Archive for the ‘Pranayama (Breath Control)’ Category

Nervous about beginning a Meditation Practice?

March 5, 2013

BreatheI have a high-strung friend who messaged me recently. He was looking for ways to relax and let go.

He, like a lot of people find the thought of MEDITATING intimidating, but actually, most people are doing mini meditations all the time.

Think about when you are angry, do you count to ten? – meditation.
Do you count sheep to take your mid off of things so you can sleep? – meditation
Maybe you take a walk or ride a bike, these things can also be meditative

There is no reason to be scared, meditation is for everyone. Anyone can do it.

I started him off with one of my favorite meditations:  Easy Self Guided Bareh Count Down Meditation.

I do this one constantly. It’s easy to remember and simple enough to do it anywhere, anytime.

Learn More about MEDITATION, Click HERE
LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.
Dhyana-Perfect Contemplation

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Sun Flower Breath

March 30, 2012

I like to use this Active Breath as an energizer when I need a little lift or following a warm up in yoga.

SUNFLOWER BREATH

Take a nice wide stance (Feet 3-4 feet or so apart)
Turn toes out slightly
INHALE circle your arms up over your head
EXHALE circle your arms down and bend forward
I like to allow my fingertips to brush the mat
INHALE reverse swan dive up, arms over head
EXHALE fold forward circle your hands to the mat
Repeat several times.

You can do this active breath fast or slow; you can make these movements large or small.

Variation 1:  Bend your knees and you bend forward
Variation 2:  Just move your arms with your breath omit the forward fold)

LEARN MORE Yoga Energizers HERE

LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.

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Easy Self Guided Bareh Count Down Meditation

November 8, 2011

Bareh (बारह) is 12 in Hindi .

This is a great relaxation technique to do when ever you are stressed.  It’s perfect for unwinding after a long day.  It can help keep anger in check (think counting to ten).  It’s a perfect meditation to do when you can’t sleep (think counting sheep).

Come to a comfortable seated pose or corpse pose
Settle in, close your eyes and begin to take a few slow deep breaths.
When you are ready to begin…

  • Take a long slow deep breath in,
  • as you exhale, relax and release mentally say 12.
  • Inhale once again,
  • as you exhale, relax and release a little bit further,  mentally say 11.

Continue on in this way slowly counting backwards, relaxing and releasing with each breath out.

If you find that you reach zero and your mind or body are still racing, begin again at 12.

Learn More about MEDITATION, Click HERE

LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.

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4-7-8 Breath: Get what you want with powerful Pranayama.

August 4, 2011

4-7-8 Breath
Do no more than two round of 7 of these breaths per day.
You can do this breath anywhere anytime.
I like to practice breathing exercises while I’m driving or waiting for my computer to warm up.

Set an intention.

  • I am happy and content
  • My income is constantly increasing
  • I am fully engaged in the present moment

You can practice Pranayama in any body position.  Today, however, we will begin in a comfortable seated asana.

Come to Easy, Half Lotus or Lotus Pose.

Sit up nice and tall, good contact with your sits bones.

Settle in, close your eyes and begin to take a few soft full deep breaths.

Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
Find the area behind your teeth and before the bump on the roof of your mouth.
*Press your tongue onto this area for the entire breath cycle.

*Inhale through your nose for a count of FOUR

*Hold your Breath in for a count of SEVEN

*Exhale through your MOUTH (tongue on the roof of your mouth) for a count of EIGHT

*Repeat above for up to 7 cycles, up to twice a day.

LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.

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Centering to Begin your Yoga Practice

February 11, 2011

Come to a Comfortable Position:  Seated  (Easy, Half Lotus, Lotus Position), Laying back in Corpse Pose, Standing in Mountain Pose (Tadasana) or Child’s Pose (Balasana).

Settle in, Close your Eyes and begin to take a few slow, full deep breaths.

When you are ready, begin to transition to Dirga Pranayama

Inhale and exhale through your nose.

Fill your Belly Ribs and Chest with Air on the Inhale.

Allow your Chest, Ribs and Belly to contract on the Exhale.

Begin to let everything from the outside world slip away.

Give yourself permission to be present here in this space and this time.

After a few Minutes set an Intention or Affirmation for your Practice.

LEARN MORE Pranayama (Breath Control) HERE.

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Kapalabhati Pranayama: Breath of Fire, Cleansing Breath, Bellows Breath, Skull Polishing Breath

November 24, 2010

Breath of Fire

Kapalabhati Pranayama (kah-pah-lah-BAH-tee)
kapala = skull
; bhati = light (perception, knowledge)
Breath of Fire, Cleansing Breath, Bellows Breath, Skull Polishing Breath

Kapalabhati Pranayama or the Breath of Fire is a great cleansing breath that brings energy into your life.  This breath is also said to aid in digestion and weight loss.

