All of us are breathing and make a certain number of respiratory movements.
During the day and night time, on average we do about 21 thousands of respiratory movements. Should we hold our breath, and in a short time we feel that we are balancing on the edge of life and are close to death. You can be very self-assured in this life, but if you hold your breath longer than a certain number of seconds, all of your concepts about the world, the universe, philosophy and other things collapse immediately, and a powerful survival instinct is awaken. This instinct will force us to continue breathing. What was already mentioned represents a serious basis for our lives, but is not so obvious.
So, we have this ability – to breathe. Modern biology, medicine and other branches of science have long been carefully studing this process. In a first approximation, in terms of science, it reduces to inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide. We need atmospheric oxygen, to ensure the process of metabolism within the cells, we exhale carbon dioxide, so that the products of the metabolism are eliminated. Atmospheric oxygen is consumed to produce the physical energy within the body, this energy which manifests itself in different ways. Parallel to this, due to inhalation and exhalation processes a range of interesting issues is cleared out. It’s not all about ventilation, other processes well studied by physiology are involved. For a clear, unambiguous and detailed breathing process description you can refer to modern science.
What we will do here is somewhat more of a delicate area: it envolves the knowledge that we have received from the ancient yogis. The knowledge we received is not complete. I’d like to remark, that the knowledge we will study today is a mere pittance compared to the enormous potential of exercises and practices, which unfortunately have been irrecoverably lost.
How can we know that the practice is lost? Of course, indirect. In many texts, many epics (Mahabharata, the Vedas, and other sources) you will find links to how powerful exercises were once and what powerful forces acquired the person practicing them.
Thus, what we know about Pranayama is, unfortunately, a mere pittance, but, believe me, even this pittance when used correctly, will turn your entire life upside-down, if you practice as it is recommended.
Here is the explanation: According to the teachings of yoga, еру breathing movement is not only a way to receive oxygen, air and discard carbon dioxide and other metabolic products, it also is an indirect mechanism used to attract the so-called “Prana”. There are many interpretations of this word, but even the prefix “pra” is in tune with something from the origin: grandfather, grandmother, denoting something that was there before something appeared.
So, Prana is a very interesting thing. Sometimes it is called prana-energy, which is the energy at the basis or the very beginning of the creation of the universe, in other words it is the energy that created the whole world. Nowadays, in the modern era, it is the energy that creates the human body after its conception, the energy that, according to the teachings of yoga, supports our lives. I will give a little note to avoid ambiguity. In fact, translating the concept of “Prana” as “energy” solely is not right. Prana is of a more subtle nature and an essence even more obscure than the energy. More precisely, Prana itself contains all the types of energy that we may encounter. It is an original form of energy that can later be transformed into any form of energy known in the world.
If you ask physicists about energy, they will answer as following: According to the modern scientific contemplation of the world, there are four types of energy in the universe, or four types of interaction. These are the Strong Nuclear, the Weak Nuclear interactions, which act at the level of atomic nuclei, the electromagnetic and gravitational potential energies. Electromagnetic energy is expressed in the fact that all of us we see the light, atoms interact via van der Waals forces, we have got our present body. Gravitational potential energies define the fact that we sit on the floor and do not fly through the air. According to the modern scientific worldview, only these four types of interaction exist.
Question: and where is Prana? Yoga gives the following answer to this question: Prana – is a kind of primordial energy, which can not be encountered in its pure form. It instantly transforms into one or another form of energy for a particular purpose. Another important aspect of Prana is the fact that it is also a channel of awareness, that Prana manifests itself as energy or as awareness.
Thus, breathing movements we do to receive oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, in fact – as yoga states – indirectly act as a mechanism to attract Prana.
It is believed that each breath we take generates certain nerve impulses in our bodies, and if these nerve impulses are in harmony, then little by little we acquire some kind of energy that we call Prana, which is, figuratively speaking, diffused throughout the universe. There is a saying in yoga related to this thing: if we close our mouth and nose, then we can manege existing for five minutes without air, but should this thread of Prana, which connects us with the world’s supply of Prana be cut, the instant death without any obvious reason would come. That is, if Prana is energy, then this is the energy of life itself.
This energy of life “enters” into us and inside is transformed into another form of energy that is needed to maintain metabolism, the work of the mind, of our body. If there is a lot of such energy, according to the teachings of yoga, it is easily recognizable in a person by his activity, the sharpness of his mind, his charisma. I will not talk about different superpowers, we will touch on this topic later.
So there is some thing that in yoga is called “Prana”. In a first approach, it can be considered as the energy of life, although, strictly speaking, this is a kind of a strange substance, that can manifest itself through all types of energy or through expansion of awareness. The breathing movements we make more than twenty thousand times a day, not only bring oxygen to the brain, but also failitate the attration of those portions of Prana. If for some reasons, Prana ceased to enter into the body, the instant death is inevitable. If the flow of Prana is slowing or reduced it results in some sort of wilting. If the flow of Prana increases and it becomes bigger and bigger, on the contrary, we have a proof of dominance. Well, Prana is a really strange thing.
In yoga, the science that deals with purely practical application of Prana is called Pranayama Yoga. Or sometimes simply Pranayama. Sometimes it is call the breath of the Indian yogis, or yogic breathing. All these terms mean the same thing – the control of Prana energy.
The more Prana we have, the better it is for us.
From the Pranayama Yoga point of view, our goal is to increase the flow of Pranaas as much as possible. The more Prana we attrat to ourselves, the faster our the yoga processes develop. The smaller the Prana – the slower the processes.
What are these processes of yoga intended for? First and foremost, they are used to restructure our body, to restructure our inner world.
Now let’s talk about the structure of the human body. Here I sit in front of you. What can you see? A body, consisting of meat, bones, and something else. If you will be praticing yoga for a long time, you might be able to see the fine structures.
What are these fine structures? Probably some kind of subtle energy that modern science has not yet disclosed, but the time will come – will open.
Question: where is my “I”? Here I have my “I”. The ordinary man thinks: “Well, I’m somewhere inside, there I sit, and outside I am surrounded by shells, by the body. To some extent, this model works. But, strictly speaking, where is our self, we do not know. This “I” is everywhere. It is within me, and on Alpha Centauri – everywhere. It is beyond space and time, it is a thing of the highest. But for some reason, my “I” identifies itself with this body. And as soon as my “I” identified itself with the body, through this channel of identification or, the so called channel of associations, the Prana begins to flow, and begins to revive my body. In case this channel of associations or the flow of prana should be cut, my body will cease to be nourished with Prana from my “I” and the body will fall lifeless, though apparently, from the outside no one could determine the reason why I died.
Prana is something, we can not do without a second. We eat food, we inhale oxygen, exhale carbon dioxide, energy is released and this energy controls certain processes. And there is a type of energy that acts as a manager in a good company – it manages the flows of energy.
So, I ate food, I have generated some energy, but it is a silly energy: it can leak anywhere. And above this energy there is a more subtle energy – the energy of Prana. It says to that primary flow of energy: “Please go there, please do this.” This is a kind of controlling energy. This energy is really small, the scientists still have not measured it. Compared with the large flow …. You know that calories measure. Depending on how much people eat, exactly the same amount is put into work. If we do not eat, we won’t have the necessary forces and we will fall exhausted. But in fact, these are “rude” energies that come from the food, from the water, and above them, there is a more subtle energy that controls these “rude” flows – this energy is the Prana. And if the subtle energy stops managing the rude energies, these rude flows stop working. Recently we were driving, and suddenly the traffic lights broke. Prior to that, everything was going fine – great streams of trucks. As soon as the traffic lights broke – that was it, nothing but traffic jams and collapse. The same thing happens to mankind: as soon as the regulatory Prana turns off, the big energies within the body stop and the man ceases to function.
Once again. I have my “I”. It is connected to my body or my bodies through an associative bond. My “I” considers itself, to some extent, to be this body. Through this associative connection begins to flow the Prana, this Prana animates the body. If this associative connection, this channel of Prana be cut, the body falls, it is disconnected from the controlling energy and dies. Our task is to have as much as possible of this controlling energy, then everything within our body will work much better. The science that leads to acquiring more of this energy is called “Pranayama”.
Now a few other words from the theory
Sometimes people ask, what is Prana? Can we feel it or measure it? Probably somehow it is possible, but I have little idea of how. The difficulty consists in the fact that the Prana is instantly transformed into one or another form of energy. This explains many phenomena and super powers. There are people that can move glasses at a distance or can read thoughts. Well, everything that the usual laws of physics cannot explain.
This phenomenon is well explained from the concept of Prana. A person with an excess of Prana, can convert it to any other form of energy, let’s say, into gravity. Just as gravity works, for example, in one direction, Prana in the form of anti-gravity or gravity on the contrary, call it as you wish, operates in the opposite direction. Many wonderful abilities, that are expressed even nowadays, they are generally not interesting. Well, you think this is simply a more subtle law of nature… not this be happiness.
These abilities can be explained with an excess of Prana. Hence, the following conclusion: if some of you are studying yoga with the motivation of acquiring super-powers, you should focus on Pranayama. Any motivation that leads a person into yoga is praiseworthy. The thing here is that, as experience shows, one forgets this motivation. That person opens different horizons that are more attractive than he could imagine.
So, how does the Prana operates inside our bodies? Inside our body, according to the teachings of yoga, the Prana works as a good manager in a huge company.
Imagine a factory or an organization where there are workers at the machines, designers in the drawing department. On the other side there are analysts that calculate what products to produce and what not to produce, where to deliver and where not to. And there is a third category of people, that are called managers. In our country (Russia) a manager is a broad concept and almost anyone is called so, but in the west the word “manager” has always sounded very proud and in decent corporations it’s not easy at all to be promoted to a manager’s position. So, the Prana works as a manager does, as the person who possesses all the knowledge in production and can replace any personnel of the company. Should the worker become ill – the manager takes the control aver the machine and does the work. In case the analyst becomes ill – the manager starts to write analytical plans for the analyst. And so on… The manager is a universal employee. Once again, in the west this is what managers are and usually they earn much more than workers, analysts and designers all put together. Because, this person determines whether or not the company will work and prosper or will fall apart and bankrupt.
Within our body, which in this sense, operates as a large factory, there are different cells, different mechanisms responsible for different things. Some of them must control and execute the metabolism, others are responsible for our intellectual activity, and they are all glued together by the Prana. Without this Prana the system stops to work, since the elements are not docked with each other. Making the parallel with the enterprise – it goes bankrupt. In the case of a human being – he dies. The ends do not meet: either there are too much manufactured and there is no market for distribution, either there isn’t a manufacturing plan in place. Millions of nuances, should a component miss then everything falls apart. Our body is, as in the case of the businesses, subject to a huge number of adverse effects both outside and inside. And it happens that a certain function of our body is not working the right way, or the way you need. And if we posess Prana, this Prana replaces the missing chain. If there is a lot of Prana, the replacement is very good. We are in good health. As soon as the Prana lessens within the body, then any injury or dysfunction leads to a significant failure. Within our bodies, this failure manifests itself in the form of a disease. If breakdowns are fatal, and there is not enough of the Prana to cover those holes, comes the death. Therefore, in a certain degree, the concept of life and the concept of Prana are equivalent. Actually, that’s why it is called the “Prana”, something that stays at the origins.
When does the Prana start to manifest itself in our body? At the moment of conception. Once the cell of the unborn child, the future body is formed. As soon as the soul has built an associative relationship with its future “home”, which is the “body”, for this associative relationship there comes the flow of the Prana and it starts to built its future home. A woman then, of course, remains pregnant. For a while the process goes on in utero, then the child is born, and for another period his body is forming in our present world. Prior to maturity, the Prana is actively working. Children have it in abundance, because they have to build the body and grow. Middle-aged people have Prana at a good level, but as soon as we just pass a certain threshold, the quantity of Prana begins to decline, the number of dysfunctions increases, and there is not much of the “substance” to patch the holes. Then the the process of decay begins, we grow older and sooner or later comes the death. Death, if it is natural, is the de-identification of our “self” from the body that was used by our soul. And the moment of death is the moment when the flow of the Prana is detached from the body.
