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Advanced Yoga Practices
Note: For the Original Internet Lessons with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons Books. For the Expanded and Interactive Internet Lessons, AYP Online Books, Audiobooks and more, see AYP Plus.- Amaroli - Urine Therapy (Audio)
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Urine therapy has also been used throughout the ages as a spiritual practice. In the AYP lessons we are focused primarily on the role of urine therapy in yoga for promoting the process of human spiritual transformation. It has been touched on in previous lessons, with summary instructions on practice given as an addition to Lesson T32 in the first volume of Advanced Yoga Practices Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living. Here we will go into more depth.
In the ancient and widely known Hatha Yoga Pradipika, the practice of urine therapy is called Amaroli. In the much more ancient and not as well known Damar Tantra, the practice is called Shivambu Kalpa. In both of these venerable scriptures, urine therapy is presented as an important spiritual practice.
So, if we are interested in maintaining good health and supplementing our yoga practice routine with an additional method that can help speed us along our way toward abiding inner silence, ecstatic bliss and outpouring divine love, then amaroli deserves a closer look.
Indeed, if we find the courage to try it, we may be pleasantly surprised. As they say, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." In this case, it is in the drinking.
How to do Amaroli Urine Therapy
Whether it is being considered for health, spiritual practice, or both, Amaroli represents a paradox.
On one hand, amaroli walks headlong into a negative stigma many may have about drinking their own urine, even though this practice has been around for thousands of years and been used with success in many cultures. Yet, in the so-called sanitized cultures of today, the aversion is common.
On the other hand, amaroli has been shown clinically to have a wide range of health benefits, and may be one of the most effective healing tonics of all time. So much so that the pharmaceutical companies are in some cases selling back to us in pill form what we can obtain at much higher quality for free in the privacy of our own bathroom.
The truth is that moderate daily urine therapy is one of the best things any of us can do as a preventive measure to ward off disease, and heal faster if we are suffering from just about any malady. Why is this? While it is still not fully understood, it is generally agreed by researchers that urine therapy enhances the presence of hundreds (or possibly thousands) of vital elements and compounds in our body, and builds our immune system to a strength beyond what it would be otherwise. Though less understood, amaroli also has been shown to have a purifying and rejuvenating effect in the body. All of that is pretty impressive, and we have not even begun to assess the spiritual benefits yet. What about the spiritual benefits?
It is notable that amaroli comes to us from ancient sources, not primarily because of its medicinal value, but for its value as a spiritual practice. In the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, and the much older Damar Tantra, the goal of amaroli practice includes cultivating physical wellbeing, but reaches far beyond it, all the way out into the realm of enlightenment. It is worth overcoming long-held prejudices to get to the truth of the matter. The risk in this is nil, so amaroli is heartily recommended.
When we get up the courage to try, we will be wise to start small and build up. Isn't that how it is with most things in life, including our yoga practices? A traditional daily dose of urine is considered to be a glass full, or 6-8 ounces (200-250 milliliters). But we can start with a few drops mixed with some water in a glass, and work up from there. There is no rule that says it has to end up being a full glass. It could be much less. What is important is daily practice that is much more important than the quantity. Everyone will be a bit different in their need and approach, as in all yoga practices. We self-pace according to our individual results.
When we engage in amaroli practice, the guideline is to do it first thing in the morning, whenever that is for us. When collecting urine, catch it midstream, which means after it starts and before it ends. As with many things, the first time will be the most daunting, even mixed with water. It will not harm you. The aversion is entirely psychological. Try it and see how you feel afterward.
If it is done in the shower and/or right before doing your oral hygiene in the morning, there will not be a trace of any odor by the time you leave the bathroom. It is an acquired taste, and is soon not offensive to the practitioner. Within a few days, it becomes much easier. Very easy, once the psychological barrier is broken. It is one of the easiest of all the yoga practices, much easier than any of the shatkarmas, and much easier than the mudras and bandhas. It can be a relatively quick journey from a few diluted drops to several undiluted swallows. Before you know it, the glass will be filling up and disappearing back into you again. Thats daily amaroli practice. There isn't much more to it than that except time. The longer we are doing it as a daily practice, the more the benefits accumulate.
It is not necessary to be drinking a full glass of urine every morning. In fact, it could be undesirable at certain times, or for certain people. There are several factors that could vary the dose. One is the quantity available. Another is the quality. If we have been eating heavily seasoned, salted, or fatty foods, or taking prescription drugs, the urine may be strong. Amaroli is not prohibited in any of these cases. The quantity may be curtailed or diluted with water as needed.
It is not recommended to mix urine with food or drink other than water, as this can reduce its effectiveness. The ideal time to do amaroli is on an empty stomach, with morning being best. We should wait at least fifteen minutes before eating after amaroli.
