Qasab breathing practice:
Simple Qasab, Qasab with retention of breath
and Qasab for healers
1. Position of hands
Place your right thumb under your chin, roughly corresponding with the right edge of your mouth, so that the right middle finger can close the right nostril. Place the fingers of your left hand over the back of your right hand so that your left thumb can close off your left nostril.
2. Simple Qasab
Exhale through both nostrils.
1. Using your right middle finger to close the right nostril, inhale through your left nostril.
Using your left thumb to close the left nostril, exhale through the right nostril.
Do this 3 x
2. Inhale right. Exhale left.
Do this 3 x
3. Inhale through both nostrils. Exhale through both nostrils.
Do this 3 x
3. Qasab with Retention of Breath
Be aware of your heartbeat – you can put your fingers on your wrist pulse to find its rhythm.
Breathe naturally through both nostrils, becoming aware of the number of heart-beats to your inhale and to your exhale. Equalize the length of your inhale and your exhale
Inhale for your chosen length.
Then hold your breath for double the length of your inhale.
Exhale for the same length as your inhale.
So the rhythm is 4-8-4, or 5-10-5 or 6-12-6 etc. If there is any strain, shorten the length of the retention and of the inhale and exhale proportionately.
Then practise Qasab, this time in your chosen rhythm of 4-8-4 or 5-10-5 etc.
*Inhale left, hold, exhale right – 3 x
*Inhale right, hold, exhale left – 3 x
*Inhale both nostrils, hold, exhale both nostrils – 3 x
As your breath naturally becomes longer and deeper, but without forcing or straining, you may adjust the lengths proportionately.
4. Qasab and the subtle spine
Start with several breaths through both nostrils:
First, several breaths relaxing, with simple awareness in the hara, the centre of energy about 2” below your belly button.
Then: as you inhale, feel the breath rising up from the hara through your subtle spine to the Crown centre at the top of the head;
as you exhale, feel the breath descending from Crown centre to hara. Continue this for several breaths.
Feel how consciousness rises with the breath up the subtle spine with the inhale, consciousness becoming more subtle, light and spacious as it rises;
and how consciousness becomes denser, more materialized, as it descends with the breath on the exhale.
Then combine this awareness of breath, consciousness and the subtle spine with the practice of Qasab with Retention of Breath, as above *.
5. Qasab for Healers
given by Murshid and Pir Zia
The practice follows the same breath pattern as Qasab with Retention of Breath and awareness of movement of breath and consciousness in the subtle spine as above.
On the inhale, think ‘Shafee’; on the exhale, ‘Kafee’.
Murshid gives a phrase each as a theme for ‘Shafee’ and ‘Kafee’.
While inhaling ‘Shafee’ one can think, ‘Pour Thy divine blessing upon me, O Lord’.
While exhaling ‘Khafee’, one can think, ‘Thine all sufficient power, O Lord, I seek’.
As with Qasab with Retention of Breath, there are 3 cycles. For this type of Qasab there are 10 breaths per cycle:
First cycle: Inhale left – hold – exhale right. Healing is directed towards our physical being.
Second cycle: Inhale right – hold – exhale left. Moving inward. Healing is directed towards the mental body: thoughts, conscious emotions and feelings.
Third cycle: Inhale through both nostrils – hold – exhale through both nostrils.
This cycle works at the level of the depth of the mind, the unconscious impulses which underlie consciousness, impulses in dreams, our personal mythology.