Yoga, the method of breathing, is practiced as a means of healing. The process of respiration plays a key role in spiritual health and well-being. The blood circulates throughout the body to deliver oxygen to the cells, and for energy. The method of breathing can be described as a series of short, deep, controlled patterns of exhaling. Pranayama yoga is a Sanskrit word meaning “contraction.” It is when you inhale through your nose and inhale completely through your mouth. These exercises and breathing methods produce a deep and relaxing experience.
There are three different types of pranayama: the Vinyasa, the Lying, and the Power Pranayama. Pranayama is a basic tenet of yoga, and all practitioners of yoga practice some form of pranayama at least some of the time. You should work on your breathing every day.
When you are first beginning to practice yoga, you will only need to learn to breathe as an integral part of your practice, as you progress through your practice, you will learn other techniques and methods that will help you improve your breathing as well as your overall well-being.
Practicing yoga is about being in connection with yourself, with your body, and with the world around you. When you practice pranayama, you focus your awareness on the breath and the physical sensations that arise from the body while you inhale and exhale. Your mind leaves the physical and relaxes your body.
Pranayama allows you to consciously relax your body, taking away the tensions and stress that can be brought on by modern-day stresses. Yoga positions that relax the body include standing poses such as Bandha Sirshasana, Child’s Pose, and Lotus Pose.
Pranayama is a way of life for people who practice yoga. It is a method of yoga meditation that integrates meditation and breathing. It is a natural flow of energy from the hands, down the spine, and out the head, and as it moves, it becomes more deeply and effortlessly aware.
The first pranayama exercise is simply releasing the tension in one’s breath by letting it come and go as it will. Inhalation is associated with a certain amount of tension, and as you inhale, that tension is released, which allows for a free-flowing of energy through the body.
The second pranayama exercise is taking control of the breath. A pattern of breathing can create a state of total consciousness and awareness of yourself and the body. The whole process is the result of visualization and is highly effective. Once you feel the tension leaving your body, you can rest in the physical sensations that arise during the breathing exercise.
In the beginning, sit in a quiet area, preferably somewhere you can bring back any distractions or interruptions. While breathing slowly, take in all the sensations that arise while inhaling and exhaling. You may be focused on your breath. But sometimes the sensations may cause you to have a sensation of a part of your body being detached from the body. This is a natural result of doing pranayama. And the result of the visualizations that occur while the pranayama is in process.
Continue the exercises until the muscles that were previously tense begin to relax. As they relax, you become more aware of your own body. You will find that you do not feel as tense as you did while the muscles were tensed up. In fact, you feel less tense as you learn to breathe deeply.
Practice with the sounds and colors you hear. By adding sound and color to your practice, you can transform the breathing into something that feels like music.