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Handbook of Meditation

handbook of meditationAll true religions and spiritual practices tell us that the divine lies within us. Kriya yoga teaches that soul is the God dwelling in each of us. All the knowledge is within this body. All the deities are within this body. All the pilgrimages happen within this body. Therefore enter the Body Temple. It is only those who do not worship internally, that go to external temples to worship.

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11 thoughts on “Handbook of Meditation”

  1. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

    Yoga and Patanjali
    The Science of Yoga was developed in ancient India as an allied science of Ayurveda for healing without medicine at the physical and mental level. The term Yoga from the Sanskrit means “yoking the mind to the inner self after detaching it from the outer subjects of senses”. Like all other sciences, it has its roots in the Vedas.
    It defines chitta, the subconscious mind which is full of ‘mind-stuff or memories’ of one’s foundational personality. Personality, according to the Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English, is the ’whole nature or character of a person.’ How a person behaves, feels and thinks, how he conducts himself in a given set of circumstances is largely determined by the state of his mind. Mere external appearance or a person’s speech or mannerisms are only fringes of one’s personality. Personality consists of Mind+Intellect+Causal Being.
    Therefore, efforts at Personality development in the real sense refers to erasure of the deeper levels of a person. To study our personality one needs to understand how the nature of our mind+intellect+causal birth memories infiltrate into our present todays:and how we function as we do every day.
    By dissolving thoughts, emotions and desires [in deeper and deeper meditation] in a person’s personailty-consciousness, one can learn to achieve a state of equilibrium. Such efforts at mental yoga set into motion the force that purifies and uplifts the consciousness to divine realization.
    Yoga is physical as well as mental. Physical yoga is called Hathyoga. Generally, it aims at removing a disease and restoring healthy condition to the body.
    Rajayoga is a mental yoga. Its goal is self-realization and liberation from bondage by achieving physical mental, emotional and spritiual balance.
    The Techniques of Yoga were once passed on by word of mouth from one sage to another. The credit of systematically presenting this great science goes to Patanjali.
    In the Yoga Sutrasof Patanjali, he defined chitta erasure as a place for dissolving thoughts, emotions and desires of a person’s consciousness and of achieving a state of equilibrium. The power of such effort purifies and gives a lift into awareness and understanding on the ‘how’ to erase the storehouse of chitta to achieve divine realization.
    Rajayoga is mental yoga. Its goal is self realization and liberation from bondage by achieving physical mental, emotional and spritiual balance.
    In the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali, Aum is spoken of as the symbol of God. He refers to Aum as a cosmic sound, continuously flowing through the ether, fully known only to the illuminated.

