While in India (i.e., Kaivalyadham in 2013) for a monthlong teachers certification course in Pranayama, I created a blog that reads sort of like a travelogue but with study notes. I was pretty fastidious in detailing various pranayama techniques, so I’ve found it useful to refer to the blog over the years.
In the video clip below, my classmate Paul Chambers demonstrates one of the preps, Agni Sara, executed in Kaivalyadham style.
In a seated position, with hands on knees, Paul shows us one round of Agni Sara. He begins by bringing his abdomen to a relaxed neutral position. Then he isolates his lower abdomen and slowly draws it back while exhaling without raising his diaphragm or upper abdomen. With lungs completely empty, and without allowing air to flow back in, he vigorously pumps the abdomen forward. (A beginner may find it helpful to pinch the nose to stop the air from flowing in.)
The diaphragm and abdomen are fully relaxed and passive, and therefore able to balloon out to “maximum.” He draws back the lower abdomen, bringing navel to spine, then immediately pumps again, repeating the action fully as many times as is comfortable without inhaling. Finally, he releases and inhales with control, completing one round. Typically, he might do six rounds in one session.
Agni means fire, and it’s normal to break out into a sweat while doing Agni Sara. This powerful practice is said to stoke the inner digestive fire.
There are many other photos, quotes, and instructional videos on the blog, which you can check out at this link https://bhastrika.tumblr.com/