Thursday, 9 March 2017

Resource: Puraka (inhalation), Recaka (exhalation) and Kumbhaka (retention) in Pattabhi Jois' teacher Krishnamacharya's early Mysore works

Q: Not only have I been to a class of yours but I use your vinyasa book and just bought your Krishnamacharya book! Please tell me if he (krishnamacharya) REALLY holds his breath for 10 minutes? In your Krishnamacharya book he talks about 10 min rechaka ! Many thanks! best wishes.


from my Krishnamacharya Book


Response: Ahhh, yes, 10 minutes recaka (exhalation). This is when Krishnamacharya is talking, for example, about folding into a posture like janu Sirsasana, placing the head on the knee and doing recaka for 5, 10 minutes. However, if necessary, he says you can lift up to take puruka (inhalation).

"Janusirsasana
For the hatha yoga practitioner, the heel of the bent leg should be pressed firmly between the rectum and the scrotum. Tightly clasp the extended foot with both hands, raise the head and do puraka kumbhaka. Remain in this position for some time and then, doing recaka, lower the head and place the face onto the knee of the outstretched leg. While doing this, do not pull the breath in. It may be exhaled. After this, raise the head and do puraka. Repeat this on the other side following the rules mentioned above.
The raja yogi should place the back of the sole of the folded leg between the scrotum and the genitals. Now practise following the other rules described above for the hatha yogis. There are 22 vinyasas for janusirsasana. Please note carefully that all parts of the outstretched leg and the folded leg should touch the floor. While holding the feet with the hands, pull and clasp the feet tightly. Keep the head or face or nose on top of the kneecap and remain in this sthiti from 5 minutes up to half an hour. If it is not possible to stay in recaka for that long, raise the head in between, do puraka kumbhaka and then, doing recaka, place the head back down on the knee. While keeping the head lowered onto the knee, puraka kumbhaka should not be done. This rule must be followed in all asanas". YM 80

My interpretation, and this would tie in with how Ramaswami taught I think, is that certain postures have a recaka principle, others puraka.

"Upavistakonasana: This has 15 vinyasas. Recaka kumbhaka is its primary principle. All the vinyasas must be done following the instructions for pascimottanasana". YM 83

By principle I mean that either recaka is stressed in the posture, or puruka this may or may not include the appropriate kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or holding it out). So in Janu Sirsasana where the body is folded over the focus would be on the long slow recakas possibly with kumbhakas, the puraka would be shorter. In postures where the head,/body is up, the focus would be on puraka, long slow inhalations followed perhaps by a kumbhaka and a shorter exhalation.


puraka, recaka and kumbhaka in the yogasanagalu asana table
See THIS post for the complete table
The book is available to download from my Free Downloads page.

I hope that helps clear it up a little. Below I've included all mention of Puraka and Recaka in Yoga Makaranda part 1 (Mysore 1934), Yogasanagalu ( Mysore 1941), Yoga Makaranda part 2 also known as 'Salutations to the teacher the eternal one'. (Chennai 1950s?), Questions to Krishnamacharya from his students (1970s/80s?).


My Krishnamacharya Book
Also available on amazon but in lulu I'm able to discount 50% and bring it down almost to the cost of printing.
There's also a copy on my Free Downloads page.
In Part One of the book I've trimmed the asana sections from the public domain translation of Yoga Makaranda down to just Krishnamacharya's asana instruction, for ease of practice. Part Two includes some of my Krishnamacharya posts/articles



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On practice

from my Krishnamacharya Book
Few seem to practice Krishnamacharya's early instruction. Pattabhi Jois appears to have taken the speeded up, simplified version, that Krishnamacharya  taught to the boys of the Mysore palace and presented that as his Ashtanga vinyasa system. Over the years the breath seems to have speeded up, the stays becoming shorter. According to his son Manju Jois however, Pattabhi Jois himself seems to have returned, in later life, to the slower breathing and longer stays that he would refer to in interviews as the ideal and that Krishnamacharya outlined in his early works, and no doubt taught to the young Pattabhi Jois in the smaller, more personal classes he had with his teacher (Pattabhi Jois later refer to the long long stays in Kapotasana while his teacher would stand on him and lecture).

Krishnamacharya's instruction in his early works retains the same 'vinyasa' (moving from standing to the asana and back) familiar to most Ashtanga students, the count is the same. However, Krishnamacharya would indicate long, slow breathing 'like the pouring of oil, kumbhaka (retaining the breath in or holding it out) and often, longer stays. Although Krishnamacharya stressed the count less in later life he retained the slower form of the practice, the longer stays, the kumbhaka as well as the variations to the key asana that he would teach in side rooms of the palace to individual students and patients, while Pattabhi Jois and his other assistants might lead the boys through their paces, perhaps in preparation for possible demonstrations.

I spent two years practicing the instructions in Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda, the longer stays, the kumbhakas, the slower breathing and this formed the basis of the 'Krishnamacharya's original Ashtanga Yoga' book and the workshops that I presented two years ago. I personally found that practice consistent both with how Ramaswami taught us Vinyasa Krama ( Ramaswami would have us stay in the key asana for ten, fifteen minutes and taught Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda line by line on his TT) and The Ashtanga Vinyasa I had practiced for several years prior.

Ramaswami with Krishnamacharya

In my current asana practice I still rely on Krishnamacharya's Yoga Makaranda and Yogasanagalu. To allow for the slower breathing and longer stays I only practice half Primary and very occasionally half Intermediate series, but even to practice half a series I need to choose which asana to stay in longer that morning apart from key asana (as indicated by Krishnamacharya, trikonasana, paschimottanasana, maha mudra, badha konasana, sarvangasana, sirsasana and padmasana), which to emphasise kumbhaka, which to slow the breathing further, basically which asana to practice more as mudra than asana ( see my proficient Primary page).

And yet, here is a place for a faster practice as pattabhi has shown us, calm abiding with the breath, throughout the practice however speedily and yet efficiently, we may practice.

When I started Ashtanga, only ten years ago this month, Krishnamacharya was barely mentioned, he would get perhaps a line in a text and yet we have shown how closely modern Ashtanga vinyasa follows his presentation of asana, how closely the current series follow the table of asana in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941), and yet the essence of Krishnamacharya's teaching seems to be left further and further behind.

Rather than deepen our practice by slowing the breath, lengthening the stay, introducing kumbhaka and that experience of timelessness, infinity, between rechka and puraka, followed by pranayama and dharana, practiced as rigorously as we practice our asana we look to the next asana, the next series, the next trick or flourish, too often we are encouraged in this by the 'International yoga teachers, the Instagram stars promoting themselves and their workshops - if the intention is to truly promote the practice, go to places where there are no teachers and few students rather than the big cities with several excellent teachers already).

Advanced practice has become measured by how many asana we can do, how deeply we can fold or twist our bodies into an asana rather than how deeply, how profoundly, we can inhabit it. Advanced practice is measured by how fancy, how floaty the transition rather than it's calm efficiency. Advanced practice is measured by how intricate the contortion rather than the intricacies, the subtleties, of the breath.

