All things to do with the 8 limbs of yoga
"Yoga is the practice of quieting the mind" ~ Patanjali
"You are the most important person under the sun" ~Gurusharananda
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

What is Yogic Breathing, or Pranayama?

We're going to start with #4 from yesterdays post: Breathing or Pranayama.

‘Prana’ refers to the universal life force and ‘ayama’ means to regulate or lengthen. Prana is the vital energy needed by our physical and subtle layers, without which the body would perish. It is what keeps us alive. Pranayama is the control of prana through the breath. These techniques rely on breathing through the nostrils.

Prana flows through thousands of energy channels called ‘nadis’ and energy centers called ‘chakras’. The quantity and quality of prana and the way it flows through the nadis and chakras determines the state of mind. If the Prana level is high and its flow is continuous, smooth and steady, the mind remains calm, positive and enthusiastic. However, due to lack of knowledge and attention to one’s breath, the nadis and chakras in the average person may be partially or fully blocked leading to jerky and broken flow. As a result one experiences increased worries, fear, uncertainty, tensions, conflict and other negative qualities.

Regular practice increases and enhances the quantity and quality of prana, clears blocked nadis and chakras, and results in the practitioner feeling energetic, enthusiastic and positive. Practiced correctly under the right supervision prananyama brings harmony between the body, mind and spirit, making one physically, mentally and spiritually strong.

Today we will focus on the breathing technique: Nadi Shodhana (a.k.a: Alternate Nostril Breathing), if you've taken my class, the odds are very good that you've already practiced this. Nadi Shodhana is one of the most powerful and simple breathing practices. It is designed to balance the right and left sides of the brain.

I'm including a link to a video that will walk you through how to preform Nadi Shodhana. There are many benefits to this breathing practice, too many to list honestly: Increased respiratory health, asthma relief, better brain function, relaxation, soothes your nervous system, improves sleep, revitalizes, improves brain function, cleanses your lungs, calms an agitated mind, merges the left "thinking" brain and the right "feeling" brain.

 Alternate Nostril Breathing How To Video

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