Seals are masters of controlled yoga breathing or ‘pranayama’ practice. It involves breath suspension and nostril closure, to make the body’s inhalation and exhalation more efficient, reducing heart-rate.
If you watch a seal, you will see that it closes its nostrils tightly before diving, to prevent seawater from irritating the delicate membranes in the nose. The ability to control which nostrils take air in and out is something that yogis train the nostrils to do, starting with the fingers, but eventually controlling the breath without hands. Why? I’m not sure.
Seals empty their lungs before submerging (‘kumbaka’ – in yoga lingo), slowing their heart rates down to 40 beats per minute. This allows them to dive up to 13,450 feet deep without needing to surface often. Then, even at this slow beat, they cruise at up to 23 miles per hour to catch fishy moving feasts.
It’s common for yoga schools and yoga models to claim that yoga heightens the senses and even enables a ‘6th sense’. Increasingly, it seems, science is finding that extrasensory perception is a characteristic of animals, that we’ve lost/ need to reawaken.
Seals add to an every increasing number of animals being found to have the super-powers more noted in whales and bats. They can detect vibrations in the water caused by moving prey using their ‘vibrissae’ – whiskers. There are cases of blind seals surviving for a number of years in the wild, suggesting that, as tools for hunting, whiskers can take the place of eyes.
Seals also echo-locate. Common seals are known to make clicks and trills underwater. It could be, however, that they are simply talking to each other….Read more about whales and Free Willy Wifi