DRINKING WATER AND SWALLOWING AIR
Your body needs a reasonable supply of water and air. Water is used by
nature in different ways. Form the habit of drinking pure water from
5 to 8 tumblers a day. Drink slowly and form a mental image of
Prana-absorption from the water.
The student needs fresh air too in plenty. If your heart and lungs
are in sound condition they will draw in air naturally and extract oxygen
in proper quantities. If not, perform the following exercises carefully
one by one in the open air every day. They are quite reliable.
THE YOGI CLEANSING BREATH.
(1) Inhale a complete breath. (2) Retain the air a few seconds.
(3) Pucker up the lips as if for a whistle (but do not swell out the
cheeks) then exhale a little air through the opening with considerable
vigor. Then stop for a moment retaining the air and then exhale a little
more air. Repeat until the air is completely exhaled. Remember that
considerable vigor is to be used in exhaling air through the opening in
the lips. This breath will be found quite refreshing when one is tired
and generally "used up." A trial will convince the student of its merits.
This exercise should be practised until it can be performed naturally and
easily, as it is used to finish up a number of other exercises given in
this book and it should be thoroughly understood.
NERVE VITALISING BREATH
(1) Stand erect. (2) Inhale a complete breath and retain same. (3) Extend
the arms straight in front of you, letting them somewhat limp and
relaxed, with only sufficient nerve force to hold them out. (4) Slowly
draw the hands back towards the shoulders gradually, contracting the
muscles and putting force into them, so that when they reach the
shoulders the fists will be so tightly clenched that a tremulous motion
is felt. (5) Then keeping the muscles tense push the fists slowly out and
then draw them back rapidly (still tense) several times. (6) Exhale
vigorously through the mouth. (7) Practise the cleansing breath. (8)
The efficiency of this exercise depends greatly upon the speed of the
drawing back of the fists, and the tension of the muscles, and, of course
upon the full lungs. This exercise must be tried to be appreciated. It
is without equal as a "bracer" as our western friends put it.
THE VOCAL BREATH
(1) Inhale a complete breath very slowly, but steadily, through the
nostrils, taking as much time as possible in the inhalation. (2) Retain
for a few seconds. (3) Expel the air vigorously in one great breath,
through the wide-opened mouth. (4) Rest the lungs by the cleansing
breath. This would give you a good, rolling voice.
THE RETAINED BREATH
(1) Stand erect. (2) Inhale a complete breath. (3) Retain the
breath as long as you can comfortably. (4) Exhale vigorously through
the open mouth. (5) Practise the cleansing breath. At first you will
be able to retain the breath only a short time, but a little practise
will also show a great improvement. Time yourself with a watch, if you
wish to note your progress.
(1) Stand erect with hands in sides. (2) Breathe in very slowly and
gradually. (3) While inhaling, gently tap the chest with the fingertips,
constantly changing position. (4) When the lungs are filled, retain the
breath and the chest with the palms of the hands. (5) Practise the
(1) Stand erect. (2) Place the hands one on each side of the body
as high up in the armpits as convenient, the thumbs reaching towards
the back, the palms on the side of the chest and the fingers to the front
over the breast. (3) Inhale a complete breath. (4) Retain the air for
a short time. (5) Then gently squeeze the sides at the same time slowly
exhaling. (6) Practise the cleansing breath.
(1) Stand erect. (2) Inhale a complete breath. (3) Retain the
air. (4) Extend both arms forward and bring the two clenched fists
together on a level with the shoulder. (5) Then swing back the fists
vigorously until the arms stand out straight side-ways from the
shoulders. (6) Then bring back to position (4) and swing to position
(5). Repeat several times. (7) Exhale vigorously through the open mouth.
(8) Practise the cleansing breath.
(1) Walk with head up, chin drawn slightly in, shoulders back, and
with measured tread. (2) Inhale a complete breath, counting (mentally)
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, one count to each step making the inhalation
extend over the eight counts. (3) Exhale slowly through the nostrils,
counting as before 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, one count to a step. (4) Rest
between breaths, continuing, walking and counting 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8,
one count to a step. (5) Repeat until you begin to feel tired. Then rest
for a while and resume at pleasure. Repeat several times a day. You may
vary the exercise by retaining the breath during a 1, 2, 3, 4, count and
then exhale in an eight-step count. Practise whichever plan seems most
agreeable to you.
(1) Stand erect in a military attitude, head up, eyes front, shoulders
back, knees stiff, hands at sides. (2) Raise body slowly on toes,
inhaling a complete breath, steadily and slowly. (3) Retain the breath
for a few seconds, maintaining the same position. (4) Slowly sink the
first position at the same time slowly exhaling the air through the
nostrils. (5) Practise cleansing breath. (6) Repeat several times,
varying by using right leg alone, then left leg alone.
(1) Stand erect. (2) Inhale a complete breath and retain. (3) Bend
forward slightly and grasp a stick or cane steadily and firmly, and
gradually exerting your entire strength upon the grasp. (4) Relax the
grasp, return to first position, and slowly exhale. (5) Repeat several
times. (6) Finish with the cleansing breath. (N. B.--The above are
from the Yoga Teachings.)
MEDITATION EXERCISE No. I
Retire into the silence. Say: I AM FEARLESS. Concentrate calmly on that
idea. Think it out in all its bearings. See yourself in your mind's eye
as possessing the desired quality and acting it out in actual life. Let
your mind indulge in a good, strongly-dramatized day-dream. Only insist
upon its sticking to the particular text of thought and always showing
you successful at the end. Finish up with a vigorous affirmation of the
"I am." Practise at the same hour daily for 6 months at least.
Exercise No. II.
Retire into the silence. Concentrate earnestly thus: I send out
strong, positive, healing thought-waves of love to all mankind. Let the
disease-ridden become healthy. Let the weak become strong. Let the
needy ones become prosperous and happy. Let the fearful ones become
filled with courage. Let the cruel become kind and merciful. Let the
hateful and hating ones become loving. Let the impure ones become
pure. Let the bereaved, deserted, sorrow-stricken ones become soothed
Picture to yourself strong waves of Thought-Force passing out of
you and encircling the whole world. Picture the world as peopled with
men and women manifesting the desired conditions.
The more friends sit together in union of will and soul concentrating
as above-indicated the better. Practise alone if you can find no earnest
and serious-minded ones to join you.
Believe in your power to so help humanity. The power of thought
is unlimited. In blessing others bless yourself. The effect of this
exercise will be far-reaching. It shall follow and be a blessing to you
even after death. Practise regularly at the same place and time as far as
Be earnest in your work.
Do not talk of your exercises to others.
The above exercises will wonderfully develop and strengthen anyone who
tries them. The deep breathing exercise already given is known as
Pranayama or Controlling the Psychic Breath. Its main purpose is to
give you control over your Prana and unfold the Psychic Force latent in
you. Practised on an impure body and weak lungs it may do harm. Hence
students are advised to undergo the above 10 breathing exercises first
and then, when their lungs have developed the power of endurance, they
should take that up. It will take time, patience, and serious work.
But if the student is sufficiently energetic he will perfect all these
exercises in six months. But follow nature's plan and be slow and steady.