    1. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

      Meditation: begins with Swara (breath) Yoga.
      Swara is the sound one makes when controlling and manipulating the breath, when preparing for Yoga (Union)
      Pranayama is, in many ways about how to control the breath. Swara Yoga is the theory and practices related to the breath. It is used, by those who know ‘how’ in everyday life for the attainment of mental, physical and spiritual health: whether exercising, eating, sleeping, working etc.
      There are Three Main Swaras or Nadis in every mortal: where a nadi is the spirit-nerve tract for pranic energy, to flow in or out of the central nervos system in and out of the body:
      Ida Nadi or Left Swara or Parasympathetic Nerve System (Tree of Life) or the Moon Channel energy lies on the left side of the spinal cord and promotes inflow of pranic energy – it connects with the left nostril. The sattvic female energy or Shakti principle here, is considered to be auspicious, soft and virtuous, when associated with mental activities, or during human relaxation. Breath through the left nostril represents the moon. On the physical form of Bharat Mata, she is the Yamuna River.
      The Pingala Nadi or Right Swara or Sympathetic Nerve System (Tree of Knowledge) is located on the right side of the spinal cord and promotes outflow of creative pranic energy from and to the thalamus-hypothalamus-pineal complex within in the brain. Breath through the right nostril represents the sun, the male or Consciousness principle. On the physical form of India, she is the Ganaga River. It is associated with creative physical activities, and adrenergic response in fight or flight responses to demand and pressure. Right Swara is considered rough and tough with tendencies for moral virtues and vices: like inauspicious activities of wars and even sensuas activities by the senses.
      Physical exercises with enthusiasm, and challenging the brain with stimulating activities for the sake of reduced risk of cognitive decline rather than for meditation is all linked with the consciousness principle.
      The Sushumna or Third Swara or the Spinal Canal pierces the center of the spinal cord as the spinal canal. It is the ‘final common flow pathway’ for both the Ida and Pingala. Their combined flows bathes and washes the brain within and without. After identifying oneself as ‘Ham-Sa’ in meditation, the sushumna represents the state of ‘So-Ham.’
      Anulom Vilom Pranayama (Alternate Nostril Breathing) is one of the most effective pranayama (breathing exercises) to purify the mind and nurse one back to health the body. It is the foundation of yoga practice. It sould be practiced for 15 min everyday, to stabilize the rhythm of breathing.
      Anulom-Vilom is a widely known Pranayama as a way to expand Prana Shakti or vital force in the body. It is the foundation many types of pranayama or ‘Controlled Deep Breathing’. During ‘normal breathing’ at 14 to 16 times perminute, breathing is limited to a chest 2/3rd area between diaphragm and the throat.
      Even with deep inhalation, the lungs expand with the chest at the lower two third of the chest, while the upper one third is inactive in a dead space. With advancing age, more dead space creation creeps in.
      However, with deep breathing Pranayama, the force of inhalation and exhalation remains equal, and ‘dead space’ is minimized, but not eliminated, unless there is also diaphragmatic breathing .
      Technique of Anulom Vilom:
      Sit straight on the floor or on a blanket or on a chair with both feet flat of the floor.
      Close the right nostril with the right thumb and exhale deeply from left nostril.
      Now inhale deeply from the left nostril, close your left nostril with ring finger after inhalation, open your right nostril and exhale deeply.
      Now, inhale from right nostril, close right nostril and exhale deeply from left nostril.
      This is one round of Anulom Vilom.
      Repeat this for 10 to 15 minutes as you can, with eyes closed and attention concentrated on your breathing.
      The inhalation and exhalation has to be slow and deep, and the speed of inhalation and exhalation has to be the same, for at least for the first few weeks / months of practice.
      This technique is so simple that it can be done even by small children, the old and the sick.
      In advanced variation by Anulom Viiom, the speed of inhalation / exhalation can be increased.
      Learning to hold breath (kumbhaka) after inhaling / or exhaling, is useful for those with respiratory illnesses.

      1. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

        Yoga for Perfection through Pranayama:
        In many Western cultures, Consciousness is a perception. In many other traditions, Consciousness is a gateway to cognizing the Laws of Nature through Awareness (science) and then making a Cosmic Connection into Consciousness (spiritulity).
        Science without spirituality is a Wake-Up Call, as stated by the late spiritual statesman: “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We have guided missiles and misguided men.” – Martin Luther King Jr. https://purplerays.wordpress.com.
        Our Future Depends on Spirituality and Science Working Together… Ordinarily Science works fine in everyday affairs without dealing with spirituality.
        The current trend is “Spirituality without God!” and the focus in the ‘today’ is on building an idea of a ‘society’ or community which should change and metamorphose into something not entirely new, but open to questioning. This therefore allows the mind to work away feverishly!
        Ernest Holmes (1887-1960) meanwhile introduced to humankind ‘metaphysical sience’ and a philosophy ‘Science of Mind’ triggering a debatable movement of Scientology. He professed there is a science behind your mind, to mean the brain and consciousness. His theory is, in ‘consciousness’ the brain’s role is to ‘actively’ create a subjective experience of the world. Here the “I-Me-Myself” Mind-ideology of Ego is prominent.
        But, YOGA is more about stilling both mind and body: that is different from the described ‘mysticism’ of scientology.
        Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard (1911-), frequently made claims that Scientology was related to or shared significant similarities with Hinduism, Theravada Buddhism and Taoism. http://www.scientology.org. However, careful examination of Hubbard’s claims indicates that he had only a superficial acquaintance with Eastern religions. skent@gpu.srv.ualberta.ca.
        To reach Awareness of one’s connection with Nature happens without any distraction of an active thinking mind: this only happens through the practice of Pranayama.
        Both expiration (rechaka) and inspiration (puraka) should be arrested. While suspended in kumbhaka, the practitioner relies absolutely and completely on the Creator Brahma who connects Consciousness with Brahman. That is the highest aim of life.
        Only desireless ones can dwell for a time in rechaka;
        Only those imbibing actively into spirituality are in perpetual puraka; Only those who remain immersed in spiritual knowledge are in a state of kumbhaka.
        Such are the boundless beings who meditate, during kumbhaka and take his or her personaity (chitta) into the depths of past causal memories for clearance and rejuvenation.
        Only through kumbhaka can the Causal Mind erase human errors and failures of past lives, whether intentional or unintentional.
        Pranayama is for purposes of mastering kumbhaka in yoga.

