Yoga and More

Breathing for beginners – Starting a Powerful Pranayama Practice

By March 31, 2017 March 27th, 2019 No Comments

Breathe

In our philosophy we stated if you breathe you can yoga.  Let’s take that a step further and start to understand our breath.

Nobody tends to think about their breathing. We let ourselves function on autopilot. When this happens, your body doesn’t fully expand your lungs, leading to shallow breathing all day. This prevents us from fully exercising our lungs, and clearing them of residual air. Only babies seem to keep the skill of breathing deep into the belly, watch a baby when sleeping.  Breathe deep. It feels so good because you are fully oxygenating your body after a day at half mast.

The ancient Eastern language of Sanskrit died out, much like Latin, as a used language, but it is centrally embedded in the ancient texts used in yoga Pranayama is the Sanskrit term for the breathing exercises, and for controlling breath

prana – vital life force, energy

yama – to control

With each breath we absorb not only oxygen, but also Prana.  Prana is cosmic energy, the power in the Universe that creates, preserves, and changes all things. It is the basic element of life and consciousness.

Pranayama is a powerful way to connect Mind, Body, and Soul.  Pranayama can be used to prevent disease.  Pranayama is a self healing tool against ailments including diabetes, depression, insomnia. Practicing pranayama is a gift to your body.

 

Are you ready for a simple starting practice?

Have a listen to the 4 minute audio and do it with me, or read the instructions below

Do this practice on an empty stomach

Switch off all distractions – partner, tv, radio, computer, phones.

Sit or lie comfortably. If sitting: straighten out your spine, sit tall, and on a cushion

Bring both hands onto your abdomen

Inhale through your nostrils

Bring the air deep into your abdomen feeling your hands expand beneath your stomach.  Imagine your stomach is like a balloon expanding on the inhale.

Exhale through your nostrils

Feel the balloon deflating as your stomach contracts back toward your spine

Close you eyes (once you have finished reading instructions)

Relax your face, relax your eyes, relax your tongue, remove tongue from the roof of your mouth, relaxing any tension from your jaw

Inhale deeply into your stomach

Exhale, contracting your stomach towards spine

Repeat once

Inhale through nostrils

On next three exhales if you are feeling particularly tense, sigh out the exhale

Inhale deep into stomach

Exhale contracting stomach

Continue to repeat until you feel your body start to relax.

Do this when you rise in the morning to start your day off calmly or before going to bed to improve your sleep.

 

 

Why is pranayama an important daily practice?

Pranayama promotes your health by helping to clear the fog from our minds. It increases your awareness. Practicing breathing exercises creates space between cells in your body, allowing you to connect more deeply with your subconscious.

 

Benefits of daily Pranayama exercises

 

Physical Effects

  • Boosted bodily health
  • Purification of the blood
  • Improved absorption of oxygen
  • Strengthening of the lungs and heart
  • Regulation of blood pressure
  • Regulation of the nervous system
  • Support to the healing process and healing therapies
  • Increased resistance to infection

 

Mental Effects

  • Elimination of stress, nervousness, and depression
  • Quieting of negative thoughts and emotions
  • Inner sense of balance
  • Release of energy blockages

 

Spiritual Effects

  • Deepening of meditation
  • Awakening and purification of the energy centres (Chakras)
  • Expansion of consciousness

 

This is the start of something beautiful.

Let your body awareness begin.

Margaret

Author Margaret

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