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  1. Greetings, I have the feeling that most yoga courses, especially the mainstream ones, are crazy fast. This one instructor jumps from one pose to another and i can't even get 3 breaths in between let alone become more aware of my body. It is so hyperactive! But the thing is even the more spiritual and consciousness focused courses and videos are still way to fast for me. To be honest it annoys me a bit. I am a rather slow person, when i walk to buy some grocery even old granny's are speeding past me So my question is, are those courses, especially hatha yoga, supposed to be fast? Is there maybe a reason for the speed, has it an effect? Or is it just a product of our hyperactive and restless culture? I would love to get some outside perspective on this.
  2. Hello seekers, I've just started reading the book Gheranda Samhita. The book recommends to first purify the nadis before starting any pranayama, what's got me confused are the Bija mantras (YAM, RAM, THAM, VAM - I'm not sure if those are correct, I used Google translate of the text I found at a German website) and their duration. What are the Bija mantras? What does 16 times, 32 times and 64 times mean? What is the specific duration in seconds? Thanks for the help.
  3. Hello seekers, I've just started reading the book Gheranda Samhita. The book recommends to first purify the nadis before starting any pranayama, whats got me confused is the mantras (RAM, THAM, LAM, VAM) and their duration. What does 16 times, 32 times and 64 times mean? What is the specific duration in seconds? Thanks for the help.
  4. For those who are interested in knowing more about the nature of liberation/enlightenment (in the Advaita Vedanta tradition), this is a must watch —-
  5. I was recently introduced to Edward Selim Michael by a very spiritually-insightful Jewish woman who has hosted Quaker and Buddhist groups for as long as I have known her. I recently finished reading Michael's book, "The Law of Attention: Nada Yoga and the Way of Inner Vigilance". He clearly states that the aim of the book is "direct inner experience" and that is what attracted me to him. My own spiritual mentor of over 30 years once said, "Question everything, even what I say... and, if a teacher can't point you to the direct experiences, then go elsewhere". Edward Selim Michael seems to be such a being who points one to the direct inner experiences. I just ordered another one of Michael's books, "Obstacles to Enlightenment and Liberation", because he warns against getting into comfortable, familiar ruts and I plan to use his book as a checklist to see what tendencies I may have that could be holding me back. Michael seems to be a man who has been there and not just some one pontificating grand theories and quoting the masters but one who speaks from direct inner experiences. I wasn't sure where to post this topic but decided to post it here because, despite his yoga/meditation inclinations, " It was to Buddhism that he felt closest, but as his teaching was based on his direct experience, he did not hesitate to quote Christian, Hindu, or Sufi mystics." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Salim_Michael To get the discussion going, I will include without comment a few quotes from his book, "The Law of Attention: Nada Yoga and the Way of Inner Vigilance". (Note that I have replaced the masculine word "he" in the quotes by "one".) 1. "The aim of this book is to help seekers arrive at recognizing, through direct inner experience, their higher nature and the after-death state, the state from which they originated and to which they will return on leaving this form of existence." 2. "Without perhaps realizing it, one will then start to sleep inwardly again, thinking that one is still working by being merely satisfied with the intellectual knowledge and memory of certain limited spiritual experiences one may have had in the past." 3. "If, during meditation, this luminous expanse of consciousness becomes adulterated and diluted in the slightest degree with one's habitual state, it will then inevitably cease to be Truth." 4. "It will be readily evident to one who has practiced meditation seriously and has had enlightenment that what was right and necessary at the beginning of one's quest will no longer be right or practical later".
  6. Hey Everyone, I'm an enthusiastic explorer of the mind-body link. I'm a Hindu by upbringing and a curious inquirer into the nature of things. I'm a control systems engineer currently working in systems biology and was always interested about prana/chi. Recently I had a weird first person experience during the practice of yoga nidra. It's the practice of deeply relaxing but holding clarity and focus of mind simultaneously, in the supine position, and moving the the focus of awareness through different parts of the body one by one. Mostly I have experienced a sensation of tingling and vague throbbing sensation seemingly correlated with the pulse throb. But I that day the relaxation was particularly strong and I was almost in a hypnagogic state where I felt the "sensation of tingling" coalesce into a narrow region approximately half the width of a finger tip. Sharpness of the sensation was new and almost felt like a clear but mild electric current. It followed my attention and I attempted to move it throw my left arm. It felt as if a charged thin thread was moving through the upper flesh, just beneath the skin, tracing a path that felt like it was already there. I lost control of the "droplet" near my shoulder and it moved straight into my heart region automatically as if it was slipping towards it creating a sharp but mild pain which startled me out of the relaxation state. The pain was clear and sharp. I tried to recreate this experience but I have not had success in doing so yet. Mainly because of the extent of relaxation without dullness of mind that it seems to require. I have started practicing shamatha (mindfulness of breathing) to get a hang of this. I found Alan Wallace's material on concentration development to be the most erudite and practical. Please do offer suggestions on finding authentic teachers and practitioners in Tai Chi/Qi gong.
