The breathing techniques we present here are designed to relax and energize you. We didn't invent these breathing techniques they're ancient practices from traditional yoga. The breath is the bridge between the mind and body. In traditional yoga, subtle breathwork and diaphragmatic breathing are helpful in leading you toward deeper self-realization. The breathing techniques are considered an art and science in the yoga system, and yoga teachers have skillfully refined and perfected these breathing techniques over the centuries. You can practice these breathing techniques by themselves or as you do your yoga-with-weights workouts. You can consider these techniques explorations. As you master these breathing techniques, pay attention to the subtle and sometimes powerful ways that they affect your body and mind. Get to know each technique so that you can call on it when you need it. For example, depending on how the techniques make you feel, you may try the Complete Breath when you're...
Reviewing step-by-step instructions for seven yoga breathing techniques Your breath is with you at the very beginning and it will be with you until the very end. Breathing, you could say, is the most important activity you do. You can live for days without water and weeks without food, but only a few moments without breathing. Breath is your most intimate friend in life. You connect with the world around you most intimately not only by touch, sight, and hearing but also by breathing. The Sanskrit word for life force, prana (pronounced prah-nah), is the same as the word for breath. This chapter explores why yoga breathing is so good for you and how it can benefit you during a yoga-with-weights workout. We also offer seven vibrant breathing techniques that will relax and revitalize you and that you can carry with you for the rest of your life.
Rapid breathing, short and shallow breathing, holding your breath, and gasping are signs of distress. If you can't take slow, deep, rhythmic breaths as you exercise, you're overexerting and subjecting yourself to injury. Ease away from what you're doing just enough to regain control over your breathing, and then continue with the exercise. Yoga-with-weights exercising isn't about coming to the edge and falling off it's about riding the crest of the wave in all its glory and enjoying the ride in the process. For more information on proper breathing techniques, see Chapter 4.
Just like anything else, breath control and capacity increase with practice. In kevali kumbhaka (pronounced kay-VAH-lee koom-BAH-kah), you practice holding your breath. Don't make yourself dizzy. Don't hold your breath until you faint. Just hold your breath until you feel like you need to let it go again. The more you practice this technique, the longer you'll be able to hold your breath, which increases your lung capacity and makes your breathing more efficient. 1. Inhale deeply through the nose, then hold your breath. V Pranayama are breathing techniques that, when practiced, result in better control of the mind and body. Just as you shouldn't push your body to achieve a difficult posture before it's ready, you also need to be aware of your breath capacity. Don't practice one-minute inhalations and two-minute exhalations your first time out You may faint or hyperventilate. As always, listen to your body. It will tell you when you're going too far. Go slowly.
You can learn a lot about life by paying attention to your breathing. Right now, take a deep breath in and hold it. Feel the increasing discomfort that builds as you resist the natural impulse to let go. When it becomes too uncomfortable, release your breath and notice the immediate relief that you feel. Holding on to anything when it is time to let go creates distress in your body and mind. Now take a breath, fully empty your lungs, and hold your breath. Become aware of the increasing discomfort that develops when you resist something from entering your life that you are meant to accept. Notice the relief that you feel as you take your next breath. The Law of Giving and Receiving is in continuous play during the practice of pranayama breathing exercises. Conscious breathing means focusing your attention on the perpetual exchange that is taking place between your personal body and the extended body of your environment. You exchange ten billion trillion atoms with your surroundings...
Breathe as you normally would Observe your breath. If you are like most men, you are probably taking a shallow breath, mainly into the chest area. This type of breath is a shorter breath than full three-part yogic breathing, and it does not provide as rich a supply of oxygen and vital life energy as full yogic breathing. Continue your experimentation further by placing your hands along the sides of your chest, so that your hands are covering the lateral sides of your ribs. Inhale deeply into your abdomen and allow the breath to continue to rise and fill up completely the area of your chest. With your hands, feel your ribs rising and separating as the chest fills up with rich oxygen. As you exhale, allow the breath to empty first from your chest and then from your abdomen. Feel the ribs return to their original position as the chest deflates. The abdomen also contracts. Practice several rounds of inhalation and exhalation in this manner As you breathe in, feel your abdomen fill...
The simplest of all yogic breaths is long deep breathing. It is a habit that we in our western culture have lost. Our normal tendency is to breathe shallow and irregularly. This leads to an emotional approach to life, chronic tension, and weak nerves. The lungs are the largest organ of the human body. Average lungs can enlarge to a volume of almost 6,000 cubic centimeters. Normally we use only 600 - 700 cubic centimeters of that capacity. If you do not expand the lungs to their full capacity, the small air sacks in the lungs, called alveoli, cannot clean their mucous lining properly. Therefore you do not get enough oxygen so toxic irritants that lead to infections and disease build up. By taking a deep breath you can expand the lungs by about eight times. If you establish a habit of breathing long, deep and slowly, you will build your endurance and patience. A long deep breath can bring you back to your center, even in chaotic circumstances.
As we've mentioned before, Hatha Yoga works under the assumption that supreme control over the body, or the physical self, is one path to enlightenment. Hatha Yoga is a sort of spiritual fitness plan in which balance is a key. Attention to the physical is foremost in Hatha Yoga this particular type of yoga involves cleansing rituals and breathing exercises designed to manipulate the body's energy through breath control, in addition to the postures or exercises for which Hatha Yoga is commonly known.
The easy posture is a steady and comfortable sitting position for meditation and breathing exercises. The posture also helps you become more aware of and actually increase the flexibility in your hips and spine and is therefore a good preparation for more advanced postures.
If you are upset or anxious, your breath may become quick and shallow. Through breathing exercises, you can control your breathing, which will restore a sense of calm. Yoga, particularly Hatha Yoga, requires you to be constantly aware of your breath. As you breathe in your yoga practice, you exercise your diaphragm, abdominal muscles, heart, lungs and the muscles
Think about the many times you've heard someone say Now just take a couple of deep breaths and relax. This recommendation is so popular because it really works Pain clinics across the country use breathing exercises for pain control. Childbirth preparation courses teach Yoga-related breathing techniques to both parents to aid the birthing process. Moreover, since the 1970s, stress gurus have taught yogic breathing to corporate America with great success.
