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Note: For the complete lessons,
with additions, see the AYP
Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.
Lesson 206 - Q&A Varieties of spinal
Date: Sat Jun 5, 2004 11:54pm
New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous
lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why
Q: What are the different variations of the spinal breath? There are two different kriyas
revealed by Paulsen; one of Sri Lahiri Mahasaya's original kriya is also available over
the web (this involves breathing up and down the spine with chanting of OM at the spinal
plexuses). It would be worthwhile to know the different varieties of kriya, as I think
that everyone's optimal kriya is different.
A: The number of versions of spinal breathing is limited only by the imagination. The
essential ingredient in all of them is the brow to perineum route of attention with slow
breathing. 90%-plus of the results come from that. It is that simple. It is easy to make
it complicated, and risk watering down the results by adding chakra imagery, sounds,
colors, mantras, etc. Any or all of those additions don't contribute much. In fact, all
that can distract from the essential function of purifying and opening the spinal nerve
between the third eye and the root.
As you know, these lessons put separate attention on deep meditation, and we don't divide
the mind by trying to do both spinal breathing and deep meditation at the same time. Of
course, anyone is free to do as they wish in spinal breathing, and may have been taught
spinal breathing differently elsewhere. In the lessons, we try and keep it to the least
common denominator in all practices, so as many as possible can benefit from a
straight-forward approach. That is why spinal breathing is taught in the simple way that
it is here.
Assuming one is doing deep meditation right after, there is little that can be added to
substantially improve the effectiveness of this simple form of spinal breathing. It would
be very easy to add a few twists, and say, "Here is the best form of spinal
breathing." Well, maybe we have done that. What you get in these lessons is spinal
breathing without all the bells and whistles, and it works just fine. This is the
essential practice that marries the root and third eye. That is what spinal breathing is
about. Energetically, everything else in the nervous system flows automatically from that.
There is no need to fiddle around much in the middle when we are effectively merging
together both ends.
In this approach, instead of bogging ourselves down with a lot of detail in spinal
breathing, we stick with the basics, and then take the opportunity to move quickly into
many other practices (mulabandha, sambhavi, siddhasana, chin pump, spinal bastrika, etc.)
that make a huge difference in our spiritual progress. So, instead of "gilding the
lily" of spinal breathing, we bring in a lot more lilies. By doing this, we are able
to develop a powerful and well-rounded integration of practices in a reasonably short
period of time, without a lot of tedious and unnecessary detail.
So, I don't agree that each person needs a different form of spinal breathing. Certainly,
each person may have a preference based on tradition, personal whim, etc., and that's
okay. Just keep in mind that it is going between the third eye and root that produces the
results. In the end, those two divine poles are merged and we are drowned in ecstatic
The guru is in you.
Note: For detailed instructions on spinal breathing, see the
AYP Spinal Breathing Pranayama book.
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