Pranayama, like yoga, is best understood through practice, versus the study of theory. It is best approached with gradually introduced exercises from simple to complex. . The eight limbs of yoga as written by Patanjali, Pranayama evolves from the practice of asana, while building toward meditation. One of the important aspects of asana practice is awareness of the breath and following it. This class will attempt to develop that awareness using both asana and mudra so that by viewing and feeling the breath one understands the actual breath. This will aid in transitioning the focus from the outward practice to the inner practice.
We try to improve breathing patterns by strengthening the muscles that allow easier breathing while loosening muscles that constrict the breath. This will lead to an understanding of how the breath moves in the body, how it changes, how it can be guided, and especially how limited our breathing may be, often using less than our full lung capacity. In fact, we often “work too hard” resulting in breathing less rather than more, while using a great deal of effort.
These classes are an attempt to “unfold the breath” from a mental conception into an understanding of the breath and then evolving into Pranayama practice leading toward meditation.