Stripping away fatty acids from your tummy for good can be quite challenging. It entails hard work, consistency and determination to attain six-pack abs. Start with cardio exercises to burn fat before you do resistance training that targets to develop six-pack abs muscles at the earlier possible time.

With proper mindset that you can, you really make your way towards perfecting your abs. Consider these 5 daily habits to achieve six-pack abs so that effectiveness is within your reach:

1.Rehydrate yourself upon waking up. After a good night's rest, you must immediately address your thirst. For sure, you feel parched after hours of no water. As the sun rises, celebrate by drinking a glass of water or two. Experts tell that drinking upon rising in the morning increases the metabolism rate by 24% for the succeeding 1 hour and a half. Your muscles will also grow more effectively if you hydrate them with adequate amount of water. A gallon per day would be most fitting.

2.Do not skip eating breakfast every day. As it is the most important meal of the day, breakfast must not be missed out. Most people think it's more fitting to feed yourself big during lunch, which is untrue. The moment you start the day, you must have ample energy. That is achievable by eating breakfast. Survey says that those who skip breakfast have greater chances of developing a fat tummy than those who eat regularly. Within two hours of waking, you must consume at least 250-calorie meal. You can have cereals, shake, berries or a scoop of whey protein to make a healthy breakfast.

3.Recall your goals as you feed yourself. It's important to monitor what you eat. Is it going to jeopardize your goal of gaining six-pack abs? If the food served is too high in calories, then don't indulge in it. It will only start to ruin your fitness goals. Make sure you maintain discipline in eating. Eat healthily at times, or you end up defeating the purpose of your fitness program.

4.Pack your lunch. Other than you are able to save a few bucks, preparing your lunch ahead and having it packed will put you on the right track. You can get the healthiest choice of food based on the diet plan given by your fitness guru.

5. Exercise the appropriate way. Doing the crunches immediately without taking out fats first is not right. Spend minutes of cardio to break down fats before executing endless crunches. Do not do crunches every day. Instead, you can alternate it with free weights training to target your biceps and triceps.

Make these daily habits a part of your lifestyle. Once you are attuned to doing them, it won't be hard anymore. Your body will keep craving for a healthy diet, which means you will have easier and quicker way towards getting six-pack abs.


'Pranayama' is a compound term ('prana' and 'yama') meaning the maintenance of prana in a healthy throughout one's life. More than a breath-control exercise, pranayama is all about controlling the life force or prana. Ancient yogis, who understood the essence of prana, studied it and devised methods and practices to master it. These practices are better known as pranayama. Since breath or prana is basic to life, the practice of pranayama helps in harnessing the prana in and around us, and by deepening and extending it, pranayama leads to a state of inner peace.

According to Hatha Yoga, pranayamas can be classified under:

• Sahita Kumbhaka,
• Surya Bhedi,
• Ujjayi,
• Sitali,
• Bhastrika,
• Bhramari,
• Murchha and
• Kewali.

The first is a breath retention technique, which gives agility, strength and flexibility to the body. They also quieten the mind and the sense organs besides enabling the meditator to control his hunger and thirst.

The Surya Bhedi pranayama consists of inhaling through the right nostril and exhaling through the left. This practice promotes good digestion and through perspiration, it purges the body of all its impurities.

Ujjayi pranayama involves the travel of breath between the nose and the heart only. It acts like an expectorant and increases digestion together with removing all impurities of nerves as well as thoughts.

Bhramari pranayama involves a very concentrated and fixed breathing exercise. It helps in strengthening one's breath besides quietening the mind and increasing the powers of concentration. This breathing technique is very helpful in the last meditative stage of samadhi.

Murchha pranayama is an extreme form of breath retention, which only experienced yogis can achieve. This practice quietens the mind and helps it to reach the near-unconscious state.

The last technique of Kewali pranayama, is a breath retention technique in which, the yogi stops both inhalation as well as exhalation. This form balances inhalation and exhalation besides helping the mind to concentrate better.
Benefits of Pranayama
The practices of pranayama—the correct breathing technique helps to manipulate our energies. Most of us breathe incorrectly, using only half of our lung capacity. Pranayama is a technique, which re-educates our breathing process, helps us to release tensions and develop a relaxed state of mind. It also balances our nervous system and encourages creative thinking. In addition, by increasing the amount of oxygen to our brain it improves mental clarity, alertness and physical well being.

When practiced along with yogasanas the benefits of pranayama are more pronounced. According to Patanjali's Yoga Sutra, pranayama enables the mind to acquire the capacity to concentrate on any given object of attention. It also says that scientific breathing helps in unveiling true knowledge from the darkness of ignorance. But it is eminently advisable to be aware of all the do's and don'ts of pranayama before practicing them.

Various Stages of Pranayama
The following are the stages of pranayama:

• Inhalation or puraka,
• Exhalation or rechaka,
• Stambhavritti pranayama and
• Bahyabhyantarakshepi pranayama.

Puraka or inhalation techniques are about regular and controlled inhalation. It also teaches regulating the entire breathing process and reducing the number of inhalations per minute. Rechaka or exhalation exercises teach slow and ordered breathing besides reducing the number of inhalations and exhalations per minute. The third stage consists of retaining the breath after stopping natural inhalation and exhalation. The last stage of pranayama is about converting both exhalation and inhalation into retention and storing the retained breathe in various internal organs for various lengths of time.
Bhastrika Pranayam

In Sanskrit Bhastrika means 'bellows'. Rapid succession of forcible expulsion is a characteristic feature of Bhastrika.

Method of Practice:
Sit on Padmasana. Keep the body, neck and head erect. Close the mouth. Next, inhale and exhale quickly ten times like the bellows of the blacksmith. Constantly dilate and contract. When you practise this Pranayama a hissing sound is produced. The practitioner should start with rapid expulsions of breath following one another in rapid succession. When the required number of expulsions, say ten for a round, is finished, the final expulsion is followed by a deepest possible inhalation. The breath is suspended as long as it could be done with comfort. Then deepest possible exhalation is done very slowly. The end of this deep exhalation completes one round of Bhastrika. Rest a while after one round is over by taking a few normal breaths. This will give you relief and make you fit for starting the second round. Do three rounds daily in the morning. You can do another three rounds in the evening also. Busy people who find it difficult to do three rounds of Bhastrika can do one round at least. This also will keep them quite fit.

