BREATHING & WELLNESS
In yoga and ayurveda breathing is a fundemental aspect of spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.
Pranayama is the Sanskrit word for breathing techniques or breath control. Prana means breath or life-force, and ayama means expansion. Pranayama is the science of breath, controlling the movement of prana through the use of breathing techniques.
Learning pranayama or breath control techniques can transform your health, cognition, digestive health and assist you in realizing the most optimal version of yourself. Pranayama is energy management and regular practice benefits your physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.
The first technque we're going to learn is Breath of Fire. This is a foundational breath in Kundalini Yoga.
It's a rapid inhale and exhale through the nose. Make sure the inhales and exhales are even, relaxed and not overly forced.
Benefits of Breath of Fire:
Releases toxins and deposits from the lungs, mucous linings, blood vessels, and other cells.
Expands the lung capacity and increases vital strength.
Strengthens the nervous system to resist stress.
Repairs the balance between the sympathetic and parasympathic nervous systems.
Strengthens navel or 3rd chakra, which is the center for will-power and digestion.
Reduces addictive impulses for drugs, smoking and junk food.
Increases oxygen delivery to the brain, faciliating a focused, intelligent, and neutral state of mind.
Boosts immunity, vitality, energy levels, and supports liver detoxification.
Breath of Fire is rapid, rhythmic, and continous. It is equal on the inhale and exhale, with no pause between the breath.
It is practices through the nostrils with the mouth closed.
To inhale, the upper abdominal muscles relax, the diaphram extends down, and the breath seems to come in as part of relaxation rather than effort.
The chest stays relaxed, and slightly lifted throughout the breathing cycle.
Beginnning practice is 1-3 minutes. Some tingling, travelling sensations and lightheadedness are normal as your body adjusts to the new breath and new stimulation of nerves.
Concentrate at the brow or third eye center.
On the last breath, inhale deeply, and exhale. Sit for several moments in silence and observe the mind-body.