During our first practical lesson of yoga we will concentrate on daily practice for everyone, who wishes to develop closer relationship with the path of Laya. This material can be particularly important for those, who had already taken part in some courses or trainings of Laya yoga, tracked as a kind of introduction to path and tradition of Laya. Popularly, using an external nomenclature we can call Laya yoga as purification of chakras and aura.
Continuing Sadhana expands our relationship with the path and tradition according to rule, that we develop all that we focus on. So if we want practice and we pay attention to exercises, the appropriate time, place, conditions and circumstances just come out. Initially we can say that that our will and determination causes that appropriate conditions for us just appear. The lack of time and conditions is not an excuse but a manifestation of personal fears, unwillingness and anxiety, which create the situation. The increase of aspirations and trust to exercises and the path, the increase of will to practice is exactly the thing that organizes appropriate time and conditions.
The basic level of Sadhana consists of breathing exercises, which harmonize the energy of elements inside us: earth, water, fire, air and ether (light). This is an integration of psychological and spiritual planes, so plan of action, emotions, thoughts and spirit. Let’s describe one of these breathing exercises, combining it with the description of chakra’s location.
The suggested breath includes four short breaths and the fifth long and deep one; they all make up the whole cycle. Each breath of these five we accumulate in different place. All breaths consist of deep indrawn breath and unimpeded exhalation.
The first breath we concentrate at the height of trunk’s base, in the area of crotch and coccyx. That is the level of earth element and MULADHARA chakra. This area is responsible for biological instincts sphere, physical health and contact with the ethereal plane (with the world of the spirits of nature).
The second breath we focus on abdomen, little lower from the navel. Like we would push down on the abdomen while taking breath. This place is a centre of water element, emotions and feelings and a point to contacting with astral plane, the yoga calls this place as SVADHISHTANA.
The third breath we concentrate above the navel, at the height of stomach or solar plexus. While taking breath we slowly lift the diaphragm and lower part of ribs. This is a center of energy called MANIPURAKA, which controls the thinking, deflagration and digestion functions. It is also a point to contacting with mental plane.
The fourth breath we concentrate at the height of breastbone, in a pace where air goes into lungs. This place is sometimes called as spiritual heart or the center of intuition, and yoga calls it as ANAHATA. It harmonizes and unites the work of other chakras and uses to contacting with either psychological or spiritual planes. It controls the level of personality from mental plane and expresses the features and characteristics of air element.
The fifth breath we focus in upper part of the neck, behind the tongue, at the height of the atlas bone. It is a place called by yoga as VISHUDDHI, which means “the light of purity”- there comes from the element of ether, so of the light, which is a causal plane. This center becomes an entrance to the causal plane. A bit longer and deeper fifth breath accents the importance of spiritual plane as superior to others.
This way we make five breaths of one cycle. Than we repeat the cycle five times which gives twenty breaths. Fourfold repeating symbolizes four seasons, which is like giving complete cycle of work. Yoga usually accents natural rhythms of functioning, because they make practice much easier. Hridaya yoga uses very similar breathing exercise, fragments of which approached to mountain ashrams (temples or hermitages) in form which is called kriya yoga or rebirthing. Then we try to operate with these breaths through the center of heart, which is also an appropriate exercise. In order to immediate, harmonious work with chakras and purifying aura it is recommended to do this exercise in Laya yoga version.
It is a common rule to breathe deeply every day. We should observe the breath and each time we notice it as shallow, let’s deepen it immediately. We should breathe calmly and deeply. Indrawn breath is deep and the exhalation is totally free, neither forced nor latent. It is a general rule as far as breathing is concerned.
In order to daily practice of Laya yoga we start with breathing exercise daily morning and evening Sadhana. When breath is thicker, so audible, panting it influences the physical body in healing way. On the contrary when it is gentle, subtle, deep but not audible it influences deeper physical levels…
The second recommended exercise is focusing on mantra (sound) OM around heart so at the level of breastbone. In deeper meditation we consider sound OM as consisted of three sounds: A– which is an opening and creative vibration, U– which develops the level of understanding, expands mind’s horizons and destroys it’s limitations, and M– which opens the source of fondness in us, subtle feelings and enables emotions to grow up. That is why during this exercise we can feel ANAHATA as a place or space under the breastbone, and next we resonantly repeat A-U-M. We feel like trembling, a kind of vibrations under the breastbone and we try to vibrate each sound for the same time.
Loud repeating of sounds (and mantras as well) causes physical vibrations, which influences the body and some special features of it. We can combine vibrating the AUM sound with visualization of heart center as a three-petaled, opening flower. The most external petal is golden-yellow and opens in down direction, the middle flower is like bright-red-coloured and it diverts to left side where the physical heart is, and the most internal petal of these three is blue and it develops in right side.
Each of vibration becomes associated with a sound. According to this to A vibration suits blue color, to U vibration golden one and to M vibration tones of red. When we finish loud intoning or vibrating AUM, than we can join the mental part of practice. As we practiced loudly now we repeat all exercise just by thinking AUM and keeping the vision. During this all practice our spiritual heart will get on strength and development. It is a purification of heart’s aura. This exercise influences healthy physical heart and whole area of breasts, including lungs, bronchial tubes and bronchioles.