Bhastrika is a powerful exercise. A combination of Kapalabhati and Ujjayi makes up Bhastrika. Practise Kapalabhati and Ujjayi to start with. Then you will find it very easy to do Bhastrika.

Some prolong the practice till they get tired. You will get perspiration profusely. If you experience any giddiness stop the practice and take a few normal breaths. Continue the practice after the giddiness has vanished. Bhastrika can be done both in the morning and evening in winter. In summer do it in the morning only during cool hours.

Benefits of Bhastrika Pranayama:

* 1. Relieves inflammation of the throat
* 2. Increases gastric fire
* 3. Removes diseases of the nose and chest and eradicates asthma etc.
* 4. It gives good appetite.
* 5. It breaks and dissolve the tumors.
* 6. It enables one to know the Kundalini.
* 7. It removes all diseases which arise from excess of wind, bile and phlegm.
* 8. It gives warmth to the body.
* 9. Purifies the Nadis considerably
* 10. Very much useful in Muscular Dystrophy and Oxygen deficiency disorders.
* 11. This Pranayama brings about a proper balance of the three Doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and maintains their balance. Blood is purified and the body gets rid of foreign objects and toxins.
* 12. Stabilizes Prana and calms mind, and helps the upward journey

The practitioner will never suffer from any disease. He will always be healthy. You can practise Bhastrika in the following manner. There is some slight change in the end. Having inhaled and exhaled quickly twenty times, inhale through the right nostril, retain the breath as long as you can do it comfortably and then exhale through the left nostril.

Incase both the nostrils do not open on account of ailments like severe cough or sinus etc., for such persons they should first close the right nostril and do respiration (exhalation as well as inhalation) through the left nostril. Then the left nostril should be closed and respiration should be done by the right nostril. This method of alternate breathing should be continued at the desired speed viz. slow, moderate or fast, till both the nostrils open simultaneously. Then at the end Pranayama should be completed by doing Recak and Pruaka through both Ida and Pingala.

While inhaling in the process of doing Bhastrika make a vow and focus in your mind as if all the divine powers, purity, peace and joy, all that is good in the universe around you is entering inside your body and that you are getting filled with the divine powers. Pranayama done with this kind of vow in mind imparts a special benefit to the individual.

While doing this Pranayama keep both the eyes closed and mentally chant the mantra “OM” throughout the exercise of Pranayama.

This pranayama should not be practiced by people who are pregnant or have high blood pressure. This pranayama should not be practiced by people who are pregnant or have high blood pressure. Beginners should practice this pranayama slowly at first, allowing their bodies time to adapt to the practice. Bhastrika is essentially a controlled hyperventilation, so the increased levels of oxygen in your bloodstream may make you feel lightheaded or anxious, especially if you are new to the practice. If this happens, take a break and allow your breath to return to normal.
Procedure : Take deep breaths and then completely breathe out.
Duration : 2 mins atleast. 5 mins max.
Benefits : heart, lungs, brain, depression, migraine, paralysis, neural system, aabha
Sit in a comfortable Asana. Breathe in through both the nostrils forcefully, till the lungs are full and diaphragm is stretched. Then breathe out forcefully also, but see that the abdominal cavity does not blow up due to the air breathed in. Depending upon the capacity and health of an individual, this Pranayama can be done in three variable speeds viz. slow speed, moderate speed and at high speed. Individuals with weak lungs and heart should do this at a slow speed while performing Recak and Puraka A healthy individual and one used to doing it, should do it initially at a slow speed and then gradually increase the speed to moderate and then high. This Pranayama should be done for 5 to 10 minutes.

Shiva Sankalpa (Vow) at the time of performing Bhastrika:
While inhaling in the process of doing Bhastrika make a vow and focus in your mind as if all the divine powers, purity, peace and joy, all that is good in the universe around you is entering inside your body and that you are getting filled with the divine powers. Pranayama done with this kind of vow in mind imparts a special benefit to the individual.
Special Notes:

* Those suffering from high blood pressure or from any heart disease should not do this Pranayama.
* While breathing in the abdominal area should not blow up. You have to fill the air in the chest area, i.e. up to diaphragm, so that the part of the chest with its ribs swells.
* In summer season, reduce the number of repititions of this Pranayama.
* One must do this Pranayama for the duration of three to five minutes every day.

Incase both the nostrils do not open on account of ailments like severe cough or sinus etc., for such persons they should first close the right nostril and do respiration (exhalation as well as inhalation) through the left nostril. Then the left nostril should be closed and respiration should be done by the right nostril. This method of alternate breathing should be continued at the desired speed viz. slow, moderate or fast, till both the nostrils open simultaneously. Then at the end Pranayama should be completed by doing Recak and Pruaka through both Ida and Pingala.

While doing this Pranayama keep both the eyes closed and mentally chant the mantra “OM” throughout the exercise of Pranayama.
Diseases like cold, cough, allergy, asthma, respiratory diseases of all kinds, are cured. Lungs become strong and due to the heart and head getting adequate quantity of pure and fresh air, health is improved.
Diseases of the throat like thyroid, tonsils and other ailments of throat are cured.

* This Pranayama brings about a proper balance of the three Doshas i.e. Vata, Pitta, and Kapha, and maintains their balance. Blood is purified and the body gets rid of foreign objects and toxins.
* Stabilizes Prana and calms mind, and helps the upward journey.

Kapal Bhati Pranayam

In Sanskrit the Kapal means 'skull', 'forehead' and bhati means 'luminous' and also 'perception' or 'Knowledge', Kapalbhati is the practice which bring a state of 'luminary', or 'Clarity' in mind as well as in body.

