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April 27, 2015
April 27, 2015
The Union of Mind and Body Through Pranayama
Pranayama is the single most effective to unite the mind and body. The practice of pranayama is the practice of breathing consciously. Breathing is something that most people take for granted, and it is usually done without thinking. Taking the time to practice pranayama and spend time being fully conscious of the breath we draw results in calming and clarifying effects.
There are different kinds of pranayama, all with unifying and cleansing results. Students are able to try a variety of pranayama techniques to see which fits their individual needs. The practice of consciously using the cleansing properties of deep breathing is incredibly effective in healing both the mind and body.
Brahmari is an excellent form of pranayama for students dealing with an anxious mind and the physical symptoms that go along with anxiety. To practice Brahmari, inhale through the nose and exhale making a humming or buzzing sound until all the breath is expelled from the body. Continue this breath work as the mind and body relax and work together to quiet the anxiety.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama
Another type of pranayama that is useful in unifying the mind and body is Nadi Shodhana pranayama (also called alternate nostril breathing.) During Nadi Shodhana pranayama, the student sits comfortably and closes the right nostril with their thumb. They then inhale deeply through the open left nostril. Once the inhalation is complete, the left nostril is closed off with the outside fingers, the thumb is lifted from the right nostril and the breath is exhaled through the now-open right nostril. This cycle is completed 3 to 5 times.
When taking short, quick, mindless breaths it is impossible to have the mind and body fully united. As soon as the breath turns deeper, full of intention and conscious, the body and mind will meld together and begin to work together. Pranayama results in healing energy being allowed to travel throughout the body, relaxation of the mind and body and much desired stress relief. Adding pranayama to a yoga practice will enhance the physical-emotional connection that is necessary for true spiritual awareness.
April 27, 2015
Here is a collection of the safest pranayama techniques for yoga instructors to start their students with. Pranayama is the yogic art of breathing. Many pranayama techniques should be practiced only under the supervision of a yoga teacher or guru. Here are three techniques that beginners can safely try at home, but it would be best if you teach them in a class first.
This technique can be completed in less than a minute. If you have trouble sitting comfortably on the floor, this is an excellent practice for you. Place the back of a chair against the wall. If you are new to this technique, it is best to sit in a chair. Once you are comfortable with this technique, you can stand with your back against the wall. Lift your arms and interlace your fingers. Your palms should face the ceiling. Lean back. Do not overextend or you may lose your balance. Inhale slowly for three seconds and exhale slowly for three seconds. Repeat five times.
Simple Deep Breathing
Sit in a comfortable position. If you can, sit in full or half lotus. If these positions are uncomfortable, sit with legs crossed. If necessary, place a pillow underneath your behind to help your knees touch the floor. If your knees do not touch the floor, put pillows or blankets underneath them to fully support your body. Place your hands wherever they are comfortable. Many people like to rest them on their knees. Exhale while mentally counting to five or more. Try to breathe only through your nose. Then, empty the breath through the bottom of your stomach. As you exhale, your belly button should move towards your spine. Pause for three counts. Inhale for a count of five or more. Repeat 10 times.
Three Part Breathing (Dirgha Pranayama)
Once you have mastered simple deep breathing, you are ready to move onto to three part breathing. Sit in the same position as you did while practicing simple deep breathing. Close your eyes. Exhale for five counts or more. Visualize your breath in the inside of a balloon. The balloon is inside of your body and runs from your throat to the base of your spine. As you exhale, imagine that you are emptying the balloon from top to bottom. When you have no more breath to exhale, pause for a count of two. Reverse the process by inhaling slowly for a count of five or more. Imagine that you are filling the balloon from the bottom to the top. Pause for a count of two. Repeat 10 times.
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