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Prana vs Kundalini


The following posts on Prana vs Kundalini and on Pranayama took place between Feb 1998 and between March and May 1998


Prana vs Kundalini Sent: Wednesday, February 18, 1998 10:52 AM To:; Subject: Re: Prana VS Kundalini

Dear Kurt,

I was wondering if you or anyone else has a good description of the difference between Prana and Kundalini?

Bonnie Greenwell in Energies of Transformation writes "The term 'prana' is used by some scholars interchangeable with 'Kundalini' but this is correct only in the most general sense...Prana is an electrical-like energy flow in the body which is more gross and more accessible than Kundalini, and in fact, keeps the entire system in working order even while Kundalini lies asleep or dormant at the base of the spine. It could be considered a stepped-down vibration of the more powerful Kundalini force..."

Are there different symptoms associated with the two? Or is it simply a matter of degree? They both seem to be associated with Bliss mystical experience and a certain amount of spine activity.

Thanks everyone,


Subj: RE: Prana VS Kundalini Date: 98-02-18 15:05:25 EST From: (Kurt Keutzer)

Couple things

First of all it would be great if kundalini-l would discuss things like this - so have you thought of sending you question to the list?

Also - you might check out my kundalini faq. I devote a few paragraphs on the topic. It is a very good question which I have asked a number of different swami's and lamas in order to try to clarify my own experience. Why don't you read that and then we can chat some more. Like I said - I've asked this question many times.

Good luck, Kurt


I was reading your post and I hope you don't mind if I add my 20 cents (inflation) worth.

What you are talking about here is something I have been wondering about myself. I experience varying degrees of what I call "electromagnetic" energy within my physical frame. From my experience there appears to be an energy which "flows" smoothly in sine wave form and an energy which "flashes" or "bursts" into parts of my body. I have been puzzled over this. What do you think?

The flashing energy sometimes brings physical discomfort, especially when I am trying to fall asleep. It seems to land right in my heart center when I'm either already or falling asleep. My heart rate will jump about 25 bpm's and of course I will not sleep. These bursts also appear in my forehead (a lot lately), my legs, feet, hands, and my face - mouth, nose, ears!

The other energy - the sine wave - is peaceful and loving. I love it. It is with me neverending and moves to and from the top of my head and chest as well as to and from the palms of my feet and hands. It is electromagnetic as well. I feel consciousness attached to it - a will. I think it's my greater self, but I haven't made the full connection yet.

I'll stop for now so someone else can jump in on this flow and add some new light.

Love in light(is what we are) Mark< Ge Da


Date: 98-02-18 23:43:29 EST From: (Kurt Keutzer)

Here are some thoughts gathered from my FAQ, from other recent postings and from some last minute musings:

On prana and kundalini:

From the subjective standpoint of an individual actually experiencing the awakening of kundalini I have found three completely different opinions: The first opinion is that a pranic awakening is only a prelude to a full kundalini awakening. Tibetan yogins that I have encountered consider the activation of prana (Tibetan: rlung) as merely a prerequisite for the activation of kundalini (Tibetan: gTummo). What's attractive about this viewpoint is that it explains the difference between the experience of simply having pleasant sensations in the spine and the much more powerful experience of having a ``freight-train''-like full kundalini experience.

The second opinion, espoused by Swami Shivom Tirth for example, is that prana and kundalini are absolutely equivalent and that it is not meaningful in any way to describe a difference between kundalini rising and prana rising. When posed with question as to how to distinguish between pleasant sensations that show some pranic-activity in the spine and the much more powerful experience Swami Shivom Tirth said that the difference is not in the nature of the activity but in the consciousness that observes it. If the consciousness that experiences the pranic activity is seated within the spine (or more correctly, the central channel, known as the sushumna), then the experience is felt much more powerfully.