How to Practice:- It Should be practiced empty stomach or 2-3 hours after meal. one should sit in padmasana, sukhasana or siddhasna and those who are unable to sit they can perform it on chair, keeping the spine straight and body firm.
dominant inhalation through nostrils which results contraction of abdominal muscles and proper aeration to blood circulation.
So in Kapalbhati more attention is to be given on act of forceful exhalation while the inhalation is passive, Silent and short, during abdominal contraction force is applied to the Manipura, Swadhisthan and muladhar chakra.
Healthy person can practice it 10-15 minutes regularly. Patients with obesity, Vitiligo, leukaemias, breast carcinoma, Fallopian tube blockage, hepatitis etc. should practice it 20 minutes to half hour twice daily.

Benefits of Kapalphati

1.Mental well being :- In Kapalbhati while exhaling you are throwing all –ve thoughts out and while breathing in all the +ve thoughts get way to enter in mind, this makes mental wellbeing.

2. Improves Vitality of Abdominal organs:-

* 1. Kapalbhati stimulates pancreas to release insulin thereby helps to control diabetes mellitus.
* 2. By improving liver and spleenic functions it presents and cures hepatitis (A.B.C), Cirrhosis of liver and Anaemias.
* 3. If done regularly it relieves constipation, acidity and anorexia etc.
* 4. Regularize endocrine and exocrine systems
- Being helpful in regulation of all glandular secretions it is highly effective in azoospermia, oligospermia and fallopian tube blockage etc.
- It also helps in eradicating cysts and tumours.

3. Helps in relieving Backache -The most common cause of backpain includes improper posture, weak muscles, emotional stress and psychological disturbances. Not only weak back muscles but weak abdominal muscles are the major cause of backache, especially it is compounded by protruding belly. A Distended abdomen pulls the buck forward, distorting spinal alignment and stretching the back-muscle resulting in spasm. Muscular spasms are also caused and aggregated by emotional stress

Now how 'Kapalbhati' helps in relieving backache is explained as:

* 1. Strengthen the muscles of the back and abdomen.
* 2. Maintain and increase the flexibility of the muscle ligaments and tendons.
* 3. It improves posture.
* 4. Increase bone density and strength.

4. Helps in blood purification - Kaplabhati helps in blood purification which provides glorious and lustrous skin. It also helps in curing skin disorder like psoriasis, eczema. Vitiligo, leucoderma etc. Thus, Kapalbhati prevents disorder and treats a wide range of physical as well as mental disorder but it should be practiced with rest all six types of pranayama.

Procedure : Push air forcefully out. Stomach will itself go in.
Duration : Start with 30 times or 1 min. increase upto 5 mins min. upto 10 mins max.
Benefits : aabha, tej, obesity, constipation, gastric, acidity, Croesus(liver), hepatitis B, uterus, diabetes, stomach problems, cholesterol, allergic problems, asthma, snoring, concentration, and even cancer and AIDS.
Tips : heart and high BP patients, and weak people do it slowly.
‘Kapal’ means forehead and ‘Bhati’ means light. Hence, Kapal-Bhati refers to that exercise which makes the forehead luminous and lustrous. Kapal-Bhati Pranayama makes its Sadhak’s head luminous. This Pranayama is a little different from Bhastrika Pranayama. In Bhastrika Pranayama, Puraka and Recak are done with the same amount of force, where as in Kapal-Bhati more attention is to be given to the act of forceful Recak. In Kapal-Bhati, the Puraka is to be done with normal, usual force but the Recak has to be done with as much of force as is at your command. In doing so, the abdominal area, also makes inward and outward movements and considerable force is applied to the Manipura,Svadhisthana and Muladhara Chakra. This Pranayama should easily be done for five minutes. In short, breathe in normally and breathe out forcefully, so as to influence the organs of the abdominal area. Persons suffering from acute and chronic diseases must practice if for 15 minutes or more as per the capability.

Shiva Sankalpa (Vow) at the time of performing Kapal-Bhati:
While doing this Pranayama think that while exhaling you are throwing all the diseases out of your body. Individuals with mental aberrations like anger, greed, self-ego attachment etc. should develop a feeling of throwing out all the negative and injurious elements along with the air exhaled. In this way the feeling of getting rid of diseases while exhaling imparts a special benefit to the individual.
Do this Pranayama at the start for a period of three minutes and gradually increase it to five minutes. Initially, if you feel tired in between, take rest for a while and resume. After practice of about two months, you will be able to perform this Pranayama for five minutes at a stretch without any fatigue. This is the total duration for which it should be done. In the beginning, you may feel a little pain in the back or abdomen. But this will disappear after some practice. So do not give up. People whose glands secrete lots of bile inside the body are termed as Pitta Prakriti. They should not do this Pranayama for more than 2 minutes during summer season.

* Face become Lustrous and attractive.
* Diseases related to Kapha like asthma, respiratory troubles, allergies, sinus, etc. are cured.
* Diseases of heart, lungs and brain get cured.
* Obesity, diabetes, flatulence, constipation, acidity and diseases pertaining to kidneys and prostate glands etc. are cured.
* If done regularly for five minutes daily, it relieves constipation, Blood sugar becomes normal and weight in the abdominal region reduces considerably. Blockages in the arteries are also cleared.
* Peace and stability of mind are achieved. No negative thoughts occur. Troubles like depression are cured.
* Chakras are purified and ¡¡chakras from Muladhar-Chakra to Sahsrar Chakra are filled with pious Cosmic Energy.
* Organs in the abdominal cavity viz. stomach, pancreas, liver, spleen, intestine, prostrate and kidney function more efficiently and develop immunity towards diseases. This is the best exercise; benefits accrued by this cannot be obtained by several other asanas. It strengthens the intestines and improves digestion.

