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Advanced Yoga Practices
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Note: For the complete lessons, with additions, see the AYP Easy Lessons for Ecstatic Living Books.

Lesson 140 - Q&A – Chin pump: Coordinating head rotation and breathing

From: Yogani
Date: Sat Mar 13, 2004 8:16pm

New Members: It is recommended you read from the beginning of the web archive, as previous lessons are prerequisite to this one. The first lesson is, "Why This Discussion?"

Q: This (chin pump) is just wonderful. I tried a couple of times the best to my understanding and it is indeed very powerful. Thank you for sharing such precious teachings.

However, before I can incorporate effectively in my daily sadhana, I need some clarification. I want to make sure I understand the technique properly. When I go from right to left and left to right, is it done in one round of breath or they are separate rounds? As the head movement is in progress, one should also breathe?

You have mentioned when we are first learning, we limit this practice to four breaths. Please can you clarify this point? Does it mean we do four rounds of head movement in each direction or take four breaths in each chin pump for a specific direction either R to L or L to R?

A: One full breath (kumbhaka/retention, exhale, inhale) is with head going in one direction. Then at the end of a new inhalation, switch and go the other way with the head for the next breath cycle beginning with kumbhaka/retention again. Then switch head direction again when full of air again on the next breath cycle.

The head never stops, only switches direction upon starting each new kumbhaka (breath retention).

Four breaths means four kumbhakas (retentions) with four series of head rotations, switching direction at the beginning of each of the four kumbhakas. We always switch direction with the head at the beginning of a new kumbhaka. When it gets smooth and comfortable with four breaths, then you can go from counting breaths to using the clock, and do 5 minutes. The number of breaths does not matter when we are on the clock. Just do as many comfortable kumbhakas as happen naturally until time is up. When five minutes gets comfortable, then try ten minutes. Don't rush to that level. Just go there when your practice is smooth and you can step up easily. If you go too far, then back off and bide your time at a comfortable level of practice until you feel ready to try and step up again.

The chin pump is very powerful, with far reaching effects. I will post some more about it in a day or two.

The guru is in you.

Note: For detailed instructions on chin pump, see the AYP Asanas, Mudras and Bandhas book.

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