Breathing Awareness is important during your yoga practice. However, pranayama has been neglected by both yoga students and teachers.
People pay much attention to asana, and forget that pranayama is also important.
Give it a chance and you would see how, it will help to transform your yoga meditation practice.
Let us take a close look at some transformation techniques to consider,
Basic breathing awareness
You should start by noticing where you are with your breath. Do you also recognize when and the reason your breath is shallow or what causes it to speed up? This step is truly valuable in creating a stress free atmosphere.
For the sake of practice, try to breath through your nose. Pay attention to the inhalation and exhalation. Which of them happens faster? In addition, which one is longer? Do not try to manipulate them.
This is a classic pranayama practice. It is recognized for its soft and soothing sound that is like a breaking ocean wave.
It can help to further enhance the relaxation response, produced by slow breathing.
Ujjay is most commonly understood to be practiced with exhalations thought both nostrils.
This makes it a very suitable pranayama for practicing during asanas (yoga postures), while walking or even just lying down.
The name Ujjay implies “with sound”. Most importantly it means “to lead one to success”
How to execute it?
Sit in padmasana (lotus seating’s position) or any comfortable way.
Inhale from both nostrils gradually.
Fill the air only from the heart chakra to the throat chakra.
Perform kumbhaka (breath retention) up to your capacity.
Slightly close the glottis while performing exhalation.
Ujjay stimulates the throat area and the parasympathetic system.
This is the area of the vishuddhi chakra, where our silents thought and intentions became vocalised.
Ujjay cultivates sweetness of the voice and calmness of the mind.
We are more likely to say the right thing when we are calm, and we are more likely to succeed when we say the right thing.
To practice breathing awareness , just try to focus on your breathing while you practice your asana.
Your inhalation should be done through your nose, then open your mouth and slowly exhale.
During your exhalation, you will make a “HA” sound. Do this a few times and then close your mouth.
The back of your throat should be kept the same way you made the “HA” sound, as you gently exhale through your nose.
Alternate Nostril Breathing Awareness
This is simply the practice that occurs between the right and the left nostril. It takes place as you inhale and exhale.
In addition, as you carry out this action, it helps to unblock, as well as purify the nadis, which in the believe of yoga, are energy passages that carries life force as well as cosmic energy through our body.
If you inhale fully and then wait for a period of about 10 seconds, you will automatically be able to inhale a bit more.
The reason is because, holding your breath, will help to increase the pressure that is inside the lungs and in addition, give them time to expand fully, thus increasing their capacity.
Due to this, the blood that originally travels to areas like your heart, brain, as well as muscles, will be more oxygenated.
Breath of fire
This rapid breathing awareness technique that you perform, is quite energizing.
It will help to activate your sympathetic nervous system.
This breathing awareness technique called the “breath of fire” is not a good idea for people who are under stress.
However, you should work with your teacher, to execute this breathing awareness technique properly.