First part of exercise, the loud vibrating is called sabdha-mantra. Second part- mental repeating isartha-mantra. At the end of the cycle we sit in silence for a while, feeling all produced energy. It is like hearing echo of practice, feeling energy of our practice and yoga calls it pratyaya-mantra. All practice with OM has its three parts or three levels.
What is also interesting is the direction where does this practice leads to. When systematically repeated, this exercise destroys every mental and emotional obstacles which moderate processes of intuition. OM vibration expresses the meaning of “BEING”, so it expands us in the direction of living here and now, similarly as Zen exercises. After some time during third part of practice we shall hear wonderful and unique song coming out from the interior, from spiritual heart, song which sounds like A-U-M. It is a sign that our practice matures, and all we hear will sound like angelic singing. Then we will be able to practice listening of OM.
Meditation with OM in heart enables to get in touch with internal, spiritual and intuitional part of ourselves. Avidya – ignorance and unawareness becomes destroyed. Perfect understanding of life sense comes itself by intuition. An exercise with OM helps us to understand ourselves better. It is a path of understanding and self-recognition. All Ego or small “I” becomes annihilated and changed. At last because of exploring cosmic vibration at heart we reach the knowledge about all matter in natural way. Omniscience becomes our natural feature. This is total sense of this exercise…
Third exercise suggested to all interested in Laja yoga is Transferring of Light. Popularly this exercise is called as Transmission or Focusing in Light. Laja yoga calls it like JYOTISHMATI. Exercise of transferring light makes the mind calm, thrilled and free of fear or sadness. Pure, bright- silver light is enabled to melt all darkness. Especially dissolved become negative thoughts, which cause serenity and calmness.
First part of Meditation of Light seems like taking indrawn of light, flowing from above to our head and coming through throat to the spiritual heart, at height of breastbone. We can feel or visualize it as a bright ray, lighting up from above. It flows through certain centers of our body above the heart like SAHASRARA, which is located above the head, AJNA, located inside head and called usually like “third eye”, and trough VISHUDDHI. The energy coming this way trough the top of head purifies and harmonizes all centers located above ANAHATA. With each indrawn we feel the light working inside our heart center and diffuses all darkness there. Light coming up to heart disperses all clouds that cover our natural divine luminosity. At last the internal vision let us to see that from interior of heart, behind dispersed clouds suddenly appears an internal shield of sun.
In second part of this meditation this internal sun starts shining intensively, especially during taking each indrawn. Similarly it starts radiating which is connected to each exhalation. During indrawn of light we enlarge internal Spiritual Sun in heart (Savitri) and during exhalation we emanate its light.
With an exhalation we can send this light to every organ of our body, which than becomes self-healing because the light disperses even clouds of very dangerous illnesses. We can saturate our aura with this light and emanate with it from all body surface, like all cell of the body were lighting because of initiation of heart center.
Rays of white light can be send from our heart to hearts of others. It activated healing process so we can send it to ill or dying people or even those, who have already passed away. We can emit this light thinking of all people with whom we were linked by negative relationships, and than all past and negative emotions shall be purified. This white light is a suitable color for process of forgiving, which is one of the most healing activities we can take up. After some time of practicing we will see those who we had been systematically sending light as changed, bright and good.
The other possibility is to let this light flow everywhere where it is needed, without leading it. Than we become passive observers of where this light goes. The rule of unimpeded emitting of light which is an essence and basis of Transmission. This is like third part of each JYOTISHMATI practice..
During fourth part of practice Spiritual Heart rising in heart, raises through all centers above heart and lights from each of them for several time. It is like going up through higher levels of Brightness in higher centers. It is recommended to exercise with each center for the same time. When we reach the level of sahasrara we transform ourselves to cosmic, divine brightness. What we practice now is dissolving ourselves into light with vision of rainbow. This may be more advanced practice with silver-white light.
At the beginning the most important are first three stages, especially the first and second one, because they awake the source of divine light inside us, damaging all covering it curtains, which are like clouds on our personality.
Summing up the introductory practice of Laya yoga consists of three parts:
- Breathing exercise that harmonizes all elements and purifies chakras below to heart.
- Exercise with vibrating cosmic sound of OM, which purifies and develops heart.
- Exercise with pure, white-silver light that purifies all centers above heart.
This way lets up to purify aura and all centers in introductory extent.
Basic Sadhana should be practiced two times a day. The exercise of 20 breaths lasts for 2-3 minutes, all practice with OM about 10-30 minutes and exercise of light transmission from 10 minutes till one hour or even more.
Transmission of Light is an exercise which enlarges and deepens our Enlightenment. Everyone interested in Laya yoga can practice it with simultaneously enlarging their commitment to path and line of transmission. Namaskaram! Hum!
Acharya Lalit’ Mohan G.K.