art of meditation

Art of Meditation: Brain Development & Enlightenment Part 2 of 3:

In Part 1 of this series we indicated that the natural state of the organism is one where all the internal systems were working at peak capacity. We spoke of how refining the senses, vitalizing energy and sharpening awareness and intelligence were the keys to the completion of this process. In Part I we also provided some specific meditations to help develop the most important (meditation related) senses of hearing and seeing. In this article we will delve into vitalizing energy (kundalini).

Vital energy is required for, not only optimal health, but also for doing the meditations that finally hone intelligence and awareness (discussed in Part 3 of this series). There are two primary sciences for building this energy, yoga (the use of physical postures (asanas), body locks (bandhas) and motion), and pranayama (the science of breath). In this article we will provide a very powerful and complete pranayama set which, when done consistently, can remarkably increase and awaken energy. For those familiar with Kundalini and the Chakra system I will provide the details of how each pranayama exercise works with regard to the charkas. If you are not familiar with this framework not to worry, the set will work for you just the same (and you can familiarize yourself with this topic, if you like, by visiting the Kundalini Yoga category). For this article it is sufficient to think of Kundalini as the total energy of man. Kinetic Energy, which is already active and flowing and Potential Energy that lies within waiting to be awakened.

More information on this set and 3SRB is available on the website www.3srb.org and this work has been transmitted to us by the great modern Yoga master S. N. Tavaria. 

Below is the detailed description to channel & release these energies:–

Preparation:

  1. The sitting positions for the set can be cross legged (Sukn Asana) or on a chair (refer to the Silent Mind Meditation Program Chapter 4: Yoga for Meditation for more details on these postures if required)
  2. Starting time for each pranayama exercise is 15 seconds; build up to 3 minutes per exercise.
  3. All the pranayamas should be done one after the other with no rest in between if possible.
  4. The rhythm for the breathing is 36 cycles per minute where specified. The exercises normally are done to music, which provides this correct rhythm of 36 cycles per minute. In the event you do not have this music, use a stopwatch or other time device to set the pace of your breathing correctly.  If you are using a time device it helps to break it down to 18 cycles / 30 seconds to help keep the correct pace.

Pranayama Set For Vitalizing Kundalini

Begin:

Exercise 1: Chest Pump Pranayama: Place both hands on the center of the chest one on top of the other palms facing in; relax the elbows. Begin breathing deep and fast limiting the breath to the chest area only. The breath should be in rhythm and at a pace of 36 cycles / minute.

Benefits: Works on the Lungs and Heart. The pranayama improves lung capacity thus allowing intake of more of that magical ingredient prana (the life giving and vital aspect of air). It also helps blood flow and circulation by working on and improving the heart. This is also the region of the energy vortex (charka) called the Anahat Chakra, which is responsible for the flow of that divine energy called Love.

Exercise 2: Navel Pump Pranayama: Place both hands above the navel one of top of the other palms facing in. Begin breathing deep and fast limiting the breath to the abdominal area. The breath should be in rhythm and at a pace of 36 cycles / minute.

Benefits: The pranayama works on optimizing the digestive system and all associated organs in that region. Both absorption and excretion are improved. The Nabhi or Manipura Chakra governs this region, which is the seat of Willpower. Work on this region balances the organism providing it a calm strength and ability to sustain difficult activity over time.

Exercise 3: Full Pump Pranayama: Sit with legs extended, keeping knees straight and hold as far down the legs as possible while keeping the back straight. Holding the toes is ideal. Begin breathing deep and fast allowing it fill both the chest and abdominal cavity. The breath should be in rhythm and at a pace of 36 cycles / minute.

Benefits: This posture along with the pranayama promotes healing, longevity and flow. It stretches the longest nerve in the body (the sciatic nerve) along with stretching the entire backside of the body. It elongates the spine and frees it of blockages and insures proper flow of energy up and down the vital channels that run in and along the spine (sushumna, ida and pingla). The lower 2 chakras (Muladhara and Swadisthan) are activated and balanced by this exercise, which relate to our grounded and creative natures respectively.

Exercise 4: Staccato Breathing Pranayama. In this pranayama you will partition the breath into 5 short, successive inhalations through the nose, filling the lungs completely, to make one complete inhalation, then release the breath forcefully via the mouth in one exhalation. In other words, one 5 part inhalation through the nose, followed by a single explosive exhalation through the mouth.

Benefits: This pranayama dramatically increases lung capacity and elasticity and improves blood circulation. The partitioned breathing is key in increasing lung capacity for we seldom use our full lungs when taking a single breath. This exercise is also very potent in increasing the overall strength of our nervous system.

Exercise 5: Segmented Breathing Pranamaya. In this pranayama you will inhale slowly for 5 seconds, hold breath for 5 second, exhale slowly for 5 seconds and hold again after exhalation for 5 seconds before repeating the cycle. In other words each portion inhalation, hold, exhalation, hold should take 5 seconds so 1 complete cycle takes 20 seconds.

Benefits: This pranayama works to calm the entire organism including brain function. It helps to break down the pattern of the constantly reactive mind and ignite insight by teaching the system to be still and behold.

Exercise 6: Neck Lock (modified Jalandhara Bandha). Sit up straight, take a deep breath hold, pinch the nose shut with thumb and index finger and apply Jalandhara Bandha (neck lock). Neck lock is applied by bringing the chin down to the hollow of the throat and with free hand pressing down gently on the top, back of the head. Once in the position swallow as in the act of drinking 5 times and then release, lower your hands and raise your head. Take another deep inhalation, hold and repeat exercise.

Benefits: The exercise works to sharpen all the senses. Also works on the thyroid, parathyroid and pituitary glands thus improving all the related functions for these critical glands. The throat is the seat of the Vishuddhi Charka, which is responsible for our communication as well as our thinking. Thus working on this chakra gives you power over speech and improves your brain function.

End: Pranayama Set for Vitalizing Energy Kundalini

This pranayama set above has its roots in Sage Pantajali’s Yoga Sutras and from the research I have done it has been revived and explained by S.N. Tavaria, a modern master of Yoga. This set is a rare gem. It is very complete, does not require all day to do and most importantly the pranayamas are very effective in refining and optimizing your critical physiological systems at many levels. It has numerous health benefits but for those interested in the science of enlightenment, this set helps turbo charge the entire system and prepare it for the next stage. Having vitalized Kundalini energy, we are now ready for the next and most important requirement, which is to sharpen awareness and intelligence to promote insight. In the next part of the series I will cover this work, but before that I would like to provide some comments and helpful hints regarding the above set.

Hints and Comments:

1. Do it regularly! I can’t emphasize that enough. This pranayama set is going to radically change you physically, but needs to be done consistently to bestow its affects. If you are doing 1-2 minutes / exercise you can do the set twice a day. If you are doing the full 3 minutes / exercise only do the set once a day.

2. Don’t try to do more than you are comfortable with. Take your time building up. If you push too hard you may find yourself resisting doing the set daily and that will be counter productive.

3. Drink plenty of water after doing the pranayamas as it helps wash out any toxins that were released into the blood stream.

4. Before doing the pranayamas stretch a little. Especially your hamstrings for exercise #3 and more so if you plan on practicing it in the morning, when the body tends to be stiffer.

5. Don’t eat at least 1-2 hours prior to doing the set.

6. While doing the pranayamas remain as attentive as possible of the present moment, try not to wander off mentally.

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