December 2014 By Shameem Akhtar The recognition that you are a field of energy serviced by the chakra system, will help you on the mat, says Shameem Akhtar Shameem Akhtar Today, everybody is aware of chakras, as whirlpools of energy centres. Excitingly, to hold this idea throughout your sadhana or yoga practice will help fast forward your progress on the mat. This explains why yoga is such a rage: once you hit the mat, even after a late night, jet lag or sickness, or a gap, you suddenly find that you have switched on some tremendous force that uplifts your whole self. It appears that every practice of yoga is designed to switch on a wire or network that is connected to a power source. Ask any practitioner, they will affirm this sense of being “switched on”, a super high. Perhaps it is actually a physical experience, and not just a psychic one! In yoga your body is said to be a field of energy, serviced by 72,000 energy channels, called nadis. Along the spine they converge in seven major whirlpools (some schools believe in nine), and gush towards the crown, like rivers rushing towards the ocean. At the crown, they connect with the cosmic source. From there, having connected, they rush back, like pregnant clouds, back to their source, at the pelvis (called kanda), lush with a super energy. The sadhana of yoga is designed to service these energy pathways, clear the chakras, so the momentum either way is maintained. This may explain why when the practice is adhered to in its classical purity, you are assured of feeling buoyed by this super energy.Whenever you feel heavy and dull while starting your practice, it is best to centre yourself with the idea of who you are as yoga defines you – a field of energy. Intriguingly, you will find that even quantum science sees the entire universe as just a dance of atoms – where solidity is just an illusion and what appears as solid actually is constantly shifting between several realities. That there is a pulse where what is a particle suddenly becomes a spark of energy. This pulse the yogis identified, even before quantum scientists cracked down the mystery, as spanda – the pulse of the universe. It is exciting to remember this while practicing because it will shift your practice from the mundane to an exhilarating connection. Brahamari pranayama (Humming bee breathing practice) Sit cross-legged, hands in a mudra of your choice. Inhale and exhale deeply a few times. After inhaling, with the lips shut, make a humming sound continuously. Ears may be shut with either index fingers, or you may just hum. Try to extend the sound as long as you can comfortably. Do thrice. After a few weeks of practice, you may increase the number of rounds. Benefits: Though it is a heating practice, it is a super-calming one. It is a third-eye practice, because it shifts the mind inwards, helps your ajna/third eye chakra harmonise so your intuitive powers are improved. It is amongst the most healing of all pranayamas, and used to repair the body and spirit. It can cure insomnia, sweeten voice, improve breathing and focus. About the author Shameem Akthar has trained as Yoga Acharya with the Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centre, Kerala, and is a master-trainer in neuro-linguistic psychology.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Blog:http://jaisivananda.blogspot.com
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