  7. Mark Griffin, 1954-2018

    Hard Light guru Mark Griffin took mahasamadhi October 24th, 2018. i don't know who hangs out around here these days, but i didn't see that anyone had posted the news, so i thought i might do so. Mark was a Godsend to me. here's a copy of something i shared on Facebook a week and a half ago: the first time i ever experienced true, deep spiritual intoxication was with this man. it was my first meditation intensive with him. i was late because of all the road blocks in San Francisco, and that made me frustrated. that wasn't the energy i wanted to walk in with, but i was already late. Lee Schwing was the lady sitting at the registration table (bless her!), and she just gave me a smile, checked my registration, and welcomed me in. my mind was scrambled. i HATED being one of the only black people there and having to be the late guy. i also hated feeling so agitated; it made me feel as if i had failed before i even arrived. so i walked into the room and the first meditation session had already begun. as i quietly made my way to where i was going to sit, Mark looked up at me, made brief eye-contact with me, smiled, then went right back into meditation. that was it. that was all he did. i had never met this man before, but with that small gesture, all of the tension left my body. all the agitated chatter in my mind just stopped. my shoulders relaxed and dropped, and feelings of love gently poured into me until i genuinely felt as if i was falling in love with this man. and the thing is, i was! it wasn't some romantic or sexual thing, but my experience of Mark was literally love at first sight. that day i reached a meditative depth i had never experienced before. a day or two later i was still processing what had occurred at the day-long intensive. confusion and doubt came flooding back in, wondering if some hypnotic trick had been played on me, trying to dispute that what had occurred that day was even possible. i was already familiar with subtle energy and healing transmission through the hands and whatnot, but the magnitude of what i had experienced, and the context (with it all beginning with a brief smile) was just on another level. so i just kept looking for reasons to doubt & dismiss it. that's when it happened. suddenly, like an eruption, i was overcome with with this incredible, intoxicating, energizing love-bliss. it was better than any mushrooms i had experimented with in my 20's. it was pure, no distortion or nausea, just heat radiating through my back, and electricity buzzing through my teeth. this lasted for about 3 days, rising and falling in waves, but present the entire time. the truly mystical events that occurred during all of this i will save for myself and my students. FB is not an appropriate place for my complete truth. i became a sincere student of Mark. i grew so quickly. so many spiritual teachings and beliefs that i thought were nonsense proved themselves to be legit. and that has been my approach: to believe only what i can experience or discern for myself to be true, reading through scriptures more for confirmation rather than information. checking my direct experiences with the writings of those who came before me. it has been an amazing journey! and it all really began with this man. thank you SO MUCH, Mark Griffin. i'll see you soon, Big Brother. Om Namah Shivaya.
  8. I find Vrikshasana to be a very stimulating pose. I've often read that this pose helps stimulate the muladhara, but in my experience it seems to really stimulate the crown and third eye centers. I wonder why this is? my only guess is that the hands above the head is some kind of mudra.
