Day two – Yogic diet, supplements, celibacy and Siddhi.

Ummm I feel everything is coming together nicely! Arose at 6:30 this morn without need for an alarm, and enjoyed a lovely morning session. My times are already starting to gradually climb.

Spent the morning reading about Pratyahara, sense withdrawal, in Goswami Kriyananda ‘s wonderful work, The spiritual science of Kriya yoga, a vital ability in the yogis arsenal. Incorporating the four given experiments into my sitting asan has already improved my sitting time considerably. Up from a measly 13 minutes to 25 mins! Which however is still far from the 3 hour goal. My consciousness already seems subtly clearer somehow and I am feeling positive and happy.

After reading “The science of prananyama” by Sri Swami Sivananda, I have made some changes to my diet, mainly, cutting out passion exciting onions and garlic . He recommends cutting out all flesh including fish. This I may find a step to far as I really enjoy mackerel and salmon which are good sources of omega 3 and protein. He states that eggs are flesh and should not be eaten by the yogi. I really like eggs and as they are a good source of phospholipids which are very beneficial for brain functioning, I think I will continue to enjoy them for the time being. All other dietary recommendations I already practise, such as no added salt, no meat, no hot curries or spicy foods, no bitter or too strong-tasting foods etc. A balanced diet is the key. It is suggested that when first settling into a new pranayama routine one should be extremely careful in ones choice of foods.

I have been following Patrick Holfords advice on basic supplements for a few months now. Supplementing a good multi vitamin and mineral tablet as well as extra vitamin C, soya lecithin for phospholipids and omega 3,6 and 9. This is recommended for everyone. I am also taking chromium, zinc magnesium, and extra B vitamins. Because I smoked for a long time, I have also been taking some amino acids. Glutamine to restore the health  of my intestinal tract. 5-HTP, phenylalanine and tyrosine to help restore depleted neurotransmitters. GABA to aid sleep and Sam-e to help the methylation process.

The most difficult part of the yogic diet for me will be Brahmacharya!

Sri Swami Sivananda suggests 6 months to a year is a good time period to save every single drop of semen. 12 full years is the optimal time period. Ok.

Temptress in the Shadows

I shall strongly endeavour to attain this goal. (6 months – 1 year.)

Pratyahara (sense withdrawal) offers practical advice in how to conquer the evils of lust. And the lord knows I will need every technique available to help me in that department!

Sri Swami Sivananda suggests avoiding women all together. This technique may be possible if you are living in the Himalayas but in a modern city center it is impossible! The basic idea of retaining ones seminal fluid is to increase overall energy. Leaking energy simply will not do! The yogin can use the additional energy to reach higher states of consciousness. Sages contend the average person utilises less than 1% of cerebral matter. Cerebral matter is located all along the spine, in the major organs as well as the various ganglia.

When the eight limbs of yoga are practised intensely for a long period the brain eventually decides it is safe to start to wake up and the yogis system enables the ability to begin processing much higher amounts of energy. The yogi will then evolve the various siddhis described in, the bible for yoga, Patanjali‘s ‘Yoga sutras.’

<!–[if gte mso 10]>

23-09-2010

Deep abdominal breath

Inhalation/Exhalation Extension

Easy breath

Bhastrika

Total sit time

6:00 am

X7

20/20 15/15 12/12

5in 5h 10ex x3

5 – 10 – 10 x4

30 30 30 30 30

5 min

12 noon

X7

15/15×2 17/17×2

5- 10-10 x7

40 20 30 30 30

13 min

6:00 pm

X7

17/17×2 15/15×2

5-10-10×7

25 30 30 35

13 min

12 midnight

X9

17/17×5

5-10-10×7

30 30 30 30 30

18 min

24-09-2010

6:00 am

X10

20/20 20/17 17/17×3

5-10-10×7

35 35 30 30

20 min

12 noon

X12

25/25 30/30 25/25 20/30 25/25

5-10-10×7

35 40 30 30

25 min

6:00 pm

12 midnight

Pranayama times table

Advertisements

Day 1 – Lead-up, rough itinerary and first session.

