The techniques of pranayama have a special place within the yogic techniques aiming at the control of the sexual energy. Pranayama is a highly effective technique that amplifies the solar, masculine, Yang energy.
Pranayama is an effective method of increasing your Yang energy, as well as of sublimating the sexual energy to more refined forms of energy, in a controlled and conscious manner.
WHAT IS PRANA?
The translation of the term Pranayama is most often "the control of the breath". Nonetheless, there is a deeper meaning to this term. Prana is the vital force, and Yama refers to its control.
Consequently, pranayama refers to that discipline integrated as a fundamental stage in the yogic practice, which studies the origin and nature of this mysterious and invisible force, that is prana.
However, prana is more than merely the breath of a being. It is the fundament of all movement, the root of both organic and inorganic life.
Any manifestation or expression of a movement, life, or mind is in fact a manifestation of the prana, which makes it possible.
Under different forms and in different ways, prana is the ultimate generalization of all forces of nature. Prana is a subtle reality and consequently one cannot see, weight, measure or touch it through any of the instruments human mind has ever produced and invented.
Prana can be perceived and controlled by a human being with the mind. If you can purify and control your body, mind and nadis, you will also control your desires and thoughts and it will be easier to control the manifestations of prana in your being.
Prana is the ultimate cause of all manifested forces of nature. It expresses as any force, powers, energies manifested in the universe, both physical and subtle. All movement in the universe is only specific manifestations of prana.
The vital forces and the mind are but two aspects of prana, reflected in the human being. Moreover, prana manifests within the beings as the different physical, mental and psychic processes. Prana animates, sustains, and energizes the body of all living organisms.
The fine movements of the nerves in a living body and the powers of the mind are in fact only another specific manifestation of the prana. Any desire, any thought represents a particular expression of the prana, modulated precisely in a range of frequency.
The activity of the five senses is also an expression of prana vibrating on a certain frequency. The breath represents only one manifestation of the prana in your body.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN PRANA (THE VITAL ENERGY), THE MENTAL ENERGY AND THE SEXUAL ENERGY?
The center or the "deposit" of the pranic energies is Muladhara chakra. Ida and Pingala are the two nadis placed on both sides of the central channel, Sushumna nadi.
In persons that do not practice any spiritual exercises, whose energy is lying dormant in Muladhara chakra, the energy circulates through the two secondary "spinal" nadis: Ida and Pingala. Usually, the energy does not flow through Sushumna nadi, as the entrance to this nadi is normally closed.
As long as a person does not perceive and understand correctly the flow of energy through Ida and Pingala and as long as the energy is not "forced" through Sushumna nadi, that person will not have control over the mind and the prana.
The control of the pranic currents of energy, their direction through Sushumna nadi grants the practitioner the capacity of controlling the mind and thoughts.
Through the control of the mind, prana, and also through the purification of the nadis, the practitioner may easily sublimate the sexual energy.
Pranayama teaches us the perfect control over the mind and thoughts, and consequently the control of the currents of energy that flow through the nadis.
The thoughts and desires are pranic manifestations that are more subtle than the currents of energy flowing through the nadis. Through the control of the breath we may achieve the control of the subtle currents of energy, and of the nadis.
Controlling the nadis, we may then control our thoughts and desires, and the control of our thoughts and desires is crucial in controlling our minds.
The control of the mind and of the prana is an essential condition for sublimating the energies from the vital and sexual levels to the levels of volition, affection, mind, and spirit.
We may assimilate the example of the breath in a living organism to the wheel of a car. The network of the nadis, the mind, thoughts and wishes may be compared to the finest devices of a sophisticated machinery.
Whenever the wheel turns to right or left, the whole car turns that direction. This is a good analogy for exemplifying the relationship between breath and the other bodily functions.
The most "obvious" proof for the presence of the prana in the process of breathing is the movement of the lungs in the process of breathing. If this function ceases, all other functions of the body cease as well.
