More on pranayama

For the average Western person, going to a yoga class doing western exercise and calling it yoga is fine. The pranayama there is not actually pranayama, its breathing exercises. Great for that level of consciousness. Makes them feel good. Their exercising. They even might think that somehow it makes them a better human being.  The difference between what the Western world considers yoga and what yoga actually is in India, is as huge as the Grand Canyon. That is the depth of knowledge of spirituality and what and how and why in India. This depth is not written in books for the Western masses or taught to teachers in certificate courses to spread among the masses either, don’t kid yourself. This from a Western yoga view, what is pranayama? It is thought to be pretty harmless, but is it really? Let’s take a short walk into the realm of pranayama a little bit shall we?

Pranayama is not really something you wanna mess with. In general, for the common mundane person, just doing what is in the books is fine. It goes so much deeper than that in reality. It really all just depends upon what is the context someone lives by.

Cleansing of the body is about the pancha mahabhuta, the five elements. This does not exist in Western exercise nor the Western sciences that the paradigm is based in. A focus is done on one of the elements and the rest are secondary. Ether element cannot be used for cleansing at all. Which only points out a huge flaw in the pseudo western spiritual healing modalities because they solely go to akasha (ether) with the western mind always thinking the higher the better. This only results in people getting imbalanced and is not how any of this works. There actually is fundamental science in all of this.

Water and Fire are used for cleansing with wind being a secondary to fire. Water is used to mix up the earth so to say and to move things on, where as the fire is then used to transform. So where is this understanding in any of the pranayam in any of those books? hmmmm? Understanding of what technique does what? When it should be done, who should do it? Where does one start? What guidelines for knowing how much for ones capacity. What is capacity? What other guidelines need to be followed, and more….

Pranayama is an anga of the ashtanga yoga or 8 part path. It can be solely practiced but this needs to have a proper full understanding of what it all is rather than piece meal and guessing. The nice thing about not knowing any of this stuff is that you can remain irresponsible for anything that happens and when it does there is no correlation to your own doing in the Western world because the lack of knowledge of it in the first place.

So let’s take it deeper. Here is the real….

You have nadis, channels or micro-channels. We can call the major channels srotas here. We can also talk about chakras.

The nadis are minute channels, no, they also do not exist in western sciences and paradigm. They are rather obvious to someone that has an authentic practice though. Example would be experiencing the clarity of these nadis in one’s practice, say after fasting for a day. The mantras, the pranayama, the openness, the clarity, the entire practice is on a different level and one experiences how much more pure they are. This points out about the impurity and what I am getting to here. What is impurity is a whole other several blog posts. But in general, that impurity in one fashion, say just one’s eating habits (just one way that impurity happens) and how it has affected their digestion over years and their condition of health…. it all has to do with those nadis and how clogged or blocked they are. Most people’s do not experience these things because they are simply just clogged. Massively clogged. Aavarana. And yes, the awareness and function of mind is clogged along with this. It affects discernment, it affects ability to control one’s mind and one’s thoughts, it affects one’s ability to carry out proper judgments as to what is beneficial. It even affects the health of the body because they are connected innately with that. I mention the food habits because this is one of the major things that will affect all of this and I also will say as in other posts that nothing that is being touted as yogi diets in the Western world have anything at all to do with an actual yogis diet that is especially necessary for the higher practices.

The yama and niyama are of most importance as well. Not to know, but to actually be in full practice of. Oh, that is actually living and following them, not “trying” to. Only one example should suffice….. our eyes perceive objects. They are the sense organ of fire which creates form. When they are not controlled they lead to producing thoughts in the mind that are going to destroy the circulation process at the sacral plexus. This is opposite to the inner alchemical process that pranayama is part of.

Simply doing pranayama out of a book or in a class does not cleanse these nadis. Specially if that class is right after lunch time. Get how fake that world is. There is no knowledge there, it is a business only. But the question is do the teachers actually know or not? Most do not and they actually think that they are teaching something good. Just parroting stuff they learned along the way.

Another example; Say you do practice pranayama at a yoga class now. And let’s also say that there is blockages in the nadis. So in doing the pranayama, the blockage does not get unblocked without the proper use of the proper pranayama technique. Say the pranayama technique is just a balancing technique, So the pranayama that is being done actually just worsen the blockage. Once again, when something happens, because of the Western mind and no knowledge of any of this, there will be no correlation back to it being caused by the pranayama that has been taught and the yoga teacher will remain in the limelight.

There are 6 angas of pranayama:
vinyasa
puraka
kumbhaka
asana
desha
kala
…without knowledge of these things, harm will come to one trying to make it up as they go along.

