Long time Kundalini Yoga students have probably heard of infusing clove in water for dosing yourself in the month of May. Below the fold is an excerpt from the 3HO.org website that gives a great description of how and why you would imbibe.
Last year I got an added benefit from doing this practice — a powerful toothe ache stopped hurting. My dentist couldn’t find a cavity, but my teeth still hurt. In May, I started the clove water and was surprised when my teeth stopped hurting about 10 days later. My guess is that there was some type of infection, possibly in my sinuses and the clove water helped clear it up. When I stopped taking the clove water, the pain did not return. I was happy, my dentist barely noticed.
An excerpt from the 3HO page:
Yogi Bhajan’s May Clove Recipe
Take a handful of cloves and soak them in one half cup of room temperature water overnight—no need to boil. First thing in the morning, when you brush your teeth, take 3-4 tablespoons of the clove water (not more than 5—don’t overdo it), swish it around in your mouth and then swallow.
For convenience, you can make enough for three or four days and keep it in the refrigerator. For best results, take some everyday throughout the month of May.
Besides having antiviral qualities, cloves also contain antifungal and antibacterial agents. It is a strong spice that carries much heat, so it is generally diluted before ingesting or applying to the body. Keeping whole cloves and a bottle of clove essential oil are good staples for most any home remedy stash. Clove can make a good addition to homemade toothpastes or deodorants, and can also help eliminate some fungal infections of the skin and nails. Taking clove internally either in a chai tea mixture or by making clove water can be a great way to give the body an extra line of defense during common flu season in your region. Because of its strength, clove is generally contraindicated for people who have kidney or liver disorders and those with a history of seizures. Some people with allergies to balsam also are allergic to clove.
Passive Gyan Mudra
Active Gyan Mudra
A proper description of (passive) Gyan Mudra includes placing the index finger tip and thumb finger tip together as in this beautiful and thorough description of (passive) Gyan Mudra:
The only mention of active Gyan Mudra, is that Gyan Mudra is not Active Gyan Mudra where the thumb is pressing on the finger nail.
Here is a beautiful description of many mudras, including Gyan Mudra, but no description of Active Gyan Mudra: http://www.harisingh.com/newsMudras.htm. Oddly enough, of the three photos showing Gyan Mudra, the right one looks like the usual description of Gyan Mudra.
Forty-four years ago, I learned Active and Passive Gyan Mudra from Shakti Parwha Kaur Khalsa and Gurucharan Singh Khalsa. We used Active Gyan Mudra in most exercises that called for moving while your hands were in Gyan Mudra. Passive Gyan Mudra was used during quiet and still meditations. Active GM for opening the energy gates in the brain and passive GM to use the energy.
The instructions were to curl the index finger tip to the base of the thumb. The index finger represented intelligence being placed at the base of the ego which was the thumb. Since those long ago days, I have not seen Active Gyan Mudra described in this fashion and I have not seen any description of when to use it or a call for it in any Yoga set.
It almost feels like it has gone out of style.
Sitali Pranayam is taught in many books and blogs. It is not that it is taught wrong but what they don’t say leads people to do the meditation in a way that is not as powerful. Check out this blog: http://www.yogibhajan.org/ybkriyas/index.php?id=125
It is beautifully illustrated and simply described, and yet they neglect to say, DO NOT bring your tongue back into your mouth during the exhale. During the entire meditation, the tongue is in the curled position and extended. This is true of every book and online description that I have seen.
I have been traveling and talking to people that learned this meditation from written material (or a teacher that learned it from written material) and they all do this exercise by bringing their tongue back in on each exhale. And why not? It is uncomfortable and a little drool-y to leave it out. There is strong incentive to bring the tongue back in.
This meditation can be practiced for 31 minutes and I have tried it for 40 days. My experience is the physical and mental cleansing experience is much more powerful if you leave the tongue out. Why spend 31 minutes doing the pranayam in a way that is less powerful? That’s 31 minutes of slightly less efficient work on yourself.
Here is a story to illustrate the sensory human being: http://www.3ho.org/3ho-lifestyle/aquarian-age/sensory-human/just-say-yes
(Stories are a fun way to learn and a pleasant way to teach.)