So, once again: Prana, as a manager, as a versatile personality, can do any job, whenever it is requested – everywhere.
If the company has a lot of high managers, the company is growing. It becomes richer, it develops and ends up as a very successful company. If there are few of such people, nothing can help: neither oil pits nor scientific developments.
I am familiar a little bit with this issue in our country. Sometimes people think that if they have an oil pit, then they can become some sort of a super mega oil company. If the company will have a competent manager, nothing will happen. Or vice versa. We had good professionals designing good missiles and defence systems, but those were simple drafts and drawings. There was a need of an intermediate, who could transfer those drawings to production. If such an intermediate exists, the company will be a prosperous enterprise, if not, the company falls apart, even under the most favourable conditions. In this sense, the human resources decide everything. In the case of our human body – the Prana decides everything. If you didn’t have physical strength it will appear if there will be a flow of the Prana. In case, you had a fable intellectual development, if there will be a flow of the Prana, you will start to grow wiser very quickly. If you had a lack of creative abilities, everything you did was copying from the idols of art, you couldn’t create anything and you knew it; if you will have that flow of the Prana, the creative ideas will flush, just as from the cornucopia and will start to create. Therefore Pranayama is a very serious and very promising science and the purpose of our seminar is that you have mastered the basics of this science.
It is not my goal, that after our seminar, some of you will seriously explore this science in depth. Once again, this science is very serious. Like any powerful tool, it requires a long-long practice. Imagine you’ve come to learn to operate a jet aircraft in six hours. Sometimes, we hear that there are cases when someone takes off and lands without crashing, but the nuances – how to behave in a particular situation – are developed by many years of practice. The same happens here. This yoga requires greater attention.
Let me remind you again: Prana – is something pervasive universal. If there is any problem within the body, prana immediately rushes to fix it. If there is an excess of Prana, it is immediately sent to the rebuilding of our body. Once again, the analogy with the managers seems to me the most understandable: if within a company something isn’t working, the manager comes and eliminates the breakdown. If within the company everything works properly, a good manager meditates how to improve efficiency, how to reduce the processes, acquire new equipment, he plans the whole complex.
Prana and the teaching of yoga
By virtue of my profession, I prepare yoga teachers. It is extremely difficult to prepare a sane competent teacher of yoga. Why? Such a person should be universal, as Prana. He should be able to engage both in the rough physical work, and in the most delicate, refined and intellectual processes. Should there be a man who can understand both some widgets and ideas of the highest philosophy, then he will be able to teach yoga. How does a man become versatile? He must have a surplus of Prana. Therefore, most of the process of training teachers of yoga is reduced to teaching the person to gain a huge amount of Prana, that he will be able furthermore to share with other people. Thus, it is very a hard profession, it is totally exhausting. According to statistics, in Moscow a person teaches yoga for six months. Then the instructor, as a downtrodden horse, says: “Kill me, I can no longer live that life.”
This is a very difficult occupation. You must always be universal. For this purpose, we have established different methods, there is karma-yoga, where you have to work physically, I mean those who will teach in the future. At the same time, if there will be a necessity of quantum physics, the person will need to learn it too. Versatility is the same as Prana.
If Prana is in excess, you’re not susceptible to diseases. You can go into a pest house, you can hold in your hands contagious things, but the plague will not affect you. If Prana lacks, any scratch can lead to inflammation. This should be remembered. Therefore, the more prana you have, the greater your protection.
Why do we need Pranayama? There are two sides of this coin: we can help others as wellas we can help ourselves, so that our family and friends do not suffer. And by care we mean all the aspects. The most obvious one is not to be ill. If we get ill, then our family and friends are not happy. And if they get ill, then we are powerless and do not know how to help them.
There are also more subtle elements – the mental ones. If we are always likely to be depressed, if we constantly are in a bad mood, living by our side is a real hell for the rest. If we are constantly in apathy, if we have a permanent loss of strength if we are deprived of entrepreneurial activity, liveliness of mind, energy, life with us is transformed into a quiet torment. That is, our family and friends are dragging us with their energy. We have a shortage of our energy, of Prana, and therefor our relatives and friends feed us with their Prana. And we are always whining, everything is always bad in the emotional sphere. As a consequence, we are starting to complain, we are upset with the whole world…
In fact, if you feel you have these symptoms, it speaks only of one thing: a lack of Prana in sufficient quantity. If a person has Prana in sufficient amount, the most common manifestation is cheerfulness, happyness and you never get bored. Usually, you hear something like: “Well, I’m sooo bored” which means that person lacks a certain range of Prana.
Or: “Oh-oh-oh, no one is watching me, not paying attention … A person with an excess of Prana, is full of energy, very active and nothing can stop him. Such people never get bored alone by themselves and drive everyone who gets in touch with them. The others will never be bored both in bad and good sense. If we do not have the Prana, we automatically become in this sense a serious burden. A burden for the family and friends. And if we are full of Prana, then we, by contrast, pull our friends and relatives out from the above-mentioned condition. And the difference between us and them is only that we know the secret how to acquire energy, and they do not. We have had the experience, but they did not. And we must help them.
We must somehow reasonably help them
Why? Because there are variants of vampire-ism when you’re constantly pulling a person out of this state, but in his hearts the person is truly satisfied with being pulled out. He enjoys whining, it’s his delicate game. If these are our relatives and friends, then there’s nothing to be done: we have to constantly pull them out. What is left to be done with them? Remember: we must be kind, we must help. The more Prana we give, the more it comes. In this sense, we will refill our resources, but there will be certain moments as in the case of yoga teachers. For some reason, people believe that it very easy to teach yoga. Recently a girl came to me and said: “I want to teach yoga in your school.
In fact, I congratulated her and said: “Yes, go ahead! I will help where I can”. In fact, I have great respect for people that are brave, strong, firm that take responsibility, drag, and nothing can stop them… But at the same time I began to honestly and frankly show her the opposite side. Be ready for this, be ready for that.. of course not aiming to discourage her. The more the people who teach yoga, the more I’ll be happy. The fewer the teachers, less I am happy.
Of course, the teaching of yoga requires a lot of Prana, but it is later compensated, if we spend this Prana from the heart to help others, to convey knowledge. So we need to master this science, to help families and friends, directly or indirectly, in the first place. Either direct support or not to be a burden.
Risks and dangers
The first danger in the process of mastering Pranayama are the character traits. Pranayama does not like hasty, overly proud, arrogant, greedy and evil people. At first glance, it looks like an abstraction. It seems to be a serious science, everything must be with mathematical precision, and here come some emotions, greed, anger and arrogance. In fact, everything is very clear and firm. Again, a matter of experience.
A young man, after having studied all the possible texts of Pranayama-Ypga, comes to me and says: “Teach me Pranayama”. This is my duty, my job, we start to exercise..
“Oh, no, I already know this, let’s do the next exercise, a bigger one…
Well, I think, the process really has started and I give him more.
“No, no, give me more!”
Again, I give more.
“No, I need more and everything at once!”
I gave him some simple exercises, and he said: “I do these exercises for five years now, I know them!”
Well, try to do them, because you are not able to repeat them!
“What do you mean I can’t? I do them for two hundred and forty times a day! ”
So you were doing something else! If you had done this exercise for five years by two hundred and forty times every day, you wouldn’t have come to me to teach you Pranayama.
Unfortunately, there is a certain trait in humans that impedes them immediately on the approach to Pranayama. In Moscow there is a considerable number of people who visit one seminar, another somewhere else, then a third one in a completely different environment, some sort of party-goers. They never stay in one place and master deeply the subject, they need novelty. And sooner or later they develop and invisible obstacle to percept the refined, the thin. Sometimes these simple words “do not hurry … this is the secret” has no meaning to them…
They say: “Oh, I will not waste my precious time here with you. Or, teach me the whole Pranayama now, give all the secret exercises that work immediately!”
The secret here is the fact that this mystery is perceptive only at the surface. And they do not understand this. Therefore, in the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, the first two steps of Yoga are Yama and Niyama.
Sometimes people ask why Patanjali set these two steps? Because you will not move further if you do not develop the quality gain-able with Yama and Niyama. You will be hurried, inattentive, overly proud.
I had an acquaintance a rescue-guard, that was rescuing the the missing mountain climbers. Well, the Alpinists climb a mountain, and we later hear on television saying: “Again a group of young boneheads has disappeared. The whole country is looking for them and can not find. Three survived, the fourth is missing”.
He worked as a rescue guard and was pulling them out, if they remained alive, and there were situations with fifty-fifty layout. And he himself was a good climber with great experience. His favourite tale was that at times, in order to climb a summit, one must climb to this top for three days. Moreover, the conditions are harsh: extreme cold… very unpleasant.. you sleep somehow.. The instinct tells you: “No, the weather is not good, and in general, something is not all right.” And calmly, without emotions, you pack up and leave. You could have trained for a year to climb this peak and all of a sudden, your intuition tells you: “Do not climb!” Calmly you pack and leave. People like these not only reach the peak, moreover, they survive, what is the most important. While those who unceremoniously climb ….
I told him: “This is yoga, the secret yoga that in ancient times was taught for forty years!”
And he said: “I have already learned so many things, I know this and that, I understand everything. I know everything! ”
The pride and the arrogance have manifested themselves. And Pranayama just cuts off such people.
And what about the other negative phenomena? The list goes on and on.
Now let see a different situation: what about the greed? A person will increase its Prana and will become good. Maybe. But it’s a fact that Prana is spent in the first place, to amplify those qualities that were developed and already have manifested, and only afterwards, Prana is redirected to overcome those qualities. If greedy people acquire Prana above a certain level of course, the true self will be revealed. Until greedy people will not get read of the veil of greediness, Pranayama, on the contrary, will strengthen their emotions. If there was a tendency, the emotions will intensify, and the person will be stranded. Immediately there would emerge a million of other things to distract him away.
What is distracting away during the practice of Pranayama? Once there is an excess of Prana, our emotions and tendencies are enhanced. One becomes obsessed with maniacal desires, drifting him away within relationships, politics and other domains.
Now I will explain what I mean. Again, there is a tendency: the person who started to practice yoga, gains a little bit of Prana, and all of a sudden he feels surrounded by enemies: “Look at our politicians sit!” The energy immediately increases. Such people are the first to climb the barricade in case if a revolution outbursts. This phenomenon can manifest itself in different aspects: “I am surrounded by plots and secret saboteurs!”
Any tendency of the negative mind begins to inflate. This person gets involved into all of this, he forgets about Pranayama, about everything in the world, begins to run for the Senate or something else he shouldn’t have to. There is a spy inside us. If he gets access to the energy, he starts to plump it all up to infinity.
The only thing that helps cope with these manifestations is the strict implementation of the principle of non-violence, the principle of non-waste of yourself and the principle of happiness of everyone around.
Now the warning: if Pranayama will start working in your case and you will avoid all the ambushes that I will describe later, you will feel a huge influx of energy within yourself. Your mind will be clear, you’ll be refreshed, and if you see an obvious falsehood, for example, on TV … I don’t know why, but many stumble on politics… When such people see an obvious injustice (from their point of view), the flow of energy will rush to fix this injustice. And so many follies can be committed…
I say it again: a person with a huge amount of Prana is over excited. If he does not understand these nuances: no violence, no waste of the self on small things … Ask yourself: Is it your duty to go into politics, your duty to defend rather dubious moments? If you get involved, this Prana will leave into political activity, or somewhere else and so on. And again, you’ll be left with nothing. And these dangers are the most important, they are more psychological, emotional.
