Within us, there are various forms of energy that permeate and surround our bodies. These are closely connected with our health, the way we think, and how we react to the external world. Some of these energies are well known: nervous energy, chemical energy, and so on. Yet there are some which are not normally perceived in everyday life of most people. It is these subtle forms, as well as the grosser forms of energy that the practices of pranayama seek to harmonize and manipulate (57).
This subject of prana and pranayama will be fully discussed in the next lesson, but in this topic, I will describe one of the most straightforward practices of pranayama called samaveta pranayama as I've understood it based on the amazing book we have been exploring now since March 16, 2020.
IN TODAY'S BLOG YOU WILL FIND...
SAMAVETA = TOGETHER
The Sanskrit word samaveta means ‘together’. Therefore, samaveta pranayama is a practice where one breathes through both of the nostrils. This might seem to be an obvious and inconsequential statement, but the practice is so named to distinguish it from other techniques of pranayama where the flow of air is directed in one nostril by physically or mentally preventing the flow in the other nostril.
Technique for Samaveta Pranayama
Duration of the Retention of the Breath
Over a period of weeks slowly increase the time of breath retention from a second or so to a maximum of ten seconds. Do not hold the breath for longer than is comfortable. This is important. With practice, the time of breath retention will increase automatically. If you attempt a higher count and realize that it is causing some tension to arise in your body, perhaps back off and continue with the previous number a while longer. Be kind to yourself. Practice ahimsa = non-violence to yourself, mentally, physically, emotionally, etc. (57).
Benefits of Samaveta Pranayama
This is an excellent practice in preparing the lungs for more advanced practices of pranayama. At the time of retention, the amount of oxygen taken up by the blood and the amount of carbon dioxide that is discharged by the blood into the lungs is increased. When people breathe quickly and shallowly, the exchange between the circulating blood and the lungs is very small. The increased exchange during samaveta pranayama helps to revitalize the body and improve one’s health (57).
Q & A: Samaveta Pranayama & More
Some of the things that come up for me while attempting to practice samaveta pranayama are the following:
However, I made a few changes to my life and to my practice... more like, a few commitments. And, as a result, I've been successfully practicing samaveta pranayama for the last three days out of seven total. I'd like to share those with you now :)
HERE ARE SOME TIPS THAT MIGHT HELP US SUCCEED
Yesterday, A student of yoga who happened across my Youtube Channel asked me via whatsapp the following question:
"When do I know when it is time to move on from one lesson to the next lesson?"
This is a wonderful and intelligent question. Luckily for us, the answer to this question is provided by Swami Satayananda Saraswati on page 36 of the full, unabridged textbook, "A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya". He says:
From our experience, we recommend that the techniques contained in each lesson be thoroughly mastered before progressing on to the next set of practices. Generally, this takes a minimum of fifteen days and on the average, one month. This is very important and an essential prerequisite for the eventual success of your sadhana.
I hope the information I have provided here helps you in some way. I'm sending everyone out there a hug and wishing you a beautiful day. ❤ Ashley
Saraswati, Satyananda. A Systematic Course in the Ancient Tantric Techniques of Yoga and Kriya. Yoga Publications Trust, 2013.