Friday, May 23, 2014

Panchamaya Kosha Session Two

Feels good to have committed to something and to be following through. Session one provided a look at the PHYSICAL body. Session two looked at the ENERGY body.

By becoming more aware of the life force that "runs" the body, the body becomes more aware of itself.

All of our body could be likened to an energy machine that is run by the "computer" brain, nourished by the digested food, signaled and moved by the "electric" wires called the nerves.

Through breathing, one becomes more aware of the functioning of the energy, Chi, and can conscientiously raise or lower the energy level.

For example before a strenuous day, one might want to "energize" oneself. At the end of a stressful day, one might want to calm oneself down in preparation for sleep. These are the kinds of breathing activities we worked on today.

One absolutely new thing I learned amazed me. It was like the revelation of an ancient secret, only known by a few.

How many brand new adventures does one have in their life at almost 70 years old when the propensity is to think one knows everything?

What I learned was a new way of counting repetitions which also serves to help one maintain one's focus on breathing and thereby maintaining the focus on meditating.

On your left hand, place your thumb at the base of the pointing finger and as you inhale at the pace you desire slide it up to the tip of the finger making a circle.

While at the "circle" pause for the length of time you desire then as you exhale at the pace you desire slide the thumb back down to the base of the finger. This is the count of one and two.

Move the thumb to your middle finger and repeat. Count three and four. Next, ring finger, five and six. Finally pinkie finger, seven and eight.

Now repeat the process on your right hand to increase the count to 16. An added benefit of this way of counting is balancing left and right body.

Another brand new thing I learned from Corinne, was that breathing actually has four phases. I knew about breathing in and breathing out, who doesn't? I also knew about doing that slowly or quickly.

What I didn't stop to realize is that there is a transition point between the in and out, the length of which can also be regulated! So you inhale then hold on to the transition between in and out before you exhale. Next you exhale and hold on to the transition between out and in.

So many things happen when you are aware of your breathing: You become more aware of your body and therefore yourself, it helps you to keep a focus which is probably the key to mastering meditation, breathing can help energize as well as calm, there are four phases to breathing (in-transition-out-transition etc,) when paired with yoga movement it engage your entire brain both left and right hemispheres.

So now lets practice our breathing. Do so at a pace that is comfortable to you (Corinne always makes one feel comfortable with their level of ability.) Do so sitting down, or lying down, or as you execute a yoga move.

Breath in, moving your thumb to from base of pointer finger to tip of pointer finger making a circle, hold your breath as you make a circle with your thumb and your pointer finger, breath out as you slide you thumb back to the base of your pointer finger, hold your breath as you land at the base and move to the middle finger.

Etc, etc, etc

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