  9. Hello Bums!

    Greetings. I've read the forums from time to time & found good information here in the past so decided to join proper. Have taken many ideologies from different places throughout my life and have constructed a belief system that is again in transition. Been practicing Yoga and Qigong regularly, many years of different Yoga styles, Qigong is new. Have been practicing the Spring Forest method and would like to learn more traditional methodology to have the option of weaving the two together or practicing another form. I am interested in a spiritual wellness as well as mind-body wellness. I've begun meditation over the past 2 years which really isn't a lot of time. Focusing on breath work. Have worked with TCM practitioners quite a bit over the years though my knowledge feels limited. I wish to more fully participate from a more informed mind. Am happy to read on different modalities a roots of said practices. Am interested in learning how things are connected from Taoist perspectives as have found some of my beliefs and practices here in the past. I feel the need to look deeper. Pleased to be here. Moon Yin
  10. Exploring all paths as one

    Namaste from India. It has only been like 10-11 months, since I started my self-paced self create practices. I awoke to inner silence right around this time and just fell into meditation. Unknowingly I started playing with energy. Without knowing it led to orgasm, I kept on it for days until finally my energy was too much to create orgasms as fast as before. I later realized that I was doing Microcosmic orbit very late into the game. No one told me anything, i Just fell into the practice out of silence. My kundalini was awoken soon enough and led to major major changes in my personality, energy level and intensity. I faced alot of pain and problems but almost effortlessly overcame them, the more problems came more intensely I did my practice even it tore me apart my thoughts were absolute calm and serene, body although was in non-stop pain for months on end until finally everything stabilized and my chronic diseases were pushed out. It really felt like I was reborn. It feels like a fairy tale even now. I only follow my internal wisdom and my heartfelt guru whom I never met face to face and perhaps never might but somewhere I feel deeply connected. I know no martial practices, I am very unfamiliar with chinese way of doing things though I can relate alot, I have followed no yogic guidance rather I rejected every single thing that didn't work for me and built my own path. I wish to explore deeper and deeper and I find this community to be more apt and suitable for good discussions of occult and esoteric practices. I was on AYP before but sadly there are not enough proper intellectuals there and only people with fear of kundalini and wishing only to know how to deal with it, not enough who wish to explore the entire aspect, practices and occult. My only hope is that I might receive a good discussion here because I have too many questions and can go on and on about it for years on end.
  11. new arrival

    Hi, I'm a new arrival here. I'm registering because I wanted to reply to a specific post about Kundalini. This is an area that is fascinating and interesting to me, and I've had some experience with it. I also do some yoga practices (aypsite.org) that may help the person. I have read a translation of "The Tao" and found it fascinating; I found ways to feel and/or apply the "uncarved block" in my own life and this has been part of my learning in my life.
  12. Can you deny this?

    Everything is yoga..?
  13. Good day folks! I tried to look into common history of qigong and yogic asanas (the physical bit of yoga), and so far has had no luck with google. I have just two pieces of information. -- Qigong seems to have been fairly evolved by 2nd century BC. That's the dating of the silk scrolls depicting qigong practice. -- Around the same time period, there is the earliest written mention of asanas, albeit without specific examples. That's all I've been able to find. The google search of a common history keeps leading me to yoga and qigong comparisons, but I'm not interested in that. I want to learn about their common history, if there is one. Perhaps they have a common ancestor? Perhaps they originated completely separately? Perhaps we know nothing? Best wishes, Anton
  14. Have anyone of you in this forum practiced Kechari Mudra? If yes, how was your experience? (Khecarī Mudrā is a yoga practice which is carried out by placing the tongue above the soft palate and into the nasal cavity.)
  15. I was browsing kindle and on suggested reading, found this book "Kundalini - An Untold Story" by Om Swami. I had some pressing questions on Kundalini based on experiences I was going through. The book was given free with Kindle Unlimited. I thought, why not check this book out real quick? I started reading and surprisingly I could not put the book down. I put down after completing the book. I haven't done such reading from cover to cover (single sitting) in a long time. The narration is simply brilliant, capturing the attention of the reader. My initial thought, this must be another book on Kundalini with pictures on chakras that talk about raising this sleeping snake. The stars on chakras, their colors, the visions, the siddhis, the whole nine yards.... To my surprise the book was completely different. The title is apt, it is an 'Untold Story'. Not only is Swami's experience enthralling. Swami explains the entire process of Kundalini in a new light, starting with the story of Daksha Prajapati, the great yajna he conducted. How, he chose to insult Shiva. How Sati choses to leave her body. The metaphorical meaning of the entire story explained is