We have eight senses, and they all require prana management. Our five senses which we are familiar with are sight (vision), sound (hearing), smell (olfaction), taste (gustation), touch (tactile perception), and the three senses we are not so familiar with are vestibular (balance), prioceptive (movement) and introceptive (internal). Let us take a quick look at them.
Our visual sense enables us to interpret what we are looking at. Our auditory sense enables us to understand what we are hearing and whether it is important or just part of our daily life and the distance of sounds. Our gustatory sense enables us through our taste cells to understand the flavor of food and beverages. They are clustered in the mouth, tongue and throat and receive five specific tastes-salty, sweet, bitter, sour and umani. Our tactile sense enables us to understand the importance of sensations and touch. It is also associated with bonding and relationship. Our olfactory sense enables us smell and pick up all the odors around us.
Now we come to vestibular sense which works on our balance, sense of space and direction. It also enables us to develop a sense of gravitational equilibrium and bilateral co-ordination. Our prioceptive sense is the movement of the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint receptors. It helps us to feel grounded and know where we are and what we are doing. Our interoceptive sense is the hidden sense as it enables us to feel what is happening in our body. It plays a role in influencing emotions and sense of well- being and detects changes in our internal state.
What can we do to benefit maximally from our senses?
The most important practice is to manage our prana, through the balancing pranayama. Inhale to the count of 5, hold the breath to the count of 5, exhale to the count of 5 and hold the breath outside to the count of 5. The first five senses are to be subjected to the practice of withdrawal of the senses. Our senses dominate our thinking and leave us exhausted. We are subjected to the trauma of our thoughts, and it can be described as if an artist or writer is continuously engaged in painting or writing. The mind and body need to rest and not be at the command of these petty fellows. Renewal of the cells and recharging of our prana is essential. Being subjected to external stimuli constantly makes us victims of media persecution.
Now when we look at the vestibular, prioceptive and interoceptive senses, they also require charging. This rejuvenating process involves the practices of Ajapa Japa, chanting from the heart, and ujjayi pranayama with the recitation of a mantra. The balancing pranayama is a start, ujjayi pranayama (contracting the throat with inhalation and releasing the contraction with exhalation) with chanting the mantra Om or So Ham, 27 times, counting backwards. Lastly the practice of Ajapa Japa (visualizing the breath ascending from the navel to the throat, while inhaling, and descending from the throat to the navel, while exhaling) 54 times, again counting backwards.
Aim Hrim Klim