Refining Exercise 6
REFINING EXERCISE NO. 6 - This Exercise Oxygenates the blood, adds a little Carbon-Dioxide (CO2) into the Blood Stream, and activates the Parasympathetic Nervous System. Method:
Bundh in the throat: take a deep breath through the nose, close the mouth. Block both nostrils with the fingers and thumb, press the chin tightly to the hollow of the throat, and swallow five times as in the act of drinking water. Then release the bundh and unblock the nostrils.
Start with three repetitions, gradually increase by 1 or 2 repetitions every fortnight (depending on how comfortable the performance feels), until the exercise can be continued for three minutes.
It activates all five sense organs (sight, taste, hearing, smell and feel) which are in the face and makes them more sensitive. It clears the sinuses and takes care of the throat and thyroid-related problems. The thyroid gland controls combustion of air in breathing and regulates heat in the body/brain system. The minute parathyroid glands are embedded on the thyroid and they have a wide influence on growth and sex (balance). The other main function of the thyroid is to produce hormones that ensure that calcium is deposited in the bones and reduced/removed from the blood. The four tiny parathyroids are in charge of removing calcium from the bones and adding it to the blood. The thyroid also secretes hormones that influence general metabolism, especially the growth of bones, teeth and the brain. It therefore follows that this exercise ensures the optimum working of these glands and keeps the body away from diseases related to bones, blood, etc. Their improper working leads to pathologically nervous, jumpy and over-sensitive type of people, reactive even to very light or mild stimuli. The proper working of the thyroid also ensures and enhances our sensitivity in a positive manner and the proper working of the parathyroids leads to warm passivity and calmness.
Just above the root of the mouth dangling from the base of the brain, is the pituitary gland, a small organ the size of a cherry stone. It has two parts, the anterior and the posterior. The anterior controls the involuntary muscles of the inner instinctive part of the organism, particularly the intestines, bladder and uterus. It also regulates the productivity of milk for suckling in mothers. The posterior deals with the skelatal system, ability to learn abstract thought and capacity for self-control. Yoga says that the brain is powered by the posterior pituitary. It is tempting to refer to the pitutary as one of the master glands because apart from releasing thyroid stimulating hormone (for the proper working of the thyroid), it also regulates the release of hormones from other glands. The pituitary also controls the overall growth of a person and initiates the dramatic changes that take place at puberty. Production of growth hormones slows down and the sex hormones take over. Therefore, the proper working of this gland ensure proper physical growth. Otherwise, the outcome is pituitary dwarfism (short people) or pituitary gigantism (or acromegaly - bones increasing in thickness, causing hands, feet and jaw to enlarge; the tongue, liver and kidney also continue to grow) or even precocious ageing.
On a different level, this exercise is concerned with granthi of pain which forms at the Vishuddhi Chakra. As the granthi gets chronic, the pattern gets deeply embedded and we feel pain at the slightest instigation in life. We have all lost the capacity to absorb pain because of the granthi. This exercise dissolves the granthi of pain and we regain the capacity to absorb pain in life. Later on, we regain the capacity to create from pain the higher energies for our evolution ( Elsewhere Sri Tavariaji has said, "The proper working of the Vishuddhi takes care of all over-powering weaknesses".)
Our voice box, the larynx, is in the throat area; it is from here that we speak or communicate with one another. The throat centre is thus connected with the energy of communication.
Sri Tavariaji looked upon yoga as communication with different levels of our being and correspondingly, with different levels of existence in the universe. By talking too much, we misuse and lose the energy needed for inner communication.
Sri Tavariaji also said that everyone has a characteristic vibrational tone. Which would mean that you have a particular level of vibration, which is the essence of what you are. This vibrational tone of a person is reflected in his or her voice. By doing this exercise, we acquire a tenor and a calmness. Also, the exercise positively reflects and affects the vibrational tone of person. A sharp doctor can detect how ill a patient is from the quality of his voice. Further, the residual aggressiveness in us lends an edge to our voice, due to which it is unable to sound the undertones or lower harmonics which have their own role to play in the art of communication; this is also a drain on our vital energy. With this practice, we get to employ the sub-harmonics in our voice to effect.