A yoga routine

Purification exercise

Visualize a being of pure light and love (Padmasambhava-Lotus-evolved one), who is sitting in the midst of a lake on a lotus flower in front of you. He is in front and slightly above you at a thirty degree angle. He will come into your heart when you have sufficiently purified yourself.

Closing your left nostril, breathe three deep breaths out of your right nostril. Visualize the air being ejected as dark red and consider it to be all of your bodily diseases and attachments.

Close your right nostril. Now breathe out three deep breaths through your left nostril. Visualize the air being ejected as blue-grey and consider it to be all your mental obstacles and anger.

Now breathe out three deep breaths through your mouth. Visualize this air as purple and consider it as the sloth that impedes your progress.

Now visualize that from the ajna (the point between the eyebrows) of Padmasambhava directly to your ajna there is a piercing beam of white light which, as it burns into you, rids you of bodily sins and wrongs (the sound connected with this is OM).

Now visualize that from the throat chakra of Padmasambhava directly to your throat chakra there is a piercing beam of red light which, as it burns into you, rids you of lapses of speech and untruths (the sound connected with this is AH).

Now visualize that from the heart of Padmasambhava directly to your ajna there is a piercing beam of blue light which, as it burns into you, rids you of wrongs done in ignorance and wrong thoughts (the sound connected with this is HUM).

Now allow that blue beam to become a broad blue avenue of light. Then you will see Padmasambhava come down that avenue and come directly into your heart. Here he will sit in your hridayam (spiritual heart). His mantra is Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum. This means three-in-one (the unmanifest, imminent manifestation, and manifestation) lightning-bolt Guru of unbearable compassion and infinite power who resides in my heart. To say his mantra is to keep Him in your heart until finally you and He become One.

The Four Bodhisattva Vows (say three times)

I resolve to become enlightened for the sake of all living beings

I will cut the root of all delusive passions

I will penetrate the farthest gate of Dharma

I will realize the supreme way of Buddha

Asanas

Lie flat on your back and relax. Legs out straight, feet together and your hands by your sides. Relax your feet, calves, thighs, pelvis, abdomen, chest, arms, neck and head.

Extend your arms very slowly over your head until they are stretched out straight behind you. Slowly sit up, bringing your arms and head up together and keeping your heels on the ground. Bend at the waist.

Smoothly proceed forward until you touch your toes. Keep your legs straight. If you can, hold your feet with your hands, pulling your feet towards you and bending your elbows until they are touching the ground on either side of your legs.

Gently raise your arms and return to a prone position, inhaling.

Work up daily until you are doing about thirty of these.

Sit up with your legs stretched out in front of you. Now bend your left leg and place the sole of your left foot against the inside of the thigh of your right leg (still straight). Maintain that position. Raise your arms over your head and bring them slowly down towards your right foot. Bend as low in the back as possible. Then hold the position for about 15 to 30 seconds and return to a straight sitting position.

Now change legs so that the left leg is extended and the right is bent.

Roll over on your stomach and lie flat with your legs together and your hands by your sides. bend your arms until your hands are flat on the floor next to your chest. Very gently start to push up with your forearms, thus raising the upper part of your body. Raise your head first, then your neck, and then slowly raise lower and lower parts of your spine.

At the same time that you are raising the upper part of your body, press down into the ground with your pelvis. You will finally feel the pressure at the tip of your spine.

Keep your head up. When you have reached the point that you can reach comfortably, stop and remain and then remain in that position for about 15 seconds and then lower the upper part of your body to the ground.

Sit up and cross your legs.

Place your hands behind you and slowly let yourself back down until you are resting on your elbows. Lower your head until the top of your head touches the ground. Arch your back and rest the upper part of your body on the top of your head and the lower part of your body on your cross-legged seat. Now place your hands lightly on the top of
your thighs. Remain in this position for about 15 to 30 seconds and then slowly return to a sitting position. Continue forward until your head is on the floor and your shoulders are resting on your thighs. Holding the wrist of one arm with the hand of the other behind your back, slowly raise your arms behind you as high as you can. Then bring them down and relax.

Roll over on your stomach. Behind your back take hold of your ankles with your hands, firmly. Push away with your feet, bringing your head and chest up. Keep lifting in this fashion until your thighs are fully off the ground. Look straight ahead and remain in that position for about 15 to 30 seconds. Gently return to the ground. Do this three times.

