(As given by Sri Paramahansa Yoganandaji).

Precede the actual practice of the Hong-Sau technique with the following.  Sit erect, with spine straight and the body relaxed. Close your eyes. Inhale slowly, counting 1 to 20. Hold the breath, counting 1 to 20. Then exhale slowly, counting 1 to 20. Repeat this 6 to 12 times. (If you cannot hold the breath with comfort for a count of 1 to 20, reduce the number of the count accordingly. Hold the same count whatever may be comfortable for you during each of the three parts). Now take a deep breath and tense the whole body, clenching the fists. Relax the whole body, throwing the breath out in a double exhalation, i.e. “huh-huh”. Repeat 6 times. Then take another breath, and exhale quickly and remain without breath as long as it will stay out without discomfort. Mentally wait for the breath to come in.

Then begin the actual Hong-Sau technique. Close your eyes and focus their gaze upon the point between the eyebrows. Then feel your breath naturally coming in and going out. As the breath comes in, mentally say “Hong”. And as the breath goes out, mentally say, “Sau”. Do not concentrate on the movement of the chest or other movements caused by the breath; just be aware of the breath itself as it flows into and out of the body. Chant “Hong” and “Sau” mentally only. Don’t move the tongue, mouth or throat while practicing. Keep inwardly looking upward at the point between the eyebrows throughout the practice of the technique. The eyes have a tendency to lower their gaze after a time. Inattention during the practice of Hong-Sau produces sleep.

The mental chanting of each word of Hong-Sau should correspond to the length of the incoming and outgoing breath.  In other words, the beginning of the mental chant “Hong” should begin when the breath starts to flow in and end when that one inhalation ceases. The same procedure should be followed with “Sau”. In doing the Hong-Sau exercise do not force the breath in and out or try to control the breath. Breathe naturally, merely watching the course of the incoming and the outgoing breath, mentally chanting “Hong” and “Sau”. If the mind wanders bring it back to the practice of Hong-Sau.

Over time, when practiced correctly the breath will slow down and will even stop. Whether the breath remains in the lungs or flows out, always wait until it flows naturally again. Remember that the purpose of this practice is to increase naturally the intervals when the breath does not flow. If, as you mentally chant “Hong”, the breath comes in naturally and does not flow out immediately, wait and enjoy the state of breathlessness. When it goes out again, mentally chant “Sau”. If the breath goes out and stays out, wait and enjoy that state of breathlessness until the breath wants to flow in again. Don’t be concerned – the body will breathe when it needs to. Just relax and enjoy the deep state of stillness and feeling of peace when the breath is not flowing.

After practicing this technique deeply for ten minutes to half an hour, exhale slowly and completely. Blow out of the lungs all the breath that you possibly can and enjoy the breathless state as long as you can without discomfort. Repeat three times. Then forget the breath and sit in silence.

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