When the mouth is still wet with urine during amaroli, before drinking any water, several deep inhalations of the aromatic essence in the mouth will produce a soothing and healing influence in the lungs. Keep in mind that amniotic fluid in the womb is composed mainly of urine, and this is how we began our life before birth, doing amaroli, including in our lungs. So, inhaling some aromatic essence will not be harmful. Just the opposite it is very beneficial for the lungs.
The practice of self-pacing is part of amaroli. If we are doing too much amaroli, we can have symptoms similar to those experienced when we do too much of any yoga practice too many impurities coming out of the nervous system at once due to excessive purification going on inside.
If we are feeling any discomfort related to amaroli, then we know we should back off until things smooth out. We don't do practices at a level that makes us feel uncomfortable. Amaroli is no different than other yoga practices in this respect. So, if a full glass is proving to be too much, then try half a glass. If that is too much, start measuring swallows, and zero in on the right dose for yourself. It may be very little for some people, and more for others. Everyone is different. You won't find out what it is for you until you get into it.
In all of yoga, finding a balance between practices and our daily activities is an important part of the process. Once we have been on the path of yoga for a while, the right inner guidance always comes. Be flexible in that regard.
Enhancing the Subtle Biology for Inner Silence
Once we have been doing amaroli for a few weeks, we may notice something happening. Somehow we feel stronger inside like some weak spaces deep inside us have been filled in. Inwardly robust is a phrase that comes to mind. We may not have noticed the weak spaces inside before, but we can feel that something has been filled in. That we will feel healthier goes without saying. Yes, definitely healthier. But there is something more, something beyond the feeling of the stronger, more stable physical presence that comes with daily amaroli practice. We can feel our awareness becoming more stable also.
One way to understand it is to think of our body and nervous system as the vehicle of our consciousness. When we strengthen the quality of our body and nervous system on the subtlest level of physicality, on the cellular level, we come to find ourselves living in a stronger and more reliable vehicle for our consciousness, our sense of self. This has a direct effect on our ability to maintain abiding inner silence.
When we sit to do practices, this gradual change in us that is being brought about by amaroli is noticeable also. The quality of our inner silence in meditation deepens and expands. The ecstatic energies we cultivate in spinal breathing pranayama and related practices, become more lively and luminous. The whole thing goes up a few notches with amaroli added into the daily schedule. And it keeps getting better over time, you know. As with the rest of our yoga, the effects of amaroli are cumulative, going ever deeper experientially over the months and years of our daily practice.
What is it that sets the condition for enlightenment in the human being? We have often said that it is a fundamental change in the condition of our nervous system, and the overall neurobiological functioning inside us. In other words, a primary prerequisite for enlightenment is raising the inner functioning of the human body to a much higher level. Then our vehicle of consciousness becomes capable of extraordinary expressions of the divine possibilities that are inherent within us. Bringing this change about is the purpose of yoga. We work systematically with our mind, our body, our emotions, our breath, and our sexuality to accomplish this transformation.
With amaroli, we are enhancing the chemical composition of our body at the most refined level, right down to the atoms and molecules. This creates a physiological foundation, adding an advantage as we engage in all of our other yoga practices that are propelling us along the road to enlightenment. That is the role of amaroli. We enjoy the benefits of our yoga practices in daily living every step along the way. This is why we engage in yoga practices, not necessarily for the experience while doing practices, but for the results we gain in daily living.
Amaroli is an important aspect of yoga. But it is not all of yoga. Its effects are greatly enhanced when combined with a daily routine including deep meditation, spinal breathing pranayama and other yoga methods. Likewise, amaroli improves the effectiveness of the other yoga practices. It is a balanced integration of practices that brings the greatest enhancement in all aspects of life physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
There is a tendency we all have to go for the magic bullet, i.e., the one thing that we hope (and believe) will solve all things. Some folks go very deep into one thing looking for that, only to find later that they missed out on what a broader approach to self-improvement and spiritual development can yield. This is not to say that those who are strongly attracted to amaroli are wrong to pursue the practice with devotion. It is only to say that there are other practices to consider which can enhance our overall results when applied in a well-integrated daily routine.
We all have a tendency to think about individual spiritual practices in terms of their unique characteristics and effects. Amaroli is no exception in this, particularly since it is done at a time removed from our daily yoga postures and sitting practices. The truth is, amaroli can have a profound effect on our overall spiritual practices by virtue of the inner strength and integration it cultivates in the subtle realms of our physical body. Amaroli can also have additional positive effects in relation to other practices and the associated inner dynamics, as well as in preventive and curative healthcare.
Here we will take a look at four areas of interrelationship where urine therapy can play a significant role in fasting, in healing compresses, and in nasal wash. Also, in Lesson T63, we discuss the relationship of amaroli to natural vajroli (rising sexual energy).
