Author Topic: Pranayama  (Read 6310 times)

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September 15, 2013, 07:21:41 PM
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Feint

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So I have this book by Swami Rama called the Path of Fire and light. I read through the book just to see what I might expect. I was looking through and it tells that 12 and a half minutes of breath retention leads to Samadhi. 25 minutes leads to a tranquil mind and 3 and a half hours leads to super consciousness. It makes no sense to me. The most advanced practice in the book leads you to hold your breath for 15,000 seconds while levitating. The expectations are amazing, but I hope to reach the state within the next decade. What do you guys think about this?

September 15, 2013, 07:45:54 PM
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Mind_Bender

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That's a pretty awesome goal!

I've read something similar when it comes to Siddhi development. Is this your only goal, or do you want to attain other Siddhis or abilities every ten or so years (if that's possible)?
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

September 15, 2013, 11:41:10 PM
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Feint

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I think I would keep going till I reach the goal of holding it for 3 or so hours. I think I may just go for it before I really get into Raja yoga which is what I was initially going for. I plan on starting tomorrow and going on from there.

September 17, 2013, 09:40:40 AM
Reply #3

mystic

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I do not recommend performing this.

Simply put, the pranayama breathing is not something that someone with very little experience is supposed to endeavor. It is a large part of the vajra path (as well as the mo pai path, the lei shan dao path and dozen others) that emphasizes on entering stillness and staying in stillness. It is during that when the breathing is almost nonexistent because technically you are in the true nature of self and reality. The point of cultivation handles the breathing and you're essentially pumping yang into that region.

Good idea right? Not so much.

Prior to adequate development, it will lead to some issues. I have seen a lot of problems with improper breathing prior to the body and mind being ready.

Seriously I wouldn't do this without:
1. Without proper instruction
2. Preparation of the body and mind

And even then, the channels of the body still have to be ready.

Don't do.

September 17, 2013, 03:25:42 PM
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Feint

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First of all it is a goal. Next I have gotten training already through my practices of Initiation Into Hermetics which should suffice. I am not doing any of the paths you talk about. It is the yogic path of hatha and raja yoga. Body and mind also are great and the purification of the nadis are always the first practices I do in the morning for a minimum of 48 minutes which I do for 55 minutes 4 times a day. Before purification I do japa on the mantra Om Namah Shivaya 3500 times for one hour twice a day. I follow the diets within my book which is the Path of Fire and Light by Swami Rama. I practice all of the bandhas within my book especially the Navel lock for Bhastrika pranayama. My day starts out as follows:
Japa for 1 hour.
Nadi Shodhanam 10 rounds of 5:20:10 which is my maximum at the moment. Goal of building it to 10:40:20 then 15:60:30 and so on.
Practice Mula, Uddiyana, and Jalandhara Bandhas as to stretch the parts so that my practice will be less strained when I do the techniques.
Pranayamas: Surya Bhedana: 5 rounds. Ujjayi: 3 rounds. Sitali: 50 breaths. Bhastrika: 3 rounds. Sitkari: 50 breaths. Kaki Mudra: 5 rounds. Sahita Kumbhaka: 2 rounds.

These are all the practices I do. Japa only twice a day but all the others four times a day. I stretch out the time for Nadi shodhanam for a minimum of 55 minutes a day but I tend to do it for 75 minutes a day. If I were not committed I would probably listen to what you are saying, but truly I am not sure if you are just talking out of your mouth or through experience. I cannot accept what you are saying until I will feel the experiences myself. So far I have only had good experience and I have just started yesterday. Tell me about your experience, but I remember the quote of Swami Rama that you should experience it yourself to know the truth.

September 17, 2013, 03:47:58 PM
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mystic

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It's amazing you do a lot of things...some initiated by some swami and some other ecelectic practices.

The sad part is in doing this, how much progress have you made?

Can you sit? Have you entered stillness? Have you quelled (balanced) yin and yang thoughts? I can't answer what you do. But here's what I don't see.

