Atlantis and Kundalini

The deeper you delve into the truth of Atlantis, it becomes apparent that many aspects of the Atlantean mythos must be literal, but others must be allegorical.  For instance the idea of 1 island ruling over 7 sounds more metaphorical.  There are several islands in the Canaries and to say there are 7 major islands, 8, 9, 20 or just 1 is arbitrary.  Perhaps Atlantis, this one excellent place, had dominion over the seven chakras, energetic islands in the oceans of our bodies.

“The Atlantis story was preserved at the Canary Islands perhaps in far greater detail than even Plato’s account before the imposition of Christianity, which affected Guanche culture like a blight. Perhaps the most revealing of all surviving material connecting the Canary Islanders to Atlantis is found in the Tois Aethiopikes by Marcellus. In 45 A.D., he recorded that ‘the inhabitants of the Atlantic island of Poseidon preserve a tradition handed down to them by their ancestors of the existence of an Atlantic island of immense size of not less than a thousand stadia [about 115 miles], which had really existed in those seas, and which, during a long period of time, governed all the islands of the Atlantic Ocean.’ Pliny the Elder seconded Marcellus, writing that the Guanches were in fact the direct descendants of the disaster that sank Atlantis. Proclus reported that they still told the story of Atlantis in his day, circa 410 A.D.”  -Frank Joseph, “The Atlantis Encyclopedia” (130)

“Marcellus, in a work on the Ethiopians, speaks of seven islands lying in the Atlantic Ocean – probably the Canaries – and the inhabitants of these islands, he says, preserve the memory of a much greater island, Atlantis, ‘which had for a long time exercised dominion over the smaller ones.’”  -Didot Müller, “Fragmenta Historicorum Græcorum,” vol. IV (443)

“The Maya have much in common with the Indians as well. As to the similarities between the Mayan and Hindu religion and language, Hinduism Today says, ‘Chacla in Mayan refers to force centers of the body similar to the chakras of Hinduism. K’ultanlilni in Mayan refers to the power of God within man which is controlled by the breath, similar in meaning to kundalini. Mayan chilambalam refers to a sacred space, as does Tamil Chidambaram. Yok’hah in Maya means ‘on top of truth,’ similar to yoga in Sanskrit.’ The Maya also had the same goddess Maya, mother of the gods and man, as in India.  Furthermore, the legendary founder of the Maya was the god Votan or Wotan, a name identical to the god of Teutonic tribes. There are many such correspondences between the Old and New Worlds.”  -Acharya S., “The Christ Conspiracy” (276)

So the Mayan and Indian words – chakra, kundalini, and yoga – share identical sounds and meaning.  The word “Maya” means “Illusion” in both languages as well and refers to our material existence, which both cultures believe to be illusory.  They believe, as all ancient cultures believed, that we are immaterial souls having a physical experience.  In Sanskrit, “Atl” means “to support or uphold” as Atlas was said to hold the world on his shoulders.  Alonso de Molina’s 16th century dictionary of the Nahuatl language, “Vocabulario En Lengua Mexicana y Castellana” says that “The words Atlas and Atlantic have no satisfactory etymology in any language known to Europe. They are not Greek, and cannot be referred to any known language of the Old World. But in the Nahuatl language we find immediately the radical ‘a’, ‘atl’, which signifies water, war, and the top of the head.”  Why the top of the head?  The word “atl” is found in the names of most of their gods, and one of its meanings is “top of the head.”

“The tree sacred to Atlas; its branches, like his arms, supported the heavens.  The oak’s association with Atlas implies a primeval tree cult or pillar cult, a memory of it surviving in Kritias, Plato’s Atlantis account, when he described a ceremonial column at the very midpoint of the Temple of Poseidon, itself located at the center of Atlantis. The Atlanteans’ oldest, most hallowed laws were inscribed on its exterior and sacrificial bull’s blood was shed over it by all 10 kings of Atlantis in that civilization’s premiere ritual.”  -Frank Joseph, “The Atlantis Encyclopedia” (208)

The pineal gland (6th chakra, the third-eye) lies at the geometrical center point of the brain.  Plato’s account of Atlantis described a “ceremonial column at the very midpoint of the Temple of Poseidon, itself located at the center of Atlantis.”  The ceremonial column (Oak Tree, Tree of Life, Staff of Moses etc.) is the human spine with 33 vertebrae. The actual medical term for the 33rd vertebrae which holds up the skull is “Atlas,” same as the King of Atlantis.  In Atlantean mythology, Atlas holds up the world or the heavens and in your body the Atlas vertebrae holds up your head/mind.  In Atlantean mythology, Atlas has 7 daughters who spend all their time guarding and dancing around the Tree of Life; In your body you have 7 energy centers (chakras) dancing around your spine.

