Pranayama Instruction

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Pranayama Instruction

Postby Peacedog on Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:09 pm

Hi all,

I am looking for a qualified instructor to learn a complete system of pranayama from.

Location unimportant. Distance learning or in-person is fine.

Books, DVD or video materials explaining how it all fits together are good as well.
Last edited by Peacedog on Mon Apr 08, 2019 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pranayama Instruction

Postby I-mon on Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:59 pm

Peacedog by far the best book that I have come across on the topic, in 20+ years of reading about it and studying under quite a few teachers, is "Pranayama: the Breath of Yoga" by a guy called Gregor Maehle. He's Russian, but lives in Australia, I haven't met him in person yet but certainly plan to, but the book is truly outstanding. He's studied under all of the major teachers and lineages of modern yoga, including my teacher A.G. Mohan and all of the other direct students of Tirumalai Krishnamacharya, and he's done extensive study of the original Sanskrit texts. He has a good understanding of both the modern physiological and traditional yogic systems and effects of all of the different aspects of pranayama. Get the book and you'll see what I mean, Gregor teaches intensives in Australia and around the world every year.
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Re: Pranayama Instruction

Postby Peacedog on Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:40 pm

I-mon,

Exactly what I was looking for.

I'll check it out.

Best,

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Re: Pranayama Instruction

Postby I-mon on Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:10 pm

Awesome mate let us know how you go.
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Re: Pranayama Instruction

Postby Rhen on Mon May 20, 2019 1:18 pm

Never heard of pranayama as a complete system. it is in both the Hatha yoga system, and some Tibetan, it is simply alternate nostril breathing to balance the 3 channels before long sitting practice. there are at least a dozen or more videos on youtube.
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Re: Pranayama Instruction

Postby TrainingDummy on Thu May 23, 2019 2:04 pm

Rhen wrote:it is simply alternate nostril breathing to balance the 3 channels before long sitting practice.


That's a very misinformed view. It's a whole bunch of exercises primarily focused on mastering the breath which usually leads to breath retention for longer and longer periods. It also closely connected to several cleansing exercises of Indian yoga (e.g. nasal irrigation and kapalabhati).

The observed states of consciousness during hypoxia induced by breath retention is the core "fuel" for higher level practice in several streams of Indian and Tibetan tantric yogas.
Last edited by TrainingDummy on Thu May 23, 2019 2:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pranayama Instruction

Postby Peacedog on Sun May 26, 2019 3:02 pm

So far it has been an interesting exercise.

The initial form I learned over a decade ago is explosive in nature using a retainted breath and a booming exhalation. More like a proto-Tibetan approach. It powerfully drives the energy up and out to the hands for purposes of manipulative/manual medical therapy.

Trul-khor seems intermediate between Hindu yogic and what I learned. In this you mostly use a retained breath while manipulating the fasciae using movement, although there are some empty breath retentions and some nauli-kriya like abdominal movements with what are effectively the bandas from Hindu yogic pranayama.

Finally, you have Indian style pranayama which is the softest of the three, generally involves much less movement, is exclusively done sitting and focuses more on the empty breath than the other two. This pulls the energy down and in. The bandas result in the more refined energies moving upward, while largely keeping the heat and vital forces below in the chest cavity.

What is interesting about this is that the locks combined with breath retention rapidly transitions a practitioner's perception into the astral and mental energetic fields without the sensory training and splitting techniques we use in Hermetics.

This is essentially using a blunt force method to open the senses without any specifc efforts to train the ability to focus, as you having in say Zen and Hermetics, or training the senses as we do in Taoist and Hermetic practice. The general rejection of development of the more physical effects, what we call thaumaturgy in Hermetics, is on display here as well as this shift in perception is driven inward versus outward. Useful for theurgy, not so much for practical application.

Very interesting. I'll write more as I explore more.
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Re: Pranayama Instruction

Postby TrainingDummy on Sun May 26, 2019 4:22 pm

Peacedog wrote:Finally, you have Indian style pranayama which is the softest of the three, generally involves much less movement, is exclusively done sitting and focuses more on the empty breath than the other two. This pulls the energy down and in. The bandas result in the more refined energies moving upward, while largely keeping the heat and vital forces below in the chest cavity.


The group I worked with felt the retentions cooked and refined the energies of the belly into a "quintessence", a bright, bubbly energy that rose naturally as the bandhas were slowly released

This is essentially using a blunt force method to open the senses without any specifc efforts to train the ability to focus, as you having in say Zen and Hermetics, or training the senses as we do in Taoist and Hermetic practice. The general rejection of development of the more physical effects, what we call thaumaturgy in Hermetics, is on display here as well as this shift in perception is driven inward versus outward. Useful for theurgy, not so much for practical application.


I think breath counting was designed as the introductory concentration exercise, prior the more advanced and potentially explosive results of breath retention.

For me breath retention is now mostly about dispassionately watching the body's unconscious will to survive during a prologued state of hypoxia. Touching those states over time awakens a resilience to endure (as opposed to chi gung strength), clarifies the mind and erodes the fear of death. I suspect there's a kidney hormonal component to this "awakening" that's related to adrenaline, but it's much smoother, slows the heart rate, sharpens the attention span and expands peripheral perception.
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