Danger number two is the physical danger
After Pranayama, the relaxation is mandatory. Let me explain this one. If we are not cautious the way we described above, if we do not have the right personality traits, then, once we practice Pranayama, if we do it the right way, we will be overwhelmed with an excess of Prana. You will come over new brilliant ideas in a glance. At your work, there were problems you didn’t have a solution for, and after Pranayama all of a sudden you will find the right answer. There was an excess of Prana and the mind began to work better. And you, barely having finished Pranayama, run to put into practice the idea that came over you during Pranayama. This is a grave mistake. Do not succumb to the illusion of power.
Hence, what happens? In deed, some of your nerve centers are fully inflated with Prana, so you do savvy better, feel yourself better, but Prana should be distributed throughout the body. And this happens only at the time of conscious relaxation. You’ve worked out – lay down. Over time, Prana will redistribute by itself, you won’t even have to worry about it; otherwise, it turns out that inside the ganglia are overheated, and on the outside the physical body is quite unaffected. Discomfort is guaranteed to you after that. For this fly you will then pay off with a loss of strength. Therefore, the relaxation is mandatory.
The second issue. Disabling the thoughts. The thought consumes Prana. Any thought, like a leech, sucks out of your Prana, and it becomes an obsessive thought.
The next moment. The food. Improper food will annihilate all your efforts.
The next moment. Communication. Improper communication will suck out your entire Prana.
And what is “improper communication”?
If you communicate on a lot longer than a certain period of time, then you are wasting Prana more than you receive it. Everyone with whom you communicate are happy. It’s like that you fill up their energy, and your process is dramatically slowed down, so you have to seriously limit your interaction.
QUESTION: – And what about the children?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – Children are those creatures that, rather, give us Prana, than take it away.
QUESTION: – How to dose the communication?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – Here we have to note: that all these warnings, especially for people who want to enter into Pranayama quicker and more intensive. In order to do this, obviously it is recommended that interested people follow some of a reclusive way of living until a when they achieve a certain level of master-hood.
With regard to our communication, it is an extension of our karma – how quickly we can or we can not build around us a favorable environment for practice of yoga… Again, an important moment.
Everything works pretty much the same as in business. You’ve worked out Pranayama – you gained Prana. You invested it in the next operation. You hustled through this operation and got even more of it, and so on increasing.
If we talk too much we spend very quickly what we have earned so far, then again we have to start from scratch. It’s obvious that we will not be able to succeed in this business for a long time. The body will deteriorate more than it is required. Therefore, communication defines a lot of things.
Of course, there are different scenarios. If you talk too much, you will not reach anything. If you do not communicate at all, you will languish to talk. All these tales that an Yogi went off somewhere in a cave and there achieved some hight are a good thing for advanced yogis, but for the average yogi when he retreats in a cave and attained an excess of Prana, the first feeling he will experience is a desire to share it. Then paranoiac, messianic ideas overwhelm the yogi so that he is obsessed that he has to help the humanity. He thinks he is full of energy, but the people downhill are all wrong. He will descend from his cave and will teach those people a new yoga!
It’s all an illusion Prana. As soon as he reaches the first village and begins to communicate with a local resident, he deflates like a balloon, and will wonder: “Why up there in the mountains, I was feeling good, but here, at the first motion to turn the humanity happy I am blown away!?”
Untill you haven’t mastered Pranayama, leave these thoughts to help through direct Prana aside. I know that many people have helped through direct Prana. This is unwise. But when you become steady in Pranayama, then you can help through direct Prana, but before that moment comes, you better don’t do that. That is, we should put money in a bank and spend only the interest, not the basic amount. When you earn a considerable amount, you can spend the money gained on interest for charity as much as you like. You are surrounded by people with obviously vampire intentions … Well, if they came, that was supposed to happen. Shouldn’t you have had a negative karma, they wouldn’t have come. But, you have to give back the interest money, and not the basic capital.
QUESTION: – Please tell us more about improper eating.
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – Improper food. The fact is that with Pranayama our internal structure begins to rebuild. Dirty elements (I will speak figuratively) are removed from the body, and their place has to be taken by clean elements. If you don’t have where to take from these elements, then the dirty elements leave the body, turn ans swirl and come back. Now the question is: what food is suitable and what is improper?
Only your personal practice will tell you what to eat and what not to. The only thing I can say is: if you are seriously engaged in Pranayama, try to avoid eating onions and garlic. At all, in any form and combination. Everything else must be analyzed individually. Some times it is better to eat a piece of raw meat than this supposedly vegetarian food, which is even worse. In this case, you rely entirely on your own inner voice and your inner feelings.
QUESTION: – Why the onion and the garlic?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – The fact is that the onion and the garlic they both stimulate vital processes in the body. And with Pranayama you stimulate the same processes, but in different ways. You get a superposition of two loads. It’s like you spurred the horse, and then stronger and stronger, so he can barely run, and you again.
QUESTION: – And what about the spices?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – The spices are individually. Different people, different constitutions, different lifestyles. There are some general rules, they are in any book: sane or insane. You will still need to develop your own diet.
It is highly recommended to eat melted cow butter. Cereals of all kinds and colors. Honey, sugar, vegetables and fruits. With the fruits and vegetables, unfortunately, there are some precautions.
Almost everywhere onion and garlic is not recommended, I do not know of any exceptions where a person engaged in Pranayama could consume onion and garlic.
What do I mean by “if a person is seriously engaged in Pranayama? What does “seriously” mean? Thit means a prectice longer than 40 minutes per day. We strive to reach to the most, that is to fly through the air! So let’s be ready for that.
I have a card hidden in the sleeve: the statistics. I have some idea who is doing what in the field of yoga, who makes errors and what type of errors, and the individual motivation of every new yoga practicant. Once again: any motivation is positive. A person wants to fly through the air – that’s great! Let him fly with the help of yoga. But it will speed up the process and will stumble on this rake. My duty is to warn.
This does not mean that I can fly through the air: I can not fly through the air and I do not want to. In the end, there planes made to fly through the air.
What else to avoid? It’s an abstract concept, I don’t really know how to detail it. Preservatives. There are substances that are added to foods. After which the milk may stay in the refrigerator for six months without altering. Normal milk usually is good to consume for two or three days and than it turns sour. What does this mean? That means that something is added in. And, unfortunately, the manufacturers add such substances, which do not affect with consequences the average person. But on person who is engaged in Pranayama, their influence is extreme, because his body is over-sensitive. Unfortunately, I am not a specialist in all these “E”s and of all these sodium glutamate and other chemicals, I know only one thing for sure: sometimes you eat something and than you feel bad. You take a product, and when you read the label, the whole periodic table is there, so it doesn’t moldy. In this case, unfortunately, I can not help, because sometimes all the preservatives are not even listed. they are added and not listed.
A RESPONSE FROM THE AUDIENCE: – Now they are almost everywhere added.
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – That’s the danger. I do not know what they are and where they are added to. In the west there is a very popular and profitable business: the “Organic Food”. Food grown without chemicals. This food is three times more expensive on the average. And people are buying.
Thus, there are a lot of similar dangers. What’s the first thing you should get rid of? Remember that the very first danger is your character. The second – non-compliance with some elementary moments like relaxation and nutrition. Compliance with these things should become a habit.
When Pranayama will start working, you will be very tempted to breathe, gain Prana and proceed to work, “Oh, what a brilliant idea, I now know how to do this!”
You just can not imagine! Sometimes you are overwhelmed by so soul-tearing impulses!
Or vice verse: “What a scoundrel this John Doe is, now I will go and deal with him!”
A variety of maniac or pseudo maniac thoughts will start. Prana is energy and it amplifies what is in the mind. If there was anything in your head, it will amplify. And in a head not always are the most optimal ides. So again and again , follow the principle of ahimsa (literally: the avoidance of violence). Yes, you really breathe and you really understand: “Yes, I realized that John Doe is the enemy of my life! I understand why I lived the way I lived, he is the cause to all my sufferance, I will go now deal with him! ” I speak figuratively, but it will be like a revelation, as if a veil had fallen from your eyes, and full of emotions, willing to finally do something. This is an indicator that the flow of Prana worked.
Therefore, I urge you to respect the principle of ahimsa! Do not harm any living being, do not cause sufferance unless it is absolutely necessary, do not waste Prana on useless movements. On the contrary, do everything possible so that everyone around you are calm and happy. Reasonably approach the issues, even if you really discovered who has been tricking on you…
I repeat: during Pranayama everything is possible! Sometimes a problem in business is solved, sometimes in your personal life, sometimes in communication, at work, at school. I urge you: an idea came across you, wait a little, rest a while. Do not jump immediately to box on the culprit. It’s not always in such a marginal form. Sometimes, some genial idea strikes you… You couldn’t finish writing a computer program, and then at once- you found the solution! After each Pranayama practice you must stop, lay down and rest a little.
Fifty percent of people who started practicing Pranayama, are cut off on this simple step. It’s like a nail in his shoe: a trifle, but you can not go any further. You should have a habit to rest after Pranayama.
How much? It is individually, different people different approaches. Sometimes a minute, sometimes more, depending on how much you’ve practiced. The most important thing is to redistribute the Prana throughout the body. You must give Prana time, and it will, like water, spread throughout the body.
Let us remember that in our country brilliant policy makers began to reform. We have lived under socialism, and they said: “All right guys, starting from tomorrow we will live in capitalism!” And where did it lead to? The same analogy with Pranayama. The fact is that our internal structures are re-aligning. Roughly speaking, we live under one system, and when we will change for the other, I do not know, under communism or capitalism. Not only starting and ending points are important, a literate transition from point A to point B is also important. You must ensure that this literate transition is not a knockout. First starting point for this smooth transition is the navel center. Slowly, you begin to work here and work until it all starts to grow. This is accompanied by the following process:
In order to practice Pranayama, it is necessary that the internal energy channels be clean. Otherwise it’s like a clogged pipe. You pump up the energy, and it does not pass. You are pumping stronger, you burst out, but the energy does not pass. Therefore, it is necessary to smoothly clean these energy channels. Once the surplus of Prana is released, it starts to erode this dirt, but if there is too much of the dirt, then it is a real pressure. As a whole, Prana is eating away the dirt, but you too, are bursting. This manifests itself in very negative feelings. Therefore it is necessary to exercise little by little, step by step, than with more energy, more, more, more, and you have to start with the navel center.
Sometimes people come to me with the wish that I teach them Pranayama very quickly. And I see that there’s nothing I can teach them. With such an approach I will not teach them anything. What kind of Pranayama? “I already have passed this and that …” And they begin to list all that they have studied with what gurus … But I am absolutely not interested in listening to all this. If a person does not have a harmonious approach, then nothing will save that person. Therefore, I urge you, these secrets, they are, on the one hand, on the surface. On the other hand, the exercises are more than ordinary. But the most important thing is, if you are on a swing, you must get into the rhythm of the swing, rather than just wave the hand, do you inderstand? Why is the word “harmony” mentioned three times ? If you do everything in harmony, then you do and feel what you want to do. Only when you feel that the process started in a specific area, only then you can strengthen the practice. And if people come and say: “No, I want to immediately strengthen and feel … I wish! I wish!
Well, I do not know if there is someone who teaches in a different way, but as far as I know, all teachers are not particularly fond of this approach. There are systems that are truly using the respiratory movements to take you to the state of semi-trance. There are all kinds of exercises such as Holotropic Breathwork, and others. It’s a separate conversation about them. With all due respect …
Indeed, these are very powerful practices, and the man, they say, “flies”. But, you know, it’s a one-time flight. But we need …
What is the criterioa of such a person?
“Well, I passed a certain kind of breathing exercises, I discovered something, something was closed, something within me has changed …
Then I meet him a year later, asking: “Well, are you still engaged in the same?”
“The same you used to do?”
