WHAT IS THE MEANING & TYPES OF KUMBHAKA ?PRANAYAMA--11
WHAT IS PRAN ?--
1-The Hatha Yoga recognizes the truth of Arjuna's statement in the Bhagavad Gita that "the mind is as difficult to control as the wind." On first read of this statement one might be bewildered and discouraged. However, the wind referred to in the secret understanding is not the external wind but the internal wind, the prana.
2-Prana is related to wind or vayu and according to ancient Samkhya teaching, the wind element is associated with sparsa or the deep inner feeling that encompasses one's immediate sense of being. In simpler terms, prana is felt.
3-This is important to understand. Another common misperception is that prana is something which must be discovered. However, this isn't true. Prana is always present. It is inseparable from attention/feeling itself.
4-Understanding these basic truths, one can immediately proceed to contain and control attention/feeling through various techniques which are given in the ancient teachings. In the process, the chitta or mind will come under control rather rapidly.
5-Many diseases are thought to be caused by disturbances in the pranic system of the body and mind. Pranayama helps bring this energy system back into harmony. Practicing bahya and antar kumbhaka is believed to help prevent and treat a wide variety of ailments, from skin disorders to diabetes as well as offer the following benefits:----
1-Helps purify the body
2-Boosts physical and mental energy
4-Clears and stills the mind
WHAT IS THE LITERAL MEANING OF KUMBHAKA ?---
Puraka – A single smooth inhalation.
Rechaka – A single smooth exhalation Abhyantara kumbhaka – The mindful holding of the breath after inhalation. Bahya kumbhaka – The mindful holding of the breath after exhalation. WHAT IS BAHYA & ABHYANTARA KUMBHAKA?--
1-Kumbhaka means, the inhale should take in slightly more than normal (to completely fill the lungs). It is encouraged to begin by mastering Antar kumbhaka first, then Bahya kumbhaka, by holding the breath out for just one or two seconds, building up to 16 seconds over several months.
2-There are two main types of kumbhaka:-- Bahya kumbhaka and Antar kumbhaka. Antar kumbhaka is the holding of breath when the inhalation is complete and the lungs are full. Both types of kumbhaka increase heat in the body and provide a range of physical and mental health benefits.
3-Each stage of pranayama is believed to enhance both physical awareness and introspection. It is also thought to be therapeutic for respiratory problems, particularly asthma, and to increase vitality and energy.
4-Abhyantara is also a term associated with saucha, one of the niyamas that refers to cleanliness of mind and body. Internal cleanliness (abhyantara saucha) is a purification of the mind and spirit that is one of the steps on the yogic path to enlightenment.Bahya kumbhaka is a type of pranayama. 5-Bahya is a Sanskrit word that means “outside” and kumbhaka means "breath retention." During this breathing exercise, the breath is held for several seconds after the exhalation is complete.
6-Bahya kumbhaka is used in conjunction with meditation, asanas and bandhas.
WHAT IS SAHAJA & KEVALA KUMBHAKA ?---
There are two additional types of kumbhaka practiced by the most advanced yogis: sahaja 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 the final stage of union, or samadhi.
WHAT DOES SAHAJA KUMBHAKA MEAN?---
1-Sahaja kumbhaka is a form of breath retention in pranayama (yogic breathing exercises). The term comes from the Sanskrit, saha, meaning “with”; ja, meaning “born”; and kumbhaka, meaning “breath retention.”
2-It refers to holding the breath naturally with neither inhalation nor exhalation in mind.It is sometimes considered synonymous with kevala kumbhaka, but when a distinction is made. Kevala is considered on par with the state of samadhi, or union with the Divine, in which inhalation and exhalation are not necessary.
3-Kumbhaka, in general, but sahaja kumbhaka, in particular, is a key component of pranayama, which is used in conjunction with meditation and some yoga asanas.
4-Sahaja kumbhaka is typically produced by pratyahara, or withdrawal of the senses, which is the fifth limb of yoga.
WHAT DOES KEVALA KUMBHAKA MEAN?---
1-Kevala Kumbhaka is of two kinds, viz ..
1- Sahita - That which is coupled with inhalation and exhalation is termed Sahita.
1-1-Kevala--That which is devoid of these is called Kevala (alone).
When you get mastery in Sahita, then you can attempt for this Kevala.
2-When in due course of practice, the Kumbhaka subsists in many places without exhalation and inhalation, unconditioned by place, time and number -then that Kumbhaka is called absolute and pure (Kevala Kumbhaka), the fourth form of 'Regulation of breath'.
3-Such powers as that of roaming about in space unseen, follow this last form of Pranayama. In Vasishtha Samhita it is said: "When after giving up inhalation and exhalation, one holds his breath with ease, it is absolute Kumbhaka (Kevala)." In this Pranayama the breath is suddenly stopped without Puraka and Rechaka. The student can retain his breath as long as he likes through this Kumbhaka. He attains the state of Raja Yoga. 4-Through Kevala Kumbhaka, the knowledge of Kundalini arises. Kundalini is aroused and the Sushumna is free from all sorts of obstacles. He attains perfection in Hatha Yoga. 5-Kevala kumbhaka, meaning "only/isolated breath retention" in English, is a yogic breathing practice in which the breath is retained or held and is often practiced in pranayama along with the bandhas and meditation. This form of breath retention concentrates on holding the breath on a subtle breath, not on or directly after an explicit inhalation or exhalation.
6-Yogis believe that kevala kumbhaka influences prana being held within the body, increasing vitality and positive energy within the self, and is an important practice in Hatha yoga.
7-Kevala kumbhaka does not require inhalation or exhalation and is considered the final stage of spiritual union, or samadhi.
8-Kevala kumbhaka is not simply holding the breath between an inhale or an exhale. It is considered holding the prana completely separate of the movements of inhales or exhales, and is an unprompted stop of breath that occurs within a samadhi state attained through pranayama.
9--Some claim that kevala kumbhaka cures all diseases and causes practitioners to have a long, healthy life. 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.
10-You can practise this Kumbhaka three times a day. He who knows Pranayama and Kevala is the real Yogi. What can he not accomplish in the three worlds, who has acquired success in this Kevala Kumbhaka?Glory, glory to such exalted souls. This Kumbhaka cures all diseases and promotes longevity. .THE KEY POINT;--
For those who mediate for the purpose of achieving liberation or a spiritual awakening (moksha), this is a form of yoga that offers an intense meditative practice to that end. The goal is to expand one's awareness until it is capable of discovering the eternal truths of the universe and human existence.