Preparatory Kriyas For Pranayama

ANUNASIKA BREATHING – Cleansing by inhalation and exhalation

Sthiti: Any Meditative Posture

  1. Exhale completely, Inhale through both nostrils and hold the breath for a few seconds.
  2. Blast out the air through both nostrils in short burst, until the lungs are completely empty. Repeat 5 times.
  3. Now close the right nostril using the thumb of the right hand. Inhale, hold for a few seconds and blast out through left nostril in short bursts of air. Repeat several times.
  4. Next, close the left nostril using the ring and the little fingers of right hand in Anunasika Mudra. Repeat the above process several times through right nostril.
  5. Repeat the complete process several times using alternately both the nostrils. This type of breathing clears the respiratory passages and purifies the sinuses in teh skull.

MUKHA DHAUTI – Cleansing through a single blast breathe

Sthiti: Taadaasana

  1. Spread the legs apart by about 2 feet.
  2. Lean forward and place the hands on teh knees.
  3. Inhale deeply and expel the air forcibly as in a jet through the mouth, continuously. This is effected by contracting the diaphragm as prolonged exhalation.
  4. Repeat several times.

MUKHA BHASTRIKA – Cleansing through hyperventilation

  1. Kneel down, with the heels together and sit erect.
  2. Inhale fully.
  3. While exhaling in a series of expulsions of the beath through the mouth, (keeping the lips puckered as if you are going to whistle) bend forward and rest the head on teh ground in front of the knees. The expulsions are done with the help of the abdominal muscles.
  4. Inhale, come up slowly.
  5. Repeat several times.
  6. The purpose of Mukha Bhastrika is to reduce the level of carbon di-oxide present in the body. Also a cleansing practice.

VIPARITAKARANI KRIYA – Cleansing in inverted posture

Sthiti: Supine Posture

PRACTICE:

  1. Raise the legs to 90 degrees keeping the knees straight.
  2. Raise the buttocks and the trunk off the ground by supporting the body with the hands at the waist to transfer the weight to the arms and elbows. Keep the elbows as close to each other as possible.
  3. Slowly move into the final position of Viparitakarani by raising both legs to vertical position and maintain the trunk at an angle of 45 degree to the gound.
  4. In the final position the weight of the body rests on the shoulders, neck and the elbows the trunk is at 45 degree angle to the floor, the legs are straight and perpendicular to the floor. Note that the chin should not press against the chest.
  5. Close the eyes and feel comfortable.
  6. Focus the awareness on the perineum i.e., the area between the anus and the genitals.
  7. Now slowly in a rolling motion, pull the buttocks inwards.
  8. Then contract the anal sphincter muscles and pull the anus inwards and upwards.
  9. Hold it as long as possible with normal breathing.
  10. Release the Bandha and then retrace the steps to come down to the supine Sthiti and rest in Savasana for a while.

Note:

  1. Apart from Mulabandha the following practices can also be done in the final position of Viparitakarani such as deep abdominal breathing or Kapalabhati or Asvini Mudra.
  2. Mulabandha can also be performed with Antarkumbhaka (holding the breath after inhalation).
  3. Practice a few rounds.
  4. Asvini Mudra, in fact, is a good preparatory practice for mulabandha and can be practiced in the following way “Contract the anal sphincter muscles and pull the anus inward and upward. Hold for 2 to 3 seconds. Then relax. Repeat this as many times as you can with normal breathing. Continue to contract and relax as rhythmically and evenly as possible. Once this is mastered, Mulabandha can be performed quite effectively.

Benefits:

  • It stimulates and tones the uro-genital and excretory systems.
  • Intestinal peristalsis is also stimulated, relieving constipation and piles.
  • It is also beneficial for anla fissures, enlarged prostate, urgency and frequency of urination of irritable
  • Bladder, early case of prolapse of uterus, etc..