The art of breathing
Breathing is the bridge between the body, senses and mind
Inhalation is the intake of cosmic energy by the individual for his growth and progress. It is the path of action . It is the infinite unity with the finite. It draws in the breath of life as careful and as gentle as the fragrance of a flower might be indrown and distributes it evenly throughout the body.
In practicing pranayama the breath is like an infant child demanding special care and attention from his mother.
To understand this art, it is essential to know its methodology, what is right and wrong. It is helpful to note that the relationship between consciousness and breath should be like that between a mother and child.
In inhalation the sadhaka attempts to transform his brain into a receiving and distributing centre for the flow of energy.
Do not inflate the abdomen, neither forcibly nor quick.
Exhalation is the breath that goes out after inhalation, the expultion of carbon di oxide.
Exhalation is the outflow of the individual energy to unite with the cosmic energy and is the surrender of the sadhaka ego to and immersion in the self.
Hold the chest high with consciousness and lead the outgoing breath steadily and smoothly.
Inhale and exhale systematically with close attention to the rhythmic pattern of breath as a spider symmetrically weaves its web.
For some persons, inhalation is longer than exhalation, whereas for others it is exhalation that is longer this is due to the challenges we have to face in life and our responses to them which change the flow of breath and the pressure of the blood . pranayama aims to eradicate these disparities and disturbances in the flow of breath as well as blood pressure and to make one unperturbed and unattached to one’s own personality.
Sit in any comfortable posture.
Raise the spine along with the chest ,floating ribs and navel and keep it erect.
During inhalation , expand the chest up and out without tilting.
While inhalation fill the lungs fully with complete attention .Synchronise the movement of the breath evenly with the interior expansion of the lungs.
Fill the lungs from their base to the brim.
In breath is absorbed, feel this absorption and the exhilaration sensation of percolation of the cosmic energy that flows.
The energy of inhalation enters from the nose and is received by the spiritual body and ascends from the navel to the top of the chest.
Bring the shoulders down and chest up.
Relax the throat.
Keep the eyes closed and relaxed.
The forehead remains relaxed.
In exhalation the body becomes dynamic for the slow release of breath.
Exhalation is the art of calming the nerves and the brain. This creates humility and the ego becomes quiet.
The pause between an in and out of breath.
It also means the withdrawal of the intellect from the organs of perception and action to focus on the seat of the atma.
Kumbhaka has to be done with the brain relaxed so as to re-vitalise the nervous system.
The senses are stilled and the mind becomes silent.
The pause in breathing after full inhalation: puraka kumbhaka and after complete exhalation :- rechaka kumbhaka . In this state one is completely absorbed in the object of one’s devotion and isolation from the world experiencing a feeling of joy and peace which passes understanding. One is in tune with the infinite.
Antara kumbhaka is the holding of the Lord in the form of cosmic or universal energy, which is merged into the individual energy. It is a state wherein the Lord is united with the individual soul.
Bahya kumbhaka is the state in which the yogi surrenders his very self , in the form of his breath, to the lord and merges with universal breath it is the noblest form of surrender, as the yogi’s identity is totally merged with the Lord.
The aim of kumbhaka is to restrain the breath.
Kumbhaka is the urge to bring out the latent divinity in the body, the adobe of Atman.
The knowledge of the bandhas is essential for the proper practice of kumbhaka they act as safety valves for distributing, regulating and absorbing energy, and prevent its dissipation. An electric motor burns out if its voltage is allowed to rise too high. Similarly , when the lungs are full and the energy in them is not checked by the bandhas , they will be damaged, nerves will be frayed and the brain made unduly tense. This will not happen if on e practices jalandhara bandha.
Never do antara kumbhaka while standing.
When I dislodge in a reclining position , place pillows under the head.
When you are able to hold the breath in internal retention for a minimum of ten to fifteen seconds you may introduce mula bandha . In the initial stages do mula bandha at the end of inhalation and retain it through out retention.
In internal retention, pulll the abdominal organs in and up, and simultaneously bring the lower spine forward. Keep the trunk firm and the head , arms and legs relaxed througout.
At the end of inhalation and the start of retention the sadhaka experiences a spark of divinity. He feels the oneness of body, breath and self. In this state there is no awareness that time is passing. The sadhaka experiences freedom from cause and effect he should retain this state throughout kumbhaka
The vital energy of the sadhaka does not escape when kumbhaka is done with the bandhs.
Pay no attention to uddiyana bandha and mula bandha until they have mastered the rhythem of breathing.
The body is the kingdom . The skin is its frontier. Its ruler is the atman ,whose all seeing eye watches every details during pranayama.
Mountain torrents dislodges rocks and gouge out canyons yet when the energy of the flowing water is stilled and balanced against that the rocks , each loses its separate identity. The results is a lake reflecting the serene beauty of the mountains around. Emotions are the torrents while the steady intellect forms the rock in kumbhaka both are evenly balanced and the soul is reflected in its pristine state.
Consciousness wavers with the breath while kumbhakas still and frees it from desires. The cloud disperse and the self shines like the sun.
after practice of pranayama and kumbhaka relax in savasana

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