Plato described Atlantis as being shaped like three concentric circles of land separated by concentric circles of water.  In other words the shape of a bull’s-eye.  Why would the center of a target be called a “bull’s-eye” anyway?  The Atlas vertebra holds up your brain, your “third-eye” is at the center of your brain, and the center of Atlantis is a “bull’s-eye.”  In fact, your skull, which Atlas holds up, is shaped just like Atlantis is described.  At the center point is your third-eye.  The third-eye is separated and surrounded completely by water/fluid.  Next is the cerebral cortex, the meat of the brain.  Then around that is a layer of constantly flowing/pumping blood.  And lastly around that is the skull.  Plato said sacrificial bull’s blood was shed over the exterior of the Temple of Poseidon, which is also consistent with the blood that flows over the exterior of the brain.

“Bulls were associated with divine regents in Sumer, Egypt, Assyria, Minoan Crete, Greece, Rome, Iberia, and Ireland. All of these cultures featured traditions of a great deluge from which their ancestors came with all the accoutrements of a high civilization, including, most importantly, matters of kingship. In each people, their king was ritually identified with a sacred bull, because it was important for a leader to identify with the tremendous strength and aggressiveness epitomized by such an animal. In pre-Celtic Ireland, the new monarch had to undergo a ceremonial bath of bull’s broth, which he then drank from an Atlantean-like golden cup. The Egyptian Hape, better remembered by his Greek name, Apis, was the sacred bull of Memphis. Like the bulls at the Temple of Poseidon, he was allowed to roam free in a courtyard of the temple.”  -Frank Joseph, “The Atlantis Encyclopedia” (78)

If the Temple of Poseidon (between your “temples”) is your brain then Atlantis’ bull’s-eye is your third-eye/pineal gland which literally “roams free in the courtyard of the temple” because it is surrounded by cerebro-spinal fluid.  Bull’s-eyes also just happen to be red, white and black, the same color as Santa, the Amanita Muscaria, and the flag of Egypt.

“In this West African version of the flood, Obatala is the Yoruba version of the Greco-Atlantean Atlas: Oba denotes kingship, while atala means ‘white.’ Yoruba priests wear only white robes while worshipping him, and images of the god are offered only white food. Among these sacrifices are white kola and goats, recalling the Atlantean goat cults known to the ancient Canary Islanders, off the coast of northwest Africa, and the Iberian Basque. Obatala’s chief title is ‘King of Whiteness,’ because he is revered as the white-skinned ‘Ancient Ruler’ and ‘Father’ of the Yoruba race by a native woman, Oduduwa. Like Atlas, Obatala was a giant in the middle of the sea, and the ‘seven chains’ which signal the end of the Deluge may coincide with the seven Pleiades, associated throughout much of world myth with the Flood’s conclusion. Directly across the Atlantic Ocean, in the west, the Aztec version of Atlantis – Aztlan – was referred to as the ‘White Island.’ In the opposite direction, in the east, Hindu traditions in India described ancestral origins from Attala, likewise known as the ‘White Island.’”  -Frank Joseph, “The Atlantis Encyclopedia” (209)

Is this where we get our legends of an Ivory Tower on an island?  Was it a real tower on a real island or our ivory spines on the islands of our bodies?  Or was it both?

“‘The White Island’ described in the great Indian epic Mahabharata and in the epic poems, the Puranas, as the mountainous homeland of a powerful and highly civilized race located in ‘the Western Sea’ on the other side of the world from India … Atala itself sank in a violent storm.”  -Frank Joseph, “The Atlantis Encyclopedia” (33)

“The nations on the west of the Atlantic look to the ‘east’ for their place of origin; while on the east of the Atlantic they look to the ‘west’: thus all the lines of tradition converge upon Atlantis.  But here is the same testimony that in the Garden of Eden there were four rivers radiating from one parent stream. And these four rivers, as we have seen, we find in the Scandinavian traditions, and in the legends of the Chinese, the Tartars, the Singhalese, the Thibetians, the Buddhists, the Hebrews, and the Brahmans.  And not only do we find this tradition of the Garden of Eden in the Old World, but it meets us also among the civilized races of America. The elder Montezuma said to Cortez, “Our fathers dwelt in that happy and prosperous place which they called Aztlan, which means ‘whiteness.’”  –Ignatius Donnelly, “Atlantis: The Antediluvian World”

The Bible stories featuring a garden, tree, serpent, and golden apples are known the world over and they originate from the Atlantean legend.

