Advanced Yoga Practices
Lesson 175 - Suspending Breath and New Experiences
Date: Wed Apr 28, 2004 4:59pm
Q: Today while practising breath awareness during slow breathing, I started to feel the breath backwards from the nostrils – top of nose -throat – chest cavity – upper stomach. I decided to probe further and started to go further down to the navel point and below it. Suddenly I realized my breathing was almost NIL! very very very faint as though I am not breathing at all, could feel air in the lower abdominal cavity, then I continued concentrating and to my surprise:
(1) Though I was stunned about faint breath and not thinking about sex, the sexual organ was getting very aroused.
(2) Also during pranayama if concentration is on forehead you can feel energy flowing from the chakra, but this time it was flowing upward from the lower abdomen (I’m not sure about the chakra’s name).
(3) Strangely only while in siddhasana I felt the intense energy but not while lying down.
(4) First time while practising I saw the picture of a hissing snake around a shiva lingam.
Why did the above things happen?
A: Thank you for writing and sharing.
All of those experiences are signs of purification and eventual full opening of your nervous system to divine experience. It is normal for breath to reduce in meditation and spinal breathing, even just beginning. The symptoms indicate your nervous system is spiritually sensitive and that you will likely continue to respond well to daily yoga practices such as deep meditation, spinal breathing pranayama, and other practices designed to stimulate the nervous system toward greater openings.
You did not mention if you are doing sitting practices from the lessons or elsewhere. Your experiment with breathing and attention, while interesting, is not something that will promote your spiritual growth very much. If you are not doing regular daily practices, you may wish to consider going through the lessons from the beginning. Not only will you learn solid practices, but you will also see many similar experiences discussed and how to regard them.
All experiences are signs of purification and opening, and the experiences themselves do not produce the spiritual progress. The practices do. If we find experiences coming up during practices, we just easily go back to the practice we are doing. Analyzing, trying to manage, or getting overly involved with physical sensations, visions, and other inner sensory experiences during practices will be a distraction from our progress. So this is why we just favor the practice we are doing. This produces maximum results. The business of favoring practices over experiences is very important. It was first mentioned early in the lessons, and is revisited often, like now. Enjoy the scenery as it goes by, but don’t take your eyes off the road so as to compromise your good driving (practices).
All you are seeing now is normal, and there is nothing to worry about. Good things are happening. Experiences come and go. Ecstatic bliss and rising enlightenment from practices come and stay, which is what we are all born to live. I wish you success on your chosen spiritual path.
The guru is in you.