The universe originated from the Tattwas (elements) Space, Air, Fire, Water and Earth. And we are created from the elements. The elements within us influence our auditory, tactile, visual, gustatory, and olfactory senses. When we take to the practice of Yoga, we are looking at how to remain okay. Literally most of us who start our practice have this as our objective.
Our senses influence us and play a very vital role in our thinking and understanding of ourselves and of others. There is a constant interplay between our senses of sound and sight. Then there is a subtle influence of touch, taste and smell. In our practice we are addressing the breath first. We have to unblock our nostrils. We cannot give a command that it must be done. We must practice breath awareness.
Breath awareness is literally becoming conscious of your breath
We never pause in our breathing but our pattern of breathing changes constantly. Sometimes when we are anxious, we breathe fast and rapidly. Our stress level maybe very high and we may have a panic attack. We may also stop breathing. So first we lie down or sit. We must be comfortable. Our spine must be straight. We close our eyes lightly and listen to the sound of our normal breath. No effort. We do this with counting. We count backwards from 54 to 0. The counting is 54 I am breathing in, 54 I am breathing out. No errors. If an error is made, we start from the beginning. We count backwards, because there is an end. Now we open our eyes and go to the next part of the practice.
We perform an Asana
We visualize ourselves doing the asana, and we are aware of our breathing. Then you practice anuloma pranayama. It means up and down, in and out. You sit down, with your spine erect. Eyes closed and visualize the breath flowing in and out of your left nostril. You are unblocking your left nostril, so that the breath can flow with the prana in and out. Practice 27 times, counting backwards. Repeat the process with the right nostril. Now repeat the process with both nostrils unblocked 54 times. This pranayama restores your balance. When the nostrils are unblocked, and the prana is flowing through the Sushumna nadi we are enabling the process of self-purification.
Our thoughts are not able to enter into a discussion when we are actively involved in counting, and visualization. Adding a mantra renders the practice more efficacious. Soham is a powerful mantra as it means merging of the individual consciousness with the supreme consciousness. It is also the sound of your breathing.
If we practice daily, we will be able to work on our elements and chakras. This is a preliminary step, if conducted with sincerity it is beneficial and effective.
Aim Hrim Klim