The third opinion, espoused by the modern hatha yogin, Desikacar, is that pranic awakening is the true experience to be aimed for and kundalini is actually an obstruction. Desikacar sees the kundalini as a block in the central channel and thus the kundalini must be ``killed'' to make way for the prana. This is the most unusual view of the three. ''

With due reverence to Swami Shivom Tirth I subscribe to the first view. I would certainly agree that while a pranic piercing of the cakras is a profound experience it is still not sufficient for enlightenment. The second possibility is the difference between kundalini rising through a cakra and a complete piercing of the cakra. I think most readers of this group must have experienced a lightning-like rising of kundalini all the way to the crown or sahasrara. I do think that this is kundalini rising but I don't think this could be considered a piercing of the cakras. So what is a piercing? I believe a piercing is when there is a permanent elimination of the knot at a cakra.

In my limited experience the flow of prana is associated with a pleasant tingling and mild ``electric'' charge. The area feels more vitality. As long as the prana is not in the central channel there is a clear maintenance of a ``normal'' waking consciousness with a subject-object dichotomy. When prana enters the central channel then the character of the experience changes dramatically. The mind becomes centered. There is a good description of the stages of this experience in the Svetashvatara Upanishad and also in Tibetan yogic literature. Briefly, the solidity of the body feels like it dissolves. First earth dissolves - you feel like your body is no longer sharply defined. Then water you still have a sense of locality but it is not defined at clearly. Then stage by stage your individuality dissolves ... eventually into clear light.

OTOH -in my limited experience, when the *kundalini* rises in the central channel then the mind is naturally and immediately drawn into a powerful (from a subjective standpoint) samadhi. As kundalini rises the individuality is obliterated - not slowly dissolved as in the pranic awakening.

Kundalini has only been at my sahasrara for brief periods of time but during these times I experienced a total unity with the entire universe. In these brief periods thoughts were too pitiful and insignificant to influence the state in any way. When one's awareness has merged with the entire universe (or at least that is the subjective experience) then what is the meaning of cultivating awareness or becoming aware of the divine will? And since the universe is comprehended by one's own consciousness where would the Holy Spirit come from and where would it go?

But this is just my experience - no more no less. I don't think there is anything definitive about it and I hope people don't feel that I am trying to play a ``my experience is superior to yours'' game. I think that there are many others who have valuable experiences to share. I also can never write up a ``summary'' like this without evolving my understanding. Who knows what I'll think about things next time.

Kind Regards,



Subj: Re: Prana vs kundalini Date: 98-02-20 09:00:22 EST From: Harsha In a message dated 98-02-20 00:32:19 EST, peswani writes:

<< Dear Peshwani writes: Awareness of Prana energy takes one to Suniata or Nirvana towards higher evolution.>>

Harsha writes: The Practice of Awareness of Awareness takes one to Nirvana.

<> Harsha writes: This is true. Kundalini energy takes one to all the Deva lokas in different Samadhis. At death, if a person is not liberated he or she may go to one of the celestial realms and be born again. However, for a Sage who has become wholly indifferent to all states of consciousness and enjoyments of heaven, the Shakti rises fully and merges with the Self, resulting in complete and eternal Freedom.

On the difference between Prana and Kundalini Harsha further suggests: As a practical matter, Kundalini Shakti and Prana cannot be separated. The Kundalini is the mother of Prana or the Chief Prana. This is why She is called Prana Shakti. She is also the mother of the Mind. When the Shakti enters the Sushmana, mind and prana enter with her (prana begins to be withdrawn from all over the body and the body becomes motionless). Different Schools may explain it differently. What is important is for the aspirant to grasp the essentials of the spiritual path and practice. The readings are endless (As Dear Kurt's list makes evident). Following the Pure teaching of non-violence, spiritual aspiration, the Blessings of Sages, and practical application are the keys to unlock the open mystery of Existence.

God bless everyone......



