Pranayama technique #1

Arms up in an Equilateral Triangle

arms equilateral triangle

The aim of these practices is to eventually transcend the personal through active manipulation. This is because the personal holds habits, conditionings, and beliefs from one’s upbringing, culture and institutions. These can at times be limiting and can keep us trapped in suffering. The archetypal form holds magic, it enables you to decide where you are going based on a higher view, as opposed to personal understanding based on one’s upbringing.

To start the practice, first open up the windows of your house. These are your lungs. This lets air through, a breeze in, while making everything smell fresh. Reach the arms up in the air in an equilateral triangle, which is the definition of strength, structure and stability. Put yourself in the centre and put the memory behind you. The minute your arms line up with your ears you are playing the ability in the arms to participate, as arms are all about the communal, as well as the stability in the ears, which are the gateways to the kidneys, the legs. If your arms end up in front of your ears you are more capable than you are stable. If your arms move behind your ears you are more stable than capable. Go beyond the personal, make it formal, line everything up so that you are in the best possible position to become liberated within the confines of form. Remember, life is about positioning yourself rather than finding yourself in a position. 

When all the prior conditions are set up, pump the breath in kapalabhati. This is all done on the out breath in short, sharp bursts. Make a count, tell yourself you will do it 50 to 100 times, and make effort. Eventually you want to set goals and achieve which will develop your personal integrity. As you keep pumping your breath out, think that you are emptying yourself out and expelling all the toxins that are sitting in your lungs by virtue of being a human on the planet. Let your belly pull up into your spine on all the out breaths and don’t worry about the inhales as they will come on their own accord. 

The lungs are the windows, the first technique is designed to open up the windows. When the windows are open you can catch a breeze, look outside and see what is going on outside of your house. In this way you set up the conditions to feel safe in your house, the physical body. As you begin to manipulate the breath, begin to manipulate the mind so it becomes subservient to you. When the mind tells you to stop, keep going, when the mind tells you it is hard to keep the arms up, persevere, and in this way you begin to develop your stamina, playing for the endurance. Lungs are the one organ you can participate in and the breath is a powerful practice used to manipulate the other systems of the body, knowing that everything is interrelated. Lungs are participatory, they are your arms and they are how you handle situations. Handling the world is the right side and the home is on the left. The centre mediates all polarities as it is never just about polarity, it is about the third principle that modulates the dialogue.

When you have had enough take an inhale, then three more sips of air to regulate the pressure in the lungs and exhale to release the arms, letting it all go. Bring your palms to your lap, facing up, so that if grace is raining down you can catch it. Then for a moment, be still, find centre. Inhale up the back and let it be the heat that rises up through you, exhale rain down the front knowing it is the grace and the liberation that is falling down all around. When you inhale you make effort, as you exhale know that grace is always available to you. Always put yourself in the middle knowing that you are in the middle of a happening thing. 

If you have time repeat this technique, refine it, get to know it, so eventually you own it. It is better to do one thing 10,000 times than 10,000 things once. This is how you become a master. 

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