Better Breathing Techniques (Pranayama)

Relieve Stress & Food Cravings
Reduce Insomnia

These natural breathing techniques help to balance and nourish the field of energy, transformation and intelligence commonly known as your “Body / Mind”.

Food Cravings – Practiced throughout the day, these techniques can balance your body and mind which helps develop a more balanced relationship with food.  Pranayama can energize, relax and soothe you without the need to comfort yourself with food.

Sleep Support – Practice these techniques prior to laying down for sleep to help calm your mind, your nervous system, and to help release the energies of the day after Recapitulation (non-judgemental review of the day).

Soothing Breath (Ujjayi)

Kapha imbalances commonly occur as the result of holding on to toxic thoughts and emotions that no longer serve us.  Stress can be a strong contributing factor to weight gain, therefore it is important to practice breathing techniques that are soothing and relaxing to the mind in addition to techniques that boost metabolism.  When we release stored emotional toxins, such as stress through the ancient purification practice of pranayama, we free ourselves of toxic ideas and thoughts about food which strengthens our ability to make healthy, informed food choices.

The soothing breath technique known as Ujjayi can be used to settle your mind and body when you are feeling stressed, frustrated, or irritated. When performed correctly it creates a cooling effect at the back of the throat and has a stabilizing influence on the cardio-respiratory system.

Practice:
  1. Take a slightly deeper than normal inhalation.
  2. On the exhalation, slightly constrict your throat muscles so it sounds as if you are snoring.
  3. Breath out through your nose with your mouth closed.
    • Another way to get the hang of this practice is to first exhale, “Haaah” with your mouth open. Now, make a similar motion with your mouth closed. This will result in the desired breathy snoring sound.
    • Once you have mastered it on the outflow, perform the same procedure on inflow. The result is that you sound a little like Darth Vader from Star Wars.

When you find yourself becoming aggravated or upset, shift into Ujjayi breath and you will notice a prompt soothing influence. You can also use this when performing yoga postures and while exercising at a moderate level. Practicing this soothing breath technique will reduce wear and tear on your physiology and slow aging.

Relaxing Breath (Nadi Shodhana)

You can calm your mind with the breathing technique known as Nadi Shodhana. In English this means, “clearing the channels”, or “victorious breath”.  Nadi Shodhana is very beneficial when you are having a lot of anxious thoughts, and when you are trying to quiet your mind.

Practice:

This requires the use of your (right) hand to alternately close your right, then left nostril. Prepare by holding your hand so your thumb, index finger and remaining fingers are separated. Your thumb will close your right nostril and your third and fourth finger will close your left.

  1. Take in a slow, moderately deep breath.
  2. Close off your right nasal passage with your thumb.
  3. Exhale slowly through your left nostril.
  4. Then inhale slowly through your left nostril.
  5. Close off your left nostril with your third and fourth fingers.
  6. Exhale through your right nostril.
  7. Then inhale through your right nostril.
  8. Close your right nasal passage, and exhale through your left.
  9. Continue with this pattern for five to ten minutes alternating the nostril after each inhalation.
  10. After just a few cycles you will experience your mind calming and your body relaxing.