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Antara kumbhaka – Internal retention pranayama


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

Antara kumbhaka can also be called as Internal Retention – Antara means internal, pranayama means breathing technique and retention means kumbhaka or holding the breath.

Glimpse of Antara Kumbhaka:



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.

Antara kumbhaka - Internal retention

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

Antara kumbhaka - Internal retentionAntara kumbhaka - Internal retention

Antara kumbhaka - Internal retentionAntara kumbhaka - Internal retention

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

Antara kumbhaka - Internal retention Antara kumbhaka - Internal retention

Antara kumbhaka - Internal retention

1:2:3 ratio does mean that if breath out takes one second then breath in should take two seconds and holding the breath should be for 3 seconds. Similarly if breath out takes 4 seconds then breath in 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 out, your head position moves downward and when you are breathing in, your head position moves upward. Here visually if you look at the stomach or in fact chest, it seems as if it was really getting blown out from front angle.

Antara kumbhaka - Internal retention

At the end of the day this is called Internal 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 Internal 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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