Richard Freeman refers to those less bendy as being blessed. With all the so called Intermediate and Advanced asana closed to them, even perhaps much of the Primary series, the less flexible have the opportunity to deepen their asana, explore slower breathing, longer stays, possibly kumbhaka and a standard, straight forward pranayama and dharana practice. Unfortunately, the less, or no longer AS, bendy, exposed to the idea of proficient practice as being indicated by ever more challenging asana often see their practice as limited, second class, hardly worth bothering with such that they may often give up practice, rather than the realising the rich opportunity a more modest practice offers for deepening the experience of practice, of leading to rather than away from yoga.

I hear that in the fashion industry 'modest' is becoming quite the rage, perhaps a more outwardly modest and yet deeply profound practice will follow it into vogue.

I no longer teach or offer workshops and yet if I did, it is Krishnamacharya's Original Ashtanga, as outlined in his early texts that I would wish to share. I find this work intensely rewarding, Krishnamacharya and his practice in this period, in these texts, endlessly fascinating. I don't teach because I don't need to, these texts are available to all, you don't even need to buy the printed copy of my own book, all these texts are available on my Free Download page.

But you don't even need to read the books, just choose to practice half a series and breathe more slowly, choose to stay longer in certain postures (explore which), notice the momentary automatic kumbhaka between the stages on inhalation and exhalation, exhalation and inhalation and lengthen it slightly, from one second to two, two to four. if the body is up the puraka principle tends to apply, if the body is down the recaka principle kicks in. Attend to the breath throughout, don't worry how an asana looks, learn enough anatomy to stay safe but otherwise merely attend to the breath, come back to the breath. Follow asana with a simple, modest, nadi shodhana pranayma practice with or without kumbhaka, the exhalation twice as long as the inhalation and the sit, calm abiding. Repeat daily for ten, twenty years and then see where you are.



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Appendix

Resource: Puraka (inhalation), Recaka (exhalation) and Kumbhaka (retention) in Pattabhi Jois' teacher Krishnamacharya's early Mysore works


1. Puraka and Recaka in Yoga Makaranda Part 1 (Mysore 1934).

1.1 puraka
1.2 recaka
1.3 puraka and rechaka

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2. Puraka and Recaka (Rechaka) in Yogasanagalu (Mysore 1941).

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3. Kumbhakam in Yoga Makaranda Part 2 
(Salutations to the teacher the eternal one) - (Place/date unclear).

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4. Puraka and Recaka in Questions to Krishnamacharya from his students in Yogacarya Krishnamacharya - The Purnacarya. Edited by Mala Srivatsan.




Note: Update to come in the next few days with photos


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1. Puraka and Recaka in Yoga Makaranda Part 1 (Mysore 1934)
The book is available to download from my Free Downloads page.


puraka 
inhalation of the breath into the body, filling it up 

recaka 
exhalation of the breath 

kumbhaka 
retention of breath, either inside or outside the body

YM - Glossary of terms



1.1 Puraka

puraka: inhalation of the breath into the body, filling it up YM - Glossary of terms


Brahmana kriya means to take in the outside air through the nose, pull it inside, and hold it in firmly. This is called puraka kumbhaka. YM 27



Vanhi Sara Dhauti: The stomach along with the navel should be pulled in to touch and press against (stick to) the spine and then should be pushed forward again. Repeat this several times. While pulling the stomach in, do recaka kumbhaka and while pushing it out do puraka kumbhaka while pushing it out do puraka kumbhaka. YM 38-39


Bhujangini Mudra: Stay in bhujangasana, stretch the neck out in front and according to vata sara krama, pull in the outside air and do puraka kumbhaka.


Benefit: This will remove diseases like indigestion, agni mandam (low agni), stop stomach pain and leave you happy. This is raja yoga. YM 49


Ardhabaddha Padmottanasana 

From tadasana, do puraka kumbhaka. After this, choose either leg and place its foot on top of the opposite thigh. Slowly, little by little, move the foot up until the back of the heel is pressed against the lower abdomen. Whichever leg is raised, move the same hand behind the back and clasp the big toe of that foot (from behind the back). Keep the other hand in tadasana sthiti and do puraka kumbhaka. After this, slowly exhale through the nose and bend the upper part of the body forward down to the floor. Place the palm down by the foot and keep it firmly pressed against the floor. Release the breath out completely, and without inhaling, practise (rechka) kumbhaka and lower the head, placing it on top of the kneecap of the extended leg. Repeat this from the beginning with the other leg following all the instructions mentioned earlier. This has 10 vinyasas. YM 61


Urdhvamukhasvanasana 

This has 4 vinyasas. Vinyasas 1, 2, and 3 are exactly as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa is to be done following the same method as for caturanga dandasana. But in caturanga dandasana, there are 4 angulas of space between the body and the floor everywhere. In this asana, the palms and toes are as in caturanga dandasana. However even while keeping the lower part of the body from the toes to the thighs just as in caturanga dandasana, raise the upper part of the body. Make sure that the navel rests between the hands and do puraka kumbhaka. Try to push the chest as far forward as possible, lift the face up and keep gazing at the tip of the nose. Make the effort to practise until it becomes possible to remain in this posture for fifteen minutes. YM 65


Pascimattanasana or Pascimottanasana 

This asana has many kramas. Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas.
The first three vinyasas are exactly as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana, the 5th vinyasa is urdhvamukhasvanasana, the 6th vinyasa is adhomukhasvanasana. Practise these following the earlier instructions. In the 6th vinyasa, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. That is, from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. Extend the legs out forward and sit down. Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. It is better to learn the abhyasa krama from a guru. In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose. After this extend both arms out towards the feet (the legs are already extended in front). Clasp the big toes of the feet tightly with the first three fingers (thumb, index, middle) of the hands such that the left hand holds the left big toe and the right hand holds the right big toe. Do not raise the knees even slightly. Then, pull in the stomach while doing recaka, lower the head and press the face down onto the knee. The knees should not rise from the ground in this sthiti either. This is the 9th vinyasa. This is called pascimottanasana. YM 69

Janusirsasana

For the hatha yoga practitioner, the heel of the bent leg should be pressed firmly between the rectum and the scrotum. Tightly clasp the extended foot with both hands, raise the head and do puraka kumbhaka. Remain in this position for some time and then, doing recaka, lower the head and place the face onto the knee of the outstretched leg. While doing this, do not pull the breath in. It may be exhaled. After this, raise the head and do puraka. Repeat this on the other side following the rules mentioned above.
The raja yogi should place the back of the sole of the folded leg between the scrotum and the genitals. Now practise following the other rules described above for the hatha yogis. There are 22 vinyasas for janusirsasana. Please note carefully that all parts of the outstretched leg and the folded leg should touch the floor. While holding the feet with the hands, pull and clasp the feet tightly. Keep the head or face or nose on top of the kneecap and remain in this sthiti from 5 minutes up to half an hour. If it is not possible to stay in recaka for that long, raise the head in between, do puraka kumbhaka and then, doing recaka, place the head back down on the knee. While keeping the head lowered onto the knee, puraka kumbhaka should not be done. This rule must be followed in all asanas. YM 80


Baddhapadmasana 

This has 16 vinyasas. The 8th and 9th vinyasas are the asana sthiti. The other vinyasas are like pascimottanasana. Study the pictures (Figures 4.52, 4.53) and learn how to keep the gaze. In this asana, one must do puraka kumbhaka. YM 103





25 Marichasana (Figure 4.66, 4.67, 4.68, 4.69)

This has 22 vinyasas. This needs to be done on both the left and the right sides. Study the sannaha sthiti (the preparatory state) of marichasana in the picture. This sthiti is the 7th vinyasa.
The right-side marichasana paristhiti is shown in the second picture. Maricha Maharishi was known for bringing this asana to public knowledge and hence it is named for him.

