Saturday, July 25, 2020

What is Pranayama yoga? - Breathing New Life In!

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What is Pranayama yoga?


Prana meaning energy and breath so the life force energy that is circulated through your body and Yama is to regulate so you will be regulating the breath with some of with the pranayama which means to equalize the inhale and the exhale.

 In any breath when you're usually breathing each breath will differ. It will change a little from one to the other unless you're used to doing breathing exercises which regulate the breath

 So we are going to help you breathe deeper it's going to help you breathe longer and the advantage of that is when you breathe deeper the lungs can have a better gaseous exchange between the circulating blood which means you can take in more oxygen and you can release more toxins from your body. Which leads to clearer thinking and an energized stronger body. Before that, I'd like you to be a little careful about where you're practicing and what you're wearing so

practice in a room which is

  • well-ventilated
  • clean no dust or insects
  • and make sure that it's at an even temperature not too cold and not too warm

make sure you're wearing

  • clothing that does not restrict the movement of your abdomen and your chest

make sure you eat

  • at least four hours before you start your pranayama practice - which means that your food is still not digesting in your stomach because if that's happening and you're moving the stomach around that's not going to be very comfortable for you when you start to practice pranayama

sometimes if you're not used to it you may feel a little dizzy or you may feel a little disoriented a little spaced out if that happens I'd like you to stop practicing and just take a big you shouldn't be feeling that but if it does happen stop practicing you're planning on practice don't force the inhale and the exhale as we practice


Let's get started you can start in here we will be sitting for five to seven minutes when you sit on a cushion or a rolled-up blanket which will relax your knees and take your hips a little lower than the knees if this also does not work for you what we are really looking for is a straight spine as you practice

So you can sit in a chair which supports your lower back and helps your backstay straight or sit against a wall with your legs straight consider also on your bed just make sure you are in a place which doesn't distract you not too much noise nothing to take your mind away from your practice

it does happen because the mind can get distracted as you practice just gently bring your awareness back to your practice so we're going to start out sitting hands resting palms facing up on the thighs and just absorb the breath so if you need to close your eyes for that close your eyes and observe how the breath is flowing in your body so as you inhale bring your attention to your chest allow the abdomen to expand slightly so let's take two more breaths with special attention on the inhale, Chest expanding Stomach also expanding changing


Now I'd like you to bring your awareness to your exhaling breath for the muscles around and below the needle I'd like you to draw them in gently towards the spine don't grip them and do this as you are exhaling so there's always going to be some air left in your lungs it can't expel all the air out but what the drawing in of the navel will do is help you to expel as much carbon dioxide as you can all the gases that you want to get rid of so let's try that for three breaths take a nice deep breath in the draw the navel in as you exhale and two more times at your own pace.


All right so now ringing your awareness to the length of your inhale and your exit and let's try doing that at your own pace so you're going to start counting, I can't do that for you, you'll have to do that yourself as you close your eyes or keep your eyes open whatever feels comfortable mentally count one two three or as many counts it takes you to inhale observe that make a note of it and then do the same thing with your exhalation.

 So try that for three breaths and see whether it varies don't try to change the count just observe the count so three breaths counting the inhale and the exit so you would have made a note whether your inhale is longer than your exhale and whether that changes whether it fluctuates from one bit to the other.

 what we are going to try and do is make them equal and try and keep that regulated. Alright so you choose a ratio which works for you some people it might be three counts for other four five six or even longer seven or eight counts so we're going to have equal inhale equal exhale and we're going to do that five bits so you take your hands four finger and the thumb touching where in chin mudra and let's get started at your own pace equal inhale equal exit


and relax for a moment so checking whether that felt good or did it feel difficult to equalize your in-breath and your outlet and what was your ideal ratio remembering that keeping it in mind and knowing that it may change from one day to another


So as you observe the in and the out-breath you may have noticed or you may have not noticed that there usually is a small pause at the end of the inhale when it reaches the maximum and a small cause towards the end of the exhale so we're going to try and pause for maybe just a second dip alright so you will inhale pause exhale and pause let's try that for three breaths


once again four fingers and thumbs touching relaxed shoulders straight back and make sure that you allow your stomach and your chest to expand as you inhale and gently allow them to relax as you exhale. Try that for three breaths all at the end of inhaling and then begin the exhale


pause for a moment repeat and relax a breath alright so you may have noticed when you pause that the mind tends to slow down and the thoughts become relaxed or they may become very slow or in some cases you may notice that there aren't any thoughts at all so let's bring our awareness of this action of the breath which is retention to hold the breath in the lungs we are going to do that very slowly just for five seconds so bringing your hands chin mudra again four fingers and thumbs touching we are going to inhale a nice deep inhale

Just a regular inhale no need to count it and we will retain the breath for five seconds you can count four you can count five slow counts in your mind one two three four and five and once that's done slowly exhale with control let's try that together take a nice deep breath in retain the breath one relaxed exhale see how you feel again this time

Let's try the retention with the eyes closed inhale deeply or the breath in your lungs for five seconds and say what your mind is doing if you had your eyes closed perhaps you're able to observe carefully as to what was going on with your mind and if you had your eyes open it doesn't matter.


You still can observe what happens and what is the connection between the breath and the mind so as a breath slows down the mind slows down and vice versa so we are going to try this one more time we will have equal Indian equal a exhale and retention for the same number of counts as well equal inhale retention exhale so you decide and you would have made a note of how many counts it took you to inhale the last time we did this so take those number of counts to inhale hold your breath for the same number of counts and exhale using the same number of counts Anjali mudra let's try that once


So for me, it's four counts so I take four counts two inhale hold my breath for four counts in the lungs and exhale taking four counts


and relax so you want to allow your stomach and chest to expand but you don't want to take in so much oxygen so much air that you feel uncomfortable in your chest you should feel relaxed during the retention, you shouldn't feel uncomfortable at any point if there is discomfort release the breath immediately we are going to try this for six rounds five to six rounds so equal inhale equal retention equal exhalation straighten up your spine hands engine mudra and begin when you're ready.


if you feel like you can also lie down and allow your body to rest completely or practice the pranayama in a prone position lying down on a mat or a bed and always practice in this order the way we did it first just observe your breath see how the inhale and the exhale are flowing then we try to regulate and equalize the in-breath and the out-breath so we do that for maybe five breaths of equal inhalation equal exhalation


Pause relax then try the next stage so do your inhale and exhale equalized with a little pause at the end five to ten breaths this way and rest again and at the very end you can try it with equal inhale equally retain and equal exhale so when you practicing you may observe that we paused with the breath retain as well as with the breath exhaled from the lungs.

We're not going to that long a pause with the breath exhale from the lungs because it can be a little difficult so the loop of the breath would be inhaled retain exhale inhale retain exhale we're not causing after the exhale you can always do this lying down in the beginning when you're practicing postures


You feel your muscle working and over a period of days, you feel the difference in your body but with pranayama practice with the breathwork you need to be a little more patient and go by faith that yes it is benefiting me because you may not see the changes immediately but after a few weeks after a month you will observe that the breath changes you're able to regulate it.


It brings your conscious awareness to the breath and that one breath can make such a huge difference when you're about to yell at someone when you're really exhausted when you reach the end of your patience just that one breath can make such a huge difference to the way you're thinking of the way of feeling and that control and ability to calm the breath and the mind through it there is no substitute for it.


So that's it. I hope you liked the article, If yes, please extend your support and Like and share the article with your loved ones and bring about the changes into there lives.



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