Tag Archives | Claudia’s Book Club

Yoga Meditation: The Proper Way

I’ve not learned yoga meditation directly from a teacher in the past 18 years. Then, Gregor Maehle published his fourth book: Yoga Meditation in 2003.

This is by far my favorite book of his, not only because it is well written and easy-to-understand, but also because I had never found all the information in one place.

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I chose the back of the book here to show the “Yantras” (mystical diagrams) shape and colors which are forms we can visualize in the advanced stages of meditation

Vipassana Meditation Drove Me Crazy

I’ve tried Vipassana, and on my first 10-day course I felt like I was going insane. … Read the rest

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Bhastrika Pranayama – Life Force on Steroids

Bhastrika is the most powerful technique in pranayama as it rapidly fills the whole torso with air and therefore, when done right, with life energy.

It is, in a simplified way, like the three part breathing exercise from chapter 10,  only done faster and with zeal (and faster and faster when practice begins to bear fruit).

The effects of this exercise are incredibly far reaching, for example it is said it pierces through the three major obstacles to our full expression, (granthis) and cures all diseases by lessening/reducing the effects of the three imbalances we might have (or doshas ((vitta pitta and kapha)).

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How Not To Be An Idiot In Pranayama – Purifying The Nervous System

Today we look at the exercise which DEFINES pranayama. Heck I would go further to say it is pranayama.  Nadhi Shodhana is the alternate nostril breathing exercise done with retentions in between nostrils. It is the exercise that purifies the nervous system and no matter how many books you look at, and study with, you will see, it all comes down to this and only this one, again and again.

Why? Because this exercise has the power to clear the nervous system AND the subtle nervous system, the one we don’t see with the naked eye, and the one that doctors do not catalogue, the one that works underneath it all and that only yogis can sense, or so we would like to think.

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The ‘Conquering’ Breathing Exercise

Why is this specific type of breathing called victorious? “It is so called because the technique allows us to become victorious in pranayama… extension of prana, [extension of life force] and that is exactly what Ujjayi [pronounced: “oh-jai”, (jai rhymes with pie)] or victorious breath does.” (from page 224)

Continuing with the book club we are now in the most fascinating part of Gregor’s Book in which he is discussing the specific practices of pranayama. After spending several weeks on his chapters with the preparations, we are now onto the actual sitting for the practice itself.

Context: This is a series called Claudia’s Book Club.
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The Breathing Exercise That Gets Rid Of Our Fears

There was once a little girl who kept having repeated nightmares about monsters chasing her. Her parents were concerned for it was getting out of hand. She was not capable of falling asleep as terror would haunt her dreams.

A talented psychiatrist talked to her and suggested next time she found herself being chased by monsters that she turn around and look at them in the eye. She said nothing, just looked at the doctor.

On her next session she told the doctor that when she found herself being chased by the scary creatures again she turned around, and as soon as she did the monsters turned into bubbles and started jumping up and down in place.

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