Bahya Pranayama – External kumbhaka – Benefits

Bahya Kumbhaka


Bahya pranayama is one of the important breathing exercises where you have to forcibly breath in, breath out then hold the breath. The ratio of this process has to be in 1:2:3

Bahya Pranayama can also be called as External Retention – Bahya means external, pranayama means breathing technique and retention means kumbhaka or holding the breath.

Glimpse of Bahya Pranayama


Initially try to sit erectly such that your shoulders should be nice and firm, spine has to be straight, position of head has to be still and should be moved accordingly up and down.

Bahya Pranayama

Now try to get in position of padmasana or artha padmasana or sukasana or siddhasana, close your eyes and be in gyana mudra position.

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Now take a long deep forcible breath in and now with more intense, breath out deeply, then hold on or seize your breath. Now slowly breath in, by getting your head back to normal position. The process of these three steps has to be in 1:2:3 ratio.

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1:2:3 ratio does mean that if breath in takes one second then breath out should take two seconds and holding the breath should be for 3 seconds. Similarly if breath in takes 4 seconds then breath out should take 8 seconds and holding the breath should be for 12 seconds which is nothing but 1:2:3.

Once you are consistent in your practice increase the frequency or intensity in your breathing. Always try to concentrate on your breathing.

When you are breathing in, your head position moves upward and when you are breathing out, your head position moves downward, and here at this moment try to get close or touch the chest with your chin when you are holding the breath. At the same time visually if you look at the stomach, it seems as if it was really getting in contact with the spine from front angle.

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At the end of the day this is called External kumbhaka.

Do this process for alteast 5 to 10 times and 5 minutes a day.

So slowly open your eyes, feel your self and observe the flow of energy in your body. Relax for two or three minutes then go for other pranayama. And always start with bhastrika pranayama before going for any pranayamas.


B.P patients, heart patients and women in periods shouldn’t be doing this breathing exercise.

Benefits of External Kumbhaka:

  • Cures constipation, acidity, gastric problems
  • Cures diabetes
  • Urine and sperm related problems will get cured.
  • Cures problems of reproductive organs.
  • Apart from these benefits you are going to achieve tranquility and self enlightment.


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