Abhyantar Kumbhaka Paranayama or Full Breath Retention is the mindful holding of the breathing after inhalation to improve your overall energy levels, boost the mood swings, and help alleviate anxiety and depression issues. So, if you are feeling dull and low on energy off late, this Pranayama will refresh and rejuvenate your brain. It also helps you breathe better as it improves the capacity of lungs by increasing blood in oxygen.
The primary goal of any kind of pranayama is to connect your body and mind through breathing. Pranayama removes toxins from your body and supplies it with fresh oxygen which in turn improves the other body functions. Pranayama also helps in boosting immunity and can help in fighting Covid-19. There are various types of pranayama depending on the needs of the individual.
Yoga Expert Swami Ashutosh, Founder of Panchwati Yogashram & Nature Cure Center explains the benefits of Abhyantar Kumbhaka Pranayama.
What Is Kumbhaka
Kumbha is a Sanskrit word which means a vessel. Our torso is compared to this vessel full of air. When you do Kumbhaka, you deliberately stop the flow of air or retain breath. The Pranayama improves better flow of oxygen in the body as this process increases the retention of carbon dioxide which activates areas of brains that signal for better oxygen interchange. It also improves your memory and concentration power and helps in alleviating stress and anxiety by boosting the flow of pran energy.
There Are Two Types Of Kumbhaka:
- Abhyantara Kumbhaka
- Bahya Kumbhaka
What is Abhyantara Kumbhaka
The term Abhyantara Kumbhaka has two elements. Abhyantara means internal and kumbhaka means breath retention. It is the mindful holding of the breath after inhalation. It is also called antar kumbhaka.
How To Do Abhyantara Kumbhaka
- Sit in a relaxed position at a quiet place.
- Inhale the air for five seconds with your nostrils.
- Now close both your nostrils using your thumb and middle finger blocking the air.
- Hold the breath for ten seconds.
- Repeat it a at least five times.
Benefits of Abhyantara Kumbhaka
- The purpose of Abhyantara Kumbhaka is to increase the energy level and to boost the pran shakti which is also called life force. It adds vitality and energy to the body and improves the overall well-being of a person.
- When the life force energy is increased in the body, the nervous system is activated which helps improve balance, coordination and movements.
- This breathing technique is useful in improving the prowess of respiratory systems. The capacity of the lungs is improved if done over a period of time.
- People with back pain, low confidence, laziness can benefit out of it as it improves the flow of Prana in the body.
- If you are feeling low or depressed, the pranayama will also help boost the mood and keep the negative thoughts at bay.
- The pranayama is also known to improve intellectual power, memory and concentration as it boosts the flow of oxygen.
Who Should Avoid Abhyanatara Kumbhaka
- People with high blood pressure
- People who have migraine problem
- Children below 12 years of age
- People with cardiac issues
Right Time To Do Abhyanatara Kumbhaka
Like every other Pranayama or yogic pose, the best time to do Abhyanatara Kumbhaka is in brahma mahurat or very early in the morning. You can also do it in the evening. If you plan to do it in the evening, you must do it after 4-5 hours of your last meal
It is one of the four stages of Pranayama. The other being:
1. Puraka - a single smooth inhalation
2. Abhyantara kumbhaka - the mindful holding of the breath after inhalation
3. Rechaka - a single smooth exhalation
4. Bahya kumbhaka - the mindful holding of the breath after exhalation
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