Start at the beginning

Yesterday I spent the day reading up and re-familiarizing myself with pranayama, (breath control). I have practised Pranayama on several occasions over the past 7 years and become accustomed to its raw power. No other exercise effects your total self quite like the breath of life.

The last time I practised for several weeks and then had to stop as I felt I had become just too open. I was experiencing very unusual perceptual abilities. I could see why most yogin retire to an ashram in which to open and expand the system, as doing so in a busy modern city can de a difficult endeavour. Opening the higher chakras whilst being surrounded by people deeply rooted in the materialism, inebriation and the guttural thought forms of the lower energy realms can be a trying procedure.

Practicing the eight limbs of yoga intensely for a prolonged period hones the mind and system to such a degree that all the senses sharpen, including the sixth and higher senses. The ability to directly read people’s minds, bodies and energies can become a hindrance in a tough, masculine city such as Manchester where people rarely pass on a smile to strangers, fear and self consciousness completely absorb the majorities attention. Sense withdrawal skills become handy when traversing the city streets so as to remain unaffected by the hordes contagious energies.

I reread Goswami Kriyanandas instructions, it’s always a pleasure to read his beautiful style of writing and I also read “The science of Pranayama” by Sri Swami Sivananda which was a first for me and provided some interesting new insights into Pranayama.

Pranayama always comes with strong warnings and the strict instructions to never push to hard. Slow gradual progress is the most important rule.

Pranayama should ideally be practised four times a day, though this is usually too difficult for most people. Last time I settled for twice a day, at noon and at midnight but this time I feel I shall attempt the full four sittings and if it gets too much I can always drop it down to two.

My rough plan is to practise at:

  1. Sunrise; roughly 6:30 am
  2. Noon
  3. 6:00 pm
  4. Midnight

The sunrise session shall be simply Pranayama followed by asan (sitting in a meditative posture).

Noon session will be preceded by physical Asana (yoga poses), starting roughly at 11:00 am.

6:00 pm session will be simple Pranayama and sitting asan.

Midnight will be Pranayama followed by sense withdrawal, concentration and meditation. Though I will always go with my feelings whilst practising and this is a very rough guide.

Window view

I set my alarm for 6:30 am. I usually rise between 9 and 11 am so it was quite a shock this morning to be so rudely pulled from my dreams. For 5 minutes I wrestled with the idea of going back to sleep and forgetting my practice, but soon found it in me to jump up, brush my teeth and found myself sitting on my Indian woolen blanket at 6:40.

I took it slow the first session. It felt nice to be back in the blanket. The motor memory of  previous Pranayama sessions came back to me and I only required some brief revision to recall the procedure.

I decided to start with:

  • Deep abdominal breathingDerga-shwasa-prashwasa
  • Inhalation/exhalation extension
  • Easy breath – Sukha-purvaka
  • Vitalising breath
  • Bellows breath – Bhastrika

Wow! Bellows breath is powerful!

I  sat with eyes closed in The prosperous pose for 5 minutes. A short time but you should begin slowly.

I have had a terrible manflu for the last two weeks, so much mucous came out, it was unbelievable. I am over the worse now and decided to go ahead on the auspicious autumnal equinox day.

My nasal passages were a little dry but overall the session went very smoothly. I read for a while before falling back asleep till 11:00 am. I need to re-programme my body clock over the coming days.

At 11:00 am I did some sun salutations followed by an hours yogic warm ups and stretching, culminating in handstand, head stand and scorpion. I have not done any physical practice in over 2 Months as before my flu I had a bad fall from my mountain bike which left me on crutches for several weeks. My right leg is still very sore and I cannot manage the full lotus posture or leg bounces properly. I took this first session very slowly and gradually.

I then performed the same pranayama as earlier except I missed out the vitalizing breath as I wanted to do the full Pranayama session without getting up or opening my eyes. This procedure allows me to kill two birds with one stone as it combines the breathing exercises with sitting asan. In total I sat for 13 minutes. We now approach my third session of the day so I must leave it there..

An inspiring thunder storm shook Manchester today, I saw it as a good omen for my forthcoming months of experimentation,

Namaste.