After clearing the subtle channels of circulation with your pranayama breathing exercises, you are ready to take your attention to a more expanded state of awareness through meditation. Close your eyes completely and simply become aware of your thoughts for a few moments, then sequentially bring your attention to each of the seven chakras, audibly intoning the mantra for each energy center.
This chapter is composed of seven minor Yogi Breathing Exercises, bearing no special names, but each distinct and separate from the others and having a different purpose in view. Each student will find several of these exercises best adapted to the special requirements of his particular case. Although we have styled these exercises minor exercises, they are quite valuable and useful, or they would not appear in this book. They give one a condensed course in Physical Culture and Lung Development, and might readily be padded out and elaborated into a small book on these subjects. They have, of course, an additional value, as Yogi Breathing forms a part of each exercise. Do not pass them by because they are marked minor. Some one or more of these exercises may be just what you need. Try them and decide for yourself.
A folding metal chair or a sturdy wooden chair without arms can have multiple uses as a Yoga prop. Many (if not most) beginners have a hard time sitting on the floor for prolonged periods during meditation or breathing exercises, and sitting on a chair is a great alternative to sitting on the floor. Make sure, though, that your feet aren't dangling if they don't easily touch the floor, place them on a phone book. Students with back problems often use a chair during the relaxation phase at the end of a Yoga class. Lying on your back and placing your lower legs up on a chair, combined with guided relaxation techniques from the instructor, can really help to release back tension or pain. You can find numerous books and magazine articles about doing your entire Yoga practice in a chair, with suggestions for ways to take Yoga chair breaks around the house or in your office for a quick pick-me-up.
System of yoga is organized, you can pursue whichever aspect of it you wish. The chapters that immediately follow will introduce you to particular approaches to hatha yoga. These and subsequent sections provide information on specific yoga practices and techniques, such as physical postures, breathing exercises, mantra recitation, and meditation, so that you can begin to practice yoga yourself as you feel ready.
Asanas (pronounced AH-sah-nahs) are the postures, or exercises, of yoga designed to help you master control of your body. Asanas are also meant to facilitate meditation. Pranayama (PRAH-nah-YAH-mah) are breathing exercises designed to help you master control of your breath. Asanas (pronounced AH-sah-nahs) are the postures, or exercises, of yoga designed to help you master control of your body. Asanas are also meant to facilitate meditation. Pranayama (PRAH-nah-YAH-mah) are breathing exercises designed to help you master control of your breath. Although many types of yoga exist, Hatha Yoga is the branch of yoga that concentrates on the body and is the form of yoga most emphasized in this book and practiced by Westerners. Hatha Yoga is an excellent fitness program, but it's also more. Hatha Yoga is based on the idea that gaining supreme control over your body is the key to control of your mind and freedom of your spirit. Through postures (asanas), breathing exercises (pranayama), and...
Once students have completed the two beginners' courses, they are free to attend open classes, which are typical of a Sivananda Yoga class. These classes last for 90 minutes and follow a prescribed protocol. They begin with approximately 20 minutes of two basic breathing exercises. Breathing exercises are followed by more than an hour of physical exercises, which are comprised of 12 basic yoga postures. Each class concludes with a long, deep relaxation.
Therefore, don't regard pranayama as mere breathing exercises - it has far greater implications. But it will only bring results ifyou practise carefully and regularly. Pranayama should become an important part of your daily practice. Asanas, pranayama and meditation all affect the differing aspects of your personality.
The Yogis have a favorite form of breathing which they practice when they feel the necessity of ventilating and cleansing the lungs. They conclude many of their other breathing exercises with this breath, and we have followed this practice in this book. This Cleansing Breath ventilates and cleanses the lungs, stimulates the cells and gives a general tone to the respiratory organs, and is conducive to their general healthy condition. Besides this effect, it is found to greatly refresh the entire system. Speakers, singers, etc., will find this breath especially restful, after having tired the respiratory organs.
The complete breath is one of the simplest and yet most rewarding of . the yoga breathing exercises. To begin, breathe in and out a few tim normally and then exhale as much as possible, all the way down to yo residual volume. Then for the complete breath inhale as much as possibl which will be your vital capacity (fig. 2.26). Continue by exhaling and inhalit your vital capacity as many times as you want.
To any informed observer, it is plain that the musculoskeletal system executes all our acts of will, expresses our conscious and unconscious habits, breathes air into the lungs, articulates our oral expression of words, and implements all generally recognized forms of nonverbal expression and communication. And in the practice of hatha yoga, it is plainly the musculoskeletal system that enables us to achieve external balance, to twist, bend, turn upside down, to be still or active, and to accomplish all cleansing and breathing exercises. Nevertheless, we are subtly deceived if we think that is the end of the story. Just as we see munchkins sing and dance in The Wizard of Oz and do not learn that they are not autonomous until the end of the story, we'll find that muscles, like munchkins, do not operate in isolation. And just as Dorothy found that the wizard kept a tether on everything going on in his realm, so we'll see that the nervous system keeps an absolute rein on the...
If you're very out of shape, start slow. Go to Chapter 6 and start with the gentle walking and breathing exercises. Try to observe a daily walking program of 20 to 45 minutes to get the ball rolling. When you build your confidence, go to Chapter 7 and start doing the Balanced Workout. You may also want to check out Chapter 18, which offers low-impact exercises designed for seniors.
We have attempted to make the poses as technically correct as possible, so you may understand the full, unmodified pose. Several breathing exercises are also explained. The breathing techniques may be taught and used separately from the yoga session. Separating the physical poses from the breathing techniques will help your child not be overwhelmed by instruction. In addition, the breathing techniques are very effective and can be used at any time of day, for example, during times of stress, agitation, anger, or boredom.
Just remember that yoga can do great things for your health and your life. The exercises will tone and strengthen your body in ways that are both different and complementary to your other physical activities. Or if you're sedentary, yoga is a great way to move into a physical lifestyle. Yoga's deep-breathing exercises and meditation can also be new ways for you to discover the limitless possibilities of your body and mind. Give it a try and welcome to the team
After our son understood and became familiar with some of the poses and the breathing techniques, he began to be less resistant to the whole process. We felt that he really succeeded when he did some breathing techniques at the bus stop independently. Yoga is not competitive, and frustration and anger defeat the energy that goes into the practice. If you find yourself becoming frustrated with your child during a yoga session, take a break, or continue on another day. In addition, the breathing exercises in Chapter 3 may be extremely helpful in relieving frustration.
Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy can be especially beneficial to those men seeking to combine their practice of yoga with greater in-depth exploration of the self. While many practitioners and teachers of yoga would agree that the goal of yoga is union of the body and mind, many specific styles of yoga focus on a particular aspect of yoga, such as the physical postures, breathing exercises, or meditation. Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy consciously aims to integrate body, mind, and spirit through a rich synthesis of traditional and contemporary healing practices.
Breathing techniques, and the principles of a yoga lifestyle to promote inner harmony and self-transformation. Kripalu Yoga is comprised of three levels of practice. In the first level, Stage One, known as willful practice, students learn how to practice the classic postures of hatha yoga with relaxation, deep breathing, and proper alignment. Poses are held for a relatively short period of time generally three to five flowing breaths (approximately 10 to 20 seconds). Stage One practice strengthens the body, releases chronic tension, engenders an attitude of compassionate self-acceptance, and helps prepare practitioners for deeper practice.
Yogic or deep breathing combines all these three modes of breathing -abdominal, middle, upper - into one harmonious movement. It is this type of breathing that we are interested in developing, since only yogic breathing can give the maximum inhalation and exhalation of breath.
You hear people say that when you get frustrated or angry you should take a deep breath and count to ten. We can't vouch for the counting to ten part, but taking a deep breath is an excellent piece of folk wisdom. Deep breathing really can calm your nerves. It can relax and center you. Some people can even control the amount of pain they feel with breathing techniques. This ability is one of the reasons why, in prenatal clinics, expectant mothers study breathing techniques to control and help ease the pain of childbirth. Breathing affects your state of mind, and for that reason, you can use breathing techniques that are supportive in cultivating a different state of mind. After you try these techniques, you may be delighted to find that you can change the mood you're in by breathing consciously and by paying attention to how you breathe. Your brain requires more oxygen than most other parts of your body. Supply it with the oxygen it needs to get more clarity of thought and to be able...
Yoga with weights is different from most exercise programs because it challenges your powers of concentration. In fact, some exercises test and develop your ability to focus more than they do your physical strength. Therefore, you should choose a place to exercise where distractions won't bother you. Not everyone can swing this, of course, but if you're fortunate enough to have a large house or a fenced-in backyard, see if you can devote an area to yoga-with-weights exercises. By establishing a place away from the rigors and demands of your daily life, you'll find it easier to concentrate on your exercises, deep breathing, and meditation. This special room or backyard space can be a source of resilience during difficult and demanding periods.
This work will take up the Yogi Science of Breath, which includes not only all that is known to the Western physiologist and hygienist, but the occult side of the subject as well. It not only points out the way to physical health along the lines of what Western scientists have termed deep breathing, etc., but also goes into the less known phases of the subject, and shows how the Hindu Yogi controls his body, increasing his mental capacity, and develops the spiritual side of his nature by the Science of Breath.
In this position, use your breath to consciously release further into the pose, having the intention to relax with each exhalation. Hold this position, breathing deeply for several moments, then slowly release. Repeat the pose with your left knee bent, flexing forward to grasp your right ankle or foot. Again, find your point of resistance, then introduce the intention to surrender, using your breath to release more deeply into the pose. Listen to the information your body is sending to you.
Sit comfortably on the floor and breathe. Don't worry about breathing deeply. Just notice your breath. Give your breath your full attention. You can probably hear lots of thoughts rattling around in your mind, somewhere behind the sound of your breathing. Note them, but don't let them engage you. Back to the breath. 2. After you've been sitting for a minute or two with your mind focused on your breath, move into a lying-down position on your stomach. But don't just move thoughtlessly. As you move, really pay attention. Keep your mind centered on how you feel, on how your body moves, on which parts are going where as you come down to the floor. Your body is all that matters right now, and a great yoga pose like this deserves all your concentration. With every step of this pose, keep pulling your focus back to your body the way the pose feels the way you move and breathe as you get into, hold, and get out of the pose. You are practicing mindfulness. You are in...
In addition to emphasizing learning and repeating a prescribed series of flowing asana postures, Ashtanga Yoga also incorporates a special breathing technique, bodily locks, and a special gazing technique. The practice of Ashtanga Yoga requires the exercising of moral observances, such as discipline and commitment. It can help lead men to a state of single-pointed concentration that is conducive to meditation. A man can experience the positive benefits of Ashtanga Yoga not only during physical execution of the series of postures, but also in his life in general. Thus, Ashtanga Yoga can be a gateway to living the yoga lifestyle. Ashtanga Yoga differs from the other major styles of hatha yoga in a number of important respects. First, it incorporates a type of flowing movement known as vinyasa ( uninterrupted flow or arrangement in Sanskrit). Each posture flows without interruption into the succeeding posture in a practice that is seamless and totally connected by the breath. This...
Do you need a more user-friendly version of the sun salutation Do you have a hard time kneeling (as required in the 7-step sun salutation later in this chapter) or stepping through (as required in the 12-step sun salutation later in this chapter) Then try the 9-step rejuvenation sequence direct from California, using the focus breathing technique from Chapter 5
The postures in this seated Yoga routine give you the same main benefits of a regular Yoga class, including stress reduction, improved circulation, better concentration and an overall sense of well-being. This routine should take about 15 to 20 minutes. Choose one of the Yoga breathing techniques in Chapter 5 and use it for this entire routine. Follow the instructions for breath and movement and have fun
Breathing efficiently can positively influence your physical and mental well-being. For this reason, proper breathing is integral to the practice of yoga. This chapter shows you how to breathe efficiently to boost your energy and help rid your body of toxins. You will also learn how proper breathing techniques can clear your mind, improve your concentration and reduce stress. Perform the exercises in this chapter to help improve your breathing.
Swami Rama, et al., Science of Breath A Practical Guide (Himalayan Institute Press, 1979). This is an eminently accessible introduction to pranayama, with a discussion of the importance of breath, the mechanism of breathing, and easy-to-follow instructions on the principal yogic breathing techniques illustrated with line drawings.