Stay in the 7th vinyasa for some time doing puraka kumbhaka. After this, do recaka and come to the 8th vinyasa. Stay in this position for as long as possible. In case your head starts reeling (you get dizzy), come back to the 7th vinyasa, do puraka kumbhaka, close the eyes and remain here for some time. YM 115

Ekapada Sirsasana 

This has two forms: dakshina ekapada sirsasana and vama ekapada sirsasana. Both these forms together have 18 vinyasas. The first picture depicts dakshina ekapada sirsasana and the second picture vama ekapada sirsasana. The 7th and 12th vinyasas are the asana sthitis of these di erent forms. For this asana, you need to do sama svasauchvasam (same ratio breathing). In the 7th vinyasa, the left leg, and in the 12th vinyasa the right leg, should be extended and kept straight from the thigh to the heel. No part should be bent.
Keep the hands as shown in the picture. In this sthiti one needs to do equal ratio breathing. When the hands are joined together in ekapada sirsasana paristhiti, one must do puraka kumbhaka. One must never do recaka. YM 120

Dvipada Sirsasana 

This has 14 vinyasas. It is the same as for pascimottanasana up to the 6th vinyasa. While practising the 7th vinyasa, place both legs on top of the shoulders, and do uthpluthi as in the 7th vinyasa for bhujapidasana. Then lean the rear of the body forward and sit down. After this, do recaka and slowly and carefully place the left foot on top of the right foot on top of the back of the neck. That is, the right heel should be by the left ear and the left heel should be by the right ear. While remaining in this state, do puraka kumbhaka and raise the head.  YM 123

Yoga Nidrasana 

This has 12 vinyasas. The 7th vinyasa is yoga nidrasana sthiti. The first 6 vinyasas for kurmasana are the first 6 vinyasas for this. In the 7th vinyasa, sit like you did in dvipada sirsasana and instead of keeping the two legs on the back of the neck, first lie back facing upwards. Then lift the legs up and place them on the back of the neck.
In dvipada sirsasana, we joined the hands together in prayer and placed them next to the muladhara cakra. In this asana, following the krama, take the shoulders (that is, the arms) on both the left and right sides over the top of the two thighs, and hold the right wrist tightly with the fingers of the left hand beneath the spine. Study the picture.
In the 7th vinyasa, after doing only recaka, arrive at the asana sthiti. Then, one should do puraka kumbhaka and lie down. YM123

Bhairavasana (Figure 4.78)

This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th and the 14th vinyasas are the right and left side asana sthitis.
From the 1st until the 7th vinyasa, follow the method for ekapada sirsasana. In the 8th vinyasa, instead of keeping the hands at the muladhara cakra (as in ekapada sirsasana), hug both arms together tightly as seen in the picture and lie down looking upwards. While remaining here, do puraka kumbhaka, raise the neck upwards and gaze at the midbrow. The 15th to the 20th vinyasas are like those for kapilasana. This asana must be practised on both sides. YM 129

Cakorasana (Figure 4.79)

This has 20 vinyasas. This is from the Kapila Matham.
After observing that this follows the form of flight of the cakora bird, this came to be called cakorasana. In the Dhyana Bindu Upanishad, Parameshwara advises Parvati that “There are as many asanas as there are living beings in the world”. We readers must always remember this.
The 8th and 14th vinyasas are this asana’s sthitis. The 7th and the 13th vinyasas are like the 7th and the 13th vinyasas of ekapada sirsasana. In the 8th and the 14th vinyasas, press the palms of the hand firmly into the ground, do puraka kumbhaka, raise the body 6 angulas o  the ground and hold it there. Carefully study the picture where this is demonstrated. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. The other vinyasas are like those of bhairavasana. YM 132

Durvasasana 

This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is right-side durvasasana and the 14th vinyasa is left-side durvasasana. In the 7th and the 13th vinyasas stay in ekapada sirsasana sthiti. From there, in the 8th and the 14th vinyasas, get up and stand. Study the picture carefully. While remaining in this asana sthiti, the leg that is being supported on the ground must not be even slightly bent and must be held straight. Keep the gaze fixed at the middle of the nose. You must do sampurna puraka kumbhaka. The head must be properly raised throughout. YM 132


Trivikramasana 
This has 7 vinyasas. From the 1st to the 5th vinyasas and then the 7th vinyasa, practise following those for utthita hasta padangushtasana. Practise the 2nd and 7th vinyasas as shown in the picture (study it carefully) and remain in these positions. The 2nd vinyasa is the right-side trivikramasana sthiti. The 6th vinyasa as shown is the left-side trivikramasana sthiti. The picture shown here only demonstrates the left-side trivikramasana. It is important that equal recaka and puraka kumbhaka must be carefully observed while practising this asana. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. Both legs must be held straight and must not lean or bend to any side. YM 136


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1.2 Rechka


recaka: exhalation of the breath YM - Glossary of terms


Langhana kriya means to exhale the air that is inside the body out through the nose and to hold the breath firmly without allowing any air from outside into the body. This is called recaka kumbhaka. YM 28



While pulling the stomach in, do recaka kumbhaka YM38-39

Bahish Kritha Dhauti: Position the mouth like a crow’s beak and suck in the air to the extent possible. Hold the air in (kumbhaka) and then exhale it out (recaka) through the nostril. This is only for those who are beginning the practice of recaka kumbhaka. Repeat this 25 times a day. This has to be done either before eating in the morning or before eating in the evening. If one keeps increasing the practice of this correctly, it develops the ability to hold the breath (kumbhaka) for long periods. 

