After an absence for planetary gridwork, we return to our weekly blog with the theme of learning how to increase one's Concentration. Improving one’s concentration is a critical tool to sharpen one’s mental focus which has numerous benefits in one’s life, health, career and spiritual purpose. When more skill is achieved at holding concentration, the focus in one’s meditation practice and other energy session work will be greatly improved, enhanced and effective. Enhancing the power of one’s concentration for positive spiritual purposes will increase one’s ability to focus in every area of life, which can eliminate stress and anxiety from one’s life, achieve better health and wellbeing as well as attract more life force for one’s spiritual growth.
The mind and negative ego must be tamed with consistent meditative or breathwork practices of which dedication and discipline are applied to hold concentration in intervals for better focus. This is a part of strengthening the mind, strengthening the brain and focusing one’s attention on the specific areas one is asking to improve upon or to better understand. When we understand the nature of our mind in that “energy follows thought”, we will better understand the critical importance of where we choose to place our attention and focus and with a quality of intention. Every day we must discipline ourselves to remember that where we direct our consciousness energy IS what will manifest upon the sum total of that energy we directed through our own mental focus and its state of concentration. When we hold little concentration, we have small focus and thus we have little power in the external manifestation. If we are scattered in our thoughts or we have attention deficit, our scattered mind reflects a scattered and chaotic external life. As we learn to still the mind and come into harmony with our internal thoughts, our body and external state will reflect that matched vibration of harmony. Through harmonious and congruent thoughts we attract and maintain a field of energetic peace. Through increasing one’s power of concentration, one is also strengthening the control they exert over their personal mind, body, emotions and spirit. This is what we refer to as “commanding our personal space” and is a focusing tool to learn how to better achieve energetic sovereignty over one’s mind by choosing the nature of one’s thoughts or holding the state of total beingness (no thoughts) at will.
We can command our personal space through decrees, breathwork and meditative focus. With the intention to increase the power of one’s concentration and strengthen the focus of the mind, we include the Pranayama alternate nostril breathing exercise below.
Breathing Exercise (Pranayama) - Alternate Nostril (Anuloma Viloma)
One round of Anuloma Viloma is made up of six steps, as shown below. Start by practicing three rounds and build up slowly to twenty rounds, extending the count within the given ratio.
The Vishnu Mudra
In Anuloma Viloma, you adopt the Vishnu Mudra with your right hand to close your nostrils. Tuck your index and middle finger into your nose. Place the thumb by your right nostril and your ring and little fingers by your left.
One Round of Anuloma Viloma (Alternate Nostril Breathing)
Benefits of Anuloma Viloma
The exercise of the Anuloma Viloma produces optimum function to both sides of the brain: that is optimum creativity and optimum logical verbal activity. This will make both sides of the brain, the left side which is responsible for logical thinking and the right side which is responsible for creative thinking to function properly. This will lead to a balance between a person's creative and logical thinking. The Yogis consider this to be the best technique to calm the mind and the Nervous System.
Anuloma Viloma: The Scientific Confirmation
Medical science has recently discovered the nasal cycle, something that was already discovered by the Yogis thousands of years ago. Modern scientists found out that we do not breathe equally on both nostrils, that is one nostril is much easier to breathe through than the other at any particular time. Each nostril alternates about every three hours. The Yogis claim that the natural period is every two hours, but we must remember these studies were done on people who do not have an optimum Health level.
Scientists also discovered that the nasal cycle corresponds with brain function. The electrical activity of the brain was found to be greater on the side opposite the less congested nostril. The right side of the brain controls creative activity, while the left side controls logical verbal activity. The research showed that when the left nostril was less obstructed, the right side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects were indeed found to do better on creative tests. Similarly when the right nostril was less obstructed the left side of the brain was predominant. Test subjects did better on verbal skills.
Medical science has not quite caught up with the ancient Yogis yet. The Ancient Yogis even went one step further. They observed that a lot of diseases were due to disturbances of the nasal cycle or if a person breathe for too long through one nostril. To prevent and correct this condition, they developed the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. This clears any blockage the airflow in the nostrils and reestablishes the natural nasal cycle. For example, the Yogis have known for a long time that prolonged breathing through the left nostril only (over a period of years) will cause Asthma. They also know that this so-called incurable disease can be easily treated by teaching the patient to breathe through the right nostril until the Asthma is cured and prevent it from recurring by doing the Alternate Nostril Breathing Technique. The Yogis also believe that Diabetes is caused, to a large extent, by breathing mainly through the right nostril.