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 Discussions on AYP Pranayama, Mudras and Bandhas
 Intentional Kechari During Meditation?
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elderberry

USA
37 Posts

Posted - Jun 08 2024 :  10:02:50 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Message
In lesson 385.1 we are given a guide on which mudras/bandhas to use during particular practices.

For deep meditation, samyama and cosmic samyama, all mudras/bandhas are labeled as "A" for automatic. My understanding of this is that during meditation/samyama, one should never "intentionally" perform any particular mudra/bandha. However, the body may unintentionally engage the mudra/bandha throughout the practice, and it is acceptable if that occurs.

The general advice in AYP is that during samyama, and especially during deep meditation, try to keep the practice pure and simple and do not go mixing in any mudras/bandhas with the practice. Save the mudras/bandhas for SBP.

However, I have read a few forum posts from users who intentionally engage kechari during meditation/samyama. I will admit, the intense bhakti in me finds some appeal in this. Healthy or not, the inner voice telling me to "do more" is hard to quiet down. Mixing kechari with DM/samyama seems to give this voice a degree of satisfaction.

1. Is it ever advisable to intentionally engage kechari during deep meditation/samyama practices?

2. The chart lists "Siddhasana" as an automatic practice for meditation. Respectfully, I do not understand how this is even possible. One is either sitting on top of their heel, or they aren't. I can totally see how one could automatically engage mulabandha/sambhavi/etc. However I cannot imagine "automatically" changes my body position to sit on my heel.

Surely siddhasana is an intentional practice performed during meditation, not an automatic one?

3. If the answer to #1 or #2 is yes in that there are indeed some mudras/bandhas one may intentionally engage during DM/Samyama, does the same apply to any of the other mudras/bandhas? Would it ever be advisable to intentionally engage mulabandha/sambhavi/uddiyana during DM/Samyama?

4. Tangentially related, is it ever advisable to practice kechari during asanas? Intuitively, kechari during asana practice sounds rather pleasant.

Edited by - elderberry on Jun 09 2024 12:23:12 AM

Dogboy

USA
2242 Posts

Posted - Jun 09 2024 :  7:52:15 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Siddhasana is an intentional position employed at the very start and only disengaged if it is a distraction to your session. As mentioned before, ketchari is intentional in my practice and reserved for DM and Samyama. Perhaps when Yogani refers to it as "automatic" he meant "used on a routine basis" instead of "automatic yoga", which means one would not necessarily have control of its appearance. Employing other mudras and bandas during DM will take your attention away from favoring the mantra, and thus should not be used unless they are episodes of automatic yoga.

I do not employ ketchari during any intentional pranayama because it becomes a distraction for me and my nasal passages may dry out. You are more than welcome to try ketchari in all different scenarios, asanas included, and judge for yourself if it helps or hurts your practices.
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Christi

United Kingdom
4430 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2024 :  09:35:12 AM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Elderberry,

Yes, you are correct in that the advice given in the lessons is to not use any mudras or bandhas with Deep Meditation or Samyama unless they are happening automatically. This means that they are happening by themselves without any intentionality. This does include kechari. And the reason for this, as you say, is to keep these two practices simple without any distractions. They are very subtle practices, so this is important. Kechari is considered to be automatic if it is happening with no effort at all.

If a practitioner deliberately added kechari during Deep Meditation or Samyama before it is happening without any effort, then they would be off the AYP baseline system of practices. In that case we would not be able to predict the results of their practice over the long term. See lesson 384 for more on this:

Lesson 384 - Baseline Systems of Practice and Research on Modifications

The same goes for all the mudras and bandhas. See here for example:

"During meditation, we don't deliberately do any of the practices we are doing in pranayama." [Yogani]

That is from lesson 55

As you can see from the chart, siddhasana is also only used during Deep Meditation and Samyama when it is happening automatically. In this case automatically means when the energy flow in the body calls for it to happen and it is not a distraction of attention.

During asana practice you can certainly use mudras and bandhas, and the descriptions of the asanas in AYP Plus include adding mudras and bandhas to asanas. Asana practice is not nearly as delicate as Deep Meditation or Samyama, so there is less need to limit distractions. See this lesson addition and try separate word searches (Ctr+F/ Command+F) for "bandha" and "mudra":

Addition 383.1 - Enhanced AYP Asana Routine (Illustrated)

Possibilities for using mudras and bandhas during yoga asana practice are discussed throughout the Online Video Course on Asana practice in the AYP Academy. That is here:

AYP Online Yoga Asana Course with Devrim Zahir
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elderberry

USA
37 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2024 :  8:37:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the advice guys!

