Breathing (Pranayama) Booklet

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Begin to inhale and exhale deeply through the nose. On each inhale, fill the belly up with your breath. Expand the belly with air like a balloon. On each exhale, expel all the air out from the belly through your nose.

Yoga Breathing Techniques

Draw your navel back towards your spine to make sure that the belly is empty of air. Repeat this deep belly breathing for about five breaths. This is part one. On the next inhale, fill the belly up with air. Then when the belly is full, draw in a little more breath and let that air expand into the rib cage causing the ribs to widen apart.

On the exhale, let the air go first from the rib cage, letting the ribs slide closer together, and then from the belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine. Repeat this deep breathing into the belly and rib cage for about five breaths. This is part two.

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On the next inhale, fill the belly and rib cage up with air. Then sip in just a little more air and let it fill the upper chest, all the way up to the collarbone, causing the area around the heart which is called the heart center in yoga , expand and rise. Finally, let the air go from the belly, drawing the navel back towards the spine. Continue at your own pace, eventually coming to let the three parts of the breath happen smoothly without pausing. Continue for about 10 breaths. To get the most from this practice, avoid these errors.

Breathing Too Deeply. Strained Breathing. Your breath should come in and go out smoothly. You can practice this pose in several different ways. Place the Mudra on the thighs and breathe deeply. Join the tips of the index finger and thumb as in Chin Mudra and then curl the other three fingers into the palm. Close all the four fingers in a fist over the thumb.

Breathing Lessons

Make both hands into a fist with the thumb inside the fist. Now hold both hands with the opposing knuckles touching each other in front of the navel and breathe deeply. Turn the index and middle fingers down in against the bridge of the nose with the thumb against the right nostril. The ring and little finger are placed against the left nostril. This is also known as the Nasika Mudra and is used in the alternate nostril breathings practices such as Aloma Viloma, Nadi Shuddhi as well as the single nostril Pranayamas such as Surya and Chandra Pranayamas.


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It is also used in the ritualistic Gayatri Japa. This point is known as the Bhrumadhya Bindu and is related to the Pituitary gland and the Hypothalamus of the Neuro-endocrine system. The index finger closes the right nostril while the ring finger closes the left nostril. The thumb and little finger are spread into a wide V shape resembling the tradition V mark of the Vaishnava community. This is an excellent Mudra for the practice of the alternate nostril and single nostril Pranayamas as it has the added advantage of focusing the mind on the Bhrumadhya.

This gesture is used to sip the air in to the throat in the Sheetali Pranayama, one of the cooling Pranayamas. This is called the Jihva Mudra, or Tongue Gesture. Fold the tongue backwards and press the tip of the tongue by the hard palate, leaving narrow openings on either side of the tongue. This is used in Sitkari Pranayama. Two of the important activating Pranayamas are 1. Close the left nostril with the little and ring fingers.

Breath of Fire - Pranayama Series

Inhale slowly through the right nostril for a count of four. Now exhale through the right nostril for a count of eight. Keep the left nostril closed all the time during the practice. Repeat the same for a total of nine rounds. Patients of depression and narcolepsy can benefit. Sit in Vajrasana and forcefully expel all of the air from the lungs while pushing the abdominal diaphragm upwards.

The expulsion is active but the inhalation is passive. Rapidly breathe out actively and inhale passively through both nostrils. On the in breath visualize warm, golden Pranic energy flowing from the front of the brain to the back. On the explosive out breath, visualize cool, silvery Apanic energy rising from the base of the spine, passing over the top of the brain and then circulating through the brain.

Do ten rounds slowly for a beginning and then do another round at a fester rate and finally round off with a round of breathing as fast as possible. You can increase a few rounds each day as long as there is no dizziness or fainting from hyperventilation. One hundred and twenty rounds at a sitting is the maximum.

There is no point in going beyond this number of rounds. Enjoy the Kevala Kumbhaka or spontaneous cessation of respiration that occurs for a few minutes at the end of this practice. This occurs due to the greater carbon dioxide washout that occurs when we do the Kapalabhati for a prolonged duration of time, Kapalabhati is highly recommended for students who have to do a great deal of study and need a clean, clear mind, and for spiritual aspirants before practising concentration and meditation.

They are very useful in summer when the going gets too hot for comfort. Sheetali Pranayama has very good effect upon Vata and Kapha disorders of the wind and mucous.

Sounds True - Yoga Breathing

It helps overcome a constant craving for liquids and may be of value in the treatment of diabetes. Sit in a comfortable and straight-backed Vajra Asana. Roll the tongue into a tube by folding up the sides of the partially protruded tongue so as to form a long narrow tube resembling the beak of a bird. Pressing the lips round the tongue further narrows the passage. This gesture is called Kakachandra Mudra or the Crows Beak gesture.

How to Do Three-Part Breath (Dirga Pranayama) in Yoga

The tongue should protrude one-half to three-quarters of an inch beyond the lips. Inhale in short gulps of air, along the rolled up tongue, until the lungs are completely inflated. Perceive the cooling effect of the air as it passes through the tongue. Allow the breath to be stopped effortlessly. Exhale slowly through both nostrils. Then allow the breath to be held comfortably before the next inhalation. Repeat the cycle at least nine times.

Ventilation of the mouth and nasal passages as well as airways resistance is improved. The blood stream is cooled and higher Nadis of the subtle body are brought under control. Sit in the Vajra Asana. Exhale through both nostrils. Relax the lower jaw, and slightly open the mouth, so that the tongue may be rolled into a trough-like V. Fold the tongue backwards and press the tip of the tongue to the hard palate, leaving narrow openings on either side of the tongue.

When the lungs are completely filled, allow the breath to be stopped with ease. Then push the air out rapidly through both nostrils in a modified Bhastrika or Bellows Breath. Repeat at least nine times. Following the breath as it flows from the external to the internal helps us interiorize our thought process. One of the important Pranayamas to ready the mind for higher states is the Pranava Pranayama. This practice develops the abdominal, thoracic and clavicular regions of the lungs to their maximum capacity. Pranava Pranayama has unlimited healing potential and is useful in virtually all disorders.

Let us perform Adham Pranayama, the abdominal or lower chest breathing. Put the fingers into the Chin Mudra with the index and thumb fingers touching each other at the tips. Keep the other three fingers straight and united. Centuries ago, people discovered approaches that help calm our mind, one of the tools they utilised was breath-work. Early yogis discovered that if they could calm and even out the breath, they could calm and even out the business of the mind. Through pranayama, you use the breath to affect the constellation of energy that is your body-mind.

When you bring awareness to your breath the mind is redirected away from the inner dialogue to a calming influence, one that slow us down and creates space throughout the body and mind. So a wonderful benefit of breath control and awareness is the power of choice. Pranayama can even reverse or reduce the effects of aging which includes joint pain, loss of vitality, stiffening muscles, rheumatism, less flexible joints, headaches, sluggish diaphragm, backaches and hardening of the arteries. This was used as the Spirit Yoga Theme for the week, I hope it can inspire you to just breathe!

Breath: the benefits of Pranayama. Breath-work also relieves stress and anxiety, which is beneficial to us all including mothers-to-be to keep calm and focused during stressful times including labour.



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