You can control your inner forces and energies through the control of the prana. The focus and direction of the prana is a necessity for the balance of the energy, including even techniques for the direction of the excessive prana to other areas lacking is known by the name of pranayama.
Any imbalance in the prana, be it excessive or lacking facilitates the appearance of all kinds of diseases and affections. An even distribution of the prana in the body usually guarantees the slowing down of the aging and degenerative processes.
The purification of the nadis is compulsory for having a healthy body, and a clear mind. You may easily obtain this purification of the body, mind and nadis through pranayama.
It is also important that you are aware of the fact that all impurities present in the physical, mental and ethereal bodies makes the processes of transmuting and sublimating the vital energy more difficult.
The sexual energy is a huge force of the human being. The sexual potential is in fact the deposit of an immense reserve of energy. A person should transform this energy and then sublimate the resulting energy to the superior level.
One should preserve the sexual energy and convert it into refined forms of energy for spiritual purposes, instead of wasting it through ejaculation.
Once the tensions, obsessions, and stresses originated in the various imbalances of the prana are released, the mind is freed from its strongest attachment.
It is very important to know that mind, prana and sexual energy are in close connection and interaction, influencing one another.
The control of prana-vayu leads to the purification and the control of sexual energy and of the mind. Likewise, when the sexual energy is under control the mind and the prana can be easily controlled.
The seed, the sperm is spread all through the organism, in a subtle way. Influencing sexual desires, thoughts, and actions meant to satisfy one's libido determines the prana to transform into seed and be located at the level of the sexual organs.
A man focused on sexual continence controls and transforms the sexual energy into subtler, psychosomatic energy that spreads through the body.
This process stops the physical forming and manifestation of the sperm. Pranayama helps the sublimation of the sexual energy and its transformation into psychosomatic energy that spreads through the body, helping the access to elevated states of consciousness.
This process of control of the prana, mind and sexual energy ultimately leads to the awakening of the fundamental energy, Kundalini Shakti and its rising to the upper chakras.
THE RESPIRATORY PROCESS
A healthy person breathes in and out about 21,600 times a day. Regular breath comes out of the body at about 16 widths of fingers from the body.
During walking, sleep, sexual intercourse, etc, one may perceive breath at about 20, 24 and respectively 30 widths of fingers. Violent physical exercises make this distance about 96 widths of fingers.
When this distance of the breath out of the body stays in the regular limit, that person will benefit of a long and healthy life. If the breath goes beyond that distance, the person in question will life less.
Minerals, vegetal bodies, and animals are made of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and nitrogen. Of all these, the most important is the oxygen. Usually, the air we inhale has 21% oxygen. The air we exhale has only 12% oxygen.
Usually we use only 1/6 of our lungs' capacity. And especially the upper parts of the lungs are left unused. Pranayama may help develop the maximum capacity of the lungs activating areas that are usually inactive.
Activating the lungs to their maximum capacity may help a person gain immense vitality and force, as well as excellent health.
The great majority of the people breathe irregularly, and we may add even erratic/chaotic.
The breath is different in the case of men, women, young and old. Irregularities in the diet generate irregularities in the process of breathing.
Fear, anxiety, tension, passion, violent emotions, diseases, troubles of all kinds, lead to a superficial, erratic breath. These things affect directly the breath, determining an abnormal flow of the prana.
The unbalanced prance energy will circulate through the nadis and will determine chaotic lung movements, which in their turn will influence the breath changing it into an irregular process.
Consequently, an irregular breath is the sign of an unbalanced activity of the energies. A person with regular prana circulation is safe from any diseases. Diseases are in fact energy unbalances manifested at the level of the physical body.
The control of the prana through the nadis will make the breath and the lungs' movements regular and under control. Moreover, if the breath becomes regular, the flow of prana circulating through the nadis will become regular.
Pranayama gives us the tools to normalize and to control the breath in order to reach physical, energetic, and subtle purification.
