Bahya pranayama is a yogic breathing technique that consists of a deep inhalation, full exhalation, and holding this full exhalation while enforcing 3 ‘locks’ in the chin, abdomen and naval/pelvis. It is beneficial for diseases pertaining to organs in the abdominal cavity.
Bahya – external, outside
Kumbhaka – retain, suspend
Pranayama – breath
Bandha – lock, hold, bind
This pranayama is best done after Kapalbhati – you make most efficient use of the built up energy from Kapalbhati in this pranayama.
Do not practice this pranayama if you have heart problems, high blood pressure, have colitis, or are sick with fever.
How to Perform Bahya Kubhaka Pranayama
- Sit comfortably in an upright posture
- Close your eyes
- Breathe in through nose. Feel your diaphragm expand and move down, forcing abdomen out, this will be followed by your chest expanding, collar bone rising. At this time, there is no more space for air and your lungs are fully expanded.
- Exhale fully with uniform full force through your nose, emptying your lungs: collar bone will drop first, followed by chest deflating and abdomen getting pulled in with deflation of diaphragm
- Apply the 3 bandhas without inhaling:
- Jalandhar bandha: bring the chin to the pit of the throat
- Uddiyana bandha: bend forward a little and press hands on knees for leverage, pull your stomach in and up under the rib cage such that stomach and back seem to touch each other from inside. (abdominal contents float up into the lower chest)
- Mula bandha: contract and pull up the region below the navel (pelvic and pubic area) and sustain the hold
- Still holding the breath and the three locks in place, bend forward slightly and pull the abdominal organs as far up as you can, straighten the trunk
- Hold for 10-15 seconds (or as long as comfortably possible)
- When ready to release, bend again, release the bandhas one at a time in reverse order and inhale gently and fully
- Start with 3 repetitions of Bahya pranayama and increase gradually to desired number of repetitions (up to 10 times). Never go beyond your physical limits and stop as soon as you feel tired.
- Take a 2-3 minute rest after doing this pranayama by taking slow and deep breaths.
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Diabetes: cure and management for both types
- Gastric illnesses
- Improves blood circulation
- Irregular stools
- Prostate problems
- Stills the mind
- Stomach problems
- Urine-related problems
- Uterus problems
Source: Swami Ramdev Maharaj