Personal Growth

what is prana and pranayama?

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Prana is the energy that we find in all the beings and things of the universe, in some books it is explained that prana is the vital energy that we possess and that is found in the universe. Prana refers to physical, mental, intellectual, sexual, spiritual and cosmic energy. Prana is the energy that creates, protects and destroys everything that exists in the universe without exceptions.

Basically the practice of pranayama is based on working with the breath. It is through breathing that we increase the pranic level and the amount of pranic that exists in our body. The practices are based on taking the breath over its limits. We try to lengthen Inhalation and exhalation, expand and compress the organs and body parts that influence the respiratory process and at the same time we try to vary the frequency and intensity of inhalation and exhalation

The word pranayama can be understood etymologically in two ways: 1. Prana + ayama and 2. Prana + yama.

Ayama: means the expansion of prana, the extension of vital energy in all its areas.

Yama: Yama means controlling the breath, maintaining the vital energy that exists within the body so that vital energy does not escape.

First we will analyze the word prana. Prana is divided by Prana. Prana is an energy that is in continuous movement. Without Prana none of the elements of which we humans are formed; Water, fire, air, earth, space, speech and mind could exist in any kind of form. When prana disappears, everything that we are formed disappears, if prana reappears, we will reappear.

When talking about Pranayama we have to talk about philosophy, physiology and practice. For a good practice of pranayama we can not only stay in the practical part, because without a theoretical baggage and knowledge of physiology (in my opinion less important) it is very difficult that we can advance in the practice of pranayama. Without a philosophical baggage it is also very difficult to advance on the road.

Within the practice of pranayama we have to differentiate between Inhalation (pooraka), exhalation (rechaka) and Kumbhaka (which is retention). We can carry out a retention in Pooraka and a retention in reechaka. Some ancient texts say that we can only be doing pranayama during retention (I personally do not think in this way).

In the initial stages of pranayama we must first cleanse the nadis from the excrements we have inside and from the samskaras that have been accumulating in our system throughout life and past lives. The scriptures mention that our body is made up of 72,000 nadis. A Hatha Yogi could breathe for each and every one of these nadis. This tells us and makes us have an idea that we are at a very early stage in our practice-spiritual development.

The practice of pranayama is simply a part of the practice of Raja yoga that goes from yama, niyama, asana, shatkarmas, pranayama, pratyahara, dharana, samadhi. Therefore we can say that pranayama is the step that is taken to reach pratyahara, where the organs of perception, the senses are internalized and we are no longer awaiting the world outside of us, but we acquire the ability to be within us , to evolve in self-knowledge.

What aspects influence prana beyond the practice of pranayama

The quality of the food we eat
The quality of the air we breathe
Work with prana Through the practices of pranayama.

¿What is Yoga?

What is Yoga? Gunas? What are the afflictions of being according to Vedanta and according to Tantra? RAJA YOGA DE PATANJALI, DEFINITION OF YOGA AND IMPEDIMENTS FOR AUTOREALIZATION. Yoga is the union of the individual being (Jivatma) with the universal being (Paramatma). Yoga is the union of the individual consciousness with the universal consciousness.

Yoga is a tool that allows the practitioner to control and attenuate the fluctuations or modifications of the mind. But not controlling from the perspective of repressing, if not from the perspective of becoming the master of the fluctuations of the mind, letting all states of consciousness express themselves in a free way to recognize at all times what we are.

It allows the practitioner to become master of his mind and to evolve the witnessing consciousness of his own being and of the world. The practitioner becomes master of his conscious and unconscious developing in such a way the supraconscious where the vision and ultimate reality is experienced.

In Vedanta there is talk of controlling the fluctuations of the mind “Yoga Citta Vritti Nirodha”. This definition of Yoga would not be the same for Shaivism of Kashmir or for tantra (non-dualistic vision) where yoga is the process of creating space to recognize, recognize what we have always been, what has always been there but we have never been able to see.

Recognize what we are despite our emotions, not without them, with them too. Vedanta tells us not to pay attention to the senses, to the organs of perception, while Tantra invites us to enjoy the fullness of these, as they bring us to life constantly.

The tantra explains to us that everything is a reflection of Shiva or of the universal consciousness, therefore as we are going to deny something that comes from so deep of our being. In my opinion, tantra is the perfect method to stop feeling guilty, to stop hiding our vulnerability and open ourselves to the world from the eyes of the heart and not from the mind.

Yoga is a tool that allows us to generate space to start recognizing ourselves. Every moment is a good time to recognize who we are, to embrace it with our virtues and limitations. We must unite or recognize two aspects of our existence to begin to recognize ourselves:

“The union with oneself”, the harmonic integration of all strata of the human being. We must accept and recognize ourselves first.

