comes across as a religious fundamentalist himself.[/quote]

He writes some interesting provocative books (such as the “Blind WatchMaker”. etc) But the ideas are all flawed, fundamentally.The explanations poor…It’s science that can just come across as conceited.Yes he will wager with folk that makes his theories look juvenile.He sounds deluded .

Yes religion posing as science ,i.e dogmatic,full of pre-suppositions- is that what you would say, could be a good way of putting it.


#66

Disorientation of the nervous system,primarily.

But there are many common-sense measures and safety protocols you can follow.I believe following gradual time-scales is the main one of them all.Pacing the changes that occur so it’s not such a big thing. With yoga we open up the nervous system,body-mind, gradually with baby steps all the way.

So let’s say we use a lot of powerful yoga techniques together in an unculltured body-mind. There is a chance nothing is gonna happen. Now if you practiced like this for a couple of weeks or say a week or whatever you might suddently get some delayed effect.But you would get an accumulation of causes that in that scenario preciptated this.

It’s not irreverisble . But it can mean a much longer journey.If you don’t use too pwerful techniques in an as yet insufficiently purified nervous sytem/subtle body.Sometimes when you wake up kundalini somehwat premturely the energies can return to root i believe but still be left in some channels. So then you have some imbalnce.This can all be remedied over time. It just means a longer journey, that’s all.

It’s basically pacing your openings.I’ve done it but then i did not have a clue what i was doing or that there was any risks at all.Nothing is life is without risk.We take risks every day.Yoga is certainly no different.It’s pretty safe if you’ve got some basic knowledge. Some people don’t even have any basic knowledge or understand the dynamics of kundalini awkaneing properly. That is my take on it.

It just means you’ve learnt a valuable lesson about yoga practice.Depends what you’re looking for. But when i started i went pretty agressively and was alll gung-ho at the start. Full of bhakti. I’ve learnt to clam down and that that approach os chargin ahead can lead to excess purification in as yet in sufuciently purified subtle body.In it’s extrmeme case you may notice a blizzard of crown and third-eye activivty. Third-eye is all right and good but crown acitivty you just observe and let it do it’s thing or bring your awarness back down to third-eye.The analogy is starting a car that’s never been started for many years.It might just crack up. Also in my view there is a phenomon called automotic yoga and i’m thinking of when the bandhas may unconsciously begin to come into play in your yoga practice. You don’t really always want to go along with this but temper it.Or if you get big changes then just do some light simple meditation,or gentle grounding, watch your diet before easing back into practice.Surrendering and cultivating the witness state is good attutide.This means as the body-mind changes occur you don’t try to interfere or react. You just allow them to happen. And if say you find yourself going into uddiyana bhanda automatically during asana vinyasa or ujjayi and one-pointed mind all of a sudden don’t allow that car or train to get too carried away, as it might be too sudden changes your nervous sytem is not quite ready for. And you might then experience a change and then a rebound.

If you’re armed with the basic knowledge and an appreciation of ‘self-pacing’, i’ve heard it termed, you’ll be fine.I made the mistake of charging ahead too fast with the kind of scenario i have suggested when i started but i guess for some of us at least it’s all part of the learning.Most good things of worth in life often are not without effort. I think it’s the effort you put in that counts. The rest will take care of itself. There is nothing to worry about.A number of folk read into scare-stories but it can have the effect of stopping them from even getting started.I think the thing is when you you build momentum in your practice and the opening are starting for you in a big way, it can be tempting to put your foot on the accelerator.But it sodes’nt always pay. So you follow the self-pacing principle and go slowly & gradually, Observe teh effect, review your practice accordingly.It’s definitely owrth pointing out as things can creep up on you.The nervous system will open if you allow it but if it’s done over good time-scales it’s safe.Basic knowledge of the dynamics of opening or awakenings , and application of self-pacing.


#67

Hi Adam,

I actually think a shortage of tools does’nt help ,as well as an absence of basic knowledge ,as they can help to prevent any kind of crisis from occuring or indeed help remedy it if did occur…

So more powerful complete full-scope systems that go beyond just say asana may indeed be safer.Say something like ashtanga vinyasa yoga i can see a lot of issues with the safety aspect of a system like that.


#68

[QUOTE=YogiAdam;35018]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=22fvEPsI2JA[/QUOTE]

I will never watch some video of some intellectual doofus on the you tube.

You know the Kind of Pompous vain intellectuals who make atom bombs and clones of sheep.

Philosophers, scientists, physicists.

Unless they are realized yogis.

Simply lead the world into delusion.

They have no clue.

Maybe this? Maybe That? I wonder?

Oh I know. Lets make an Atom BOMB.

Brian Green I think his name is came to my university. I sat through his lecture in the front row.

Drawing circles.

His theories and posturing and this and thats? Strings. Blah. Blah. Blah. WHO FREAKING CARES?

Quite stroking your intellecutal ego pud and use that Big Brain to do some good for the world why don’t you?


#69

Dangers of Pranayama?

If your a fool and over do it you could:

  1. Blow out a hole in your flesy body.

  2. Kill yourself.

  3. Make your self crazy / insane.

  4. Activate karmas that will need to be worked through that perhaps one is not ready to deal with yet.

Gentle. Smooth. Slow. Like the tortise.


