Yoga Podcast: Pranayamas, The Subconscious Mind, & The Five Bodies in Yoga
Train Like a Saint Live Like a King, A Divine Podcast [ Episode II (Part 1)
In this episode, advanced Yoga and meditation master Sanjeev Shivananda, hosted by his student, Ali Fazal, gives listeners a more in-depth look at his teachings and dives deeper into the specifics of the kind of Yoga and Meditation training he offers. From pranayamas to prana-kriyas, to the five bodies (based on ancient yoga), to the subconscious mind- and its connection to our breath, body, mind, and life events- this episode is packed with essential yogic wisdom stemming from Sanjeev’s vast knowledge and experience on teaching and practicing the subjects.
Much of Sanjeev’s Yoga knowledge and Yoga philosophy stems from ancient yogic practices and wisdom, however, with a modern yoga twist. He is able to connect with the youth of this generation, as well as extend his reach to people of all ages and walks of life thanks to his immense experience and track record of helping others overcome many ailments, and tough challenges through teaching Yoga and Meditation to hundred’s of people- for over 20 years now.
Breathing techniques are prevalent in many anti-anxiety remedy recommendations, but true relief from such psychological ailments require more than just the quick relief that these exercises provide, they require a re-programming of the subconscious mind, to rid oneself of negative thinking and belief systems, and thereafter maintain a fresh, clean, and untainted slate using these practices on a consistent basis.
This Yoga training takes discipline, as does training like a saint, but the rewards are royal, like those of a King’s. Queries Solved in This Yoga Podcast Episode:
What are the Five bodies in Yoga?
What is pranayama (e.g alternate nostril breathing)?
What is the science of true pranayama breathing techniques?
What are the benefits of pranayama?
What are the differences between Pranayama and Prankriyas?
What is the subconscious mind from an ancient yogic standpoint?
How do breathing exercises help us clear the inner blockages within our body?
What is the best age to learn yoga/meditation? How do Yoga, Meditation, Pranayama, and Pranakriyas help alleviate anxiety and negative emotions?
What is the connection between our breathing and voluntary/involuntary mechanisms that we can/can’t control within our bodies? Train Like a Saint, Live Like a King (free) workshop on March 28th, 2021- official podcast announcement. * We are a certified Online Yoga Teacher Training Academy and reward each graduate of our Yogacharyas program a certificate. Yogacharyas will be coming online very soon. *Our Yoga teacher training program feature much more advanced techniques, teachings, and wisdom in comparison to what we typically share on our podcasts.
If you are an advanced Yoga practitioner or aspiring Yoga teacher, we will be offering 200-hour yoga teacher training with full certification (the program will be coming as an online course/program this year. Find a brief description of Yogacharyas here.
Like our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SanjeevShivanandaYoga
Subscribe to our YouTube Channel: Sanjeev Shivananda – YouTube
Follow us on IG: @sanjeevshivananda
Follow us on Spotify: Train Like a Saint, Live Like a King: A Divine Podcast
Enjoy the full Transcript below!
Ali Fazal (00:00):
Hello everyone, and welcome back to another episode of Train Like A Saint and Live Like A King. This is your host, Ali Fazal, featuring the one and only Sanjeev Shivananda, advanced yoga and meditation teacher. Sanjeev Shivananda. Welcome back Sanjeev. That was an excellent first episode. How are you doing today?
Sanjeev Shivananda (00:20):
I am awesome, Ali, thanks again. It’s great to be together once again, and I just was noticing that our first couple of episodes were really, really liked by the people, very popular, and we’re getting a lot of suggestions that we should do it one more time. So we are back again, and thanks for doing this Ali.
Ali Fazal (00:40):
Yeah, no, of course, and the pleasure is all mine. I do concur, we were looking at the stats actually, thank you guys so much for listening in. We do have a lot more excellent content to share with you, and valuable content. Really, really appreciate all the listeners. We have a very special episode for you today, episode two will be featuring a more in-depth analysis of what we were talking about in episode one, and Sanjeevji, I was actually looking to start off right where we left off.
