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HATHA YOGA – Part 3

January 12, 2010

Pranayama

Pranayama or control of Prana, is the means to an end. It helps purification of the nerves and causes Nadi Suddhi. It awakens the mystic, serpent power, Kundalini Sakti. Puraka is inhalation of breath. Kumbhaka is retention. Rechaka is exhalation of breath.

The practice of Pranayama should be systematic and well-regulated. The ratio between Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka is 1:4:2. If you inhale for a period of 12 Matras, you will have to do Kumbhaka for a period of 48 Matras, then the Rechaka period is 24 Matras. You must do Rechaka very, very slowly. This is important. This is a sine qua non of the practice.

Easy Comfortable Pranayama

(Sukha Purvaka)
Sit on Padma or Siddha Asana with an empty stomach in your meditation room before the picture of your Ishta Devata. Close your eyes. Close the right nostril with the right thumb. Draw the air in slowly through the left nostril. Then close the left nostril with the right ring and little fingers and retain the air as long as you can comfortably do.

Then remove the right thumb and exhale through the right nostril very, very slowly. Now half the process is over. Similarly, draw the air in through the right nostril; retain the breath and exhale through the left nostril. This is one round of Pranayama. Do 20 or 30 Pranayamas in the morning and evening to start with and slowly increase the number to 80 for each sitting. First have two sittings only, in the morning and evening. After due

practice you can have four sittings. Have a Bhava that all the Divine qualities such as mercy, love, forgiveness, Santi, joy, enter into your system along with the inspired air and that all Asura Sampat, devilish qualities such as lust, anger, greed, are thrown out along with the expired air. Repeat OM, or Gayatri mentally during Puraka, Kumbhaka and Rechaka.

Pranayama removes all diseases, purifies the Nadis, steadies the mind in concentration, improves digestion, hardens Brahmacharya and awakens the Kundalini. Hardworking Sadhakas can do 320 Pranayamas daily in four sittings at the rate of 80 each sitting. Purification of the Nadis will set in rapidly. Many Siddhis are obtained by Pranayama practice.

Bhastrika Pranayama This is one of the eight kinds of Pranayama of Yogi Swatmaram. As the bellows of the blacksmith constantly dilate and contract, similarly, slowly draw in air by both nostrils and expand the stomach; then let out air quickly making the sound like bellows. Inhale and exhale quickly ten to twenty times. Then perform Kumbhaka after a deep inhalation. Then expel it slowly. Do this three times. This is a very powerful Pranayama.
Sitali
Draw air forcefully in through the mouth (with lips contracted and tongue thrust out) folding the tongue lengthwise with a hissing sound and fill the lungs slowly. Retain it for a short time, as long as is comfortable.

Then exhale slowly through both nostrils. Practise this daily. Bhastrika and Sitali Pranayamas can be practised even in standing posture. [For full particulars, see the book: “Science of Pranayama”.]

From – Yoga in daily life

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