Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 276 - Granthis - The Three Knots (Audio)
Date: Wed Oct 12, 2005 3:37 pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: What are the granthis (the three knots) and how do they figure into AYP?
A: Granthi means "knot," and it is a good word to describe the energy
blockages we have all experienced in our nervous system at one time or
other. Traditionally, the granthis are numbered at three, covering three
regions of our spiritual neurology.
Brahma Granthi - in the pelvic region, including the root.
Vishnu Granthi - in the center region, extending from navel to heart and
Rudra Granthi - in the head, including the third eye and crown.
In AYP we are well familiar with the processes of purification that occur in
these areas. In fact, we have discussed them extensively from the point of
view of practices and experiences of purification and opening - untying the
knots, so to speak.
The granthis are a generalized characterization of the things we have been
talking about all along. They are personified with deities in the Indian
system for the purpose of ritual, just as the chakras are imbued with
deities for the same reason. If our religious orientation is toward such
deities, this is very good. If not, we are not limited in what we can
accomplish with the tools of yoga. The bhakti necessary to continue doing
effective yoga practices on a daily basis for as long as it takes to achieve
the desired result will be bhakti enough.
As you know, in AYP we rely on our yoga practices for purification and
opening of the nervous system, and consider chakras to be "under the hood"
in that overall process. We can regard the granthis in just the same way.
They are a compilation of chakras and their connecting spiritual neurology
into three zones, and all of this is under the hood in AYP.
Our focus is on the practices that will cultivate human spiritual
transformation. It is interesting to note that without much special
attention on chakras, granthis, or other representations of our spiritual
neurology, we have evolved a system of practices here that covers the full
range of them all. We have done so simply by using common sense in observing
causes and effects with our practices. Especially important, once we have
the practices, we utilize self- pacing, which is the ultimate application of
common sense in yoga.
We have deep meditation and spinal breathing for "global" purification and
opening within us - that means these two practices cover the full range of
our nervous system, and beyond. We have mulabandha/asvini, siddhasana and
tantric methods, which target the pelvic region. We have sambhavi and
kechari to stimulate openings in the head. We have uddiyana, nauli, and,
more recently, navi kriya for the central region, and moving up. Chin pump
straddles the head and lower regions, giving us a special focus on opening
the important gateway of the throat and cervical area of the spine.
Then there are samyama, yoni mudra kumbhaka, spinal bastrika (able to be
targeted), asanas and other means we have discussed that can move
consciousness and energy through the many pathways leading to further
opening and stabilization of inner silence and ecstatic bliss within us. In
the end, we become a pure channel of divine love in the world - no more
All of which is to say, that by focusing on the practices, we will go far in
addressing the traditional structures (chakras, granthis, etc.) that have
been assigned to the human nervous system for the purpose of mapping and
assisting in our spiritual awakening.
From our point of view, the map is not the enlightenment itself. The
practices and the results within us that fulfill the purpose of the map are
The guru is in you.
Related Lessons Topic Path
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For detailed instructions on building a
balanced daily practice routine with self-pacing, see the
Eight Limbs of Yoga Book,
and AYP Plus.