Urban Yoga is an approach to yoga that you may see offered in a class setting by your local gym or yoga studio. This nomenclature for a style of yoga first started to appear around the beginning of the 1980s, and has become even more widespread since then. While there is not necessarily one particular style of Urban Yoga, in general Urban Yoga refers to an eclectic blend of traditional hatha yoga postures combined with other activities that you may find offered in a gym setting. This may include aerobics choreographed to music in a high-energy spin-off. Another style may incorporate yoga practices with body-strengthening exercises. A more relaxing approach may emphasize breathing techniques, stretching exercises, and restorative poses to complement a more traditional weightlifting workout. Whatever the ingredients, Urban Yoga can appeal to men who want to de-stress by combining the traditional benefits of hatha yoga with a gym-environment workout. If you see a class in Urban Yoga...
Besides benefiting your mental outlook (a topic we explore in the previous pages of this chapter), employing yoga breathing techniques offers many benefits to your health. Here are a handful of them 1 Posture. The breathing techniques encourage good posture. Poor posture can be a cause of incorrect breathing. According to the yoga tradition, each person is allotted a certain number of breaths, and after you exceed this number, your time on earth is finished. People who breathe hurriedly and shallowly use up their allotment of breaths quickly, but if you breathe slowly and consciously, your breath allotment lasts for many years. Let this thoughtful idea remind you how valuable and life-expanding each breath may be. Developing a breath that's balanced, steady, and rhythmic one that's never forced but deep and full helps you live a long and healthy life.
If you're stiff by nature, yoga with weights can seem like a risky enterprise mentally and emotionally when you begin exercising. But hang in there. Breath by breath, exercise by exercise, you can escape the cage that your body has become, spread your wings, and fly. As Chapter 4 explains, yoga breathing techniques can improve the blood circulation in your body and bring new healthy cells to your muscles. Where flexibility is concerned, success breeds success. One muscle unknotting can cause the one beside it to loosen. Even people who are very stiff by nature can become limber if they stick with yoga with weights and practice it as little as twice a week. Eventually, your muscles will rest back against your bones and stretch out and elongate, and you'll be able to move more comfortably and freely.
After you have settled on a meditation posture and have had some experience with it, you can make improvements with specific breathing techniques. Start with diaphragmatic breathing and notice that inhalation deepens the lumbar lordosis, pulls the chest back, and lifts the head and neck. Ordinary exhalations reverse all of these effects, permitting your head and chest to come forward and allowing the lumbar lordosis to flatten. But if you emphasize exhalation with the abdominal muscles by pressing inward gently from below, you will quickly notice that this prevents the posture from deteriorating. Make the movements as subtle as you can so that someone watching you from the side would see the posture improve only over a period of several minutes. As soon as you are straight, still, and relaxed, do your meditation.
Interestingly enough, Iyengar reports that in the 1930s, it was difficult to find students of yoga, even in India.3 Fortunately for ensuing generations, Iyengar did eventually find students, and has continued to refine his approach to yoga over the decades. Iyengar has perfected the practice of more than 200 asanas and breathing techniques. In 1974, Iyengar visited the United States for the first time and introduced the West to his particular style of yoga. Over the course of his lifetime, millions of students have studied his Iyengar Yoga. He currently lives in Pune, India, where he presides over his own institute, the Ramamani Iyengar Memorial Institute (RIMYI), which he established in 1975 in loving memory of his deceased wife. His daughter, Geeta, and son, Prashant, who collaborate as teachers and researchers into the history and philosophy of yoga, have joined him in his work.
All people breathe, but a Ninja must always breathe correctly and efficiently. Most people breathe haphazardly and in turn they live shorter, unhealthy and less productive lives. Learning to breathe correctly all of the time must be practiced until it becomes natural. The most fortunate thing is that a Ninja can practice neutral breathing constantly and reap the benefits. Neutral breathing is also the basis for other breathing techniques and must be established before any other technique is attempted. Ninja should always be aware of and in control of their breathing. Performed properly, this will level the body's metabolism. The benefits will be a longer and healthier life.
Your breath is an important element of performing any yoga pose. Focusing on your breathing may sharpen your concentration, prevent injury and help you release further into a pose. If your breathing becomes strained or forced, it may be an indication that you are working too hard. When performing a yoga pose, make sure you never hold your breath. You should try to breathe evenly and deeply throughout the pose. In addition, you should try to match your breathing to the way you are moving in a pose. For example, you will usually inhale when you lift your arms, lengthen your body or bend backward. You will usually exhale when lowering your arms, bending forward or deepening a twist. This breath awareness exercise helps you connect with the natural rhythm of your breath and thereby increase your awareness of your breath. Practicing this breath awareness exercise before you begin your yoga practice helps center your mind and prepare you for the practice. As you exhale, try to release the...
For the first five minutes of your walk, stroll in an easy manner with your head held in whatever position feels most comfortable. Find your natural stride, feel your feet connecting with the ground, and gaze straight ahead. Gradually start to pick up speed, but never walk so fast that you're uncomfortable or have to strain to catch your breath. If you're walking with a companion, you should be able to carry on a conversation without having to stop to catch your breath.
Repeat this process in quick succession as mam times as you can while holding your breath. Be careful not to strain yourself by holding your breath too long. Then breathe in. This is 1 round. Rest until the breathing returns to normal. When your breathing becomes normal again, repeat another round.
Many yoga classes begin with the execution of a yoga exercise called Surya Namaskara (literally Salute to the Sun or Sun Salutation ). This is not technically an asana, but rather a series of flowing movements that incorporate a number of different postures into one exercise. The Sun Salutation presented here synthesizes the elements of many widely practiced approaches to yoga. It is designed to warm up the body for the postures that will follow during the Complete Yoga Session. The Sun Salutation is composed of a number of movements performed in sequence. These movements flow into each other and help to stretch the body and improve the circulation of blood so that your yoga practice will be even more beneficial. As you perform each sequence of the Sun Salutation series in succession, pay attention to your breath. Perform each movement as indicated in the instructions with an inhalation or an exhalation. As you practice yoga, let your breath be your friend and guide.
