Archive for Pranayama

Kewali Pranayama

This Pranayama is especially to attain an advanced stage and for practicing twenty-four hours a day. A mantra ‘Hamsa’ or ‘Soham’ which means ‘that is me’ is practiced in it. The mind is a power of the soul indeed and to dissolve it in the same (soul) is actually the union of Shiva (supreme soul) and Shakti (energy). When wavering of the mind stops, then, it drowns in the soul and Kewali Pranayama is done to achieve this purpose.

 

While breathing in, one should have such a feeling as it contains a divine light and imagine the mantra ‘Ham’; and while breathing out, it should be imagined as the flow of glowing prana is mixing into a vast divine light and a sound of ‘sa’ is heard within.

 

In this way, recitation of the mantra ‘Hamsa’ should go on with the natural breathing process without any extra effort, and the divine self should be visualized within and outside in the integrated form. The ‘Hamsa’ mantra is called the ‘Ajapa’ mantra or ‘Ajapa Gayatri’ mantra because its recitation goes on constantly by itself with the respiration process.

 

This Pranayama affects the Kundalini Shakti also. When breath goes in, it should be felt that light is going through center of the forehead (bhrikuti) and spine to the Mooladhar Chakra. Then it comes out through the same way as a divinely bright breath from the spine and bhrikuti (center of forehead) mixing into a vast divine animated form.

 

Sadhaka of Kewali Pranayama starts visualizing the soul faster. With the dissolving of Prana into the divine element the setting in of mind in the same is natural. Because “yatra prana liyate tatra mana liyate” that is the mind goes where the pranas go.

 

With this practice, the mind and the brain remain in tranquility, enhances life because the speed of pranas lengthens and becomes subtle, which relaxes heart and lungs.

 

Initially, this should be practiced both the times in morning and evening while sitting in any posture. After a long practice, one attains the skill and its recitation goes on itself even while working. It is recited twenty one thousand six hundred (21600) times in a day and night.

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Plavini kumbhaka Pranayama

This can be attained by filling air into stomach by puraka and holding it for sufficient time. With the practice of this kumbhaka the sadhaka floats on water like a leaf of lotus flower. (Puraka and Rechaka through the nose)

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Sheetkari Pranayama

Keep tongue behind the teeth and take the air in through the chinks of teeth, making a hissing sound and do rechaka (exhale) from both the nostrils. This Pranayama is especially beneficial for good physique, gracefulness, and good health. Hindrances like hunger, thirst, sleep and laziness are done away with.

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Moorchha kumbhaka Pranayama

Breathe in and hold the breath comfortably, concentrate mind in bhrikuti (the center of the forehead). While giving up all thoughts, try to come to a stage like sleepiness. A person experiences an extreme joy with this Pranayama. It can be done as long as one enjoys it.

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Bhramari kumbhaka Pranayama

At night when there is complete silence, do puraka, clsoe the ears, hold breath comfortably (kumbhaka) and hear the word or music (naad), which echoes within. Concentrate mind on that music, whatever words come up, try to concentrate in their rhythm whole-heartedly. The words of the music keep changing slowly. Sometimes music of a cricket, and sometimes that of a bumblebee, bell, drum, clouds etc is experienced. After a regular practice, the music can be heard by keeping the ears open also and the sadhaka’s mind remains in it by itself.

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Bhastrika Pranayama

Sit in Padm Asana, breathe in and out for ten to fifteen times, in quick successions from both the nostrils like the bellows of a blacksmith, and take a long breath and hold it comfortably. Then exhale and do the same again. This way it should be done three times. This Pranayama awakens the Kundalini and cures diseases caused by cough, bile and air. This Pranayama can be fully attained by a disciple who has reached a divine stage and who is deekshit (initiated) by the Guru, or only with the blessings of a Yogi Guru.

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Sheetaly Pranayama

Draw out the tongue from mouth and make it round like the beak of a bird, and slowly take in the air towards stomach considering it an elixir and exhale it from the right nostril or from both the nostrils. With this Pranayama one will never have the problems of cough, bile and constipation.

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Ujjayi Pranayama

Breathe in from the nose, and pull the air from the heart and the throat and hold in the mouth (doing Uddiyan Bandha) together with Jalandhar Bandha as long as one can do it comfortably. Then exhale from both the nostrils. This Pranayama cures cough and phlegm related diseases.

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Surya bhed kumbhaka Pranayama

Breathe in by solar nadi (the right nostril) and hold in the air while doing Jalandhar bandha (a mudra), according to one’s capacity. By holding the breath for a longer period, the whole body will sweat. Imagine all pranas and upp-pranas accumulate in the abdominal area (navel) then do rechaka from the left nostril (lunar nadi). Breathe in through the right nostril again and exhale from the left nostril. Practice this Pranayama in this way several times. This Pranayama cures the problems of cold, cough and improves digestion and awakens the Kundalini.

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Nadi Shudhi Pranayama

It is for cleansing of the nadis of body, which is of the utmost importance in Hatha Yoga, because only after cleansing nadis the prana can enter the central way, which awakens the Kundalini. This Pranayama has three parts namely –

 

  1. Puraka (breathing in)
  2. Kumbhaka (holding in)
  3. Rechaka (exhaling)

 

First the Puraka: Close right nostril with the thumb of right hand and breathe in from the left nostril.

 

Kumbhaka: Hold the breathe taken in puraka comfortably by closing the left nostril as well with the help of right finger and small finger of the right hand.

 

Rechaka: After holding the breath, exhale slowly through right nostril by removing the thumb from left nostril.

 

Now repeat the process by changing the nostril i.e., breathe in from the right nostril (puraka) do kumbhaka by holding the breath comfortably and do rechaka by breathing out slowly through the left nostril. In this way, repeat puraka, kumbhaka and rechaka from both the nostrils turn by turn.

 

The duration of kumbhaka should be four times of the puraka and that of the rechaka should be twice the time taken in puraka, which means that if four seconds are taken to breathe in then hold for 16 seconds and exhale in eight seconds (1:4:2).

 

But it should be done comfortably; there should be no anxiety. It is harmful to hold the breath beyond ones capacity. In the beginning six kumbhakas three from each nostril are sufficient. The time of kumbhaka increases gradually with proper practice of Pranayama. With this the nadi chakra is cleaned and the prana vayu (air) enters the face of the Sushumna Nadi comfortably. When the prana vayu enters the Sushumna, the mind stabilizes and attains the deepest state of meditation, called samadhi (super conscious state of mind).

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