“The history of the old testament is the history of Atlantis.”  -Comyns Beaumont

“The American Tree of Life – The Toltec legends speak of a garden, a tree, a serpent and a woman that was the mother of all mankind. They also speak of a race of giants that were in the world from the earliest times.”  -Ignatius Donnelly, “Atlantis and the Antediluvian World”

“(The) Tree of Life (is) a mythic allusion to the human spinal column as the bearer of seven major energy centers known as chakras, or spiritual ‘wheels’ in Indian kundalini yoga.  The concept originated in Atlantis, with its seven Hesperides, daughters of Atlas, and the golden apples of eternal life they guarded.”  -Frank Joseph, “The Atlantis Encyclopedia” (272)

“Mythology often appears to be describing body sensations when it speaks of serpents, as well as describing the human spine, which can be symbolized as the tree or twin trees or the serpent or twin serpents. The serpent image connected with the spine has its best-known representation in the Indian Kundalini mythology. Chetwynd (1982) describes body symbolism that is related to the serpent as ‘connected with the spinal column, which joins the physical nature (the genitals) to the spiritual nature (the head).’”  -Gerry Anne Lenhart, “The Genesis Model”

In other words the “fall” and the “flood” whether or not they happened physically, likely happened within an individual or on a spiritual level.  And Atlantis, whether or not was a real island continent heading an advanced global civilization, likely also referenced the soul, the pineal gland, and chakra system within the individual.  The most sacred secrets of the Masons and world Royalty pertain to the chakra/energetic system, the amanita muscaria, DMT, and Kundalini yoga’s activation of the crown chakra.

“A new center – presently dormant in the average man or woman – has to be activated and a more powerful stream of psychic energy must rise into the head from the base of the spine to enable the human consciousness to transcend the normal limits.  This is the final phase of the present evolutionary impulse in man.  The cerebrospinal system of man has to undergo a radical change, enabling consciousness to transcend the limits of the highest intellect.  Here reason yields to intuition and revelation appears to guide the steps of humankind.  This mechanism, known as Kundalini, is the real cause of all so-called spiritual and psychic phenomena, the biological basis of evolution and development of personality, the secret origin of all esoteric and occult doctrines, the master key to the unsolved mystery of creation, the inexhaustible source of philosophy, art, and science, and the fountainhead of all religious faiths, past, present and future.”  -Dr. Lee Sanella, “The Kundalini Experience”

“So what is meant by the term Kundalini experience?  Kundalini is a Sanskrit word that can be translated as ‘coiled up.’  Kundalini is represented in many Tantrik illustrations as a sleeping serpent, coiled 3 ½ times, at the base of the spinal cord. The popular view of Kundalini is that it is a dormant power that lies waiting to be unleashed, by means of various practices. The ‘serpent power,’ once awakened, is coaxed up the central channel of the spine, entering the chakras (psychic energy centres) until it reaches the Crown chakra – and the yogi achieves ‘illumination.’”  -Phil Hine, “Kundalini, A Personal Approach”

“The caduceus symbol of coiling snakes is thought to be an ancient symbolic representation of Kundalini physiology.  The concept of Kundalini comes from yogic philosophy of ancient India and refers to the mothering intelligence behind yogic awakening and spiritual maturation. It might be regarded by yogis as a sort of deity, hence the occasional capitalization of the term.  Within a western frame of understanding it is often associated with the practice of contemplative or religious practices that might induce an altered state of consciousness, either brought about spontaneously, through a type of yoga, through psychedelic drugs, or through a near-death experience …According to the yogic tradition Kundalini is curled up in the back part of the root chakra in three and one-half turns around the sacrum. Yogic phenomenology states that kundalini awakening is associated with the appearance of bio-energetic phenomena that are said to be experienced somatically by the yogi.  This appearance is also referred to as ‘pranic awakening’. Prana is interpreted as the vital, life-sustaining force in the body. Uplifted or intensified life-energy is called pranotthana and is supposed to originate from an apparent reservoir of subtle bio-energy at the base of the spine. This energy is also interpreted as a vibrational phenomena that initiates a period, or a process of vibrational spiritual development … Kundalini is mainly associated with Hinduism. However, Kundalini as a spiritual experience is thought to have parallels in many of the mystical and Gnostic traditions of the world’s great religions.  Many factors point to the universality of the phenomenon. The early Christians might have referred to the concept as ‘pneuma’, and there are some recent parallels in contemporary Christian Charismatic ‘Holy Ghost’ phenomena. Religious studies also note parallels in Quakerism, Shakerism, Judaic Shuckling (torso-rocking prayer), the swaying zikr and whirling dervish of Islam, the quiverings of the Eastern Orthodox hesychast, the flowing movements of tai chi, the ecstatic shamanic dance, the ntum trance dance of the Bushman, Tibetan Buddhist tummo heat as practiced by Milarepa, and the Indically-derived Andalusian flamenco (Sovatsky, 1998). Kundalini practice is centerfold in Japan’s Aum Shinrikyo group and Kundalini-yoga is also one of the stages the practitioner is able to achieve.”  -Crystalinks, “Kundalini”

