Pranayama is a powerful practice of breath control and awareness.
ATP (the energy that our cells use) is created almost 10x more in the presence of oxygen than it is without oxygen. When we breath in, we are literally breathing in energy- or prana.
Prana = energy
Ayama = control, expansion
Yoga teachers don't always have the opportunity to include a pranayama exercise in a 60 minute vinyasa class, and many practitioners of other lineages aren't introduced to pranyama until they're proficient in a reasonable amount of asanas (physical postures). Sometimes as a student, pranayama can feel a bit shrouded in mystery. So let's discover and utilise this ancient and incredible practice together!
I've started to record short short pranayama practices so these techniques are available and accessible to anyone who might be curious.
Breathing exercises have been studied and proven to reduce stress, anxiety and cortisol (the stress hormone) levels. Like I mention in these videos, I utilise these practices in my yoga practice- but I also notice myself using them when driving, having difficult conversations or really concentrating on a task. Seriously! Pranayama is such a valuable tool for life.
Please note that people with hypertension should give ujjayi pranayama a miss. Think about starting with a few rounds of pranayama, and increasing the amount of time you spend practicing pranayama techniques slowly day by day. Don't ever force your breath, and to not push through any feelings of light headedness or dizziness. It's always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning any new exercises or movement regimes.
I'd love you know how you feel, stay tuned for new updates of this pranayama series on my YouTube channel.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic I have lost my job of teaching in person. My classes a free for anyone to use, but if you are in a position to do so and feel so inclined, you are welcome to pay as you feel for my classes. You can securely send a donation via PayPal at https://paypal.me/emiliefincheryoga