Continued from: Pranayama. Scriptural References
There are various methods of manipulating and influencing the flow of prana throughout the whole psychic body. The Chinese developed the two systems of acupuncture and tai chi chu’an to bring the pranic system into balance1. In the system of tai chi chu’an a series of dynamic movements are utilized. There are various systems in vogue today, though it is said to have been originated by San Fung Chang. The movements are so designed to bring the negative and positive forces (yin and yang) of the pranic body into balance and coordination. This in turn calms the mind and allows the state of meditation to spontaneously flower.
In yoga the practices of pranayama and asanas are utilized to bring about the same results. Asanas manipulate and harmonize the energies in the physical and pranic body as well as the mind. If asanas are performed correctly then pranayama is automatically done without effort. In this way there is a direct influence on the human framework via both the physical and pranic body. In pranayama, on the other hand, regulation of the mind and body is accomplished through manipulation of the pranic body by means of the breath. Both pranayama and asanas aim at the same thing. Pranayama has the greatest influence on the mind, however, for it acts through the pranic body which is more intimately linked to the mind than is the physical body.
If one practises the various meditational techniques, then the aim is to bring about relaxation of the mind through the medium of the mind itself. This in turn has repercussions on the pranic body and in turn on the physical body.
In kriya yoga all these different approaches are combined. One simultaneously practises physical movements, specific static body positions and pranayama as well as various meditational practices. This is why kriya yoga is so effective in bringing about changes in one’s being.
Continue to: The Nadis or Psychic Passages