“The ancient yogis and sages who developed Kundalini Yoga had a deep respect for the Creator of this human body.  They knew, in their profound devotion and worship, that so perfect a Creator could only have created perfection in design, function and potential.  Based on this respect, they sought knowledge of the totality of the human being.  They researched the human ability to maintain good health, increase vitality, open consciousness and expand the experience of the excellence of human life.  Their research gave them a great understanding of the nervous system, glandular system, organ system, energy system, and brain.  They learned how blood, nerves, muscles, organds, and glands all work together.  They investigated the seen and the unseen, and the inter-relationships between the physical and the subtle.  From this research they developed Kundalini Yoga.  Kundalini Yoga is a highly evolved technology based on a thorough understanding of the ecology of the human body, how the breath affects the thinking, how the angle of a finger affects the pituitary gland.  This technology works with the systems of the human body using the body’s own means.  Hand position, breath, posture, sound, and motion are employed in various ways to create the optimum balance among all the body’s components … until recent times these techniques had been secret, taught only to a chosen few.”  -Harijot Kaur Khalsa, “Kundalini Yoga, Physical Wisdom”

“Contemporary spiritual literature often notes that the chakras, as described in the esoteric kundalini documents, bear a strong similarity in location and number to the major endocrine glands, as well as nerve bundles called ganglions.  One speculation is that the traditional practices have formalized a method for stimulating the endocrine glands to work in a different mode which has a more direct effect on consciousness, perhaps ultimately by stimulating the release of DMT by the pineal gland, which may be analogous to the ‘pineal chakra’.  The late Itzhak Bentov studied Kundalini from an engineering perspective. According to Bentov (1990), the 7.5 Hz oscillation of the heart muscle rhythm induces mechanical Hz frequencies in the brain, that in turn create a stimulus equivalent of a current loop. The nerve endings in that loop correspond to the route through which the Kundalini ‘rises.’  This current polarizes the brain part through which it flows in a homogenous way, effectively releasing tremendous amounts of stress from the body. The body then becomes an effective antenna for the 7.5 Hz frequency, which is one of the resonant frequencies of the ionosphere. In layman’s terms, you then pick up information from the air.  This might account for repeated descriptions of heightened senses as a result of rising Kundalini, e.g. as described by Yogananda: ‘The whole vicinity lay bare before me. My ordinary frontal vision was now changed to a vast spherical sight, simultaneously all-perceptive.’”  -Crystalinks, “Kundalini”

 

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The Benefits of Yoga

Yoga is an ancient vedic science of consciousness aimed at training the human body, mind and spirit for a state of perfect spiritual insight and emotional tranquility. The yogic discipline is composed of various exercises practiced and refined for millennia by Indian maharishis and yogis including breath control, meditation, stretching, seated postures, standing postures, and isometric locks. The benefits of regular yoga practice are wide and varied: it relieves stress, general body aches, pains, anxiety and depression, increases stamina, lung capacity, core strength, mindfulness, mental clarity and focus, improves posture, poise and patience, promotes longevity and cellular regeneration, boosts energy levels, elevates moods, releases happiness endorphins, improves digestion, assimilation, and elimination, aids in deeper sleep and elicits the relaxation response.

The Most Important Thing in Your Life

What is the #1 most important key factor to achieving and maintaining optimum health, energy, longevity, vitality, and wellness? Is it genetics, diet, exercise, hydration, sleep, mindset, environment? Certainly all of these factors are very important, but in fact they are all secondary to something most doctors and lay-people alike completely overlook. Think about this: what is the most important thing in your life? It’s so important that you do it all day every day and all night every night. You are even doing it unconsciously right now while reading this. It’s something so crucial to your health, longevity and wellness that ceasing for even a few minutes results in certain death! The one and only undeniable answer is Breathing. To breathe is to live and without breath there can be no life. All life, plant and animal, from birth to death, completely depends upon the air for health, well-being and continued existence. From microscopic mitochondria to macroscopic lungs, every living cell breathes and depends on the air’s life-giving properties for sustenance.

