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The Different Types of Breath Control

(7) The Rising Breath Control (Murccha) is also called the Six-faced gesture (shanmukhi-mudra).

Method (a) Take the posture of Attainment and, breathing in through both nostrils, apply the Net-holding contraction. Then, place the thumbs on the ears, the forefingers on the eyes, the third and fourth fingers on the nostrils and the little fingers on the mouth, and hold the breath for some six seconds. Relaxing only the third and fourth fingers, breathe out very slowly through both nostrils, without releasing the Net-holding contraction.

Method (b) Take the same posture as above, but apply both the Root as well as the Net-holding contractions throughout. Breathe in through the left nostril, hold the breath as long as possible and breathe out slowly through the right nostril.

This breath control increases capacity for holding the breath. If the holding is prolonged, then the Flying contraction should be applied and the Net-holding contraction relaxed. It is possible, it is said, with this control to perceive with closed eyes and sight focused between the brows, the colors of the five principles of the elements which are yellow for earth, white for water, red for fire, green for air and blue for ether. It gives great mental concentration and silences the movements of mind.

(8) The Bee (Bhramari) is also done in several ways.

(a) The only difference between this breath control and the "With-and-Against", is that at the time of breathing in and out a sound as of a bee is made.

(b) Take the posture of Attainment, close the eyes, concentrate between the brows and apply the Net-holding contraction which should be held throughout. Breathe in through both nostrils making the sound as of a bee. Hold the breath for three seconds, then slowly breathe out with the hum of a bee. Repeat this one hundred and forty-four times.

The "gestures" are often practiced with the Bee breath control which is then done in the following manner:

(a) with the Arch gesture: Take the posture of Attainment and breathe in as above. At the time of holding the breath, extend one leg in the Arch gesture, and after holding the breath for three seconds, return to the posture of Attainment and breathe out. The two legs should be extended alternately. This control can be done forty-eight to seventy times a day and after a year's practice the forehead will easily reach half way between the knee and the ankle.

(c) With the Moving-in-the-Void gesture: This practice should be begun only after the one above has been perfected. Taking the posture of Attainment, breathe in as before and hold the breath for six seconds doing the moving in the void gesture. Then, turning the head to the left, apply the Net-holding contraction, and breathe out. This should be done one hundred and forty-four times. The head thus is turned one hundred and forty-four times. And when, with practice, the holding of the breath gradually increases in duration, the head remains turned longer. The turning of the head makes the vital energy active on all sides, the inner sound, nada, resounds very strongly and mental concentration is rapidly achieved.

(9) The Floating Breath Control (Plavini): Take the Lotus posture and stretch both arms straight upwards. Breathe in through both nostrils and lie down placing both hands clasped under the head as a pillow. As long as the breath can be held, keep in mind "my body is as light as a feather". Then, once more sitting in the first posture, breathe out slowly through both nostrils.

Continuous practice of this control enables one to float or even to walk upon water.

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