PRANAYAMA- Word from your Mama?
"Honey, just breathe"
PRANAYAMA is regulation of the breath through various techniques
Prana=life force + Ayama=extension
The term body, mind and spirit is tossed around when representing the practice of Yoga. The word "spirit" can be confusing, so oftentimes we see spirit replaced with "breath".
Our spirit is our breath. When our spirits are low, our emotions are low. When our breath is open and flowing freely, we feel the same. The breath is our life-force and without it for more than 6 minutes we cease to live.
The breath in life and in our yoga practice acts as a conduit, a vehicle to move energy in the body. The goal of pranayama is to free up the energy of prana to flow freely. The practice is to allow the breath to become longer and unforced.
There are 3 main phases of the breath:
3. Retention (kumbahaka)
Several researchers have reported that pranayama techniques are beneficial in treating a range of stress related disorders, improving autonomic functions, relieving symptoms of asthma, and reducing signs of oxidative stress. Practitioners report that the practice of pranayama develops a steady mind, strong will-power, and sound judgement, and also claim that sustained pranayama practice extends life and enhances perception.
There are dozens of different breathing techniques.
Listed below are several of the most popular types, particularly Ujjayi- pronounced "oohhJ eye". In an ashtanga, Vinyasa or Power Yoga flow, Ujjayi is the cornerstone of aiding students in flowing through challenging and difficult postures.
Viloma – Interrupted Breathing.
AnulomVilom – Alternate Nostril Breathing.
Cooling Breath - Sheetali, Sitkari, Kaki mudra.
Ujjayi – Victorious Breath.
Bhramari – Humming Bee Breath.
Bhastrika – Bellow's Breath.
Surya Bhedan – Right Nostril Breathing.
The purpose of focused attention on the breath is to fuel the body with energy, while distracting the mind. The breath naturally heats up the body from the inside out, and with the internal friction, massages and soothes the organs, skeletal and metabolic systems. Increased oxygenation.
Breath work connects with and cleanses the 72 nadis (energy centers aka Channels) in the body. The longer and deeper the breath practice goes on, the more the blood gets enriched with oxygen.
This oxygen then goes to the brain, lungs, heart and capillaries.
To be and stay in the PRESENT MOMENT all we have to do is take the next breath.