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Celibacy/Abstinence/Breath Retention, Smoking, and Wheez


Beloved Dhananjay,

I can hold my breath for 18 seconds over 6 sets during pranayama. When I am about to finish my exhale after my first few sets, my abdomen and diaphragm jerk a bit, but I still try to control it all the way out. Is this unhealthy?

I smoked cigarettes for 2 years, and I do not anymore. I have a small wheeze. I feel that my lungs could use some sort of yoga technique to speed their recovery and cure my wheeze, which I hear when I force my breath out. Do you have a recommended technique for such a situation?

Thank you,
Erik Messick

Apply the suggested Pranayama with all the other constituent methods of Yoga for a few years in an unbroken manner. Everything will get right.

ॐ तत् सत्
(That Supreme being is the absolute truth)  


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Questions concerning the practice of 'Brahmacharya' to know the self, & the means required are dealt with here.


The term 'Yoga' is a derivative of the Samskruth verb 'Yuj' which refers to union. 'Yoga', also called 'Brahma vidy‚' is the eternal dissolution of the individual 'Aham' (Ego) into the Atman (self) for 'Mukti' (liberation). Mere indulgence in '¬sana' or physical postures is not Yoga. ¬sana is only one limb or 'Anga' of Yoga. The eight limbs viz. Yama, Niyama, ¬sana, Pr‚n‚y‚ma, Praty‚h‚ra, Dh‚rana, Dhy‚na and Sam‚dhi are the means to Yoga. Brahmacharya or spiritually based continence is one of the important components of 'Yama'. 'Brahmacharya':- "Brahmani charyathey ithi" - "To surrender one's Ego and go with the will of the Almighty."

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