The breath is one indicator of our ability to give and receive. We can monitor where we are at in the give receive dynamic by observing our breath. Simply be with your breath and observe the length of both your inhale and your exhale. Often one or the other is favored or longer than the other. Those prone to give more than they receive will often exhale longer than they inhale. Those who are prone to receive more than they give often inhale longer than they exhale. If you have a very shallow breath and have a tendency to hold your breath, fear may be blocking both giving and receiving. We can work with our breath to re-establish a balance between giving and receiving. If you feel that you give more than you receive, this may be substantiated by a shorter inhale. (Keep in mind that there are no firm rules. There are many dynamics at play.) But using the breath as a guide, maybe you have to allow yourself to receive more. If your inhale is short, practice inhaling deeply and allowing...
After you finish the Endurance Workout, take a moment to engage in meditation. Meditation isn't about sitting still or forcing yourself to be quiet it's about anchoring your consciousness into the present moment. You deepen your relationship to your breath in a calm and steady way. The common aim is to focus the scattered rays of your mind on a single point, like a laser beam of attention, in order to lead you to a state of self-realization. Chapter 6 describes several meditation techniques.
Become aware of your breath, while simultaneously maintaining awareness of the candle flame. drawing your breath from the candle flame to Be also aware of the sound of your breath. When you breathe out you have to imagine that the breath flows from the back of your head, pierces the eyebrow centre and then returns to the candle flame. Throughout the eyes should not flicker. Carry on repeating this process, breathing in and out as you try to feel, to imagine, the air moving backwards and forwards from the flame, through the eyebrow centre to the back of the head and vice versa. All the time you should be simultaneously aware of both the candle flame, the breath and its sound.
After chanting ONG NA MO GURU DEV NA MO, connect with your breath and experience the breath in the body. There are two basic ways to do this. One is to simply be with your breath as it breathes in your body. You do not consciously try to change the breath in any way. You are simply with it. After tuning in and after doing each exercise it is best to simply be with your breath. The breath is in sync with the energy in your body and will equalize your energy, come back to your normal breathing pattern or establish a new one.
Think of your breath as your most intimate friend. Your breath is with you from the moment you're born until you die. In a given day, you take between 20,000 and 30,000 breaths. Most likely, barring any respiratory problems, you're barely aware of your breathing. This state is akin to taking your best friend so for granted that the relationship gets stale and is put at risk. Although the automatic nature of breathing is part of the body's machinery that keeps you alive, having breathing occur automatically isn't necessarily to your advantage automatic doesn't always mean optimal. In fact, most people's breathing habits are quite poor and to their great disadvantage. Stale air accumulates in their lungs and becomes as unproductive as a stale friendship. Poor breathing is known to cause and increase stress. Conversely, stress shortens your breath and increases your level of anxiety.
Power of mantra, link the mantra with your breath cycle. A basic mantra is Sat Nam (rhymes with But Mom ). Sat Nam means Truth is my identity. Mentally repeat Sat as you inhale, and Nam as you exhale. In this way you filter your thoughts so that each thought has a positive resolution. Mantra makes it easier to keep up during strenuous exercises and adds depth to the performance of even the simplest ones.
Prana refers to the life force or energy that exists everywhere and is manifested in each of us through the breath. Ayama means to stretch or extend. Prana flows out from the body, and pranayama teaches us to maneuver and direct prana for optimal physical and mental benefit. After all, breathing is life. You can go for months without food, days without water, but only moments without breath. Breathing affects all our actions and our thoughts, too. Mastering your breath is an important step toward mastering the rest of yourself
You can move in and out of a given posture easily and confidently, try holding the posture for a short period without holding or straining your breath. You know you're straining when your face turns into a grimace or you feel it going red like a tomato. Getting a handle on moving into and out of the postures before adding the element of holding is important for three reasons
Retain your breath for a moment in Standing Forward Bend as you allow your back to rise to a flat, straight position, as perpendicular to the floor as possible. Your fingertips are still in line with the toes, but your palms lift up off the floor to help you straighten and widen your back, especially the upper back and shoulder areas. Look up.
Retain your breath as you lift up your left foot and leg and bring them back to form a parallel line with your right leg and foot. Your two legs and feet are together, lifted in a straight line off the floor in a modified push-up position. You are now in a position popularly referred to as Plank Pose. Your hands are under your shoulders, palms on the floor, fingers pointing straight out in front of you. Your arms are straight, with the insides of the elbows and forearms facing forward. Your torso is parallel to the floor. Contract your abdomen to maintain your straight, active position your entire body forms a line as straight as a plank from head to toe.
Don't hold your breath in this exercise (be conscious of breathing in and out). Keep your hips over your knees at all times, and remember that your supporting arm should be active the entire time as you look through the Eye of the Needle don't let this arm go limp. Pull the weight back through the loop in rhythm with your breathing.
Become aware of your breathing at the navel. Then be aware of the area of your chest. With inhalation, imagine that your breath is being drawn downward and into the centre of your chest. Count 1. With exhalation, imagine that your breath is being pushed upwards and outward from your chest centre. Count 2.
Rest your hands on your knees with your palms up or down. Sit with your spine straight, and remain silent, concentrating on the world around you. This will heighten your awareness and allow you to focus on your breathing. Focus on your breath You can use your breath as a tool to calm your active mind and direct your consciousness into new and deeper levels of awareness and insight. Let your breath flow smoothly, evenly, and consistently, with the air moving in and out of your lungs like waves on a seashore. Breathe soundlessly or near soundlessly through your nostrils. Notice your lungs expanding as you inhale, and relaxing as you exhale. Breathe from your navel to your heart and into your chest, upper back, and shoulders. Without forcing, let the breath penetrate into the deepest recesses of your lungs. Go into a deep meditation by taking inventory of the different parts of your body. As you breathe in and out, concentrate on relaxing, beginning with your forehead and scalp and then...
Mindfulness requires concentration, but rather than concentrate on any one object, we concentrate on the moment and whatever Is present in that moment. To begin, take a comfortable seat. Bring attention to your breath by placing your awareness at your belly and feeling it rise and fall. This will help you tune in to the sensorial presence of the body. Once you feel settled, widen your awareness to include all the sensations in your body as well as any thoughts or feelings.
Isn't it a great feeling when you put on a pair of pants that used to cramp your waist but now feel loose How comfortable your clothes are is another way to mark your exercise progress. When you feel better in your clothes, and when you don't have to hold your breath to get into your pants anymore, take it as a sign that you've lost weight and that your exercise program is working for you.
