If you trace a person from being an infant to a full grown adult, you will notice, in most cases, a progressive decline in the skin texture and complexion. A baby is glowing pink whereas most adults, even in their prime youth, are plagued with a diseased skin and dull complexion. This is because, in the process of growing up, one is exposed to certain unnatural practices and stimuli from which it was kept protected in the womb.
Take for example, the simple act of breathing. If you observe a baby breathing, you would notice a pronounced abdominal movement. The stomach inflates as it breathes in and deflates as it breathes out. If you observe your own breathing patterns, most likely, you will find it to be the opposite and with little or no abdominal movement…this breathing pattern of yours, holds the key to the way you look and your present state of health.
Abdominal breathing maximizes the up and down movement of the diaphragm and ensures that lungs function at their optimal level, that is, they throw out spent air completely and also adequately replenish the body with fresh air from the environment. A decreased lung activity causes toxic residue to stay put in the body manifesting as disease and loss of natural radiance.
Our physical body, formed of the five elements, is a grosser reflection of the next layer, commonly known as the aura, which comprises of various energy centers and channels, called chakras and nadis respectively. The physical lungs and respiratory system, for example, are a reflection of the functioning of the anahat chakra in the etheric body. These chakras interpenetrate the physical and etheric layers, spiraling three and a half times in clockwise, and three and a half times in the anti-clockwise direction. When a chakra moves clockwise it is pulling fresh prana in, and while in reverse motion, it is throwing out heavy prana.
Our hyperactive lifestyle and artificial environment, results in decreased activity of the chakras hampering the proper exchange of prana. As a result, there is a congestion of prana in the pranic layer and the physical body being a reflection of the pranic body, shows symptoms of old age and disease. The book ‘the ageless dimension’ details specific practices from the Sanatan Kriya to stimulate and ensure optimal functioning of the various chakral points to prolong youth and radiance. For the specific example of the act of breathing, one may practice the Ujjai pranayam.
Yogi Ashwini is the spiritual head of Dhyan Ashram and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.