‘Kumbha means a pot which can be full or empty. Kumbhaka is of two types. It is either (a) a pause between an in and an out breath or (b) between an out and an in breath. It is the art of retaining the breath in a state of suspense. It also means the withdrawal of the intellect from the organs of perception and action, to focus on the seat of the Atma (purusa), the origin of consciousness. Kumbhaka keeps the sadhaka silent at the physical, moral, mental and spiritual levels.
Retention of breath in kumbhaka should not be misinterpreted as re-tension of the brain, the nerves and the body to hold the breath. Re-tensioning leads to hyper-tension. Kumbhaka has to be done with the brain relaxed so as to re-vitalise the nervous system. When the breath is stilled in kumbhaka, the senses are stilled and the mind becomes silent. Breath is the bridge between the body, the senses and the mind.’
This subject is presented in parts and contains articles, videos, and quotes. It is advisable to immerse yourself in the subject, consuming the content thoroughly. Apply a reflective mode, where you might read an article prior to, or immediately after practice. Keep a reflective journal to note your experiences as you engage through the Learn, Study, Practise modes offered throughout this subject. Quotes are often accompanied by an extract of the text. Take the time to engage deeply with the extracts provided. More importantly, support the authors by purchasing the publications for your own library. Articles and book extracts are provided for student study material only and comply with copyright laws. Access to P-09 is for 10 weeks.
The material in this subject is not intended as a replacement for a teacher but brings together a diverse range of material including articles and video extracts from conventions to deliver a literature review along with experiential knowledge gained through practice.