He: “No, I am not.”
He is already struggling to remember what kind of practice he used to do. You judge a tree based on its fruits. If this is a one-time action, indeed you may have had fantastic results, something has opened, then something closed, then you walk two weeks – yeah, it really has started! A year later, if you forget what you’ve experienced, then you must understand that these respiratory approaches, by and large, do not work.
Why thousands of years ago yogis were spending enormous time on this? And what is that we have differently, that we assume we are able to do all of this in three days? No, we can not do! We will not be in time to internally restructure the body.
Again and again, I do not belittle the value of such assaults in the fast-breathing exercises, but if we want to get the highest reward, if we really want to learn Pranayama, then we must have patience. And there is no place for extremism. Should there be extremism there will be no result.
Once again, I remind you that according to the traditions of our School of Yoga, Yoga can not be taught, but you can learn it. My duty is to only to remove explicit, visible obstacles. Your task is to rediscover this ancient teaching, by listening to your body. Therefore, in any case, you will to re-open this ancient practice by yourself. You will be able to reopen it, if you are in harmony and listen to yourself. It is impossible to teach from the outside.
The uniqueness of Kriya Yoga
I am constantly going to use “our school of yoga.” What do I mean by this? Our yoga is usual, but there are some particularities in the approaches, especially in the sequence of exercises. We started, as they say from the end. We learned, that when Mantra-yoga is done correctly, Pranayama will automatically start running. We’ve learned that we should begin Pranayama from the navel center, and should have a shallow breathing. And the third thing in the practice is the following. We have an absolutely wonderful yoga, called “Kriya-Yoga.”
The uniqueness of Kriya-Yoga is that it seamlessly can take you from one kind of yoga to another one. For example, doing kriya-yoga, you can seamlessly switch to Hatha-yoga, without excess stress on the body. Practicing Kriya-Yoga, you can seamlessly switch to meditation practices, meditation itself. The practice of Kriya – Yoga, which is very important, can move you smoothly to Pranayama. And there is no equal practice to Kriya-Yoga; it gently takes you to Pranayama. To conscious exercises to gain Prana through the respiratory movements.
But again: the most important issue is the harmony: when you practice something and you do want to practice that something. The most important thing is to understand how the swing swings, and only then with swing them with your force. If you have not caught the tail of this harmony, it is useless for you to practice anything, even if you apply a considerable force into this.
Sometimes pretty sane guys visit me, quite strong, it’s obvious that he will output great results with time. But, unfortunately, I see that they have not passed Yama and Niyama in the most little nuances. They still think they can learn everything in three days in one step. But no, they will not master it! Until there is no internal harmony, a sense of the flow of Prana, harmony with the universe, harmony of continuity, this influx will not come. He doesn’t feel harmony inside. And if he doesn’t feel, he will not realize how fast to should inhale and exhale. And the complexity of Pranayama consists in the fact that anyone van be formally taught the exercises of Pranayama taught within twenty minutes. It is only necessary to grasp the tail of the subtle. That’s when we grab the tail of the thin structures, the tail of Prana, then the physical movements will be transmitted to the thin structures and the fine structures will lead to an influx of Prana. If this harmony is missing, it is useless to do these exercises.
The divers and the swimmers train their breathing professionally, and only those succeed in Pranayama that, like a fish in the water, feel, where to breathe and where to exhale. Only in this case they are suitable for the job all the divers. They can hold their breath, hyper-ventilate their lungs to dive to the bottom, they use different methods. But this is not Pranayama. This is oxygenating the body up to weathering of carbon dioxide, but this is not Pranayama. Pranayama has nothing to do with the oxygen and the air. Pranayama is the flow of subtle energy, Prana, and the respiratory movements are adjacent. They are indirect. Sometimes such a nonsense is written in the books they like the fact that Yogi pulls Prana from the air. Yes, he pulls it out of the air, but also from everything surrounding him. And from the whole cosmic reality. I was told: “In the acient times, yogis had no idea about the oxygen, that’s why they called the oxygen Prana. Nonsense! Prana is not oxygen.
Therefore, the physical component is secondary.
The purification of the internal energy channels.
We have internal energy channels that are dirty. The concept of dirt is a relative term. Dirt are called things that are not pertinent. When inside us are things which are not welcome and are better to avoid, this things are called dirt. This dirt is not in absolute terms, but in relative ones.
Here are our internal channels that are contaminated by these inappropriate things. What are these things? My answer will sound very strange: at the physical level, these are purely physical substances. Sometimes they are referred to as slag, sometimes as toxins. The fact is that this physical substance blocks, forcing our entire body to run differently at the physical level.
But there are other contaminants, more subtle, the so-called associative, or dirt acquired through experience. Ironically, inside us there is such a stable emotional-energy structure, which is inside us is either compressing something or vice-verse de-compressing. Or, as soon as some external conditions show us a picture, we act like Pavlov’s dog; the internal instincts start acting, and we manifest some kind of internal reactions, often completely unconscious. A set of such negative impressions, prints, some precipitate on the heart… We bump into something not so pleasant, and the unpleasant residue is guaranteed: “Yuck!” And, in fact, in terms of Pranayama-Yoga, these are residues of certain impressions, that press and block something inside us. They do not allow the energy to circulate freely. And from these things, we must get rid for sure. These are our previous experiences, our sympathy and antipathy, which are not now pertinent, which were broken into fragments. The fragments messed up, and it’s hard to understand what is behind what. We become bearers of emotional trash. So, in terms of Pranayama it also is a pollution of canals.
During the exercises, all this trash begins to pour out of us, its place is taken by clean impressions, clean associations, clean feelings. And this will be quite a long process. Sometimes it takes several years, sometimes it takes several months, but as soon as the channels are cleaned, the person feels like he was born again, and much more. It is really as if stones came out of him. What a weight was lifted from his shoulders. Popular texts describe these states, I am not going to quote them, I will send you later to the sources, where you will read this yourself.
The feelings are completely inexpressible. After an active Pranayama-Yoga practice, you will see that you not only can live without the things you’ve attached to for years, but you have to live. To live without all this mix of impressions, fears, preferences, dislikes, plans, lack of plans, everything that’s intertwined inside. Through Pranayama methods we begin to clean all this.
Has anyone of you cleaned the sewage pipe? Everything is so black, smelly, viscous. It is the same analogy with the cleaning of our internal channels, simply on an emotional level. We must get rid of this trash. Once we get rid of it, all the channels begin to transmit the energy very well. And therefore, any excess portion of the energy spreads without impediments. But if we did not catch the harmony, and begin to strenuously practice Pranayama – I will show you the example of “Bustling gentlemen” who want the maximum in three days, and think that the cooler the exercise, the harder they make it, the more is achieved. But, they will achieve nothing but a headache. The following will happen: they will pump energy inside, this energy will begin to burst, but instead of passing through the channels, it is redistributed in very pleasant inner feelings… (Yes, pranayama awakes very pleasant inner feelings). So, instead of joy, they get a sharp pain, they become brusque, antsy, inadequate people. The more energy they pump up, the more inadequate they become.
It is a matter of purification of channels. By itself, Pranayama cleanses the channels and therefore, when sane people come to me to learn yoga, I tell them: “Guys, I implore you, do not force Pranayama. Don’t do more than your body allows you to.”
In this sense, it is better to spend few years and achieve a result than unceremoniously jump and get nothing.
The question is, what is up with the emotional pollution?
Each one of us remembers that he have a personal “Self” and this “Self” is connected with a group of our bodies through an associative connection. And through this connection flows Prana.
Groups of bodies
What do we represent? We represent a gross physical body. “Inside” it is the subtle body, sometimes called the astral body, and in the astral body is enclosed a more subtle body, called the “causal body”, the most subtle.
All these bodies are, strictly speaking, material. If the gross body is made of physical substance, also the energy in it is rough. In the thin there is thin substance, and the energy, respectively, is more subtle, in the most subtle we find the extremely subtle energy and extremely delicate substance.
The modern science, as far as I know, has not yet made a single step to find these structures. No-one can, so far, fix these structures, but it is not particularly necessary for our practice. The time will come when the science will be able to do that.
Now, we have a gross physical body, there is also a subtle body (in a dream you see yourself in the subtle body), and there is a causal body, the most scaring, the most dangerous and unpredictable. This body, by and large, answers to two questions: I like – I don’t like, I want – I don’t want, it is pleasant – it is not pleasant, I love – I don’t love, attraction or repulsion. All the three groups of bodies act as if glued. Imagine: three Russian dolls nested within each other, and in order for them not to scatter, they are jointed with glue. This glue is Prana. Prana allows these three bodies to function. It is Prana, that allows the connection between the gross body and the subtle one, and between the subtle with the causal one. This suggests that every thought we have, if it was generated on the subtle level, through Prana it begins to manifest itself in the physical body.
Our Hatha-Yoga or Kriya-Yoga exercises immediately begin to reflect on our emotional state. All these three bodies are intertwined by reciprocal links. Again, like Pavlov’s dog: the dog sees the stick, which beat him, and avoids it, and we say it is the instinct, an acquired reaction to something. I assure you, we have a lot of such non-obvious reactions to our previous experience, positive or negative. And all these reactions initially served for a good purpose: that the next time we do not fall into a similar situation. But later, everything changed: we have changed, such situations will never occur … But the fear, this restraint still remain. And it can remain for a long time inside us in the form of trash. And it should be removed. But how?
You start to act from the physical body, the emotions come out. You start to affect the emotions, and this ends reflected on the physical body. And the most sane approach would be to work on what connects them all, and it is Prana that connects them. So if you do breathing exercises, then over time you delete these psycho-emotional bells and whistles, all those non-obvious links, associative webs. And figuratively, you get rid of so many future problems. And therefore, this is sometimes called “to burn karma.”
Distribution of karmic debts
You already have incorporated an algorithm that you should stumble on, like time bomb. This bomb is already inside you, and the timer is turned on. So, through Pranayama you smoothly take this bomb and throw it away. Where is it and will it explode or not, it is not your problem anymore. As if you got rid of karma. You remember that you can not get rid of karma, it can either be redeemed or neutralized. You reap what you sow. But is not necessarily to wait for the results. You can preempt them: if you did something bad, do now something good.
Pranayama acts alike. Practicing Pranayama, we are distributing the karmic debts. In all senses. If we have a surplus of Prana, than we can share this surplus. Prana is a universal currency. Now there is the American dollar that goes around the world, there is the pound, which also goes, but not so worldwide. There are some little-known currencies, which you can buy nothing with even in original countries. So, Prana is a universal energy. If you have something debts to someone, roughly speaking, in a specific currency, you can pay back your debt in the other one. And the most popular currency in this world is Prana. To neutralize or redeem some negative points, you can pay off in this currency, if you will increase the flow of Prana. That is why, in terms of Karma-yoga, the practice of Pranayama is necessary. Let us go back a little.
All of our body is permeated by energy channels; as a rule, these channels are contaminated by sort of associative dirt, sometimes physical, sometimes mixed with something else. Those of you who once drank a lot of vodka and who felt very bad the next day, such a person has established a very strong associative connection: a mere view of vodka recalls a sense of disgust.
That is, the physical layer somehow relates to the emotional, the emotional relates with the causal, everything is intertwined. But with the vodka it is obvious: you did something and you got a negative result. And imagine what an enormous amount of negative things there are hidden inside you. Sometimes it has a good impact: the next time you wont drink vodka that much. But sometimes the impact is bad.
But the goal of yoga is to get rid of any restrictions from any constraints that may damage us, therefore Pranayama is indispensable in this sense. Pranayama is working well, when the channels are clean. By practicing Pranayama, you clean these channels. Part of the Prana starts to circulate through the partially opened channels, while the other part can not get through.