Baharya Pranayam
Procedure : Breathe air out, touch chin to chest, squeeze stomach completely and hold for a while. then release chin, breathe in slowly.
Duration : 3 times to 5 times normally. max upto 11 times. and extremely max upto 21 times (in winters).
Benefits : stomach(udar), hernia, urinal, uterus
Tips : not for heart and high BP patients
Anulom Vilom Pranayam
Procedure : Hold your right nasal with thumb, breathe in from left. Now open right nasal and close left nasal with middle and ring finger and breathe out from right nasal. Now breathe in from right nasal. Now close right nasal and open left and breathe out and in from left nasal. and so on.
Duration : atleast 10 mins.
Benefits : heart, high BP, heart blockage, vat-cuf-pit, arthritis, cartilage, bent ligaments, sinual fluid reduced, parkinson, paralysis, neural related, depression, migraine pain, asthma, sinus, allergy
Tips : breathe into lungs not to stomach. no organ in stomach absorbs oxygen. Do not hurry. Do it slowly. Rest whenever needed (in any pranayam).
Prana breathed in through left nostril represents energy of the moon, which symbolizes peace, and has a cooling effect. Hence for purification of Nadis, beginning of this Pranayama has to be made by the left nostril. Close the right side nostril with the right hand thumb. Inhale slowly through the left nostril till the lungs are filled. Then close the left nostril with the second and third fingers. Open the right nostril and exhale through it. Repeat this exercise slowly in the beginning, and with practice, increase the speed. When you are able to practice this exercise for a long time, inhale with as much force as is possible for you, then exhale also forcefully. This practice of inhalation and exhalation alternatively through the right and left nostril, as indicated above with force, should be done for 3 minutes. If you feel tired, rest for sometimes and resume. Regular practice will enable you to do this Pranayama for 10 minutes. After some practice being established, this Pranayama should be done for 5 to 10 minutes daily, depending upon one’s capacity. However, in summer season it should be done for duration starting from 3 minutes and up to a maximum of 5 minutes. If you practice this Pranayama for five minutes regularly on a daily basis, the coiled energy called Kundalini Shakti lying in the Muladhar Chakra begins to awaken.This is known as Kundalini Jagran.. While doing this Pranayama, mentally repeat the mantra “OM” so the mind becomes fit for meditation.

Method to close the nostrils:
To be done by closing the nostrils one after another, close the right nostril by the right hand thumb, and likewise close the left nostril by the 2nd and 3rd fingers (Madhyama and Anamika) fingers keep the palm of the hand in front just above the Nose.

Shiva Sankalp(Vow) at the time of performing Anulom-Viloma Pranayama:
While performing this Pranayama there develops a feeling in mind that as a result of friction and churning of breath in Ida and Pingala Nadis, there is awakening in Susumna Nadi. A divine light is rising upwards from the eight Chakra to the Sahsrar Chakra.

There is a feeling that the whole body is being enlightened by a divine light.Imagine a divine light on the outside and the inside of the body and try to visualize ‘Om Kham Brahm’. Imagine that the supreme power is showering divine energy and divine knowledge, that the supreme power is filling you with divine energy. Try to get the initiation of the divine energy by yourself. A Guru(teacher) just inspires you for the divine energy and links the student to divine feelings. Actually the divine energy is showered by the supreme power himself. Anulom-Viloma Pranayama done with these kinds of divine feelings gives better results and benefits to the individual in all the spheres viz. physically, mentally and spiritually. A divine light will appear from the Muladhara - Chakra on its own and there will be Kundalini Jagran, you will feel the rise within yourself and you will be blessed with the initiation of the divine energy in yourself.

* Regular practice of this Pranayama has the capacity of cleansing all your innumerable Nadis, which makes the body healthy lustrous and strong.

All kinds of diseases occurring due to the disturbance of ‘Vata Dosha’ like rheumatism, gout, diseases pertaining to urinary and reproductive organs are cured. Besides, regular practice of this Pranayama also cures diseases like cold, cataract, sinus, etc. which have reached a chronic stage. The three Doshas of Vata, Pitta, Kapha regularise themselves and assume proper proportions.

* Blockages in the arteries of the heart are removed and the arteries become clean, making the circulation unimpeded. If this Pranayama is practiced for 3 or 4 months regularly, 30 to 40% of blockages in the arteries are dissolved and removed, preventing the phenomenon of heart attack.
* Pathogenic cholesterol, triglycerides, H.D.L. and L.D.L. also get controlled, making the arterial channels clear for effective and unimpeded flow of blood in the heart.
* Negative thinking is replaced by positive approach to life. It increases enthusiasm and spirit, the Sadhak becomes fearless and feels blissful.

In short, this Pranayama has the effect of cleansing the body, and the mind and cures almost all the diseases from which the Sadhaka has been suffering. If this Pranayama is practiced for 250 to 500 times a day, Kundalini Shakti turns its face upward and begin to rise above through the susumna Nadi. It means that the phenomenon known as Kundalini Jagran begins.
Bhramri Pranayam
Procedure : Close ears with thumb, index finger on forehead, and rest three on base of nose touching eyes. Breathe in. And now breathe out through nose while humming like a bee.
Duration : 10 mins
Benefits : tension, hypertension, high BP, heart, heart blockage, paralysis, migraine pain, confidence, concentration
Breathe in till your lungs are full of air. Close your ears with both the thumbs and eyes with the middle fingers of your hands on respective sides with little pressure. Press forehead with both the index fingers lightly. Close both the eyes. Then press eyes and nose bridge from the sides with the remaining fingers. Concentrate your mind on Ajna Chakra (between eye-brows) . Close your mouth. Begin slowly exhaling, making humming sound of a bee, while reciting “OM” mentally. Repeat the exercise 11 to 21 times according to your capacity.

Shiva Sankalpa (Vow) at the time of performing Bhramari Pranayama:
This Pranayama should be done with the thought that your individual consciousness merges with the divine cosmic consciousness. Your mind should be full of the thought that divine bliss is descending on you, that deep divine wisdom fills your entire being. Exercising this Pranayama with such thought will endow you with divine light and you will be able to meditate effortlessly.
With the practice of this Pranayama the mind becomes steady. It is beneficial in conditions like mental tension, agitation, high blood pressure, heart disease etc. It is also useful for meditation.