Hold your breath and release it slowly. Contract your belly towards your spine to exhale all of the air out of your body. 7. Continue to breathe deeply through your nose and release your breath through your nose. Try to make both your inhalation and exhalation long and smooth. Breathe deeply for several moments and proceed to the next pose.
The science of breathing is called pranayama. Pranayama is an integral part of Kundalini yoga and meditation. In this lesson we will offer a few basics that will help you begin to be aware of your breath and to integrate conscious breathing into your daily life and yogic practice. Whenever you want to calm down, paying attention to your breath is the first step. Notice if you are inhaling and exhaling through your mouth or nose. Notice where you are breathing in your body. How far down do you breathe Do you breathe in the belly, chest or neck How many times do you breathe per minute Time yourself. SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAT At the end of the breath say NAM. Notice that your breath gets longer and deeper. You may slow your breath down to 2 per minute.
With your hips square, begin to walk your hands in, maybe placing your hands on your right knee. Remember the deep surrender in the belly from Supta Vajrasana and recall it now to help you settle into the floor or block. Work with your breath, letting your inhalation expand your chcst and your exhalation to draw up from your belly and into a backbend as you begin to press your shoulders back. Keep your left foot firmly anchored against the wall so that your shin extends straight up (pressing your toes into the wall may help). With your hips firmly on the floor or block, stretch your arms up by your ears.
Now bring your awareness to the point just below your nostrils. Focus on your breath. If possible, breathe in and out through your nose rather than your mouth Breathing through the nose helps to filter, purify, and moisten the breath before it is distributed throughout the body. If you would like to try meditating with a mantra or a visual image, you can follow the guidelines for the basic meditation, using a sound, word, or image as your object of concentration. Whatever the method of meditation you practice, allow your breath to be as full, natural, and deep as possible. You might also practice meditation while walking or going about daily activities, in a practice sometimes referred to as mindfulness meditation. Remember If you focus on your breath as you sit, lie, walk, or move about, it will always bring you back to awareness of the present moment. We cannot breathe in the past we cannot breathe in the future we can only breathe in the present. Breath is life itself it is the...
Any mantra can be integrated with the flow of breath, but the mantra Soham is generally used since it arises naturally and corresponds with the actual sound of inhalation and exhalation. Listen carefully to your breath you will hear the sound So with inhalation and Ham with exhalation. This is especially true if you do ujjavi pranayama3. Depending on the length of the breath, the sound of So will be a prolonged S-o-o-o-o the sound of Ham will be a prolonged H-a-a-m-m-m-m. Little or no imagination is necessary. This is why the mantra Soham is such a powerful mantra - it arises almost naturally from the sound of the breath.
Repeating mantras as you cook, focusing on your breath, or singing along with a chanting CD can lift you out of your thoughts and bring conscious energy to the food, says Levine. Even simpler than that, just thinking of the person you're cooking for with a lot of love is one of the best things you can do. Levine says she sees guests at the end of their stay at Shoshonl looking a little bit softer, more open, and happier than when they arrived. They always seem to have felt that deep loving nourishment. It's almost like when your mom cooks something for you-it tastes so good because she really loves you.
When you do yoga-with-weights exercises, you explore your body. You discover how to relax certain muscles and flex others you retrace the pathways of your nerves and find out how different muscle groups work in consort when you balance you feel your breath bring life-giving oxygen to your body and you discover many new feelings and sensations.
You simultaneously know that your attention is on that particular activity. In other words, if you are aware of your breath it means that you know that you are breathing and you are witnessing the breathing process. You are standing back and watching something that is occurring within you. It is the first step up the ladder to higher awareness. You are becoming a witness to all the activities of the body. This will lead eventually to the ability to witness the actions of the mind and then gradually the deeper aspects of mind which you may now think impossible.
Feel your breath flowing into the open nostril. Notice if the air feels cool or warm. See how deeply into your body you can detect the breath. Do you feel it in your throat The tops of your lungs The bottoms As you develop your technique, try inhaling and exhaling for longer periods of time, always keeping the 2-to-1 ratio of exhales to inhales. You should never force your breathing, but you can lengthen the inhale and exhale to longer counts as you develop your technique. For example, try inhaling for 8 counts and exhaling for 16 counts.
Everyday be silent and practice listening within. Morning before sunrise is the best time. Or at least morning before you start your workday. Simply sit quietly and observe your thoughts, be with your breath and feel the sensations in your body. Gently and silently be with yourself. Start with 3 to 5 minutes and work up to 11 minutes. If you have time, you may want to work up to 22 or 31 minutes.
Now take a breath, close your eyes this time, and try it again. Let the sound stretch out for as long as you can with the support of a deep breath. Use up all your breath, but don't strain yourself. Doesn't that feel good Do it again if you'd like to. Notice how, when your entire body is vibrating with that sound, it's easier to concentrate on the breath and the sound than whether to have dessert with dinner tonight or whether you can convince someone else to do the dishes.
Relaxation techniques start by taking your consciousness away from emotionally charged thoughts and directing it to activities that are emotionally neutral such as the awareness of your breath or different parts of your body. It is almost impossible for anyone to remain or to become tense and angry when their attention is directed towards their big toe. In this
Sit with your legs crossed and hold your hands at the level of your diaphragm in the Shambavi Mudra. Your right hand palm up, lying in your left hand, with your left thumb lying in the palm of your right hand, and right thumb resting on left thumb. Let your breath flow in and out freely. Your eyes are open about 1 10, your gaze directed to the end of your nose.
Yogi Bhajan has given us the following meditation to practice before going to bed. If practiced on a regular basis, once a week or even every night, your sleep will be deep and relaxed. The control of the rhythm of the breath strengthens the nervous system and regenerates the nerves. After a few months, the rhythm of your breath will be subconsciously regulated and eventually you will internally chant the mantra while you are sleeping. You may wake up to the internal chant of the mantra and hear it in your daily activities. You will think better, work better, share better and love better. There cannot be enough praise of the meditation's effect on the personality. It gives the mind the power to stretch to infinity, promotes radiance, patience and practical universality. (Relax & Renew p. 118)
Deep breathing not only affects the organs in your chest and abdomen but also reaches down into your gut emotions. Don't be surprised if sighs and perhaps even a few tears accompany the tension release your breath work achieves. These are welcome signs that you're peeling off the muscular armor you have placed around your abdomen and heart. Instead of feeling concerned or embarrassed, rejoice in your newly gained inner freedom Yoga practitioners know that real men do cry.