While I do see you perform mantra based meditation and while that can lead to stillness, I see no development exercises for the spine, the legs, very little cultivation method of the mind (which Swami Rama emphasizes here).

With all of that said, you can practice if you want.

Will you see progress? Doubtful. But if you will, go ahead. I'm giving you a fair warning because you haven't taken the necessary practice in order for things to open up nor to cultivate. And in that, it is the goal in both Chinese and Indian systems.

Do what you will but don't expect progress from your regime. Sure you'll feel a bit light headed, but no cultivation or strengthening of energy. Nor balance of mind and body.

September 17, 2013, 03:52:16 PM
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Feint

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As I have said before. Listening to you try to put me down is like me giving you part of my willpower. Like I have said, speak what you know. I will get progress and I will prove to you the true meaning of willpower my friend. I can sit in asana for up to 3 hours which I have accomplished. Development exercise is the morning exercises which I always do everyday. Physical exercises you mean. Like I said I have been doing this for two days. I have practiced sukha purvaka for 3 months before I even attempted all of this.

September 17, 2013, 04:35:55 PM
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Feint

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I still feel yet again that you are coming from a Chinese standpoint rather than from the Indian standpoint. Maybe you have a lot more experience within other walks, but not this one. Again I would like to know what experience you have in this part of the field. You could tell me whatever you want from another, but I would care less because it has nothing to do with my path. The false impressions that you are getting about me is a matter of your opinion. You don't know me personally to judge what I do.

September 20, 2013, 09:02:54 PM
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Koujiryuu

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I think mystic was just trying to help.

I would advise you too, to really evaluate and think about the point of this practice, and why you want to pursue it.

I am not exactly sure what breath retention means, but it sounds to me like holding the breath. Holding the breath for long periods of time is dangerous and deprives the brain of oxygen. This is why people die when they get hanged, and quite brutally at that, because the brain can only survive with no oxygen for a certain amount of time before it dies. This seems similar to me to some Voodoo practices that use hyperventilation to reach "altered states" but in actuality are just hallucinations and sickness from the brain having elevated levels of carbon dioxide. I would think that the practice you're describing could involve this as well, as the brain and body would not get proper respiration.

All meditation is supposed to be calming and relaxing, done with long, slow, deep breaths to relax the body and mind and improve oxygenation of the brain, allowing you to experience higher states of being.

There is a state where the breathing becomes so shallow and subdued as to be barely perceptible, this happens in a deep trance state when the brain reaches a delta or theta brainwave frequency. Still, though, the breathing never actually stops. I think when Yogis do corpse pose for days without moving and appear to be dead, that the breath is still there but so mellow as to appear to be not breathing to others. I'm not sure if this is what you are talking about, though.

In general, holding the breath during meditation = bad. This is coming from someone with 15 years of experience meditating, and I know mystic has been doing it almost as long.

Either way, I hope you find what you're after.

Kouji
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September 21, 2013, 12:58:17 AM
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Mind_Bender

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Retaining the breath is just another way to 1) center the breath in a psychic center for cultivation, 2) help the energy move to where it needs to go without force or intention and, 3) develop a healthier and fuller aura. For martial arts it helps develop martial power and pack chi into the body.

When it comes to vodou hyperventilation, this is an advanced technique so when inexperienced mages perform it they get headaches and possibly heart murmurs but you also have to understand the ancestral and spiritual paradigm of vodou practitioners. Spirits are real, very real, to them and when they are 'hyperventilating' it is because they are a mambo/houngon (priest/ess)calling upon the spirits or someone being 'ridden' by the spirit (possesion). Your idea of delusion might be coming from a misinterpretation of a taboo religion.

Advanced Buddhist breathing contains elements of hyperventilation or what looks like it as well. They are advanced but with proper concentration and practice they energize and empower, but can also get you dizzy and nauseated and not all pranayama is about hyperventilation and is even warned against severly for the uninatiated and beginner.

If Feint is also doing the physical aspects of yoga, with the pranyama and other work, then the whole body, internal and external, are benefiting, this includes the spine, legs and brain. All aspects of yoga deal with the mind (and God).

