Breathe is the combination of inhalation and exhalation phases. The capacity of holding it during or after these phases is called as Kumbaka in Sanskrit. Controlling of breath differentiates the autonomic function of respiration. Awareness on filling up of lungs, stretching of airways and reaction of the receptor will assist the voluntary control. Hence the Kumbaka is scientifically the best way to gain mastery of the respiratory system.
Improving the lungs capacity with different pranayama techniques can be further maintained and improved further to 6 liters only by continuing the holding capacity or Kumbaka.
- Strengthens the smooth muscles of respiration.
- Improves endurance capacity of skeletal muscles of respiration.
- Balances the mind-breath interactions.
- Shines up the skin.
- This is the prior practice and eligibility for Jalandhara Bandha or neck lock.
- Improves the Pancha pranas and their balance.
- Assist in the formation of aura.
- Basic practice for any pranic healer
- It gives control over thirst and hunger
Practice of Kumbaka
- Keep the spine, neck, and head in straight line.
- Practice 10 rounds of yogic breathing.
- Start holding of breath for 2 seconds at the end of inhalation and also at the end of exhalation.
- Slowly increase the holding capacity between the segmental breathing.
- Progress the practice by increasing the duration in seconds at every segment.
- The ratio of segmental kumbaka is from 1:1:1 to 1:2:3. This should be as gradual as possible as this is the manipulation of breath/ life force.