Negative manifestations and what can be done
Now, about the negative manifestations of wrongly practising Pranayama. They may show up in burning of the whole body, increased irritability, insomnia, disgusting feeling after sleep, causeless discomfort, the sensation of fatigue, apathy. There are other nuances. Now, if Pranayama burns your negative karma, as you know, you have to work with this carefully: the karma doesn’t leave that simple. And here the most important thing is to safely follow precautions.
Look, what is happening: you begin to practice Pranayama, Prana starts to flow, the influx of prana begins to clean your internal structure, and there you have avalanches awaiting you. You draw for one thing, and a whole wall of dirt collapses. What was accumulated for an enormous amount of time, suddenly began to rise. It’s like cleaning an apartment: apparently everything is clean, but once you start, here or there you find considerable amount of dust, you start to have headaches, be sick from the dust, there’s no way of getting away, and so on. Roughly the same happens during the internal cleaning of the body. Therefore, on the one hand, these are symptoms that are very difficult to avoid. We sometimes practice Pranayama for longer than your body can bear, and face these difficulties, but if we do Pranayama carefully, this is bearable. Yes, we are a bit tormented, but if we had not cleaned all of this, two years later it would have grown to be an unsolvable problem. In other words, sometimes Pranayama solves our problems.
There is a painful condition, when a person begins to clean his body. That’s why I urge you: do not speed up! Slowly, every day, little by little. If you have a habit to practice regularly, you will reach the heights. If not, you will push the process, and the story will begin … But if you, like those gentlemen, who want to learn Pranayama in three days and who say: “Give us a lot of exercises, the harder the better!” you will observe the following effect,a very curious one. From five days up to two weeks – usually the deadline is mentioned, but there are exceptions – people are on the rise. The person is practising, he feel well, he continues to practice, and feels even better, more and more, and when five days, two weeks, are gone, he wakes up one morning and realizes that he feels as if he hasn’t even gone to bed. Literally he feels all broken: the hands hurt, the legs hurt, a total apathy, he can no longer watch anything and says: “I’m sick of life.”
The truth is, he is not sick of life, but from that he has exceeded the limit, took on a greater load than he could endure. Peculiar, indescribable sensation of pain throughout the body, mental and physical, and discomfort.
Very unpleasant. It is, indeed, that we started to clean the canals, and everything began to emerge to the surface. And if we set on too much, we will end buried under the dirt. The person will say: “No, no, enough, no yoga!” He stops the practice, and naturally the body naturally throws it all away. The person feels good, he says: “I stopped practising and I got better.”
This suggests that part of the dirt has been removed, while the other part lies awaiting its hour. Therefore, the following technique is recommended: carefully approach to the cleaning your body. Do not be surprised if you start to do Pranayama, and you notice these symptoms. This may be due to improper food, bad air or other factors that do not allow a proper cleaning of channels and the Prana to circulate. But there are ways of getting out of these states.
The first one is to move in space, change the scenery. That means, you get out of bed and go for a walk, aimlessly. Do not sit in the place where you found it difficult. Sometimes this helps a lot. By the way, these technique also is useful in the daily life, when a wave of apathy covers you…
The second one – forced physical cleaning procedures. What is counted here? This are enemas, sometimes baths are working very well. Nevertheless the paradox. Apparently, the vessels dilate and everything is pushed into circulation.
To read about the cleaning procedure, I refer you to the appropriate literature – to any book of Sivananda. They describe everything wonderfully, there are several various books.
Start cleaning yourself through an effort, force yourself. And here highlight the water treatments. In India, a good practice was to twice perform ablutions in the Ganges. Let us have a habit of taking a shower as often as possible, or a bath. The more often, the better, I mean per day, of course, if there is the possibility.
Sometimes fasting can help (water only).
There are other methods, but they are, in this context, rather exotic, but not to mention them I can not: the sexual practices. Oddly enough, sometimes they very quickly take you out of this state. This requires a separate discussion, but unfortunately, we do not have the time for this now.
Now, even if you followed all the prescribed precautions, if you strived to perfect harmony, it may still come.
What attitude should we take? A philosophical one.
Why? If this is the manifestation of a illness, sometimes even of a disease, and the person provoked it, the doctor must be visited. But if you are in a good condition and understand, that this is the effect of your body cleaning, once it happens you reduce the speed, you start to practice less, do all these exercises and take a philosophical attitude to it.
Know that, if it’s really the cleaning, then one of your sneeze today in a year is a god knows what. You eliminate future negative reasons, even when they are in the state of seeds.
With regard to irritability, if you’re serious about Pranayama, you will pass through it. You’ll become terribly irritated, extremely, all your relatives will point on you the finger saying: ‘You’re practising yoga, you should be calm, like a boa” and all of this will madden you. Do not worry, it will pass. The fact is that, in parallel with the cleaning of the channels, your senses will become more sensitive. What you haven’t noticed before, will deeply hurt you now. You were thick-skinned before, and now you became thin to the limit, and with the least harsh word you are shaking. Be prepared, it happens. If Pranayama is properly done, this leaves you as quickly as it started.
Now the useful recommendations.
1. During the practice, disconnect your thoughts. Give yourself to the feelings. The harmonious energy of the feelings will lead you itself.
2. Do not force. Do not rush. Otherwise there will be painful reactions.
3. Find your own rhythm. And your own time for every exercise.
4. Begin the practice outdoors or on a balcony, with an open window.
5. Rest after the exercises. Redistribute the energy. If you will not do this, you will attain nothing.
6. Strict diet, personal diet, absence of preservatives.
7. You do not have to work too much, but should not be idle also. Work is to be moderated. This refers to the lifestyle, I mean, if we go to work or study at university.
8. If you practice the ascetic method, abstain from sex, if you practice the quick way, have sex only in accordance with Yoga of Sex.
9. Control the communication with the others. Avoid in any way any contact with those who you do not like. Do everything possible. Limit the communication to a minimum.
10. Practice Pranayam preferably at the same time and in the same place. Time and place must be appropriate.
11. Combine Pranayama with other yoga practices.
These are some of the most frequently requested advice. Now I will quickly review all of them with comments.
All of us, or not all, have read books on breathing exercises. We have some kind of a concept, representation. Sometimes we think we know how it will be. We wait for some feelings from Pranayama.
We can read many different books on Pranayama. As practice shows, the more books on Pranayama you read, the slower it you start working on you. Such a paradox. Everyone read the books, everyone is starting to sit down and remember the teachings, breathe on one measure, hold the breath up at four, exhale for two and so on. The person who begins to engage in Pranayama, on one hand, he, in his head, keeps his own ideas about how it should be, on the other hand, he follows the good clever teachings, but in a context that is not quite appropriate. And all of this starts to pile up inside him. As a result, instead of surrendering to the process and focus on what’s happening inside, he begins to frantically recalls what he didn’t do so, for how long he paused, did he hold till the end or let loose earlier. And as result he has nothing.
When you do Pranayama, remember to keep your mind totally blank. Or thoughts come and go, but you do not react to them.
Why it is very difficult to teach Pranayama? Because this is a very intimate process, it can not be formalized.
Why? Because here the gross passes into the subtle, the subtle into the the most subtle. The slightest nuances, the slightest memory, your slightest reaction, like it or not, this all can either strengthen, or put an end on your Pranayama. On this feeling of “the tail of Prana. Therefore, turn off your mind, unplug the representation of what it should be. The person sits down and thinks: “Now this and that will happen.” This is an impasse solution in Pranayama. Sit down and just do, and what will be – it will be.
Why is this happening? Unfortunately, the process of thinking consumes a huge amount of Prana, first of all, of available Prana. Once again: the thoughts are like leeches, they will immediately suck all of the free Prana. As a result, people suffer from obsessive ideas. This is the scourge of humanity: the thoughts constantly revolve, they scare, they make us tremble, they totally suck and squeeze the energy. These are the true abusers of humanity.
You will buy a really good treaty, indeed follow the recommended pauses, a breath on one measure, exhale on four – a very good lesson – but it will come to you naturally gradually. But if you will think about it, this idea will become an obsession, it will suck the energy, but you should feel the Prana, and it will be taken over by your thoughts, and you do not feel the taste of Prana. I speak figuratively, but you should understand. If you will not feel, you will not understand what is it Prana. It is harder to answer to this question than it is to master Pranayama. I do not know how to explain you what is Prana. I simply do not know. It’s like a breath after a stuffy room, when you get out after a storm and breathe. This can be described as a flight, enthusiasm, and clarity all in one bottle. It’s almost impossible to explain it, you have to feel it. No one can teach you that, except for yourself, you ought to teach yourself.
You have to rediscover yoga. Yoga can not be taught, only God teaches yoga, all the rest only remove the obstacles in your way. You do have to rediscover it. And the extra mental concepts annihilate the practice. And if you give yourself to your feelings… yeah, thoughts will come and go. A thought will turn around and round and will leave, and every time it will pass smoother, more harmonious, more clearly, the energy will increase, but all of this will happen through the feeling of the process going on inside.
Do not force, do not hurry, these are the first two steps of the Eightfold Path of Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Until you have not developed them within yourself, the Universe will not open you these secrets, the Universe will hide them from you. The Universe is very cleverly hiding some mysteries from our comprehension. And the criterion for choosing who can discover the secrets, and who will not, sometimes is our behaviour and our way of life, how we behave.
And, do you know where those guards that do not give us the highest knowledge are?
They are inside us. They block it themselves. This is a tricky system. The Yoga system is able to defend itself. On the one hand, for friendly people, open to the whole world and ready to help the knowledge is open like on a silver platter. Here, take it and enjoy! And the person takes it, uses and receives. And for people who are selfish, self-loving, but still somewhere positive, it opens, but slowly. The more there are somewhere wrong beliefs inside, the more bad habits …
People always are in a hurry, always doesn’t take to the end what he started, it is useless for him to practice Pranayama. He will not succeed in there, because he didn’t work out the previous stage in his evolution. First, learn to be patient, non-arrogant, calm, and not hurry, you’ve worked it, it worked out. And then all of a sudden, it opened, now start practising Pranayama.
Why am I telling you all this? Because each of us has his own flaws, we all made mistakes, I’ve made mistakes, a lot of mistakes. My students… Five years of intensified training did not lead absolutely nowhere, except for shortness of breath. And this is sad.
Find your own rhythm. How many times to train, how long, what time of day, it’s all given to your mercy. You do something, get a result, and analyze.
Next, the relaxation after each practice will become a habit, and we do not make these mistakes.
Strict personal diet. We have already touched on this topic. Each one of us must work out his own personal diet, suitable only for himself. What is working for a neighbor, might not work in our case, even if he succeeded in Pranayama.
You do not have to work too much or too little. If you are workaholics, you’re entirely involved at work, then the body overheats. We generate energy, and then it is immediately spent on work. The body is overloaded. It’s not much of a violation, but, anyway, a sensible approach to combine work with rest must be considered. As in the Occident: there people work well and rest well.
Next. In regard to sex: it is a very serious subject. In fact, I, of course, will say a few words about it, though, to be honest, this is a bottomless reservoir of sexual practices with a combination of breathing exercises,that can not be related in a nutshell here. The only thing I can say is, that there is a very serious law, a sort of triad about the relationship of the three manifestations of the human. Inside a person three things are inter-related: his thinking process, his breathing and his sexual energy. While influencing on one, we can affect on the other two. Or, conversely, working on the other two, we selectively affect only one thing. Therefore, having sex can annihilate the success in Pranayama, if we have sex with a loss of energy. Similarly, if we have sex, as defined in the well-known yoga, here it is called “Yoga of Union”, the so-called “sex without loss”, on the contrary, first of all, that sex itself is accelerating Pranayama, and secondly , removes all of the side effects. On the other hand, Pranayama, in turn, greatly enhances the sexual potential. And there are two approaches.
