3.41 Mastery over the samana vayu confers radiance.
As mentioned in the comment to the previous sutra, samana is the vital energy in the body related to digestion. When your digestion is less than optimal, you feel heavy, tired or with internal discomfort and agitation. When your appetites are adequate and your food intake appropriate, you will notice that your body will be able to digest your food effectively, contributing to efficient elimination, and giving you energy to accomplish whatever you need. This applies not only to your relationship to food but also to your intake of mental and emotional stimulation. Observing the ideas, emotions and food that you consume, how you handle each one of them and what effect they have on your overall state and mood will provide insight into your mental, emotional and physical digestive processes. Once this becomes clearer to you, you can enhance your capacity to regulate these ways of being to feel radiant.
The Tibetan practice known as Tummo , inner fire, has been mentioned often as the extraordinary power (siddhi) introduced in this aphorism. The Tummo practice is used at the closing ceremony of an extended period of meditative retreat, usually 3 years. During the ceremony, retreat participants engage in the Tummo meditation while walking or sitting in the cold Himalayan snow at below freezing temperatures with wet sheets draped over them. This type of meditation includes a specific breathing technique as well as a visualization. As a result of raising their body temperature, practitioners dry the wet sheets with their own body heat. Some authors argue that regulating one’s temperature can contribute to enhanced immunity and neurocognitive function. You may begin an inquiry into your internal fire by enhancing your sensitivity in your abdominal area through the technique known as Agni Sara, which is best learned from a qualified teacher. You can further your exploration by using the following visualization technique: In a comfortable position, with your spine elongated, stable and relaxed, focus your attention on the area below your navel. Gradually, visualize a flame below your navel. Invite the flame to increase in size along the length of your spine. As you practice consistently, notice the effects of the practice on your body temperature and, perhaps more importantly, on your ability to infuse life energy into all your endeavors. What do you find?
As usual, one more way of exploring the meaning of this sutra is by chanting it.
You can choose to chant it in its traditional form with some of the words coming together:
Another option is to chant each word in the sutra individually:
If you prefer, you may listen to the podcast:
This is an excerpt from the book Unravel the thread: Applying the ancient wisdom of yoga to live a happy life
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