More esoteric aspects of yoga are beginning to become part of our everyday vernacular. Initially yoga in the west was actually Hatha Yoga but now other aspects of it are available. It’s a blessing to live in times when all of these dimensions of the ancient science of wellbeing are becoming accessible to us all. One such practice is Kriya Yoga, which is the science of the breath and the means to control Prana. To read more about Kriya Yoga, refer to this article: https://celebrateyoga.org/kriya-yoga-ultimate-key-spiritual-evolution/.
Just as there are many types of physical exercises that one can do in a gym, similarly, there are many Kriyas that are taught by spiritual masters. One needs to be initiated into the practice of the more powerful Kriyas because you are taking control of the very life process, Prana. But there are simpler Kriyas that can be learned on-line which still provide many benefits. One such Kriya is Simha Kriya. Simha means lion, and this Kriya in an inner purifying process using the breath.
The Kriya is best done on an empty stomach, even somewhat hungry conditions, but not when one is full. Sitting in a cross-legged posture and using the arms to push down on the thighs so that the rib cage lifts off the diaphragm, with a slightly up-turned face, it begins with stretching the tongue out fully, with the mouth open. Then powerfully inhaling and exhaling without jerking the abdomen, 21 times. Next, the tongue is rolled up and pushed back as far as possible, then again powerfully inhaling and exhaling 21 times. During exhalation, the pit of the throat is constricted so that a constricted sound is produced. The inhalations and exhalations are done fully and deeply, and throughout the Kriya, the eyes are closed. At the end of the two 21 cycles, a full inhalation it taken and held in the lungs for one minute if possible, but at least 30 seconds. The mouth is closed, and when the body is ready is exhale, the breath is let out by the nose, again with the pit of the throat constricted. It’s important to note that this isn’t a breath holding contest, one holds the breath for as long as comfortable, but not forced. The video link includes a demonstration as well as answers to common questions at the end of the clip.
Modifications of this practice include reducing the breath count from 21 to 12 if one has suffered from brain tumors, brain hemorrhage, or is below 6 years of age, or above 70 years of age.
Simha Kriya takes 3 to 4 minutes to do, and it can be done two to three times a day. A gap of four hours should be left between a single session of the Kriya. Ideally a gap of 2.5 hours to 3 hours should be left after a meal, before the Kriya is practiced.
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