The Grand Yoga Breath

This a popular form of pranic breathing in India . The Yogis practice it in order to call into activity the whole nervous system and centers of the body, and to distribute the prana to the plexuses which serves as its natural reservoirs and

"storage batteries of prana." In "The Grand Yoga Breath Exercise" the various chakras are aroused to activity, and, at the same time, the nadis are stimulated and energized. In it, also, the power of creative mind is invoked and applied in an effective manner. The exercise is performed as follows:

(A) Lie down flat on your back, keeping the head, neck, back, and legs in a straight line. The position must be easy and natural.

(B) Perform the usual cycles of rhythmic breathing as you have learned, i.e., inhalation for 6 units, retention for 3 units, exhalation for 6 units. Perform these cycles of rhythmic breathing for seven times, with a few moments of rest between each cycle. Now accompany each inhalation, in turn, with one of the following mental exercises, in the order given, the first with the first cycle, the second with the second cycle, and so on until the seven have been performed, one with each cycle, viz.:

1 Visualize the breath as entering the body through the bones of the legs and then exhaled through them. Try to "feel" as strongly as possible that this action is really occurring.

2 Visualize the breath as entering the body through the bones of the arms, and then exhaled through them, accompanying this with the "feeling," as above instructed.

3 Visualize the breath as entering the body through the top of the skull, and then exhaled through it; accompanying this with the appropriate "feeling."

4 Visualize the breath as entering the body through the stomach, and then exhale through it; accompanying this with the appropriate "feeling."

5 Visualize the breath as entering the body through the reproductive organism, and then exhaled through it; accompanying this with the appropriate "feeling."

6 Visualize the breath as entering the body through the base of the spinal column, and then exhaled through it; accompanying this with the appropriate "feeling."

7 Visualize the breath as entering the body through every pore of the skin all over the whole body, from head to foot; accompanying this with the appropriate "feeling."

Having rested for a few moments following this first stage of "The Grand Yoga Breath Exercise," you are now ready to perform the second stage of the exercise, which is as follows:

(A) Lie on the back in the same position, and with the same care, as in the first stage of the exercise.

(B) Perform seven more cycles of rhythmic breathing, following the same rhythm, i.e., Inhalation 6 units; retention 3 units; exhalation 6 units. During each inhalation perform the visualization (and accompanying "feeling") of sending the pranic current to each of the chakras, in turn, one with each exhalation, in the order named. At the same time, use the will to "will" that the current will go where it is directed (where it is visualized as going and is "felt" as going).

By this procedure, each chakra is energized and stimulated by the inflowing prana thus directed to it. Here is the list of chakras to be reached in the way just instructed, in the order in which they are to be aroused in the exercise:

On stage with India's great illusionist, K.Lall and his company of magical entertainers. (Courtesy the Benjamin Kleinman Collection)

1 "The Muldahara Chakra," situated at the base of the spinal column.

2 "The Svadisthana Chakra," situated at the base of the reproductive organism.

3 "The Manipura Chakra," situated in the center of the trunk, just back of the Solar Plexus.

4 "The Anahata Chakra," situated in the region of the heart.

5 "The Visuddha Chakra," situated in the region of the throat.

6 "The Ajna Chakra," situated in the brain, just back of the center of the eyebrows.

7 "The Sahasraha Chakra," situated on the top of the head, at its center. (C) "The Grand Yoga Breath Exercise" should be concluded by

"visualizing," "feeling," and "willing" a great current of prana to sweep over the entire body, reaching every outer and inner part, bathing every organ, center and region with a great flow of pranic power and energy, and thus vitalizing the whole physical system, in its entirety.

The Chakra Checklist

The Chakra Checklist

The chakras are described as being aligned in an ascending column from the base of the back to the top of the head. New Age practices frequently associate each chakra with a particular color.

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