Much emphasis is given in our day-to-day life for maintaining the physical body. Some of the most powerful daily habits for serving the physical body are unconsciously practiced through food. The second most prominent daily physical habit is the shower or bath and the third is physical activity. There are many exercise and work-out salons, as well as yoga studios in metropolitan areas indicating the fascination and dedication to maintaining the physical body. Even more so are the number of restaurants and grocery stores providing an array of food or food-like substances for maintaining the physical body.
It is surprising that such little attention is given to the emotional body when, equally, it is experiencing the same daily impact of the physical plane and is the energy source of matter. Thoughts, emotions and feelings are responsible for how one functions and lives.
Through raising anti-matter (emotions) to a higher level of existence matter (physical body) naturally follows. Creating a state of balance in the emotions and the physical body brings a higher form of existence, truly.
Quality of life is not only about how we take care of our physical body, it is also about the air that we breathe in the space where we reside and the emotions and feelings that are a result of breathing in that atmosphere.
Who we are breathing with, who we are eating with and who’s food we are eating matters significantly. “What or who” we take in and then, breathe out as a result becomes our character. Therefore, it matters greatly who is in our space and what we are absorbing in each environment.
The emotional, vital forces are actually strengthened through the process of eating food. Fasting or reducing food intake reduces thought-currents and keeps one protected from others’ thoughts or vital/ emotional forces while sharing the same breathing space. Meditation before dining is also helpful for preparing a clear space inside of one’s being before taking in food and helpful afterwards to clear “extra” energy passed on.
The human body is like an open-market place that easily takes in the thought-currents and moods of everyone near. It doesn’t matter if one knows a person or if a complete stranger is seated near such as in a restaurant. We take in the thought-currents of every human and animal positioned in close proximity, breathing and sharing the same air.
Breath is a natural barometer of the quality of company in the environment.
One can witness a depressed person by the heavy sighs that accompany the
out-breath. If someone near is breathing out heavy sighs, they are sharing their depression and soon, the same thoughts may be running through one’s mind causing depression, sadness or regret or guilt. The same goes for lust, sensuous desires, greed, anger and insecurity. Whatever a person is entertaining in their mind colors the quality of air that others breathe and the thoughts that run through the mind of everyone in the space.
Equally important with the understanding of breathing space is grasping the fact that breath is directly related to the health of the circulatory and respiratory system. Through the circulatory system, digestion, quality of blood and condition of the heart organ are impacted. The respiratory system impacts ears, lungs, diaphragm and ribs. A person who is ill in any of these organs or body parts is sharing their illness with others through their breath and the thought-currents that are creating disease.
Stress has a big impact on how one breathes, blocking the flow of life energy that is required for healing and rejuvenation. Stress also impacts how digestion operates and the state of internal organs, especially the intestines; again, blocking flow and causing indigestion and constipation. It is impossible to reach higher states of consciousness when the intestines are blocked and suffering from stress.
The breath is the place where all desires are stored. If there is a conflict in desires it creates shallow breathing which fosters tiredness. If there is confusion in one’s thought-process, then there is short breathing and tremendous frustration. If one is expressing contradictions in desires, then there is chaotic, short-breathing with heavy sighs causing boredom. There is no way anything positive can be manifested when there is a contradiction in one’s desires.
If the breath is deep, long and calm, there is an expanded space inside of one’s being that is overflowing with love for life, experiencing good health and events flow effortlessly. Relaxing and slowing down into deep breathing is liberating and assists greatly in breaking defeating patterns.
It benefits tremendously gaining understanding in how to manage and control breathing.
Consciously working with the breath causes nerve currents to change into a form of electricity. When the entire body is aligned using the science of Yoga, a gigantic battery of willpower is created to manifest reality. This is the purpose behind the importance of learning how to breathe properly through the practice of Pranayama. Through the Ida and Pingala, the sensory and motor fibers, electrical energy of willpower moves and manifests positive desires and life purpose.
Most do not realize that when positive things happen in their life in alignment with what they desire, it is a manifestation occurring out of one’s own nature influenced by breath.
Through applying specific breathing exercises astral channels can be cleared of emotional blocks allowing for one to access prana, vital, primordial energy and life force absorbed by the mucus membrane tissues moving through the nervous system and blood. Oxygen is absorbed by tiny air sacs in the lungs and is not the same as the life-force current of prana. Prana expands life, increases vitality, improves intellect, creativity and memory retention as well as provides the momentum for spiritual progress. It is the key to manifesting the unique “miracle-like” happenings in our life.
The first step in gaining awareness of breath and access to prana is through control of the motion of the lungs. Once we learn how to control our breathing consciously, we bring more life and vitality into our body and direct our life with conscious willpower. This is very different than how the ordinary human lives life, being tossed to and fro by the emotional currents of pain and desire.
Provided in this article are a few exercises to begin learning how to control breath. Breathing in a measured way harmonizes the system and brings a wonderful state of peacefulness. After some time spent in practice, you will notice a softening in the voice, a gentle mindfulness in the delivery of words, a difference in how the lungs function with prana and a natural state of calmness that enters into the nervous system while life flows effortlessly and in the direction of more satisfaction.
Certainly, the exercises are worth a try.
