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Lesson 49 -
Perspiration in Pranayama (Audio)
Date: Tue Dec 16, 2003 0:35pm
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: Pranayama before meditation is great. I can really tell the difference since we started
pranayama. When I am doing spinal breathing, I feel like I am really sinking my teeth into
something. After I breathe slowly for ten minutes, I am sometimes covered with
perspiration. I don't get out of breath or hot or anything. My heart rate doesn't go up. I
am just sweating like crazy. Is this a normal experience?
A: Yes, it is normal. It is a good thing. It is a direct symptom of purification going on
in your nervous system as prana flows through in increasing amounts. You are not doing
aerobic exercise, or anything physical that would cause such perspiration. It is the
internal exercise of prana moving on the nerves that is driving the perspiration out
through your body, carrying impurities with it.
The sweating will not last forever. Gradually, as the body becomes more purified, the
perspiration will become less. Other experiences will be coming up that indicate
purification also. These will be more subjective, internal sensory experiences. With
pranayama, we begin with the physical and work our way inward, opening and enlivening the
spinal nerve as the master control of the whole nervous system. With meditation, we dive
completely beyond the mind and body and work our way outward as pure bliss consciousness.
With these two approaches, we have the deep obstructions surrounded and are flushing them
out in large quantities. Sometimes we can actually see it happening with our eyes. Hence
If discomfort, restlessness or irritability accompany the purification process, make sure
to take an appropriate amount of time to rest when coming out at the end of meditation.
The importance of adequate rest at the end of practice was covered in the meditation
Q&As. Usually, pranayama will not lead to discomfort in meditation. It almost always
has a calming and deepening effect. But anything is possible as the body is being
purified, so be mindful about following the guidelines for dealing with the uncomfortable
experiences that can come up from time to time. It is all the process of purification, and
we each will experience it in different ways. So it is important that we each supervise
our own practice. We should know our strengths, and take advantage of them. We should also
know our limits, and work within them.
As a practical matter, if you are soaking wet at the end of pranayama, take a few minutes
to dry off before meditating. Change your clothes if it helps you be more comfortable. It
is not necessary to meditate in a puddle of your perspiration. But do not delay the start
of meditation for more than a few minutes after completing pranayama. We want to carry the
effects of pranayama into our meditation.
The guru is in you.
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Note: For detailed instructions on spinal
breathing, see the
AYP Spinal Breathing Pranayama book,
and AYP Plus.
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