"Pearl" or the influence of Mudra and Prânâyâma in a spiritual search by Sri TK Sribhashyam
I was told about the article in a comment on an earlier post, thank you Anon..
The article below, P R A N A Y A M A - An Absolute Necessity in YOGA was also sent to me and can be found on T.K.SRIBHASHYAM's website. It's also been reproduced on my friend Madhu's, Blog Yoga = Freedom Kaivalya Maui ( Madhu is a student of T.K. Sribhashyam as well as Ramaswami)
It strikes me as an excellent treatment of the topic that gives relatively straightforward instructions for practice and yet also provides a deeper context. I've found it's added layers as well as some more context to my own pranayama practice.
A note on my own Pranayama practice.
I was taught Pranayama by Srivatsa Ramaswami ( a student of Sribhashyam's father Krishnamacharya, for over thirty years) on his Vinyasa Krama TT course. The importance of an integrated practice was stressed and, without fuss, we ( a class of mixed abilities and experience) were taught a relatively straightforward Nadi Shodana pranayama that over the two weeks of the pranayama course increased in duration. Kumbhaka's (breath retentions) were introduced as well as other pranayama's. By the end of of the course we were practicing 80 rounds of UJJAYI PRATHILOMA (see below) with approximately 20 second retention after the inhalation when we would mentally chant a pranayama mantra. As the teacher training continued we would practice our Asana each morning followed by pranayama, pratyahara and Japa mantra meditation.
My point being this is a practice available to anyone who practices yoga. Start simply and build gently within your own capabilities. In day to day life we tend to inhale and exhale for two or three seconds, fifteen or so breaths a minute...anything is an improvement on that. Long, slow, full attentive breathing is a good place to begin.
I thought it might be useful to outline the article first as well as pick out some practice notes for ease of reference.
The article begins by stressing the importance of pranayama in all yoga practice
"This drift from the real nature of Yoga might have many reasons. Amongst them the lack of importance given to PRANAYMA in one's practice cannot be ignored.
Very often false reasons are invoked to keep PRANAYAMA away from one's teaching or practice. Still, there is not one teacher nor one school that does not talk of PRANA.
It is true that the Yogic way for the quest of inner Self and the Search for God Realisation through Pranayama is not a simple subject. This should not be an excuse for not introducing it in the practice sessions of pupils whether they practice regularly or not".
It then presents which Pranayama's are said to act on which functions
1. Physiological functions,
as for eg. UJJAYI ANULOMA and SHITHALI.
2. Nervous System,
as for eg. UJJAYI VILOMA, UJJAYI PRATHILOMA and NADI SHODHANA,
3. mental plane,
as for eg. NADI SHODHANA with Bahya Kumbhaka and SURYA BHEDHANA,
4. Spiritual Quest,
like the SAMA VRITHI in NADI SHODHANA, and SURYA BHEDANA
both of them as SAGARBHA PRANAYAMA
This is followed by a recap of the techniques involved for each pranayama and interestingly, which pranayama should be practiced at the start and which at the end of your yoga practice session.
(one or more)
(one or more)
Chapter Two: Part I: Who Is An Expert In Yoga?
Chapter Two: Part II: How To Get Your Body To Be 16 Years Old Again
Pimping up Krishnamacharya's Life saving yoga sequence plus 8mm vintage video app for iPhone.