Such purification leads to mental control and balance of the energies from each level of manifestation: vital, sexual, volitional, affective, intuitive, mental and spiritual.
THE PRACTICE OF PRANAYAMA AND THE RULES ONE SHOULD OBSERVE
First of all, pay close attention to the place in which you are about to practice pranayama, to your diet and to the behavior you need to have in order to obtain the promised effects of this technique.
The place should be nice, pleasant, even, and neither too high nor too low. Do not go into the wilderness, as you might get anxious because of this.
Also, chose a place that is protected, so that you will not have to deal with wild animals. Also avoid the bank of a river, or a crowded area, or a waterfall, or a windy place.
All these places might prove frightful, or induce a state of anxiety that is not desirable when attempting to practice pranayama.
Pranayama is a practice for the quiet mind. Consequently, the place should be pleasant to the eye and relaxing for the mind.
If possible, you may also practice pranayama in a special ventilated, room, destined for this practice alone. Keep this room always clean, pure, holly, without dust, dirt, smoke, or various insects.
When entering that room, clear any negative, disturbing thoughts and always wear clean clothes. This spiritual atmosphere that we created inside this room will help us in our spiritual practice and will automatically elevate our inner energetic vibration.
Such a purified environment will have the power to calm your mind, to influence it in a beneficial manner, and to direct our energy towards refined, elevated aspects of the universe.
The food should be pure, natural and nutritious. You should eat it not too warm, neither too cold, hot, spicy, sour, bitter, or sweet. Eat slowly, chewing each bite until it becomes almost liquid.
Also do not eat too much, as you should fill your stomach half with food, a quarter with water and the remaining quarter should stay empty. This is the correct way of eating according to the rules of the yogic system.
As an important rule, do not leave the stomach without any food for more than 3 or 4 hours, because if there is nothing in the stomach to nourish the gastric fire amplified through the pranayama, this will affect your health.
Consequently, if you decide to begin your pranayama practice, you should also consider eating nutritious meals every 3 or 4 hours.
Behavior: avoid feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, lethargy, dizziness, and too much or too little sleep. Be consistent and methodic in organizing your work, practice and rest.
Avoid futile discussions, the company of perverted people. Avoid also walk a lot and too many exhausting physical exercises, to keep in good shape.
Practice simultaneously and rigorously the sexual continence during the time when you prepare for the awakening, increasing and control of the sexual energy through pranayama.
In case you find it impossible to abstain from ejaculation (in men's case) and "normal" orgasm (in women's case), you should definitely try a period of sexual abstinence.
If these rules are not observed thoroughly, the practice of pranayama is dangerous and you will know failure in your attempts. In such a case, instead of helping you, the practice of pranayama is quite dangerous.
Other recommendations: after choosing a pleasant place (in you decide to practice outdoors), set a mat on the floor or on the grass, or rock. On this mat place a blanket, or a clean piece of cloth made of cotton or wool.
Sit on it, facing North, or East, choosing a position you feel comfortable in. The best position is the one in which you may stay for a long time, without any discomfort.
Remember that your spine should be straight, upward and relaxed at the same time. Contract your anal muscles, and perform a slight abdominal retraction, as in the case of Uddiyana Bandha.
Your chest, neck and head should be as much as possible on an imaginary straight line.
Always practice pranayama on an empty stomach, this means at least two hours after you had a meal. Do not practice pranayama when you are ill, except the cases in which it is a remedy.
Do not practice pranayama when physically or mentally tired. If you desire remarkable and quick results, practice pranayama constantly four times a day: in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at midnight. Especially during this intense practice period, eat and drink regularly.
SIMPLE PRANAYAMA TECHNIQUES
Note: it is compulsory to always practice these techniques after the asanas and to perform the complete yogic relaxation afterwards.
1. DEEP BREATHS
Sit in the pose you chose for the practice of pranayama (be it Sukhasana, or Vajrasana, or another upright position you are comfortable in).
