Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Taal: A Supremely Simple Breathing Technique To Attain Health, Happiness and Samadhi

: Taal


This breathing technique is my own discovery in the sense that it was not available to me; in any of the sources I had access to, until 2003 when I accidentally tried many techniques to get rid of extreme anxiety.

 In fact, I have not found a technique similar to this one, till date. It is not my attempt to claim that no one else has ever discovered a similar technique before me or after but to the best of my knowledge I have never encountered something similar to it.



I call it Taal. Taal is the Hindi word for ‘rhythm’. The technique helped me recover not only from anxiety but also from gastric ulcer. This practice on a regular basis made me feel very energetic, healthy and balanced.

 It was at that time only that I engaged myself into the rigorous practice of Taal. I used to practice it 3-4 hours a day; it has been my nature since childhood that if I take up any technique I practice it a lot, a lot more compared to what anyone else would suggest or go for!---That is because I believe that if you really want to experiment with a technique, like a breathing technique, or a meditation technique --you should practice it more and more at least for a few days so that the gains become palpable. Though I no longer recommend such extremities for everyone!



It has been my belief that the motivation fades away very soon if you do not see gains and that is what  happened to most of my friends. In last one decade or so, none of my friends who were introduced to various types of breathing techniques (and they understood very clearly that they wanted to practice and really liked the techniques!) by me have persisted to practice those. Indeed it is as much a failure of mine as it is of theirs.


The practice of Taal made my body and mind calm and clear. I started to hear those sounds in my body which are called sonorous light, Anahata Nada, Sargosha, Kalma, Logos, Sabad and Word. These divine melodies really proved to be a gift of God later on as I started to meditate upon them. 

There is something called ‘Samadhi’ a trance like state, much exalted in yogic literature. I attained Samadhi, because of the combined practice of concentrating on these sounds, along with holding my breath. Now, entering into this much exalted state of Samadhi is very easy for me but I rarely practice it because it's akin to unconscious Hatha Yoga Samadhi and it's not Sahaj Samadhi(easy samadhi which stays always effortlessly).


           Method and Advantages!

The first component, which is synchronizing your breathing using a rhythm, is made very easy for your practice if you could use a table clock. You can sit using a chair and table and you could use your fingers to cover your ears to avoid external noises. I  keep my elbows on the table for ease of posture.

The method is spectacular because if you eliminate the external noises, that in itself becomes a vital factor to amplify feedback to your breathing process, rather than including external noises in the process which at times suppresses the signals which you really want to use.



Thereafter you should check normal time taken by you for inhalation and exhalation ---mostly trying to make them as deep as possible. Practitioners will find that if they start listening the sound of breathing- the time to inhale and exhale will turn out to be more than what they usually think it is. Because listening causes slowing down of the process and removes the jerks if any.


So we try to inhale smoothly without jerks and exhale similarly and we note down a very comfortable frequency. It can be for example: 5 seconds to inhale and 5 to exhale or 5 to inhale and 10 to exhale or anything similar which is easy to maintain without making oneself feel tired.


Now, sitting comfortably on chair, with ears closed using fingers, elbows on table and spinal cord straight, place  clock on the table at a place which is appropriate and you can comfortably see it.

Try to synchronize your breathing with clock’s hand of second. Inhale for the duration which you had noted down earlier and similarly exhale. Listen sound of breathing and check if there are any irregularities. Do notice how passage of air touches your nostrils and your throat and lungs and how your body gets rejuvenated and healed through the process.

If you concentrate on sound of breathe, the irregularities, jerks, if any, will soon get eliminated easily and you will induce an order which would increase your immunity and vitality.


Once you have synchronized it, you may allow a variation of 1-2 seconds if you need.

Practice it for say 5-10 minutes.

Now: Only for those practitioners who have practiced holding breathe---not recommended to patients suffering from heart ailments or blood pressure:

Introduce holding of breath in your routine. Hold for a small duration like 5 seconds or more if possible---but whatever the duration for holding make it sure that it does not make you uncomfortable  reinforcing rash inhalations and exhalations because if you hold your breath for a duration which is not comfortable for you, you will end up being involved in rash exhalation and inhalation, which would, either make you unable to synchronize or would make you extremely tired.


In the end:

Without holding your breathe, without synchronizing it either, just sit with ears closed, elbows on table and eyes closed. 

Concentrate fully on the sound of inhalations and exhalations. Also notice how passage of air touches your nostrils, your throat, lungs and entire body gets rejuvenated and healed.


