Articles derived from yogacharya Sharat Arora (Anand Sagar) Teachings

Pranayama Questions and Answers


Students: What do you recommend to focus on between the intentional breaths?
Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora: Focus on the movement. Check for yourself, where is your awareness when you are in the action of breathing? It is with the movement. That movement you are making is making awareness. So this is where you are.  

Students: In unintentional breath, where is the best place to keep your awareness?
Yoga Master Teacher Sharat Arora: When your breath is in between the intentional inhalations or exhalations – calm yourself. Make sure that everything is dropped, that all energy that went to your head is now gone. You exhale, exhale, and if any place needs attention - if it became tensed - this is where you exhale, drop everything, you create space there and neutral atmosphere. Sometimes it takes one breath, sometimes it takes ten. There is no measure. Your job is to be ready for the next breath. If not taking precaution like that, you are gone.

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Pranayama Part 4 The Breath


When we prepare for Pranayama we want to settle our body to neutrality, so we put ourselves in the Shavasana following the steps previously described. Only then we are able to calmly watch the breath going in and going out. The breath shows us those parts in the body that are not letting go. So therefore breath and body become instrument for us to let go at the deeper level.

Enlightenment is a state where there is no holding on to anything, it is a state of nothingness. So in our body when we make that freedom to come about, this influences also our energetic system. Pranayama is using the breath as a tool to free everything through the touching of the breath in the trunk. When it becomes free-flowing, this is it.

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Pranayama Part 3 Relaxing the Throat


Letting go of facial muscles is an art, as these are the muscles which are the most connected with our mental movements. By dropping that, we are able to go beyond. With awareness we will get rid of those pathways that have been created in the face. That is where all relaxation starts and that is what we check it in the middle of the process and we continue to check it every time we feel disturbed. Those pathways have to be eroded with awareness. If your throat is tight and tensed, you know that it is all your attachment with the world. All your attachment have its mark in certain areas. All the things – whether it be the ideas that you are attached to, the objects, maybe your house – all that which you hold on to and you are afraid of losing have its mark in the throat. The energy which that attachment creates causes movements and they are visible in the eyes. So in fact in the eyes it is showing you what the present state is.

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Pranayama Part 2 Shavasana


Shava – is dead body and dead mind. It means that it is not moved, it is completely quiet. The principle of Shavasana is, that when we lay the physical body in harmony, without any conflictual body posture, we are able to penetrate in it and free it. Therefore we become “dead” during that time. It is the most hard to do. In fact it symbolises the whole of the Yoga practice. This is the ultimate posture that there is – Shava – to be dead. When you are dead like this, not moving, it is then that you realise who you really are.    

The art of lying down in the Shavasana is to eradicate all conflicts in the body. When after a while your body starts to say, “I am uncomfortable”, the intention of Shavasana is at least to put away all conflicts and to learn more about your body if conflict arises. Then there are many means to erase them and so the technique to lay down in Shavasana consists of few key steps.

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Pranayama Part 1 Introduction

(likes / dislikes and the karmic rules)

In Pranayama we are dependent on the body for the breath to move freely. If the body is out of line, the breath can’t reach everywhere, it can't go to that area which is blocked. The next important thing is related to us trying to control, influence the breath. When we try, automatically the muscles tighten. Whenever we make actions arising from the local awareness, we get into trouble and there once more come blockages. It is proving that we rely on the body for the breath to be harmonious.

When is the body in total inaction? When we are lying down, when we are still and we don’t have to do anything. Also in some Yoga postures like Halasana and Shoulder Stand we are dependent on the body for the smooth breath. Even if there is no action in the body, it is still dependent. The one pose which is completely balanced, in which we can practice our breathing is Shavasana. It is for that reason that we are going to learn Shavasana in depth, in all its aspects, so that we are able to perform our watchfulness of breathing. And in that process we also learn when we hold tightness anywhere in the body without even knowing.

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