Ali Fazal (01:09):
That was in regards to the tools of transformation that we were about to go into the specifics of last time, but we decided that we were going to use that more as an intro. And this time we were actually going to pick your mind about exactly what these tools that you were talking about in episode one. These tools of transformation, positive, and negative belief systems that are ingrained. And what these tools are what help us bring more positive systems in, and alleviate the negative ones. So what are these tools, Sanjeevji, and can you go into some specifics for us?
Sanjeev Shivananda (01:45):
Yes, Ali. So we discussed that how these tools are so important because, without tools, no important job in our lives can be done, and we discussed this length that why they need it. Now you’re asking me what these tools are? So let me just take a step back and explain that mostly when people come to me, they are either going through some really severe life challenges, issues, or sicknesses and diseases, and our purpose is twofold. First, it’s to get a quick relief from whatever is interfering with their lives or creating challenges. And the second process is to have long-term effects. So this whole process requires continuous work, but does it mean continuous work that working with me for the rest of their life? No, once I have given all these tools of transformation and all the steps needed, then the person goes home and they can use these tools for the rest of their life. So these tools are in the beginning, and I will explain that as we go more.
Ali Fazal (02:52):
Sanjeev Shivananda (02:52):
In the beginning there are pranayams and [foreign language 00:02:56]. Let me explain the word pranayam. There’s no exact translation of the word in English, so most commonly they’re known as breathing exercises.
Ali Fazal (03:08):
Sanjeev Shivananda (03:08):
And that’s why a lot of people think that your breath is prana, which is a misnomer. Prana is my life force energy, and pranayam means control of that life force energy. Now, what is this life force energy? It exists all around us within us. This is the energy which is keeping me alive, keeping you alive, keeping all the plants, the animals alive. And we are constantly drawing this prana which is they’re all around us at a constant rate, and we do this through our breathing.
Ali Fazal (03:45):
Sanjeev Shivananda (03:46):
So breath and prana are different. Breath is just oxygen, nothing else more, but prana is linked to your breathing. And not only we need the prana in our body, but we also want this prana to flow very smoothly and reach not only just every organ but every cell of our body. So these pranayams and [foreign language 00:04:10], what they do is too special breathing methods. We draw in a lot of prana into our body and then make it flow forcefully. First of all, so that we can burn and destroy any blockages that are existing, because see any part of body, any cell of your body, which does not receive prana properly or enough prana, it’ll get sick. So we must ensure that we first, we draw a lot of prana and then make it flow to each and every organ. So these are over initial tools, pranayams and [foreign language 00:04:51].
Ali Fazal (04:52):
Okay. Well, I mean, thank you for that explanation Sanjeevji, and I have actually tried to take a look at what’s out there in terms of basic Google searches in regards to the pranayama. And I have noticed that there are a lot of different kinds of poses that people do with their fingers, on their nose and whatnot. And is this kind of similar to what you’re talking about here? Pranayamas?
Sanjeev Shivananda (05:17):
Yes, Ali, that’s why I said I used two words, pranayams, and [foreign language 00:05:24]. So pranayams, I mean, it’s very good that in the last little while. The pranayams have been slowly being incorporated, at least at a beginner’s level, by a lot of yoga teachers. And there are some specialist teachers who are teaching these pranayams. Which is awesome, and they are very, very necessary. Good that they are finding a very significant place in today’s yoga, beyond the asanas. But then there are [foreign language 00:05:54] also, which have not found any place. And the reason is that not many people know about this [foreign language 00:06:04] because, for centuries, they were hidden. They were kept secret passed on from a handful to a handful of people, to entire set of generations. And they are much, much more powerful than pranayams.
Ali Fazal (06:19):
And Sanjeevji, why do you think that they’ve been hidden from the past for so long, do you, is there a reason that’s public about that?
