Note: For the Original
Internet Lessons with additions,
For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books,
Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.
Lesson 144 -
Chin Pump Lite (Without Kumbhaka) (Audio)
Date: Wed Mar 17, 2004 10:09pm
New Visitors: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: I have a problem
holding my breath and it is very claustrophobic for me to do kumbhaka. I
dunno, maybe I smothered to death in a coal mine in my last life or
something. Can I do the chin pump without holding my breath? And yoni mudra
too? I am OK in spinal breathing as long as I don't go too slow.
A: Yes, with the chin pump you can. If kumbhaka
is difficult for you, even in the easy way it was instructed to be done,
then don't do it.
This question has come a few times from different
angles recently, and it is time to address it. Sometimes kumbhaka is not
only uncomfortable, but can stimulate excessive kundalini. In either case,
the instruction is to back off and return to a comfortable platform of
practices that we can be stable with until we are ready to step back up.
If we are comfortable in spinal breathing, and
bandhas, mudras and siddhasana we use during spinal breathing, we can do the
chin pump easily in the last few minutes of our spinal breathing session. If
we are doing spinal breathing for, say, ten minutes, then for the last three
to five minutes we can do the chin pump along with our spinal breathing. It
is the same procedure as when we are using kumbhaka, only we do not stop to
hold our breath. The head rotation changes at the same point in the
breathing cycle as when using kumbhaka, at the top of the breath after we
have inhaled. You could call this approach without kumbhaka "chin pump
This is a good time to mention that spinal
breathing, and all pranayama methods, are forms of kumbhaka in the sense
that "restraint of breath" (what pranayama means) places a slight challenge
on the oxygen supply in the body. This is what draws prana up into the
nervous system from its huge storehouse in the pelvic region. So whether we
are doing spinal breathing or kumbhaka, we are doing restraint of breath. It
is only a matter of degree. The more restraint, the more kundalini flows up.
That is why it is okay to do the chin pump with spinal breathing. There will
be good effects, just not as much prana moving as when using kumbhaka. That
is okay. We move
what we can move without causing excessive flows. Whatever level we operate
at, we will always be purifying our nervous system to more. That is the
whole game - maintaining forward progress without falling off into messy
energy flows that will force us to stop our practices.
Of course, the daily practice of global deep
meditation is very important in this purification process. With the silence
of pure bliss consciousness, it is purifying gently underneath everything
going on in the nervous system, and this helps all other practices work much
smoother and faster.
In future lessons we
will be exploring another form of pranayama called bastrika. With that one
we will be saturating the body with oxygen in one way and challenging the
oxygen supply in the body it in another way, both at the same time, with
powerful purifying effects.
As always we use
self-pacing in our practices, including in spinal breathing and kumbhaka. If
we find the chin pump (or chin pump lite) producing excessive kundalini
energy flows, we back off to a comfortable level of practice.
As for yoni mudra, this
is a different story. Kumbhaka is central to yoni mudra, because we are
using gentle air pressure coming up from the lungs to cleanse the sinuses
and stimulate the third eye. So, without kumbhaka, yoni mudra is reduced to
the fingers pushing the eyes toward the point between the eyebrows. That is
ok, but it is probably better to just let go of yoni mudra if we are not
comfortable doing kumbhaka, and stick with a good spinal breathing session
with chin pump near the end, if it is comfortable to do. If we are doing
good sambhavi during spinal breathing, then this is as good as doing the
finger thing with the eyes. So, if kumbhaka doesn't want to be there, just
forget yoni mudra and do the other practices, as discussed.
There is a small time advantage in doing chin
pump lite. That is the overlapping of spinal breathing and chin pump in
time. For busy people this might have some attraction. If you can do
pranayama (with chin pump lite) and meditation in 30 minutes, instead of 35
or 40 minutes with kumbhaka, it can help preserve our practice that day when
the schedule is full. Trimming practices is not the first recommendation
here, but as has been discussed in earlier lessons, brief practice is better
than no practice. So, when time is short, we find ways to prioritize and
optimize our practice. It so happens that chin pump lite done during spinal
breathing is in that direction.
Obviously, as we
progress and become steady in our practices, whatever level that may be at,
we look for our next opening to move up. Purification and growth of the
inner divine presence are always happening at every level of practice.
In time, as your nervous system purifies as old
karmas are dissolved from within, you will have less difficulty with holding
your breath. In fact, you will find that the breath tends to suspend on its
own more and more during easy practice of pranayama and meditation, with no
intention or strain at all. It is as though we are nourished at times
entirely by the prana flowing up through us from within. Then kumbhaka is no
big deal. It just happens, sometimes for surprisingly long periods. At that
stage it is no longer restraint of breath. It is natural suspension of
breath. Then we can breathe air from outside, or breathe prana from inside.
Either way is okay. No fuss, no strain.
The divine light rises
and flows in us, and we surrender into the loving arms of God.
The guru is in you.
See this complete instructional lesson and all the expanded and interactive AYP Plus lessons at:
Related Lessons Topic Path
Discuss this Lesson in the AYP Plus Support Forum
Note: For detailed instructions on
chin pump, see the AYP Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book,
and AYP Plus.
Previous | Next