    2. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

      Practicing Yoga:
      Yoga is universal. People around the world have embraced yoga and evolved with it. It is a key to inner and outer freedom which is the absolute right of each in the all of humanity.
      Hatha Yoga is more popular, but so is Ashtanga Yoga.
      Hatha allows anyone to perform one asana at a time, to train the physicl body.
      Ashtanga practice is sequential and disallows jumping any step until completing a series of discrete practices in a continuous process. This is called Vinyasa Yoga and perhaps is the most popular, fast-paced,fitness-based approach.
      While Hatha focuses on bodily bends and flexions in each asana, in Ashtanga, attention is towards synergy of movement with the breath.
      Ashtanga demands following an Eight-fold Path beginning with a Change in Lifestyle:
      1. Yama are moral restraints which prohibit any action or thought that dislodges soul’s progress to commitment towards universal fraternal love and worshipful adoration for cosmic consciousness. The first limb concerns with our relationship with the world, and the people, in our day to day interactions, with them.
      2. Niyama are our duties, our concerns and our responsibility to society, family, individuals and creatures of Mother Earth.
      3. Asana: The third step in the path is towards freedom from physicality. This happens by delving into deeper layers of the physical being (Koshas) through exercises.
      To get conscious control over the life force, exercises harmonize the chi or inner self, and unbuttons any energy knots in the body. Discovered in 1916: drawing cosmic energy into the body and directing it, by conscious will, to recharge the various parts of the body was a profound discovery: http://yogananda.com.
      4. Asana is to adapt the body to a steady and comfortable posture for long periods of time while meditating. Asana is to be seated in a firm but relaxed position. It positions the body at ease and aligns the innards and the mind, to an most advantageous effectiveness.
      5. Pranayama is controlling the breath; it is about extending the breath or life or prana. It is the vital life force that flows through channels or nadis in the human body which, in turn, connects with prana in the universe around.
      By working with the frequency and the way we breathe, we can create a more efficient flow of prana.
      This limb of Ashtanaga is also a part of Hatha Yoga exercises, where pranayamic breathing is incorporated with asanic activities.
      6. Pratyahara is sense withdrawal inwardly. It happens involuntarily when bodily perceptions withdraw and the meditative mind delves deeper into five inward layers (pancha-koshas) of the body. This is spiritual immersion.
      7. Dharana is to focus inwards with unwavering thought-free concentration of the mind while paused in a prolonged breath retention (kumbhaka). The mind at this time thinks about one object only (I AM) and avoids all other thoughts.
      Kumbaka or pausing of breath is of two forms.
      Breath retention after inhalation and pausing of breathing after exhalation. Awareness of the spiritual ‘object’ is still an uninterrupted part of the meditative practice.
      8. Dhyana is core meditation. It is being in the most absorbed state. It is the vital component of all yogas and is common in all its stylistic forms.
      Samadhi is also called samapati. It is a state of consciousness induced by complete meditation. It is the height of Divine Spiritual Consciousness and the final stage of bliss.
      Such arrival at this goal comes after rethinking our conflicts, antagonisms, oppositions and contradictions of the “I-Me-Myself” self and outside world of Self. .
      Therefore, Hatha and Ashtanga yoga are not different.
      They appeal yogis of different temperaments.

      1. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

        Personality is Chitta:

