ASANAS, PRANAYAMAS, BANDHAS AND SAMADHI
Prana and its control
The operating causes of the mind are the powers of memory and Prana. If either of them is not active, the other one also becomes inactive. Among these, the yogi should take control over Prana first. This can be made possible by employing temperance in food, proper posture and awakening the power in the order mentioned. In other words, Mithahara, Asana and Shakti Chalana are the three ways to take control over Prana.
Temperance in food
Gautama! Listen to me sincerely! I explain them (three ways of controlling Prana) in detail.
The postures are of two kinds. They are Padmasana and Vajrasana.
Kundalini awakening (Shakthi Chalana)
Kundalini alone is the power. The learned one should rouse it from its seat to the middle of the eyebrows. This is known as the kundalini awakening. This involves two practices. The rousing of Sarasvati Nadi and holding up the Prana. By these practices, Kundalini gets its uprightness.
Rousing of Sarasvati Nadi (Sarasvati Chalana)
Among these practices, I now explain the practice of rousing the Sarasvati Nadi which was known as Arundhati earlier. By rousing the Nadi, Kundalini makes her move on her own.
I now proceed to explain Pranayama. Prana is the vital air coursing through the body. Ayama is Kumbhaka or the control. Kumbhaka is of two kinds: Sakala Kumbhaka (combined with inhalation and exhalation) and Kevala Kumbhaka (happening on its own). Combined variety is to be practised till Kevala Kumbhaka manifests on its own. Kumbhakas namely Surya Kumbhaka, Ujjayi Kumbhaka, Sitali Kumbhaka, and Bastrika Kumbhaka are of combined variety.
Securing a secluded and hallowed spot within the reach of the bow, devoid of pebbles, chillness, fire, and water, he should assume Baddha Padmasana on a seat which is of medium height, which is easy to assume, and which gives comfort.
Holding the mouth tightly, he should inhale the air through both the nostrils in such a way that occupying the space between throat and heart and making a noise. He should make Kumbhaka as before and exhale through the left nostril.
After performing Kumbhakas as said earlier, he should inhale the air through the tongue and exhale it through both the nostrils. (Note: Kumbhaka is implied in between).
Assuming Lotus Pose, keeping the neck and belly in line and holding the mouth tightly, he should expel the air through the nostrils in such a way that it makes a noise from throat to head. Then he should fill in a little air to the heart and expel it quickly as before and repeat the process again and again. Like the pair of the bellows of the blacksmith is blown in quick succession, he should make the air move in the body.
After mastering the four Kumbhakas mentioned, three bandhas should be performed by the learned yogi.
When the downward coursing Apana is directed upwards by the constriction, it is Mula-Bandha.
Uddiyana Bandha is to be performed after Kumbhaka and before exhalation. (Note: Uddiyana Bandha is performed by constricting the lower abdomen muscles towards the spine).
It should be performed after inhalation that means, before Kumbhaka. (It is performed by constricting the throat by pressing the chin against the chest). It obstructs the path of Prana by making a lock in the throat region. The nether part of the throat being pressed, Prana enters Susumna.
Number of Times for Pranayama Practice
On the first day, ten times each of four kinds of Pranayama should be practised. On the second day, fifteen times of each kind of Pranayama. On the third day and subsequent days, the number should be progressively increased by five per day.
Obstacles to Yoga Practice
The awakening of Kundalini
Then he should perform the practice of Pranayama constantly fixing his mind on the truth. The mind takes its seat in Susumna and Prana does not move forward.
The Absolute Consciousness and Right Knowledge
Then the body of the yogi which is of Adhibhautika (pertains to matter) becomes Adhideivika (pertains to unseen forces).
The awakening of Kundalini – a quick recap
The power Kundalini which is in the form of a fine filament of lotus stalk having bitten the knot of Muladhara with the top of its hood, taken hold its tail by mouth, reaches Brahma-Randhra.
The letters of Kechara, Avasatha, Vahni, Ambu mandala forms the Bija Mantra. (Note: The Bija mantra formed is “Hreem”). The Lambika yoga performed with that can be achieved.
The tongue should be drawn up from the root of the palate and cleansed for seven days in the manner prescribed by the Guru.
JIVAN MUKTI AND VIDEHA MUKTI
Jivan Mukta and Videha Mukta
Om Tat Sat!
Ref: Sanskrit Text Reference