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P R A N A Y A M A
Other recommendations: after choosing a pleasant place (in you decide to practice outdoors), set a mat on the floor or on the grass, or rock. On this mat place a blanket, or a clean piece of cloth made of cotton or wool.
Sit on it, facing North, or East, choosing a position you feel comfortable in. The best position is the one in which you may stay for a long time, without any discomfort.
Remember that your spine should be straight, upward and relaxed at the same time. Contract your anal muscles, and perform a slight abdominal retraction, as in the case of Uddiyana Bandha.
Your chest, neck and head should be as much as possible on an imaginary straight line.
Always practice pranayama on an empty stomach, this means at least two hours after you had a meal. Do not practice pranayama when you are ill, except the cases in which it is a remedy.
Do not practice pranayama when physically or mentally tired. If you desire remarkable and quick results, practice pranayama constantly four times a day: in the morning, at noon, in the evening and at midnight. Especially during this intense practice period, eat and drink regularly.
SIMPLE PRANAYAMA TECHNIQUES
Note: it is compulsory to always practice these techniques after the asanas and to perform the complete yogic relaxation afterwards.
1. DEEP BREATHS
Sit in the pose you chose for the practice of pranayama (be it Sukhasana, or Vajrasana, or another upright position you are comfortable in).
In the beginning breathe in and out several times, to ventilate the air that might have been stagnating in the respiratory tracts.
After several such ventilation breaths, exhale the air through the mouth, trying to empty the lungs. Maintain the retention of the breath with the empty lungs (apnea) without forcing yourself.
Inhale through the nose filling your lungs with air as much as possible. Hold your breath with your lungs filled with air, but do not force yourself to hold your breath for too long.
In time, you will manage to hold your breath for longer intervals of time, but in the beginning it is compulsory that your body accommodates with the energetic level brought about by the practice of pranayama.
Exhale through the mouth, avoiding the explosive, "massive" elimination of the air. Do every step in a controlled and calm manner. Take a few breaths in your own rhythm, and then try again another deep breath, as shown above.
Focus: during this technique, while exhaling you will eliminate also the toxic energies that disturb your vital balance. While inhaling, perceive the beneficial pranic energies that impregnate and revitalize you.
While holding the breath with the lungs filled with air, perceive the impregnation of the whole body with pure, beneficial energy.
This technique has even more powerful effects if the pranic currents of energy are visualized as bright-white fluxes of energy radiating in your entire body.
If you want to benefit from this technique in purposes of healing, during the retention with the lungs filled with air, you have to focus the pranic energy on the disordered areas, visualizing the currents of white energy eliminating the tensions from that particular area.
Perform this technique 20 times in one session. Perform one session in the morning, one at noon, one in the evening and one at midnight, increasing the number of breaths with two per week.
Beneficial effects: this technique helps you obtain a greater vitality, and leads to a process of purification of the organism. The mind is calm and focused. The health is restored.