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The Different Types of Breath Control

(2) The Piercing-of-the-Sun (Surya bhedana): Sitting as before in the posture of Attainment, the Lotus posture or the Auspicious posture, breathe through the right nostril and hold the breath as long as possible, before breathing out slowly through the same nostril. At first, repeat this ten to twenty times, then gradually increase the number.

This breath control generates heat and should, therefore, be practiced in the winter or in cold climates. It also increases the production of bile in the body and cures all affections of the head and many other diseases.

(3) The Victorious (Ujjayi): Bend the head slightly. Take in only a little air through both nostrils. The air thus breathed in should produce a sound between the nose and throat. Hold the breath for four to five seconds, and breathe out through the left nostril. The inhaling, exhaling and holding of the breath are all short. In this form of breath control there is no need of the muscular contractions, and it can be done even while sitting, walking or lying. When, for any reason of physical unfitness, other breath controls are not possible, this form may be practiced for about an hour.

Like the Piercing-of-the-Sun, the Victorious breath control generates warmth and should for the most part be practiced in the cold weather. It should be done at first some ten to twenty times only. It increases the span of life and cures respiratory affections, phthisis, intestinal troubles and oedema.

(4) The Cold-maker (Shitakari): Pout out the lips as if for sipping, protrude the tongue from between the teeth to touch the lips, and, closing both nostrils, sip in the air with the tongue and lips. Hold the breath as long as possible before breathing out slowly through both nostrils. The muscular contractions are not necessary for this form of breath control either.

Since this breath control makes one cold, it should be practiced preferably in the summer. It does away with every sort of heat, including fever, and cures most diseases. It also eliminates hunger, thirst, sleepiness and laziness.

Practicing it one hundred times morning and evening for three years, it will destroy old age and restore youth. Poisons have no effect on those who practice it regularly.

The Victorious breath control is said to have been performed by the mythical crow Bhushundi.

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