Prana Mudras & Cosmic Kriyas

PRANA EXHALATION

by Robert Venosa, oil on canvas, 1975, 35 x 70 cm / 14” x 26”

(link is embedded in image)

Pranic Breathing is a technique that helps to awaken and balance the Mind, Body and Spirit. I will often begin my workshops and private sessions alike with a series of breathing techniques that fall under this category such as Nadi Sodhana and Hong Sau Breath Mantra. The classic Prana Breath is the most commonly known and has also been referred to as the 6-3-6-3 Cycle. 

The approach is easy to learn and reaps a multitude of benefits:

* Place the tip of your tongue at the roof of the mouth behind your teeth. This is known as the forward Kechari Mudra and it helps to quiet the mind.

* Now, inhale through your nose for 6 counts

* Then hold your breath for 3 counts.

* Now exhale through your nose for 6 counts

* Finally, hold your breath for 3 counts.

* Repeat the 6-3-6-3 cycle until your mind is completely relaxed. Usually about 12 cycles will suffice.

It’s important to inhale deeply and exhale completely as you perform these breaths. Feel the 3 lobes of your lungs filling incrementally: First the top third, then middle and finally the bottom third. Pump the air out of your lungs in a similar fashion as you exhale. Inhaling and exhaling deeply and completely. 

This breathing technique can be practiced during meditation to keep the mind focused and it can also the practiced prior to performing your Kriya Asanas. Of course, it’s important that as you perform Pranic Breath, to also hold your fingers in the Prana Mudra Gesture. 

The Prana Mudra Gesture helps to quiet and center our energetic channels. It can be a ‘stand alone’ exercise that can be done at any time when some grounding is needed. Whether you are getting ready to speak in public or board an airplane, the Prana Mudra Gesture can help to stave off a panic/anxiety attack.

Practicing these techniques on a regular basis will help to impart a positive shift in your life.

Questions about Workshops:

I have been getting a lot of inquiries as to when my workshop schedule will resume: At the moment I find myself involved in a lot of other projects, so for the time being workshops will be on a sponsorship basis only. If you are interested in having me lead a workshop for your group please contact me directly for more details: workshops@universaltantra.org

And Finally:

Martina Hoffmann and Robert Venosa exhibit at the HR Giger Museum!

~*~

It is my distinct honor to share  the news of this upcoming exhibit at the HR Giger Museum in Gruyere, Switzerland by my dear friend and mentor Martina Hoffmann and her late husband Robert Venosa. H R Giger, was best known as the creator of the ‘Alien’ monster from the film of the same name and for which he was awarded an Academy Award for Best Achievement in Visual Effects. The theme of the exhibit is ‘Transmutations’ and I think it is only fitting to include this with the theme of the newsletter. I hope that my friends reading this who live in Geneva and its environs will be able to attend this most auspicious event. Please click on the image  to be directed to the Giger Museum Website.

For more information about the artists please visit their websites:

www.martinahoffmann.com

www.venosa.com

Wishing all of you an abundance of love, Joy & Bliss,

Antonia~Arabella

Certified Ipsalu Tantra© Kriya Yoga Teacher

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Holi! Holi! Holi!

The Hindu Festival of Holi happened about a week ago, but I think that its message should resonate all through the year. Although Holi is primarily celebrated in India, it has grown in popularity all over the world and depending on the region in which it’s observed,  it can be a festival celebrating the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring, the love story of Krsna and Radha, the victory of Vishnu over evil and so on. The participants celebrate the holiday by throwing bright colored powder or water at each other and for that reason it’s referred to as the ‘Festival of Colors’. One could say that it’s a combination of Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, New Year and Easter all rolled up into one great big beautiful multi colored ball.

But one of the most significant meanings of Holi is that it is also known as a “Festival of New Beginnings”. It is customary to forgive transgressions, forgive or repay debts and to make new friends. What could be better than that? If only we could carry this attitude of a fresh start throughout the year instead of waiting for one particular day to express these thoughts and deeds. It’s said that life is a gift and every morning that we wake up that gift is given to us all over again. So why not see every day as a fresh start? Each new day is an opportunity to shed what no longer serves us and to move forward into our future.

David Bowie drawing the Tree of Life

Putting this into a Western perspective, the Kabbalah mentions that there is a negative aspect to the Sephiroth on the Tree of Life and it’s known as the ‘Qiploth’ or ‘Kingdom of Shells’ referring to the shell or skin that an animal sheds when it no longer serves them. I think that this serves as a good metaphor for Holi. And so in the spirit of this festival why not begin the day by casting off those unnecessary shells to renew and move forward.

Vishnu

Here is a simple exercise that one could perform to cast off unwanted energy:

Naulis are belly rolls that help to clear the Third (Manipura) and Fourth (Anahata) Chakras respectively. These two chakras work in tandem to either brighten your day or sour your day since they possess a symbiotic elemental correspondents of wood and fire. So it’s important to keep these two energetic centers in a state of balance.

Begin by taking a deep inhalation through the nose, followed by a complete exhalation through the mouth. Be sure that your lungs are completely devoid of air and when they are, begin to roll your belly as if you were drawing a circle with your navel. Up, down, out, in. As you roll your belly say these words to yourself: ‘Forgive, forget, let go.’ See whatever memory or emotion that vexes you disappear with each roll. Keep rolling your belly until you need more air then stop rolling; inhale deeply and exhale completely then begin rolling again. Repeat this sequence over and over again until you are exhausted and your stomach muscles can no longer roll.

anahata & manipura

This exercise helps to simultaneously massage the organs and glands of Manipura and Anahata allowing for the production of hormones that promote positive thoughts and general well being. One of my students who happens to also be an endocrinologist told me once that most of the serotonin in out body is produced in our stomach so it’s important to maintain a healthy diet and practice this exercise for a healthier outlook on life.

Practicing Naulis also helps to strengthen the Uddiyana Banda which is an important energetic lock found in the solar plexus and is responsible for assisting safely awakening Kundalini flow through the Subtle Body. The other two locks being Mulabanda (root lock) and Jalandhara Banda (throat lock). Below is a link to a very good video demonstrating Nauli rolls. The Yogi also shows variations on the roll that can suit a persons personal ability.

I hope that you have enjoyed reading this blog and encourage all to visit my website: www.universaltantra.org for more information about my practice. Namaste!

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