Date: Wed, 25 Mar 1998 13:06:28 -0800 From: Kurt Keutzer Subject: RE: PRANAYAMA-The Reality of Practice

Anurag Goel wrote:

> Hi, > i have experienced that bhasrika can be a quick way of kundalini > awakening . I am not saying that i have awakenend my kundalini > through bhasrika. > Love, > anurag

Harsha: Yes, one may awaken one's Kundalini in meditation, and still practice Bhastrika along with Bandhas as one of the supplementary spiritual practices. Bhastrika is one of the most powerful pranayama exercises and indeed one of the more complex subjects just by itself. Kapalabhati is simply a preparatory exercise for it. In Bhastrika the full capacity of the lungs (both upper and lower portions) is used. Other physical practices are combined with Bhastrika for the full effect. Yesterday Kurt suggested that Bhastrika could not awaken the Kundalini and cited B.K.S Iyengar as support. It actually depends on how Bhastrika is practiced and with what intensity. Mild practice of Bhastrika is a very helpful supplement to meditation but may not directly awaken the Kundalini. But practiced properly with discipline under close guidance Bhastrika can be very effective in awakening the Kundalini and even helpful in breaking of the three Granthis. To say that the practice of Bhastrika absolutely cannot lead to Kundalini awakening is plain wrong regardless of whether B.K.S Iyengar says it or someone else. A person may be well known but still may not have engaged in proper practice and therefore may not be aware of the correct nature of things.

KK rejoinders: I would like to think that with sufficient dialog we might come to a better understanding of the role of bhastrika but comments like ``. A person may be well known but still may not have engaged in proper practice and therefore may not be aware of the correct nature of things. '' hardly invites that. I think the proper way of making a point is to integrated practice, classical literature and the oral tradition. I think B. K. S. Iyengar is a reliable source of information on yoga. I would not challenge him lightly but I am happy to hear more about your position. If you have more to say. There are many ways to awaken kundalini - I believe that with study and practice and consulting with experienced yogins (and at least one yogini) I have come to understand most of them. Nevertheless, I agree with B. K. S. Iyengar that bhastrika does not awaken kundalini. The term ``bellows breath'', I contend, is not just due to the nature of the exercise but due the fact that it works like a bellows to fan the fire at the navel. But the fire must be started to begin with. A bellows can change a tiny spark to a raging fire, given sufficient fuel, but a bellows cannot create a spark. Anyway, this is just my model based on what I have learned and experienced. Nevertheless, perhaps I'll learn something today that broadens my model - but it will take more than just a defacto statement. A pointer to the classical literature would be a good start. Simply appealing to one's experience is not because:

Drawing strictly on one's experience can be misleading. We all come into this life with different karmic predispositions. There was a person who had all the evidence of an enlightened yogin who claimed that the fastest path to enlightenment was eating only fruits, vegetables and spring water. That was all it took for him but that hardly means that diet is a path to enlightenment. I can easily understand someone who's kundalini is already awake practicing bhastrika and experiencing an intensified kundalini experience as a result - I have experienced that myself - but that still does not emply that bhastrika awakens kundalini.

My paper below discusses the role of Pranayama and Meditation in Kundalini Awakening and gives appropriate cautions. It is authoratative and based on my own experiences.

I'll respond to this in a separate post.

Kind Regards,



Subj: Re: PRANAYAMA-The Reality of Practice Date: 98-03-25 17:40:58 EST From: hluthar Kurt Keutzer wrote:

> Nevertheless, perhaps I'll learn something today that broadens my model - > but it will take more than just a defacto statement. A pointer to the > classical literature would be a good start. Simply appealing to one's > experience is not because:

Harsha replies: A wide variety of techniques having to do with the breath can awaken the Kundalini Shakti including simply being aware of the breath. Bhastrika certainly can be very helpful and awaken the Kundalini when practiced properly. Since you wish to rely on support from other sources why don't you look at Swami Sivananda's classic book on Pranayama and the one on Kundalini Yoga. I can give you other sources as well. What other traditional Yogis have said is consistent with what I have said.