It seems the go-to approach is to avoid intentional kechari during meditation.

However, looking through the AYP texts, in my interpretation, there are some contradictions.

Evidence suggesting that intentional use of kechari during meditation is not reccommended:
Asanas, mudras and bandhas enlightenment series book:
"Doing them [mudras] 10 seconds here and there in our asana routine will not be enough to form a solid habit. And we do not wish to be disrupting deep meditation by diverting attention to physical maneuvers. That won't work."

"We do not use our deep meditationa and samyama sessions for developing mudras and bandhas, as this would distract us from the specific mental procedures being utilized."

Evidence suggesting that intentional use of kechari during meditation is recommended:
Lesson 108:
"In fact, it is easier to stay in stage 2 kechari than to stay in stage 1 kechari. The tongue rests very easily in the nasal pharynx with no effort at all, making it simple to use during pranayama and meditation."

"We have no problem finding that, and realizing that the best way to do pranayama and meditation is with our tongue resting on the sensitive vertical edge of the septum."

Lesson T34:
"When we are meditating, kechari can be done quietly with the tongue resting gently on the secret spot."

So I'm not quite sure how to reconcile the two. One thing that is very clear is that kechari during DM and samyama is certainly not recommended unless its ridiculously comfortable/fairly effortless to maintain kechari. But, if we suppose that is the case for a particular practitioner, it seems unclear weather or not they should intentionally slip into kechari during meditation.

The only way I can think to reconcile the two is that in lesson 108 and lesson T34, yogani meant to imply "if and only if the tongue naturally and automatically raises itself into kechari". If lessons 108 and T34 are references to an automatic version of kechari and not an intentional version of kechari, than that would reconcile the teachings.

So, to echo christi's point, I suppose yogani's references to kechari during meditation are references to an automatic version of kechari rather than an intentional version, even if it's not explicitly stated as such?

Edited by - elderberry on Jun 10 2024 8:53:43 PM
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Christi

United Kingdom
4430 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2024 :  9:00:06 PM  Show Profile  Visit Christi's Homepage  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi Elderberry,

That's correct. Yogani is referring in those three cases to a situation where kechari requires no effort and produces no distracting side-effects for the practitioner. He is referring to that as being "automatic" for the sake of the AYP practice chart.

This is from Yogani on this subject:

"When kechari eventually gets to be no effort at all, which would then be considered automatic if the practitioner is moved to do it during DM and Samyama. Not much before then, as it would be a distraction if an effort, or with any discomfort." [Yogani]

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elderberry

USA
37 Posts

Posted - Jun 10 2024 :  11:36:58 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Ah! This makes sense. I think maybe my confusion has stemmed from an unclear definition around the word "automatic" as it is used in the chart.

Initially I interpreted automatic to mean that it happens more or less subconsciously, and outside the intention or control of the practitioner, as described in lesson 183 on automatic yoga.
I think the most obvious example I can give based on my experience would be tendency for an ecstatic spinal breathing session to pull the body into sambhavi mudra. If you are feeling significant flows of energy in the body, the eyes will very naturally and subconsciously tend to "float upwards" in my experience, weather you want them to or not. In other words, it happens truly automatically.

However based on your description, it would appear that the way yogani is using the word automatic with reference to the mudra and bandha chart, automatic is moreso a description of how easy the mudra is. For a particular practitioner, if a mudra is 10/10 easy, one can say it's automatic. As an example, for someone with extremely flexible hips, sitting in siddhasana is quite easy and truly causes no discomfort. So in that sense we can call it automatic.

So I suppose the same could theoretically be said about kechari for an extremely advanced kechari practicioner.

Edited by - elderberry on Jun 11 2024 06:14:12 AM
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Dogboy

USA
2242 Posts

Posted - Jun 12 2024 :  03:08:55 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Nice to know my intuition is validated, or else I'd have been wrong for six years!
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SeySorciere

Seychelles
1553 Posts

Posted - Jun 12 2024 :  06:42:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote  Get a Link to this Reply
Dear Elderberry,

As per Yogani's wisdom: Less is more when it comes to spiritual practices.

This website is like a spiritual candy store but it wouldn't be wise to eat too many candies all at once.


Sey

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