Udgeeth Pranayam
Procedure : Breathe in deeply, and chant 'Om'kar. OOOOOOm ( long O and small m )
Duration : 10 mins or more
Benefits : meditation
"Omkar Japa" (Muttering the mantra “OM”)
After performance of the six Pranayamas mentioned here above concentrate your mind on the respiration and meditate on the sacred mantra “OM”. God has fashioned the shape of our brows like OM. This body and the universal cosmic body are filled with this mantra. It is not the figure or expression of any individual thing, but it is divine energy, which regulates the entire functioning of the universe. With every act of breathing in and breathing out, mentally go on repeating the mantra “OM”. The speed of respiration should be so slow and subtle that you yourself also may not be aware of its sound, even if a piece of cotton is placed in front of the nostril it should not move by the effect of the air exhaled out. Slowly practice and make the duration of one inhalation and exhalation to one minute. Likewise, try to visualize the breath inside the body. Initially the breath can be felt only in the nostrils but gradually it will be felt deep inside. In this way, visualizing the breath and continuous chanting of ‘OM’ will lead to Dhyana automatically. Your mind will develop a feeling of concentration and your body will be filled with the feeling of OM. The Gayatri Mantra from the Vedas can also be chanted meaningfully along with Pranayama. This way the Sadhaka can attain the joyful stage of Samadhi by going through the various visualizations of god and supreme powers. Also if this is practiced at bedtime, one will get peaceful sleep without any perverted dreams etc.
Ujjayi Pranayam
Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious breath), which stretches the breath, warms it before entering the lungs, and helps to build heat in the body. Through this heat, the internal Agni or ‘fire' is stoked, and a powerful healing process is unlocked.

Ujjayi Pranayama is sometimes called the ocean sounding breath. Inhalation and exhalation are both done through the nose. The air is taken into the back of the throat with a constriction of the muscles, resulting in a hissing sound - an ocean sound. As the throat passage is narrowed the speed of the air passing through it is increased. This makes the breath long and thin.

1. Sit in a comfortable meditative pose or lie in savasana.
2. Become aware of the natural breathing process and feel the air passing down through the windpipe. Slightly cntract the region at the back of the throat as you do when you swallow.
3. Inhale and exhale through the nose with the mouth closed.
4. Make the inhalation and exhalation long, deep and controlled.
5. Practice full yogic breathing and concentrate on the sound.
6. Begin practicing for 3 minutes and progressively work your way up to 10 minutes.
7. Practice as above, but fold the tongue back so that the tip of the tongue presses the back of the soft palate on the roof of the mouth.
8. As you inhale say “sa” to yourself and as you exhale say “ha.” Repeat ten times.
9. Inhalation and exhalation should be of equal duration, smooth and relaxed.
10. Notice your mind wandering as you practice breathing and keep bringing your mind back to the breath.
11. Focus on the exhalation. Notice where your breath normally stops. Increase the fullness of the exhalation.


* Calms the mind and the body
* The breath becomes a focal point which increase concentration
* Meditation practice become easier to concentrate
* Stimulates Circulation and metabolism
* Increases prana
* Increases sense
* stimulates olfactory glands
* Lungs absorbs oxygen more completely by opening the alveoli in the lungs.

Nauli Kriya
This is done as follows:
Stand with legs apart. Bend and hold the thighs with the corresponding hands. Exhale deeply and retain breath outside. Pull up abdominal muscles inward, as far as possible. Maintain this lock as long as the breath is retained outside. It may take three to four months of consistent practice to master this exercise, as various abdominal muscles have to be brought under control.

The main purpose of doing Nauli is to regenerate, invigorate and stimulate the abdominal viscera and the gastrointestinal or alimentary system.

The technique of doing this exercise is as follows:
Madhya Nauli

* Stand with feet separated about two feet.
* Slowly bend and keep the hands on the knees.
* Exhale completely and do Uddiyana Bandha?.
* Gently press the arms and draw up the abdominal muscles, focusing your attention on forcing the rectus abdominis to stand out in isolation. This is Madhya Nauli.
* It may not be possible to bring the rectus abdominis to the centre in the initial attempt itself. However, you will succeed with repeated practise.

Vamana Nauli
After successfully manipulating the rectus abdominis to stand out, isolate it on the left side of the abdomen. This is called Vamana Nauli.

Dakshina Nauli
Similarly, the rectus abdominis should be isolated to the right side of the abdomen. This is known as Dakshina Nauli.

The Vamana and Dakshina Nauli can be performed by applying more pressure on the thighs with the hand. By pressing the left thigh, the rectus abdomini moves towards the left side and the same method applies to the right side also.

After learning to isolate the rectus abdominis to the left and right sides, make an attempt to churn or roll it from the left to the centre and then to the right in one smooth motion. Similarly, the rectus abdominis muscles should be rolled from the right to the centre and then to the left in quick succession. Do this churning exercise for six to eight rounds on each side.

This should necessarily be practised only on an empty stomach, and under the guidance of an expert yoga teacher.

* Persons suffering from high blood pressure, peptic ulcers, hernia and any other serious digestive ailments should not practise this exercise.
* Nauli should not be practised by pregnant women.
* Uddiyana and Nauli are not at all recommended for youths in their pre-puberty age.
* If you are above 49 years of age, do not learn this exercise. However, you can still do it with the due guidance of a guru
* This should necessarily be practised only on an empty stomach.


* Prevents all abdominal ailments.
* Eliminates constipation by encouraging intestinal peristalsis. Keeps sexual organs in good condition and prevents sexual disorders.

Sarvanga Pavana Muktan Kriya (Gas Relief Shoulder Stand)
This is a Kriya, not an Asana. In an Asana one maintains a particular posture for a period of time; in a Kriya, an action has to be performed. Nauli, for example, is a Kriya. In Sarvanga Pavana Muktan Kriya, gas is ejected from the stomach many times.