        Chitta is one of the four aspects of the human mind, including memory; the other three being buddhi (intellect), manas (mind perception) and ahamkara (ego principle).
        Chitta is the Subconscious mind. It is ALL the mind-stuff – the store-house of one’s personality. Chitta is the microjournal that tracks all thoughts and mood. They become ‘searchable’ entries and when delved into, give insight into one’s own mind.
        In the Field Of Subconscious Mentation, Mankind’s mental processes are not limited to the field of awareness alone – meaning through the perception of walking, talking, thinking.
        The field of subconscious mental activity of reasoning, memory, likes-and-dislikes are more active than that of conscious awake mentation.
        The mind is not ‘conscious’ for the greater portion of its own activities, but can hold all as memories in subconsciousness.
        In the field of perception, at any one moment, it works with one fact at a time, which is only a fraction of our knowledge that could be. Only ten per cent of mental activities come into the field of perception or wakefulness.
        Ninety per cent of mental activities take place in the subconscious mind. Messages, when ready, come out like a flash of memory from the subconscious mind, to the surface of the perceiving awake mind through the trapdoor in the subconscious mind.
        We sit and try to solve a problem and fail. We walk around, try again and again fail. Suddenly an idea dawns on us that leads to the solution of the problem. The subconscious processes were at work.
        We can repeatedly fail at night to get the solution for a problem in arithmetic or geometry. In the morning, when you wake up, you get a clear answer. This answer comes like a flash from the subconscious mind. Even in sleep, it works incessantly without any rest.
        It arranges, classifies, compares, sorts all facts and works out a proper, satisfactory solution.
        Sometimes, you go to sleep at 10 p.m. with the thought, “I must get up at 2 a.m. in the morning to catch a train.” This message is taken up by the subconscious mind and it is this subconscious mind that wakes you up unfailingly at the exact hour. Subconscious mind is your constant, trustworthy companion and sincere friend.
        With the help of the subconscious mind, anyone can change our vicious nature by cultivating healthy, virtuous qualities that are already dormant, but alive in every human heart. To overcome fear, mentally deny that you have fear and concentrate your attention upon the opposite quality, the ideal of courage. When courage is developed, fear vanishes by itself.
        The positive always overpowers the negative. This is an infallible law of nature. This is Pratipaksha Bhavana of Raja Yogins. Anyone can acquire a liking for distasteful tasks and duties by cultivating a desire and taste for them.
        Anyone can establish new habits, new ideals, new ideas and new tastes and new character in the subconscious mind by changing the old ones – it happens thrugh contemplation and meditation.

        1. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

          Memory has Many Faces:
          Smriti or memory is a function of the Chitta-personality in the subconscious mind.
          Memory is used in two senses. It can be used to describe a vast capacity of the mind to store up its past experiences, or
          It can be used in the act of active remembering, even when there is no ‘actual knowledge’ of the subject in the memory.
          It is then only a reproduction of an embedded forgotten experience, refreshed in the ‘today!’.
          How Does Memory Arise?
          A random incident like eating a rare fruit can be the ’cause memory’ of the fruit-tree in your parental garden – (Smriti-Hetu or cause of…)
          The sight of an elephant stoneware can trigger a sight of an elephant shot by an ivory hunter in another place, like Africa. This is memory is due to the similarity of objects – in this case, the elephant (Sadrisyata or similarity).
          The sight of a thatched cabin by the side of a snow-covered main street in a Canadian winter can remind one of an agricultural farmer’s shelter on the lanes of India. This memory is due to dissimilarity in objects (Viparitata – divergence).
          While walking along the road after a hurricane event,seeing a fallen tree, leads one to conclude the tree fell due to the storm. In this case, the memory is due to the relationship between cause and effect (Karya-karana-sambandha).
          He who dwells and rules in the subconscious mind or Chitta, is the Self, the Inner Ruler or Soul or atma.
          Understanding this ‘Memory-culture’ is important because it has the power to take one to success in God-realisation.
          The Soul that is forgetful in man makes serious mistakes repeatedly; but one with a strong retentive memory is endowed with optimistic success, that can serve well, when called upon. The intellect retains only one-tenth of the total memory in the subconscious mind or Chitta..
          The Samskaras or memory ‘impressions’ in the whirlpool of the mind-ocean of thinking and acting-it-out tendencies are deeply impressed in the Chitta.
          Like the sensitive plate of a camera, all the impressions are indelibly recorded there.
          Remembering the past brings back the subconscious to the surface of the conscious mind.
          It arrives in the form of big waves of thought or mental image from the subterranean underground mental factory.
          Most are unaware that this subconscious mind works throughout the twenty-four hours of every day.
          All the prodigies, or intellectual giants of the world, know the ‘how’ of handling and tapping this portion of the mind. It can be put to use even while awake, rather than while dreaming!

