Pranayama (Pranayam)  

BENEFITS OF PRANAYAMA
The body becomes lean, strong and healthy. Too much fat is reduced. There is lustre in the face. Eyes sparkle like diamonds. The practitioner becomes very handsome. Voice becomes sweet and melodious. The inner Anahata sounds are distinctly heard. The student is free from all sorts of diseases. He gets established in Brahmacharya. Semen gets firm and steady. The Jatharagni (gastric fire) is augmented. The student becomes so perfect in Brahmacharya that his mind will not be shaken even if a fairy tries to embrace him. Appetite becomes keen. Nadis are purified. Vikshepa is removed and the mind becomes one-pointed. Rajas and Tamas are destroyed. The mind is prepared for Dharana and Dhyana. The excretions become scanty. Steady practice arouses the inner spiritual force and brings in spiritual light, happiness and peace of mind. It makes him an Oordhvareto-Yogi. All psychic powers are obtained. Advanced students only will get all the benefits.
All Pranayama ultimately leads to good health and awakening Kundalini but Bhastrika Pranayama is the best Pranayama for awakening Kundalini.

Early morning or early evening is the best time to practise Pranayama. It should be practised with empty stomach. Sit in Padma or Siddha or Sukha Asana, facing the East or the North. keep the spine erect and balanced. Those who are unable to sit down can sit on a chair and do the breathing exercises. However sitting down in a proper yogic posture is more beneficial. After mentally prostrating to the lotus-feet of the Sadguru and reciting Stotras in praise of God and Guru, commence doing these Pranayama which will easily lead to the awakening of the Kundalini.

1. Bhastrika:
Bhastrika Pranayama involves fast inhalation and exhalation of air from the lungs. Inhale and exhale at the rate of 1 round per seconds.

Practice Bhastrika Pranayama for 5-10 minutes regularly in the morning or evening. Gradually increase the practice to 30-45 minutes. Again always keep godly thoughts in your mind while practicing. Visualize your body and Prana belongs to Sadgurudev. Surrender your thoughts and mind in the lotus feet of Sadgurudev and pray for his blessings. When you get tired then slowly bring your breath to the normal rhythm by inhaling and exhaling air gently.

After that you may lie down with your eyes closed and internally gazes your organs slowly from your feet to head and then back to feet. Visualize that your body is full of Prana and each part of the body is filled with Prana.

Bhastrika Pranayama is the best Pranayama for awakening Kundalini.

2. Purak(Inhaling):
Inhale deeply, without making any sound.

As you inhale, feel that the Kundalini lying dormant in the Muladhara Chakra is awakened and is going up from Chakra to Chakra. At the conclusion of the Purak, have the Bhavana that the Kundalini has reached from Muladhara to Sahasrara Chakra. The more vivid the visualisation of Chakra after Chakra, the more rapid will be your progress in this Sadhana.

3. Rechak(Exhaling):
Exhale deeply, without making any sound.

As you exhale, have the Bhavana that the Kundalini has reached from Sahasrara to Muladhara Chakra. The more vivid the visualisation of Chakra after Chakra, the more rapid will be your progress in this Sadhana.

4. Antah Kumbhak:
Inhale deeply, keep it inside for as much duration as possible. Repeat OM or Guru Mantra. Concentrate on all Chakra from Muladhara to Sahasrara. Slowly exhale now. Repeat this process from five to ten times.

5. Bahya Kumbhak:
Exhale deeply, keep it outside for as much duration as possible. Repeat OM or Guru Mantra. Concentrate on all Chakra from Sahasrara to Muladhara. Slowly inhale now. Repeat this process from five to ten times.

6. Anulom Vilom:
First inhale through the left nostril, by closing the right nostril. Then exhale through the right nostril.
Then inhale through the right nostril, by closing the left nostril. Then exhale through the left nostril.
This completes one round of Anuloma Viloma. Repeat this process from ten to twenty times.

This is a very good Pranayama for nadi shuddi(purification).

7. Kapal Bhati:
Concentrate on the tip of your nose. Exercise the diaphragm by exhaling suddenly and quickly. This process consists of two actions – Rechaka (exhaling) and Puraka (inhaling). In Rechaka, the main and important part is sudden exhaling and in Puraka, inhaling is automatic and passive. In Rechaka, all the air should be exhaled out of the lungs by sudden and vigorous inward stroke of the front abdominal muscles. Let the abdominal stroke be complete and let the breath flow out fully. In Puraka no willful expansion of the muscles is necessary and the abdominal muscles are also kept relaxed. In short, breathe in normally and breathe out forcefully, so as to influence the organs of the abdominal area.

8. Ujjayi:
Close the mouth. Inhale slowly through both the nostrils in a smooth, uniform manner. Retain the breath as long as you can do it comfortably and then exhale slowly through the left nostril by closing the right nostril with your right thumb. Expand the chest when you inhale. During inhalation a peculiar sound is produced owing to the partial closing of glottis. The sound produced during inhalation should be of a mild and uniform pitch. It should be continuous also. This Kumbhaka may be practised even when walking or standing. Instead of exhaling through the left nostril, you can exhale slowly through both nostrils.