One of the most important elements of yoga is our breath. Also known as Pranayama. Over the course of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, our breath becomes quick and shallow. Constricted breathing can lead to lack of oxygen to the blood and to the brain which can result in a number of health problems. Proper breathing sends oxygen to every single cell in your body which purifies the blood stream and in turn, will help all the internal organs function properly.
This week we are focusing on developing your breath’s depth and rhythm to unblock restrictions:
- Pranayama-Stoking the Vital Force with Rod Stryker: A sequence of traditional pranayama techniques is the basis for this powerful practice. Weaving several methods with focus on awakening and concentrating prana (life force), this is an intense practice, intended as a preparation for either meditation or Savasana (deep rest). Recommended only for those with extensive experience with pranayama, breath retention and bandha background. Please note: follow this practice with some rest or meditation.
- Pranayama to Create Balance with Kia Miller: An advanced pranayama practice involving kumbhaka (breath retention) at the top and the bottom of the breath. The breath technique and mudra promote balance in your nervous and glandular system. Learning correct kumbhaka technique is essential to deepening your practice of pranayama. Go at your pace and do not strain at all. Props Suggested: A blanket.
- Pranayama and Seated Meditation with Jason Crandell: This practice will invoke deep relaxation and ground your nerves. You’ll begin with a reclined mindfulness meditation and progress into a soothing pranayama practice. You’ll continue with a brief seated pranayama practice and conclude with seated meditation. Props Recommended: two blankets, one block
- Pranayama Basics with Annie Carpenter: Learn propping for Supported Pranayama and practice the 3-Part Breath Technique. Props Needed: Two blankets.
- Principles of Pranayama with Marla Apt: Learn the beginning stages as well as principles of a pranayama practice. Starting with a couple of restorative poses to open the body and calm the nervous system, this sequence introduces the first few stages of Ujjayi pranayama in a supine position. Doing pranayama in supported Savasana initially allows us to breathe smoothly without any strain. Your props will support your body in order to invite in your breath. (This practice does not include any traditional asanas.) Props Needed: Three blankets, a bolster and a strap.