Video:How to Practice Pranayamawith Eileen Muir
Practice pranayama in order to control your breathing as a relaxation and meditation technique. Here are some tips on how to practice pranayama.See Transcript
Transcript:How to Practice PranayamaHello, I'm Eileen Muir for About.com, and I'm here today to speak with you about Pranayama.
Pranayama basically means the science of breath control. Prana is the vital life force, and yama is control. Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eightfold path of yoga. Ideally, one would learn Asana before learning the steps of Pranayama.
Learn Proper Shavasana to Practice PranayamaThe various stages of Pranayama begin with first of all, learning how to relax properly with shavasana. Shavasana would be raised slightly with blankets as opposed to lying flat on the ground to relax completely. So it requires that the chest and the vessel of the body is open to receive the life force of the breath.
But first of all, as I said, you learn to relax. You would lie here and do normal breath awareness, talking through different parts of the body to relax.
Focus on Exhaling to Practice PranayamaThen second of all, you learn to focus on the exhalation part of the breath cycle. And that brings us in contact with the energy of the abdomen, which is called Apana Vayu, and that breath is what allows us to relax.
It also deals with digestive processes, and it deals with releasing and surrender. So you take a normal inhalation, and as you exhale, the abdomen sort of flattens out out and broadens the sides.
Focus the Inhalation to Practice PranayamaAnd then third, you learn how to focus on the inhalation, and then the next step, you learn how to put the inhalation and exhalation together. So the inhalation basically takes place in the ribcage, and the abdomen is relatively uninvolved.
So we start with broadening the ribcage, and beginning the inhalation at the bottom of the ribs. So you take one normal inhale, and one normal exhale, and then you begin. And then back to normal breathing.
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