Conscious breath is a cycle that infuses the body with oxygen and channels prana throughout the physical being. The full breath cycle includes four discrete, and equally important, elements:
- Puraka (inhalation) - The steady drawing in of air; filling the lungs and creating an awareness of the vital force that is entering the body.
- Abhyantara Kumbhaka (pause after the inhalation) - The intentional cessation of inhalation; a full pause with the body motionless.
- Rechaka (the exhalation) - Release of the breath in a steady, conscious movement. Lungs return to a relaxed state.
- Bahya Kumbhaka (pause after the exhalation) - A state of calm awareness preceding the next inhalation. A moment of quiet reflection; a present state of being.