You are both coming from a very Chinese standpoint. Although they are similar they both hold their own cultural understanding and development so a qigong practitioners viewpoint, while potentially helpful, can also hinder. Another example would be a Tae Kwon Do practitioner trying to teach a Shaolin Kung Fu class. Although the fundamentals and goals of the arts are the same the method is different and the methods being different means the understanding would be different as well.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

September 21, 2013, 10:23:34 AM
Reply #10

Koujiryuu

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I'm not saying any of this from a Chinese standpoint, nor did I say anything about Qigong or Yoga in relation to breathing.

I'm saying it purely from a Scientific, Western medical standpoint.

Hyperventilation is bad and so is holding the breath for a long time and any medical doctor could tell you that, for various reasons. I disagree.
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September 21, 2013, 02:45:22 PM
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Mind_Bender

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That's why I mentioned them being advanced techniques because they have to be worked up to through years of practice. You're not going to retain your breath for more than a few seconds in the beginning stages and although hyperventilation may be bad from a Western perspective it may just be their perspective. Sorry for lumping you together with mystic (in regard to the qigong perspective), by the way. I have experience with both methods with good results, you just need to remember and apply the basic principles of breath and energy. I'm not saying you or mystic are wrong, but am speaking from an experiential perspective.

Even so, coming from a Western perspective is still not the yoga perspective so the understanding still holds little relevance to yoga practice. Eastern and modern Western perspectives may both study the processes of the body but the yogis come from a tradition of inner guidance and 'divine' insight where the Western perspective is not built upon the same principles and perfection of technique. The same goes for vodoun practitioners.

Another thing, sometimes what the West says is bad is from biased tests or a misunderstanding of the practices they are dissecting so the results are not hard and fast, not to mention the tools they use may not be able to pick up the subtle aspects of the training. I also understand that some traditional training methods are horrible for the practitioner. When it comes to pranayama and the hyperventilation and retention methods, this is up to individual practitioners on the amount of harm versus benefit it may cause. A quick example would be doing deep meditation. Some get phenomenal results yets others, when they reach a void state, are depressed shortly after for some time. Does this make meditation wrong or harmful? Of course not, but some people just aren't designed for such practices where other flourish.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

September 22, 2013, 12:09:02 AM
Reply #12

Koujiryuu

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Compared to normal meditation, which is entirely beneficial and relaxing to the body, hyperventilation and holding the breath both can make you pass out.

No, really. They make you pass out. What part of this is positive? The blood and respiratory systems end up with a lower concentration of carbon dioxide in hyperventilation specifically, which can lead to hallucinations, headaches, nausea, and a wealth of other problems. Sorry, but if these methods can induce hallucinations then I have difficulty accepting that anyone is REALLY working with "spirits" or anything else. Not to mention, hyperventilation puts you into an excited, tense state which is usually the opposite of the kind of state you'd want to use to find peace and tranquility and real spiritual understanding.

Meditation takes 30 minutes to learn, yet the effects of it can be felt and utilized immediately. These methods requiring years of "proper training" to give supposed results is also not in their favor.

Ultimately, if someone is going to hold their breath til they turn blue in the face, or breathe rapidly and dance around as some kind of voodoo ceremony, I can't stop them from doing it. I'm not going to go out of my way and waste my time to try and prevent someone doing this. However, I will give a clear warning that these methods are dangerous at best and potentially life threatening at worst, and are probably not worth the effort compared to the drastic benefits of normal meditation.
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September 22, 2013, 01:14:44 AM
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Mind_Bender