I know people who say: “Enough, for six months I will have an ascetic life, I will control myself! I want to make a breakthrough in Pranayama! ”
Very commendable, it’s great. But this is not always optimal, is not always reasonable. Depending on what your lifestyle, act correspondingly. We once held a lecture about sex, with sex jokes are bad. All attempts to repress it, sometimes lead to the opposite.
Next, control in communication. Control in communication is almost about the paying off the karmic debts. We have karma, to communicate with people with whom we do not want to communicate. It is our karma, since if hasn’t been our karma, we wouldn’t even have noticed them, wouldn’t have known that they exist in the world. Since we are dealing with them, then willy-nilly, if we have a lot of Prana, Prana begins to flow to them. On the one hand, the process does not seem too bad, once they are near us, that means we owe them something. Well, if we owe that something, let them take it.
On the other hand, this is not always wise, when we are just starting to learn Pranayama, because they may take more than we have acquired, and we feel an extreme discomfort. Therefore, the for the study period of such a serious practice it is highly desirable to dose the communication. And if our negative karma urges us to talk to our friends, and we are somewhere aware, that after this communication we’ll be squeezed like a lemon, and we still go and talk, and then really are squeezed like a lemon, yes, this is our negative karma. We catch these thoughts. If we are attracted to do something, we will not go there because we know we will lose. It’s not the time yet. But later when you have acquired a lot you can pay off all the debts.
It is preferably to practice at the same time and in the same place, because the whole view and the entire surrounding atmosphere tunes you on the desired wave. You sat down, and it all started to work. It is highly desirable that no one disturbs. But our country has an extremely bad housing karma. Therefore, unfortunately, not everyone has the opportunity to practice in a separate room, in a separate place and so on. Therefore, you should look for suitable place, the best of the worst. And do the practice in the same place at the same time.
Now, it is highly desirable to begin to learn Pranayama outdoors. If you start to learn Pranayama in the fresh air, you will avoid approximately fifty percent of future ambushes. It is highly desirable, if you have good karma, and have the possibility to practice outside, do exercise outdoors. If it is not possible to do the exercises outdoors, then let it be the balcony. If there is no balcony, let there be an open window. If you have the possibility start on the street. In any weather, dress up warmer, everything will go well.
Now, about when to practice. It is highly desirable to practice in the moments when the whole nature is calm. It is extremely pleasant and with minimal losses, if we begin to do the exercises in early spring or autumn, when the nature is a calm before awakening, or calms down before going to sleep. In those moments, if we begin to practice Pranayama, all this harmony, diffused throughout the surrounding, contributes to the fact that our mind calms down, and we are more likely to feel the inner state of harmony and overcome all the troubles that can await us.
Now the most important is the key question. So you decided to practice Pranayama. How to start and for how long to do the exercises?
You must start with those exercises, that you will learn at today’s seminar. There are other exercises, but unfortunately we can not include all of them in our seminar, we are limited in time. But anyway, you must start with these exercises. Moreover, other exercises are a variation of the same.
Once again, the secret of Pranayama is not in how many different exercises you do, not in how intensely you do them or how often, all of this is secondary. This is one of the major secrets of Pranayama.
In Pranayama, if you grasp the inner harmony of Prana, no matter what you do, will turn into Pranayama. Conversely, if you have not grasped the tail of this inner harmony of Prana flows, nothing will work. On the contrary, you start practising, and it gets worse and worse. Well, at best, you will strengthen the lungs, which is not bad, but Pranayama is something else, it’s a psychic energy.
Now one more thing, where is Prana in bigger quantity, and where in less. Prana is a mystical kind of thing. In all the beautiful places: on the river, at the beach, ocean, mountains, where everything is harmonious and beautiful, where the fresh air is, for some reason there is a lot of Prana. Usually, in these places health resorts and spas are built. People want to strengthen their health, they come somewhere in the Caucasus, and everything vibrates there; for some reason, there Prana is in excess. The patients there are prescribed pills and the like, but they get cured by something else – the atmosphere itself. The doctor says: “Yes, this medicine had its effect”!
Unfortunately, doctors must have a good face in any game, but sometimes everything is determined by the presence of a person in the right place. Moreover, there are bad places, where there is a lack of Prana, painful place where you feel bad. I know that, in south-east Asia there is a place where any visiting person immediately catches the fever. Prana is gone, and it all started wrong. Maybe it’s different type of Prana, I do not know, this is a very complex topic.
Once again I stress, it is not an energy, it is sort of grand-energy, and it also manifests as consciousness. It is very strange. When Prana is reduced only to the energy, to a certain extent this is correct, but not completely honest. So, if you chose a beautiful place in nature, where nothing hinders, and this place could be anywhere.
I literally walked around Moscow recently, and sometimes you come into a side street and feel that yes, it is here, and sometimes even walking in the woods you feel uncomfortable. That is, this feeling is individual. But if we live somewhere, then we do Pranayama where we live, but most importantly it has to be done in open air. I stress out again and again: do it in the air. This is as important as it is to rest after the Pranayama practice. If you will practice in the open air, you will very quickly grab all the harmony of what I’m telling you.
Now a little digression. Why do people smoke? For one simple reason, they indirectly do Pranayama. That is what is calming them, and the nicotine … Yes, it is a chemical that is somehow built into in the metabolism, but so many people are calmed by these uniform breaths in a somewhat distracted place. This is a deeper phenomenon, that’s why quitting smoking is much harder. If you do not smoke, don’t even start. This is an analogue of Pranayama, but for ordinary people.
I am under no circumstances not advertising nicotine and effects. Frankly speaking, cigarettes must be a bit opressed.
Why we have banned some substances, with legal prosecution? And why nicotine is better or worse? Although judging on the power of the effect it is the same thing. Some kind of illogic. But this is not my concern. At least, cigarettes should not be easily accessible. Let them be in any supermarket, but difficult to find. Actually now everybody smokes and this is bad. Who has already started, what is left to be done? The question is relevant to those who have not begin smoking.
Now the most important remark. Pranayama is a psychophysical thing, that is, your imagination, thoughts and feelings during the execution are no less important than what you are doing physically. Only if what you’re doing physically, blends in harmony with the inner spirit, only then you have a chance to grasp Prana by the tail, and not earlier. Therefore, any nuances here are important. There is another good psycho-physiological method. Everything we have is associative. The main tool that connects our “self” with our bodies is the associative channel. Within us the associative channel forms the main channel of our existence, this is the central channel – Sushumna. It connects our energy with our consciousness and is situeted somewhere in the region of the spine. It is totally blank, direct, and of sky-blue color. This is the main associative channel, after which the auxiliary associative channels are built.
Auxiliary associative channels following Sushumna are Ida and Pingala. Two paired channels, that come on both sides of the Sushumna channel. There is a huge number of other smaller channels, but I don’t have neither the time, nor the possibility and desire to list all of them. These associative channels are getting more and more subtle. But any associative connection that occurs in life, any reaction to the experience, this is, strictly speaking, your associative channel. Except that, this associative channel is as thin as spider-web, it can be quickly removed and rapidly be painted. On our fundamental channels our whole life is built. Therefore, we clean the fundamental associative channels, they are needed. But the ones that formed in parasitic way, in which Prana leaves, we sweep them away like we do a spider-web.
Another theoretical moment: since everything that connects our “self” with our body are associative links, then we have no other real tools to change ourselves, except for associative connections. That is, in order to break the associative link, we need to create an associative tool with our imagination, if you like, and then reinforce this tool with our own feelings and energy, and then inside we clean all this mess.
Today we have learned four exercises. Do you know that these exercises are more than enough for Pranayama? For our purposes today, even if we perfectly know the theory of Pranayama, even if we know a lot of other exercises, no less widespread and less useful, and we should start from these exercises. If you do not learn how to do these exercises, believe me, you will not learn the other exercises also.
Now another moment. If you start to seriously practice Pranayama, then of course, your whole life will change. I do not know a single person who hasn’t changed its life for the better, of course I mean of those who have been engaged in Pranayama. Everything will change. But the cleaning can be very painful and unpleasant. Therefore, I warn you once again about the manic behavior when Prana will start working for. It is a very tempting thing the feeling of power, the desire to restore the order with the energy in the tank troops, to deal certain issues. Why am I saying this? This are totally real-life situations, scenarios, that I, for example, have to face in a working order. Though it sounds a bit strange, why is the man suddenly trying to dive into some kind of activity?
He will dive for sure! Therefore, if you practice Pranayama, and you feel the influx of energy, and suddenly you start to be haunted by some obsessive ideas, concepts – to start a revolution, to replace the ruling politicians with righteous people, to punish the villains, a whole spectrum of many different things – know that in highest sense of the word, you are not a lost person, you have a sense of justice, and this sense of justice will be sharpened to the limit, you are there will not be able to sit still, looking at what is happening around.
Do you understand the paradox and the danger? Indeed, it’s like a bandage will fall from your eyes. If you wish, call this supernormal abilities. You’ll look at a person and will say that he steals. Or that he is a briber. And it will be with a certain degree confirmed.
And you, of course, if you previously did not pay attention to this injustice and pain of the world, once you begin to vigorously practice Pranayama, feel all of this very keenly!
You will want to do something. So against I forewarn you against this moment. Wait to act. Because it is possible to commit follies. If you have to do something, remember the principle of ahimsa. Do not harm any living being unless it is absolutely necessary, even if this living creature is the last villain. You better direct your time, your life to help people, to the extent that you can.
In this sense, you have a tremendous potential.
What does Pranayama give? If you will master Pranayama, you will learn to treat by imposition of hands. In a literal sense, if you feel Prana, it begins to flow over any associative channel. You will only take a look at the sick man, begin to empathize with him, immediately there will establish an associative channel, and Prana will begin to flow from you to him. It is a very serious ability.
I know doctors – why I admire and respect them? Among them, different people are, why lie, but there are also doctors, let’s say, blessed by God. There are doctors, that talk to you, look at you and already feel better. They even prescribe you some medicine, but in fact the whole force was in the doctors themselves. He simply gave you Prana. What is called, from God. They say that if a person is engaged in Pranayama, he has open such a possibility. This is a serious possibility to help people. The creative abilities open, the intellect is very strongly developed. The life energy increases greatly.
But the reverse side is also awaiting for you, the cleaning the body begins, and usually it is very painful, is directly proportional to your efforts in practice. This is directly proportional to the cleaning the body. And it is very painful. For these abilities we have to pay a very good price. In the future, you will feel the pain of others stronger than yours. As in the joke: someone bumps his head, but the lump grows on your head. Once this starts to happen, know that you are very close to open the supernatural abilities. It is impossible to acquire super-powers and at the same time remain in your egg shell. Supernatural abilities come only when there is no difference between your body and the surrounding world. Only due to this fact, you are able to do something.
I’m trying to show you the balance. On the one hand, in front of you a very large skyline is opening. On the other hand, are also opening up quite painful things. And I warn you again, stay away from extremism, because you will be tempted to make a revolution at every moment. This are not a funny words, I know real people who have done it. Alright! These four exercises.
I would be very happy if we started to slowly learn Pranayama, by doing these four exercises.
How much time to spend on Pranayama?
You must start with 15 minutes once a day.
Then I would be happy, if we continued to practice twice a day for 10-15 minutes.
But in the future, it depends on how Pranayama will work in your case. If it goes well, then you can slowly increase the practice. Again, I warn you, it’s like to drink wine. You do not know at what point you start to get drunk. That is, you get dizzy and dizzy, apparently you are sober, your jokes are normal, but the next day, people tell you that you’ve done this and that. Pranayama has the other side, you will not have restrictions.
Usually, people are very shy, usually to help the world, you must gather all the courage and make yourself heard, that you exist.
Usually, people are very modest, especially those involved in yoga, they do not say the words loud, limit themselves in order not to offend the others.