* Do Sarvanga Asana.
* Bring both legs down close to the forehead. The legs should be slightly separated and loosely hung.
* Breathe out and do Madhya Nauli.
* Press the rectus abdominis up and down in such a way that the gas in the stomach is ejected. If Nauli Kriya is mastered, it is possible to eject gas even 50 to 60 times, depending upon the amount of gas formed in the stomach.

Agnisar is the 4th step of pranayama package reintroduced by PP Swami Ramdev ji Maharaj. It is necessary part of pranayama along with other six types of pranayama i.e. Bhastrika, Kapalbhati, Bahya, Anulom-Vilom, Bhramri and Udgeeth.

Method of Practice:

* 1. Sit in Padmasana and keep the hands on the knees in a comfortable position. Close the eyes slightly and concentrate on the mind with normal breathing.
* 2. Exhale slow, deep and stable breathe. Stop the breathe outside, i.e., do Bahirmukh. Stretch both the hands straight and keep them on the knees with slight pressure. Contract and expand the stomach. Try to touch the navel deep inside the stomach.
* 3. Keep the stomach and hands normal before doing poorak i.e., inhale. Now take deep, stable and slow breathe.
* 4. This is one cycle of Agnisar pranayama. In one cycle contract and expand the stomach at least ten times. Increase the number to 30. In the beginning practice it for 5 times and then slowly increase is it up to 15 cycles. During winters you can practice it for 25 cycles. Breathe normally, rest for sometime and then do shavasana.

Precautions during Agnisar Pranayama:-

* 1. This pranayama should be done in the morning hours after passing bowels and getting free from the morning chores. Those who want to practice it in the evening should do after four hours of having meals.
* 2. During winters, Agnisar pranayama should be done as per the procedures. This is the best time for this pranayam. During summers after doing this pranayama ten rounds of Shitali pranayama should be definitely practiced.
* 3. During the practice period the person should eat simple, pure food. Avoid eating heavy, oily, fried and non- vegetarian food. Smoking and alcohol should be completely avoided.
* 4. The patients of intestinal problems, hernia, high blood pressure and other diseases should not practice it.
* 5. If you have undergone stomach operation recently then this pranayama should not be practiced. It should be done under the guidance of some yoga expert after few months.
* 6. Stop the practice immediately if you experience tiredness and practice it the other day.
* 7. Practice it according to your physical capacity. Do not do kumbhak in excess of your body capacity. Make sure that during Bahirkumbhak slightest air should not get inside.
* 8. Patients suffering with ear, nose and eye problems should not practice agnisar pranayama.

Benefits of Agnisar Pranayama:
Agnisar pranayama increases the internal energy and gives vitality. Those who are suffering with constipation, indigestion and loss of appetite they should get good benefits with its regular practice. People with excessive fat on the stomach should practice it regularly to reduce the fat. This pranayama overcomes laziness, disinterest and strengthens the internal organs, muscles, nerves and blood veins. People suffering with lung problems can gain a lot. This pranayama cures asthma, tuberculosis and other serious diseases. It also cures the entire throat related problems and old kapha problems. It cures sleepiness and circulates inner energy.


A yogasana is a posture in harmony with one's inner consciousness. It aims at the attainment of a sustained and comfortable sitting posture to facilitate meditation. Asanas also help in balancing and harmonizing the basic structure of the human body, which is why they have a range of therapeutic uses too.

Functions of Yogasanas
Asanas basically perform five functions:
• Conative,
• Cognitive,
• Mental,
• Intellectual and
• Spiritual.

Conative action is the voluntary exercise of the organs of action. The asanas being the main yogic instrument of balancing the body, they consist of various physical postures, which are designed to release tension, improve flexibility and maximize the flow of vital energy. The purpose of the asanas is to create a flow of positive energy so that our concentration is directed within ourselves and the mind is able to perceive (parokshya jnana) the effects of our purposive action. That is cognitive action.

When the earlier two actions are fused, our mind's discriminative faculty guides these organs to perform the asanas more correctly. The resultant rhythmic energy flow and awareness leads to a mental state of pure joy (ananda). Physical postures, therefore, end up affecting the various interrelated channels (nadis) of the mind-body complex. And ultimately the performance of a perfect yogasana leads to the absolute intellectual absorption of the mind on a single task (dharana), which in turn leads to the fusion of the individual spirit with the Divine Self (dhyana).
Benefits of Yogasanas
The regular practice of yogasanas has an immense amount of therapeutic value. Besides various physiological benefits, they positively affect our minds, our life force energies as well as our creative intelligence.

Regular practice helps to keep our body fit, controls cholesterol level, reduces weight, normalizes blood pressure and improves heart performance. Physical fitness thus achieved leads to reduction of physical stress and greater vitality. Asanas harmonize our pranic ability and mental energy flow by clearing any blockages in the subtle body leading to mental equilibrium and calmness. They make the mind strong thus enabling our human body to suffer pain and unhappiness stoically and with fortitude.

Various Categories of Yogasanas
Consummate mastery over the entire gamut of asanas is no doubt time-consuming, but what is of vital importance is the will to remain in the present moment and to let both the mind and body relax completely.

The various categories of asanas are:

• Standing Asanas,
• Forward Bending Asanas,
• Supine Asanas,
• Inverted Asanas,
• Abdominal and Lumbar Asanas,
• Twisting Asanas,
• Back Bending Asanas and
• Balancing Asanas.

Standing Asanas:
Beginners should start with these as they bring elasticity in joints and muscles and build up stamina and physical stability. This constitutes the most basic training in the early stages of yoga practice. Some basic standing poses are, Tadasana, Utthita Trikonasana, Virabhadrasana, Ardha Chandrasana and Utthita Parsvakonasana.

Forward Bending Asanas:
In these postures the posterior half of the body is stretched. These prepare you to proceed further in yoga and bring consistency in the development of physical and mental pliability. Examples of such asanas are, Upavisthakonasana and Paschimotanasana.

Sitting and Supine Asanas:
Sitting upright and supine extending positions help a sadhaka prepare physically and mentally for pranayama. Some of them are, Baddhakonasana, Supta Baddhakonasana, Supta Padangusthanasana, Padmasana, Vajrasana, Simhasana, Virasana and so on.