simply beautiful. This story seems to happen in all of us. Due to the ignorance of Daksha in all of us, the shakti goes dormant in muladhara in each one of us. Then she takes the birth as Himavati (Parvati). From a human body, she had to raise up, transcend the human body, climb up with bhakti and dedication, to reach and become one with Shiva again. This story seems to play out in all of us. Those who had read parts of Shiva Purana or Skanda Purana must be familiar with the story of Daksha. One can be familiar with the story from reading comics also The book starts with this story of Daksha, continues narrating, how this knowledge of tantra, was first taught by Lord Shiva to sage Agasthya. How by a series of steps, it comes to Sri Veda Vyasa. Then it tells the story of how Lalitha Sahasranama was revealed by Sri Hayagriva. Those who have chanted Lalitha Sahasranama will know, that it talks about all the Chakras. It talks about Brahma Granthi, Vishnu Granthi and Rudra Granthi. All of these are the names of divine mother. The book goes on to expound Kundalini purely from the perspective of Lalitha Sahasranama. It is a very interesting read. Here is the link for the book, "Kundalini — An Untold Story: A Himalayan Mystic's Insight into the Power of Kundalini and Chakra Sadhana"
  16. Peace Be With You

    Shalom Aleichem I am a Disciple of the Nasarean Path of the Essene Way I am joining this forum to connect with Taoists and learn more about their ancient practices. Nasareans have always sought to learn Truth wherever it may be found. That means we seek the Truth that is inherent in all Spiritual Paths, and that includes Taoism. The spiritual tradition that i follow and represent is re-emerging from centuries of persecution and suppression, thus very few have even heard of the existence of our Religion or Scriptures. Our scriptures explain that our priests and priestesses have been traveling the world for aeons, teaching and healing people of various lands, often unannounced. Our teachings have thus influenced many cultures for the uplift of All Humanity and All Life including Mother Earth herself. This means that although our scriptures are almost completely unknown to the world, fragments of our teachings can be found to exist within the teachings of the various religions that we have influenced throughout history. Of those cultures that were influenced by our teachings, Taoism is one of them. This makes sense to me, because Nasareans practice and teach the Essene WAY. And so when we acknowledge that The Tao means The Way, I can see the beginning of a thread that leads to the Truth that there are Essene (Healing) teachings inherent in the Tao. And I have found this to be true in my research. Before i ever found the Nasarean Path I had been interested primarily in Taoism and Yoga, amongst other religions. I always recognized the profundity of both of these two paths. And so when I began researching the Essenes, before i found the re-emerging Nasarean remnant, i held the Essenes to be of high standing alongside Taoists and Yogis. I considered myself a Taoist Essene Yogi!!! Now that I have been initiated into the Nasarean Mysteries i would consider myself a Nasarean Yogi of the Essene Tao. I also find truth relating to the Nasarean Path among the traditions of Celtic Druidry, Hermetic Alchemy, Zoroastrianism, aspects of Shamanism amongst Indigeonous cultures, Rastafarianism, and a whole bunch of others. Anyway thanks for your patience in reading all the way through my first post to introduce myself to everyone. I just wanted to let everyone know "where i'm coming from", and offer my reverence to Taoism itself from the perspective of someone who ultimately gives allegiance to a different religion. And that religion is one of Peace and Love for the Uplift and Healing of All. Love in All Ways, Always in Love... Amen, Jehudi
  17. Flipped through my journal tonight and thought I'd share some notes I've taken over the years of various teachers from many diverse traditions. They're snippets. Some from books, some from videos. A lot of it is paraphrased but the gist of what was said I tried to make sure is accurate. This section of notes come from some (rather long if you have the time) Youtube vids of Shri Rohit Arya. (I've grown to like him as much as Master Nan Huai Chin and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev) If even one person finds something of interest here I'm glad I came up from the depths of lurkdom. **************** On Money Shakti 1. Money shakti has a golden hue. The vibration enters through the Mooladhara and Svadhistara. Which is why if the 2 lower chakras are damaged you very rarely get money. But here is the extraordinary thing...if your heart chakra is closed or damaged or you've suffered a lot of emotional trauma the money shakti is blocked. - Shri Rohit Arya 2. Money is not the same as abundance. Abundance shakti is not the same shakti as money. Lakshmi is the energy of abundance. Kubera is the shakti of money specifically. Lakshmi is bounty - overall abundance. Bounty/Abundance is known as "shri" (pronounced "shree"). When everything is at its peak, everything is going very well, (examples: you hit the jackpot at the casino, your business won the government contract bid) - that is Shri. Lakshmi power brings shri. Said differently Lakshmi is the energy/power of success. However, if money is what you are wanting specifically then that is Kubera. - Shri Rohit Arya On Mooladhara and Prana / Chi (Moola "core", adhara "foundation') 1. When one first becomes aware of prana (chi) most people experience a swirling movement. Clockwise, anti-clockwise, like a funnel. We feel certain movement and the feeling of tremendous heat. That is because there is resistance in the body to