Subj: RE: PRANAYAMA-The Reality of Practice Date: 98-03-25 18:16:22 EST From: (Kurt Keutzer) Kurt Keutzer wrote:

> Nevertheless, perhaps I'll learn something today that broadens my model - > but it will take more than just a defacto statement. A pointer to the > classical literature would be a good start. Simply appealing to one's > experience is not because:

Harsha replies: A wide variety of techniques having to do with the breath can awaken the Kundalini Shakti including simply being aware of the breath. Bhastrika certainly can be very helpful and awaken the Kundalini when practiced properly. Since you wish to rely on support from other sources why don't you look at Swami Sivananda's classic book on Pranayama and the one on Kundalini Yoga. I can give you other sources as well. What other traditional Yogis have said is consistent with what I have said.

KK: I'll check it out. But I've gone through this once before. Reading Iyengar's comment and Swami Satyananda Saraswati (that bhastrika did awaken kundalini) in short succession I then turned to Hatha Yoga Pradipika, Gorakshashataka, etc. I did not find any reference to using bhastrika to awaken kundalini in those works.

I think earlier you made a good point about ensuring that the breath is drawn and expulsed very low in the abdomen in bhastrika. Kundalini can also be awakened by loosening the know at the navel. This practice might do it.


Subj: Re: PRANAYAMA-The Reality of Practice Date: 98-03-25 18:47:49 EST From: Danijel Turina) At 17:40 1998.03.25 -0500, you wrote: >Kurt Keutzer wrote:

> >> Nevertheless, perhaps I'll learn something today that broadens my model - >> but it will take more than just a defacto statement. A pointer to the >> classical literature would be a good start. Simply appealing to one's >> experience is not because:

> >Harsha replies: A wide variety of techniques having to do with the breath can >awaken the Kundalini Shakti including simply being aware of the breath. >Bhastrika certainly can be very helpful and awaken the Kundalini when practiced >properly. Since you wish to rely on support from other sources why don't you >look at Swami Sivananda's classic book on Pranayama and the one on Kundalini >Yoga. I can give you other sources as well. What other traditional Yogis have >said is consistent with what I have said.

Well, if I may express my views on this... If you want to awaken your Kundalini, find a shaktipat master. That is the best way, safest, etc.

If it is not possible, go to Angelique's grounding page. If you are ready, it will happen. My Kundalini was awakened only by love and adoration, no technique at all, just love for the Goddess. It was so easy because I was ready, it was natural. However, if one is _not_ ready, pranayama and other techniques might be necessary. It is probably the most dangerous stunt one could possibly attempt. If mildest possible techniques are not enough to awaken you, don't do it, you are not ready. You might get hurt or killed or both. At one period in my life I practiced purvaka-kumbhaka-rechaka pranayama according to Svami Shivananda's technique - actually it is the thing from the Upanishads, 1-4-2 ratio. At some times I felt absolutely great, at others I felt awful. I almost killed myself with that shit, thank God I was smart enough to feel my body protest against that and stopped. Pranayama of that kind is dangerous and useless shit. If your K isn't awakened, that's not the way to do it. If it is awakened, you don't need that shit either. So flush it down the toilet. That's my opinion on pranayama.

----- ************

Subj: RE: PRANAYAMA Date: 98-03-23 15:50:19 EST From: (Kurt Keutzer)

>Hi, I think it's necessary to retain breath as long as you can for kundalini awakening. I found this to when i practise pranayama.

>Love, >anurag

KK: The hatha yoga texts speak of suffocating kundalini so that she rises. This seems to me to be the most difficult way of awakening her - and if the energy is not centered in the central channel when breath is retained then that can create an energy imbalance which manifests as physical discomfort or mental imbalance. As I said before:

> > Thirdly, My point was different however. I believe that kundalini can be > easily awakened through breath without danger. That is not quite the same > as saying all pranayama practices are not dangerous. It's the difference > between ``there exists a safe way of awakening kundalini through > pranayama'' vs. ``all pranayama practices are not dangerous''. I don't > think that holding your breath for 3 minutes is necessary to awaken > kundalini - even when you awaken it through breath. In kumbhaka pranayama > the point is to mix apana and prana - that is correlated with but not > strictly caused by retention.


