Thursday, March 24, 2016

More Pranayama - YTT Week 10

We learned more pranayama breathing techniques last week.  I hope to make note cards for these, like I do with the poses, but haven't gotten around to it just yet.

Kapalabhati breathing:  Stimulates movement of prana at the base of your spine, very dynamic and charges your whole body.

Bhastrika is the next level of kapalbhati where it forces the air out.  Very forceful, gets your energy up quickly so it moves fast.  Be cautious of this technique.

Some benefits are that it cleanses the respiratory system, warms the body, invigorating to the system, wakes you up, builds energy, strengthens your diaphragm, invigorates brain, helps sinus issues and makes your lungs more elastic.

An example of Kapalabhati Pranayma:


Sitali breath is done with a curled tongue.  However, if you are the 1/3 of the population who cannot curl your tongue, do this one with the tongue at the roof of the mouth instead.  
The benefits of this breath are that it cools the inner linings of the lungs, nervous system and helps to relieve hunger/thirst.  Useful in hot weather because it calms and soothes, and is relaxing.  
An example of Sitali Pranayma:
Nadi Sodhana breath is used for balancing or purifying the nerves.  One round is made up of 6 steps. 
This breath's benefits are that the blood receives a larger supply of oxygen than in normal breathing, so it leaves you feeling refreshed.  Calms and purifies the nerves, mind becomes still and lucid.
Inhale for 4 seconds, hold for 2 and out for 8 - calms nervous system.
An example of Nadi Sodhana Pranayama:

Viloma Breath means against the grain or natural order of things.  It is a 3 part breath - base of the lungs, then mid lungs, then top of lungs.  Used with kumbhaka or pauses in between each part of the breath, then exhaling regularly.

The benefits of this breath is that is strengthens the lungs and allows maximum expansion of the chest, calms the mind, helps concentration.

More about Viloma Pranayama (with a video) can be found here.

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