Day # 5 of “The A.O.Y. 21 Day Immersion”… Autobiography of a Yogi + Kriya Yoga

Hi Beloved,

There are 5 different important methods, or ways, of expanding your consciousness that have been discovered by the Rishis {Enlightened seers} of ancient India that i will include in these 21 days.  For different reasons, i love each of them, and i am grateful to utilize them personally for the continuous Health of my physical Body as well as my entire “Human Energy Field”.  They are known respectively as “Hatha Yoga”, “Kriya Yoga”, “Pranayama”, “Sahaj { or “Spontaneous” } Yoga”, and “Polarity Yoga”.  Today, i will share with you about “Kriya Yoga” and introduce “Pranayama”.
But before i do that, i have some fun news for everyone.  I re-opened our ARUN Blog, that we used during the Green Smoothie Cleanse & Detox last September, and i posted the first chapter of the 21 Day ARUN/ OSHO Yoga Immersion.  You can start adding your comments, questions, or whatever in the space provided, and everyone can see it and interact with you.  I hope you enjoy, and when i have the time, i will add all of these A.O.Yoga notes to the Blog.  You can access it by clicking below:

Now, for a little personal story about how i first came across Kriya Yoga and Pranayama… it’s connected to surfing!
Where i was born, in San Diego, California there is a very famous beach for advanced surfers known as “Swami’s Beach”.  My older brother Frank used to take me there sometimes, as he was a very good surfer.  There is a very beautiful Indian style temple  just above the beach, right on the coast, which you can’t help but notice because it is so “out of place” in a small California surfer/ hippie town… hence the name “Swami’s”.  Years later, in 1973, just after i was self-initiated into Yoga, i read the very famous book “Auto-biography of a Yogi”  by Paramahansa Yogananda.  What an inspirational and magical life he had!  Swami Yogananda planted the seeds inside of me to be open to Spiritual Guides in my life at the important age of 21, which totally influenced the direction my life has taken.  So, the next time i went to “Swami’s Beach” in Encinitas after reading Paramahansa, i was blown away to see that the Indian temple was the Self Realization Fellowship, founded by Paramahansa Yogananda himself in 1953.  He had lived there for many years, and it has amazing gardens and a residential section where they offer Meditation Retreats and classes… and the place has an amazing vibe that is very soothing.  So i met and talked with some of the teachers there, and they taught me about Kriya Yoga, which is “moving yoga”.
“Kriya” means movement.  So, actually, the “Sun Salute” is a variation of Kriya Yoga… in that you keep moving during the 12 stages, and you maintain awareness of the in-breath and out-breath the whole duration of the movement.
Try this Walking Kriya anytime… it may take a little while to master it, but it is VERY centering, and stretches your lung capacity in a fun way.
While walking at a medium speed, inhale fully for the duration of 7 steps… then keep the air in for the next 7 steps… then exhale fully during the next 7 steps… then don’t inhale, and keep the lungs empty during the next 7 steps.  28 steps is one, complete cycle of this “walking kriya”.  With the next step, you begin a new cycle.
So it is 7 steps inhaling, 7 steps holding the breath in, 7 steps exhaling, 7 steps keeping the air out… each cycle takes about 28 seconds, more or less.  You try to breathe steady and evenly and fully in both directions, in and out… timing the walking while inhaling for the lungs to be full when you take the 7th step, and also when exhaling.  When i first tried it, it was NOT easy for me to breathe deep and relaxed at the same time… it was NOT easy to keep my lungs full for 7 steps… it was NOT easy to exhale steady and fully for 7 steps, and it was NOT easy to keep all my air out for 7 steps…. and in the beginning after completing one cycle, the next cycle would start with a “big gulp” of air!  And at that time of my life, i was actually a well trained athlete, “in great shape”!  So i was pretty surprised.  I also could not “think” and do the walking kriya efficiently at the same time.  But i enjoyed the challenge, and fairly soon i could manage 5 cycles.  Then, i started improving my ability to accurately “stretch my breath” in both directions.  And i gradually learned to keep the air in or out while walking without much tension, and could do it for 20 or more cycles.  At first, i needed to really concentrate in a somewhat tense manner to do it… slowly i could start relaxing my arms and shoulders and other parts of my body, without losing track of the count.  At first, i recommend you do it on a quiet street or in the park or countryside, while you are alone… because in the beginning, your walk will not look as natural as it normally does!  With practice, you will be able to do it around other people… eventually, it is possible to do it in a crowded area, and no one would suspect it at all!  I’ve managed it in Tokyo, and other crowded areas, so i know it is possible.
This walking kriya is an amazing centering device… for me, it has had many positive effects.  I love to do it on a country… and sometimes it is very interesting to do in the city.
If it is difficult to manage the breathing in “7 step phases”, then do it for “5 Step phases”… if that is still too difficult, then use a “3 Step phase”.  Keep it an uneven number, and keep each phase the same amount of time and steps… that is an important element of this kriya.  Take it easy and enjoy the focusing required… it is not serious!
I never met Paramahansa Yogananda, but his compassion for people and love of meditation, truth, and beauty has touched my life and many others in a valuable way… thank you beloved Swamiji!
8:4:8:4 Breathing Rhythm

