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13012Re: About the so-called "dangers" of pranayama

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  • texasbg2000
    Jun 26, 2004
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, medit8ionsociety
      <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
      > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
      > > Bob,
      > >
      > > What is 1-4-2?
      > One inhales for 1 unit of time, holds the breath for 4 units and
      > exhales for 2. This is continued until the pattern is regular, then
      > is doubled to inhale for 2 units of time, hold for 8 and exhale for
      > This goes on until a maximum of 16 inhalation, 64 held, and 32
      > exhaled. Often it can take before the practicioner moves on to the
      > first doubling. This has been one of the most basic pranayama
      > techniques for centuries, and is very well known by millions.
      > >
      > > I suspect the reason you have seen only one reaction
      > > across 4000 students is that the pranayama practiced
      > > is minimally interventive. Alternate nostril breathing,
      > > while interventive, is calming to the nervous system.
      > > Begin working with vilomas and breath retentions and
      > > the dynamics change.
      > >
      > > Reminds me of Eric Small telling us how he had been
      > > practicing breath retention (heat building) during the
      > > time just prior to being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis
      > > (exacerbated by heat).
      > >
      > > Reminds me of how, during the pranayama classes required
      > > for my training, we consistantly had at least 1 person
      > > (not the same person) with an emotional reaction to the
      > > exercises in each class. Some people had physical reactions,
      > > as well, though those were more difficult to detect in
      > > one's neighbor. However, physical and emotional reactions
      > > do not necessarily occur discretely... the two were often
      > > interconnected... and this is a piece of information that
      > > could potentially be of a lot of use for meditators (if
      > > they weren't so busy convincing themselves that physical
      > > discomfort was all in their imagination.)
      > >
      > > The breath is the bridge between the conscious and
      > > unconscious. Meditators are often well-versed in what
      > > this means for the mind, but it may also be noted that
      > > the body has corresponding conscious and unconscious
      > > controls, which may be influenced by pranayama beyond
      > > the most basic 'following the breath'. This is the root
      > > of the warnings, Bob, though some teachers may use
      > > those warnings to keep their classes full.
      > >
      > > Nina
      > >
      > Dear Nina,
      > When you say "we consistantly had at least 1 person(not the same
      > person) with an emotional reaction to the exercises in each class."
      > are you suggesting a "negative" emotional reaction? If so, perhaps
      > there may be a question about the skill level of the teacher. We
      > always had many students report wonderful emotional, physical,
      > and spiritual results from what we shared. As a matter of fact, the
      > 1-4-2 technique is also referred to as the "How to get high without
      > drugs" technique, and afforded many with a higher high, greater
      > insights and inner sights than any drug had ever given them. There
      > also was a possible to label as problematical side effect to this.
      > technique works so well that some would become bliss-seekers/ecstacy
      > junkies of a sort. But even if this problem is a problem worth
      > mentioning, I know of no evidence anywhere that practicing breath
      > retention will lead to MS, or any other such consequence. And I see
      > need or benefit to using this kind of wild claim to discourage the
      > potential good results experienced by so many for so long of
      > practicing pranayama.
      > BTW, I question the statement that implies that meditators are "so
      > busy convincing themselves that physical discomfort was all in their
      > imagination". We have many oncologists, neurologists, cardiologists,
      > psychiatrists, GP's, etc attending and sending their patients to our
      > classes, so as to be better able to deal with their physical
      > discomforts. There is no 'bodily dis-ease is all in the mind'
      > prevelant in any of our, or in most meditation classes I know of
      > as those given by the Integral Yoga org or the Sivananda ashrams).
      > any event, I do value pranayama greatly, as I do visualization,
      > mantra, self-enquiry, Raja yoga, and all the other things that bring
      > peace to so many, and hope that what we do here on this group is
      > helping make these concepts and methods available to those who seek
      > this knowledge.
      > Peace and blesings,
      > Bob
      > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com,
      > > <no_reply@y...> wrote:
      > > > --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com, "Nina"
      > > > <murrkis@y...> wrote:
      > > > > Bob,
      > > > >
      > > > > What form of pranayama was practiced?
      > > > >
      > > > > Nina
      > > >
      > > > We shared several techniques such as alternate nostril
      > > > Soham, 1-4-2, 108-An Easy, Hard Technique
      > > > http://www.meditationsociety.com/week30.html
      > > > and a few others. BTW, I love pranayama, and suggest everyone
      > > > breathing:-)
      > > > Peace and blessings,
      > > > Bob

      I have been around this block for awhile and have heard the
      My memories:
      Ramachraraka gave the technique for retention on the in breath and
      the outbreath in "Raja Yoga" around 1901. Vivekananda slammed him
      for giving a potentially harmful technique to the West.

      I can recall a comment by Sri Ramana that the one pefectly harmless
      way to practice retention of the breath was to do it only on the in

      I think the point in these warnings is intended to the overly
      exuberant observer. That is, if one spends all one's time on the
      technique it can be harmful. The 20 minutes a day thing is nowhere
      near enough. An example is myself. I was pretty avid. Breath
      irregularities and sleep apnia began and I slacked off.
      Another example:
      In the biography of Omraam Mikhael Aivanhow by Georg Feuerstein,
      which he was paid to write by the estate of the Eastern European
      Mystic, a telling example of harm is described. He wrote of Omraam's
      immense focus on Ramacharaka's technique, which is about what Bob has
      delineated. He became seriously ill. But he was really into it.
      Doing it all the time. Georg makes it clear he did not approve of
      Ramacharaka' cavalier attitude either.

      Bobby G.
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