practical and scientific method
Ajapa Yoga is a simple,
practical and scientific breathing and meditation technique. Anyone
can do it, anywhere, at any time - while working, relaxing, even reading.
It is based upon clear and demonstrable proofs and is verified by the
practitioner's own experience.
The word ajapa means "that which is not repeated." Ajapa goes
on naturally and effortlessly, with every breath .
Humans breathe 21,600 times a day, inhaling and exhaling, attracting
air in and expelling it out. Without inhalation (attraction) and exhalation
(repulsion), there is no life; the forces of attraction and repulsion
are the basis of the universe, and to know these forces, attraction
and repulsion, is to know the universe.
The sages who originated
Ajapa Yoga thousands of year ago, understood that breath is life, and
began a study of the breathing process. They observed inhalation and
exhalation in man and in animals, both healthy and ill, active and at
rest, asleep and awake. They discovered that every time we breathe,
certain natural sounds are produced.
When we breathe through the mouth, the distinct sounds "a-ha, a-ha,
a-ha" are produced. You can make these sounds right now, simply
by breathing heavily through your mouth: "a" as you inhale,
and "ha" as you exhale. These sounds, "a-ha" , are
the natural sounds of the breath as it comes and goes through the mouth.
When we breathe through the nose, the sounds "um-hum, um-hum, um-hum"
are produced: "um" with inhalation and "hum" with
exhalation . You can verify this by listening carefully to your breathing.
You will see that these four sounds are the natural sounds of the breath:
In examining these
four sounds, the Rishis found that with mouth-breathing, "a"
comes in and "ha" goes out ; "a" enters the body,
and "h+a " leaves the body: there is an extra "h"
sound going out. With nose breathing, "um" goes in and "hum"
, or "h+um" , comes out. Again, there is an extra "h"
sound with exhalation. This "h" is never inhaled, but is exhaled
with every breath. What, then, could this "h" sound represent?
The Rishis noticed
that when a person uses a lot of energy, his exhalation of the "h"
sound is intensified. You can see that when you laugh, cry, engage in
sex, or perform a strenuous physical activity, the sound "h"
The Rishis determined that the sound "h" represents the vital
energy, or life force, called prana. When prana is expelled through
heavy exhalation, one feels a loss of energy and confidence, and an
inability to concentrate. On the other hand, when you're feeling energized
or uplifted, you may notice that your inhalation increases. In a state
of repulsion, or exhalation, we lose prana, or "h", while
our energy and mental capacity decrease. In a state of attraction, or
inhalation, our energy and our level of concentration increase.
Therefore, by controlling the loss of prana, we can increase our state
of attraction, and thereby increase our energy. This can be achieved
by controlling the sound "h", which we can do through practice
of Ajapa Yoga.
Ajapa Yoga is a method
of controlling feeling and activity by controlling sound, and using
this control to minimize the loss of prana. This is done entirely through
the sounds of the breath and does not involve special postures or exercises,
or any alteration of one's daily routine or diet. You simply breathe
in a natural manner, with only a slight change in the way you exhale.
Thus Ajapa can be practiced during any activity: walking, working, going
to school, relaxing. We are always breathing, and so we can always practice
Ajapa and achieve positive benefits.
As a person practices Ajapa over a period of days, months and years,
his state of exhalation, or repulsion, decreases, and his state of inhalation,
or attraction, increases. The change occurs gradually and naturally,
and can lead a serious practitioner to the state of total attraction,
the state of AUM, where one becomes self-realized.
Even if you're not aiming at total realization, this method will at
least give you a device to control h, the sound of repulsion. It is
a device to control the loss of prana, and increase your energy. If
you are tired when you come home from work, Ajapa will help you regain
your energy. If you are feeling angry or upset, it will raise you to
a more peaceful state. With regular practice, Ajapa breathing results
in improved health, relief from stress, increased vitality, sharpness
of memory and clarity of thought.
Every moment of your
life, you are breathing and experiencing the activity of attraction
and repulsion. Along with this activity, subtle, internal sounds are
produced. With every change in this activity, there is a corresponding
change in the sound. Activity and sound always go together, and are
always accompanied by a third thing. This third thing is feeling.
We all like to think that we are the doers, we are controlling ourselves
and making decisions in our lives. But in fact, we are nothing but puppets
of activity, feeling and sound. If we could get control of one of these
things, we could control the other two - we could become masters rather
The effort to control activity is the origin of "Hatha" yoga,
which consists of postures and exercises to change the activity within
the body. The effort to control feeling is the origin of "Bhakti"
yoga, the yoga of love and devotion. And the effort to control sound
is the origin of Ajapa yoga.
The advantage of Ajapa Yoga is that sound is so easy to control. You
are breathing at every moment of your life, and at every moment that
activity is producing sounds. Therefore, the breath is a device that
you can use all the time. You can always produce a particular breathing
sound to control your activity and feeling.
The Rishis who discovered
Ajapa Yoga noticed that the sounds of inhalation are "a" through
the mouth and "um" through the nose. Taken together, these
sounds of attraction form the sound AUM, often written as OM. In all
yogic scriptures, AUM is described as the eternal sound, the highest
state of consciousness. Many people read about AUM and talk about AUM,
but very few realize that AUM is the sound of attraction, and that it
exists within every inhaled breath. How is this state of AUM, the state
of inhalation, to be achieved?
Look again at the sounds of repulsion, heard as we exhale. They are
"ha" through the mouth, and "hum" through the nose.
Taken together, they form the sound HAUM.
By eliminating the sound H from HAUM, we are left with AUM. By eliminating
"h" from the breath, one can reach the state of AUM, where
all knowledge is revealed. Therefore, the practitioner of Ajapa alters
his exhalation so as to eliminate the sound of "h".