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Maybe in your experience it made you pass out or are you just trusting scientific sources that stick within your paradigm of belief. Hyperventilation is nothing more than rapid abdominal breathing- this happens quite readily during sex, especially orgasm, and as you perform cardiovascular exercise or any difficult respitory work. When the hyperventilating breath is pumped from the lungs it is horrible for you because all your focus and breath is up high, when you concentrate on your abdomen you are allowing a stronger current of energy into your lower cauldron, and like I said in both posts, these are advanced techniques. Without the proper precautions almost anything is bad for you. Your idea of a 'real spiritual understanding' is from your perspective and those that follow your paradigm. The rapid breathing methods calm you down because you have just exerted yourself so you become quite relaxed and at peace, at which point you can end with the softer and easier breathing methods. As the chaotes would say, there are Inhibitory (mellow) and Excitory (extreme) methods of Gnosis (altered states). Yes, the Inhibitory methods are safer and good for the beginner and the Excitory methods are more dangerous and have a greater risk of harm (hence why they are advanced and should be treated as such) but they both lead to the same end in the long run. You simply stay within the mellow methods, this is very Daoist and Buddhist, but yoga has their own ways of doing things. Basically, you are stating an opinion as if it is concrete truth that is clearly not true just a different perspective and practice.

When it comes to vodou, just because you may not believe in nor have had any experience with spirits does not mean it is not true and they are not getting in touch with deeper aspects of reality and/or themselves. You are simply posing a disagreement, that is fine, but just because it is bad for you and your practices does not mean it is bad for everybody else. And once again, 'normal meditation' may be good for the majority but even this practice is not an end all and be all of spiritual attainment and health. In certain individuals, like I already stated, simple meditation can lead to apathy and other depressing feelings and emotions. The rapid breathing methods were developed for such a thing- if meditation is making you lethargic than add some fire breathing and it lifts your spirits.

Since I practice these rapid breathing methods, and have been for some time when the situation calls (working with repressed emotions and thoughtforms), I have had nothing but benefits. Who were the scientists experimenting on? If they were not highly skilled yogis or yoginis, then your argument is useless.

On the side of hallucinations, even basic meditation can cause this, hell, heat waves, cold streaks and lack of sleep can also cause hallucinations, and these 'hallucinations' are not hallucinations to the practitioners and your disbelief comes off more as a self-righteous child than a spiritual seeker, in that because you do not believe in nor practice vodou you are denying their reality of it as mere mental construct (hallucination). If that were true, they are just hallucinating, how do you explain the blessings, healings, curses and magic done by the practitioners? Whether their spirits are real to us or not they are still manifesting/receiving spiritual boon, so whether you agree with their practices or not they are still reaching and understanding 'tranquility and real spiritual understanding,' same as the yogis/yoginis, Satanists, Vampires, Christians, Jews, Muslims, Scientologists, etc, etc. Every path has truth, irrationality, hidden aspects, tabooed practices, you name it, but they are still flourishing and practiced because the systems work for their practitioners, at least the ones on a spiritual path towards truth and realization.
"Spirit is in a state of grace forever.
Your reality is only spirit.
Therefore you are in a state of grace forever."

"As relfections of the Source, we are little gods."

"...part of me doesn't want to believe that auto-eroticism while crushing on a doodle (sigil) could manifest a check in the mail box, but hey, it did."

"Everybody laughs the same language."

September 22, 2013, 01:55:24 AM
Reply #14

Feint

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There is definitely an agreement between me and Mind Bender whereas you and Mystic are both approaching from a Chinese perspective. He also talks about experiencing things for yourself instead of taking your word for it. Throughout the week, I've had great change while doing Bhastrika as well as holding my breath. I am up to a 7:28:14 ratio from 5:20:10 but am only doing three rounds and should hit six by this week. At first when you start practicing, it is hard; Once you are relaxed, it gets a lot easier to hold your breath and breathe out. Bhastrika leaves me feeling really great. I do my Bandhas after Bhastrika as it helps with the long kumbhaka when I am doing the navel lock. I am not biased as I have done it. It may be different for others like you have said. I have asthma, but I am able to go longer distances without getting tired. Heck I didn't even get my exercise induced asthma at all. Mantra practices are great. Heading for mantra siddhi by doing all the bija mantras 100,000 times for my chakras and am leading my kundalini up my body. So far it is traveling up my back or my spine.