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Excerpt 2 from Richard Rosen's "The Practice of Pranayama"

Rosen-PracticeofPranayama-Cover-BL The following transcribed excerpt from Richard Rosen's The Practice of Pranayama: An In-Depth Guide to the Yoga of Breath shows the extraordinary and deeply helpful detail in which Rosen describes breathing and meditation practices and offers basic instruction on classic pranyama practice.

We will open this practice with “join” breath, the formal version of channel cleaning. Then we will work for a few minutes with “sun piercing” breath followed by the new breath I have been saving for just this occasion. If, as claimed, sun piercing breath heats the body, then it seems reasonable to follow this practice with a breath designed to cool things down. That would be the aptly named cooling breath. Next, we will move to a sun piercing influenced version of contrary breath, which we will call contrary sun piercing breath. “Conquer” will follow using the classic ratio one to four to two to one. That is for every one count of inhale, we will count four for inner attention, two for exhale, and one for outer attention. Finally, we will end with corpse.

Joined practice. Form your hand seal. Bring your hand to your nose and block the right nostril. Inhale left for three counts. At the end of the inhale, gently pinch the nostrils and hold for nine counts as before, less if you find this number to be too great. Then exhale through the open right for six counts. At the end of the exhale, again gently pinch the nostrils and hold the breath out for three. Now open the right nostril and inhale for three. Pinch both nostrils and hold for nine. Open the left and exhale six. Finally pinch both nostrils and hold three. That’s one cycle. Continue on for three more cycles. I’ll be quiet.

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