Breathing may be considered the most important of all of the functions of the body, for, indeed, all the other functions depend upon it. Man may exist some time without eating; a shorter time without drinking; but without breathing his existence may be measured by a few minutes. And not only is Man dependent upon Breath for life, but he is largely dependent upon correct habits of breathing for continued vitality and freedom from disease. An intelligent control of our breathing power will lengthen our days upon the earth by giving us increased vitality and powers of resistance, and, on the other hand, unintelligent and careless breathing will tend to shorten our days, by decreasing our vitality and laying us open to disease.” -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (6)

Pranayama is the ancient vedic science of breathing practiced and perfected over several thousand years by Indian yogis. Shaolin martial monks and Taoists evolved and perform a similar discipline known as Qigong (Chi Kung). For the past several years I have been diligently learning, practicing, and teaching Pranayama / Qigong and I can say from daily personal experience that this kind of internal exercise is by far the most important, over-looked and under-appreciated, energizing, invigorating, strengthening, purifying, balancing, meditative, relaxing, revitalizing, immunity-boosting and longevity-promoting activity possible.

Breathing and related exercises are one hundred times more effective as medical therapy than any drug. This knowledge is indispensable to man, and every physician should study it thoroughly.” -Taoist Shen Chia-shu

Everyone instinctively knows that breathing is absolutely unarguably the most important thing in their life, but how many treat it as such? How much attention do you give to your breathing? Have you ever learned or practiced methods of proper and effective breathing? Most people walk around on half-power their whole lives, chronically starved for oxygen, wide open to disease, shallow staccato chest-breathing their way to early graves.

Man has contracted improper methods and attitudes of walking, standing and sitting, which have robbed him of his birthright of natural and correct breathing. He has paid a high price for civilization. The savage, today, breathes naturally, unless he has been contaminated by the habits of civilized man. The percentage of civilized men who breathe correctly is quite small, and the result is shown in contracted chests, stooping shoulders, and the terrible increase in diseases of the respiratory organs. Eminent authorities have stated that one generation of correct breathers would regenerate the race, and disease would be so rare as to be looked upon as a curiosity. Whether looked at from the standpoint of the Oriental or Occidental, the connection between correct breathing and health is readily seen and explained. The Occidental teachings show that the physical health depends very materially upon correct breathing. The Oriental teachers not only admit that their Occidental brothers are right, but say that in addition to the physical benefit derived from correct habits of breathing, Man’s mental power, happiness, self-control, clear-sightedness, morals, and even his spiritual growth may be increased.” -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (7)

Regular deep breathing practice is absolutely the best holistic exercise and the ultimate preventative medicine. It detoxifies, oxygenates, cleans and purifies the entire bloodstream through the lungs, moves the lymphatic system, relieves general body aches, pains, stress, anxiety, and depression, increases stamina, lung capacity, abdominal muscle, core strength, mindfulness, mental clarity and focus, internally exercises and massages your organs, improves posture, poise and patience, promotes longevity and cellular regeneration, boosts energy levels, elevates moods, releases happiness endorphins, assists in weight control, improves digestion, assimilation, and elimination, strengthens the heart, lungs, abdominals and immune system, aids in deeper sleep and elicits the relaxation response in every cell of the body.

The benefits of working with the breath are profound. The way you breathe directly influences the quality of your life. In fact, the way you breathe might be the most important factor in how you feel. Think about how people breathe when they are sad and crying. They inhale with short, shallow gasps and exhale with either long wails or choppy sobs. If someone is angry, in-breaths are usually constricted and out-breaths are long and forceful. During stress, the breath can actually become so shallow that it is almost nonexistent. On the other hand, when someone is feeling good, the breath is calm, deep, and even. The amazing thing about breathing exercises is that the relationship also works in the reverse; by changing the way you breathe, you can also change the way you feel. If you breathe deeply, down into the abdomen, this sends a message to the body to transform negative emotions into positive ones. Deep breathing moves chi and clears stagnant energy. It is almost impossible to breathe deeply and feel negative emotions at the same time.” -Mantak Chia, “Simple Chi Kung” (56-57)

Breathing is the mechanism through which lungs purify and detoxify the bloodstream, and blood is the substance which nourishes and sustains every cell in your body. Thus proper and effective breathing is of paramount importance in maintaining the health and integrity of every cell in your body.