Sit up straight with your legs straight out before you on the floor. Bend your left knee and put your left leg under your right leg so that the left heel is to the right of and pressed against your right cheek. Bring your right leg up by bending it at the knee and place the right foot flat on the ground to the left of the left knee.

Raise your left arm and twist the upper part of your body to the right until your left armpit is directly over your right thigh. Now turn your left forearm so that you can pass it through the triangle made by the bend in your right knee. At this point your left armpit is almost resting on top of the right thigh.

Reach around behind you with your right arm until your right and left hands can grip each other. Turn your head so that you are looking behind you over your right shoulder. Twist as far as possible. Hold the position for 15 to 20 seconds and return to as straight sitting position.

Now do the twist to the left, reversing the above instructions.

Assume a kneeling position. Place your hands on your knees so that your fingers are extended outwards and you are leaning slightly forward.

Extend the tongue outward as far as possible and turn the eyes upward and towards the middle of the forehead. Exhale the breath as much as possible and contract the throat muscles. Make the entire body as taut as possible-as if you were a lion about to spring. Stop, return, and then relax. Repeat about four times.

Lie on your back. Raise your legs off the ground and spread them, keeping them straight. Then raise the upper body to form a V with the point of contact with the ground being the tip of your spine. Stretch your arms forward between your spread legs. Remain in this position for 30 seconds. Don’t strain. Return to a relaxed position.

Lie on your back. Very gently, in one smooth movement, lift your legs off the ground (keeping the straight) And raise them until they are at a 90 degree angle to your torso. Then placing your hands behind your back, slowly lift your hips off the ground and more and more of your back, until only your head and neck and on the ground. Your back is supported by your hands, which should be as high up (close to the neck) on your back as possible. Elbows are on the ground. Remain with legs and body straight up for two minutes.

Starting from the neck stand, gently bring legs over the head, still keeping them straight, until your toes touch the ground behind your head. Keeping your legs straight, attempt to bring your heels to the ground and walk in towards your head. When you have gotten as close as possible without straining, stop for 10 seconds.

Starting from the last position, bend your knees until they touch the floor next to your ears. Remain in that position for ten seconds. Then gently retrace your steps, one by one, until you are back on the ground resting on your back. As you lower your body, press each vertebrae against the ground from the neck down.

Return to the first position and remain there for five minutes

Pranayamas

Sit upright, lotus position is ideal.

Pull in and up on the sphincter.

Pull in slightly on the stomach.

Extend the tongue out of the mouth as far as possible. form it in a “U” shape. Breathe in through the mouth as deeply as is comfortable.

During the inhalation, imagine that you are bringing pure pran or life force or light or consciousness into your body. Focus on the point between the eyebrows so that you experience bringing the pran to that point. As you breathe out, imagine breathing out impurities of body and mind.

Do five of these the first day. Increase by one each day until you are doing fifty a day.

This breathing involves a rhythmic shallow breathing through the nose only. There is no pause between inhalation and exhalation. You start slowly in order to keep the in-breath and out-breath of equal intensity and duration. Once you have equated them, increase the rate and intensity. Ultimately the breath is short and staccato in neture with a definite feeling of impact at the points between the in-breath and the out-breath.

During this exercise focus in the inside of the tip of the nose at the point where the air hits the nasal passage during exhalation.

Do this exercise for about thirty seconds. Stop, rest. Do it again for about thirty seconds. Later, you can increase the number of intervals to three or four at a sitting.

Place the right hand so that the third finger is resting between the eyebrows, the thumb is by the right nostril, and the fourth finger is by the left nostril. Close the right nostril with the thumb and inhale slowly and evenly through the left nostril (about four seconds). Hold the nose by closing both nostrils for about 2 seconds. Remove the thumb and exhale slowly and evenly through the right nostril (about 8 seconds). After a second, inhale through the right nostril (about 4 seconds), hold 2 seconds, and exhale through the left nostril (8 seconds).

As you take in the breath through your left nostril, imagine a charge of energy going down the ida (a nerve on the left side of your spine). As you hold the breath for the two seconds, imagine that the charge of energy is coming up the pingala (a nerve on the right side of the spine).

Start with five of this exercise on the first day and increase to fifty a day.

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