Real Yoga with Swami Harinanda

Swami Harinanda
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There are two breathing techniques in Yoga which are invaluable. One is the triple breath and the other is the Kriya technique.

Both are much the same, except in the Kriya the first part of it is counted as 12 seconds in and 12 seconds out and that remains unchanged, whereas with the triple breath technique, what starts out as a ˝ second count may well end up as a 3 second count, so that as you progress, your inhalations may well be as much as 30 seconds or more, as well as the exhalation.

This Triple breath cannot be done like that from the beginning as very few people breathe correctly. For health, stamina, oxygen intake and pranic energy usage, the triple breath is supreme.

If you watch how you breath you will see that the upper chest rises and falls. That is the usual way most people breath. The lung is shaped like a large pendulous lobe, with the greatest amount of lobe at the bottom of the lung. This part is usually unused, thus by being a chest breather, only a limited amount of benefit can be had.

For this technique you can sit, stand or lie down. Make sure you are comfortable.

Placing your hands at the bottom edge of the rib cage, force all your breath out and at the same time push your hands against your rib cage forcing them inwards. Keep forcing your breath out until your stomach and belly have been drawn in towards your spine.

This is the point you begin the triple breath from. Keeping your hands on your rib cage let your stomach relax and take a breath low down by pushing out the muscles of the abdomen, then next take the breath in a little higher until you can feel your hands on your ribs spreading outwards, then next, bring the breath into the upper chest. In time, the rib cage will spread a good 4 or 5 inches outwards on either side.

After practicing this for a while it will all become smoother and smoother. At first your muscles around the ribs will be a little sore so do not practice too long. Stick to the 12-3 count. That is, take the breath in for the count of 12 and hold it for 3 in. Then let it out in the reverse order, chest first, then the rib cage, then the abdomen. That too is 12 counts out and hold out for 3 counts.

Do this breath as many times as you are comfortable. When the muscles around the ribs become tired, stop.

There is nothing to concentrate on with this breath, except slowly over time, lengthening the amount of time you take to breath in and hold, breath out and hold – but do keep your counts regular. For instance when I do it, my twelve count may take 36 seconds and my 3 count may take 9 seconds. Everyone will be different depending on the capacity of your lungs.

Why do this exercise? Because it is great for your health and well being, but more than that you will utilize Pranic energy, plus you will utilize it with self willed direction.

Pranic energy is light energy and it can be directed.

For instance, should you have an ailing organ in the body, after doing this technique, you will be able to visualize that organ surround and flooded with light energy. This heals. You can also learn to “throw” light energy around someone else who is ill.

It takes time, it takes practice and it takes visualization.

This is the breath you use if you feel inclined to go without food and only drink water as a cleansing for the body. You will have lots of energy. Of course you must be proficient at it and the muscles must be able to allow you to do about 4 hours every night of this 12-3 breath – otherwise do not attempt long term fasting.

Remember also to begin any breathing technique with the cleansing breath, that is:

Gulp in a full lung of air, then purse your lips and short hammer blow expulsions, until you have blown out every last bit of air. Do this three times only.

If you have questions – just write. The one thing to remember is to get a nice even flow between the stomach muscles, the rib cage and the upper chest.



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