Amaroli with Fasting
As we have discussed in Lesson 310, occasional moderate fasting can be a useful practice which will bring inner cleansing and healing as our body takes a break from digestion and naturally applies its full energy to our inner purification. When amaroli is added to a period of fasting, the cleansing and purification effects can be greatly amplified.
How much amaroli? And how much fasting?
Well, it is not recommended to begin both of these practices for the first time at the same time. Better to be established in one of them with good stability and results before adding the other.
For example, say we have been doing a monthly 24 hour fast, and feel we are ready to take on more purification during our fast. Of course, we could try increasing our fasting time to 48 hours. That would be one approach. Another approach could be to add amaroli. If we have already been practicing amaroli during our regular daily routine, we can try increasing amaroli practice from once per day to twice, or even three times per day during a fast. Of course, we would continue to take fluids as a normal part of our fast to maintain good hydration. Besides through urination, the body expels water through the respiratory system, perspiration, and the GI tract.
Whatever our choices may be for fasting with amaroli included, we should self-pace our practice (scale back as needed) if there is excessive discomfort. There is only so much purification we can assimilate over any given time period, so we pace things accordingly for good progress with comfort and safety.
In the case of serious illnesses, remarkable healing results can be achieved from fasting with amaroli, particularly if longer fasts and larger doses of amaroli are undertaken. However, in the case of a serious illness, it is recommended that, beyond the conservative approach described here, amaroli with fasting be applied with the assistance of an experienced therapist, and with the consultation of a medical doctor.
Urine Compresses for Wounds and Skin Ailments
The application of urine externally for helping to cure wounds and skin ailments is an ancient practice. While not very much in use in modern times, it is still practiced by those to whom the ancient knowledge has been passed down, and who are well aware of its benefits. External use of urine is most effective in combination with basic amaroli (urine ingestion), which provides the broadest coverage in the body. If daily amaroli is being practiced, external application may be considered to be a supplemental method.
Urine can be massaged into an afflicted area and then a urine-soaked compress can be applied. Only fresh urine should be used, preferably from the patient, and compresses should be changed every eight hours, or more often if practical.
Many will have an aversion to the external use of urine. As with amaroli itself, the benefits of external application of urine will likely be found to outweigh the concerns. A stigma cannot stand for long in the face of good results. Each can make their own decision about the benefits.
When urine compresses are added, as needed, during an amaroli fast, the maximum healing effect will be achieved. When considering any natural healing method, a medical doctor should be consulted to make sure all options, both ancient and modern, have been taken into account.
Of course, external application of urine for wounds and skin ailments does not have much bearing on our spiritual progress, except as maintaining good health does. That is a good enough reason to consider it. We need our health to be actively engaged in yoga practices.
Using Urine with Nasal Wash
Using urine with nasal wash is called mutra neti, rather than jala neti (Lesson 313), and it is an age-old practice. Even so, it is an unconventional practice whose drawbacks may exceed its benefits much of the time. It is not recommended as a daily practice, except for short durations when the inner call for it is strong, or possibly in cases where there is a marked need for cleansing and healing in the nasal passages and/or sinuses. If there is a medical condition, a doctors advice should be obtained so the option for the benefits of modern medicine will also be there for the treatment of any serious condition.
As with jala neti, salt content is the main determinant of comfort in mutra neti. Too much salt, like in seawater or most undiluted urine, can cause discomfort. Diluting the urine with water will reduce the salt content if this is necessary. It can be a tricky business, because the salt content of urine can vary from day to day. If we wish to practice mutra neti, but are deterred by the concentration or odor, just a few drops in our neti solution will be a good place to start. Some additional salt may be required to find the right balance for comfort. Once we become familiar with the practice, the urine content can be increased with less salt added, like that. Everyone has their own ideal salt level that is comfortable in the delicate nasal passages and sinuses.
The rest of the nasal wash procedure is the same as described in Lesson 313. Add urine, or not, to suit the current need. Most will prefer not, and that is fine. Only a few will want to try this. Our enlightenment does not depend on it.
The most important utilization of amaroli is in daily morning ingestion, which is an easy and comfortable practice to do once the habit has been established, and the positive results are readily observable in most people. Likewise, doing jala neti (nasal wash) with ordinary salted water on a daily basis during times of need, according to our intuition, will provide the lions share of the benefits from this practice.
We do yoga practices for the positive results they bring with the greatest efficiency.
The more extreme elements of practice, which are sometimes seized upon by enthusiastic aspirants, do not make a great difference in the overall scheme of things, because they cannot be sustained over the long term. Nor should they be. It is the practices we can engage in easily in a balanced way as part of our normal daily routine that will carry us steadily forward to the rising condition of abiding inner silence, ecstatic bliss and outpouring divine love.
We will know it is working for us as we find the practical results of the transformation emerging from within us day by day in our daily activities.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on amaroli (urine therapy), see the Diet, Shatkarmas and Amaroli book, and AYP Plus.
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