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The Art of Breathing - BKS Iyengar
Started by: garcot at August 17 2010

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The Art of Breathing - BKS Iyengar By: garcot
Bangalore
  
August 17 2010
Some excerpts from the book of "Light on Pranayama" by BKS Iyengar:

http://www.yogapranayama.net/yoga-breathing/anuloma-pranayama.html

Please visit the link to get all the details. I have just listed a few of the stages of anuloma viloma discussed in this article. There some mp3 voice recordings too.

Anuloma pranayama
Anu means 'moving with' or 'with the flow'. Loma means 'natural force'. Anuloma means with the direction of natural force.

Anuloma pranayama is done with a clear inhalation. Exhalations are done with the nostrils partially blocked in numerous different ways.

This type of pranayama lengthens the breath by lengthening the exhalation.

Retentions (kumbhakas) are slowly introduced.

Instructions
Find a comfortable seated position. Gently exhale all of the air from the lungs.

Stage 1
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. It does not matter if one nostril is blocked due to sinus closure, breathe in through the clear one so that air enters the lungs with ease.

Exhale through both nostrils. Restrict the air so that exactly the same amount of air escapes both nostrils. The blocked one will open on the exhalations. It is a good way to start to open the blocked side.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama.

The purpose of this exercise is to control the air flow out of the lungs so that it is balanced on both sides. This will also lengthen the breaths on the exhalation which has an effect of calming the nerves.

If conflict and struggle are present on the exhalation there may be a sense of gasping for air. If this occurs stop the breathing technique and take easy breaths so that the nerves relax. Begin Bhrāmāri Pranayama to further relax the nerves. Bhrāmāri Pranayama is also a good way to lengthen the exhalations and is good to add before and after Anuloma pranayama.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama exhaling through both nostrils partially closed.

Stage 2
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. Do not obstruct the inhalation. The traditional hand clasp can be taken up to the nose each exhalation or kept up there but the fingers remain idle until the exhalations.

Block the left nostril completely and exhale through a partially blocked right nostril. Pay close attention to the sound and air as it escapes.

Inhale once again through both nostrils unobstructed.

Exhale through the left nostril partially with the right nostril fully blocked.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama alternating nostrils on the exhalations.

Stage 3
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. Do not obstruct the inhalation.

Introduce antara kumbhaka holding at the top of the breath for at least 3 seconds.

Exhale through both nostrils. Restrict the air so that exactly the same amount of air escapes both nostrils. If one nostril is blocked it will often open on the exhalations. Extra pressure will have to be applied to teh nostril that is more open to bring balance on the exhalation.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama holding at the top of inhalation and exhaling out of both nostrils partially closed.

Stage 4
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. Do not obstruct the inhalation.

Introduce antara kumbhaka holding at the top of the breath for at least 3 seconds.

Block the left nostril completely and exhale through a partially blocked right nostril. Pay close attention to the sound and air as it escapes.

Inhale once again through both nostrils unobstructed.

Once again perform antara kumbhaka holding at the top of the breath for at least 3 seconds.

Exhale through the left nostril partially blocked and the right nostril fully blocked.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama holding at the top of inhalation and alternating each nostril when exhaling.

Stage 5
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. Do not obstruct the inhalation.

Exhale through both nostrils. Restrict the air so that exactly the same amount of air escapes both nostrils. If one nostril is blocked it will often open on the exhalations. Extra pressure will have to be applied to teh nostril that is more open to bring balance on the exhalation.

Introduce bahya kumbhaka holding at after exhalation for at least 3 seconds. Do this lightly the first few times and gradually increase the vacuum inward and the time spent in uddiyana bandha.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama restricting the air flow out of both nostrils evenly and retaining the breath after exhalation.

Stage 6
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. Do not obstruct the inhalation.

Block the left nostril completely and exhale through a partially blocked right nostril. Pay close attention to the sound and air as it escapes.

Introduce bahya kumbhaka holding at after exhalation for at least 3 seconds. Do this lightly the first few times and gradually increase the vacuum inward and the time spent in uddiyana bandha.

Inhale once again through both nostrils unobstructed.

Exhale through the left nostril partially with the right nostril fully blocked.

Perform bahya kumbhaka once again holding at after exhalation for at least 3 seconds.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama inhaling without restriction and restricting the air flow out of one nortril while blocking the other completely. The breath is retained after exhalation.

Stage 7
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. Do not obstruct the inhalation.

Perform antara kumbhaka holding at the top of the breath for at least 3 seconds.

Exhale through both nostrils. Restrict the air so that exactly the same amount of air escapes both nostrils. If one nostril is blocked it will often open on the exhalations. Extra pressure will have to be applied to teh nostril that is more open to bring balance on the exhalation.

Perform bahya kumbhaka holding at after exhalation for at least 3 seconds. Do this lightly the first few times and gradually increase the vacuum inward and the time spent in uddiyana bandha.

This completes a cycle of Anuloma Pranayama restricting the air flow out of both nostrils evenly and retaining after inhalation and after exhalation.

Stage 8
Breathe in through both nostrils fully open. Do not obstruct the inhalation.

Perform antara kumbhaka holding at the top of the breath for at least 3 seconds.

Block the left nostril completely and exhale through a partially blocked right nostril. Pay close attention to the sound and air as it escapes.

Introduce bahya kumbhaka holding at after exhalation for at least 3 seconds. Do this lightly the first few times and gradually increase the vacuum inward and the time spent in uddiyana bandha.

Inhale once again through both nostrils unobstructed.

Once again perform antara kumbhaka holding at the top of the breath for at least 3 seconds.

Exhale through the left nostril partially with the right nostril fully blocked.

Perform bahya kumbhaka once again holding at after exhalation for at least 3 seconds.

This completes one full cycle of Anuloma Pranayama.

Combinations of Pranayama
Begin to combine viloma pranayama with anuloma pranayama. This is done by interrupting the inhalations with pauses.

The pauses can also be added to the exhalation alone or in combination with the inhalation.


There is also a way of alternating the exhalation, changing the nostril that is blocked each time a pause is introduced. This produces a very balancing effect between ida and pingala the positive and negative energies.

With Limitless Joy,
Garcot

"wisdom in your body is deeper than your deepest philosophy"(Nietszche)

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