Advanced Yoga Practices
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Lesson 51 -
Strange Gurglings in Pranayama (Audio)
AYP Plus Additions:
51.1 - Minty Sensations After Practices (Audio)
Date: Thu Dec 18, 2003 0:16pm
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: Pranayama has been going smooth for me, and my breathing gets very slow. But something
strange is happening. It feels like air is accumulating in my belly, and my intestines are
making strange gurgling noises. That's not all. I've noticed a glowing mint-like
sensation there too. What's happening?
A: This is an excellent sign of progress. It means that prana is being drawn up from your
pelvic region into the digestive system, and air is being drawn in to mix with the prana.
You have food in there too, of course. Prana, air, and food; these are the three elements
that fuel a new process that occurs in our digestive system as our body transforms to a
higher state of functioning.
Actually, it is the activation of the belly chakra. In Sanskrit, the language of the
ancient wisdom of India, it is called, "manipura," which means, "city of
jewels," referring to the glowing sensation you described. The Chinese are less
romantic about it; in Taoism it is called "the cauldron," referring to the
mixing and cooking that goes on in the belly. By whatever name, it is a tangible process
in the body that is stimulated by advancements in pranayama and meditation. As our body
and nervous system gradually become purified, breath naturally begins to suspend, and a
new kind of biology comes up in us.
But to what end? We know that mind and body are connected. The condition of our nervous
system determines what we can experience. Advanced yoga practices work to purify and open
the nervous system. This is not separate from our biological functioning. As we transform
neurologically, biological transformations will occur also. In the ancient scriptures,
there are references to inner alchemy and to magical substances called "soma"
and "nectar" arising in the body. These are biological substances that are
produced as the body transforms to a higher state. The process that comes up in the
digestive system is one of the primary producers of refined biological essences in the
body. From the digestive system, these essences go out and play a central role in further
biological and neurological transformations throughout the body. We can readily observe
these essences working in our body both during practice, and in daily activity. We witness
the transformation going on within through our refining senses. In time, the distinction
between the body and the witness (our pure bliss consciousness) becomes blurred. They
become one continuum. This transformation is as much biological as it is spiritual. The
two are aspects of the same reality. So, we should not be surprised as biological
transformations occur in us in connection with our journey. No stone will be left unturned
as we enter our new life in yoga -- union.
For thousands of years humanity has regarded enlightenment as something that is for a
chosen few, as coming from somewhere else, or from someone else - a mysterious
spiritual blessing that arrives like magic on the doorsteps of the anointed ones. This is
an incorrect view of humanity and its capabilities. It is self-limiting. In this
scientific age, we will come to know the process of spiritual transformation for what it
really is - the result of a systematic application of specialized knowledge.
The truth is that we all have equal access to the divine life through our human nervous
system. You can choose to be anointed if you are willing to do the work that goes with it
-- the work of applying the knowledge of human transformation, which is doing spiritual
practices every day.
The guru is in you.
SBP Related Lessons Topic Path
Nectar Cycle Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
For detailed instructions on spinal
breathing, see the
AYP Spinal Breathing Pranayama book.
For a detailed discussion on
the "nectar cycle," see the AYP Diet, Shatkarmas
and Amaroli book. Also see