Silent Mind Meditation Program: Yoga for Awareness
Body Work: Yoga for Awareness
Having developed your body to be more supple and energetic it is now time to exploit the ancient science of Raja Yoga to raise your level of awareness using it. Awareness is the light that is going to illuminate the inner walls and reveal the false in the false. It is the key to the success of the Silent Mind meditations. The set you will do in phase 3 is the Yoga for Awareness set described in Appendix 3 (Yoga for Awareness Set). This Raja Yoga set is based on the Chakra and Kundalini system of the Yoga Sutras of Pantanjali and works directly on the energy centers of the subtle body (more information on the Chakra system is available in the Kundalini Yoga Section or Articles Page). It uses body locks (bandhas) and breath control (pranayam) to work its magic. All the guidelines from the previous Yoga sets apply to this set as well. This set takes about 15 minutes to complete and should be done after the advanced Pranayam described in the breath work section below. Thus, the total time spent on the Pranayam and Yoga set will be 20 minutes and this will be followed by 40 minutes of meditation.
Breath Work: Advanced Pranayam
The following Pranayam set utilizes retention of breath and as pointed out earlier any such forced retention must be approached cautiously. The following exercise should be done for 5 minutes prior to doing the Yoga for Awareness set.
Description: The exercise is quite simple, but very potent. Sit (preferable) or lie in the position you have chosen, then keeping relaxed inhale while counting up to 4 slowly, hold your breath for a count of 16 and exhale to the count of 8. The count is slow and steady, about 1 second per count, done mentally of course.
Benefits: This pranayam helps dissolve blockages in the subtle body systems, increase the strength of your nervous system and raise your energy to higher vibrational frequencies. This refined energy then works to activate and balance your higher energetic centers which are responsible for awareness, insight and connectivity to the beyond.
Cautions: If you at all feel uncomfortable holding your breath for the count of 16 cut all the counts to half. Inhale to the count of 2, hold for a count of 8 and exhale to a count of 4. If this too feels uncomfortable, practice STB (Silk Thread Breathing described in Chapter 4: Yoga for Meditation ) instead for 5 minutes. Do not practice this pranayam if you have high blood pressure, instead do STB.