is one of the Patanjali's eight "limbs" of yoga as described in the
Yoga Sutras. Abhyantara kumbhaka is one of the four stages of
pranayama, which are, in order:
- Puraka – a single smooth
- Abhyantara kumbhaka – the
mindful holding of the breath after inhalation.
- Rechaka – a single smooth
- Bahya kumbhaka – the mindful
holding of the breath after exhalation.
Each stage of pranayama is believed to
enhance both physical awareness and introspection. It is also thought
to be therapeutic for respiratory problems, particularly asthma, and
to increase vitality and energy.
Abhyantara is also a term associated
with saucha, one of the niyamas that refers to cleanliness of mind
and body. Internal cleanliness (abhyantara saucha) is a purification
of the mind and spirit that is one of the steps on the yogic path to