I have often wondered what the consciousness is that helps spiritual teachers to relate. We use a type of consciousness (reflection) to live with awareness (attention), expand our levels of awareness (understanding and perception) and reach the universal consciousness (God). Usually it starts by an inner quest to grow and many times to find a purpose and transcendent meaning in this passage on earth.
It is an individual process of self-observation and search for a deep understanding of human evolution, an expansion of our being, a spiritual quest and a rebirth to other levels of reality through an understanding. Therefore, it is a process that involves responsibility, freedom, sometimes reinventing and somehow transformed. We could explain it through different notions and progressive dimensions such as reflection, permanent attention, understanding and universality.
- What should I do to fulfill myself spiritually?
- How I can be a wise, brave and happy person?
- How do I live, what I say, as I act?
- How can I enjoy life to the fullest and have a positive impact on the world?
- How I can develop my faculties and achieve my goals?
- What control do I have over my mind, my body and the forces operating on me?
- What are my ethical guidelines and my value systems?
They are certain questions that accompany ourselves and usually are involved in an inner quest and spiritual awakening.
Yoga makes us aware of ourselves, and philosophical questions such as the origin of the world, our mission in life, relationships with others, death, the meaning of life and how to be better human beings. But what mental conditions and attitudes I have inherited or acquired, which are limiting for my development and prevent me from being free, are part of this awakening of a self-reflective consciousness, which goes in an ethical and spiritual awareness.
Spiritual paths make us aware of ourselves and what happens in our inner world and our conditionings, belief systems, behaviors from relatives or cultural. It’s a great opportunity to observe, as if we were a third party who will see a foreign film and history uninvolved.
Attention, Understanding and Realization
To take away from what happens in your mind and your life is the first step to stop living controlled by the ego, or the illusion that we are an individual with an identity, characteristics, some desires, tastes, objectives, principles, fears and prejudices about certain aspects and we cannot change.
Consciousness begins to change our lives because it gives a twist to the way we see the world and life begins to respond in a different way. It means to stop a bit and put aside expectations or fears and listen to your soul that tells you what you really want to do.
When you observe your mind, you realize that your mind tends to stick to the present moment, people and things and that’s one of the main reasons of your fear. You realize that the nature of existence is changing and that the permanence and predictability you ask is neither possible not desirable. Awareness is also to have all the attention to the present moment and everything you do. It is to realize that you are always thinking about the goals and you forgot to be present on the road.
Awareness is the first step to change, because only if you observe your thoughts which is where your emotions are, the life you create and your joys and sorrows arise, you take control and take responsibility you have, not only in your own lives or in your personal development, but also in the world you create collectively.
I suggest you to join a certified yoga teacher to awaken your consciousness.
Anuloma Viloma, also known as Nadi Shodhan or Shuddhi Nadi, this exercise of pranayama purifies our subtle meridians and balance the right and left hemisphere of the brain that also corresponds to our two opposing, feminine and masculine forces in the spiritual anatomy.The alternate breathing through one nostril and another makes the energy flow in a balanced way by each of our major nadis, Ida and Pingala located on each side of the spine in a subtle plane.These represent our female pole (producer of cold) and male (heat producing) respectively.Our two main energy channels are connected to each other with one nostril i.e. Ida with our left nasal passage, which is receptive, creative and intuitive nature and Pingala is connected to our right nostril and regulates intellectual and active energy.
It cleanses and strengthens the lungs and airways, calms and focuses the mind, purifies the nadis, channels of energy system.Thanks to holding more oxygen to the blood drawn, there is a more effective expulsion of CO2.Anuloma Viloma increases the amount of prana stored in the system, restores balance of our energies and harmonizes the opposing anabolic and catabolic processes. It calms the nervous system, harmonizes and focuses the mind and brings a sense of clarity and inner peace.
How is it done?
- Sit with your back straight and shoulders relaxed in one of the easy postures of pranayama such as sukhasana, cross-legged, in half-lotus or in a chair with a firm backrest.Start with some normal breaths.
- Bring the index & middle fingers of your right hand into the palm of your hand, (Vishnu Mudra) or if you prefer to let them rest between your eyebrows, in Ajna chakra.
- Close your right nostril with your thumb, fully exhaling through the left nostril.
- Inhale through your left nostril.
- Block this nostril too, using your ring finger along with little finger.
- Exhale through right nostril.
- Inhale through right nostril, hold breath by blocking right nostril with right thumb & exhale through left nostril.
- This is one round and you have to practice five rounds.
- Then you can start to inhale for four seconds, hold for 16 seconds and exhale for eight seconds.Avoid keeping your right shoulder relaxed and rest your elbow on the corresponding chest while practicing this pranayama.
- As we are not accustomed to control breathing, sometimes we begin to feel a bit of impatience or anxiety when we start practicing pranayama.Try to bring attention to practice and relax your mind.Hold your breath and control while your mind is calm and focused.Over time you will see the relationship between flowing exercise and your inner state.
- The prolonged exhalations are not recommended for people with depression or low blood pressure.
- The very long inhalations should not be practiced by those with heart problems or hypertension.
- Do not force yourself doing the exercises out of your abilities.If you feel any discomfort, start breathing normally.
- As is the case with all yoga techniques, it is advisable to have guidance of a certified yoga teacher.
- Pranayama exercises can release stuck emotions.This is normal, so allow yourself to feel what you feel without judgment as you are cleaning.