“The union of the individual with the cosmos”, the experience of integration of the individual with the surrounding universe, in which the feeling of being one and the same thing with the whole prevails. Do not feel separated from the rest of the beings that live in our near or distant environment. Know that we are co-dependent in a certain way.

This does not mean that we should put false smiles or give hugs of three minutes all the time. You can be in union with the world and be a person who wants to live in a cave, from time to time leave or stay in it forever. It can be a person who wants to be in company all the time, there is nothing wrong … there is nothing that will come, there is nothing to change, everything is fine as it is. The word yoga comes from the Sanskrit root “Yuj”, which means to link, join, join etc … there are many ways of expressing it. In general terms what we want to unite is the mind – body – spirit.

When talking about yoga and practicing yoga, it is essential to talk about the three natural characteristics of which everything and everyone is composed: Illumination – purity (), action () and inertia (). The man caught in the wheel of time like a ceramic vase in an artisan’s wheel is continually affected by these three fundamental characteristics. Through the practice of asana and pranayama the aspirant or sadhaka is leaving this state of inertia to move to the action.

Little by little, thanks to the practice of dharana (concentration) and dhyana (meditation) the aspirant rests in that state of enlightenment and purity called Sátvico. In the Vedanta, enlightenment can not be attained despite the fact that we pass from Tamasic to Rajasic and from Rajasic to Sattvic states. While in tantra (non-dualism) we must achieve enlightenment, recognizing ourselves, our essence in spite of all this. Despite the state in which we find ourselves, there is always the opportunity to recognize ourselves. Since everything emanates from our inner being, nothing is impure, everything is here to make us drunk with his presence. Every moment is a good time to recognize our own divinity.

The main difference between Samkhya, Hinduism and yoga is that yoga is pure practice whereas Samkhya is pure theory. It is very important in my opinion that unless it is a scholar the practical part is accompanied by a theoretical part and vice versa. Knowledge without action and action without knowledge does not help the human being. Man is endowed with mind (manas), intellect (buddhi) and ego (ahamkara), these three are collectively known as consciousness, which is the source of thought, understanding and action. As life advances, consciousness experiences 5 different miseries that move it away from the union of the individual being with the cosmos.

Kleshas are the impurities found within the dualistic vision of Vedanta while malas refer to impurities within the non-dualistic tradition. These are:

Ignorance (avidya) When speaking of ignorance we are not talking about the lack of knowledge but rather about the lack of awareness in our actions. We talk about the lack of not knowing why we do things. Not knowing our purpose in this world and why we are here. Most men and women move around the world, eat, shower, work without knowing what they are in this world for. They live without being aware of their limitations, virtues, etc.
Egoism (asmita). To think that our well-being or happiness or serenity depends solely on ourselves and not knowing that in a certain way it also depends on those around us. Sometimes the aspirant is blinded by his own presence and forgets that he coexists with other human beings.
Attachment (Raga). We speak of attachment to pleasure, encourage and nurture desires and vices.
Aversion or hatred (Dvesa). Very intense rejections that cause us to always flee towards pleasure and not observe pain to transcend it or at least learn from it.
Love of life or fear of death (Abhinivesa). To reach the necessary understanding that will allow us to transcend the fear of death. We run for life acquiring education, experiences, jobs, human relations and in general we seek pleasure in external objects. We identify with these external objects for fear of facing what is inevitable …
The three bad or impurities within the non-dualistic vision of Tantric Shivaism of Kashmir.

Bad karma (gross). The first is related to actions. They are the impurities that remain impregnated with the experiences like for example: I am happy, I am sad, I am not good enough. It refers to being anchored between pain and pleasure and not being able to observe from the equanimity of the situation.
Mayiya Mala (subtle) This house is mine, that’s not it. This is my friend, the other is not. This is my job, my talent and the others are not.
Anavamala (more subtle) It is the feeling of not being complete. Imagine that it brings you closer to the state of feeling close to universal consciousness, but suddenly you fall. That is due to the feeling that you feel incomplete, therefore you start looking for that fullness. You start looking for wanting to be complete and satisfied.

Yoga is an inner journey, invisible and can not be measured …

Yoga is an inner journey, invisible and can not be measured …

Yoga is not just stretching and body worship. Or at least traditional yoga is not just that. From my point of view, anyone can practice yoga no matter the reason. Whether they are more or less elevated, all the reasons are acceptable and it is the well-taught yoga that is in charge of directing you without you noticing. Of course, no one can tell you that your level is beginner, intermediate or advanced. The evolution in the practice of yoga is an intimate act, where only you know, if you are honest, if you are advancing, retreating and in which moment of vital experience you are.

