Kriyás- Bridging the body and mind
(continued from previous issue)
3. Sürya and Candra Bhedana Kapálabháti
a. Candra Bhedana Kapálabháti
— Use Násiká Mudrá and close right nostril.
— Inhale fully through left nostril.
— Close the left and open the right nostril.
— Burst out through the right.
— Automatic inhalation through left by closing right and
opening the left.
— Repeat speed upto 120 stroke/min. Clockwise circulation
of the breath.
b. Sürya Bhedana Kapálabháti
The whole process of Candra Bhedana Kapálabháti is reversed anti-clockwise circulation of breath.
Benefits : Candra and Sürya Nádès in Pránamaya Kosa are activised by these Kriyás apart from cleansing the nostrils effectively.
Balancing the Breath
The imbalances of Prána show up as excessive speed, haphazardness, unrhythmicity and shallowness in breathing. These wrong breathing habits may further manifest as jerks and bursts of breath and imbalanced breathing between the two nostils. The first step is to cleanse the respiratory tract and lungs by Yogic Kriyás in general and Neti and Kapálabháti in particular, previously described. The second step is to normalise breathing by decreasing the manifests of imbalances and correcting the wrong breathing habits. The techniques employed come under the head, ‘Sectional breathing’. This is a preparatory breathing practice and increases the vital capacity of the lungs. It has three sections :
a. Abdominal or Diaphragmatic Breathing or (Adhama Svása)
Sit erect in Vajrásana. Exhale and inhale completely, slowly and continuously. This is called Püraka. The abdomen is made to bulge out continuously with the air entering, especially, into the lower sections of the lungs. Before exhaling stop the breath (Ántaryakumbhaka) for a few seconds without any force, While exhaling (Recaka) the abdomen is drawn inwards continuously and slowly. Before the breath is reversed, stop the breath (Báhyakumbhaka) effortlessly for a few seconds and then inhale. Repeat the breathing cycle. There should be no jerks in the whole process. It should be smooth, continuous and relaxing.
The diaphragm separating the thorax from the abdomen descends during inhalation with the bulging out of the abdomen. This increases the air-flow into the lower sections of the lungs. The rhythmic movement in the diaphragm massages the organs of the abdomen gently, and helps them to function normally. It promotes general circulation also.
b. Thoracic (Chest) or Intercostal Breathing (Madhyama Svása)
This sectional breathing is performed while sitting erect in Vajrásana; inhalation and exhalation are performed by expanding and contracting the chest only. Air flows through both the nostrils slowly and continuously. The abdomen is controlled to avoid bulging out. The middle lobes of lungs are opened up fully by this type of breathing.
c. Clavicular or Upper lobar breathing (Ádya Svása)
Sit erect in Vajrásana. Raise the collar bones while inhaling and move the shoulder backwards slightly. Keep the abdominal muscles contracted. The air is forced into the upper most regions of the lungs thus ventilating the upper lobes while exhaling bringing down the collar bones and shoulders forward to normalcy.
The sparingly used upper lobes of the lungs will be properly aerated by this breathing.
d. Full Yogic Breathing Pürna Svása
In full Yogic breathing technique, all the above three types will be combined. During inhalation, the Adhama, Madhyama and Ádya occur sequentially and during exhalation the same sequence namely abdominal (Adhama), chest (Madhyama) and clavicular (Ádya) breathings occur. The whole process should be relaxing and comfortable without any tension on the face.