Breathe Easy – how to breathe

Benefits-of-Pranayama

Breathing Practices

Breath Awareness Practice

  • Create a quiet place where you can get comfortable
  • Create a space in time – a few minutes will do – for you to be in your quiet place.
  • Lie down comfortably on your back.
  • Place both feet on the ground – so that your knees are bent and raised (this relieves your lower back and creates a soft space for breath).
  • Place one hand on your chest and one hand on your abdomen.

Begin to observe your breath – what do you notice about it?

  • Where is it located? You can get some information about this by noticing the movement under your hands.
  • How far does it reach into the body?
  • How long is it?
  • Do you notice a difference between the inhale and exhale?
  • How long are the transitions between the inhale and the exhale?
  • How do you feel physically while observing your breath?
  • How do you feel mentally while observing your breath?
  • How do you feel emotionally while observing your breath? You may find, for example, that you find either the inhale or exhale more comforting then the other.
  • How do you feel energetically while observing your breath?

 Yoga Mahapranayama or the Great Breath

  • Stand with spine upright or sit in a straight backed chair.
  • Lift your shoulders, then ease them down and back.
  • Feel that you are opening your chest.
  • Breathe out fully.
  • Now begin to breathe in. Slowly imagine that you are filling up your belly first, but without forcefully pushing it out.
  • Then let it come into the middle of your chest, feel the rib cage lift and open.
  • Continue breathing right up to your collar bones.
  • Slowly breathe out, starting at the collar bones, then emptying the chest and finally the belly, until you feel completely
  • Be aware of every part of the process, as if you are watching it with your minds eye.
  • Feel that you are breathing in life energy and light and breathing out tiredness, anxiety, and waste products. Don’t push
  • Stay relaxed.
  • Do this 3 times. As slowly as you can.
  • After your 3 breaths wait for your breathing rhythm to normalise before you carry on with your day
  • Practice Yoga Mahapranayama regularly, ideally every day, especially in winter.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

  • Bring your right hand to your face.
  • Place your thumb against your right nostril and your index or third finger to the left.
  • Close your left nostril and breathe in through the right.
  • Close the right and breathe out through the left.
  • Breathe in through the left
  • Close the left, and breathe out through the right.
  • This completes one round of breathing. Repeat 4 times

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