The practice of the earlier stages 1, 2 and 3 is essential for mastery of stage 4. You may find that there is little difference between the 4 stages, but the difference, no matter how small, is very important. If you have not practised stages 1 to 3, we suggest that you spend at least two weeks doing each stage before attempting stage 4. If you don’t do the preliminary stages then stage 4 will give little or no benefits.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
To gain the most benefits out of ajapa we suggest that you firstly practise nadi shodhana pranayama. This not only brings about deep relaxation of the mind and body, but intensifies the awareness of the breathing process.
In this lesson we have given instructions for the location of the vishuddhi chakra and its reflection. In previous lessons we have given instructions regarding the location of the manipura and anahata chakras and their reflections. This means that you are now ready to imagine that there is a psychic passage between the manipura reflection (manipura kshetram) at the navel and the reflection of vishuddhi chakra (vishuddhi kshetram) at the front of the throat. The passage will also pass through the anahata kshetram.
In ajapa stage 4 you should feel that the breath and the mantra are ascending and descending within this psychic passage. You should feel the inhaled breath being drawn up from manipura kshetram, piercing anahata kshetram and ending at vishuddhi kshetram. The exhaled breath should move downwards, be pushed downwards, in a similar manner.
This modification of the practice relates directly to kriya yoga.