the flow of the prana (chi) and the resistance causes friction. Sometimes, if you are lucky, you feel a cold flow of energy but usually people feel the swirling and/or the heat. As you advance from doing your practices you can feel the cold flow of prana / chi and that is actually a very good sign. - Shri Rohit Arya 2. Of all the chakras in the body the Mooladhara is the most important for life. Not for spiritual progress but for life and the processes of life and of being embodied it is. All the troubles that come in your life, all the troubles that are removed from your life - both come from the Mooladhara. The state of your Mooladhara determines 3 primary things in your life. a. it determines the state of your health b. it determines the state of your money (income, gross / net wealth) c. it determines how long you will live. - Shri Rohit Arya 3. Mooladhara needs to be a strong chakra since it is the Rupa (rupa "form") and prana / chi of life energy. Everyone wants to work on their higher chakras these days so many people have them developed. There's also the aspect that working on the lower chakras runs up against many Society taboos for the lower sections of the body. So most practitioners do all kinds of practices working on the higher ones. There's a lot of information on working with the upper ones these days freely available. But for most practitioners their 3 lowest chakras are usually still a mess. - Shri Rohit Arya 4. Very often you will see people have 1 or 2 of the 3 things primarily granted by the energy of the mooladhara but it is rare to find a person with all 3. It's because their mooladhara is not vibrating / functioning optimally. examples: the person has health but no money the person has long life but no health and no money the person has a lot of money but poor health There is a 4th aspect of the moodhara too. It also has an impact on the Mind. - Shri Rohit Arya On Karma Yoga 1. Nassim Taleb's book The Black Swan is one of the most astounding works on karma yoga ever written. He gets why you have "the right to the action but not the fruit" better than any Indian or spiritual person I've ever known. - Shri Rohit Arya 2. Gurdjieff's method (the 4th Way) was primarily based around karma yoga. Can you throw everything about your being into an action without clinging to a desired outcome. Only those who can let go of any outcome - positive, negative, desired, not-desired - only those who let outcomes in life become what they become from those actions and don't cling to either failure or success of those actions have the capability to grow. They do what needs to be done then move on. - Shri Rohit Arya On Focusing on the Breath 1. The underside part / divide between both nostril outlets has its own chakra. All the texts were actually talking about that chakra and getting you to become aware of it by focusing on the breath at that single point. Focusing on this chakra also is related to the root chakra Mooladhara. The texts were not telling you to go cross eyed focusing on the tip of your nose. They were trying to get you to become aware of the chakra that lies at the fleshy strip between both nostril openings. - Shri Rohit Arya On things forgotten about the Markandeya Mantra 1. Markandeya mantra is typically taught in books and videos as a healing mantra. This is incorrect. It's actually a karma-burning mantra and often the fastest way to burn karma is to go through a lot of suffering in a short amount of time. This suffering might be short to Shiva but not necessarily to you, the mantra chanter. Markandeya himself was a highly advanced being and this mantra was given to him by Shiva to burn the very last of his karma and he - that is, Markandeya, is now outside of space and time. This mantra got the reputation of being a healing mantra because in the old days village Indian tantric healers would use it as part of a series of actions done on behalf of a seriously sick person. However, there were many other things they did along with that mantra that are important and much of that knowledge has been forgotten and not passed on. But the thing the lay people remembered was the use of the Markandeya mantra and so it acquired a reputation as a healing mantra. That's what you see in all the books and videos. But anyone who is aware of the energy of that mantra's shakti knows it burns karma - and often times not in a way the chanter is prepared for (read: they slam headlong into a lot more suffering instead of being alleviated of suffering instead). - Shri Rohit Arya edit: typos
  18. I have found the similarities between the Indian/Yogic/Vedic and the Daoist internal traditions extremely heartening. Here are two systems, both going back millennia in antiquity, having developed with some cross-pollination (via cultural exchanges in the early history/late pre-historic periods perhaps), but generally independent of each other during the formative periods (more than 5000 years ago). The one missing link was that the Indian system clearly categorizes Prana as having five constituent winds - Prana, Apana, Samana, Vyana and Udana Vayus. Each of these have specific roles to play in the human bio-energetic system (and the psycho-physiology as well). Then as I was reading Damo Mitchell's excellent book on Neigong (Heavenly Streams), I found a section that is pretty much articulated in this blog post as well -- http://www.scholarsage.com/five-elements-2/ light shen yi po zhi hun colour red yellow white blue green movement expansion division contraction sinking forwards element fire earth metal water wood The overlap (and biological functions of these) are stark with the Pancha Vayus. Good illustration is provided here -- http://sequencewiz.org/2014/09/03/5-vayus/ Would love more thoughts on this.
