I have been reading Indian scriptures as you know. This led me to learn astrology all through the lockdown period. One thing leading to another, Swara Yoga came up in a conversation with an old friend. She told me a bit about it and I asked her to read it and tell me more about it. She informed me a bit more about it. My curiosity was raised and this book came to the top of my reading list.
This book on Tantric Science Of Brain Breathing is written by Swami Muktibodhananda. I know not much about her. However, it comes from the fold of Bihar School of Yoga and I think their books are the best in the subjects they write about. Simple, well researched, and made relevant for the current day readers. I did read another book that I could find on Archive Web in Hindi, but I needed to go a bit deeper and also see if I can practically use it.
Buy Swara Yoga by Swami Muktibodhananda at Amazon
I learned that Swara Yoga is a part of Hatha Yoga. It is the science of Prana, the very reason that gives us life. It flows throughout our body through thousands of channels called Nadis. Also reflects in our breathing pattern too. A part of it is very easy to understand, as one learns to observe one’s breathing a bit closely.
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You need to see which nostril are you breathing from – left or right. We alternatively keep breathing from alternate nostrils. In a healthy body, this pattern should be in sync with the movement of planetary bodies, primarily the Sun and Moon. You can start observing your breathing around sunrise time at the beginning of either fortnight – dark or bright and see that the pattern changes every three days.
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Irregularities obviously indicate a problem. There are advanced practices that tell you about how you can control anything in your life as well as the universe by just controlling your Swara or Breathing. It sounds simple and that is why confuses people, but it would take years of practice to reach that level. There are lots of practices that predict things like upcoming sickness, death, or the outcome of a war. I assume these are not meant for ordinary beings as the author repeatedly says the Vidya must be learned under a Guru.
Tips & Tricks to Breathing
The author is introducing one to the potential of Swara Yoga. It obviously is to be practiced in conjunction with other Yogic practices like Pranayam. There are tips and tricks to manifest your breathing if required or general practices that would give you good results. For example, it says while getting up in the morning from the be or while stepping out of your home, the first step should be taken from the side of active Swara. It would need a lot of practice to understand the elements that the pattern of flow indicates and the Sandhi Sthan or the time when the breathing changes from one side to another.
I did observe my Swara as I read and initially it was tough to figure out but slowly it started making sense. You can definitely use it to get a good night’s sleep or being more effective in your day-to-day work. For advanced practice, one must find a Guru, which it seems may not be very easy. The book says that there are not many practitioners left.
The original text of Shiva Swarodaya – a conversation between Shiva and Parvati in Sanskrit makes about half of the book. I quite enjoyed reading it along with the English translation. Many things may not be relevant today but many of them are. One thing that this book would make to realize is how little you know about the things closest to you – your own breath.
I am not sure if many people will find it interesting. However, if yoga interests you and ancient texts on Yoga interest you, this book would interest you. It is written in a simple manner.
Take your call.