After taking a shower in the morning and applying stretching and bending exercises so that life-energy can flow through the body, practice a short exercise of Pranayama. Just one quick session is all you need in order to see positive changes occur in the way you feel inside your body and mind. You can also apply Pranayama exercises throughout the day while in your car or outside walking in nature alone. Burning natural incense in your alone space provides a lovely effect in how the exercise clears and impacts the mental body, too.
It is best if one creates a space in the home that can be considered the “holy room” where you can visit with the intention of conducting these exercises for spiritual transformation.
Make sure that the area is clean and orderly, that you have showered or bathed before entering, a vase of fresh flowers grace the environment, pictures of your guru or saints are placed about, incense is burnt frequently and that anger, quarreling or harsh interaction is avoided. Only allow those who share the same thought-currents and intentions as you do to enter into the special environment created for your daily spiritual shower. Use this special room or corner space for practicing Hatha asanas, reflection on spiritual teachings, Pranayama and meditation.
If you are in a space where you can crouch down and sit on your heels, place your hands on your hips and breath chaotically for twenty to forty seconds.
This chaotic breathing radically, quickly changes the breathing pattern that you hold consistently in your system. By starting with this short exercise, one becomes hollow inside and prepared for a new way of breathing. It also assists with changing thought-currents quickly, too, if you find that you are inundated with nagging mental tapes.
*Avoid doing this exercise if you are having pre-existing lung problems, heart disorders or complications with high blood pressure.
This exercise is best practiced at early morning sunrise and again in the early evening during sunset. Even better if you practice this technique during midday and before going to bed, in addition to the sunrise and sunset practice. Always conduct this exercise before you eat as it is ineffective if applied while body is digesting.
Close right nostril with your thumb and breathe in through left nostril, slowly, very slowly.
Then, close your left nostril with your forefinger.
Hold your breath for as long as you can.
Next, release your thumb and breathe out the right nostril, very slowly while continuing to hold the left nostril closed.
Once you have exhaled completely, hold this space of emptiness for as long as you can before taking in another breath.
With the left nostril remaining closed, breathe in through the right nostril, slowly.
Hold the breath as long as you can with both nostrils closed.
Then, remove forefinger and breathe out the left nostril slowly while holding the right nostril closed with thumb.
Breathe in through left nostril again, while holding right nostril closed with thumb.
Continue exercise, back and forth from exhalation to inhalation through each nostril as outlined above.
* Be sure to stand up while practicing this exercise with feet spread approximately three-feet apart, knees relaxed and eyes closed for maximum results.
Repeat this exercise four times during each practice session. Gradually, over time, you can increase the number of breaths and extend the holding time for maximum results. You can enhance this exercise through chanting OM while breathing. Do attempt to inhale and exhale as slowly as possible and hold in breath and empty breath for as long as possible. This is the key to this practice.
Applying this exercise four times a day, approximately every four hours, and within a fifteen to thirty day period of daily practice the nervous system is completely purified, the emotional nature changed and a mature way of reacting to life events is set in place.
*Avoid doing this exercise if you are having pre-existing lung problems, heart disorders or complications with high blood pressure.
The Yamas and Niyamas are a great place to begin the process for cleansing the subtle astral channels. Through this practice, one easily gains conscious control of life direction and growth in awareness.
Each night before going to sleep, review the events of the day and observe how you reacted or non-reacted to situations. Then, compare your actions to the principles of Yama and Niyama (rungs one and two on the ladder of Yoga) to gauge your maturation process.
To the degree that we apply the disciplines of Yoga is the degree of chaos or the extent of peaceful interaction with others in our daily activities. You will discover this truth over time through keen observation.
Sitting quietly in an uninterrupted, calm space while breathing slowly and deeply, imagine and visualize the kind of person that you would like to be.
Hold the vision of your highest ideals in your minds eye of how you would like to live your life and be perceived by others. Include the attributes and qualities that you would like to experience in your character.
Once you have gained a clear picture in your mind of what you consider to be your “perfect” self, compare with the Yamas and Niyamas and see how close or far you have experienced these spiritual principles in all your interactions and events for the day.
1) Abstaining from causing injury to self or others (non-violence)
2) practicing truthfulness, (thoughts match speech, match actions)
3) abstaining from stealing
4) abstaining from sensuality (celibacy)
5) abstaining from greed
1) Purity (external and internal)
3) Austerity (Character) (*tamasik, rajaisik and satwik)
4) Study of Scriptures
5) Attunement to higher forces
As you apply this visualization exercise daily, higher principles are impressed upon the sub-conscious mind and become a natural part of one’s character. Through your ability to manage your own aura and state of being you naturally gain the ability to influence others positively.
If others feel joyful breathing your space, then you naturally become more blissful. Bliss begets more bliss.
Clearing and moving patterns out of the subconscious realm of one’s identity makes room for a more divine-like substance to rest inside the being and brings the correct desires into manifestation. Once the currents of the nervous system calm and expand, the mind enters into superconscious state of awareness.
This is the way to apply a spiritual cleansing shower.
~ Kashi, December 2018
* Quality of nature: tamasik: inert, rajaisik: active, satwick: harmonious
My Guru: H.D.H. Paramahamsa Bhagwaan Sri Nithyananda Paramashivam
~ Living Enlightenment
Swami Vivkenanda: Raja Yoga
Goswami Kriyananda: The Spiritual Science of Kriya Yoga