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It is said to be a
Kumbhak without Purak and Rechak. This is not intelligible, for necessarily before the
Kumbhak there has to be either inhalation or exhalation.
Your query on the practice of Kevala Kumbhak is not surprising, for it seems to be
impossible to do Kumbhak without doing either Purak or Rechak. However, what is meant is
that for Kevala Kumbhak the retention is suddenly performed at any given moment when the
mind is just about to get concentrated.
This sudden cessation of Prana at that particular, crucial, psychological moment becomes
of immense help to the Yogi in arresting the mind, which is already assuming the mood to
Dharana. Hence, Kevala Kumbhak is an invaluable aid to Dhyana. You will, therefore, see that
this act of Kumbhak is not preceded by any deliberate process of either inhalation (Purak) or
exhalation (Rechak). It may, therefore, be best described as the abrupt stoppage of the breath.
The Yogi does not deliberately perform either Purak or Rechak before he does Kevala Kumbhak.
He gets into Kevala Kumbhak in whatever state the breathing may be at that moment. It may be
in the middle of an inhalation or in the middle of an exhalation. The breath may be partially in or
partially out. Or again, the breath may be totally fully inhaled or totally exhaled. Whatever be
the condition, the moment concentration supervenes, the meditator immediately arrests his
breathing in Kevala Kumbhak. I am sure the matter is perfectly clear now.From "May I answer that" by Swami Sivananda (1987-1963). More Informations on Swami Sivananda: on the Website of Divine Life Society, Photographs of Swami Sivananda, German Pages on Swami Sivananda