This is a good position, but if we want to really somehow help the people, then we must learn to express ourselves. And when we begin to practice Pranayama, then in the good sense of the word, we are dizzy through Prana and we no longer care how we are perceived: we can be scolded, praised, our opinions can be shared or not. This is a very good tool to make something real. But unfortunately, this is a very dangerous tool, if we take some sort of wrong actions, thinking that we are doing something useful.
Well, finally, the most important is the principle of harmony. All the exercises are just a simple part of the Pranayama. If there is no feeling of inner harmony, if there is no flow of life … You can do Pranayama, and notice that some thoughts will very easily come and go. You calm down, and then feel more and more power … If you are practising twice a day, you develop a rhythmic tune: a push in the morning and a push in the evening you and you fall in a kind of rhythm. And here the most important thing, is to match this tune with the outside world, because work interferes with, or rather imposes its own prints. The surrounding air, food, communication all are factors.
All of this is piled up in a very serious way, and you have to be careful. The danger – once again! – in Pranayama is not obvious. We expect a thing to happen, but in reality happens something else. We expect certain feelings to come, and begin to quarrel with the family and friends, but in fact it could be a continuation of Pranayama. We must be careful like that climber, the lifeguard. He crawled, crawled up the mountain, but felt that something was not right, turned away and crawled back. The second climber, that dared to crawl higher, he got crushed, and it was very hard to get him out.
Now the next moment. It is extremely important for us to learn to breathe through the nose. If someone has a habit to breath through the mouth, check it for yourself and try to gradually get rid of this habit. But if for certain people this breathing is caused by an illness – the nose is not breathing – it is a totally different matter. But if the nose is functioning, and you breathe through the mouth, you must stop and think, since it is a serious symptom. This is considered unreasonable in yoga. If we are in a hurry, we run and breathe through the mouth, this is normal. There are exercises in yoga, when we breathe through the mouth intentionally, this is normal. But in yoga it is considered, that in the normal daily life, we must breathe exclusively through the nose, it is his direct function.
– You said to start with fifteen minutes and there are four exercises in total. It turns out very short …
– Breathing exercises for four minutes is not short. It’s not short at all, it is even normal. Another thing is that I said “fifteen minutes”, but did not say what kind of exercise. And the exercise, you can chose on the mentioned four. You can do one exercise, maybe two, can do all the four, this is given at your mercy. Might happen that sometimes the voice exercise will not go and everyone will look back at you to check that you are ok. There might be moments when the voice exercise will go very easy. Let’s say, oddly enough, the voice effect sometimes overcomea even the negative impact of any room.
But on the street it is good to breathe alternately. Another question, where. There are many other various factors. For example, your nostrils are laid, and alternate breathing is very hard. In this case, concentrate on the first two exercises. That is, play with the exercises. And in the end, there is something I did not have time for, these are more advanced techniques in Pranayama – Yoga. To talk about them before you have mastered the previous ones, makes no sense.
There are several other exercises and one of them is a key exercise. This is the game with the air. Even when doing these exercises, play with the air, modify the exercise: “now I do so, but later in bit different way”, so that the exercise itself brings you to the appropriate path, how it should be done.
It is impossible to teach Pranayama. Pranayama can only be learned. Only God teaches Pranayama, I do not teach Pranayama, and no one else teaches Pranayama. I only remove the obstacles in your way, so that you rediscovered Pranayama. Therefore, a certain amount of creativity in approach to Pranayama is required: “Here I do like this, here slightly different, here I retain, and here I will not do” ….
This must be remembered.
And finally, the last thing is: pay attention to your back. If you will practice Pranayama, eventually the spine will straighten by itself. But if you straighten your back, then Pranayama will go faster. So it’s good to take as a habit that the back, the neck and head be in a straight line, so that nothing bothers inside. It is not necessarily to sit the way I do here now. Sit on a chair, on a cushion, whatever you like, but the back, the neck and the head – keep them straight. If you can not sit down, do the exercises lying down, it is allowed. You can not lie, do them in a standing position, it is allowed. The only thing that is highly desirable is that the back, the neck and the head be straight.
QUESTION: – When we do Pranayama, can we visualize Mantras?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – This is a good question. When we do Pranayama, an important part of it are our images. Therefore, sometimes people visualize the Mantra in its writing, or some picture or anything else, it is individually.
Generally, there is a golden rule: what spontaneously went, hold for that. For one person, the spontaneous image is of a kind, for the other one – another kind. I remember a man, he was electrician by formation. He had some very specific images of three-phase currents, where something enters here and exits there. He immediately was visualizing a transformer in the cut. This also is an associative tool, like everything else. For him, this visualization had quite a specific load. In yoga it is sometimes, very often recommended to visualize Mantras. Sometimes it’s a huge amount, for example, in Tibetan yoga it is a known Mantra, they’re all hooked, with a definite hook – in different ways.
The only thing that unites these practices is an associative image, that either is spontaneously born, or familiar to us and does not cause rejection. Therefore, we can meditate, how the flow of Prana enters us, that we inhale “Om”, and exhale all our fears and lumps. Any image is acceptable.
QUESTION: – At the seminar on Mantra-yoga the connection between the Kundalini – Yoga and our speech was shown. Could you talk about the connection of Kundalini with the breathing?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – This is a very complex subject. In fact, all these yoga, they only slightly overlap. It is possible to explain Kundalini – yoga in terms of Pranayama – Yoga only as how to awaken Kundalini energy. In fact, the associative tool of Pranayama, with which we worked with you, it not only aims at cleansing our body and to bring abundance of Prana, but it also aims the awakening of our core energy, which is called “Kundalini”, which is located at the base of our body.
A very strange thing, a very strange energy, our only energy. Everything else is a special case of its manifestation.
The question arises, how is Kundalini related to Pranayama? If the Prana is sort of an energy , so is Kundalini an energy? In this regard, here is the next moment, in different schools it is differently explained. Some schools say that every breathing movement attracts Prana. The others state that not only it attracts, but also connects the inner consciousness with the internal energy, rather, carries out their connection, both the consciousness and the energy expand.
There are many interpretations. Unfortunately, I can not give you an unanimous academic answer to this.
I recall once again. Unfortunately, all this knowledge came to us in a very truncated form. A huge part of the knowledge was lost, very few people imagine what it is, so I can tell you what I know on this subject, but it will take too much time.
QUESTION: – In terms of yoga, where is included, where emerges the mechanism of inhalation and exhalation when we are born?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – Generally speaking, it is our desire to live, our desire of being. This is one of our deepest structures. We want to live in this body, therefore, we need to support our body. Once inside the body there is a lack of energy, begins an associative relationship between our bodies and our ‘self’, roughly speaking, stretches, and we instinctively begin to feel the flow of Prana. The person got hurt: “Oh, it hurts!”. He held his breath and squeezed the wound with his hands. What did he do?
When he held his breath, he unleashed a small portion of Prana, with the hands and the mind, we directed it to where the hit happened. Such an instinctive, intuitive self-cure. Therefore, we did exactly the same when we clamped our mouth. We do not breathe, do not breathe, then of a sudden, all our thoughts are gone, the hand itself fell, we fainted, but we continue to breathe. This is a deep and a considerably grave phenomenon. This our “self” expresses its wish to live in the form of a specific body, and everything that threatens it is swept away.
QUESTION: – How to relax, exercising on the street?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: That’s a good question, a serious subject. Usually, I recommend that if you practice on the street, take this type of travel mat and find a secluded place to just lie down and lay.
Sometimes it happens, that there is no such possibility, and there is an auxiliary version of the relaxation, this is the exercise where you lean forward. Here, the effect of relaxation is that you have not had a strong-willed determination to keep yourself, you have a maximum relaxed body, so that inside the channels are opened and the energy could flow. In some cases, even the state of the body in yoga-mudras position is also a relaxation. But it is preferably to lay. You can lay down either on your stomach or back, it is not essential.
Now, if you didn’t rest after Pranayama, but jumped up and ran. Sometimes different situations happen, an alarm clock or cell phone rang – a call that you have been waiting for three days. You can not miss it, what to do? Obviously, you jumped up and ran, solved all your problems, then rest afterwards. It also allowed. You realized the mistake, you corrected it.
If, later you received a call: “Quickly go to work, there’s something to be done, and you go there, then later compensate with a separate rest, recalling. The most important is the associative link between the practice and the relaxation. Karma can be various.
QUESTION: – There is a meditative practice – the “cleansing of the mind.” I wanted to clarify something: since the thought consumes Prana is the increase of Prana a consequence of mind purification? Or the flow of Prana decreases with the liberation of the mind from thoughts?
Vadim Zaporozhtsev: – A wonderful addition, but during a single seminar it is impossible to cover all the aspects. If you start to struggle with your thoughts, then you are releasing Prana. A bad, ugly comparison, but vital is that thoughts are like rats, they take away our vital energy. There are useful thoughts, needed for work, for communication, for life. But there are also parasitic thoughts. The energy, Prana, is acquired in a certain volume, and all of it was dragged to those rat holes, and we are powerless. But, if through the practice of meditation we clean or reduce the amount of thoughts – there were a hundred billion thoughts per second, and later we have ninety-nine billion – then the energy is distributed to a smaller quantity, so that every thought becomes sharper, juicier, it is nourished by energy and this energy, and there is a bigger reserve of it.
Therefore, the fewer the thoughts in the head, the greater the flow of energy we feel in the body. My comparison, again is incorrect, but taken from life: sometimes a person doesn’t have strength, he has troubles, chaos in his mind, what does a average person do?
He goes to the store, buys a bottle of vodka, pours himself a glass, bang, and drank it. Through the action of the chemistry, which I deny. But this is not an option, but an occasion to become an alcoholic, here I am saying this not as an argument but in terms of an illustration. At some point, in that person’s head, under the effect of the alcohol, the number of thoughts is reduced. That’s the way our bodies work. Some energy is released and he says: “Oh! I feel better! ”
You feel better not due to the vodka, but because the number of thoughts has been narrowed, and an excess of energy was generated in the body. If we reach a state of thoughtlessness, at least for a split second, then we experience an slashing flow, a wave of Prana. It was spent on these thoughts and little thoughts that oppressed us. Usually we go …. “Oh, everything is bad, this is bad.” And every thought feeds itself from our own energy. But if we will delete these thoughts, this energy will be freed. And, above all, it will free itself as a feeling of your well-being.
The energy pumped out from the thoughts, gives a push. That is why we practice Hatha – yoga. Through Hatha – yoga, we squeeze the thoughts through the feelings, and later we disable them. After the practice, you tend to feel more relaxed than before the exercises. That was the answer. Therefore, any practice of meditation, strictly speaking, also lead to an increase in Prana. Once again: there is a triple bond of sexual energy, breathing and thinking. And acting on one, we can increase the other. In this case, we increase the amount of Prana, on the bill of the energy of thoughts .
Worldwide, almost nobody teaches Pranayama, and in case someone does teach, this person deserves a monument while still living, since it is very hard to teach Pranayama. There have been cases where people have spent five-six years of unsuccessful attempts to master Pranayama. Therefore, in the first place, we will remove the most obvious obstacles, we will slowly begin to practice, but over the years, everything will come.
We’ll do a little warm-up exercise that we need for Pranayama, but, as oddly as it may seam, it is a vocal exercise. Now, sit straight, straighten your back and neck, the head, lift the tip of the tongue as high as possible, as if trying to swallow it, and begin to sing the mantra “M”.
This exercise is from Mantra-yoga. What do we need it for? If Mantra-Yoga, and especially, this exercise is properly executed, then over time your inhale and exhale will normalize and you will very slowly begin to approach the Pranayama. The exercise that we did is sometimes called in Sanskrit pronunciation the Mantra “OM” – “Pranava”.
1. If the mantra is done correctly, it automatically leads to Pranayama.
2. If Pranayama, “didn’t go”, you feel uncomfortable, sometimes a very strong one, the practice of Mantra allows you to fix the errors and remove the discomfort.
