That is what Pranayama is about. Because people normally do not breathe properly and as I said before, most people are like fish – they are going around, opening and closing their mouth like a fish. And that encourages the body to be lethargic because the mind is not stimulated sufficiently with oxygen. And the more you increase the oxygen then you will feel better and less drawn to disease.

Even if a person has a problem physically, you can reverse it with the very fact that you are practising Pranayama. So initially, to reverse the old habits that are entrenched in a human being is one of the most difficult things to do.

When you take a correct amount of oxygen into your bloodstream it is distributed throughout the whole body. The cells in the body are stimulated by the very fact that you created that correct amount of oxygen in the blood. It is a healing process in the being. And that is why we encourage people first to do Pranayama before contemplation and meditation.

You have got so many beautiful mountains – go to those mountains and do Pranayama because the energy is high, the power will permeate through into your whole being and stimulate you and all of your senses.

That is why we say that the Lord is omnipresent and omniscient. Omnipresent and omniscient – the Shakti, the energy pervades the whole universe. And when you are in harmony and become integrated with the energy of the Lord then you are in harmony with all of creation. And that’s what we refer to Maha Shakti. Any more questions?

Question: I have some difficulties with the incense while breathing.

Guru: Yes, some people find it difficult with the incense. If it does irritate you, if you want, don’t burn any. Because I don’t want to cause any unhappiness to anybody. The incense can irritate. It depends – the ones we use here are very, very heavy and can become a problem. Don’t worry.

Question: I find it very difficult to only breathe in or out. I have the feeling that there is always a little bit of breathing out, if I count to twenty-five.

Guru: I’ll tell you the reason for that; because we have got used to constantly being like fish. The fish, if you watch them they are going like this… in, out. That is a bad habit, to break it is very difficult. So persevere and slowly increase the time factor. And also the counting that I do to twenty-five is very small really. You can go up to seventy-five… a hundred [laughter].

Yes, you can! It is a matter of time. That is what real pranayama is; to control your breath. In other words, with your mind you exhale – ok? [Giving a demonstration for a very long time period]. If you concentrate, the amount of prana you are taking inside you is regulated by the mind.

And slowly the mind can say ‘Now slowly, come on’. I show you how you can do it even easier [breathing in and out faster]. Then you have got enough oxygen – ok? Then you do your pranayama, calculating how much you can advance. Because you have taken a lot of oxygen and you are not short of that oxygen. So then you can regulate your prana into your system.

Slowing the breath

Question: When you make this, is it the same time you exhale and breathe in? Or do you breathe in a little bit longer?

Guru: You are breathing in a longer time. Not in and out, but slowly controlling your breath with your mind and taking it in slowly… steadily filling your lungs slowly. And then if it is possible, hold it for a little while. If you feel uncomfortable you must exhale immediately! Please! Because what will happen is that you strain your heart if you do not. You may well find that you are a little bit dizzy – feeling tipsy, but it is because you have got excessive oxygen in your bloodstream.

Question: What is the reason for holding your breath?

Guru: Now, one day when you have really concentrated and you have emerged in your divine consciousness to such a point, everything will stop. Including your breath, which will be just a fine consciousness; you are drawing the prana from the divine consciousness. You will find that. I wonder if any of you have gone to sleep in the night and suddenly woken up in the middle of the night and felt that you haven‘t been breathing – and you have to start your body all over again? Have you done that? There you are… another freak here!

Improved concentration

This is how it is; that if a person is in deep, deep, deep, deep sleep the rhythm changes. Your prana, your breathing rhythm changes. And what happens is it slows down all the reflex actions of the human being, and you are in one with the divine consciousness. That is when you have really concentrated and meditated. Initially, this is a process that you are starting your spiritual journey. Disciplining, applying yourself, getting the prana, the oxygen into your bloodstream to make sure that you are fully awake; the mind is not tranquilised.

You know some people fell asleep yesterday… two people were snoring away yesterday so I pick two flowers on my way out and I thought that would be fun to put one flower in one each of their mouth. That is because they did not have enough oxygen.

If you have oxygen then you won’t fall asleep. Your mind will be very alert. If you feel that you are falling asleep then do pranayama; take a nice long deep breath and start again.

Don’t be afraid to do that! Here possibly you are a bit inhibited because of that. I can understand that. But when you are alone, do pranayama. If you feel tired, that is because there isn’t sufficient oxygen in your bloodstream. And that is what makes you feel like that [giving a demonstration of a flabby person]. I can’t feel like that because I am constantly active. My mind is active because I have got prana in my body. And I am not a rare specimen, I promise you – it can happen to all of you. The more you practice pranayama the better it is.

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