#70

Generally stick to the following routine and you’ll be safe:

Pranayama in the morning: Stick to 1-2 exercises and do them slow and steady, with awareness for 30-40 min

Pranayama in the evening: Stick to 1-2 exercises and do them slow and steady with awareness for 30-40 min

This is a powerful routine and will create dramatic shifts in your mind-body system over time.


#71

[B]
Iyengar Pranayama :Ratios & Retentions[/B]

Okay, i’ve got Iyengar’s book here [I]Light on Pranayama[/I].

The relevant Chapter 18- Vrtti Pranayama

[B]"[/B]1 Vritti means action,movment , a course of conduct or method.

2 There are two types Samavtti & Visavritti
The former is when the length in time in each inhalation,exhalation and retention of breath is the same, and it is the latter if the length is altered and varied.[B]"[/B]

Anyway, to summarise he suggests learning the following routine if you start off.

The numbers of count here format will refer to

INHALE:EXHALE

INHALE:RETENTION:EXHALE

INHALE:RETENTION:EXHALE:RETENTION

So he suggests

learning in this order:-


Part 1 -Samavrtti Pranayama

1:1, no retention,equal uniformity of breath

INTERNAL RETENTION FIRST OR ANTAR KUMBHAKA

1:1/4:1----->1:1:1 IN 1/4 INCREMENTS until uniformity is arrived at.

That’s without Visamavrtti Pranayama , where the ratios ae varied between puraka,antar kumbhaka,rechaka & bahya kumbhaka- which is PART 2 following here.


PART 2- Visamavrtti Pranayama

1:2:1 ----> 1:4:1 then adjust and adopt ratio to
then 1:4 :1 1/4 —>1:4:2 then only when this is mastered it says add bahya kumbhaka (external retention) gradually

1:4:2:1/4--------->1:4::2:1 ADDING IN BY 1/4 INCREMENTS

SO 1:4:2:1 IS IDEAL RATIO it says only when acheived it says

You can reverse this to

2:4:1 then add bahya kumbhaka at 2:4:1:1/4----> 2:4:1:1, the length of time can be varied.

And it goes on offering various other & seemingly diverse permutations and combinations.

(Note:-Caution:An experienced teacher/guru is advised,especially it says ‘the path of visavritti pranayama is fraught with danger’ etc etc)


This is [U]Iyengar’s system BTW[/U] adding little increments slowly & gradually… You’d be better off getting the book however…I’m not really sure if it might differ with other systems of pure pranayama but it must be backed up by the records or some scriptural or textual authorities on pranayama.

If you can make some of this out…


#72

I find some of this basic pranayam practice outlined above here can work a treat.Kumbhakas tend to recharge.


#73

[QUOTE=The Scales;35039]I will never watch some video of some intellectual doofus on the you tube.

You know the Kind of Pompous vain intellectuals who make atom bombs and clones of sheep.

Philosophers, scientists, physicists.

Unless they are realized yogis.

Simply lead the world into delusion.

They have no clue.

Maybe this? Maybe That? I wonder?

Oh I know. Lets make an Atom BOMB.

Brian Green I think his name is came to my university. I sat through his lecture in the front row.

Drawing circles.

His theories and posturing and this and thats? Strings. Blah. Blah. Blah. WHO FREAKING CARES?

Quite stroking your intellecutal ego pud and use that Big Brain to do some good for the world why don’t you?[/QUOTE]

It’s interesting to hear other peoples views. I love Christopher Hitchens. He is an absolute genius! Imagine more people would take to his views. Religion would disappear, and all that would be left is truth and reason. What an idea!


#74

[QUOTE=YogiAdam;35109]It’s interesting to hear other peoples views. I love Christopher Hitchens. He is an absolute genius! Imagine more people would take to his views. Religion would disappear, and all that would be left is truth and reason. What an idea![/QUOTE]

They tell me nothing useful.


#75

It’s interesting to hear other peoples views. I love Christopher Hitchens. He is an absolute genius! Imagine more people would take to his views. Religion would disappear, and all that would be left is truth and reason. What an idea!

He seems like a likeable fellow. He’s not afraid to speak his mind and tackle controversial,taboo or difficult subjects.I like his stuff and his programmes.Entertaining.I’m not sure if he meditates or not. Sometime you you can tell if it seems fairly apparent that they don’t.

How much can ideas in themselves really teach you/anyone.


#76

[QUOTE=YogiAdam;34860]Ok, here’s a real stupid, rookie question. I practice Pranayama (which, by the way, I’m not yet sure what it’s for), and then Asana. Are these practices always meant to be separate? Is there any time when you are doing pranayama simultaneously with Asana? Or are they always practiced separately?
[/QUOTE]

I would say do them separately for now. It is hard to connect the breath with movement when you have not learned all movements of asana. when asana start to flow naturally… you will want to incorporate in with breath.
Do not worry about that you will figure it out, and it will come naturally


#77

Yoga is a practice of many practices. The Yoga Asanas are seen as the least effective practice and therefore should be preformed first. Pranayama is it's own practice and should be preformed after the Asana sequence, but you should be breathing with the movements of the Asana.

The practice of Pranayama increases the lung compacity, corrects improper breathing patterns, increases Prana in the body, clears the Nadis and calms the mind to name a few.

For more info and practices please visit