  2. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

    The Sabbath – Part of the Ten Commandments
     I am the LORD thy God
     No other gods before me
     No graven images or likenesses
     Not take the LORD’s name in vain
     Remember the sabbath day
     Honour thy father and thy mother
     Thou shalt not kill
     Thou shalt not commit adultery
     Thou shalt not steal
     Thou shalt not bear false witness
     Thou shalt not covet.
    Does it make any difference which day we humans observe as “sabbath?”
    Or whether we even keep and practice the Sabbath, at all?
    Does, as the Bible states, is Sunday is the Lord’s Day?
    Is the Sabbath for Saturday, given for the Jewish people only?
    Christians accept Sunday as the Lord’s Day and Muslims observe it on Friday.
    For Hindus of all tribes, Sabbath is an everyday lifestyle – of adopting a ‘Way of Life’ or Dharma, based on beliefs and definitive practices of the many Yoga Techniques!’
    But there are also those who insist the seventh-day of every week, is Sabbath and its observation is binding.
    However, generally speaking, few take the Sabbath seriously. Many ask: ‘what is its purpose?’
    The purpose of Fourth Commandment, is to “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:8-11).
    The hundreds of Chinmaya Mission Centres, Worldwide run Bal Vihars for children between the ages of five to fifteen years for informal instructions in religious and secular subjects. With a varying mix of instruction in languages, culture and religion, the children are familiarized wtih religion in the hope they will advance themselves into spirituality.
    “Live for your own liberation [through the belief of God] and for the good of others; you can’t believe in God until you believe in yourself” wrote Vivekananda.
    Youth are initiated to character- building through activities working for humanitarian causes. Involving youth volunteering and serving the society culminates in Nation-building.
    Youth power and women power are co-ordinated to enhance human resources.
    Objective is to build self-esteem in unemployed youth, educate those deprived, are needy, or living below poverty line.
    Community Leadership programs through Volunteering while on their Journey is designed towards protecting Dharma.
    Sabbath is for training the illiterate about health services, awareness on the how of self-development. These are opportunities for community development.
    Ladies and Men Groups are conducted on Sabbath (any day of the week), for informal education of the Bhagavad Gita and Upanishads, as part of an Indian Cultural Education.
    It is a special day to concentrate on develop a spiritual relationship with God.
    The Sabbath is therefore a special day on which parents and volunteers significantly transform the centre of attention of our ‘usual’ activity to this delightful period of each week during which we busily draw closer to Him.

  3. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

    Promise to Sincere Meditators by Yogananda:
    In the temple of silence, in the temple of peace,
    I will meet Thee, I will touch the Thee, I will love Thee,
    And coax Thee to my altar of peace.

    In the temple of samadhi, in the temple of bliss,
    I will meet Thee,I will touch Thee, I will love thee!
    And coax Thee to my altar of bliss.

    1. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

      Ida, Pingala, Sushumna and Seven Chakras
      Ida and Pingala are two nerve-currents one on either side of the spinal column. The left one is called Ida (Moon Channel) and the right is known as Pingala Sun Channel). These are Nadis that carry Life Energy or Prana. Ida is calm, fresh and flows through the left nostril and the Pingala is warm, affectionate and flows through the right nostril. Normally, breath flows alternatively through the right nostril for one hour and then through the left nostril for one hour. When Prana flows through the Sushumna one becomes Self-intoxicated and dead to the world. One then enters Samadhi or into the height of Divine Consciousness.
      A Yogi’s effort when sitting at mediatation is to make the Prana run in the Sushumna.
      On the left of Sushumna is the tamasic moon channel Ida and on the right is the rajasic Sun channel, the Pingala. Ida and Pingala point towards attaining perfection in Time. Sushumna is the consumer of Time for attaining perfection. In the course of Time, one acquires perfection in both.
      Sushumna is the most important of all the Nadis. It is the sustainer of both humankind and the universe and is the path of salvation for both, Ida and Pingala. Sushumna runs through the centre of the spinal cord. Above the genital organs and below the navel is the Kanda. Arising from it are 72,000 Nadis. Ida, Pingala and Sushumna carry Prana and have Moon, Sun and Agni as their Devatas. When Prana moves in Sushumna the coiled-up energy (Kundalini), passes up from Chakra to Chakra.
      Kundalini is the serpent power of Shakti slumbering in the muladhara Chakra, at the base of the spine. The practice of Kumbhaka in Pranayama produces a ‘warming up’ and the yogic life force or Kundalini is awakened and passes upwards along the Sushumna Nadi.
      The aroused life force (Shakti) passes through the Six lower Chakras and ultimately unites with Siva, who is seated on the Sahasrara or thousand-petalled lotus, at the head’s crown.
      Practice of breath control through mindful concentration first awakens Kundalini and rise to Manipura Chakra but may drop again and again to the Muladhara.
      Preliminary change in lifestyle through yama and niyama should be towards ascending human tendencies of lustful desires, want and greed. These actions result in the Purification of Nadis.
      Only by becoming faultlessly desireless and and absolutely lacking in covetousness (vairagya) is the status of one attempting to awaken Kundalini. It enters and rises in the Sushumna, travelling from Chakra to Chakra, layer after layer and into Awareness before merging with Consciousness in the Sahasra chakra.
      Chakras are both physical and astral centres of spiritual energy. There are six important Chakras. They are from the tail to the head: Muladhara behind the anus; Svadhishthana opposite the genital organ; Manipura at the navel level; Anahata in the interscapular area at the heart level; Vishudha at the base throat level and Ajna in the middle and behind the two eyebrows. Sahasrara, which contains a thousand petals is located at the top of the head.
      Pranayama activates prana Vayus and directs downward flowing apana vayu upwards through energy union of Prana and Apana.
      Pranayama consists of inspiration-retention-expiration-retention. Decide to meditate on the Pranava OM sourced from letters—A, U and M. Sit in Padmasana, and inhale the air through the left nostril, retain as long possible and exhale through the right nostril.
      Then drawing it again through the right and having retained it, exhale it through the left nostril. Draw air through the same nostril, retain it before exhale. Practice this three times daily for 30 minutes for 4 weeks.
      In the early stages, sweating is normal; in the middle stage there may be quivering of the body; and in the last stage, levitation is is noted. That is how the breath is gradually tamed, pranayama the purify the Nadis, good health is the result.
      This technique of “Transcendental Meditation” was introduced to the West by Maharishi Yogi and spread by Dr. Tony Nader, the MIT-trained neuroscientist.

