July 10-24, 2018
Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion
Location: Adventure Hostel, Bangkok, Thailand
Prana - life force that sustains all of us (aka chi)
Pranayama - a yogic breathing exercise designed to extract more prana from the air we breathe (my personal definition)
Uddiyana Bandha - emptying the lungs and sucking-in the tummy
Khumbaka - a breath-hold, could be in-breath or out-breath
Bahya Khumbaka - breathing-in and holding it
Antara Khumbaka - breathing-out and holding it
Nadi - energy channel, not physical
Sushumna Nadi - the main nadi that connects all the chakras, located in the spinal column (think spinal cord but not physical), blue in color
Ida - major nadi, feminine, on the left side of the Sushumna Nadi, red in color
Pingala - major nadi, masculine, on the right side of the Sushumna Nadi, white in color
Chakra - energy hub lined up from tip of the spine to the top of the head. Depending on school of thought, there could be 5 or up to 11 chakras
Sahasrara Chakra - the main energy hub on top of the head. When prana reaches this level, the mind gets into a state of one-pointedness (meditative bliss? sorry, I'm there yet)
Fuzion: Hatha and Yantra Yoga
When I was in Dharamshala, seat of the Tibetan government-in-exile, I talked to Dr. Chok Tenzin Monlam Peltsok, a Tibetan Tantra yogi, about Tibetan yoga or Yantra Yoga. It got me started into researching more about Yantra Yoga. I went to Youtube, got some names, followed links, read some more, etc.
What makes Yantra Yoga distinct from Hatha are the pranayama and the movement (from my limited knowledge and experience). Hatha Yoga can be very physical and reserves kumbhaka for the advanced practitioner. In Yantra, pranayama is more about antara kumbhaka while doing the movement. The Yantra movement is not physically challenging - it's designed not to develop muscles or stamina but to move energy around the body.
One epiphany was the L-Sit. After doing the Yantra Yoga 5-Root subtle breathing, I attepted to do an L-Sit, which is perhaps the most difficult abdominal yoga asana. I could do the L-Sit but can't hold it for long. When I did the L-Sit after the Yantra Yoga, I lifted my body up effortlessly! It's not because I felt strong. It was because I felt so light! At that point, I knew there was something special to Yantra Yoga that needed more exploration. But because I can't find a Yantra Yoga teacher, it only meant biohacking my body.
Here in Bangkok, given ample time in the morning to deepen my practice, I started practising Yantra Yoga more as a curiosity. But I felt its benefit and began to acquire one Aha! Moment after another on how I can intelligently combine the best of Yantra Yoga, Hatha Yoga, Vipassana Meditation, and freediving techniques. To find out what happens, I executed all of it. To cite an example, take for instance, the Downward Dog.
- empty my lungs and suck my tummy in Uddiyana Bandha and hold my breath - Bahya Kumbhaka (in Hatha Yoga, you breath while holding this pose)
- keep holding the breath until the panic-attack kicks-in (when you feel like you're dying because you can't breathe)...and then I still continue holding the breath while calmly observing all body sensations (I'm combining freediving and Vipassana here)
- in this position, I also visualize prana converging on a particular chakra, with all its nuances - number of petals, color, etc. I only release the tummy and come up for air when I really cannot hold it anymore.
- upon inhalation, I visualize green prana-filled air into my nose that goes up all the way to the skull and curves down into the red ida nadi and the white pingala nadi until the air reaches the base of the spine (there is controlled breathing in Hatha Yoga, but I haven't come across something with this kind of detailed and vivid visualization)
- on the exhalation, I would visualize the green air at the base of the spine to go into the blue Sushumna Nadi, going all the way up and exiting the top of the head (Sahasrara Chakra)
By the time I'm done with just this Downward Dog, I already feel light-headed and require a few normal breaths to recover. I keep doing that technique on every asana. When the asana opens up the body, I would do an Antara Kumbhaka instead of a Bahya Kumbhaka. By the time I'm done with the entire sequence, I would then do the Yantra Yoga 5-Root subtle yoga. This is followed by the last step, meditation.
The foregoing is intense and I risk frying my nervous system - in theory. But I haven't felt anything negative so far. The above has been my practice almost on a daily basis here in Bangkok.
Verdict? I'm strong and I feel...not sure how to word it...but I feel power simmering within me. But how do I intensify and nurture this? How can I use it in my daily life? It's a feeling I never had with Hatha Yoga alone. I intend to pursue and deepen this practice, following every Aha Moment that presents itself. Let's see where it takes me.
Yoga & Fitness Website: YOGA by Gigit
Next stop: Peoplescape: Bangkok
Bangkok Cost Index, (US$1 = Baht 33.244 = Php 53.510 as of July 11, 2018)
- Bht 60 sm, 90 big one mug draft beer
- Bht 13 1.5 liter drinking water
- Bht 220 one hour massage
- Bht 60-80 muesli breakfast
- Bht 60-80 tom yum soup in modest eatery
- Bht 25-30 coffee
- Bht 30-50 pad thai
- Bht 350 Adventure Hostel lodging
- Bht 20-30/load laundry, coin operated machine
- Bht 7 bus ride
How to Get around Bangkok
- You can get around Bangkok using the trains, buses, tuk-tuks or the boat. Here is the transport map to give you a heads-up.
How to Get to Chiang Mai from Bangkok by Night Train from Bang Sue Train Station
- take the MRT train to Bang Sue Station. Take the #2 Exit to the provincial trains
- Proceed to Counter 2. You will see an information booth, a train schedule chart and the ticket counter. Choose the train and pay at the ticket counter.
- daily train schedule:
- 8:48am - #7 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:30pm, not sleeper, B638
- 2:06pm - #109 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 4:05am, sleeper
- 6:31pm - #9 Premium Train, arrive Chiang Mai 7:15am, sleeper, B938 upper deck, B1038 lower deck
- 7:56pm - #13 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 8:40am, sleeper, B768 upper deck, B838 lower deck
- 10:22pm - #51 Train, arrive Chiang Mai 12:10pm, sleeper, 3rd class B270 (non sleeper), 2nd class B438, B728 upper deck, B798 lower deck
Bangkok Blogs by TheLoneRider
- 15 Days in Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Peoplescape: Bangkok July 10-24, 2018
- Hatha and Yantra Yoga Fusion July 10-24, 2018
- Revisiting Terminal 21 Mall, Bangkok July 23, 2018
- Rope Skipping, 4mins Full-on July 22, 2018
- Sunday Visit to Chatuchak Weekend Market July 17, 2018
- Fork on the Road: Abundance or Poverty by Choice? July 16, 2018
- Loving Bangkok All Over Again Feb 22-26, 2016
- Adventure Hostel Review Feb 22-26, 2016
- Hotel Review: Riva Surya Bangkok Oct. 20, 2014
- The Shopping Malls of Bangkok Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok's Street Food Delight Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok Revisited 3 Oct 6-20, 2014
- Bangkok Dec 31, 2005
»» next story: Peoplescape: Bangkok
»» next Yoga story: Yoga with Adam at Hidden House Yoga, Chiang Mai
»» back to Yoga
»» back to Homepage
2000 | 2001 | 2002 | 2003 | 2004 | 2005 | 2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | ALL BLOGS