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Nadi-shodhana pranayama

Nadi-shodhana pranayama

The nadi-shodhana practice has always been popular in tantra, also it is used in a puja. Tantric puja can be performed four times a day, in a four transitional moments (Sandhya). These moments are favorable for worshipping Divine and meditation. Therefore, the recommendations about doing nadi-shodhana four times a day are mentioned in the Hatha Yoga texts. Also, some practices can be intense, they can last for about one hundred days or more. Then Nadi suddhi can be performed in not very cold and not very hot periods, for example, in autumn or spring, they are also sandhyas connected with the seasons.

When you can’t practice four times a day, you can do it three times – in the morning, noon and night. If you don’t have this opportunity, you can do it only in the morning and in the evening, if you have very little time to practice, the best time is the morning. If you use the bija "yam" and "ram", so you should mentally repeat "ram" when you exhale and when you inhale you should mentally repeat "yam", when you hold your breath, you repeat "Tham" (Amrita-bija). You can also use the Om mantra or any mantra which is important for you. The purpose of this Pranayama is purification of three energy channels. In general, the practice has a lot of instructions, traditionally in India yoga wasn’t something wide-spread. Many instructions have been lost when yoga has spread to the west and became available for a lot of people.

Pranayama is also connected with the granthas. Granthas are connected with ida, pingala and sushumna. Ida, pingala and sushumna are associated with rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka. In yogic texts often consider each of these elements as the practice of pranayama. In fact many practitioners make mistakes when they perform puraka or rechaka. They incorrectly hold their breath. Their mistake lies in the fact that breath holding is easy thing, but then there is a strong desire to exhale. They admit the same mistake in the performance of rechaka and puraka. The purpose of pranayama is Ayama (lengthening of inhalation and exhalation). Ayama helps to make prana to flow freely through the body. This is what should be taught. That’s why quiet continuous breath, breath holding and exhaling, will be considered as properly performed pranayama.

Such pranayama leads to connection between mind and prana and "Kundalini straightens". This results in that the channels are cleansed, and the circulation of prana in the channels is distributed evenly. That is the true pranayama, which makes the mind quiet and clean. So don’t be surprised if in the texts pranayama is considered only as a rechaka or puraka, through them you can control prana too. If you perform one of the elements of pranayama correctly – this is pranayama too. Actually, pranayama starts as early as asana. We are talking about the asanas that are designed to work with the body. I have such an approach: the performance of asanas is focused on condition of breathing, which should not be intermittent, because it is the criterion that you should pay attention when you choose the complexity level of asanas. I do not advise to do the asanas under the account, because we all have different possibilities, we just need to listen to the sensations in the body. In fact, each element of the breath is a very important thing in practice.

Nowadays, only few people consider pranayama as a technique of meditation on the mantra and the Deity (Devata Tattva). The texts say that the practice of yoga gives Siddhis. If you practice in the traditional way, it is possible to attain Siddhis, but then your sadhana should be comprehensive. It's not "yoga complexes" which are sold to people. Comprehensive means you follow all the principles – Ahara-vihara etc. In all yoga centers, no one knows, and do not understand anything about Ahara and Vihara. In yoga centers Ahara and Vihara is considered as tasty and healthy food and nothing more.

Tags:  pranayama sadhana
Author: Yogi Matsyendranath Maharaj

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