Subj: Re: Bhastrika revisited Date: 98-04-04 21:54:49 EST from: (anandajyoti)

Kurt Keutzer wrote:

> KK: > This reminded me that we never closed out the prior bhastrika discussion. > Does bhastrika awaken kundalini? > Anandajyoti> Yes , it is one out of the many ,of the tools for awakening > Kundalini.

> B. K. S. Iyengar writes in *Light on Pranayama*: > ``Many people misconceive that bhastrika pranayama awakens the kundalini > shakti. The authoritative books have said the same regarding many > pranayamas and asanas, but this is far from true. [Looks like I'm not the > only one who questions authority]. There is no doubt that bhastika and > kapalabhati refresh the brain and stir it to activity,

Anandajyoti> What BKS writes is true to an extent. I guess, he only practiced or spoke with the focus on the physical effects with regard to the enhancement of the flow of prana to the brain.It appears to be contradictory, when BKS mentions of the dangers in the same paragraph." but if people perform them because they believe they awaken the kundalini, disaster to body, nerves and brain may result.'' He points out the factor of belief, but fails to elaborate why the disasters may result.

IMHO, the awakening of the Kundalini is not affective on the body alone. This is where, most people overlook the other factors. Kundalini also affects the emotions, thoughts, feelings, and the way most people use the energy when so awakened, according to their personal proclivities and inclinations, for that is the path of least resistance. For it takes effort to analyze the process, and make appropriate choices, and finally act , after much consideration, while living in this world.

Nature's way is to follow the path of least resistance. Isn't that true?

> > > Kurt>On the other hand K. S. Joshi, student of Swami Kuvalayananda, founder > of > the Kaivalyadharma Center wrote in *Yogic Pranayama*: > ``... This variety of pranayam is recommended for the purpose of arousing > the kundalini quickly.''

> What to make of this. Briefly, kundalini is awakened when the sun/Surya power > is awakened at the navel cakra. The heat is said to awaken the sleeping > serpent. So how to awaken the sun/Surya power?

Anandajyoti> I would welcome some comment on this question, "on how to awaken this Solar power?" Why do not the Gurus or even illustrious authors on the subject spell it out?

> Kurt> Another method is apparently through simply breathing through the right > > nostril (closing the left). The right channel (pingala) is associated with > the sun and focusing on breathing exclusively through the right nostril. is > said to awaken the sun/Surya at the navel. Never confirmed this myself but > have found it a number of places.

Anandajyoti> Yes this method also works, but takes months or years of regular , timely, practice.

> Kurt> > However, if bhastrika is augmented in either of two ways: > a) by applying mula bandha (see kundalini faq, or your favorite yoga book) > - this will unite prana (due to bhastrika) and apana (due to mula bandha) > b) (if you buy this right nostril stuff), then practicing bhastrika with > the right nostril only or with alternation of nostrils (due to the right > channel being activated) > Anandajyoti> Right nostril breathing energizes the left brain more so than > the right brain, so have I been taught. I would have to test it out on myself > , from this perspective, before I can comment further on this apsect.

Anandajyoti> What kurt mentions on the root lock for the prana and apana to unite is an established experiential fact , of course through practice.

> Kurt> In K. S. Joshi's book he describes the alternation of nostrils during > bhastrika. In many other books on pranayama the mula bandha is also > applied. So perhaps this explains the variety of views.

Anandajyoti> I was taught to do it initially through alternate nostril breathing. I have also tried with both nostrils and now it works as fine, in comparison with alternate nostrils.



