Kumbhaka Pranayama

In today’s era, most people are facing health-related problems due to the modern lifestyle and unbalanced diet. For many types of minor diseases, one has to visit hospitals.

In such times, regular yoga practice should become an essential part of your daily routine. Regular yoga practice keeps both body and mind fit. Pranayama is also a mode of yoga by which we can exercise our breath. In this blog, we are going to discuss Kumbhaka Pranayama. We will learn the practice method of Kumbhaka pranayama, its types, and the benefits of this Pranayama.

Kumbhaka Pranayama

Kumabhak Pranayama is a breathing exercise that comes under the practice of Hatha Yoga. Kumbhaka word was derived from a Sanskrit word that refers to pot.

Types of Kumbhaka Pranayama

Kumbhak Pranayama is practiced in two types.

  • Antara (inner) kumbhaka
  • Bahya (outer) kumbhaka

Antara Kumbhaka

It is the retention of air in the lungs after inhalation. Usually, during Pranayama more air is inhaled than normal, which fills the lungs.

Bahya Kumbhaka 

It is the stop of breath after inhalation. Usually, during pranayama, the yogi exhales more completely than usual, emptying the lungs.

How to practice Kumbhaka?

  • Get into your meditation posture. You can sit in Padmasana or Sukhasana for instance.
  • If you are not comfortable sitting, you can sit on a chair. Make sure your back is straight with the spine, neck, and head aligned.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Firstly start doing breathing exercises. This will help you to get ready for further practice.

Antara Kumbhaka- 

This is internal retention. By taking a deep breath to the count of five. The counting should be done in mind or you can use your fingers.

When you get filled your lungs with air, tuck your chin into your chest in Jalandhar Bandh. Close your nostrils with your thumb and ring finger. Count your breath to five.

Release the hands and raise the head. Exhale normally through both nostrils.

Exhale process should be done in the double count. In this, it is 10.

Repeat the cycle for 10-15 minutes.

Bahya Kumbhaka- 

This is external retention. To practice this, take a deep breath to the count of five. Now exhale deeply but slowly till the count of five. When you have finished exhaling, hold the breath. You have to hold your breath for the same time as you inhale and exhale. Try to have the same duration for all three phases.

Do and Don’t during Kumbhaka Pranayama

  • Always practice in a relaxed state of mind.
  • Do not force yourself to hold your breath. No need to go beyond the capacity.
  • Firstly master doing Antara Kumbhaka, then after move to variation.
  • Never do this in a standing posture. 
  • Practice this on an empathetic stomach.
  • If you are suffering from diseases like asthma or high blood pressure, do not do Kumbhak Pranayama.

Benefits of Kumbhaka Paranayama

  • Regular Kumbhak makes you mentally and physically strong. 
  • Regular Kumbhak exercises make your lungs strong.
  • By doing regular Kumbhak Pranayama, there is no shortage of oxygen in the body and one does not have to face problems related to breathing.
  • Regular practice of Kumbhak increases physical strength, energy, and capacity.
  • By doing Kumbhaka Pranayama, the strength of the arms increases and the size of the chest becomes wider.
  • The practice of Kumbhak Pranayama increases immunity.
  • If Kumbhak Pranayama is done properly, the blood pressure remains balanced.
  • Not only this, regular Kumbhak practice leads to long life.
  • Regular practice of Kumbhak controls hunger and thirst. There is an increase in determination and restraint.
  • There is an increase in positive thinking.
  • By doing Kumbhak Pranayama, the eyesight becomes stronger.

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