      1. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

        Pranayama for Clearing the Central Nervous System
        The Brain and the Spinal Cord with the Spinal Plexuses areall useful for successful meditation. When the nerve centres in the spinal cord are purified through regular practice of Pranayama, the prana (life force) embodying ‘totality’ forces its way up, through to the Sushumna, in the middle of the spinal cord. The Apana vayu (which naturally flows downwards) is forced upwards with Udana vaya into the Sushumna.
        Prana which alternates hourly between Ida and Pingala, is restrained by prolonged Kumbhaka and also enters the Sushumna. With that the meditating individual enters the astral sheath – awake but dead to the world. Drawing up towards the throat has the ability to rejuvenate and heal the physical body. The Nadis are purified and radiance of complexion is a sign of physical purification.

  4. Sneh Chakraburtty says:

    Lessons in Pranayama
    I. Kapalabhati Breathing (Skull-brightening Btreathing)
    Kapalabhati is a techiques of Pranayama wherein inhalation is passive and exhalation is active. It is used for internal cleansing (kriya) and as a warm-up for formal pranayama. It brings about a glow on the face of the practitioner. The technique is often also known as Baba Ramdev kapalbhati.
    It works-up the respiratory system, the abdominal muscles, and the diaphragm. It helps improve the flexibility of the diaphragm and improves circulation.
    1. Sit erect with the spine straight with crossed legs or sitting on a chair with feet flat on the floor;
    2. Take in a deep breath (puraka) and exhale quickly and forcefully (rechaka) making a panting sound. Focus on exhaling forcefully (rechaka) and allow inhalation as passive (puraka). The intervals between inhalation and exhalation are pauses (rechaka). At the end of inspiration the pause is (antara rechaka) and at the end of expiration is (bahiya rechaka.)
    3. When exhaling push abdominal muscles outwards, simultaneously.
    4. Use abdominal muscles and diaphragm actively: draw abdomen inwards towards the spine with inhalation and push abdominal muscle outwards with exhalation. The abdomen should contract with inhalation and relax with exhalation. The diaphragm contracts with adbominal wall contraction, and increases the height of the chest with inspiration and vice versa.
    5. Continue for 10 breaths and then take a break. Repeat the exercise 3 to 5 times until comfortable with the technique: Puraka inhale; Rechaka exhale; kumbhaka retention; antara kumbhaka and bahiya rechaka]
    6. Now sit on Padmasana. Keep the hands on knees. Close the eyes. Perform Puraka and Rechaka rapidly. The practise should be done robustly. Expect to perspire profusely.

    II. Bhastrika Pranayama: [Bellows Breathing]:
    1. This is similar to Kapalabhati EXCEPT there is no Kumbhaka in this Pranayama and Rechaka plays a major part.
    2. Puraka (inspiration) is gentle, slow and long (Dirgha); but the Rechaka (expiration) is done quickly and forcibly by contracting the abdominal muscles with a backward push.
    3. The use of abdominal muscles is more prominent with Puraka, and rechaka when releasing the abdominal muscles. Sudden expulsions of breath follow one another in rapid succession in Bhastrika st the rate of one or more expulsion per second.
    4. Over following weeks, increase the rate of expulsions to 120 expulsions for each round.
    This Pranayama done habitually daily and even unconsciously, improves both memory and thinking power. Such individuals find their breath has become slow.

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