In Taittiriya upanishad we find:
“To a lay student – Let your conduct be marked by right action, including study and teaching of the scriptures; by truthfulness in word, deed and thought; by self-denial and the practice of austerity; by poise and self-control; by performance of the everyday duties of life with a cheerful heart and an unattached mind.
Speak the truth. Do your duty. Do not neglect the study of the scriptures. Do not cut the thread of progeny. Swerve not from the truth. Deviate not from the path of good. Revere greatness.
Let your mother be a god to you; let your father be a god to you; let your teacher be a god to you; let your guest also be a god to you. Do only such actions as are blameless. Always show reverence to the great.
Whatever you give to others, give with love and respect. Gifts must be given in abundance, with joy, humility and compassion.”
These words mean a lot to me right now…
Death says: ‘The man who has learned that the Self is separate from the body, the senses, and the mind, and has fully known him, the soul of truth, the subtle principle – such a man verily attains to him, and is exceeding glad, because he has found the source and dwelling place of all felicity. Truly do I believe, O Nachiketa, that for thee the gates of joy stand open.’
Nachiketa replies: ‘ Teach me, O King, I beseech thee, whatsoever thou knowest to be beyond right and wrong, beyond cause and effect, beyond past, present and future.’
Death continues:’ Of that goal which all the Vedas declare, which is implicit in all penances, and in pursuit of which men lead lives of continence and service, of that I will briefly speak. It is – OM. This syllable is Brahman. This syllable is indeed supreme.’
OM is the universal hymn; OM is the primordial sound; OM is the best known mantra; OM is the symbol of yoga; OM is the expression of the Supreme Being.
So, pranayama is the study of gathering, storing and wisely utilising prana or life-force. We gather prana from the air that we breathe, from the sun, the earth and from the food we eat and the water that we drink.
Prana fuels the wheels of energy known as ‘chakras’. We’ve already met the root chakra, Muladhara, so now lets meet the second wheel. This lies two inches above the base of the spine. It is called the sacral chakra, or Swadhistana. This wheel of energy is connected to the element of water. It is about the joy of living in a physical body; and about letting go. This is the chakra which awakens when you’re having real fun with with your yoga asana practice. It’s orange and its seed sound is VAM.
To find more joy in your life, eat orange foods. Try carrots, orange peppers and, of course, oranges! Do buy organic, but remember that eating rainbow foods is not just about the nutrients, it is also feeding you on the energy level!