Alike climbers that have a spare rope, Mantra yoga is a spare harness rope in all the yogas.
When you crept into some area, dangerous enough, after all, Pranayama is a pretty dangerous yoga in this sense, it is always good to have a spare rope. You never know what’s there. So, Mantra – yoga is a spare rope. Generally, it is a spare rope for all yogas. First and foremost, for the sexual yogas, there it is in general the most important thing. In yoga of breathing this is a very strong support. Therefore, remember: if nothing worked, then in the future, it’s like a recipe.
3. The most important principle when dealing with Prana is the harmony, harmony and once again harmony.
What does “harmony” mean, and why I said for three times? The answer is simple: if in Hatha – yoga, it is simply the word “harmony”, in Pranayama – Yoga , it is three times more. If the principle of harmony is not respected, you will not move a single step. More precisely, it will be like at Vladimir Ilyich Lenin – “a step forward, two steps back.” That would be roughly the same situation with Pranayama.
From where to start studying Pranayama without undue adverse effects? With the navel center. Remember that, when we came to this world, we were attached by the umbilical cord to our mother. The navel center is the center of sort of physical dominance. The action of Prana, primarily manifests in the fact that our body doesn’t ruin, so that no infection from the outside can destroy us. The navel fire does not allow external negative factors to destroy us. At the same time, the navel fire breaks into the elementary components the food that we consume. You ate something, but this something was a structure of an another organism. The umbilical Prana must destroy these structures to the ground, so then they can be embedded in your body. Therefore, you must dedicate an increased attention to the navel center right from the beginning of Pranayama study.
The first exercise to be done is the following:
– Make the vibrating movements of the abdomen at the navel level. Inhale-exhale, inhale-exhale.
Like a massage of the navel region. Very quickly, back and forth. Now a full breath … You breath, rest and breath and rest again.
Why we must begin with the navel center? The fact is that this fireplace blow out the last. No matter how bad our state is, no matter how sick we are, we need to begin rebuild our bodies from this center. Here are intertwined the basic channels that give us vitality. It is not optimal to start with other exercises. We must blow the fire of life that at least somehow but is glowing, and not the one that doesn’t exist. With these rhythmic movements we make the energy to give a start to itself, to wake up. Then all this will go more and more. This fire is blown up and burns out the dirt in the channels, and in the future we can practice more complex exercises.
This exercise is done in different variations, but the core that you must always remember is harmony, harmony, and once again harmony. That is when you do something and want to continue to do so. You do, and it’s like that you tune on a wave, some rhythm. If it punched you, if it is unpleasant, that means you have to slow down, do less, somehow to change, modify. Unfortunately, these muscles are very hard to describe what and how to do there. It seems clear to make movements with the abdomen, right? But how it is individually inside, it is hard. Sometimes there are people whose muscles there are absolutely not developed. One person did the exercise ten times, and started to feel pains and pricks, the other person can make these movements for a hundred times, and it make no difference. Therefore, it is individually, and the principle of harmony.
So, we do a certain number of inhale-exhale. Then, after the nth number of breaths, it is individually, we take a full breath. And then a very interesting thing follows. We make the stomach in the form of a jar, we inflate it. And we cease the breath at this point. “Ceasing the breath” in Sanskrit sounds like “Kumbhaka” but another meaning of the word is “jar”. The abdomen-jar. This leads to the fact that contaminations are eliminated in thin channels, and it is easier to do more complicated exercises. Remember this exercise.
The next practical moment is Kriya – Yoga. If you remember, in Kriya – Yoga there is an exercise with roughly this text: “… bend, as under the burden of concerns, then shake it off …” We make such movements, and these movements are not respiratory at all. I remind you that the respiratory process, the harmonious change of muscle and ribs lead to the fact that, the impulse goes into the deep structures and deep structures force to liberate or generate some Prana. And there are forced movements. They are not respiratory, but they force these respiratory impulses to hook up stronger, and on this behalf portion by portion Prana is emanated. Let me remind you that the Kriya – Yoga states that anything that is not mentioned how to be done, do as you wish. It a very serious system.
That is, the same exercise can be done with an inclination of the head, you can do it without the inclination, in a fairly wide spectrum. And the idea is as follows: the second exercise, it is a transitory kriya.
So, we do this exercise. And starting at some point, we begin to slowly do this Kriya, the so-called transitory kriya. And through these movements, we swing the system. We call this activity “the swing.” Sometimes it is called “bhastrika – the “bellows breath”. To be honest, there is some confusion with names.
The second exercise or a third if you count starting from the vocal exercise, this is when we begin to strengthen this movement with very powerful movements due to muscles of the back. Bend in – bend out. This movement, like fire, how we instigate a fire. The analogy: you instigate the fire in the navel center, at first, barely blowing, so that it does not blow out, but once it is burning stable, you immediately begins to increase the airflow. Here it is the same, we increase. That is why, here it is stressed in a separate exercise, because for weak people who have just started to learn Pranayama, of course, it is too early to add up. But for people who have already passed the first stage, it is a very good thing.
The most important is to capture the harmony within yourself. You caught the way the swing works, and now i’s time to amplify to the maximum. We continue doing. The next thing, we do again a full inhale, am a ceasing, and during the ceasing – also a very serious rule – we lean forward. For a while we sit, if it is pleasant. And if you feel that the muscles are tense, we lean forward. It is necessary, that we elaborate the habit to lean forward. And also it is sometimes very pleasant to grip with the fingers the nostrils on ceasing.
Why? Because then all the other muscles can be relaxed. When we stifle, everything is relaxed, except, of course, the fingers. I lean forward, I’m totally relaxed. And thereby I have a forced redistribution of Prana. And then I will have to lay down and rest less. In addition, there is enough good reason to develop a habit to lean forward. The fact is that, since I do not know, someone said that this is due to hyperventilation – I do not really believe this, though, perhaps, this is a component, but if Prana is directed to the center between the eyebrows, the yogi loses the sense of reality. In a simple way to say – everything is not to say that it floated – but disappeared. Well, in one form or another every one of you will face that, even if you do it now, therefore, when you feel that you are loosing control of the reality, when you will fall backwards, you will severely hurt your neck. And if you fall forward, even if you bump, your legs will amortize the fall. This is important, that everything be ok. This second exercise with greater activity begins to clean the channels and, as soon as the channels are clean, Prana flows with a higher intensity.
If it did happen that one morning you could not get up and even thought with regret, why you had to go to sleep, you’d better not sleep at all, maybe it would be easier. So, what do you have to start with? From the first exercises. Try to break with the voice, through the “I do not want”, and try to start working with the navel, take very small breaths. Even if you are lying on the bed, begin to “rake” from the place from which it is simpler.
The secret of Pranayama is that this is a psycho-physiological system. Internal state, internal feelings here are much more important than the number of breaths. It is highly desirable to be in a state of inner peace, complacency. Later you will understand how this harmony begins to appear, you will grab it, and will start to attract more and more of it. But the most important thing is to grasp it. And here we have the following exercise, we call it “alternate breathing.”
There are many other sources, yoga schools, where it is called in a different way, but the meaning is the same: we alternate inhale through one nostril, exhale through the opposite, and then inhale through exactly the same, and exhale through the opposite. Such an alternate breathing. That is, we inhale, and the air jet behaves as if it bumped inside us, cleaned everything and exited the body through the other nostril. Such a kind of “U – shaped” movement. The issue is that the respiration is done first through one nostril and then through the second one.
Now all of you get a little closer, away from the walls. Now we’re going to do this alternate breathing. Who is studying yoga for a long time, knows that there is such a beautiful Niassa – yoga, which accelerates the flow of yogic processes several times. You do remember what Nyasa yoga is a terrific, wonderful yoga, but it has two drawbacks: it takes a lot of time to learn Nyasa, and someone has to do Nyasa on you. When you’re alone, who is going to do Nyasa to you? You need like-minded people. In order to have like-minded people, we must already be on another karmic level, we must be sufficiently communicative and open. Not all people who practice yoga, oddly enough, are willing to socialize, this is the next step. So, I will ask the guys to do the corresponding Nyasa to you while you do this exercise, so that the process starts quickly, so that you realize quicker what is happening.
So, take any hand, the left or the right, it is not important. Take the index finger and place it on the point between the eyebrows. Then remember: usually we never pinch the nostrils with the index and middle fingers. We pinch them with the thumb, the little finger and the ring finger, and we do not touch the other two.
Therefore, so that the index finger doesn’t touch for sure, we place it on the point between the eyebrows. Inhale through one nostril – smoothly, quietly, slowly, and then exhale through the opposite nostril. Then, through the same one inhale and exhale through the opposite.
Now, inhale, and if you want to cease your breath – do so. If you do not want to – don’t.
If you want to cease your breath on the exhale, do that, if you do not want to, don’t. Tune to your feeling to the maximum. Mind, if possible, disconnect it from making this decision, otherwise it will ruin everything with its concepts.
Try to teach someone to ride a bike. If he starts to learn by using his mind, he will immediately fall. He will be thinking, what leg to push and what to raise.
Any spontaneous mental picture that helps us do an exercise, it is extremely welcome, and should not be ignored. This is our associative tool, and it eventually will help us get rid of everything that is superfluous, unnecessary.
So, in this case, we do the following exercise: we visualize the stream of air, Prana, the energy – whatever you want – rushes inside us. Here we have the central channel, to the right – the secondary channel, the stream goes through this secondary channel up to the very foundations of our body, there as a tube it hits the bottom of our body. Imagine the way this stream of air sweeps away all the dust and goes through the opposite side. As if it aerates our body. Then we pump in the clean stream into the other side. It enters, mixes with our inner “dirt.” What image came, that one is good to be used. Imagine the way it exits through the opposite side. Reinforce your feelings with the associative picture. The associative image after the reinforcement of Prana is no longer a mere abstraction. It begins to be a real tool, first for self-knowledge, and secondly, in order to change your inner world for the better, to clean it, and so on. So, alternately breath, imagine what I was saying. I’ll ask the guys to do the proper Nyasa of the left and right channels. In order to make it easier to concentrate, I will turn on to music, but, in fact, in nature, you may not need anything.
And as the curtain fell, some auxiliary exercises that will help you learn Pranayama. Why? Sometimes, the nose is stuffed up. One nostril is working, the other isn’t. Sometimes the whole spectrum.
One exercise I will show, and the second I will relate. We have in hand a piece of line, the most common fishing line, but thick enough. In general, the line may be more thin, perhaps even this is too thick. Then take a lighter or matches, ignite and make a ball. Here, mine is too small, it was possible to make it bigger. And here comes a moment. When we gently, without sudden movements begin to insert a line in the nostril, very deep, on and on and get to a border point, when we will start to sneeze. With a terrible force, several times, that’s the reason you are given napkins. We reach this level, when we start to sneeze and that’s it. Further, in principle, the fishing line can be dropped. You will begin to sneeze five or six times, and the whole system is cleaned. There are certainly more fanatical followers of yoga that are able to run this line to the throat and pull it out of the mouth. It is very simple, but I am not calling you to do it today, but at your leisure. This is done very simply, and every one of you at home can experiment. So we first do it in one nostril, sneeze five times, then the other nostril, and again sneeze five times. And this is enough.
So, that is the wonderful practice, an auxiliary one. There it has a few side positive effects, it is said, that it sharpens visual acuity, there are all sorts of factors.
The only thing I urge you: in all yoga practices with supporting tools, apply common sense, don’t hurt yourself. You know, there is a saying: “Tell a fool to pray and he will split his forehead.” Common sense is to do these practices when there is a need for this.
Now another moment, if, indeed, we have s stuffed up nose, then this alternate breathing we can do in the following way. Inhale through both nostrils and exhale alternately, once through one nostril and once through the other one.