Posts tagged breathing
With hands on thighs, Bettina demonstrates Uddiyana Bandha. She exhales, pushing the air out of the lungs, getting them as empty as she can. While the breath is held out, she presses against her thighs, and—while keeping the abdominal muscles completely soft and relaxed—she sucks in her stomach without allowing air into the lungs. Her neck and shoulders remain as relaxed as possible.  

  When she can no longer hold her breath out comfortably, she relaxes, allowing her abdomen to release and her ribs to lower. She lets air in slowly, inhaling as she comes to a full standing position.

With hands on thighs, Bettina demonstrates Uddiyana Bandha. She exhales, pushing the air out of the lungs, getting them as empty as she can. While the breath is held out, she presses against her thighs, and—while keeping the abdominal muscles completely soft and relaxed—she sucks in her stomach without allowing air into the lungs. Her neck and shoulders remain as relaxed as possible.

When she can no longer hold her breath out comfortably, she relaxes, allowing her abdomen to release and her ribs to lower. She lets air in slowly, inhaling as she comes to a full standing position.

Just as a lion, an elephant, or a tiger is tamed by degrees, similarly respiration is to be brought under control gradually; otherwise it would harm the aspirant.
— Svatmarama’s Hathapradipika, Chapter 2.15

While maintaining Uddiyana and pressing his hands into his thighs, Yuha gives a downward and forward stroke to the rectus abdominis, just above the pubic bone. Contracting the recti and pushing them forward, he isolates the recti from the other muscles. This is Nauli-Madhyama or Middle Nauli.

If we could slow down this video, you’d be able to see that Yuha holds the middle position for a second, then he applies more pressure on the right thigh with the right hand, giving a greater bend to the right side of his body. At the same time, he relaxes the left side. This keeps the right rectus contracted, rolling it further to the right while left remains inactive.

He goes back to the middle position before pressing on the left thigh with the left hand while relaxing the right side of his body. The rectus rolls to the left. Repeating these actions quickly, right-middle-left, right-middle-left, over and over, gives the appearance of churning the abdominals.

After churning five times one way, he churns the other way, thus performing Nauli kriya.

Slowing down to a more controlled “churn” produces different effects. For me a nice slow nauli heightens the sensations in my abdominal viscera, activating my enteric brain and sharpening my intuitive skills. Try to observe your abdomen, and note how you feel before and after the practice.

Middle Nauli or Nauli-Madhyama in squatting position. After fully exhaling, Motoko presses down with her arms and draws up the abdominal muscles, completely sucking in her stomach. At the same time, she forces the rectus abdominis (nala) to stand out in isolation.  
 It has taken some years of practice, but Motoko’s rectus abdominis now appears quite narrow and thin. For beginners, this muscle will appear much thicker and wider if it even pops out at all. Just keep trying to push it out in isolation—and hold it in the out position for as long as possible. Try to do it standing up first, as squatting makes it much more challenging. Don’t be discouraged. It will happen one day! 
 We practice Middle Nauli in squatting position in order to “train” for Basti Kriya. The negative intra-abdominal pressure resulting from Middle Nauli creates a suction that draws in water during basti, the yogic enema.

Middle Nauli or Nauli-Madhyama in squatting position. After fully exhaling, Motoko presses down with her arms and draws up the abdominal muscles, completely sucking in her stomach. At the same time, she forces the rectus abdominis (nala) to stand out in isolation.

It has taken some years of practice, but Motoko’s rectus abdominis now appears quite narrow and thin. For beginners, this muscle will appear much thicker and wider if it even pops out at all. Just keep trying to push it out in isolation—and hold it in the out position for as long as possible. Try to do it standing up first, as squatting makes it much more challenging. Don’t be discouraged. It will happen one day!

We practice Middle Nauli in squatting position in order to “train” for Basti Kriya. The negative intra-abdominal pressure resulting from Middle Nauli creates a suction that draws in water during basti, the yogic enema.

Sitting in Simhasana, with legs crossed at ankles, and heels brought under the perineum, Sami demonstrates Simha Mudra (Lion Mudra). With hands on knees and fingers fully splayed, he thrusts out his tongue, touching it to his chin. Head stays down, chin to chest; and gaze lifts to a point between the eyebrows.

This preparatory practice opens the muscles of the neck and pharyngeal wall, breaking down any fibrous adhesions that may have developed in its faschia, thereby promoting relaxed, smoother breathing.

When you are angry, your breath is affected. When you’re joyful, your breath is affected. Citta (the mind) and the breath always go together. Therefore, the technique by which you control the breath will also be applicable to mind. That is why they say that pranayama is the only answer for mind.
— Tiwariji

Dewi. Kapalabhati. Pumps must come from below the navel. Begin slowly, careful to release each pump fully, and gradually work up to a maximum rate of two pumps per second. (Don’t go faster than this.) The rest of your body should remain relaxed, so that pranic movement can take place. Watch for signs you are doing too many pumps or straining: lightheadedness, breathlessness, headache … pain in the lumbar spine (L1, L2, or L3).

When your parasympathetic nervous system is working, there is no influence of your emotion, there is no influence of your limbic system. Even an hour after pranayama, your emotional system remains quiet. If you do this practice regularly, external situations will disturb you less and less.
— Dr Bhalekar, from his lecture on pranayama and the respiratory system, 5 Dec 2013, Kaivalyadham

Blow into the Jeevan Yantra tube smoothly and evenly, with no fluctuations. Any other way is “not desirable.” This is the quality we want in your exhale … with SOUND, please!