Blood begins its journey in the heart, bright red, oxygen-rich and full of life-giving properties, then later returns from its journey dull blue, oxygen-starved, and devoid of life energy. Blood is pumped from the left auricle into the left ventricle then out of the heart through the arteries and into the capillaries where it reaches and feeds every cell in the body. On its return journey the blood is pulled from the capillaries through the veins and back into the right auricle of the heart. When filled the auricle contracts forcing blood through the right ventricle down into the lungs where it branches out and disperses into millions of hair-like blood vessels and air cells thick enough to hold the blood but thin enough to allow oxygen to penetrate. Upon inhalation oxygen comes into contact with the impure blood and a chemical combustion takes place oxidizing the bloodstream and releasing carbonic acid gas generated from the waste products and toxins gathered up during its arterial journey through the body. Upon exhalation carbon dioxide and other toxins are dispelled from the system and the newly re-purified blood, bright red and oxygen-rich is pumped back out to every cell in the body.

Unless fresh air in sufficient quantities reaches the lungs, the foul stream of venous blood cannot be purified, and consequently not only is the body thus robbed of nourishment, but the waste products which should have been destroyed are returned to the circulation and poison the system, and death ensues. Impure air acts in the same way, only in a lessened degree. It will also be seen that if one does not breathe in a sufficient quantity of air, the work of the blood cannot go on properly, and the result is that the body is insufficiently nourished and disease ensues, or a state of imperfect health is experienced … A little reflection will show the vital importance of correct breathing. If the blood is not fully purified by the regenerative process of the lungs, it returns to the arteries in an abnormal state, insufficiently purified and imperfectly cleansed of the impurities which it took up on its return journey. These impurities if returned to the system will certainly manifest in some form of disease, either in a form of blood disease or some disease resulting from impaired functioning of some insufficiently nourished organ or tissue.” -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (11)

Put simply, blood is what feeds our trillions of cells and sustains our lives; from the tips of our heads to the bottoms of our feet, blood constantly circulates giving life energy to every cell. After just one cycle from heart to artery to vein and back to heart again, the blood collects various impurities which are taken to the lung capillaries for regeneration through respiration. Proper breathing fully re-oxidizes and replenishes the vitality of our blood so that the cycle of life may continue without slow deterioration. In fact as pranic breathing practice develops and lung capacity grows your ability to take in oxygen and expel carbon more efficiently results in a cumulatively building state of daily wellness.

It is therefore necessary that a proper supply of oxygen be taken through the lungs. This accounts for the fact that weak lungs and poor digestion are so often found together. To grasp the full significance of this statement, one must remember that the entire body receives nourishment from the food assimilated, and that imperfect assimilation always means an imperfectly nourished body. Even the lungs themselves depend upon the same source for nourishment, and if through imperfect breathing the assimilation becomes imperfect, and the lungs in turn become weakened, they are rendered still less able to perform their work properly, and so in turn the body becomes further weakened. Every particle of food and drink must be oxygenated before it can yield us the proper nourishment, and before the waste products of the system can be reduced to the proper condition to be eliminated. And when assimilation is not normal, the system receives less and less nourishment, the appetite fails, bodily vigor decreases, and energy diminishes, and the man withers and declines. All from the lack of proper breathing. Lack of sufficient oxygen means imperfect nutrition, imperfect elimination and imperfect health.” -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (12-33)

Our lungs are situated in the pleural chamber of the thoracic cavity separated from each other by the heart, blood vessels and air tubes. Each lung is free and unattached in all directions except at the root where it is connected via bronchi, arteries and veins to the trachea and heart. When we breathe, air comes in through the nasal cavity where it is warmed and filtered through hairs and mucous membrane. The air passes through the pharynx, larynx, and trachea then into the bronchial tubes where it is subdivided and dispersed into the millions of tiny air cells in the lungs. Air is drawn into the lungs by the diaphragm, a long, strong, flat muscle stretched across the chest. When the diaphragm contracts, the size of the chest and lungs expand and air rushes in like a vacuum. When it relaxes, the chest and lungs shrink and air is blown out like a bellows. The diaphragm’s actions and contractions are involuntary like the heart’s, but through practice and the will yogis can transform them into a semi-voluntary muscle.

