Are you ready to go deeper into your yoga practice?
This week the focus is on Pranayama, which is a vital component of a complete yoga practice. We’ve got new short classes dedicated to different techniques which will impact your state of mind and your body––fast! Pranayama is the practice of extending and regulating your prana or life force. The way we breathe changes the way we feel.
Yoga luminary T.K.V. Desikachar stated: “In order to influence our prana, we must be able to influence the mind. Our actions often disturb the mind, causing prana to exude the body. Through daily pranayama practice, we reverse this process, as a change in the breathing pattern influences the mind.”
Pranayama techniques are specific breathing practices to enable this process. Asana or the physical postures are used as a practical tool to purify the physical body. Pranayama is a more nuanced tool used to reveal and refine the details of energetic patterns. Pranayama is subtle but extremely profound and also prepares you for meditation.
If you love Vinyasa and Ashtanga yoga, you’re familiar with Ujjayi Pranayama or “Victorious Breath.” Using this pattern of breathing through the nose with a slight constriction in the back of your throat helps you maintain awareness of the breath flowing with steadiness, ease, and balance. You literally get into the flow of breath to movement, quieting your mind and calming your nerves.
Other Pranayama techniques can help amp up your energy, soothe your parasympathetic nervous system, quiet your mind, and soften your emotions.
The breath enhances the mind-body connection. Breath links the physical body to the mind and links the mind to the life force or Prana. Power exists in the knowledge you can impact your well-being simply by dedicating your time to your breath cycles.
According to the Hatha Yoga Pradipika, a seminal text on yoga, “when the breath wanders the mind is unsteady. But, when the breath is calmed, the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.”
If you're newer to pranayama practices, all these classes are accessible and beneficial. If you’re already an experienced practitioner, enjoy the review and perhaps discover different perspectives. Breathe deep!
Pradeep Teotia - Pranayama: Kapalabhati
Claire Petretti Marti - Pranayama: Vishama Vritti
Maria Garre - Pranayama to Ground & Calm the Mind
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