What we are trying to amplify in the entire process  is mainly : Sound produced by the breathe [ if it is not audible to the beginners, I encourage them to inhale and exhale a bit loudly so as to make it audible; later on, no matter how smooth they breathe they can listen the sound. Secondly we are amplifying the sensation of touch by the air on various points involved in the process.



The process eliminates the redundant sounds, noises, because you close your ears and it makes the process a really powerful feedback loop.

The key advantages:

1.        Immune system becomes very powerful.
2.        Anxiety is cured.
3.        Vitality increases.
4.        Circulation of blood improves.
5.        You find a rare peace and happiness which was not there before.


Prerequisites:
Not indispensable, but if possible, these might be called as key tools:


1.        Practice of deep breathing.
2.        Table clock.
3.        Table and chair.
4.        Calm surroundings are preferred but since you close your ears you may go for this practice even if moderate noise is present outside.


Duration of practice: The practice could be done for 20 minutes in the beginning for observing some significant advantages but there are no side-effects so healthy practitioners might practice it even for 2-3 hours a day!

 With a video recorder you may add another aspect that is, watching expansion and contraction of lungs----then you start using sound/touch/sight and you further strengthen this feedback loop!

How to enter into superconscious state of Samadhi with the Taal


It is an extremely useful technique. 

TAAL mostly consists of:

1.        Making your breathing synchronized with rhythm.
2.        Feedback loop. [Amplifying sound/touch ]
3.        Using Prana/chi/life force energy concept.

All of these components are equally important. If you ask me the most important part---it seems to be the second one----that is, feedback; it is similar to biofeedback. What I actually tried was---listening my breathing. I incorporated this by closing my ears and then making my inhalations and exhalations in such a way that they were quite audible to me. This made a world of difference in the breathing process I was practicing. Clearly enough it amplified the feedback, especially the one which my ears (in turn brain) were getting, in form of sound.

So---in an ordinary breathing practice, you just try to breathe smoothly in and out or forcibly in and out. In case of Taal, you concentrate on inhalation and exhalation sounds by closing your ears with the help of your fingers. It helps you listen your own inhalations and exhalations.

You are then, very much able to find, whether your breathing is smooth or disrupted. You have more power to monitor your breathing.

Life force energy is the energy which is the key behind all the movements and which is subtler than all the energies. Yogis suggest that though all the bodily movements are caused by this Prana---the movement of lungs i. e. contraction and expansion, which respectively causes exhalation and inhalation, is one of the movements which can be consciously manipulated very easily for our advantage. So the point where Prana acts on our lungs pretty much becomes the point where our mind concentrates on breathe. This becomes a point where we start to control the flow of Prana and this in turn increases our psychic energy and awareness.

So more you reinforce the attention on breathing, more Prana you are regulating.

[ Buddha-The Gautama or Shakyamuni Buddha, attained nirvana with the practice of Anapana-sati---that is simply concentrating on your breathing 24 hours a day; after having tried various other meditation techniques for 6 years during his search for truth---so this practice has been given much importance in Buddhism but unlike our practices it does not manipulate breathing and only aims at concentrating on breathing so as to become conscious of each and every inhalation and exhalation, which in turns gives you power over Prana.

Indian Yogis had discovered many techniques much before Buddha to control Prana and some of the best techniques I have practiced in last few years. They also utilize the fact that Prana is behind the movement of lungs]

A word of caution:
Please note that the following has to be practiced only and only if you are free from heart condition and breathing ailments


When you continue to focus on breathing for long enough, you accumulate a lot of life force energy and if you start holding your breath for gradually longer span of time, you would find that you start getting blissful. If you hold it for enough long you would listen sounds of bursting of cloud very loudly and if you concentrate on this sound while you hold your breath you would reach highest state of consciousness called Samadhi.

image sources: Google images

More Synchronicities !

In last two days, I have watched two thriller movies without any planning on my part. They have peculiar similarities. The movies are Leon: The Professional and V for Vendetta




Synchronicities: Both of the movies has Natalie Portman in the lead roles. Both of the movies are about the warriors of the names suggested by the movies. The Leon and V are both great fighters. The former is a hitman and the latter is also a revolutionary fighter. Both of them are almost like superheroes. The characters performed by Natalie Portman meet them accidentally and falls in love with them. Both of the heroes, in a way teach Natalie to become fighter like them. In the climax, in both of the movies, there are huge explosions and heroes die, dramatically leaving testimonies to Natalie. 

Moreover: Today, it's November the fourth and date of November the fifth has been referenced over and again the movie V for Vendetta!

image source: here and here