Sanjeev Shivananda (06:30):
So, one of the biggest reasons was that there was a time, ancient times, several thousands years ago, that they were known by everybody. It was a way of life. Everybody used to practice, but what happened in India for several hundreds of years? India was invaded by different powers, and many of them try to destroy the cultural values and these ancient practices. Many of the ancient books were burned and the teachers were prosecuted. So what happened at that time was to preserve it for the continuity of these practices. So a group of these ancient yogis or saints, they hid it and just kept it to themselves. Then very quietly passed on to a set of disciples, and then for the set of disciples. We are so lucky that they did not get lost, they were preserved, but now it’s time, times have changed.
Sanjeev Shivananda (07:41):
Now, there is nobody prosecuting anybody. So it’s time now to bring those ancient practices out. And in my own experience, when I have, after learning them from my guru, who also comes from a lineage of these ancient yogis. I have tried and with this so many people, and they’ve worked so powerfully so quickly in bringing the transformations that we need. So these are the, your initial tools. And similarly, the way these pranayams were, the [foreign language 00:08:15] were hidden. Similarly, the ancient, meditative higher meditative processes were also hidden. And they are the tools that we use after the pranayams and [foreign language 00:08:29].
Ali Fazal (08:30):
Mm-hmm (affirmative), Wow. And that’s quite, I mean, as we know, these breathing exercises, they’re rich in terms of their history. They come from a very rich history, in many, many gurus, as you’ve said, they have practiced this through lineages. And I mean, that’s very, very unique in itself. So what you’re trying to bring to the world here Sanjeevji is something very different than what’s out there already.
Sanjeev Shivananda (08:55):
That’s really true, and that’s the reason of you and me both that we are talking about this. The reason why we are kind of putting it out into the social media is that the world needs it today. I have been teaching this. I have been giving them out for many, many years, but on a very small one-on-one scale basis and small groups. But I have felt for a while, that it’s time that will bring it out to the masses to kind of take it to the people who really want it because there is such a thirst, such a desire in today’s world to learn the higher practices, but there’s not much available. There’s a lot of experimentation going on around in this modern world, but experimentation doesn’t work in this field.
Sanjeev Shivananda (09:46):
Say, for example, I have a bachelor’s degree. And I want to experiment on rare metals and everything. I don’t even have the proper qualifications or anything to do that. If I started doing it, I will never produce something good. I may mess up things, but I will not produce something good. So to do that research, you one has to be qualified first. And then these researches and all these [foreign language 00:10:20] meditatives, practices what recently found by a very, very high level ancient yogis and saints. They raise themselves to that level, that they became qualified to do that. So I have been learning almost all my life since I was 14. And I’ve been teaching for over 20 years. Even today, I don’t feel that I’m qualified enough to alter or modify these practices. So it takes a lot of work to be able to do that. And again, I say, why reinvent the wheel? That these practices were made after a lot of considerations and thoughts and experiences that they’ve worked. They’ve worked very powerfully.
Ali Fazal (11:12):
Right. I mean, I can attest to that myself. I am a student of Sanjeevji’s teachings and although a beginner and it’s only been a few months. And I can tell you it wasn’t, it did not even take me a few months to really start feeling these benefits, Sanjeevji. They were quite instant. I did kind of talk about that on the first episode. And I will say one thing Sanjeevji, the impact that these breathing exercises have had go way deeper than just being able to calm one down, right? There are subconscious elements and subconscious processes that are occurring during this time. That go way deeper and in-depth, and that leads me to my next question for you, Sanjeevji. What is the role of the subconscious mind from a yogic standpoint and how do these exercises that you’re giving us affect the conscious and subconscious mind?
Sanjeev Shivananda (12:16):
Well, what’s a very pertinent question at this point of time, of our discussion. As I said, our initial tools are the pranayams and [foreign language 00:12:25]. What it does is that whatever comes from our subconscious mind to our conscious mind, we are trying to manage it at that level, but we are not going into the subconscious mind yet. And that’s why I say that question is very pertinent because the next tools that we adopt after these pranayams and [foreign language 00:12:45] are the higher practices, meditative practices, veer. We start working on the subconscious mind, and why? Because subconscious mind is a place where we store all of our negativities, every event, negative event that we have faced it’s in there save when you are six months old, you may not have a memory, say something drastically negative happen. You may not even remember, or even have an idea because you were too young, but is there in your subconscious. Subconscious mind knows every bit of-
Ali Fazal (13:25):
It’s like it got programmed into us without us even realizing.