Ardhabaddha Padmottanasana 
From tadasana, do puraka kumbhaka. After this, choose either leg and place its foot on top of the opposite thigh. Slowly, little by little, move the foot up until the back of the heel is pressed against the lower abdomen. Whichever leg is raised, move the same hand behind the back and clasp the big toe of that foot (from behind the back). Keep the other hand in tadasana sthiti and do puraka kumbhaka. After this, slowly exhale through the nose and bend the upper part of the body forward down to the floor. Place the palm down by the foot and keep it firmly pressed against the floor. Release the breath out completely, and without inhaling, practise (rechka) kumbhaka and lower the head, placing it on top of the kneecap of the extended leg. Repeat this from the beginning with the other leg following all the instructions mentioned earlier. This has 10 vinyasas. YM 61


Caturanga Dandasana (Figure 4.15, 4.16)
For this, there are 4 vinyasas. Vinyasas 1, 2, and 3 are as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa alone is different. Press both palms down firmly while doing the 4th vinyasa from the 3rd vinyasa of uttanasana. Do only recaka and firmly hold the breath out without doing puraka. YM 65


Adhomukhasvanasana (Figure 4.18)

For this, there are 4 vinyasas. Vinyasas 1, 2, and 3 are exactly as for ut- tanasana. In the 4th vinyasa only, even while jumping back as for caturanga dandasana, the entire body should be pushed back into a curve. Study the picture and learn this. In this sthiti, the head should be properly bent inwards and the chin should be pressed firmly against the chest. After pulling the abdomen in and pushing it out, exhale the breath out. Holding the breath out firmly, pull in the abdomen. As a result of the strength of practice, one learns to hold this posture for fifteen minutes.

Benefit: Bloating of stomach, bad belching, ajeerna vayu, all such diseases will go away. The 4th vinyasa itself is the asana sthiti. Because of the strength of recaka, you will receive best results by practising this asana in recaka. YM 69

Pascimattanasana or Pascimottanasana 
This asana has many kramas. Of these the first form has 16 vinyasas. Just doing the asana sthiti by sitting in the same spot without doing these vinyasas will not yield the complete benefits mentioned in the yoga sastras. This rule applies to all asanas.
The first three vinyasas are exactly as for uttanasana. The 4th vinyasa is caturanga dandasana, the 5th vinyasa is urdhvamukhasvanasana, the 6th vinyasa is adhomukhasvanasana. Practise these following the earlier instructions. In the 6th vinyasa, doing puraka kumbhaka, jump and arrive at the 7th vinyasa. That is, from adhomukhasvanasana sthiti, jump forward and move both legs between the arms without allowing the legs to touch the floor. Extend the legs out forward and sit down. Practise sitting like this with the rear part of the body either between the two hands or 4 angulas in front of the hands. It is better to learn the abhyasa krama from a guru. In this sthiti, push the chest forward, do puraka kumbhaka and gaze steadily at the tip of the nose. After this extend both arms out towards the feet (the legs are already extended in front). Clasp the big toes of the feet tightly with the first three fingers (thumb, index, middle) of the hands such that the left hand holds the left big toe and the right hand holds the right big toe. Do not raise the knees even slightly. Then, pull in the stomach while doing recaka, lower the head and press the face down onto the knee. The knees should not rise from the ground in this sthiti either. This is the 9th vinyasa. This is called pascimottanasana. YM 69


Ardhabaddhapadmapascimottanasana 
This has 22 vinyasas. The 8th and 15th vinyasas are the asana sthiti. Up to the 7th vinyasa, practise according to the pascimottanasana vinyasa krama. But in the 7th vinyasa, extend the left leg out in front. Place the right foot on top of the left thigh, such that the right heel touches the left lower abdomen. Take the right hand behind the back and clasp the right big toe with the fingers. Hold the big toe of the extended left leg with the fingers of the left hand. For the rest of the vinyasas, follow the same method as for pascimottanasana following the krama. In the 8th vinyasa itself, place the head on top of the knee of the left leg. The 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th vinyasas are as in pascimottanasana. But in the 14th vinyasa, extend the right leg and place the left foot onto its thigh such that the left heel touches the right lower abdomen. Take the left hand behind the back and take hold of the left big toe with the fingers. Hold the big toe of the extended right leg with the fingers of the right hand. Lower the head and place it on top of the outstretched kneecap. This is the 15th vinyasa. Do the 8th and the 15th vinyasas with recaka, pulling in the stomach and extending the legs straight. YM 75


Janusirsasana
For the hatha yoga practitioner, the heel of the bent leg should be pressed firmly between the rectum and the scrotum. Tightly clasp the extended foot with both hands, raise the head and do puraka kumbhaka. Remain in this position for some time and then, doing recaka, lower the head and place the face onto the knee of the outstretched leg. While doing this, do not pull the breath in. It may be exhaled. After this, raise the head and do puraka. Repeat this on the other side following the rules mentioned above.
The raja yogi should place the back of the sole of the folded leg between the scrotum and the genitals. Now practise following the other rules described above for the hatha yogis. There are 22 vinyasas for janusirsasana. Please note carefully that all parts of the outstretched leg and the folded leg should touch the floor. While holding the feet with the hands, pull and clasp the feet tightly. Keep the head or face or nose on top of the kneecap and remain in this sthiti from 5 minutes up to half an hour. If it is not possible to stay in recaka for that long, raise the head in between, do puraka kumbhaka and then, doing recaka, place the head back down on the knee. While keeping the head lowered onto the knee, puraka kumbhaka should not be done. This rule must be followed in all asanas. YM 80

from my Krishnamacharya Book


Upavistakonasana 

This has 15 vinyasas. Recaka kumbhaka is its primary principle. All the vinyasas must be done following the instructions for pascimottanasana. YM83



Baddhakonasana 
This has 15 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is the asana sthiti. The 1st to the 6th vinyasas are like the 1st till the 6th vinyasas for pascimottanasana. In the 7th vinyasa, just like the 7th vinyasa for pascimottanasana, keep the hands down and bring the legs forward in uthpluthi. But instead of straightening them, fold the legs and place them down on the ground. Folding them means that the heel of the right foot is pasted against the base of the right thigh and the heel of the left foot is pasted against the base of the left thigh. When the legs are folded in this manner, the soles of the feet will be facing each other. Hold the sole of the left 
foot firmly with the left hand and hold the right sole firmly with the right hand. Clasping the soles together firmly, do recaka kumbhaka, lower the head and place it on the floor in front of the feet. After practising this properly, press the head against the top of the soles of the feet. While keeping the head either on the floor or on the soles of the feet, make sure that the seat of the body does not rise up from the floor and remains stuck to the floor. This sthiti is baddhakonasana. YM 85-86






Utthitahasta Padangushtasana .....
After the leg has been raised about 3/4 of the way without any assistance, take the first three fingers of the corresponding hand (the same as whichever leg was raised) and tightly clasp the big toe of the raised foot. Remain in this position for some time. Keep the other hand on the hip. Inhalation and exhalation of the breath must be slow and of equal duration. One says the sthiti is correct if there is the same measure of distance between the standing leg and the raised leg. In this there are many other forms.
After staying in this sthiti for some time, take either the face or the nose towards the knee of the raised leg and place it there. Recaka kumbhaka must be done in this sthiti. YM 99