Inverted Asanas:
These help recover from everyday stress. They give vitality, mental balance and emotional stability. These are Adho Mukha Svanasa and Urdhva Mukha Svanasa.

Abdominal and Lumbar Asanas:
These tone and massage the abdominal organs and strengthen the pelvic and lumbar areas. Bharadvajasana and Marichyasana are some examples of such asanas.

Twisting Asanas:
It consists of lateral stretching and twisting of the spine, toning the internal organs and reaching new horizons while tranquilizing the mind. These are, Ardha Matsyendrasana and Jathara Parivartanasana.

Back Bending Asanas:
These bring physical and mental sharpness and alertness. The postures are the opposite of forward bends as are the effects. In forward bends the posterior spine is extended, bringing consistency and mental peace, whereas in back bends the anterior spine is extended and stretched. The effect is invigorating and enlivening. Such asanas are, Ustrasana, Bhujangasana and Matsyasana.

Balancing Asanas:
These strengthen the arms and wrists and exercise the abdominal organs. They also make the body feel light and help attain a good bearing. Salamba Sirsasana, Niralamba Sarvangasana and Salamba Sarvangasana are some of the balancing asanas.


It is said many saints acquired super natural powers by sitting in this asana. Perhaps on account of this the name has been given as such. “Siddhi” means super natural power. Stout persons find this asana easy.


Spread a blanket four folded.
Sit over it in the usual way.
Place the heel of one leg just below the anus.
Place the heel of the other leg below the generative organs. See that the regenerative organs are not pressed.
In this pose the joints of the two heels will be just touching each other.
By a continued practice for a fortnight or so it will be easy.
The hands may be placed in chin mindra style.
Then come to the original position.

Fruit of Asana

One can conveniently sit in this pose for longer time. This asana will help to keep up brahmacharya. Because sitting is erect the internal organs are not pressed and they are kept in their natural positions.

Note: Ladies need not do this Asana. There is a another variety under this with some slight modification. The hands are joined as we do “Namaskar” (a form of welcome). This pose is taken to seek boons and blessings. This is known asthamasana as described in writing.


This is another sub type under Padhmasana. There is an opinion that this is superior even to Padhmasana.


Spread a blanket.
Sit over it in the usual way.
Place the legs as in Padhmasana.
4. Take the right hand towards back and catch hold of the right toe.
5. Take the left hand towards the back and catch hold of the left toe. Though this is easily said, it is not quite easy to do. If it is not possible to catch the toe try to take the hand as for back as possible.
Then come to the original position.

Fruit of Asana

This will cure unnecessary big belly. Hunch back will go away. This is more or less a tapas pose.


This is another sub type of Padhmasana.



Spread a blanket length wise.

Sit over it in the usual way.

Place the legs as in Padhmasana.

Place the hands in between the leg and the thigh, palm facing the ground.

On the strength of the hands gently raise the body.

Then come to the original position.

Fruits of Asana

This will cure stomach problems & body pains.


“My son is very adamant and not obedient” is the lamentation of a father. This asana is also a pose of fixity. If this is correctly done the body will not shake. It is possible to sit on this Asana for long duration.


Spread a blanket.

Sit on it in the normal way.

Bending both the legs, place both heels just below the buttocks.

In this position the calf muscles and thighs will be touching.

Place the hands on the knee cap.

The foot may have some pain in the early stage but gradually the pain will go away.

The entire weight of the body is on the heels.

Fruit of Asana

Digestion power is much increased. Nervous system gets new vigour. The beginning portion of Nadi gets nourishment. By sitting erect the internal organs are not pressed and are in their normal positions. Wind trouble in the stomach will be cured.


The word “Sarvaanga” means all portions of the body. Hence this asana is the one to give an all round benefit. Any body can do this, quite comfortably for a minimum of ten minutes.

Spread a blanket length wise.
Lie down on the blanket length wise.
Raise both legs evenly.
Place the palms on the sides so that the legs can be raised further and support them.
Raise the body till the chest touches the chin. If it is correctly done the body will give about 80 degrees angle to the head.
Then slowly come to the original position. This is nothing new pose. Some people while standing place the palms on the hip portion to give a majestic look. In the same way it is done with the head down on the ground.

Fruit of Asana

The back bone gets good quantity of blood circulation. Further the back bone will become more flexible. Youth and the flexibility of the back bone are proportional. This asana will help to keep up Brahmacharya. Digestion power is increased. Kidneys will function normally.

Note: In the creation there is difference in the body structure between male and female. Young ladies before marriage can do this asana, when the uterus is under developing stage. But pregnant ladies should not do this asana. So also during monthly period ladies need not do this asana. Normally in our country young girls get maturity between 14-15 age. They also grow up after maturity. Hence when this asana is practiced at this period all the internal organs will become strong.


When the back bone has been bent in the forward direction in one asana, the next should be to bend the back bone in the backward direction. Hence after Sarvangasana this asana has to be done. As the name describes this asana is likely to be in the form of a fish.


Spread a blanket folded length-wise.

Sit on it in the usual manner.

Have the legs in the Padhmasana pose.

Gently lie down.

Place the hands under the head palms facing the head.

Then bend the back bone and also the head. In bending the neck great care has to be taken so that the neck may not develop sprain.

I have found a nice way to understand the angle to which the neck is bent. When we are lying down we see the portion of the roof. If the neck is bent backward our vision falls on the pictures or clock on the wall. If it is still bent our vision falls on table or something below the clock etc. If this process is suitable to you, you can also adopt this.


Then slowly come to the original position.

This asana can be practiced in another way also. Padhmasana position can be had after lying down.

Fruit of Asana

This asana is a cure for many diseases. This increases the digestion power to a great extent chest troubles, Asthma, etc. are cured. Since the throat and bronchial portions are broadened more fresh air is intaken. The glands in the neck portion are nourished.

Note: Instead of placing the hands below the head some practise this asana in another way. The toes (of Padhmasana pose) are held by the fingers. If this is suitable method it can be practiced this way also.