In the energy body or subtle body there are seven channels and sixtyeight apertures as well as an entire network and also how this all works. Digestion, circulation, and flow are need to be understood to not disturb the meridians and channels. People do not understand much less know at all of this so they do not understand how serious it can be with creating serious illness and even death. But once again, no one can correlate any harm of pranayama done incorrectly from the Western paradigm, so the practitioner cannot be held responsible.

To give a real view of the cleansing, it is in general a practice of nine years minimum one has to undergo to in an actual practice. This is very specific to the practices because it is specific to the amount of time one is in the womb before birth and multiplied by the number of cycles of the sun and moon. All related to our fantastic number 108 that everyone makes up so many meanings and reasons of. The number of repetitions, the number of sets, how long the matra is of each technique, all of these things and more are specific and need to be taught by an actual guru. Getting the point? Gonna find one of those on youtube eh?

Bad pranayam will destroy one’s health and strength over time. Opposite of what one would think when they only have the basic Western view superficial comprehension that pranayama is breathing exercises. Understand that there are specifics that need to be followed in a serious practice such a proper diet and following brahmacharya. Transforming that sexual energy and the generative seed as that is the growth upon that path. When the nose and heart are combined a huge amount of energy moves through the sacral region to purify it. Without knowledge of what this actually is, what to do, what techniques need to be done at that time and why, the purification of the sexual tissues will not happen. Shukra dhatu is destroyed by being a naive Westerner thinking that they know something. It absolutely will drain the person and deplete them instead. This is a depletion of life force, it will shorten the lifespan. So my question to you is do you think that your yoga teacher actually knows any of this?

So what is really in your “yoga?”

4 thoughts on “More on pranayama

  1. Thanks! With a few years’ background in a traditional yoga school, it’s a balsam to read your blog. There should be more people like you, spreading such information, so keep on writing. The only thing where I don’t agree with you is about written knowledge – if there are no suitable living teachers and a practitioner still has a proper background, written knowledge is still better than nothing and harmless. Too bad we don’t live in the same continent to meet in person.

    • anuraga,
      Thanks for your comment.

      Yeah, I debate taking down the blog daily.

      What I write is really basic and fundamental stuff. Nothing advanced in knowledge. Don’t dare put anything on here of any higher level than basic.

      “written knowledge – if there are no suitable living teachers and a practitioner still has a proper background, written knowledge is still better than nothing and harmless.”
      This is not my every day experience. I see people walking around that have no real knowledge that have read books. Their mouth are open and they are speaking but nothing of any depth or actual knowledge is coming out. I also see them advising others and writing articles for ezines. Then I get to work with those people that they have messed up. This is an ongoing experience. Harmless, hardly.
      Just without a proper teacher one is left in their own box, thinking from their own mind and their own bias. This is also fundamental in all vedic knowledge as well. Obvious actually. Specially to someone that has every actually studied any sanskrit text. The need of a guru is fundamental.
      There is a very modern world idea that one does not need a guru, but that is also a view from people that have never had a guru.

      • I understand your point, but maybe you are taking it too much from an american perspective where the yoga business went really wrong. Well, the US has been successfully exporting fitness yoga to Europe (to our tiny country as well) and other parts of the world, but still there are options to meet proper and valuable teachers with knowledge.

        I, for example, left Satyananda yoga after 6-7 years of non-stop advanced weekly courses (following a regular daily practice) when the sexual allegations came out. And what else should I do, than grasp some teachings via internet, study sanskrit texts on my own and catch some foreign/indian teachers that come to Europe from time to time. And all these things help me to build my own yoga puzzle which is far away from a western fitness yoga world. And believe me, I don’t even think to plug any of my nostril just to see the outcome.

        Not all interested in traditional yoga have to possibility to meet a proper guru and not everyone is prepared to leave everything behind and fly to India to search. I believe I can have my own sadhana here, at home, and without the need to once become a teacher. Fortunately, I have a well paid job and I don’t want to depend my spiritual path on making a living out of it. That’s why, for me, a good reading material is always welcome and sometimes it is as hard to find as a proper teacher.

        So, please don’t take down your blog, I still have to read what you wrote in the last years, I only found it a few months ago.

      • Nope, seriously, I am only coming from my daily experience and living in India and studying with my teachers from the original texts and then going back to america and seeing what is going on there as well as working with clients that have been messed up by teachers and the mess back there.
        I know the difference between studying with actual texts and actual real teachers verses studying on ones own with books. I was there along time ago.

        Its funny, because your talking a yoga puzzle, which is saying exactly what I am talking about. You understand?
        😉

        Its like that saying, “There is nothing like the real thing baby” but funny, everyone thinks they have the real thing.

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