**Stop this breath immediately if you begin to feel nauseous or lightheaded.**
This breath is not recommended for pregnant women.

Kapalabhati Pranayama is a breath in which we churn the belly on the exhale with powerful contractions:

Begin with a nice deep full breath in and a nice full exhale releasing all of the air from your body.

Then, Inhale fully one again…

Breath our and pump the belly in short explosive exhales.  Try for 9 pumps
to one inhale.

Try a few rounds slowly building up cycles over time.

Resume normal breathing when you have completed the Breath of Fire.

CLICK HERE for more Pranayama Exercises

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Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma )

September 20, 2010

Alternate Nostril Breathing: (Nadi Shodhana or Anuloma Viloma )

Without know it, our natural breathing alternates from one nostril to the next.  We breathe through one nostril for about 2 hours, then we breath through the other nostril for around 2 hours and we continue on in this way.

The Right Nostril is considered Masculine; it controls energy, heat, force and competition

The Left Nostril is Feminine; it controls nurturing, calming and coolness.

Alternate Nostril Breathing is a technique in which you inhale through one nostril, and exhale through the opposite nostril.

This technique helps direct Prana (energy).  Alternating your breathing nostrils helps to bring balance to your life.  By soothing the nervous system, you become more relaxed and sleeping improves.  Practicing Nadi Shodhana is a great way to prepare for meditation.

How to Practice Nadi Shodhana

Come to a comfortable seated position

Begin to notice your breath

Begin with a few rounds of Dirga Pranayama (Three Part Breath)

When you are ready to begin, choose your hand position*.

Close your eyes.

Close your Left Nostril and Inhale through your Right Nostril

Switch Nostrils and Exhale through your Left Nostril (Right nostril is now closed)

Inhale through your Left Nostril (Switch fingers closing your left nostril and opening your right)

Exhale through your Right Nostril

This equals one round.  Try to repeat 6 more times for a total of 7 rounds.

IN-R, EX-L

IN-L, EX-R

After all seven rounds are complete, return to normal breathing.

*Mudras for Alternate Nostril Breathing

Vishnu Mudra:  use your right hand.  Right thumb holds right nostril closed, curled index and middle finger controls the left nostril.

I prefer to use a third eye mudra.  With your right hand, place your index and middle finger together on your third eye (Ajna chakra, the place between and slightly above your eyebrows).  Right thumb controls the right nostril, and the bent ring and pinky fingers control the Left nostril.

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Dirga Pranayama (Three Part Breath or Complete Breath)

April 13, 2010

Pranayama (Breath Control): use your breath to control the flow of energy in the body and mind.  Any time you concentrate on your breath, you are doing yoga!

Dirga Pranayama (Three Part Breath or Complete Breath)

The Dirga or Complete Breath is a basic breathing technique that can be easily mastered and used all throughout your day, both on and off the yoga mat.  Although the Dirga Breath is sometimes called the three part breath, it is to be done with a smooth continuous flow of air into the body on the inhale and a smooth continuous release of the breath on the exhale.

How to do the Dirga Breath

Sit up straight or lay back

Begin to notice your breath

Inhale and exhale through your nose

Filling your belly, ribs and chest with air on the inhale

Allowing your chest, ribs and belly to relax on the exhale.

You can gently place your hands on your belly, fingertips touching

As you inhale, filling your belly, ribs and chest with air, feel your fingers separate.

As you exhale, allow your chest, ribs and belly to relax.  Your fingertips come back together

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Cool Down with this Yoga Breathing Technique!

April 7, 2010

Pranayama (Breath Control) use your breath to controlthe flow of energy in the body and mind.  Any time you concentrate on your breath, you are doing yoga!

Sheetali Pranayama (Cooling Breath)

The Sheetali Breath is cooling for the body and mind.  This breath works well for reducing body temperature, and improving mood.  It reduces stress and can calm hunger and thirst.

How to do the Sheetali Breath

Sit in any comfortable Meditation Posture

Roll your tongue into a Staw-Like tube (sides come up and together)

Inhale, drawing air through your tongue like sipping through a straw
(try for a count of 4)

Release your tongue (to a normal position)

Close your mouth

Exhale through your nose (try for a count of 4)

Breath should not be forced.

Repeat 7 rounds, increasing rounds and length of inhales and exhales over time.

*This breath should be avoided if pregnant, suffering any respiratory conditions, or low blood pressure.  If you feel dizzy or light headed, stop Pranayama and resume normal breathing.

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