This asana gives a backward bend to the back bone. As the name goes, the pose looks like a plough.


Spread a soft blanket.
Lie down on it in the usual way.
Place both hands on the sides in the usual way, palms facing the ground.
Raise both the legs evenly without bending when the legs are raised the hands should not be taken from the ground.
Making a curve of the spine bring the toes towards the ground away from the head.
Bring the legs further so that the toes touch the ground.
Breathe slowly during asana.
Then come to the original position.

This asana can be practiced in three stages. At the first stage raise the legs half way. Then in the second stage give a bend to the spine so that the toes are nearer to the ground. In the third stage touch the ground with the toes.

There is another variety which is rather difficult. As in Pachamothasana hold the toes with the fingers.
Fruit of Asana

The spinal region get much benefit. This asana removes lethargy. Chronic constipation is removed. Wind trouble in stomach will go away. Liver trouble will be cured.

Note: Due to physical shape, some may not be able to take the legs, towards back position. Such persons can adopt this easy way. After lying down raise both the legs to the possible extent giving a gap of two feet or so from the ground. Then bring the legs to the original position. Repeat this same six or eight times. This form of practice will enable to bring the legs towards back.


In the previous asana the near portion of the back bone was given a bend. By this asana the upper portion of the back bone is given a bend. The correct position of this asana will look like a serpent raising its head.



Place a blanket folded length wise.

Lie down on the blanket gently facing the ground.

Give a relaxed condition of the body.

Place the hands on the sides, palm facing the ground.

Raise the head and chest.

It will be noticed that the back bone is given a backward curve at the beginning portion.

Gently come to the original position.

Do like this some six or seven times. In the previous position the legs and the head was raised but in this only the head is raised.

Fruit of Asana

All forms of diseases of the generative organs will be cured. Hunch back will be cured. This will keep the Kundalini sakthi to raise up. Since the intestines are pressed the undigested food is moved towards anus.

For young girls this asana is good. In the growing period the eturus will become strong. Pregnant ladies should not do this Asana.


The word “Dhanur” means a bow. If this asana is done correctly it will look like a bow. In this connection a clarification from Astrology seems relevant. For the sign Dhanur (Sagittarius), the Lord is Guru (Brahaspati). This house or Rasi, (as technically known) is considered a special beneficial sign.

Further in Gita we find Lord Krishna’s words as, “Among the twelve months I am the month of Dhanur.” (This period is between the middle of December to the middle of January). So much greatness goes with this name. Hence this asana is great induced.



Spread a blanket folded length wise.

Lie down on it facing the ground.

Place both hands on sides as usual.

Slowly bend the legs evenly without bearing space between the knee caps.

Catch hold of the toes with the fingers raising the head also.

It will be seen that by this the backbone is given a fine curve.

Stout persons may find it difficult. For them leaving a space between the knee will enable them to catch the toes. By continuous practice the space will be minimized.

Fruit of Asana

This asana gives many benefits. Indigestion, hunch back, Rheumatism, Pain in elbow joints and Palm joints will be cured. Gastro intestinal troubles will also be cured.

There is still a difficult pose, as catching hold of alternate toes.


In the previous asana the back bone was given a backward twist. In this asana it is given a forward twist. This a difficult asana for stout persons with big belly. There is a proverb. “Rome was built in a day”. Hence patience and continued practice is essential to get perfection in this asana. Some lean persons can learn in a fortnight training, while some others may take even a month period.



Spread a soft blanket.

Sit on it in the usual way.

Stretch both the legs forward without bending.

Bend the body in the forward direction taking the hands towards the toes.

Catch hold of the toes with the fingers.

Though this is easily said it is very difficult to do. In the early stages in bringing the hands towards the toes there will be a wide gap. It may not be possible to catch the toes. In this case, the legs can be slightly bent to enable to catch the toes. Then gradually the legs can be in a straight position.


Come to the original position slowly.

Breathe slowly during Asana time.

It is enough that, a few seconds, period in this asana be practiced.

Fruit of Asana

Several wonderful results are got. Persons having big belly will develop a trim figure in due course. Liver, spleen will function normally. Piles is also cured. Diabetes can be cured in due course. One great personality has described that Sirasasana, Sarvangasana and Pachimothasana are the three great boons given to us by the ancient Rishes.


The word “Mayura” means peacock. Since this asana looks like a peacock the name is Mayurasana. The ancient Rishis have observed, nature, animals, birds and creatures living in water so closely that their pose if practiced for man will give special benefits. The bats rest with head down. Monkeys catching hold of a twig hang down raising the head. Thus many asanas have some sort of similarity with the poses of several creatures.


This also comes under the category of difficult asana.

1. Spread a soft blanket.

2. Place a cushon or a pillow on one end of the blanket.

3. Lie down on the blanket, the cushon being near to the head.

4. In this position the toes will be on the ground.

5. Bend the hands at elbow and place the palmes facing the ground.

6. Bring the elbows near the naval region.

7. Gently raise both legs from the ground.

8. Raise the head also.

9. The whole weight of the body is on the elbows. Since the naval region is almost the central point for the body there will be equal distance on the two sides.

10. However, if you happen to fall down there is cushon so that the nose may not be hurt.

11. Avoid spectacles during Asana.

12. If it is not possible to raise both the legs begin with the raising of one leg at the initial stage.

13. Come to the original position slowly.

14. A period of ten or twenty seconds is enough for normal person in the early stage.

Fruit of Asana

In a few seconds the entire body gets freshness. Indigestion will be removed. All kinds of liver troubles will be cured. This enables the Kundalini Sakthi to raise.

Note: there is a sub type in this asana which is described as Lolasana. This is easier than Mayurasana. According to my physical frame this is my favourite asana. The procedure is rather simple also. Sit on Padhmasana and lie down.

As in Mayurasana, place the elbows on the naval region. Raise the head and the legs in Padhmasana. Here the chance of falling down is not likely but cushon may be placed to protect the nose. The benefits of Mayurasana are got fully by this also.


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