The internal organs also need exercise, and Nature’s plan for the exercise is proper breathing. The diaphragm is Nature’s principal instrument for this internal exercise. Its motion vibrates the important organs of nutrition and elimination, and massages and kneads them at each inhalation and exhalation, forcing blood into them, and then squeezing it out, and imparting a general tone to the organs. Any organ or part of the body which is not exercised gradually atrophies and refuses to function properly, and lack of the internal exercise afforded by the diaphragmatic action leads to diseased organs.” -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath” (34)

There is literally nothing whatsoever more crucial to your health, vitality, longevity and well-being than your breath.  You may survive several months without food, a couple of weeks without water, but you won’t survive more than a few minutes without air.  More specifically, it is the oxygen in the air that your body so desperately and consistently needs.  Just a few minutes without re-oxygenating the bloodstream through regular respiration results in immediate and certain death.

Did you know 90% of our energy comes from oxygen and only 10% from food and water!?  Centuries ago the Earth’s atmosphere was comprised of much more oxygen.  Nowadays due to pollution, de-forestation and other environmental issues we’re breathing in only about 19-21% oxygen.  Not only this, but research has shown that each decade of regular aging humans lose approximately 5% of their lung capacity and elasticity which directly translates to less oxygen.  Considering how vitally important breathing and oxygen are to our lives and well-being wouldn’t it be a good idea to learn and commit to a daily practice of proper and effective deep breathing?

The Yogi Complete Breath or 3-Part Circular Breathing is one of the best Pranayamas to include into your daily routine as it trains the lungs to completely expand, completely contract, and utilizes the entire respiratory system properly and effectively.  It improves concentration, alertness and sleep, digestion, absorption and elimination, reduces anxiety, stress, and anger, builds stamina, expands lung capacity, and fully oxygenates the bloodstream.  Begin by exhaling every bit of air from your body then inhale through your nose completely filling up your lungs in 3 steps.  1)  Fill up your lower lungs by inhaling slowly and deeply pushing your tummy outwards like you just finished a big meal.  Imagine a string attached to your belly button slowly pulling out as you fill up the lower lungs.  2)  Once the lower lungs are filled, the mid-lungs will begin to fill up which will expand your chest outwards while pulling the tummy back in.  Imagine a 2nd string pulling on your sternum, expanding the rib cage, while the 1st string on your belly button has been released.  3)  Once the mid-lungs are filled, the upper-lungs will quickly fill up like the top tapered part of a water bottle.  Just lift your shoulders a little to get the last bit of air that you can, hold for a second (or several seconds if you can) then exhale through the mouth squeezing the abdominals to push out every last bit of carbon.  Do this for at least 10 minutes a day every day and you will notice many substantial positive powerful effects!

Reverse Circular Breathing or “The Chi Cultivator” is especially good for strengthening core abdominal muscles and cultivating life force energy (prana/chi/ki/qi) in your lower dantian.  First exhale all the air from your lungs and really squeeze your abdominal muscles forcing out every last bit.  Begin slowly inhaling through your nose bringing the air as deep into the lower lungs as possible filling them from bottom, middle, to top.  Now instead of letting your belly bubble up full of air as in traditional low-breathing, actually pull your belly inwards towards your spine as you inhale.  There is a vacuum vortex point behind your belly button called the dantian in Chinese medicine, and that is the point that will be sucking in, the destination point for the air being inhaled, and the main storage point for life force energy in the body.  Once the inhalation is complete relax your abdominals letting your belly bubble out full of air then exhale slowly out your mouth.  As you relax, practice and lengthen the breath there will come a sound from your throat like a cat purring or Darth Vader’s mask.  This is the sound of pranic/qigong ocean breathing which I’ve exaggerated a bit in the video to make it more audible.

Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing is a very important deep breathing technique to master because it is so often used in conjunction with other breaths like the Yogi Complete Breath or Reverse Circular Breathing.  Ujjayi Ocean Breathing warms and slows down the air being inhaled allowing for safe, full lung expansion and optimum oxygenation.  The heat created helps release toxins and builds internal fire, enhances the digestive and nervous systems, elicits the relaxation response, and eliminates phlegm in the throat.  The “ocean” sound comes from the glottis rapidly flapping against the vocal cords and acts as a regulator so you can drastically slow down and deepen your inhalations.

