Start to slowly increase the duration of exhalation.
Remember to continue to mentally count the duration of exhalation and inhalation. Each interval of counting should last for 1 second; in other words if you breathe in for a count of 5 then this corresponds to a duration of 5 seconds.
Make sure that you are aware of both the mental counting and the process of breathing. Remember 1 round consists of inhalation through the left nostril, followed by exhalation through the right nostril, inhalation through the right and finally exhalation via the left. Over tbe space of 5 rounds make the exhalation 1 second longer than inhalation. For example, if you breathe in for a count of 5 then exhale for a count of 6. Ifyou breathe in for a count of 10 then exhale for a count of 11.
The actual count depends entirely on how far you have progressed with the previous lesson1. Don't under any circumstances use force or strain.
Your duration of exhalation and inhalation should be perfectly comfortable.
Then after a few rounds add 1 more second onto the duration of exhalation.
Do this only if you are able to do it comfortably.
Af ter a few more rounds try to further increase the exhalation by 1 more second.
Continue in this manner until you either find it impossible to increase the length of duration any further without straining, or if you reach a stage where exhalation is twice as long as inhalation.
The eventual aim is to make the ratio of exhalation to inhalation fixed at 1:2. How quickly you attain this depends of course on what your count was for the initial 1:1 ratio. However, don't try to progress too quickly - there is plenty of time. When you reach the 1:2 ratio then you should start to increase the inhalation by 1 second and the exhalation by 2 seconds to maintain the same 1:2 ratio.
Continue to increase the actual duration over each practice session.
In this way you should be able to start each sitting with a larger and larger count as you make progress.
Remember it is essential to maintain awareness of breathing and mental counting throughout the whole practice.
Do the practise for as long as you have the time available.
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