kumbhaka is the retention of the breath in the yoga practice of pranayama. kumbhaka is the retention of the breath in pranayama, either after inhalation, the inner or antara kumbhaka, or after exhalation, the outer or bahya kumbhaka (also called bahir kumbhaka).  kevala kumbhaka, when inhalation and exhalation can be suspended at will, is the extreme stage of kumbhaka “parallel with the state of samadhi”, or union with the divine, the last of the eight limbs of yoga, attained only by continuous long term pranayama and kumbhaka exercises. it recommends five such rounds per pranayama session, increasing the time of retention as far as is comfortable by one second each week of practice.
 the yoga scholar andrea jain states that while pranayama in modern yoga as exercise consists of synchronising the breath with movements (between asanas), in ancient texts like the bhagavad gita and the yoga sutras of patanjali, pranayama meant “complete cessation of breathing”, for which she cites bronkhorst 2007. with effort relaxing, the flow of inhalation and exhalation can be brought to a standstill; this is called breath regulation. they note that this is “the only advanced technique” of breath-control in that text, stating that in it the breath can be held “for as long as one wishes”.  mallinson and singleton note that sahita kumbhaka, the intermediate state which is still accompanied (the meaning of sahita) by breathing, was described in detail. they write that the goraksha sataka describes four sahita kumbhakas, and that the hatha yoga pradipika describes another four.
kumbhaka is the central practice of traditional hatha pranayama; there are two types of retention: after an inhale (antara), and after an exhale sequence of steps for kumbhaka pranayama: make a short exhalation and then start inhaling – slowly and rhythmically in one long and unbroken kumbhaka is the retention of the breath in the yoga practice of pranayama. it has two types, accompanied (by breathing) whether after inhalation or after, .
kumbhaka pranayama is one of the traditional pranayama’s breathing exercises of hatha yoga. kumbhaka (kuhm-bah-kah) is sanskrit word that means pot. this is not just any pot but the human torso as seen as a pot with two interiors (one at the throat and the other at the base of the pelvis). antara kumbhaka pranayama – breath retention technique the term comes from the sanskrit, kumbha, meaning “pot” or “vessel”; prana, which refers to life force energy; and ayama, which means “control.” pranayama kumbhaka (breath retention) is classically performed on either the inhale, exhale, or both. in general, there was always an emphasis, .
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