The essential requirement of nadi shodhana is slow, deep and rhythmical breathing. This results in less number of breaths every minute, for as one breathes more deeply the frequency of respiration automatically decreases. In everyday life most people breathe fifteen to twenty times per minute. These are generally shallow gasps which utilize only a very small portion of the available lung capacity. As such, a lot of energy is used in breathing, with a relatively small return in terms of the energy that we induce into the body. In other words, we could easily induce the same or even more vital energy into the body, in the form of oxygen, and expend less muscular energy by breathing slowly, deeply and rhythmically. Rhythm too is important, for spasmodic, jerky respiration also tends to use up far more muscular energy than smooth and relaxed respiration. This is one of the reasons, although not the main one, for practising nadi shodhana pranayama to train us to habitually breathe in a...
Allow your awareness to rotate in a continuous circle through the awarohan (spinal passage) and the arohan (frontal passage). Simultaneously try to visualize a thin green snake moving in the same closed loop. Continue to hold your breath. The snake should move downwards from bindu to mooladhara in the spinal passage and then upwards from mooladhara to bindu in the frontal passage. Continue this visualization for as long as you can comfortably hold your breath, but don't strain.
Rotation of awareness through these centres must be done with retention of breath. A reasonably long retention is required in order to complete 12 rotations, therefore we suggest that beginners rotate their awareness through these centres 3 times. Gradually they can increase this by 1 rotation every week or so according to individual capacity, until they can do 12 rotations. Under no circumstances should you hold your breath for longer than is comfortable. In the practices of kriya yoga never force or strain the body in any way. Also bear the following points in mind
Hold this position for about ten seconds while slowly inhaling and exhaling, using your breath to surrender further into the pose. Slowly return to an upright position, take a few deep breaths, then repeat the standing angle pose two more times. Notice how each time you go into this posture it becomes easier to perform.
Systematic yogic sets that focus on specific centers and systems in the body field. These are combined with a number of powerful breathing techniques that purify and supercharge the bloodstream with oxygen, electricity and the other vital chemicals in the air. The charged and purified blood then flows into the areas are saturated with blood due to the pressure of the positions and movements, with the result that the nerves begin to charge and fire completely, the capillaries in the related organs and glands open and discharge their toxins, the cells discharge accumulated waste and vitality and life force begins to flow back into these centers.
To awaken the kundalini, you must go through complex mental and breathing exercises that should be practiced only under the guidance of a qualified teacher. Sometimes (though it's rare), a kundalini awakening will happen spontaneously, but don't be scared away. Kundalini Yoga is, at its heart, searching for the same thing as all other types of yoga. Classes are available in this interesting branch of yoga with proper instruction, the practice of Kundalini Yoga can be enjoyable, energizing, and ultimately enlightening.
Yoga helps us simplify our lives, our emotions, and our material concerns. The study of yoga can help us gain perspective on what is important. It can help us detach from our competitive selves and see our bodies and minds as oases of self-discovery. Shav-asana, the corpse pose (Chapter 19), helps us to explore death within life. We can also discover that the limits of our body do not define our existence. Our existence is interconnected with the joys and sorrows of all life, including the bee on the porch, the bird in the air, the snake on the path, the fish in the water. Letting ourselves be with, and be one with, all of life can open up truth to our minds and hearts. We may not know you personally, but we know one thing about you You are worth the effort required to make a regular life into a great life. It's never too late to start living to start practicing yoga to start moving and bending and stretching and lifting to start focusing, concentrating, breathing deeply, and...
Perform this ritual by squatting just slightly from a standing position with your legs about one foot apart or slightly more. Exhale fully, then hold your breath. Next, perform the muscle churning described in the Ground Colon Cleansing ritual, but with the stomach muscles, moving them in more of a circular motion than an up-and-down motion. Rotate the muscles in this way as quickly as you can for as long as you
Raise your arms over your head, the palms facing each other without touching. Keeping your arms overhead, slowly lean as far as you can to the left, come back to the center, and slowly lean as far as you can to the right. Breath of fire. 3 Minutes. During the last minute speed up and move as fast as you can.This will fix your spine, your spinal disks and tone up the pelvic region provided your breath of fire is strong and continuous. There is no better adjustment for your body than this exercise. This exercise works on the sex organs which give you the sensitivity to create. It can give you an experience of who you are.
While inhaling, hold your hands in front of your chest with fingers spread. Hold your breath and stretch out your arms horizontally at your side. Now exhale and vigorously make a fist with each hand. Then breathe normally, open the fists, and lower your arms. Repeat three times. Or cross your fingers with each other, turn the palms outward, and stretch your arms. This will refresh you, improve your breathing, and strengthen your heart. Or cross your fingers with each other, turn the palms outward, and stretch your arms. This will refresh you, improve your breathing, and strengthen your heart.
One of the best breathing exercises for calming the nervous system s alternate nostril breathing, or nadi shodanham. This is a concentrati n as well as a breathing exercise, and it is possibly the single most imp tant preparation for meditation in hatha yoga. There are dozens jf variations to suit differing needs, abilities, and temperaments. At ie extreme, mental patients, flighty or hyperactive children, or anyone v o has difficulty concentrating can simply sit up straight, rest their elbi s on a desk, press the right nostril shut with the right index finger, i d exhale and inhale three times. Then they can press the left nostril si it with the left index finger and again exhale and inhale three times. '1 is simple exercise can be repeated for 5 minutes at a pace of 1- to 2-sec d exhalations and 1- to 2-second inhalations (15-30 breaths per mini e) using abdominal breathing. It trains concentration because it requ s sitting straight, counting the breaths, switching nostrils at the...