I am the ultimate advocate that yoga should expand like hairdressers or grocery stores. There should be one in each corner and the more the better. I do not support people who say that “not everyone is trained to teach yoga”. I have never believed in the limitations of talent and being. Of course, now that yoga has become fashion, which is booming, it is the responsibility of yoga teachers and students to deepen the practice and bring the public that begins to practice, a less sweetened yoga and that impel today’s society to self-exploration and self-knowledge as a tool for social, political, and systemic change that works towards a union of the common interests of the people. The large number of yoga schools is not the problem, but the quality and level of professionalism with which it is taught.

Yoga is not a product of the service sector …

Not that everyone can not be a yoga teacher, is that yoga does not belong to the service sector. It is life education and trying to make the student always feel good as if he were a customer of a cafeteria or the one that is going to buy at the English court, is an insult to the union and to the advancement of the student himself.

Physical yoga (the practice of asanas) is a psychosomatic exploration of the body points where contraction – freedom is experienced and its relation to the way in which we live our life. With the practice of the different positions that relationship is explored that exists between the block and / or physical, mental and emotional freedom. The physical posture is not the purpose. Acquiring the perfect form as they appear in the books may seem more or less difficult, but what is really important is the learning that exists to get there. That learning is sometimes beautiful and revealing and other times it will show us things about ourselves that we do not like.

The quality of the physical posture does not serve as a reference to say whether a practitioner is a beginner, intermediate or advanced.

Imagine two people who have just started practicing. The first is larger, stiffer, everything hurts, has had an accident and therefore his body is not so open. The second is a young person who from the first moment all the positions come to perfection, it costs him almost nothing and his level of flexibility is very high.

If we let ourselves be guided by appearances, anyone could say that the young person has a more advanced practice and a greater potential to evolve in the way of self-knowledge. And that the older person has greater impediments to evolve in practice.

However, the reality may be the opposite. That person who is older, who suffers from ailments has many points in favor and a greater potential to evolve within the practice of yoga. It may be that its rigidity, age and the ailments it suffers are what cause the change in that focus of external attention to a focus of internal attention where there is a negotiation and an internal dialogue with tensions, pain, limitations and fear. It is his own limitation that leads him to a self – exploration of his physical, mental and emotional baggage to understand what are the reasons, beliefs or events that have led him to be in the current state. The purpose of the practice will be the transgression of those limitations and the disidentification with the body in order to live in a lighter way.

Meanwhile the young person, healthy, flexible and who does not experience any kind of problem, if he is not careful he will continue practicing without any kind of conscience. He has the “bad luck” that does not have any kind of problem and therefore his practice does not make sense, there is no exploration, no learning. It may be a practice focused on the body, where an attachment to the body is generated even. It is curious that this state of health that can apparently be beneficial may become the reason for the evolution in the practice of yoga. Because as Prashant Iyengar says, the son of Bks Iyengar, it does not mean that by practicing yoga it evolves, there are yoga practitioners who instead of evolving, evolve.

It does not matter that the practitioner acquires or arrives at the stipulated perfect form. What matters is that there has been a process of acceptance and love towards oneself.

Yoga is also not a way to disconnect, which may sometimes be beneficial. Yoga is not if not a way to reconnect. Reconnect with our emotions, our values, our environment and ultimately with that life that allows us to live in complete fulfillment and that is consistent with our maximum potential.

Emotions in Yoga …

Therefore, the practice of physical yoga is a context as it can be another discipline where for example you can see the degree of flexibility with which we live (little or too much) whether we treat ourselves with love or not, the quality of our movements , the quality of our actions, the degree of fear that is stored in the body, aggressiveness, self-esteem, pain, freedom, lightness, joy, sadness … As soon as an emotion emerges during the practice of yoga, it is interesting to extrapolate when and how we feel that emotion in our daily life.

After all, the practice of yoga is yoga from the moment when there is inner learning.

Normally we live immersed in what you do in everyday life. “We fight” in an external battlefield. Our enemies are our parents, friends, co-workers, the boss who does not let us do what we want, the system that crushes us with the tax hike, the health system, the education system, the rise of gas, light, water and in the end we keep fighting always with aspects external to our person to which we give them the ability to influence our inner peace.

The practice of yoga puts the focus of light and attention not on external objects but on ourselves and gives us the power and responsibility to change our way of living and relate to ourselves and the world around us in a more harmonica

× Namaskar