View Full Version : want to live long

29 July 2009, 03:42 AM
Einstein’s famous equation, E=MC2 says it all about energy. Who can forget Nagasaki and Hiroshima? It is said that a brick contains so much energy that if released it may destroy million inhabitants of a town along with their properties of course. Prana (The life sustaining energy) is the most potent of all forms of energies, and every genotype carries it in equal measure and spends it regularly in differing measure, that’s how some live longer than others. In human form it resides at the base of the spine at Muladhara. It is released by two basic functions of the body, firstly by breathing and secondly by walking.
Let’s look around to find that animals which breathe slower live longer. For example a giant tortoise who breathes 4 to 5 times in a minutes, lives more than two hundred years and a dog which breathes about 50 times in a minutes, lives around 15 years only. So is the case with snakes, elephants and the slow breathing types who are known to have longevity than birds and rabbits and cats, who breathe relatively faster and live shorter life span.
Similar is the case with slow moving animals or those with less hectic life. Elephants and tortoises and snakes move much slower than shorter life animals like dogs and leopards and rabbits that move relatively faster or have more hectic life. Now consider bees and ants. The queen bee and queen ant and workers differ very little in size and genetics but their life span vary considerably. Queen bee and queen ant live for five and three years respectively where as worker bee live for one year and worker ant live for about six months only. Why this anomaly? Does it happen because the workers spend more energy per day and exhaust the store house of pranic energy quicker? That’s the point, you spend prana faster and you live shorter.
Now I will tell you a simple technique to feel the flow of prana during various states by Gyan mudra (gyan means knowledge, and mudra is action by any body part. This mudra if perfected, will give you knowledge of your progress in yoga by knowing the flow of prana). Gently touch the tip of the thumb by your index finger making an 'o', spread other fingers pointing forward. With some practice and concentration you will feel some pulsation at the point of contact. When you have started feeling the pulsation, to know as to how the prana is released, move slowly one of your legs up and down a couple of times. The frequency of pulsation remains the same but the amplitude increases, the throbbing is suddenly more vigorous. Its not that the blood flow increases or the heart starts pumping more with only shifting your leg. It is simply because more prana is released by activating the Muladhara Chakra (The store house of prana). You may try this by taking a deep breath or two and you will find same increased pulsation. More you breathe or more you walk or run you spend more prana but at the same time you are nursing your body with added amount, and that’s how you remain healthier when you exercise.
Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity categorically states that each man carries his own time and his own space with him. Stephen Hawking makes it more interesting when he says; each man carries his own clock and to add one second to his life, one has to travel four million times around the world in an airliner. Bill Bryson, in ‘Short History of Nearly Everything’, muses, “Fly across the United State, and you will step from the plane a quinzillionth of a second, or something, younger than those you left behind.” It is therefore; scientifically safe to assume that it is possible to increase life span and each man grows older in his own space-time. For a human being the space-time continuum is his own breathing cycle. The twin’s paradox in physics is an apt example of each man living in his own time; when one of the twin brother returns after inter-galactic travel, still young to find his other brother old and week.
Recent studies in epigenetic have shown that zygotic twins who are born with identical genome, who have identical gene expression after birth, develop pronounced differences in genetic expressions at older age. One of the twins may develop a disease at say age 50 years the other may develop the same disease at much older age. Scientists have attributed these to different lifestyles and environment. It again comes to the point I made, better pranic management will postpone or eliminate a disease altogether. .
I will tell you a simple way to know whether prana is reaching all your organs in full measure. Look at the finger nails first, of any person aged around 21. You will find a white half moon at the base of the nails (You find them at toe fingers as well). Have you ever wondered what these are for? (Try questions and answers at yahoo!!) If that person has it on all fingers, well, you can safely say he is very, very healthy. Larger they are better for him. As the nadies (pranic channels) start getting blocked half moons first start getting smaller then vanish altogether. Well, absence of these half moons does not say that you are sick but it tells you that your systems are working below par. Expand your observation further to few more people and you will notice that the half moon vanishes first from the little finger first. God gives us hints in his own ways; ironically the largest organ of man, the skin, is represented by the smallest finger. The extremities of the nadies which end at outer most organ, that is skin, get blocked first and that’s how the skin starts losing its elasticity and you notice onset of wrinkles. Cheiro, the famous British palmist, said that these white half moons represent flow of blood to various organs, though he visited India to hone up his wares but failed to recognize importance of prana. Similarly other fingers represent other organs or group of organs.
