YOGA: Breathing Exercise
Find a quiet place as far as possible, where the air is pure and the surroundings soothing and pleasant. After a
bath or a thorough rubbing of the body from top to toe, with a wet towel, on an empty stomach, take this
exercise: Send a current of holy thought to everyone, on planes seen and unseen, north and south, east and
west, engage in meditation—take anyone of the meditation exercises you like. When you are perfectly calm and relaxed, seat yourself cross−legged, assuming any posture that comes easiest to you, with head, neck and
chest held in a straight line and the weight of the upper parts of the body resting on ribs. Keep the region
about the waist quite free. Loosen the cloth there out and out. Now inhale air slowly and steadily through right
nostril after closing left nostril with your finger as long as it takes to count sixteen mentally. Close both
nostrils, holding the inspired air within and count sixty−four. Then very slowly exhale the air through the left
nostril for as long as it takes to count thirty−two. You must begin with a 4 second inhalation, 16 second
retention and 8 second exhalation. Instead of dry counting you might improve yourself decidedly by repeating
the word “Fearless” as many times holding mentally that dominant idea back of the word. Practise 5
pranayamas mornings and evenings for one week daily. Increase to 10 next week. Work up to 20. Go slowly.
Practise as long as you like, but not less than 6 months. Be serious and earnest. This is not for non−serious
minds. This exercise will augment digestive power, steady heart−action, make the body light and the mind
calm. It shall help also miraculously in your Soul−Unfoldment. During this practice be pure in all ways.
Observe Bramhacharya. Practice mental concentration and spiritual meditation. Don't talk much with others.
Don't encourage any but holy society. Don't sleep much. Don't work very hard. Keep your emotions
well−in−hand. Be always engaged mentally and physically. Be hopeful and cheerful. Never encourage
negative thinking. It shall do wonders for you.
Physical Yoga Exercise: Exercise 1
Stand straight, facing a corner of the room with bare feet about 14 or 15 inches from the corner itself, arms
straight out, even with shoulders or perhaps two inches below, hands resting on the two−side walls, chest out,
abdomen in. Now lean forward towards the corner, without moving the feet or bending the knees. Aim lightly
to touch the corner with the chest, while holding the head and abdomen as far back from the corner as
possible, arms and hands slipping forward on the walls in a straight line with shoulders. Resume first position
without moving the feet or lowering the arms, and repeat. Make the forward movement slowly, at the same
time inhaling through nostrils a slow, full breath; put your whole effort into stretching the chest forward and
upward (careful not to bruise yourself against wall) and head and abdomen backward, thus straightening the
back at the shoulders. Hold the chest to the corner a moment, holding the breath likewise, then slowly resume
original upright position, slowly exhaling through slightly open lips at the same time bending the head
forward towards the chest. As you lean forward toward the corner, mentally keep count of your exercise one,
two, three, etc. As you resume the upright position, exhaling and bending the head forward mentally, affirm “I
am fearless, pure, strong.” Make these movements always slowly, deliberately, with the closest attention.
Begin with 5 or 6 movements and raise to 20 at a time.
Yoga Exercise No. 2.
Stand straight about two feet from the wall. Place the palms on the wall−level with the shoulders. Without
moving the feet or bending the body, lean forward slowly, inhaling slowly as you do so, until the chest
touches the wall, head back; then push yourself slowly to an upright position slowly exhaling as you do so.
Repeat 10 times or more.
Exercise No. 3
Clasp the hands behind. As you slowly inhale extend the clasped hand slowly downwards as far as possible,
straightening arms at elbow and lowering shoulders as much as possible, at the same time extending and
lifting the chest as far as you can. Hold the breath and the position a moment only, shoulders down, chest out
and up, abdomen in, then release the hand and slowly exhale. A rather vigorous exercise. So go slowly.
Exercise No. 4
Stand straight, arms extended even with the shoulders, head up; tense muscles of right arm doubling slowly at
elbow and hand only, until the clenched fist touches the shoulders; at the same time tensing the neck muscles,
chin up, and turning the head slowly to face the clenched fist. Repeat with the left arm. The arms from
shoulder to elbow must be kept in a horizontal position.
Exercise No. 5
Stand straight, hands at sides. Bend as far over to the right as possible, slowly; then to the left as far as
possible. Repeat 10 times.
Exercise No. 6
Stand straight, arms at sides. Lean as far forward as you can without bending the knees and roll the body clear
around in a circle to the right, arms and body as limp as possible. Repeat 5 times. Then roll five times to the left.
Exercise No. 7
Stand straight. Extend arms easily in front. Wave them backwards and upwards in a sort of reversed
swimming movement, until they meet overhead; at the same time bending backward as far as possible slowly
inhale a full breath. Now bend forward, exhaling breath, taking care not to bend the knees, until your fingers
touch your toes, head hanging as low as possible, toes and head as limp as possible, fingers reaching towards
the floor. Repeat upright position. Keep the knees straight throughout. Aim to stretch the entire body and
hands upward and backward as far as possible, with the upward motion of the arms. If you can't touch the
floor without bending the knees, just come as near it as you can. Practice will limber you up until you can
Exercise No. 8
Lie full length on the back of the floor, hands clasped under head. Tense the muscles of the right leg, raising
the knee slowly until it touches or almost touches the body, at the same time bending the foot downward as far
as possible, stretching the toes towards the floor. Now slowly lower the right leg, still tense, towards the floor,
straightening the knee and turning the toe upward towards the body. As the right leg is being lowered, raise
the left one upward in the same way tensing the muscles, knee to chest, toes stretching upward; as the left leg
goes down, point the toes and foot toward the knee 5 times, increasing gradually to 10 times.