In the beginning breathe in and out several times, to ventilate the air that might have been stagnating in the respiratory tracts.
After several such ventilation breaths, exhale the air through the mouth, trying to empty the lungs. Maintain the retention of the breath with the empty lungs (apnea) without forcing yourself.
Inhale through the nose filling your lungs with air as much as possible. Hold your breath with your lungs filled with air, but do not force yourself to hold your breath for too long.
In time, you will manage to hold your breath for longer intervals of time, but in the beginning it is compulsory that your body accommodates with the energetic level brought about by the practice of pranayama.
Exhale through the mouth, avoiding the explosive, "massive" elimination of the air. Do every step in a controlled and calm manner. Take a few breaths in your own rhythm, and then try again another deep breath, as shown above.
Focus: during this technique, while exhaling you will eliminate also the toxic energies that disturb your vital balance. While inhaling, perceive the beneficial pranic energies that impregnate and revitalize you.
While holding the breath with the lungs filled with air, perceive the impregnation of the whole body with pure, beneficial energy.
This technique has even more powerful effects if the pranic currents of energy are visualized as bright-white fluxes of energy radiating in your entire body.
If you want to benefit from this technique in purposes of healing, during the retention with the lungs filled with air, you have to focus the pranic energy on the disordered areas, visualizing the currents of white energy eliminating the tensions from that particular area.
Perform this technique 20 times in one session. Perform one session in the morning, one at noon, one in the evening and one at midnight, increasing the number of breaths with two per week.
Beneficial effects: this technique helps you obtain a greater vitality, and leads to a process of purification of the organism. The mind is calm and focused. The health is restored.
2. THE PURIFYING BREATH
Sit in the pose you chose for the pranayama (be it Sukhasana, or Vajrasana, or another upright position you are comfortable in).
In the beginning breathe in and out several times, to ventilate the air that might have been stagnating in the respiratory tracts.
After several such ventilation breaths, exhale the air through the mouth, trying to empty the lungs. Keep the retention of the breath with the empty lungs (apnea) without forcing yourself.
Cover the right nostril with the right thumb, and inhale slowly, as gently as possible through the left nostril. It is highly important that you make no noise while inhaling.
Take in as much air as you can, as this will oxygenate your organism. Cover the left nostril with the ring and small right fingers, and exhale slowly and gently through the right nostril, without making any noise.
Your breath should be calm, equal and slow, so that even if you have a small thread of water close to your nostril, it should not move.
After you exhaled, inhale slowly, as indicated above, through the same (right) nostril and exhale through the left nostril.
This is one complete cycle of this pranayama technique. Breathe relaxed several times, before you are ready to perform another cycle.
Focus: while inhaling, visualize firmly how you take in the pranic energy from the universe, filling your body with strength, purity, holiness, force, love, virtue, wisdom.
When exhaling, visualize how you eliminate the tensions, weaknesses, vice, impurities and stresses. You may even work mentally the mantra AUM all this while.
Perform such 12 cycles during one session, taking breaks after each cycle, four times a day in the morning, at noon, in the evening, and at midnight.
If the practice of pranayama is systematic and consistent, in a few months' time you will notice a purification of the nadis, of the entire body, as well as mental purification and enhanced capacity of concentration.
Effects: this pranayama technique grants the purification of the nadis, body, and mind, especially when practiced for several months in a row.
The external signs of this purification are: calm, tranquil force radiating from the whole of your personality, a clear mind, and sweet voice.
The harshness of the face and rough lines disappear. This pranayama technique brings harmony to our minds and makes us capable of approaching superior pranayama techniques.
Any person, man or woman may practice this technique with remarkable results, without exposing to the slightest risk (as long as it is practiced correctly).
The purity of the body and of the subtle structures facilitates the ascension of the erotic energies to the upper levels of consciousness. The main purpose in pranayama is to gain the control over the inner vital forces and of the mind.