Before you begin, Park suggests you keep these tips in mind. First, since twists require that you compress the abdomen, try to practice them on a relatively empty stomach. Second, keep your hips even in all the poses to avoid tweaking your lower back. Third, don't force your breath in twists instead, relax and allow the breath to find its way into your body. If the last few poses are out of your reach, enjoy poses i through 4 for a while. After some practice, the final poses will present themselves to you on a silver platter, Park says, diane Anderson
In the practice of Kundalini Yoga, as taught by Yogi Bhajan, there are innumerable sets of specialized yogic exercises combining posture and movement with many powerful breathing techniques and certain body locks that together create an expanding a contracting and vibratory pressure on various areas of the body, that saturated with blood and vitalized by the air bring about a charging and purification of the nerves, glands and organs. In addition, numerous kriyas, mantras and laya yoga chants, mudras and meditations effect still subtler changes in the consciousness that release accumulated mental and physical blockages.
ARDHA UTTANASANA (Half Standing Forward Bend) Inhale and lift your chin, your chest, and your gaze. Stay rooted through strong legs, reaching down through your heels. Press your hands into your shins to help lift your heart and straighten your spine. Savor this smaller movement, letting your breath fill you up. As a moving meditation, Surya Namaskar develops focus and peace of mind. Let your breath guide each movement, and extend the movement over the entire length of each inhalation or exhalation. Your gaze should follow the direction of movement, linking your mental energy with your physical action. In the spirit of the Sun Salutation, bring to mind and heart a sense of gratitude for life, and let the movement remind you of your connection to something bigger.
Lifting weights adds bulk to muscles but decreases flexibility. Many weight-lifters are muscle-bound. Weight-lifters can benefit dramatically from yoga While weight training builds bone, muscle mass, and strength, yoga lengthens the muscles and keeps them flexible. Weight-lifters also benefit from the breathing exercises and balance training of yoga. Yoga is really a form of weight lifting. You aren't lifting barbells, but in many of the poses, you are lifting your own weight. Think about how much you weigh wouldn't it be quite an accomplishment to lift that weight easily
When you arc twisting to your maximum, there will be a strong tendency to hold your breath. Monitor your breath, and turn with your exhalations. Be willing to let go of your determination and back up from your maximum position in order to ride the ebb and flow of your breath. The breath may be more rapid or shallow than it usually is, but try to find a place where the breath has the quality of being absorbed into the lungs to help you release any strain.
Caut ions to be judicious and respectful of breathing exercises abound in the literature on hatha yoga. And it does indeed seem from anecdotal reports of explorers in this field that the rhythm and record of our respiration resonates throughout the body. It seems to accentuate whatever is in the mind, whether it be benevolence or malevolence, harmony or disharmony, virtue or vice. On the negative side, experienced teachers report that quirk-mess of any sort gets accentuated in students who go too far. It might be an abusive streak, laughing inappropriately, speaking rudely, nightiness, twitchiness, or nervous tics. Right to left physical imbalances also become exaggerated. Unfortunately, novices often close their ears to warnings having become addicted to their practice, they will not be denied. Competent teachers of hatha yoga will be watchful of these simple matters and wary of tutoring refractory students. Even the beginning exercises discussed in this chapter should be treated...
And once again, we remind you of your ever-present breath. Although breathing exercises are performed separately from the postures, breathing is also important during the postures. Of course, you have to breathe while exercising, but becoming aware of your breath, even breathing in a specific way according to the posture you are holding, will enhance your practice and help your body work better. Breathing deeply and well during exercise keeps a steady supply of oxygen in the blood so muscles can work at their peak. Breathing keeps the mind calm and focused, which will further enhance your workout. And since the breath is the vehicle by which prana, the universal life force, enters the body, you'll certainly want to breathe Your breath has four modes Your breath has four modes
The Sutras explore many aspects of living, including relationships, lifestyle, body, breath, the senses, and mind. The aim is to achieve wholeness by refining the individual parts and clarifying their relationships. Since, according to Yoga, they are all interconnected, refinement in one area will create improvement in the others. Therefore, using slow deep breathing to move the body into stable, comfortable postures helps to focus the mind and brighten the emotions.
This training manual will introduce the Ninja to special breathing techniques, the five basic cuts of the Jumon levels of power Earth, Water, Fire, Wind and Void, the nine cuts of the Kuji-kiri (the nine cuts), and the combined power of the Ju-jitsu power grid (all nine cuts of the Kuji-kiri combined with a tenth cut). It must be understood from the beginning that these skills, like the Silent Way itself, take a lifetime to master. A student devoted to Ninjitsu must practice channeling his inner forces every day. At first, progress will be slow and difficult. A true Ninja must exhibit diligence, patience and dedication. By the time significant results can be achieved, within an average period of about five years, they will seem as they truly are, real and possible. Things are only impossible to the ignorant, the foolish and the undisciplined. View something as impossible and it will Using breathing to tap into one's inner forces can be dangerous, however. Misuse of certain...
What are we practicing when we spend an hour doing different asanas On the surface, we are practicing movements aimed at making our bodies more flexible. Also, we are practicing slow, deep breathing for its physiological benefits. This is on the surface. On the inside we are practicing certain skills. Most importantly, we are practicing focusing, immersing ourselves completely in the activity. Ideally, all of the mental activity is directed exclusively to moving, breathing, and relaxing. There is no fear, agitation, craving, or any other condition characterized as Dukkha. This chapter and chapter 21 deal with implications of this practice. We are also learning to be without pejorative judgment. The significance of this practice is discussed in the next chapter. One particular means is waiting. We frequently have to wait at the doctor's office, on line at the supermarket to reach our goal. If you are required to wait (e.g., the line at the supermarket checkout counter is extra long)...
The difference between yoga and other types of exercise is that the challenge and the progression are deeply internal and subtle. Perhaps you've been trying to accomplish a pose in which you bend forward and touch your head to your knees. The first time you try it, you don't even come close. You can barely bend forward without your back causing you pain, so bend your knees and slowly work at bringing the head and upper body down. Slowly build so that your back strengthens and you can straighten your knees. Lean into your farthest point in the stretch and hold it. Remember to keep breathing, letting your breath travel through your body and into the pose. Holding the pose won't hurt (not exactly), but you'll definitely feel something. Your muscles may shake a bit, and that's okay, as long as you aren't forcing the issue. You may even break a sweat. You're feeling the edge of your flexibility as well as an edge of your awareness. Your muscles are waking up and saying, Hey What is it you...
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