Breathing awareness and duration

Exhale as you twist the body into the final pose. Breathe slowly and deeply in the final position.

Your point of awareness will depend on whether the eyes are open or closed.

Eyes closed: be aware of breathing, or the eyebrow centre. When you become sufficiently proficient to remain in the final pose for some time, then you can imagine that the breath is moving inwards and outwards at the eyebrow centre. As you breathe in feel the ingoing air piercing tbe eyebrow centre; as you breathe out feel the outflowing air being pushed out at the eyebrow centre. Your awareness should be on this process.

Eyes open: direct your gaze as far behind the back as possible, preferably fixing your attention on a point or spot on the wall.

Experiment and find out for yourself the method which you prefer. Keeping the eyes closed is more beneficial because it is more likely to concentrate the mind and also induce introspection. When the eyes are open there is more of a tendency for one's attention to wander over the objects in vision instead of remaining focussed on one point on the wall.

Beginners should only spend a few seconds in the final pose, if necessary alternately twisting the body three or four times on each side. This will loosen up the back. In fact, we advise beginners to stay in the final pose, hold their breath for a comfortable time, and then return to the starting position and repeat on the other side of the body. This procedure can be repeated a number of times.

When the back becomes more supple then start to gradually increase the duration of the final pose, while breathing slowly and deeply. This can be done over a period of weeks. Eventually you can spend a few minutes in the final pose in each direction of twist.

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