Hatha Yoga: Agnisar Kriya. Part II.

Posture

One can assume various postures to perform this practice:

Standing position

Vajrasana

Padmasana

Those who are able should practise while sitting in vajrasana (or padmasana if they are familiar with it). Otherwise adopt a standing position, which is equally good.

AGNISAR KRIYA

Technique 1: in vajrasana

Sit in vajrasana. Separate the knees as widely as possible keeping the toes in contact with each other. Place the hands on the knees. Arch the spine backwards and straighten the arms. Bend the head slightly forward. Open the mouth and extend the tongue. The eyes can be open or closed, as you prefer. Then contract and expand the abdomen while simultaneously breathing in and out. This breathing should be passive; that is, it should only occur because you are accentuating the movement of the abdomen. The breathing should resemble the panting of a dog and must be in harmony with the asso-ciated abdominal movements. It is important that the internal organs receive a good massage.

Therefore contract and expand the abdomen as much as possible. Don’t strain. The movement of the abdomen should be rapid, but at the same time ensure that the contractions and expansions are as full as possible. Don’t do the practice over-rapidly, so that the movement of the abdomen is reduced and becomes superficial. This will reduce the benefits of the practice. Pull in and push out the abdomen for a short period of time, until you feel a little fatigue.

This is 1 round. Rest for a short time, then repeat.

Technique 2: in standing position

Stand with the legs about half a meter apart. Lean forwards and place your palms just above the knees. The arms should remain straight throughout the practice. Bend the knees slightly. Look towards your abdomen. Open your mouth and extend your tongue. Then contract and expand the abdomen while breathing in and out, in the same way as described in technique 1. Continue as long as you are able to without straining. Take a rest and then repeat the procedure.

Technique 3: advanced form

This technique gives the greatest massage of the abdominal organs. It can be practised in vajrasana, padmasana or a standing position. It is similar to techniques 1 and 2, but the breath is held while pulling in and pushing out the abdomen. Breathe in deeply. Then exhale, emptying your lungs as much as possible by fully drawing in the abdomen. Without breathing, try to push your abdomen outwards. Then contract your abdomen again. Repeat this process in quick succession as mam times as you can while holding your breath. Be careful not to strain yourself by holding your breath too long. Then breathe in. This is 1 round. Rest until the breathing returns to normal. When your breathing becomes normal again, repeat another round. The time of breath retention should be gradually increased over a period of days and weeks.

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