Monday, July 28, 2014

Pranayamas: and their chakras

When people come to me, from other yoga classes, they will say that pranayama is not being practiced within the structure of these classes. If it is done, it is done haphazardly. I do not wonder why.:  A lot of times,there is pressure from students themselves -- because a lot of people dislike mind-control practices. In fact, if the mind is allowed its monkey movements, then people are happy. This is why, it becomes tough to hang on with integrity to what you believe is good for your students, despite of themselves!

I have even today, some smart alecky students who will try to corner me before a class or after it, to indicate they do not want to practice pranayama.(Read: I pay for this class, and you know customer is king:) Some students make out like they want to spend more time in asanas;  some students will fidget a lot and generally indicate through their body language their discomfort with the practice; some will yawn loudly and continuously; I have had students who will stop doing pranayama and sit and stare around;  and I even had a student who gave me a huge pile of literature on "intuitive" way of doing yoga instead of following a classical structure. I mean.. it gets worse because you may be the only one in this entertainment seeking city to hang on to the idea of pranayama as what asanas should lead you towards and that it is very much a part of raja yoga and is approved of in all yogas -- jnana yoga (Ramana Maharishi says it is very important tool in mind control in this branch of yoga), Bhakti (Adi Shankarachaya suggests you could say the Gayatri mantra in the various limbs of nadi shodhana practice), Raja (Sw Vivekananda) and of course, hatha yoga itself.

Here is the list of the chakras, according to Sw Satyananda, and the pranayamas that work on them. You will find that a lot of practices have the third eye activation.

Kapalabhati -- Ajna (Third eye)
Bhastrika -- Manipura
Bhramari -- Ajna
Nadi shodhana -- Ajna
Ujjayi - Vishuddhi

It is important to understand that these practices help to align /harmonise these chakras and that asanas are just the route that prep you for pranayama.

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