Halfway through the course, we began to work with kumbhaka , the state of suspended breath. I was a little apprehensive because of my previous experience with breath retention. Regardless of whether the retention was after an inhale or exhale, I always felt like I was involved in self-strangulation. When I held my breath in during internal retention, my lungs felt like they were going to explode. Within seconds of pausing after exhalation, my body tensed up.
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Kumbhaka is a Sanskrit term that means "breath retention. Kumbhaka is believed to increase the heat in the body and, in doing so, provide a range of physical and mental health benefits. There are two main types of kumbhaka: antar kumbhaka, which is the cessation of breath when the inhalation is complete and the lungs are filled up; and bahya kumbhaka, which is the cessation of breath when the exhalation is complete. Learn More Yogapedia explains Kumbhaka Just prior to antar kumbhaka, inhalation should take in slightly more air than normal to completely fill the lungs.
Likewise, just prior to bahya kumbhaka, the exhalation should be complete, expelling more air than normal from the lungs. Two additional types of kumbhaka are practiced by the most advanced yogis: sahaja or sahit kumbhaka, which is holding the breath with neither inhalation nor exhalation in mind; and kevala kumbhaka, which does not require inhalation or exhalation and is considered on par with the state of samadhi the final stage of union with the Divine.
Many diseases are thought to be caused by disturbances within the pranic energy system in the body and mind. Pranayama — for example, nadi shodhana alternate nostril breathing with antar kumbhaka — helps bring the energy system into harmony.
Therefore, effective practice of kumbhaka in conjunction with pranayama is believed to help prevent and treat a wide variety of diseases, from skin disorders to diabetes.
Kumbhaka also has the following benefits: Helps remove impurities from the body Boosts physical and mental vitality Improves concentration Clears and stills the mind Share this:.
the space between breaths: kumbhaka
Kumbhaka- We become a force to reckon when we hold ourselves together. Starting position : Do preliminary conditioning in Sukhasana or any other meditative posture. If not possible to sit on the floor, sit on a firm chair with an erect backrest. Keep the body above the waist straight and the spine erect.