Shunyaka Pranayama – Prolonged suspension

Yogendra Pranayama-V or Shunyaka Pranayama – Prolonged suspension

In this Pranayama, after complete exhalation, the breath is suspended.

Starting position:

Do preliminary conditioning in Sukhasana or any other meditative posture.  If not possible to sit on the floor, sit on a firm chair with an erect backrest. Keep the body above the waist straight and the spine erect. Eyes can be kept closed.

Yogendra Pranayama-V or Shunyaka Pranayama - Prolonged suspension

Yogendra Pranayama-V or Shunyaka Pranayama – Prolonged suspension

The sequence of steps:

  1. Take in a normal deep breath and when the inhalation is complete, exhale slowly and with ease.
  2. Make an effort to completely empty the lungs of the air-contents.
  3. Throw out the breath in one long, continuous and forceful rhythm.
  4. Keep on exhaling till the last volume of air is out and one cannot exhale any more.
  5. When this stage is reached, draw the abdomen in towards the spine.
  6. Maintain this state with the suspended breath for 5 seconds.
  7. Ensure -No movement of the abdomen. While sitting the spine, head and neck are to be erect.
  8. Facial muscles are relaxed and nose should not be constricted. Suspension of breath and fixation of mind should occur simultaneously.
  9. Now relax the abdomen and then inhale slowly.
  10. Take few normal breaths before repeating again.

Recommended practice:

Practice daily, 5 rounds /session with pause in-between rounds. Begin with a count of 5 seconds and gradually increase it by 1 sec/week, when practised daily, not exceeding 10 seconds.

Limitations /Contraindications:

  • Children under 12 years should not practice.
  • Not recommended for cardiac patients and pregnant ladies.
  • To be avoided in conditions of slip disc, lower back pain, peptic & duodenal ulcers.

Benefits of Shunyaka Pranayama:

  1. Strengthens weak stomach and activates sluggish colon.
  2. Corrects inflated lungs and high heartbeat (tachycardia).
  3. Preserves the elasticity and tone of the abdomen.
  4. Reduces thoughts, calms and quietens the mind and improves focus.

Check out our 1-day Respiratory Camp it covers yogic techniques (asanas, pranayamas, kriyas, relaxation) talks by Smt. Hansaji and medical experts. Click here for details. 

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