Sanjeev Shivananda (13:28):
…So you may not even know that some very powerful negative event happened when you were six months old, but it is shaping your life, your thought processes, who you are today.
Ali Fazal (13:41):
Sanjeev Shivananda (13:42):
So it is at the future steps. We need to go into the subconscious and start working on the subconscious mind so that whatever is being stored there, we release it. And that subconscious mind can be better understood at a larger scale when we start understanding the different kinds of bodies that we have. So it is more understood at that level.
Ali Fazal (14:10):
Sanjeevji, very interesting. You mentioned bodies there, and we will get to that in a minute, but I did want to ask you, you said a lot of our negative energies or negative karmas or negative habits are actually stored in ours or come from our subconscious, but is it, does that go the same for positive as well? Through our positive memories and positive experiences also shape our subconscious and lay in there?
Sanjeev Shivananda (14:35):
Yes they do. But the fact is that if you look at anybody’s life. It is the negativity that prevails over the positive, because a lot of negative events that have happened in their life, they have been powerful, more intense, more shipping than were positive experience. If you look, say, for example, in your life now, right from the time you have the memory, how many of totally awesome positive moments do you remember versus totally negative moments that you experience?
Ali Fazal (15:10):
Honestly, very true, very, very, very, very few of them. Very few. It will be mainly negative things I can sit here and talk about.
Sanjeev Shivananda (15:17):
And that’s true for most of the people. And that’s how, and with every passing day, every passing month, every year, and all of our lives, the accumulation has become so big in our subconscious mind. And it is shaping without our knowing of our entire thought processes.
Sanjeev Shivananda (15:36):
I’ll give you an example that you go out and say to eat some to a restaurant, right? You look at the menu, there are a couple of things you would really like. And there are a couple of things somebody asked earlier, are you going to try say, no, I hate it. I don’t like it at all. And you think you’re making a choice, but you are not because why you don’t like a certain thing or why you like a certain thing it all has to do with your past memory that is stored in the subconscious. Maybe you tried something and it tasted so horribly to you, although it is wonderfully good to many other people, and that it got implanted in your memory. Now you think you’re making a choice, looking at the menu. You’re not, you’re cautious choice that you’re making is thirdly being dictated by the experiences stored in your subconscious mind. So most of the times, even when we say we are making choices, we are not.
Ali Fazal (16:42):
And that stands true for so many different things. As you’re speaking, I’m sitting here thinking of countless different examples of that. A lot of us we’ll have a child for example. When they go near a hot pot, this is a very common one, and they get burned for the first time. Every time they see a pot, they have this rush of anxiety. You know what I mean? Oh, I make sure I don’t touch that for somebody that’s gone through maybe let’s say something traumatic, right? They’ve gone through, they’ve witnessed somebody get hurt or like gunfire or whatever it might be, something unfortunate. And now every time that they see it on TV, psychological effect, and it’s holding them down. And a lot of people, what you’re trying to say is they’re not aware that it’s not the gun or whatever it is, whatever the problem is. It’s not that’s scaring them. It’s actually the experience.
Sanjeev Shivananda (17:36):
Absolutely. So for example, the example that you go to this an intense one, right? So, and similarly, another very intense example could be PTSD. The soldiers returning from wars, they’re traumatized. They can’t sleep. They can hear bombs or any small, little, even a glass falls on the floor and it breaks. It sounds to them, it brings in a memory of a grenade exploding next door. And then they’re traumatized by that. So it’s not the glass that is breaking, falling down on the floor and breaking no, it’s the experience that traumatic experience they are getting within them. So what at initial level, I said, what we do is that whenever a negative event happen in our life, when it gets stored in the subconscious mind, along with it gets stored, the breathing particular breathing pattern, along with it. If you notice when you’re angry or you’re upset or you’re anxious, or you’re happy ever try to notice your breathing pattern, you will find that every emotional component that you experience carries a different breathing pattern along with it.