Baddhapadmasana
....Only in yoga mudra sthiti should one do recaka. YM 103

Bhujapidasana 
This has 15 vinyasas. Vinyasas 1 through 6 are like pascimottanasana. With- out allowing the feet to touch the floor, jump very carefully from the 6th vinyasa 
to the 7th vinyasa and hug the shoulders with the legs as shown in the picture. In the 8th and 9th vinyasas, take the legs back in between the shoulders, keeping them centred, and remain in this position using the strength of the shoulders. The hands must not move from the place where they are initially placed. The 7th, 8th and 9th vinyasas must be done only in recaka. While taking the legs towards the back in the 11th vinyasa, make sure that they do not touch the ground. The other vinyasas are like those for pascimottanasana. YM 108

Ubhaya Padangushtasana 
This has 14 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa itself is the asana sthiti. Study the picture carefully. Pull in the stomach with the strength of complete recaka and hold it in this position. While doing this, keep the arms and legs extended. Keep the chin firmly pressed against the chest. YM 112

Supta Konasana (Figure 4.64, 4.65)
This has 14 vinyasas. The 9th vinyasa is the asana sthiti. In the 7th vinyasa, stay as shown in the picture. 
The 8th vinyasa is uthpluthi. From uthpluthi, move to the position shown in the second picture and then do recaka.  YM 112


Marichasana 
This has 22 vinyasas. This needs to be done on both the left and the right sides. Study the sannaha sthiti (the preparatory state) of marichasana in the picture. This sthiti is the 7th vinyasa.
The right-side marichasana paristhiti is shown in the second picture. Maricha Maharishi was known for bringing this asana to public knowledge and hence it is named for him.
Stay in the 7th vinyasa for some time doing puraka kumbhaka. After this, do recaka and come to the 8th vinyasa. Stay in this position for as long as possible. In case your head starts reeling (you get dizzy), come back to the 7th vinyasa, do puraka kumbhaka, close the eyes and remain here for some time. YM 115



Niralamba Sarvangasana 
This has 14 vinyasas. The 8th vinyasa is the asana sthiti. The form depicted in the picture is the 8th vinyasa. This is niralamba sarvangasana paristhiti. In order to get to this sthiti, slowly raise the arms and legs either together or one-by- one in the 7th vinyasa . Do only recaka at this time. Never do puraka kumbhaka. YM 115


Dvipada Sirsasana 
This has 14 vinyasas. It is the same as for pascimottanasana up to the 6th vinyasa. While practising the 7th vinyasa, place both legs on top of the shoulders, and do uthpluthi as in the 7th vinyasa for bhujapidasana. Then lean the rear of the body forward and sit down. After this, do recaka and slowly and carefully place the left foot on top of the right foot on top of the back of the neck. That is, the right heel should be by the left ear and the left heel should be by the right ear. While remaining in this state, do puraka kumbhaka and raise the head.  YM 123

Yoga Nidrasana 
This has 12 vinyasas. The 7th vinyasa is yoga nidrasana sthiti. The first 6 vinyasas for kurmasana are the first 6 vinyasas for this. In the 7th vinyasa, sit like you did in dvipada sirsasana and instead of keeping the two legs on the back of the neck, first lie back facing upwards. Then lift the legs up and place them on the back of the neck.
In dvipada sirsasana, we joined the hands together in prayer and placed them next to the muladhara cakra. In this asana, following the krama, take the shoulders (that is, the arms) on both the left and right sides over the top of the two thighs, and hold the right wrist tightly with the fingers of the left hand beneath the spine. Study the picture.
In the 7th vinyasa, after doing only recaka, arrive at the asana sthiti. Then, one should do puraka kumbhaka and lie down. YM123

Kapilasana
This has 24 vinyasas. Kapila Maharishi discovered this and because he helped spread its practice, it came to be called kapilasana.
The right-side kapilasana is the 9th vinyasa and the left-side kapilasana is the 17th vinyasa.
Up to the 8th vinyasa follow the buddhasana krama. Then, as though you are doing pascimottanasana, place the chin on top of the bones of the front of the knee of the extended leg. Do recaka in this sthiti. YM 127

Skandasana 
This has 20 vinyasas. The 8th and the 14th vinaysas show the asana sthiti. The other vinaysas are exactly as for cakorasana. In pascimottanasana, we hold the big toes with the fingers of the hands as we place the face down on the knees. In this asana, instead of doing that, extend the arms out further forward, clasp the hands together in the manner of prayer, slowly bend the body forward and place the face down in front of the kneecap. You must do recaka in this sthiti. The gaze must be fixed on the midbrow. YM 132

Richikasana 
This has 24 vinyasas. The 9th and the 17th vinyasas are the richikasana sthiti. The 7th and 15th vinyasas are like ekapada sirsasana. The rest of the vinyasas are like cakorasana.
The first picture shows the right-side richikasana and the second picture show the left-side richikasana.
In the beginning of the 7th vinyasa, remain in ekapada sirsasana. In the 8th vinyasa, practise following the rules for the first vinyasa of uttanasana. The 9th vinyasa is like the 2nd vinyasa for uttanasana. The 9th vinyasa has been demonstrated in the picture. While remaining in this sthiti, the legs and arms that are supported on the ground should not be even slightly bent. Only recaka must be done. YM 136


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1.3 Puraka and Rechka

Surya Cakra
This cakra is situated in the third angula above the navel. Pranayama practised with an equal ratio of exhalation and inhalation (recaka and puraka) with a focus on this cakra gives rise to caitanya in this cakra. YM 11


Ajna Cakra

This cakra is situated between the two eyebrows. If caitanya can be held (focussed) here, one acquires the power to control everybody. Through the movements of recaka and puraka in the nadis of the two nostrils, if one practises pranayama by keeping the breath in the nostrils and circulating and moving the prana vayu, then the nadis below the nostril get purified. YM 12

Andam (Macrocosm) means the entire world. Pindam (microcosm) consists of all the mobile and immobile beings and objects in this world. Caram is that prana which is between the andam and pindam uniting and di erentiating the two and causing them to function. That is, Svasam (breath) is vayu (air). Acaram is the state of compressing the vayu and bringing together andam and pindam in a state of unity, that is, uniting the jivatma and paramatma together. To get to the state where the prana vayu can help the jivatma and paramatma unite, we need to practise recaka puraka kumbhaka according to the krama of yoga in order to regularly be able to bring this vayu under our control. This is similar to a man taming wild animals in the forest and slowly bringing them under his control. The yoga practitioner should similarly gradually bring the vayu under his control. YM 35


Vanhi Sara Dhauti: The stomach along with the navel should be pulled in to touch and press against (stick to) the spine and then should be pushed forward again. Repeat this several times. While pulling the stomach in, do recaka kumbhaka and while pushing it out do puraka 



kumbhaka. Practise this before eating. If you want to do this after eating, wait at least three hours. Otherwise it will be dangerous. This exercise needs to be practised daily, repeating it 84 times in a day. This belongs to raja yoga. YM 38-39


Prasarita Padottanasana (Figure 4.10)


Stand in tadasana krama. Jump the legs apart, placing the feet 3 mozhams apart on the ground. Practise jumping and placing the feet at the correct distance all in one jump. While jumping, either puraka kumbhaka or recaka kumbhaka can be done. YM61


Trivikramasana 


This has 7 vinyasas. From the 1st to the 5th vinyasas and then the 7th vinyasa, practise following those for utthita hasta padangushtasana. Practise the 2nd and 7th vinyasas as shown in the picture (study it carefully) and remain in these positions. The 2nd vinyasa is the right-side trivikramasana sthiti. The 6th vinyasa as shown is the left-side trivikramasana sthiti. The picture shown here only demonstrates the left-side trivikramasana. It is important that equal recaka and puraka kumbhaka must be carefully observed while practising this asana. YM 136

Gandabherundasana 
This has 10 vinyasas. The 6th and 7th vinyasas show the asana sthiti. The first picture shows the 6th vinyasa and the second picture shows the 7th. In the 4th vinyasa, come to caturanga dandasana sthiti and in the 5th vinyasa proceed to viparita salabasana sthiti. In the 6th vinyasa, spread the arms out wide, keeping them straight like a stick (like a wire) as shown in the picture. Take the soles of both feet and place them next to the ears such that the heels touch the arms and keep them there.

