the exhalation plus empty hold increase to six counts, that .s one and a half cycles (4-6-6).
• Gradually proceed to eight counts for the closed hold, then to ten counts, that is two and a half cycles; once you have trained enough in this, increase to twelve counts or three cycles, that is, until the duration of the closed hold becomes twice the exhalation plus empty hold. It is necessary to practice diligently to achieve this rhythm (4-12-6).
• At this point, the inhalation continues to remain at four counts, but both the closed hold and the exhalation plus empty hold increase to eioht counts, that is. two cycles. Proceeding as before, the closed hold increases to ten, then twelve, then fourteen and then sixteen counts or four cvcles. twice the duration of the exhalation plus emptv hold. Practice with diligence until you are able to accomplish this rhythm (4-16-8) with ease.
Then the inhalation heeomes one and a half cycles; then gradually the inhalation increases to two cycles, the closed hold to eight cycles and the exhalation plus empty hold to Jour cycles. When this is completed, you have the 'minor kumbhakaWith an exhalation plus empty hold oj six cycles you have theimedium kumbhaka160 and, of thirty-two (counts), the 'major kumbhaka
When the duration of the exhalation plus empty hold, reaching two cycles (that is. eight counts), becomes twice the inhalation which is of a single cycle, the inhalation should be increased to six counts or one and a half cycles, and likewise the closed hold and exhalation plus empty hold should be for six counts each. Then proceed as before, increasing according to your capacity. At the end your inhalation should last two cycles (eight counts), the closed hold eight cycles (thirty-two counts) and the exhalation plus empty hold four cycles (sixteen counts); this is the level called the minor kumbhaka (8-32-16).
* Then the inhalation will last two and a half cycles (ten counts), with the same duration for the closed hold and the exhalation plus empty hold, until you reach a closed hold of four cycles (sixteen counts) and the exhalation plus empty hold of four cycles subdivided equally between the two phases (eight for the exhalation and eight lor the empty hold). Proceeding gradually, you will reach an inhalation of three cycles (twelve counts), closed hold of twelve cycles (forty-eight counts) and exhalation plus empty hold of six cycles ¡(twenty-four counts) divided equally between the two phases; this is the level called 'medium kumbbaka (12-48-24).
• Then the inhalation will last three and a half cycles (fourteen counts), with the same duration for the closed hold and the exhalation plus empty hold until both the closed hold and the exhalation plus empty hold are of six cycles (twenty-four counts). Training and progressing gradually, at the end the inhalation will last four cycles (sixteen counts), the closed hold sixteen cycles (sixty-four counts) and the exhalation plus emptv hold eight cycles (thirty-two counts) divided equally between the two phases; this is the final level called 'major kutnbhaka (16-64-32).
A profound method for easily and accurately tracking the various counts of the kumbbaka, and above all without hindering concentration.I('' was related to me by Gyalse Gyurmcd Gyaltsen. Changchub )orjes son. It is as follows:
It is easy to keep count up to four cycles (sixteen counts). When you reach the fifth cycle (twenty counts), raise your left index finger from your knee. On reaching the sixth cycle (twenty-four counts), lower the index finger, and if you continue increasing the counts, raise the middle finger. When you reach the seventh cycle (twenty-eight counts), lower the middle finger and raise the little finger. When you reach the eighth cycle (thirty-two counts), lower the little finger: you have accomplished the level of 'minor kumbbaka. Doing this four times over, you can keep count until you reach the level of 'major kumbbaka\
Inhaling with the A and exhaling with the HUM, with a sound (produced)^naturally by closing the glottis, gradually train in the phases oj the
144 Thj Four Pro» ound Applications inhalation, the dosed hold, exhalation and empty hold until you become completely familiar with them.
From the level of minor kumbbaka on, it is necessary to inhale indirectly with the presence of the sound A, which is naturally produced by tightly closing the glottis. With a duration equal to that of the empty hold, the exhalation should be done in the same manner, except with the presence of the sound HUM. In this way, regulating the flow of breath so as to produce the natural sound, practice the phases ot inhalation, closed hold, exhalation and empty hold until you have mastered it perfectly. Since this practice is the indispensable base for success in developing kumbbaka, all should consider it of fundamental importance.
Table of the Breathing Cycles for the Pranayama of the Four Profound Applications
(I - Inhalation, CH = Closed Hold, E+EH = Exhalation plus Empty Hold)
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