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  Yoga  
[Yoga Home][Postures][Breathing][HolisticOnline Home][Meditation][Prayer]
 

Breathing Exercises

Surya-Bhedana (Right-nostril breathing)

This refers to an exercise in which one inhales through the right nostril and exhales through the left, holding the inhaled breath as long as possible before exhaling. Although one may eventually develop an ability to do this without using the fingers to close either nostril, beginners, at least, should expect to use their fingers. You may close your nostrils in any way you choose to; but the traditional technique has become standardized as follows.

After pressing the index and middle fingers of the right hand against the palm of that hand, use the thumb to close the right nostril and the ring and little fingers to close the left nostril. Left-handed persons may reverse this procedure. When both nostrils are open, the fingers rest on the bridge of the nose.

Properly performed, both inhalation and exhalation should be complete, and the process repeated ten to twenty times without pausing between cycles (with a prolonged full pause but no empty pause), and with continuous voluntary control over one's muscles to assure smooth, soundless breathing at all times. One should employ both the "chin lock" (jalandhara bandha) and diaphragm raising (uddiyana bandha); he may use the lips and palate and glottis closures also if he chooses. Although one should never hold his breath to produce undue strain, still he is expected to feel, sooner or later, a pressure all over his body, from head to toes, or from the roots of his hair to the tips of his toenails, with perspiration oozing from his pores. Climatic conditions and amount of surplus water in one's body may have some bearing upon the result. But repetition of this exercise may enable one to continue it, after much practice, to as many as eighty repetitions in a series without discomfort.

Go To: Ujjayi (The "loud breathing")

[Yoga Home][Postures][Breathing][HolisticOnline Home][Meditation][Prayer]

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