The Nadi Purification Breath or Alternate Nostril Breathing is one of the best ways to clear your sinuses if you have allergies, cold, stuffy/runny nose, snoring, asthma or other breathing problems.  Inhale slowly and deeply into the abdomen through the left nostril while plugging the right.  Then plug the left nostril and fairly forcefully exhale the entire breath out your right nostril.  Squeeze your core muscles to expel every last bit of air, keep the left nostril plugged, inhale through the right then exhale through the left, and continue alternating back and forth like this.  Alternate Nostril Breathing reduces stress, boosts energy, clears the sinuses, cleanses the lungs, increases oxygenation of blood, improves sleep, calms the mind/emotions, and has been scientifically proven to improve brain function. When used in conjunction with a Neti Pot cleansing it’s like a complete enema for your head/sinuses!

The Yogi Cleansing Breath is the perfect detoxification breath for cigarette smokers and anyone with chronic respiratory issues or halitosis.  I personally smoked cigarettes from approximately age 18-26 and beginning daily pranayama practice is what helped easily and effortlessly ween me off cigarettes forever.  All addiction experts will agree that you need a new positive hobby/activity to replace your old destructive habit, and with smoking addiction (an unhealthy respiratory activity) what could be more relevant and advantageous than a new healthy respiratory activity like deep breathing!?  Within weeks of starting my daily practice I became sensitive enough to feel the negative effects of smoking even just 1 cigarette per day.  I slowly ramped up my pranayama and cut down my smoking, consciously improving my health, expanding and detoxifying my lungs, until the act of smoking became so counter-productive that I truly haven’t wanted to smoke another one.  To perform the Yogi Cleansing Breath first sit, stand or lay with your spine straight and inhale slowly and deeply through the nose until your lungs are filled.  Make an “O” shape with your mouth and force the exhale out in 3 or 4 quick bursts pushing every last bit by clenching your abdominals.

The Pranayama Breath of Fire detoxifies and purifies the entire bloodstream which in turn feeds every cell in our body.  It improves digestion, helps regulate the pituitary, glandular, and nervous systems, increases vital energy and lung capacity, expels carbon dioxide and other stagnant toxins, and is an excellent abdominal workout for increasing core strength.  To perform Breath of Fire, first sit, stand or lay with spine straight, and exhale all the air from your lungs.  Then in forceful 1 second bursts tightly squeeze your abdominal muscles and exhale out your nose.  A slight vacuum effect will automatically and involuntarily inhale a tiny bit after each exhale allowing you to continue breathing like this for several minutes with practice.  Start by doing 1 second exhales for about a minute and work your way up to faster breaths and longer sessions.  If you feel nauseous, dizzy or light-headed stop momentarily and take several deep breaths.

Shitali Pranayama or The Cooling Breath, like all mouth-inhalation techniques, is only to be used sparingly in situations where the body feels over-heated.  By rolling your tongue and inhaling through the mouth as shown in the video you will feel the air being cooled as it passes.  Breathing like this for several minutes will cure heat exhaustion and cool the body down from the inside out.  It is very important to note that mouth-breathing is something to be completely avoided except in extreme circumstances where the nasal passages are blocked or you’re gasping from lack of oxygen.  Mouth breathing is directly responsible for the contraction of many contagious diseases like colds and catarrhal infections.  Experiments have been performed on hundreds of soldiers and sailors showing that those who slept with their mouths open were much more likely to fall ill and contract contagious diseases than those who breathed properly through their nostrils.  During one of the Navy experiments a smallpox epidemic broke out resulting in many deaths among the mouth-breathers, yet not a single nose-breather suffered.

“The organs of respiration have their only protective apparatus, filter, or dust-catcher, in the nostrils.  When the breath is taken through the mouth, there is nothing from mouth to lungs to strain the air, or to catch the dust and other foreign matter in the air.  Moreover, such incorrect breathing admits cold air to the organs, thereby injuring them.  Inflammation of the respiratory organs often results from the inhalation of cold air through the mouth.  The man who breathes through the mouth at night, always awakens with a parched feeling in the mouth and a dryness in the throat.  He is violating one of nature’s laws, and is sowing the seeds of disease.  On the other hand, the nostrils and nasal passages show evidence of the careful design of nature in this respect.  The nostrils are two narrow, tortuous channels, containing numerous bristly hairs which serve the purpose of a filter or sieve to strain the air of its impurities, etc., which are expelled when the breath is exhaled.  Not only do the nostrils serve this important purpose, but they also perform an important function in warming the air inhaled.  The long narrow winding nostrils are filled with warm mucous membrane, which coming in contact with the inhaled air warms it so that it can do no damage to the delicate organs of the throat, or to the lungs.”  -Yogi Ramacharaka, “The Science of Breath”