  19. So I am interested in a self taught yoga method that would help me gain flexibility and peace of mind and for a better meditation posture as well as something that would keep me limber for other forms of exercise. I've been considering starting with Yogani's Asana's book cause it seems simple and I won't have much time on my hands this year. I also am considering "Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya" by Satananda Saraswati. Seems like a complete guide and I like a lot of its other content about cold showers, neti pots, etc This book seems a lot more time consuming to follow and some have even deemed it dangerous to practice such tantric routines without a guru present. Anybody farmiliar with these texts?
  20. I'm still trying to figure out if weightlifting will help open chi channels. I already know how to do weightlifting so that's why I'm asking about it. I read in Bill Bodri's Little Book of Meditation that exercises to open the legs, shoulders, and butt are beneficial because these areas are hard to open chi wise. So wouldn't that make weightlifting a good thing to practice along with yoga, chi gong, or whatever exercise style best fits the user? I soon wish to get into Yogani's advanced yoga practices and take yoga classes at college. The AYP system seems to help people and it seems pretty simple so I figued why not give it a shot. I like structure to some degree. Almost everyone in college goes to the gym (mostly males) and I know there has been forums about it, but I just wanted to throw in my thoughts and current stage of discovery. One reason I'm considering getting into lifting again is because my left glute is always tight. I was thinking about sticking to basic movements like the pull up, push up, goblet squat, and deadlift for the most part just to help with overall flexibility and circulation. Maybe lifting again will help me with the tightness in my left glute? I also find myself attracted to stimulants such as marijuana (although I have not been smoking) and reading books a lot lately and figured this may help me get more grounded into my body. I also think maybe I should be meditating into my dan tien or concentrating on a mantra during meditation as following my breath through my nose is not that beneficial to me at this stage. Sorry for my constant thread posting guys and thanks for the help
  21. checking things out e-sangha -- eclectic

    Hi, I've been on various kinds of 'spiritual' path for years. Quite eclectic. Been with a few gurus, some good some bad, some in between. Mainly checking things out here today. Time will tell if I fit here. Free expression is important to me, I heard this is one of the best places for that. Van
  22. Greetings everyone, In honor of Chogyal Namkhai Norbu's upcoming retreat on the pranayamas of Yantra Yoga, I want to say something about this marvelous system, which has benefited me a great deal. In contrast to Indian Yoga, where there is an abundance of information on postures and pranayama exercises available, Tibetan pranayama exercises are not given out to the general public, and to a large extent even the systems of systems of yoga postures are secret. One of the exceptions to this secrecy is Yantra Yoga taught by Chogyal Namkhai Norbu. Yantra Yoga is a Sanskritization of Trul Khor, a "yantra" being a series of movements linked with breathing. In the practice, movement is done on inhales and exhales, and breath retention is done holding a posture. Those who have researched Tibetan breathing practices such as tummo have probably seen that they use a type of breath retention called vase breath. But what exactly is vase breath - how does one do it? Getting clarity on this is not easy. This is where Yantra Yoga comes in: in Yantra a proper vase breath is divided into four steps: open hold, directed hold, closed hold, and contracted hold, which in turn are done on the basis of correct inhalation and exhalation. The mechanics of the movements and poses make your body do these elements correctly (provided you are doing practice with awareness). So you get a very precise felt sensation of what a proper quick inhale, slow inhale, quick exhale, slow exhale, open hold, directed hold, closed hold, contracted hold, and empty hold feel like. You then take this knowledge and apply it to your pranayama practice, so there is no doubt that you are doing it correctly. Brilliant! Different holds are trained by different yoga postures. Backbends such as cobra, locust and bow train open hold; twists train directed hold; inversions such as sholderstand and headstand are poses that train closed hold; and downward dog, fish, and frog are poses that train contracted hold (I am using the standard Hatha Yoga names for the poses here, although they are often similar or the same in the Tibetan system). There is more to the system than that such as various preliminary and closing exercises, but training the different holds using postures is the gist of it. There are many books and DVDs available to learn the system. In my case, I went to yoga classes in my area with good lineage (Iyengar and Ashtanga) in order to learn the poses correctly, and then learned the Yantra