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quick succession, due to the alternate contraction and
relaxation of the abdominal muscles. The naval region
swings inward and out with the maximum amplitude. The
Bhasra can be practised also in the evening provided the
stomach is empty. By this practice, the intestines get
exercised, the digestive powers are greatly improved, the
free circulation of blood is facilitated and the lungs are
strengthened. The bowels also are kept in order by
removing constipation. (See Tai. Aranyaka, I, 7-21.)
Success in Prānāyāma can be attained only if the
diet is a well regulated one (Bh.-Gita, 17. 8 to 10).
Any non-stimulating, simple and nutritious diet will do.
It is well to remember and practise the Vedic ordinance
"Ekavāram Dvivāram Vā," which enjoins only one meal
a day or at the most two. Seven hours at least must
elapse between any two meals.
It is very depressing to note that generally Indians,
and especially South Indians, have become physically.
degenerated; the more educated they are the more
physically depressed they have become. The golden
precept enjoining Brahmacharya (restraint) on a Grihasta,
by our Śāstras, has been totally ignored. Excessive
indulgence in stimulants, coffee, tea, etc., and in matters.
pertaining to sex, irregular and hurried meals-meals
noted for their flavour alone but not for their sustaining
qualities and want of regular exercise for the body,
have brought about this present condition. Systematic
practice of Prānāyāma by our young men with a well
regulated diet and observance of the principles laid down
for the conduct of the Brahmachārins and of the Grihastas
will in a generation or two regenerate them into a virile
These practices do not require any special instructions
from a teacher, and are quite harmless. They are taught