Sanjeev Shivananda (19:05):
And even a negative event or even a positive one gets stored in your subconscious mind, along with it gets stored that particular breathing pattern. And that’s why when you see somebody having a bad dream if you ever see somebody, you will see that whatever that person is dreaming, the breathing has gone totally according to that experience-
Ali Fazal (19:28):
Yeah, there is panting.
Sanjeev Shivananda (19:29):
… Panting. So when we do the pranayams and [foreign language 00:19:32], we are altering these breathing patterns that disturbing reading patterns to bring down to normal. But again, this is to give you a very quick relief because this bridging, these breathing patterns is still not doing anything to what you are storing in your subconscious mind. So the next tools are the ones that we work on the subconscious mind. And like I said, to understand subconscious mind, we must understand at least at a beginner level, the different bodies that we have because I am not this physical body. That’s not my only existence. In fact, this is the weakest of my existence of my bodies. This is the weakest of all the rest of the bodies are influencing and it is acting totally under the control of the other bodies.
Ali Fazal (20:28):
Wow. Do you know what, leading into the next question here in regards to the bodies, when you say these five bodies like you say, one is physical, are you able to go into the specifics for all of us here, Sanjeevji? In regards to what are the other four bodies that you speak of and what are their roles in terms of yoga-based wisdom?
Sanjeev Shivananda (20:46):
Surely we five bodies, right? And each body being subsequently most stronger and more powerful than the previous one. And we have names for these bodies, from our ancient learnings. So our physical body is known as [foreign language 00:21:05] means the body and [foreign language 00:21:09] means food. So basically this body is physical bodies made of food. Nothing else. You know, when you were born, you were very little. Now you’re a big man. What made it happen?
Ali Fazal (21:21):
Oh, lots and lots of burgers and hot dogs.
Sanjeev Shivananda (21:23):
Yeah. Food, food, right? So it’s only food. So it’s made up predominantly of food and has got organs parts and a very highly mechanized, the most amazing piece of machinery ever created. Say, for example, our heart, it needs all the modern scientists are trying to make artificial heart or kidney, and we’re still not able to do like one part or the other. And we are full of these amazing, amazing pots, which are working nonstop from the day you’re born till the day you pass away like tirelessly endlessly. So this is over physical body. Although being such an amazing piece of machinery is the weakest.
Sanjeev Shivananda (22:09):
The next second body is known as the [foreign language 00:22:12]. Again, the second body made off prana, as we explained before, right? Finalize the life force energy. It is energy made of energy, but a gross energy is not a subtle energy. And it’s a replica of your physical body. It has all the organs, all the parts that you have in your physical body, you have replica of that in an energy form of all the Oregon’s. And also the second body has channels. We call the [foreign language 00:22:52], 7.2 million of them through which the prana flows and goes to each and every organ, every part, every cell receives the way we have in a physical body, all the nerves going to every part. Similarly, you have the [foreign language 00:23:09] is going everywhere. For another day and other parts, we will talk about more extensively on this. This is the body where, to these [foreign language 00:23:18], we have the creation, the formation of chakras.
Sanjeev Shivananda (23:22):
And today there’s a lot of talk, a lot of interest being shown, but then that’s a huge topic maybe for another day or next, next Podcast, perhaps. And now there is the third body, which is more stronger and more powerful than the first two bodies. And it’s known as the [foreign language 00:23:41] or the mind-body, which is your conscious mind, all the thoughts that are going in. And as I said, the thoughts are always linked with emotions. So now, although the [foreign language 00:23:54] is powerful in the physical body, but my thoughts are going to control my breathing, my prana, and that will affect my physical body also. If in my conscious mind, I have thoughts of anxiety or anger. It is now affecting my second body and changing the way the prana is flowing or the way of prana is being drawn into the body. And eventually, it’ll affect my physical body. So more stronger and powerful than the first two bodies-