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April 27, 2015
Bhastrika or Bellows Breath is best for preparing for meditation and concentration, as well as arousing spiritual energy. There are many versions of Bhastrika. They all incorporate Kapalabhati but then add Ujjayi, Alternate Nostril or a Complete Yoga Breath. One simple version begins with 10-20 breaths of Kapalabhati and ends with a deep slow inhalation, suspension and a slow even exhalation.
Sitkari or Hissing Sound Breath is named this way because the sound comes from inhaling through the mouth as the tongue is placed between the upper and lower front teeth. It is held for a few seconds then exhaled through the nose. This is said to cool the body, and satisfy hunger and thirst.
Sitali or Cooling Breath also cools the body. It is done by inhaling through the mouth but with the tongue curled up and slightly sticking out. It is like drinking from a straw. The tongue then goes in, holding the breath and exhaling through the nose. Bhramari or Bee Breath uses the sound of breathing for therapy. It meditates on the inhalations, exhalations, the differences and rhythms of the sounds while the ears are plugged with the thumbs.
Murchha or Swooning Breath is more of a meditative process used with breathing. The emphasis is to focus on the area between the eyebrows, the sixth chakra while holding the breath or releasing it slowly. Plavini or Floating Breath is practiced while floating on water. This pranayama I believe also relies on the sounds of breathing to sooth the body and mind.
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