By Swami Veda Bharati September 2007 Here’s how to enhance and deepen your pranic field For mental peace and composure, we need a strong and stable pranic field. Here are ways to do so. Sattvic and regular sleepThe commentaries on the Yoga sutras record three kinds of sleep, evoking the following responses:Sattvic sleep: I slept easefully and well; my mind is clear; my intellect is blooming.Rajasic sleep: I had an uncomfortable sleep; my mind is sluggish; it is confused and unstable.Tamasic sleep: I slept deep, almost in a stupor; my limbs are heavy; the mind is tired, lazy, and as it were, feeling lost.Only sattvic sleep brightens the prana field; the other two make it sluggish. In order to obtain sattvic sleep, these are the primary rules: Regular exercise of the kind that energises without tiring, such as yoga postures, and contemplative walking without talking Keeping the stomach light, especially in the evenings Before going to sleep, inspiring reading – or watching videos that deal with serene spiritual subjects and beauties and harmony of nature Prayer before sleeping Going to sleep after evening’s meditation Falling asleep counting one’s breaths (of which there are many different methods) Falling asleep with the remembrance of the personal mantra received in an initiation In more advanced stages, learning to convert at least part of one’s sleep into yoga nidra, conscious rest, when the brain produces delta waves but remains aware of the surroundings or, better yet, an interior consciousness In yet further advanced stages, practising atmavalokanam, awareness of one’s spiritual self – initially while falling asleep, and later throughout the sleeping period, to experience ananda, bliss of Brahman Waking up in the consciousness of the same practices with which one enters into sleep One has not fully awakened from sleep until one has had a bowel movement, bathed, done the asanas, corpse position practices, and most important, the nadi-shodhana, also known as anuloma-viloma – the alternative nostril breathing that balances the two hemispheres of the brain Some of these practices need to be learnt under guidance in an ashram environment and from a master. The prana obtained from such a sleep may be used through the day to feel less burdened, discharge heavy activities effortlessly, and to empower the mind to work in an inspired way with acute intuition. This, in turn, helps the entire immune system to resist diseases, and keeps the mind in a state of spiritual awareness through the activities of the day. Regular bowel movementOur prana system is primarily divided into two: prana and apana. Looking at one’s internal organs one finds three kinds of organs: the prana organs, those whose movement is upwards, for example, the organs of the respiratory system, making the breath flow towards the nostril. prana-apana medial organs, those which are midway between the upwards and downward movement, maintaining the balance between the two, and supplying power to both, for example, the cardiac and the digestive systems. apana organs, those whose movements are downwards such as the intestinal and colonic activity, urination, seminal ejaculation, menstruation and parturition. A proper balance among all these three categories of organs is essential to physical health and pranic strength. The operations of the three kinds of organs are interdependent: Imbalance in one of these three fields produces imbalance in the other two. Conversely, exercises, practices, life-style observances that improve one do improve the other two. We welcome your comments and suggestions on this article.Mail us at email@example.com
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