Have you ever wondered why sportspersons retire by the age 30? Why most important discoveries in science have been made by people under the age 30. Newton was only 24 when he hit upon the idea of gravitational law. Dirac was still a PhD student when his formulation led to the discovery of antimatter. When Einstein’s famous paper on ‘Special Theory of Relativity’ was published, he was just 26. Jesus Christ first made his appearance as a savior when he was 29 and gave this world the sprit of Christianity in remaining 3 years, which is still glowing after more than 2000 years. Shankaracharya reinstated Hinduism in India and banished Buddhism who walked this world only for about 32 years. Lance Armstrong defied his testicular cancer to win the most grueling Tour the France, when every one in the world of cycling had written him off. He was 33 when he finally retired. The examples are endless. The pranic nadies start getting clogged as one grows old due to lifestyle of living and not caring to cleanse it regularly. Prayanama (Regulated breathing exercises) does it most efficiently, though one may also achieve it by vigorous exercises which also generate more prana but are comparatively inefficient as they waste most of the prana it bring forth, through rapid exhalations. Jogging is better than running, walking regularly is better than jogging, but Prayanama is the best to harness prana and stay younger and fitter. Golf that way is the best way to exercise. People are at their best at about 21 years of their age. As pranic channels start getting blocked, prana does not reach in full measure and the organs start losing their elasticity and start working below par.
Prayanama increases the capacity of the body to live with higher levels of CO2 by regularly performing Kumbhakas (retention of breath).and lesser requirement of oxygen, and in case of an advanced yogi, with no oxygen at all. The case of Haridas, amongst such many other cases, has been quoted by many western writers. I will quote from ‘Hath Yoga – Its Context, Theory and Practice’ by Mikel Burley.
“Although predating the time of ECG machines and other technological recording machines, a still more impressive case of human burial and subsequent revival is that of the yogin Haridas, who was confined for 40 days in a small wooden box in 1937. What makes this case particularly valuable is, firstly, the fact that it is so well documented as to make the possibility of fraud extremely remote, and, secondly, the fact that Haridas employed some of the most advanced techniques described in Hatha Yoga Pradipika and other manuals of hath yoga. According to the detailed report of Sir Claude Wade, the yogin was enclosed in a bag of white linen, fastened by a string over the head, and was interred in a padlocked wooden box, about four feet long by three feet broad, with a sloping roof. The box situated in ‘a sort of cell’ below the floor of a room which itself was sealed shut on all four sides. The building in which the demonstration took pace belonged to the Maharaja Ranjeet Singh of Lahore, who took extreme precautions to guard against any trickery, and had the building watched night and day buy four sentries who were replaced every two hours.
When the forty days were up, Claude Wade attended the disinterment of Haridas, along with Ranjeet Singh and a servant of Haridas’. After the yogin’s body was removed from the box, Wade tore open the bag, revealing a body with shriveled and stiff limbs, and no palpable pulsation ‘in the heart, the temples or the arm.’ The body appeared corpse-like, apart from ‘a heat about the region of the brain,’ a condition that concurs with descriptions of yogins in whom Kundalini has ascended to the sahasara-padma. Within half an hour, however, Haridas’ pulse had returned, and he was breathing again and able to speak.
Wade’s report received additional substantiation when a German physician J M Honigberger published details about Haridas’ remarkable yogic feat in 1851”.
Venerated ancient Indian scriptures proclaim, and that is what all Hindus believe, that a person lives so long as the Prana is within the body and he breaths his last when it leaves. The last act of a person before dieing is to breathe out. Vivekananda said that all forms of energies are but the manifestation of Prana. While in the body it is known by ten different names depending on the region of the body it operates. Prana and Apana, amongst the ten, are considered to be the most important. Where as Prana acts from and above the heart, Apana operates from naval and below and flow through two prime nadies, Ida and Pringala. The third, the most important nadi for the Yogis, is Sushumana, the central channel which remains dormant until Kundalini is aroused through yogic processes and opened for prana to operate through it. These nadies are comparable to very fine thread like channels, and originate from Moladhara Chakra, located at spinal centre of region below genitals. Ida is located at the left of Sushumana where as Pringala is at its right and are located within the spine. Ida and Pringala traverse upwards crisscrossing at other five chakras, (Swadhisthana, Manipura, Anahata, Vishuddhi and Ajna) located respectively at spinal centre of region above the genitals, the naval, the heart, the throat and middle of the eyebrows and end up in the nostrils, Ida at left nostril and Pringala at the right nostril. (This crisscrossing of nadies is often compared to the Caduceus of Mercury.) The Sushumana also starts from Muladhara but straight goes to the top of the brain to a place called sahasara, meeting the other two nadies while on its way up at Ajna chakra which is the centre of the two eyebrows. This channel is blocked or knotted at three places and hence prana can not flow through this channel, unless worked up by yogis in specified manner to attain various siddhies (spiritual powers). Prana brings consciousness to the body and it operates at the level of the cells through the network of 72000 nadies. The trillions of cells in the body together than make it conscious of itself. As long as prana is operating, we are conscious or else we die.
