Pranayama is a practice of breath regulation and it is a vital part of yoga for a holistic approach.
During our pranayama practice, we are not only reducing stress and balancing our mood, or improving our focus, we are also working towards rejuvenating our important organs.
The goal of pranayama is to strengthen the connection between your body and mind and our nervous system is regulated.
There are many ways you can do pranayama and if you are a beginner or trying to rebuild a disciplined practice, your first step would be to build a daily practice, joining our group will support this.
Sit comfortably head, neck and spine are straight. Relax your neck and shoulders. Keeping your mouth closed, inhale and exhale slowly through your nose only
Begin to aim for 9 minutes of breathwork every day. ( You can find supporting audio on my blog, click here.)
Your inhale is a strong and active one and your exhale is slow and relaxing.
Initially, your breath count could be something simple like ... Breath in for 4, hold your breath for 4, breath out for 4 and pause for 4 and you can work with any counts that feel comfortable to you.
When you are ready to progress your practice you can add a technique known as...
Alternate nostril breathing
Continue with your count as you have already been doing, and instead of letting the airflow through both nostrils, only use one nostril at a time.
Alternate nostril breathing has been shown to enhance cardiovascular function and to lower heart rate as well as balancing the two hemispheres of our brain bringing balance.
To do this:
Choose a comfortable seated position.
Lift up your right hand toward your nose, pressing your first and middle fingers down toward your palm and leaving your other fingers extended.
After an exhale, use your right thumb to gently close your right nostril.
Inhale through your left nostril and then close your left nostril with your right ring finger and pinky.
Release your thumb and exhale out through your right nostril.
Inhale through your right nostril and then close this nostril.
Release your fingers to open your left nostril and exhale through this side.
This is one cycle.
Continue this breathing pattern until it feels comfortable. Finish your session with an exhale on the left side.
Our weekly energy alignment session on Friday morning will help you to stay accountable and hold space for yourself, as you develop your practice.
Pranayama helps to keep you balanced and grounded.
We are all at different levels in our journey so the 9.15 am session will support each one of you at a different stage of your practice, and help you to develop it further.
Use the breath to rejuvenate your organs
If you feel you are comfortable with your breathwork and looking to add another dimension to your practice here is Pancha Sahita Pranayama in more detail.
This technique concentrates on rejuvenating the main organs in our body, the Lungs, Liver, Digestive organs (Stomach, Spleen), Elimination organs (Kidneys, Skin) and the Heart, using the alternate nostril breath over a period of 45 days.
One session is around 9 minutes long and includes 9 rounds of breathwork.
One round means: Inhale through your right nostril – hold - exhale through your left nostril – hold – inhale through your left nostril – hold – exhale through your right nostril – hold
We work on one organ for 9 days at a time in the order given above, and we start with once a day and aim to develop it to 3 times a day when we can
If you miss a day out of the 45 on any organ then your practice restarts from day one lungs again until a time you can develop a continuous 45-day practice.
Some breathing ratios can be challenging but don’t be too hard on yourself, take your time, keep your practice to the best of your ability and you will get there and find mastery when you are ready.
For further support get in touch and join our Weekly Energy Alignment Facebook and WhatsApp group where we are supporting each other specifically on our breathwork journey together.
Register yourself for the next Weekly Energy Alignment session HERE.
Hope to see you next Friday.