Many of the Kriyas or movements handed down utilize a very particular and special breathing rhythm.  In a way it is very simple, but it takes some getting used to before it can be done without tension and in harmony to the movements.  You can do it in any posture.  It goes like this: inhale slowly and evenly for the count of 8… maintain the air in for the count of 4… breathe out slowly and evenly for the count of 8… leave the air out for the count of 4.  This is one cycle, and takes about 24 seconds {more or less}, so it is 2 1/2 times a minute.  The ancient Rishis examined the Human Body like no one before or since… they discovered MANY THINGS that took Western Science centuries to validate… about the glands, about the breath, about electro-magnetic energy, about the Brain, about relaxation and energy, plus many things still unknow to modern science.  They noticed that this particular breathing rhythm has a VERY SOOTHING  effect on the whole energy field and the 8:4 rhythm, according to Swami Asokananda,  “is in harmony with the cell vibration of blood, muscles, and the skeleton. Which means the rhythm is excellent also from a health point of view.”
Something VERY INTERESTING that i noticed some years ago is related to the “Mid-tide of the Craniosacral Pulse”… which is also moving at the rate of 2 1/2 times a minute.  When Anasha and i started combining her Breath ofMeditation insights with my Craniosacral understanding, this was a very deep link for us of these 2 mysterious involuntary life Rhythms.
Maybe it is not so easy for you at first… don’t try to force yourself in it… forcing is NEVER helpful for the delicate nerves within the Craniosacral Nervous System.  You can start with a lower rhythm, for instance 6:3:6:3.  For some people, it may even be wise to do 4:2:4:2 until you can do it with no strain or tension.  Remember how Anasha always teaches that our breathing is intimately and minutely influencing our Nervous System, and vice versa,  so do it as easy as you can.  A little conscious effort to extend your boundaries is ok, but keep the balance.  Start practicing anytime… sitting, standing, or lying down, and you will gain a new, fresh awareness of your breathing system and conscious relaxation.  Within 2 weeks of trying a little every day, almost anyone can manage it.

Neck movements with 8:4 Breathing: Try this Kriya either sitting, standing, or lying down…  With face pointing forward, turn your face slowly to left while inhaling and slowly counting to 8.  Hold the face there for the count of 4 and maintain the breath in.  Then start turning mindfully towards the right as far as you can go while exhaling to the count of 8.  Stay there without breathing for the count of 4.  Then start inhaling and moving to the left as far as you can without straining again for the count of 8; pause for 4; exhale while turning to the right; pause for 4.  Do at least 5 cycles in each direction { that means 5 times inhaling going left, exhaling to the right; then 5 times inhaling going right and exhaling going left}.  Search for a unity of your breathing and movement.
Again, you can start with 6:3, or 4:2 to build your confidence and coordination and trust.
This foundation in witnessing movement and breathing together can have an incredible healing influence on spinal discs and many skeletal pains.
I will elaborate more at another time, but right now i want to sleep.  Tomorrow morning we start our “Tantra Vision of ARUN” weekend here in Madrid.
Many smiles and good vibrations flowing your way… with love,  Anubuddha

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