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Panting Dog Breath – Pranayam to Boost Your Immune System
Sit in Easy Pose with your chin in and your chest out. Stick your tongue all the way out and keep it out as you rapidly breathe in and out through your mouth. This is called Dog Breath. Continue this panting diaphragmatic breath for 3-5 minutes.
To finish, inhale, and hold your breath for 15 seconds and press the tongue against the upper palate. Exhale. Repeat this sequence two more times.
This exercise brings energy to your immune system to fight infection. It is a very healing exercise. When you feel a tingling in your toes, thighs, and lower back it is an indication that you are doing this exercise correctly.
Immune System Booster: The Inner Sun
Posture: Sit in Easy Pose, with a light neck lock
Mudra: Bend the left arm and raise the hand up to shoulder level. The palm faces forward. The forearm is perpendicular to the ground. Make Surya Mudra with the left hand (touch the tip of the ring finger to the tip of the thumb). The mudra of the left hand may slip during practice; keep it steady. Make a fist of the right hand, pressing the tips of the fingers into the pads at the base of the fingers; extend the index finger. With the extended index finger, gently close off the right nostril.
Focus: Concentrate at the Brow Point.
Breath: Begin a steady, powerful Breath of Fire. Emphasize the beat at the navel; the navel must move.
Mantra: Though this is done without mantra, you may want to use a mantra tape for the proper rhythm. Good recordings for the rhythm are Singh Kaur’s Sat Naam Wahe Guroo, or Sada Sat Kaur’s Angel’s Waltz.
Time: Continue for 3 minutes. Very gradually increase the time to 5 minutes.
To End: Inhale deeply and hold the breath. As the breath is held, interlace all the fingers (beginning with the right thumb uppermost) and put the palms in front at a level just below the throat (in front of the thymus), and about 14 inches (35 cm) away from the body. Try to pull the fingers apart with all force. Resist and create a great tension. When you must, exhale. Repeat this sequence 3 more times. On the last exhale, discharge the breath by blowing through your upturned lips, with the tongue curled back on the roof of the mouth. This will seal the upper palate upward. Then relax.
This advanced immune therapy hits at viruses and bacteria. The immune system interacts with the central nervous system, the glands, and emotions.
We are each given the strength to encounter life and life’s challenges. We have moral strength, mental strength, emotional strength, and physical strength. All these strengths are inter-connected. We block the flow of that strength when we experience feelings of anger, self-defeat, and blame. To boost the immune system, we must overcome these blocks.
The right hemisphere of the brain stores many of the diffuse negative emotions that lead us to depression and to a lower functioning immune system. This meditation stimulates the sympathetic nervous system and the right hemisphere to adjust themselves. In this process you may go through various emotions as the glands start to shift their balance. That is fine. Relax and keep going until you are through the emotional inertia. Then you will feel light, energized, and hopeful.
With gradual practice you can take the time up to 31 minutes. At that level your whole system is cleaned and rejuvenated. The immune system will have new vigor and will not be blocked by inner conflict. This type of breathing is called the “sunbreath.”
Balancing the Nervous Energies
Posture: Sit in easy pose with a straight spine. With the elbows bent, raise the hands up and in until they meet at the level of the heart a few inches from the body, palms facing the chest. Place the palm of the right hand against the back of the left hand. Hold the hands and forearms parallel to the ground so that the fingers of the right hand point toward the left side and the fingers of the left hand point toward the right side. Press the thumb tips together.
Focus: The eyes are nine-tenths closed.
Breath: Inhale deeply through the nose and calmly hold the breath in for 15-20 seconds. Exhale completely through the nose and calmly hold the breath out for 15-20 seconds. Concentrate on the breath.
“The link between you and God is the breath. Be conscious of the total breath in all three forms.”
“Air must go all the way out on the exhale so that all the heart valves get equal pressure, and the brain and central nervous system will trigger survival systems for a few seconds.”
Time: Continue for 3 to 5 minutes.
“This meditation brings the entire nervous and glandular system into balance. By putting the thumbs together in this mudra, the sciatic nerve is neutralized at the point of ego. (Thumbs represent the energy of the ego.) This particular balance puts pressure on certain meridian points in the shoulders.
“Be conscious that even with the breath out, you are still alive. A lot of problems in family and social relationships are because you don’t have control over the breath. The beauty of life is based on the breath. It is the link between you and God and the breath of life is what gives you the sensitivity to your environment.
“Do this meditation at lunchtime or any time you want to be sharper and have an edge over another person. It balances all the nervous energies and the glandular system to tune them to maximum efficiency. It can raise efficiency to the point of life over death. No need to take ‘uppers’ and ‘downers’; the breath of life can balance you any time you want.”