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This one exercise kriya has a massive impact on the body and nervous system and builds stamina. It increases the efficiency of the lungs in bringing oxygen into the blood. It pressurizes the heart to regulate itself and adjusts the various heart muscles to co-operate with each other. This kriya also helps the kidney, adrenal, and sex organ systems.
Keep water handy. After this exercise you may be very thirsty. To master this kriya, and obtain all its benefits, you must build up your capacity so that you can do the spinal flex with the breath held in for at least 1 full minute at a time. Then build the time of the exercise to 22 minutes once a day. The best way to practice the 22 minutes is to break it up into two 11-minute periods with a 3-5 minute rest between them. The increased aerobic vitality that results after 40 or more days will makes life richer and more positive, providing a reserve capacity to face challenge.
Disease develops when the body gets less oxygen, eliminates less waste, and the brain, organs, and glands decrease their functioning. Eventually the system breaks down. This kriya helps to prevent that breakdown, and maintains your vital capacity as you age.
Posture: Sit in an Easy Pose, with a light jalandhar bandh. Hold onto the knees with the hands.
Breath & Movement: Inhale completely with a yogic breath. Stretch the rib cage to the maximum capacity. Suspend the breath by lifting the chest and diaphragm. Do not let any air leak in or out during the exercise. Lock the tongue on the roof of the mouth. Press the tongue up, behind the teeth and the most forward point of the roof of the mouth. Begin to flex the spine forward and backward as you hold onto the knees. Flex with a smooth, fairly rapid pace. (Focus on the full flex of the spine, and do not hunch the shoulders forward too much.) When you canno longer hold the breath in comfortably, sit up straight and exhale forcefully. Quickly inhale and continue the spine flex.
Time: Continue for 11 minutes.
To End: Sit straight and inhale deeply. Hold this final breath and concentrate at the Brow Point. Relax.
© The Teachings of Yogi Bhajan