What is it? Why do it?
Pranayama is a Sanskrit word meaning the “regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises”, AKA breathwork.
When we manipulate our breath with a specific intention the benefits are endless! We breathe every day, yet how often are we mindful of the fact that we are breathing? It’s safe to say someone reading this may have never even thought of the concept of changing their breath. Raise your hand if you are now focusing on your breath!
Some of my personal favorite pranayama practices are Breath of Fire, 4 count breath, complete yogic breath, Ujayii, Bramarhi, and Nadi Śodhana. Each has its own unique benefits. Some common benefits of Pranayama include lowering heart rate, calming the nervous system, regulating sleep patterns, and boosting energy-depending on which practice you use.
Here is one you can do now:
4 count breath
🌸Breathe in to a count of 4
✨Hold the breath in for a count of 4
🌬Breathe out for a count of 4
💎Hold empty for a count of 4
Set a timer for 3 minutes or put on a song that makes you feel calm and practice this breath. It helps with soothing the nervous system, steadying the heart, and quieting the mind.
Practice before an important conversation or meeting and see how you can show up with more clarity.
Practice every day for a week and observe the effects.
Sit in Sukhasana, easy seat with the spine upright and shoulders drawing down the back. Place the left hand, palm facing upwards, on the left knee. On the right hand, curl the pinky and ring fingers towards the center of the palm then place them on the left nostril, extend the middle finger and pointer finger and place them between the eyebrows, and use the thumb to rest on the right nostril.
Start with an inhale through the left nostril, closing off the right nostril with the thumb.
Briefly pause at the top of the inhale then close off the left nostril with the pinky and ring fingers while you exhale through the right nostril.
Right away breathe in through the right nostril, exhale through the left.
Breathe in through the left, exhale through the right, breathe in through the right, breathe out through the left. Keep repeating this.
Once you get comfortable with that, continue the practice only now: breathe in for a count of 3
hold the breath at the top for a count of 1,
exhale through the opposite nostril for a count of 6 (you can change the count, just have the exhale be twice as long as the inhale)
breathe in through that same nostril for a 3 count
hold for 1
exhale through the first nostril (left) for a count of 6
That is one round.
Before you begin, set a timer for at least three minutes. Enjoy!!! After you complete your practice be sure to notice the effect it had on your mental/emotional/physical state.
Benefits of Nadi śodhana:
•Balances the nervous system as well as the cardiovascular system
•improves lung function
•lowers heart rate
•brings more peace
Practice pranayama daily to have a clear mind and a joyful life!!
Love and blessings,