Sahasara region in the brain remains dormant because it has not been made conscience by the flow of prana. This region, it is said, contains all secrets of the nature and if a yogi is able to untie the knots in the Sushumana and is able to make the prana flow trough it, and make this region conscience, he enables himself to know what all there is to know in this universe, such Yogis known as shiddha have said to have walked the land of India in the past. ‘Hath Yoga Pradipika’ written by Swataymrama during 12 to 15th century, names all such yogis. (One may also read ‘Autobiography of a Yogi’ by Paramhansa Yogananda and ‘Living with Himalayan Masters’ by Swami Rama, both of these books have received very high acclaims. These books describe the yogic powers of some of the siddhas)
Raja Yoga or eight limbed yoga as it is called (formulated by Patanjali), has been designed exclusively for emancipation, aiming at merging the soul with the Almighty. Asana (yogic postures) and Prayanama are mentioned in passing without giving proper detail of these processes. Hath Yoga on the other hand has evolved primarily for enhancing life span and various process of Prayanama and postures are described in greater details. Hath yogis believed that if one lives longer and healthier he may have more time for obtaining liberation in this birth only. A sick body can not proceed properly to various stages of Raja Yoga which requires minimum of 12 to 14 years for a novice to become established. Yogic exercises and Prayanama are the two ways to bring forth prana in a controlled manner and to nurture it.
Prayanama is derived from three root words of Sanskrit ‘prana, ayan and ma’. Prana is the life sustaining energy, ‘ayan’ means to bring forth and ‘ma’ means to nurture. You bring forth the prana through Ida and Pringla and then nurture it. In Prayanama, nurturing is achieved by kumbhaka (stopping the breath). By stopping the breath, the prana which has been sucked up from Muladhara by deep inhalation is given time to move through all the nadies rather than being wasted out in the out breath. One breathes alternatively from each nostril, retaining the breath each time one inhales to as much duration as possible. Generally the guiding factor is 1:4:2. Say you inhale for 2 seconds then stop the breath for 8 seconds and exhale it for 4 seconds.
Longer inhalations will ensure the pranic energies to rise higher filling the chakras. One gradually increases the period of inhalations, retentions and exhalations and with a sustained and long period of practice, frequency of breathing cycle for us novices will reduce from 15 breaths to say 10 or 8. Yogis are said to achieve breathing cycle of less than one a minute (Remember tortoise with 4 breaths a minute living for more than 200 years.) This will not only extend your life span but make you healthy and decease free by servicing prana to cells of all parts of your body.
Next comes balancing of nadies, the Nadi sodhan Prayanama is to be perfected to balance the nadies. Have you wondered when you look in the mirror or examine your whole naked body in the bathroom to find that gray hair on your left side of mustache are more than the right, or the left temple has more gray hair than the right? You may notice some such anomalies at other parts as well. Say you notice some darkening of skin at left side of the nose and some blemishes at right side of the chest and some below the naval on the left side. Yes this is due to imbalanced flow of prana through the Ida and Pringla. Remember these nadies alternate at various chakras. If the flow in Pringla is weaker than Ida, than organs being serviced by that nadi will weaken and the organs on that side will perform at lesser level.
Bunds and mudras, during Prayanama come next. I can only say here that these are special techniques and are best performed under some expert. These are performed to balance the chakras and open the central channel that is the Sushumana, a very advanced technique indeed.
Next we will examine the asana. Asana (yogic postures) are always spine based so as to agitate the Muladhara to generate more prana, never dynamic so that prana is not wasted like when you run and also to dilate various other chakras, to enable them to store more pranic energy, commencing from Swadhisthana chakra upwards. Asana are static poses. One takes a posture and remains in it for some time and gradually increases the duration. Slow breathing is highly recommended during the performance of an asana. Immediately on completion of an asana, one assumes a savasana, a dead man’s posture. This enables the breath to come to normal. It is done to avoid wasteful expenditure of prana due to increased rate of breathing during some asanas. Besides balancing up the chakras, these static poses also enhance one’s stamina, flexibility, and balance and tone up the body.
Besides the above, to enhance life span, a person is expected to follow the following as per Hatha Yoga tradition:-
· Do not under take extraneous exercises or hard work on a regular basis. He is even expected to walk very slowly.
· Observe silence as far as possible and never shout. Control your anger and rarely copulate.
· Eat frugally. Must always eat to fill two parts of stomach, one part with water and one part is to be left empty (mitahar). Some only eat once after sunset.
· Generally a yogi lives on High Mountain in caves with very small opening.
· Never bathe with cold water before or after sunset.
· Diet is milk and rice based. No animal meat in any case. Meals not to be very hot or cold and no leftovers. Sour, bitter and smelly food to be avoided.
· .Never touch metallic articles immediately after Prayanama. Sit for meditation or do yogic exercises on some non conducting material. Wear only cotton or silk.
· Always face east or north for meditation or exercises.
· All yogic postures are static and never dynamic. One takes a particular posture as prescribed and stays in that condition for as long as one can comfortably stay. Never stop the breath and after every posture must do savasana, to regain breath.
· All yogic postures are spine based and designed to activate one or more chakras to harness energy in a controlled way.
· During Prayanama, kumbhaka (retention of breath) is always applied so as to train the body to sustain more carbon dioxide or learn to live on as less oxygen as possible.
· All the above are done to train the body to reduce the content of carbolic acid in the expired air while breathing and to train the body to sustain on minimum breaths per minute and minimum energy.
The above increases the given life span by frugally expending the given amount of prana. So enjoy a long life mate.