Next, do the 7th vinyasa as shown in the second picture. This is called supta ganda bherundasana. In this asana sthiti and in the preliminary positions, do equal recaka puraka kumbhaka. Keep the gaze fixed on the midbrow. This must not be forgotten. YM 136-142



2. Puraka and Recaka (Rechaka) in Yogasanagalu 
(Mysore 1941)
The book is available to download from my Free Downloads page.

In yoga positions where eyes, head and forehead are raised, inhalation must be performed slowly through the nostrils until the lungs are filled. Then the chest is pushed forward and puffed up, abdomen tightly tucked in, focusing the eyes on the tip of the nose, and straighten the back bones tightly as much as possible. This type of inhalation which fills the lungs signifies Puraka. p8

In yoga positions where eyes, head, forehead, chest and the hip are lowered,we have to slowly exhale the filled air. Tucking in tightly the upper abdomen,the eyes must be closed. Thistypeofexhalationis called Rechaka. p8



Holding the breath is called Kumbhaka. p8


Therefore, how many vinysas for asanas? Asana position comes at which vinyasa count? When do you perform rechanka and puraka? When to do antah kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka? What are its benefits? For yoga practitioners in formation,it is listed in the table below. p10



Special Direction


When practicing the above listed yogasanas people with heavy bodies must do more rechaka while people with lean bodies must be doing more puraka. These are called langhanakriya and brahmanakriya, respectively. p77

Exhalation is “rechaka”, inhalation is “puraka” and retention is “kumbhaka” according to Yoga shastra. p79




Characteristics of Uddiyanabandha
उदरे पि मं तानं नाभे समाचरेत्। उि याणो सो ब ो ु ुमातंगके सिर॥
Udare paschimam tanam nabheroordhwam samacharet| Uddiyano hyaso bandho mrutyumatangakesari||

Summary: Along with the navel, draw in the lower and upper abdomen to press against the back bones (spine) tightly. When practicing this, perform a deep rechaka (exhalation) in the utkatasana state, draw in the abdomen tightly holding breath for a little while. This is like a lion for the intoxicated elephant, meaning the man who performs this has no fear of death. Those who have a big tummy must try to reduce the abdominal fat by performing many asanas and then can practice this. Such (obese) people must develop a solid paschimotanasana practice. In addition, strong rechaka (exhalation) must also be developed. p83


In Pranayama, all three bandhas must be practiced. After rechaka, one must do jalandharabandha, moolabandha and uddiyanabandha while after puraka, moolabandha and jalandarabandha must be followed without fail during pranayama. p84


Rechaka, puraka and kumbhaka when practiced with equal time and equal numbers are called “Samavrutti pranayama.” p85



NOTE: The asana section in the original edition of Yogasanagalu is the same as in Yoga Makaranda but with less asana listed



Additional chapter 4th edition.

Dandasana is the first posture among the sitting asanas. Vyasa has spoken highly of this (posture) in the Yogasutrabhashya.

Procedure to practice: Place a soft blanket not less than 6 feet in length, sit down facing eastern direction with legs stretching straight forward and lift both hands above the head. Left and right forearms are aligned with the respective left and right ears and stretched upwards without bending the elbows. Hand fingers are interlocked tightly in such a manner that the palm is facing upwards and then the chin is lowered into the chest by bending the neck. The two feet are joined together with the heels touching the floor and the toes stretched upwards. Without bending the knees, keep the thigh muscles stretched tightly and hold the back erect. Softly close the eyelids and as explained before and take six deep inhalation and exhalations. After exhalation, pull in the region of abdomen in all the way into the navel. During inhalation, the chest is to be expanded. Breath should not be held for more than a second. In the yoga shastra, exhalation is known as Rechaka and inhalation is referred to as Puraka. Kumbhaka is retention of breath. When we are practicing breathing like this, our stomach, neck, head and chest should not be moving up and down. Rechaka has to be longer than Puraka and also must be subtle. One Rechaka, one Puraka and one Kumbhaka make one Avrutta. Initially, only six Avrutta’s are enough and must be increased over time.

In this Asana, the body remains straight like a stick (Danda) and strengthens the spine, hands and legs and therefore is called Dandasana. p110

Paschimatanasana.

From Dandasana, take a deep Rechaka, pull in the stomach, keep the hand fingers interlocked, slowly bend forward, wrapping fingers around the legs with the palms facing on the outside. Rest the forehead on the knee caps or slightly beyond, perform Rechaka and Puraka, and keep the knees stretched straight without bending. Starting with three Rechaka and Puraka on the first week, keep increasing by one every week for a maximum of twelve Avruttis. This state is called Paschimatanasana. p112


from my Krishnamacharya Book




Purvottanasana 
Procedure: Please see photo # 5. From Paschimattanasana position, inhale and lift both hands straight up and while exhaling deeply take the shoulders slowly behind the back and place the palm of the hands on the floor about 1 foot distance from the hips with the fingers facing forward. Similar to the second step in dandasana, push the chest forward and do a deep puraka kumbhaka. Pressing the heels and the palms tightly against the ground, lift the entire body in a straight line and drop the neck backwards. Close the eyes and keep still for at least 5 seconds. This is Purvottanasana position. After this, bend the neck to bring the chin to the chest, exhale and place the body down. In this way, practice three times in the first week and gradually increase to six repetitions. p114

Chatushtada peeta 


After stepping down from Purvasana, sit in Dandasana pose and without changing the position of hands bend the two legs and join the heels and knees in front of the hips. Keeping the back straight, bring the chin to the chest and perform rechaka. Pull the abdomen in towards the navel while doing puraka for five seconds and expand the chest area outwards while keeping the heels pressed to the floor. Lift the midsection and hips upwards and tilt the head backwards. Now the midsection of the body should look like a plank by lifting as much as possible. Remain still and do not change the positions of hands and legs. This posture is called chatushtada peeta. This will be hard for a couple of weeks. Afterwards becomes easier. Must be practiced slowly and patiently. p115

