How does pranayam facilitate activation of the kundalini?
Prāṇāyam is included in Haṭhayoga. The eight parts of ashṭāngyoga (Eight fold Yoga) advocated by Patānjali are 1. Yama (restraints), 2. Niyam (regulations), 3. Āsans (postures), 4. Prāṇāyam (controlled breathing), 5. Pratyāhār (introversion), 6. Dhāraṇā (concentration), 7. Dhyān (meditation) and 8. Samādhi (superconscious state). Prāṇāyam is the fourth part among them.
A. The word Prāṇāyam (प्राणायाम) is derived from two words prān (प्राण) and āyam (आयाम). Āyam means to regulate or suppress. Prāṇāyam means regulating the vital energies (prān) in the body.
B. The word Prāṇāyam is formed from prān (प्राण) + āyam (अयाम). Āyam means to increase. Prāṇāyam means increasing the vital energy.
C. Out of the subtle (subtle means those which cannot be perceived by the five senses, mind and intellect) frequencies in the atmosphere the proportion of the 360 Tama predominant frequencies emitted from the earth is 40%. These are gross among the subtle frequencies. The 108 Sattva predominant frequencies coming from the ajanaj or the star region (Nakshatrālok) too are 40% (refer ‘Science of Spirituality: Chapter 25 - Composition of the Universe). These are most subtle. In Prāṇāyam the word āyam is derived from ā (to come/to absorb) and yam (continuously). 360 Tama frequencies and 108 Sattva frequencies are continuously entering the body. The main aim of Prāṇāyam is to increase the ability to face these 360 Tama frequencies. ‘Science of Spirituality: Chapter 26 - Man’ provides information on the vital body (Prāna-dēha). Acquiring control over that vital body, that is vital energy is itself Prāṇāyam.
The Vital Energies performing various functions in the body have various names. The main among them are the Panchaprāṇ (five main units of vital energy) and the Panchaupaprāṇ (the five sub-units of vital energy). Actually there is only one vital energy but it is named as Panchaprāṇ and Panchaupaprāṇ based on its function. With every breath and thought the total oxygen leaves its position in the Brahmārandhra. During inspiration it descends from the Brahmārandhra and on expiration resumes its place in the Brahmārandhra. So also in the interval between two thoughts it goes to the Brahmārandhra.
D. Out of the nine serpents (navanāg) - the nine groups of pure spiritual particles, five serpents move within the body as the five internal energies (five vital energies, Panchaprāṇ). The remaining four are not present in the body of an average person and do so only with spiritual progress, that is all the principles in the universe (Brahmānḍa) enter the subtle body (pinḍa).
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- 1. Origin, definition and vital energy
- 2. Breathing
- 3.1 Focussing one’s attention on the breath
- 3.2 Anulom-vilom pranayam
- 3.3 Antar (internal) kumbhak pranayam
- 3.4 Bahya (external) kumbhak pranayam
- 3.5 Sammishra pranayam
- 3.6 Shuddhikriya pranayam
- 3.7 Nadishuddhi (Nadishodhan) - Purification of channels
- 3.8 Shitalikaran pranayam
- 3.9 Mudra pranayam: Bhagshaha shvasan (breathing with various parts of the body)
- 3.10 Other pranayams
- 3.11 According to the day and night
- 3.12 Sanhita pranayam: Sagarbha and agarbha (nirgarbha) pranayams
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