The Science of Tantrik Pranayama: Part III

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Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 11.50.59 AM.png

The Science of Tantrik Pranayama: Part III


Part III Description: (Click here to view Parts I and II)

In Part III, we continue our study of the original Prānāyāma practice of Hatha Yoga, as originally prescribed in the earliest Tantras (5th-6th centuries). This Kundalinī-based sequence, was later obscured in the hatha-yoga texts which have come down to us. Our source is the tenth and eleventh chapters of the unpublished 'Beyond Time' (Kālottara) Tantra (my translation).

In this session, students will be introduced to the oldest teachings on pranayama ever revealed to the Modern West. The topics are as follows: (all from Chapter X)

* The Apāna, Samāna, Udāna and Vyāna (primary) vital Winds defined;

* their ordinary vs. yogic functions in the body;

* the Subsidiary Vital ‘winds,’ defined (function and purpose)
* suṣumnā, īddā, and piṅgalā nāḍīs, defined (function and purpose)

* Four Elemental Śaktis (Origin of the Cakra Seed Sounds) engaged in prānnāyāma

* Kuṇḍalinī – the 5th Śakti.

* Defining the Soul: the ‘Honey Bee’

* Udghāta, the ‘Upward Striking’ technique - and the Core practice of the Prānnāyāma sequence.

Series Description:

Christopher will introduce students to the prānāyāma science innovated in the Tantras. According to the surviving testimonies of countless Tantrik masters, when engaged with the ‘vocalization’ (ucchāra) technique, this three-part breath practice systematically eliminates disease and gradually reverses aging and death. 

We begin with a question -  was this prānāyāma-based science, known as Kriyā- or Kuṇḍalinī- Yoga in the Tantras, the same ‘Kriya Yoga’ practice introduced to the West by Paramahamsa Yogānanda (author of Autobiography of a Yogi)?

Drawing from un-published Tantrik passages and visual testimony presented in seven Chakra scrolls, this series will focus on the evolution of the pan-Tantrik prānāyāma technique which purportedly granted Yogīs access to Rasa, a liberating current of sonic ‘nectar’ that is drawn down from the 1,000 petalled lotus above the crown of the head. 

What exactly is this ‘Rasa,’ and does it really invigorate one’s  prāna (life force) as claimed? How is ‘Rasa’ related to the ‘nutrient fluid’ that sustains life in the womb before we become dependent on the breath to live? 

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