Subj: Re: Milarepa and pranayama? Date: 98-05-14 23:32:00 EDT From: Harsha

In a message dated 5/14/1998 7:29:30 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< So I think that with a concentrated mind, flexible nadis and with the blessings of great masters then tummo is an effective practice. I don't know anything about Danijel's technique so I don't know how to compare it to that.

May all find comfort and joy KUrt

>> Summary of Danijel's Technique: That's it. Try to do it at will, using yoni mudra, that is the contraction of the perineum/anus (perineum/anus/vagina for women) area, it draws the energy into susumna nadi, going straight up and leaving your body through sahasra-ara. When you do this, at first you could have parts of your body jerking; left-right head movement means you are doing it right; energy is performing a spiral movement around the spine and exiting through the crown chakra. I called this technique "up-stream kriya", a sort of an English/Sanskrit mish-mash. :)

Harsha's comment: Danijel, "your" technique imitates in a very mild way the last stage of Bandha Traya. However, in Bandha Traya, Mulabandha, Jalandrabandha, and Uddiyana Bandha are applied simultaneously with the breath having been expired. This leads to the shaking of the body. Pranayama practitioners become automatically sensitive to that movement. There are many many variations on this. By the way, there are some people who claim that standing on one's head for three hours a day leads to moksha as well. I would still suggest you follow up on Kurt's references. Be happy. Do not overshake your self:--)


Subj: RE: Milarepa and pranayama? Date: 98-05-15 13:41:12 EDT From: (Kurt Keutzer)

-----Original Message----- From: Danijel Turina Sent: Friday, May 15, 1998 2:30 AM Subject: RE: Milarepa and pranayama?

At 19:26 1998.05.14 -0700, you wrote:

>KK: > The tummo >practice focuses particularly on the winds entering the central channel >at the navel cakra. I find the positive of this approach versus others >is that the tummo teachings are very grounding.

Danijel: Thank you for the informations, that is more like what I wanted to find out. I would suppose it uses manipura pranic system to channel energy. Is there any experience on what happens when system is purified enough to switch from pranic flows to vajra (visuddha cakra)?

KK: The tummo practice cycles the energy through all the chakras. The energy rises from the navel chakra by chakra to the crown until it melts the ``drop'' at the crown. Then the energy can also be allowed to descend cakra by cakra but great stability of mind is required to ensure that the energy doesn't leak out. If you are interested you could read the books translated by Glenn Mullin that were mentioned in earlier posts. The process is described in much more detail there. Enjoy.


Subj: Re: Kumbhaka (was RE: Milarepa and pranayama?) Date: 98-05-16 13:33:29 EDT From: Harsha

In a message dated 5/15/1998, 2:26:52 PM, writes: So a few questions:

1) Does the subjective experience of suspension really entail stopping breath. Many times it feels like the breath has stopped - the attention is absorbed elsewhere - but if you put your hand under your nose you feel a little gentle flow. And if there are all these prolonged breath suspensions out there - where are the studies? Kaivalya Yoga Center published articles on yoga for over 20 years and they were the ones who debunked the yogi in a coffin scenario. I've mentioned the results of ``scholarly'' scientific journals that I have found. (Incidentally, Harsha's 3 minutes seems quite feasible to me- I just haven't seen it mirrored in a scientific study - maybe it's waiting out there for me)

Harsha: Sahita Kumbhaka *does* really entail stopping the breath or complete suspension. This is, however, proceeded first by a lengthy sequence of special exercises. Only then you inhale and simply hold when the lungs are full (without application of Bandhas at this stage). This "Act" can be observed clearly by those who are watching. The fact that the breath is being held should easily be measurable by sensitive lab instruments. In Sahita Kumbhaka, the length of retention can be gradually increased to 3 minutes and much beyond. This is a very complex subject matter, which cannot be done justice here. There are not many good books on it other than the ones I have mentioned. Although most yoga masters and yoga schools teach "advanced pranayama", it seems that very few individuals have extensive practical experience in long term breath retention (including the so called Yoga Masters). In Kevala Kumbhaka, on the other hand, the breath appears to have stopped, but at a subtle level it continues. One might be in a Samadhi or having a Superconscious experience at this point. The body gets the oxygen it needs. Kevela Kumbhaka is enough by itself to awaken the Kundalini Shakti. No Bandhas come into play here. Kevala Kumbhaka can occur in meditation or through "special gentle breathing" which does not require retention.

