Enhance pranic flow and broaden your perspective
What got me writing this piece is the interest evinced by a reader about the hindrances to the flow of prana. The limited sense of self is what hinders pranic flow. The more we identify with one aspect or function of ourselves, the more we let prana flow in that direction alone. For example, if the hand is used in one particular direction alone, then it is flexible to that extent and a lack of ease is felt in other positions.
Similarly, by repeated use of the mind in a particular function, a habit is formed. Repeated use cultivates either a negative or positive habit. The mind starts identifying with that habit. So we identify with the role we play which may be that of a mother or a manager, which is a sum of habits, and fail to see we are much beyond that. We may also identify with our habitual ways of dealing with emotions and think of ourselves as an angry or sad person. This is a narrow perspective and hinders the flow of prana.
Enhancing pranic flow
Yoga is a practical approach to becoming one with the cosmos. The cosmos has an intelligent design that has a free flow of prana. One sees that by being aware of all aspects of our lives we can enhance the pranic flow. Through awareness we can replace negative habits with positive ones and then rise above them – lifestyle habits, emotional habits and thinking habits.
All Hatha yoga practices work on developing consciousness because the body has developed its habitual ways of sitting, breathing, or holding onto emotional stress. The Gnyana yoga kriyas use the mind that could block prana to open itself to higher realities. One such gnyana yoga practice is given below.
The Nadi Gnyana Kriya
This kriya helps bring awareness about all pranic pathways and release tension. We look at the blocks in an impersonal way. Pain is simply released rather than it becoming “My pain”. One gets so attached to it that one does not want to let go of the pain for months or years. I’ve known people who still speak about how someone had hurt them when they were five years old. This pain is constantly ruminated upon, leading to the formation of a negative circuit. Then they find the next person to blame. We need to be aware and break this loop of negativity. Consciousness clogged by unworthy thoughts makes it dull and muddy. The Nadi Gnyana Kriya is an excellent way to get rid of years of garbage. Like we take a bath regularly, we need to cleanse our psyche.
Lie with head towards the North in shava asana. As given in the polarity practice earlier, do 5-6 rounds of the savithri pranayama. Then imagine you are a pipe and the heaviness, the mud or dirt. Then visualize the dirt rushing from the top of your head and feel it rumbling out of your feet. You may visualize the cleansing agent as water, air or light. Continue till you feel clean and relaxed. Lie for 5-10 minutes and then do deep breathing to get back to an active state. Practice the kriya regularly and you will see that you have developed a broader perspective towards life.