Among the "secret" aspects of Yoga are the Bandhas, which may be translated roughly as breathing exercises. After the body has been prepared by thorough practice in the different asanas and clarified by the breathing exercises, the Yogi is ready for the Bandhas. These may not be attained immediately since they depend on a full state of body and mental relaxation for successful attainment.
By a very strong expiration, the lungs are emptied and .
While the great majority of the asanas have a curative or therapeutic value, there are several which are purely for the purpose of relaxation. Relaxation should not be mistaken for inertia. It is not a state of lethargy; rather, it is rest after effort or, perhaps, conscious rest after the conscious effort. One definition of relaxation is "a complete resignation of the body to the power of gravity, surrender of the mind to nature, .
The first section of this book discussed the mental or psychological, approach to Yoga. As you apply the earlier lessons to mental relaxation, you must also bring your body to a state in which it will support your efforts to attain full contentment, relaxation, and ease. Ancient teachers of scientific Yoga realized, as do modern physicians, that proper carriage of the body is essential for mental and physical health.
You will note that on the .
To attain a condition in which the fullest relaxation is possible, it is essential to control the brain and the nervous system. In old Sanskrit tracts we find the statement:
"When the nervous system is relieved of all its impurities, there appear the perceptible signs of success ... the glowing color of health."
While speaking of the "brain," we must, to some extent, drop the Western traditional concept of the brain as the sole seat of .