The first steps of learning Pranayama (breath control) are vitally important. They lay the foundation for the practices that follow. If we overlook these steps or learn them incorrectly, we carry bad habits into our Pranayama practice.
While laying the foundation, we aren't actually doing Pranayama. We are preparing the body and mind for what is to come. This mostly consists of understanding the way the body breathes, learning to control the muscles of breathing, and balancing the body and mind.
HOW THE BODY BREATHES
It is easy to overlook the way the body actually breathes, choosing instead for metaphorical images and oversimplified ideas of expansion and contraction. In truth, the body both expands and contracts on the inhale and exhale (what?!?!?!). Breath control lies in understanding, feeling and controlling these forces.
BALANCING THE BODY, BRAIN AND ENERGY
The other main element that prepares us for Pranayama is balance. Most of us are uneven in our nervous system, hemispheres of the body and brain, and therefore our focus and energy. We must balance these things before proceeding to Pranayama practice.
These principles are the basis for our "Pranayama Level 1" class. We practice it at length during Practice Week, also moving into Level 2, which delves deeper into the chemical effects of breathing and the beginnings of true, traditional Pranayama.
Scott & Ida are Yoga Acharyas (Masters of Yoga). They are the head teachers of Ghosh Yoga. This blog is about their experience with yoga practice, study and teaching.
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