Navasana

Come down from chatushta peeta and without changing the position of legs perform two rechaka and purakas and as illustrated in the picture without bending the knees lift the legs up while lowering the neck a little bit. Staying in this position without movement, perform rechaka and puraka for as long as possible. p117





Ardha baddha padma paschimatanasana, part 1, 
Procedure for practice: As in pachimatanasana, stretch the left leg forward and bend the right foot and place it on the left thigh with the bottom of the foot facing up. As shown in the photo, from the back, take the right hand and grab the right foot big toe with the palm facing down. Extend the left hand with a forward bend and tightly hold the left foot big toe with index and middle fingers or if possible with all fingers. Keeping the back straight, pressing the chin to the chest, perform not less than three rechaka and purakas. While doing the 4th rechaka, fully extend the mid portion of the body and while lowering the head place the forehead on the knee. Now repeat the corresponding posture with the right leg extending forward. In this posture, one foot is like paschimatanasana and one foot is in baddha padmasana. Therefore, it is called ardha baddha padma paschimatanasana. p118



If the duration of rechaka, puraka and antahkumbhaka are the same, it is called samavrutti pranayama. If there are differences, then it is called vishamavrutti pranayama.


Example:

Rechaka 5 seconds, puraka 5 seconds, antahkumbhaka 5 seconds, is called samavrutti pranayama. Start with 5 seconds and gradually increase to 20 seconds. Maximum should be not more than 30 seconds. All rechaka and puraka practice (not for kumbhaka), must be subtle, slow, long and must be accompanied by remembrance of house holder diety and mantra. One must not indulge in surprise or fear of 30 second duration. By gradual increase it is possible to reach it in 3 months. Power of prana is the basis of long lifespan.


In vishamavrutti pranayama, puraka 5 seconds, kumbhaka 20 seconds and rechaka 10 seconds. Rechaka must be twice the length of puraka and kumbhaka 4 times. Here know that kumbhaka is antahkumbhaka. First start with samavrutti and only after we are adept in it, we should start vishamavrutti. Otherwise, you may get chest pain. Those who are unable to do vishamavrutti can only practice samavrutti. The basic tenet of Patanjali, Upavarsha and Varshaganya rishis is that one must practice yoga with deep inhalations and exhalations. Sit facing east or north direction.

If we examine the Rishi traditions, rechaka puraka and kumbhaka is performed while holding both sides of the nose just below the bony part using right fingers. p124-125




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3. Kumbhakam in Yoga Makaranda Part 2 (Salutations to the teacher the eternal one) - (Place/date unclear).
The book is available to download from my Free Downloads page.


This text is thought have been written/begun after Krishnamacharya left Mysore, possibly in the the late 1940s/early 50s

Puraka and recaka are refered to as inhalation and exhalaion in text, below i've listed mention of Kumbhakam (retaining the breath in or holding the breath out).


The word ‘kumbhakam’ is generally used in the ancient texts to depict pranayama as well as the holdings of the breath. The original translation is incorrect and inconsistent in some places due to such translation. p2


In SIRSHASANA, normally no kumbhakam need be done (in the beginning), though about two seconds ANTHAR and BAHYA kumbhakam automatically result when we change over from deep inhalation to deep exhalation and vice versa. During the automatic pause, kumbhakam takes place. When after practice has advanced and kumbhakam is deliberately practised, ANTHAR kumbhakam can be done up to 5 seconds during each round and BAHYA kumbhakam up to 10 seconds.

In SARVANGASANA, there should be no deliberate practice of ANTHAR kumbhakam, 10
but BAHYA kumbhakam can be practiced up to 5 seconds in each round.
These deep breathings along with the asana help in slowing down the breathing rate with a consequent elongation of life. Sayanacharya prescribes that the number of deep breaths one should practice per day should not be less than 320. This number could be spread out during the day-some may be done along with asana in the morning and evening, some along with pranayama, morning, noon, evening and at midnight, or whenever some spare time is
found. p10-11

KRAUNCASANA
Technique:
1. Step (1) is the same as for the preliminary exercise.
2. Interlock the fingers, stretch the arms upward and while exhaling lower the stretched
arms, so that the palms touch the sole of the foot stretched in front. Now. lift the stretched leg, without bending the knee, as far back as possible. In the final stage, the knee will be by the side of the ear. No undue force should be used. As practice advances, the abdominal muscles become supple, and the final position will become attainable with ease.
Note: The trunk should be kept erect throughout or slightly leaning to the back. The backbone should be kept straight and stretched.
3. A few deep breaths can be taken. Maximum benefit is obtained when in this position the breath is kept out (Bahya Kumbhakam).
4. While inhaling, lower the leg to the position in position (1).
5. Repeat movements in steps (2) & (3) a few times.
6. Repeat with the other leg. p22


VAJRASANA (b)
Technique:
1. Kneel on a piece of soft cloth with the knees together, the heels together, the soles of the feet upturned, toes stretched and the back of the feet touching the cloth. The body should be erect, the spinal column stretched and the chin locked.
2. Stretch the arms and place the palms to enclose the knee caps.
3. Take deep inhalations and exhalations with hissing sound in the throat with holding
in of breath after inhalation has been completed. It is important to do both types of Kumbhakam to get the full benefit from this asana. The total number of deep breaths should be slowly increased as practice advances from 6 to 16. p25

29. BHARADVAJASANA
Technique:
1. Sit on a piece of soft folded cloth, with one leg stretched straight in front, and the other leg folded back at the knee, so that the foot is close and by the side of the buttocks, the sole of the foot upturned, toes stretched and the back of the foot touching the cloth. The knees should be as close as possible. The foot of the leg, stretched in front, should be upright, to the ground and not inclined sideways. The body should be erect and the spinal column stretched-chin lock.
2. Bend the stretched leg (say the right) at the knees and bring the right heel very near the umbilicus. The right knee should touch the ground. Both the knees should be as near to each other as possible.
3. The right hand is taken round the back to catch hold of the toes of the right leg. The palm to touch the back of the foot.
4. The palm of the left hand is placed on the cloth below the right thigh. The hand should be stretched and not bent at the elbow. The left wrist should touch the outside of the thigh.
5. Twist trunk to face front. Turn the head, so that the chin is over the left shoulder.
6. Take deep inhalations and exhalations with holding in of breath and holding out of
breath. Both types of kumbhakam are necessary. The total rounds of deep breaths may be slowly increased as practice advances, from 12 to 48.
7. Repeat with the other leg.
Note: This is contra indicated to those who have had abdominal operation. p30