Kurt: 2) Is retention really the thing? Over time I focused more and more on the union of the prana and apana - this is what led most to results in awakening kundalini for me. The results studying the tummo practitioners would support this I think.

Harsha: Different traditions emphasize different techniques for a variety of reasons. Pranayama can be practiced with or without breath retention. Kundalini awakening and spiritual realization do not depend on conscious breath retention. Even pure meditation by itself is enough. People should practice those techniques which are comfortable and which give them the results that they want.

Kurt: 3)And what about the role of heat in kundalini - many people here report increased heat - any quantification out there?

Harsha: Psychic heat and physical heat can be produced by many meditation and pranayama techniques. Aiming pranic currents at the Kundalini is helpful in awakening it. Some manifestations of the Kundalini, particularly in the beginning are "heat" producing but others are not. It also depends on the technique being used. As an aspirant matures in his/her practice, there may be no heat at all associated with Kundalini manifestations and spiritual experiences. Again, I am not aware of any scientific literature on the topic but am speaking purely from my own experience..


Subj: Re: Pranayama, Kundalini and Science (was Kumbhaka) Date: 98-05-21 22:29:32 EDT From: Harsha1MTM In a message dated 5/21/1998 4:22:56 PM Pacific Daylight Time, writes:

<< Harsha wrote:

[] >If there is a scientific interest in studying Kundalini, it would seem that > Pranayama would be the natural place to start as at least the "external" > practice of breathing and retaining the breath can be observed > and measured.[]

Jan: I wonder, if it would be possible to design a program of pranayama that can be used as part of the lessons in school. Even with a simple program, it would provide the possibility to compare matters like ability to concentrate with a control-group that doesn't practice. If the results are promising, enough interest will be aroused to continue/intensify the study. The test-group will later on provide statistical evidence for the relationship between pranayama and (spontaneous) K.

>> Harsha: Yes. I think that is possible. It is widely accepted among Yogis that pranayama gives special powers of concentration. It is mentioned even in Patanjali. I think this can easily be put to a test in the context of the "scientific method." That would be a good start.

KK: I think there are a couple questions that are kicking around here. The first is: What are `` the advanced methods of Pranayama and their limits?''

Harsha: Description of "advanced methods" can be found in many books which have been cited on the list. The "limits" of these methods is what would be tested.

Kurt: The second is: What do these have to do with awakening kundalini? As you said before - they are not necessary -because kundalini can be awakened without them.

Harsha: This is true. Kundalini awakening and Knowledge of Self do not depend on any particular method. However, we have been talking about testing Kundalini manifestations in the "scientific" realm. My suggestion is that if one wishes to study the phenomena of Kundalini manifestations "scientifically," pranayama may be a good place to start due to ease of observation of the subjects as to what they are precisely doing and measuring the results (Heart, blood pressure, changes in the brain patterns, etc.). Although, I am generally skeptical of what Kundalini research can produce I feel I should be "supportive" of the scientific method.

Kurt: I'm still unclear about the resolution of the kumbhaka issue. It seems that kumbhaka is not necessary, as per the discussion above, but neither is it sufficient. Otherwise these deep sea free-divers would be kundalini awakened.

Harsha: I agree about the deep sea free-divers. However, Kumbhaka in some form or another will naturally result in any system of spiritual practice. In higher Samadhis there is Kevala Kumbhaka. We should leave open the possibility that the "physiology" that comes into play in the highest Samadhis is not known to science.

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