Yoga way of linking the poses together with breath from the books and DVDs. So that is the physical aspect of the system. It is very good even if you are just interested in Hatha Yoga because you understand what correct breathing is like, rather than just correct physical alignment, and this plus the dynamics of the different holds opens up a deeper understanding of subtle inner alignments. A lot of things about yoga postures make a lot more sense to me having studied this. Now, about pranayama. There are two preliminary pranayamas which are forms of alternate nostril breathing, and then five main pranayamas of which use vase breath in a major way. The first two of these are more physical and the last three incorporate visualizations of channels and chakras. Chogyal Namkhai Norbu is going to be teaching these pranayamas in his next retreat which will be webcasted (!) for free (!!). He typically spends one or two session of every retreat teaching about Dzogchen generally, and then teaches the practices specific to that retreat, with one session at some point explaining and then giving direct introduction (!!!). These pranayamas are not associated with the cycle of a deity like other Tibetan tsa lung systems, but are directly related with Dzogchen. So if you get the direct introduction and oral explanation, you have permission to practice. And he doesn't teach these particular practices very often. What's more, the books that serve as references for the practices he teaches are only available to members of his organization, the one exception being the book on the complete system of Yantra Yoga, which is publicly available. http://www.amazon.com/Yantra-Yoga-Tibetan-Movement/dp/1559393084/ In other words, this retreat, in addition to the publicly available book, is giving unprecedented access to authentic Tibetan pranayamas connected with Dzogchen. The retreat will be June 3-7, from Tenerife, Spain. The official schedule is not up yet, but typically the session are two hours each, with a 10 am morning session and an afternoon session starting a 3 or 4 pm. http://melong.com/events_listing/spain-tenerife-dzamling-gar-june-3-7-2016/ http://webcast.dzogchen.net/
  23. New To Testicles Breathing

    When practicing testicle breathing should you as well as practice celibacy to improve results? And how long does it take to have a successful session with testicle breathing. When you center your attention around your testicles should I feel like a cold icy feel down there when breathing? And is it the breath going from the testicles to the spine? Any Tips
  24. how to approach semen retention?

    Okay, in daosim and the Hindu epics talk about semen retention and why not to expel this sexual energy out of the body. In daosim the fluid loss of semen results in premature ageing, disease, and general fatigue. While some Taoists contend that one should never ejaculate, others provide a specific formula to determine the maximum amount of regular ejaculations in order to maintain health. There are different methods to control ejaculation prescribed by the Taoists. In order to avoid ejaculation, the man could do one of several things. He could pull out immediately before orgasm. A second method involved the man applying pressure on the perineum, thus retaining the sperm. The primary purpose behind Taoist lovemaking is the transformation of sexual energy into healing energy and vitality, resulting in better health and potential immortality. The primary Taoist technique to achieve these healing effects is called the inward orgasm (in-jaculation), whereby the orgasmic energy rises up the spine, stimulating the endocrine glands, energy systems, nervous system, and organs. Taoists teach that an inner orgasm (in-jaculation) stimulates life and vitality, while the outer orgasm (e-jaculation) brings death or loss of health and vitality. An in-jaculation is the most effective tool for transforming a physical orgasm into an energetic orgasm. The Hindu gods have also conquered death by Brahmacharya and penance. Brahmacharya is abstaining from all kinds of Maithuna or sexual enjoyment forever, in all places and in all conditions- physically, mentally and verbally. Indra, the King of gods, has attained a still higher status, through the self-discipline of Brahmacharya. Death is hastened by letting out semen from the body. Life is saved and prolonged by preserving it. Semen is the real vitality in men. It is the hidden treasure in man. There is no doubt that people die prematurely by letting the semen out of the body; knowing this, the Yogi should always preserve semen and lead a life of strict celibacy. It is the process of controlling the sex energy, conserving it, then diverting it into higher channels and finally converting it into spiritual energy or Ojas shakti. So there are different ways to approach semen retention and which method do you guys think is the most useful to try? I usually masturbate alot, so how do you guys make this sexual desire stop from happening? And should I practice the microcosmic orbit during semen retention or some other mediation like yoga? Okay, my question is basically how should I approach this in a simple manner?