BADDHA PADMASANA
This asana is the counter pose to the ARDHA MATSYENDRASANA - Section A, and should be done immediately after that asana.
Technique:
1. Sit upright, with both legs stretched in front. Bend one of the legs, say the right, at the knee and place the foot on the left thigh as high as possible. The heel should be as near
39
the navel as possible. Now bend the left leg at the knee and place the left foot on the right thigh as high as possible, and the heel as near the navel as possible. The knees should be as close as possible and touch the ground.
2. Take the left arm around the back and catch hold of the toes of the left foot by the right hand. Next, take the right hand behind the back and catch hold of the toes of the right foot by the fingers of the right hand.
Note: Which hand is taken round first is important. In the position described above, it will be observed that the LEFT leg is crossed over the right leg, and it is the LEFT arm that is taken round the round back first, to catch hold of the toes. When the asana is repeated on the other side, the right leg will be over the left leg and right arm will be taken round the back first.
3. Chin lock, chest forward. In the case of those who are married, the gaze should be to the tip of the nose, and in the case of the others the gaze should be to the midpoint of the eyebrows.
4. Take deep breaths. The deep breaths in this asana can with advantage be with control both after inhalation and after exhalation i.e., both ANTHER AND BAHYA Kumbhakam. The retention of breath, in the beginning stages, should not be more than 5 seconds after inhalation and not more than two seconds after exhalation. The breathing in and breathing out should be as thin and as long possible, with rubbing sensation in the throat. The number of rounds can be as many as it is conveniently possible without strain. 
5. Get back to the position in step (1) and repeat on the other side.
This is one of the asanas specifically recommended for doing Pranayama. When a large number of Pranayamas are done there is a feeling of hunger, but it is a false sensation. Benefits: This benefits all parts of the body, reduces the waistline, strengthens the lungs and the blood vessels. p40

APPENDICITIS AND CHRONIC STOMACH ACHE:
These are generally due to defective functioning of liver, spleen or the intestines and this asana helps in toning up these organs. If the person has undergone any abdominal operations before, this asana has to be modified somewhat in that it has to be done in combination with halasana. One leg will be as in Karnapidasana. This is done by getting to the halasana variation (3) position and by bending each leg alternately to bring the knee near the ear. This way the pressure on the abdominal region is reduced. In the case of those not operated, Karnapidasana is done in combination with ardhapadmasana to increase the pressure on the abdominal region. Start with Sarvangasana position, keep one leg upright, bend the other at the knee, bring the heel to rest near the groin (ardhapadmasana position) on the other side, the left heel near the right groin, and vice versa. Now exhale and bring the upright leg behind the head as in Halasana, then bend the knee and bring it near the ear as in Karnapeedasana.
Another variation which is effective combination of Exapadasarvangasana-front with Karnapidasana. In this variation, one leg is kept upright and stretched, the other leg is taken behind the head as in Halasana and then the knee bent and brought back near the ear as in Karnapidasana. In the final position the thigh should press the abdomen. Repeat with the other leg.
In all these positions pranayama is to be done with holding out of breath after exhalation. Pranayama will have therefore periods of both Anther and Bahya kumbhakam. These two periods will be equal and be for 2 or 5 seconds. The number of bending of each leg will be as a maximum. The number of each leg should be the same so that both sides of the body may be equally exercised.
The above variations of the asana are according to RAJA YOGA. p44

SUPTAPADA ANGUSHTASANA

Stage IV
1. Lie flat on the ground, on the back, both legs stretched, knees together, arms stretched and by the side of the body, the palms open and touching the ground.
2. While exhaling, bring both legs to an upright position by bending at the hips, keeping the knees together, and the legs stretched, the toes pointed.
3. Turn head to the left, so that the left ear touches the ground. Bring the left arm stretched, with s sweeping motion on the ground, to a position at right angles to the body.
4. Take one or two deep breaths.
5. While exhaling, bring both the legs together to lie on the ground, on the right side of
the body. The knees should not be bent, but the legs kept stretched. The toes should now be at the level of the shoulders, so that when both the toes are caught hold by the thumb and forefinger of the out-stretched right arm, the right arm and the left arm may be in a straight line at the shoulder level and at right angles to the body. As far as possible, try to keep the left side of the back near the ground as possible.
6. Do not less than six rounds pranayama. The pranayama should be done with both Anthar and Bahya Kumbhakam of two to five seconds duration each, the period of Anthar Kumbhakam being kept equal to the period of Bahya Kumbhakam.
7. While inhaling, bring the legs to the upright position, after releasing the toes. Bring the head to the normal position.
8. Repeat on the left side. The legs are straight away brought from the upright position to lie on the left side of the body without taking the legs to the position in step 1.
9. Do the same number of rounds of pranayama as on the right side, the periods of Anthar and bahya kumbhakam being the same as on the right side.
10. While inhaling bring the legs to the upright position after releasing the toes.
11. Bring the head to the normal position, the arms to the normal position by the side of
the body, and take one or two deep breaths.
12. While inhaling lower the legs to lie flat on the ground as in step one.
In some treatises on Yoga Stages II and III of Supthapadaangushta asana are called JATHARA PARIVRITTI though the asana affects other regions of the body besides the abdominal region. 
p65-68


NOTE:
See text for Kumbhaka in the pranayma and in yoga therapy section.


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4. Puraka and Recaka in Questions to Krishnamacharya from his students in Yogacarya Krishnamacharya - The Purnacarya. Edited by Mala Srivatsan.



19. What is meant by jitasvasam?
When a person is capable of doing any length of bhya kumbhaka (hold after exhalation) and anta kumbhaka (hold after inhalation) without getting tired, such a person is called a jitasvasi

23. What about the practice for women after child birth?
They can begin to practice three days after the childs birth, if they do not have any illness. They should begin with ujjayi pranayama, without kumbhaka, twenty-four breaths three times a day, for one week. They can then proceed to lie on their backs, legs bent, in desk pose and move their arms with breathing. Still later, they can raise their legs to touch the toes. After 15 days they can do dandasana. After a month they can do parvatasana and nadisodhana pranayama. After two months they can do sarvangasana. However, during pregnancy they should not do sirsasana and sarvangasana after the 5th month. They should not do paschimottanasana and similar postures. they may do mahamudra.


28. What is the procedure one follows for yoga?
Asanas are the means of reducing illness and for promoting health. The practice of asana makes a person agile. The asanas should be taught according to the individuals requirements and must be taught in vinyasa. There should be a niyama in the breathing while practicing asanas. Inhalation and exhalation should be decided according to the movement of the body. The length of the recaka and puraka depends on the asana and this is what helps the healing of illness. If the correct breathing is not done the practice is a waste of time. It is important to learn from a guru. If a person learns from a book then there is no point blaming the sastras from not realising the benefits mentioned therein.


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A Reminder

from Kalama sutra, translation from the Pali by Bhikkhu Bodhi This blog included.

"So, as I said, Kalamas: 'Don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, "This contemplative is our teacher." When you know for yourselves that, "These qualities are unskillful; these qualities are blameworthy; these qualities are criticized by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to harm & to suffering" — then you should abandon them.' Thus was it said. And in reference to this was it said.

"Now, Kalamas, don't go by reports, by legends, by traditions, by scripture, by logical conjecture, by inference, by analogies, by agreement through pondering views, by probability, or by the thought, 'This contemplative is our teacher.' When you know for yourselves that, 'These qualities are skillful; these qualities are blameless; these qualities are praised by the wise; these qualities, when adopted & carried out, lead to welfare & to happiness' — then you should enter & remain in them. Buddha - Kalama Sutta
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