PRANAYAMA YOGA

Woman Meditating on Pier



Pranayama yoga is the yoga of breath control and rhythmic breathing. It is a method that focuses on energizing the body through control of the breath, and through this control practitioners are able to expand their energy or internal life force, known as Prana.

It is the practice of controlled breathing which increases the flow of the life force throughout the body and is often used alone or as a form of meditation to enhance physical health and greater spiritual connection. Science is just now beginning to understand the benefits of yoga, breath control and the connecting universal energy.

The blending of the body, mind and breath in yoga is unlike any other form of exercise. These powerful breathing techniques will increase vitality, energy and the life force, while simultaneously increasing strength and reducing stress.

Pranayama yoga imparts a deep feeling of connection through physical movement, relaxation techniques and specific breathing patterns. Prior to and after the breath control sequences, performing yoga asanas and stretches will help to facilitate a more integrated feeling of well being. The body, mind and breath are one; there is no separation.

Breath and life go together. When breathing stops, life stops. Increasing our breathing capacity increases the vital life force. Pranayama yoga increases the supply of oxygen to the cells and internal organs and eliminates carbon dioxide and other toxins from the body. If the cells in our bodies get insufficient amounts of oxygen due to improper breathing, many diseases have a greater chance of developing.

Pranayama yoga leads to important benefits and proves that increased breathing capacity allows for optimum health, wellness and healing of many existing health problems. Yogis have been practicing Pranayama for thousands of years and began it as a way to connect to their higher power. Today we practice for the same reasons and need it more than ever due to our stressful lifestyles.

How To Practice

Breathing is Yoga! Specific breath control gives flow, structure and purpose to the asanas. One way to begin is by practicing Ujjayi Breathing while moving through your yoga postures. Ujjayi is a rhythmic, steady and continuous breathing technique and is the key to the effectiveness of your physical practice.

Learn Proper Breathing

Different breathing patterns affect the levels of relaxation, balance and energy in the body. The patterns below give relaxing, balancing and energizing ratios. Holding an inhalation energizes you and lengthening and holding an exhalation will relax you. If stressed, just use a balanced inhale and exhale.

BREATHING RATIO CHART

Inhale 4 - Hold 1Exhale 8 - Hold 4Effect is Relaxing
Inhale 4 - Hold 1Exhale 12 - Hold 1Effect is Relaxing
Inhale 6 - Hold 1Exhale 10 - Hold 1Effect is Relaxing
Inhale 6 - Hold 1Exhale 8 - Hold 4Effect is Relaxing
Inhale 8 - Hold 1Exhale 8 - Hold 1Effect is Balancing
Inhale 6 - Hold 2Exhale 6 - Hold 2Effect is Balancing
Inhale 6 - Hold 4Exhale 6 - Hold 1Effect is Energizing
Inhale 6 - Hold 6Exhale 6 - Hold 1Effect is Energizing



Begin using the above breathing patterns and also learn these specific Pranayama Techniques. You will gain greater clarity of mind, better balance of emotions and invigorating energy in the body.



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MEDITATING-ON-PIER copyright Paul Prescott, Dreamstime.com