As you set up for any seated practices, such as pranayama or meditation, always keep your hips above your knees. When the hips are higher than the knees the waters of the kidneys will drain down to a further south. Always play for the physics. If all of water goes deep, set yourself up on height so the waters don’t get stagnant. Stagnant water will breed infection; setting yourself up on height sets up the drain for the kidneys. If the knees are in line or above the hips then eventually all the pressure will break the boundaries and knee pain will ensue. Knee pain is typically a product of a hip condition or a foot condition since the knee is in the middle of the seesaw. Find lots of height to support yourself so you are comfortable and can continue the practice in a way that supports your well-being. If your body is aching it will be very hard to remain focused in pranayama so a set yourself up so you are comfortable.
Virasana: the virility pose, designed to shape the arch of the foot, shaping every curve in the body. This one is easiest to access just be sure to use a lot of height under your perineum such as a block, bolster, or stack of books.
Siddhasana: sets up the third foot, the arch of the foot on the arch of the foot on arch of the perineum.
Lotus: the most challenging and only recommended if you have a refined yoga practice. If your knee is lifted off the ground then choose a pose from above.
When you set yourself up in pranayama it will be the same as coming into any pose. Immediately put yourself in centre. The minute you put yourself in centre then you are playing the right angle of righteousness. Use your imagination to draw a line from the heavens through your skull, your torso and your perineum, then down into the centre of the earth. In this way you open yourself up as a conduit between heaven and earth. This line runs through your third eye, which refracts, your third hand, which vibrates, and your third foot, which reverberates. Play for the trinity in the centre as each of these three centres mediates the polarity of its floor. The centre of the chest is the great mediator of all polarities, as each line moves through it.
Place the tongue on the palate: this is the key that opens up the central channel, the tai chi, the sutra atman. From the central axis, the future is out in front and the memory is back behind. Orient yourself so you know how to move forward in life while using a supportive memory to sustain it all. Everything on the left side of the body, the left leg, left hand, left eye, holds the potential, it is the dawning of the innocence and the location of the sunrise. Everything on the right side, the right leg, right hand, right eye, holds the experience, the ability to see, participate and substantiate in the world. You always put yourself in the centre knowing that you are in the centre of a happening thing. The world is very busy, it is very noisy and it is by virtue of it being alive that it makes noise. The goal isn’t to not hear it, it is to know what you are hearing, how to manipulate what you are hearing, how to organize what is being heard, and then eventually how to use it the information to your advantage.
Know that you can control the breath but your breath will breathe without you controlling it. The art of these practices is to begin to participate in the breath, refine the breath, and eventually manipulate the breath so the breath can be regulated. Breath is a piece of the autonomic nervous systems’ dialogue, you can actively participate in the breath to manipulate and make conscious what is autonomic. Thus this practice becomes a gateway to a regulation of these “automatic” responses. This is a very powerful piece of the information for health and longevity.
So the first thing you will do here is notice the breath. Find your seat and notice the breath. The inhale. The exhale. Which is longer? Is your breathing quick? Is it slow? What is the relationship with the breath and your thoughts. Notice that by simply noticing the breath it changes. How does it change? How do the thoughts change?
Sit with yourself.