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360 Yoga Breathing Techniques: Pranayama

Learning Pranayama, Yoga Breathing Techniques will provide you with the greatest, most powerful health benefits of Hatha Yoga practice. If you're new to this site, welcome. You've been guided to a unique online home designed to inspire individuals like you, dear reader, a seeker on the path to enlightenment. About this author

Learn Pranayama "3 Part Breath" Conscious, Deep Breathing Exercises

These healing meditation methods will quite frankly, change your life. It's what I call: "Doing a 360" (three-sixty). Click the button (left) that says, What is 360? to learn about my philosophy based on the ground-breaking 'circular' work of Professor Joseph Campbell's "Hero's Journey." If you'd like to learn more about him--I highly encourage it. Link takes you to a quality links page. Scroll to JCF (Joseph Campbell Foundation site). Once there, click on Bliss Stories. Currently they have one of mine included entitled, "Doing a 360." Joseph Campbell Link

Okay...back into hatha yoga, and our specific topic: Yoga Breathing Techniques. Just below on this page I've downloaded one of my most recent articles on Pranayama, explaining some fundamentals of yoga breathing techniques practiced for 35 years as a student in the ancient art and science of yoga. If you're already into hatha yoga--great! If not, great, also. As a spiritual life coach for decades teaching thousands, I'm delighted to share with you a gift of various healing meditation methods at this site. You're invited to visit often since it's constantly updated with 360 treasures to help on your journey to wholeness.

This (yoga breathing techniques) article has been published 2008 in Dayspring, the official international newsletter for The Alliance of Divine Love Ministry (ADL), so therefore it's ©copyrighted. Remember the importance of good karma. As I always say in the spirit of 360: What goes around...comes around. Please don't copy, print or use without permission. Thank you very much. Enjoy.

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One of the most powerful health benefits of hatha yoga practice:
Learning Pranayama

yoga breathing techniques photo from Rev Nancy's collection (photo of the author) Kapalabhati, one of many yoga breathing techniques, you may see that I'm holding the breath in, which generates prana (life force).

(From a series of articles on healing meditation methods and yoga breathing techniques called Sacred Spherical Strategies for Optimal Living).

Doing a 360°
Sacred Spherical Strategies for Optimal Living
By Rev. Nancy Ash, E-RYT

Breathing. Most of us take it for granted, don’t we? It’s something we do every moment, every day of our lives. We can go weeks without food, days without water...but only minutes without vital air.

This month’s 360° Sacred Spherical Strategy is incorporating breath awareness into our daily experience by practicing the art and science of pranayama. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word comprised of prana, which means life force or breath, and yama, which translates as restraint and extension—hinting at the goal of control or regulation. The ancient yoga system taught that retaining breath, and manipulating it with various methods, prolongs life by rejuvenating the “life force” or prana.

Breath is not prana; prana is in breath. Pranayama is the fourth limb of the eightfold path of Yoga taught by the Indian Patanjali. Although very little is actually known about him, generally historians agree that he composed the famous Yoga Sutra in the second century CE. He codified yogic knowledge in a way that gave it philosophical weight, allowing it to compete with contemporary systems of the day...to our present moment. Because of Patanjali, who was obviously an adept in yoga practices, we have vital guidelines to this powerful healing discipline with an ultimate purpose to tame or quiet the mind. As I have written before, it’s a portal to the Soul’s conscious awareness of ITSELF.

As an aspiring yogini up at 5am for an hour of vigorous pranayamas before morning meditation, it is quite frankly—powerful! According to hatha yoga, pranayama is the main technique to raise the kundalini (serpent power) from the base of the central channel (sushumna nadi) up to the brain. There are many types of breathing exercises: Way too many to cover in this brief article, however, simple basic pranayama properly executed has curative value, and most certainly worth investigating further. Donna Farhi’s The Breathing Book, is an excellent beginner’s publication, as well as many others you’ll find on the shelves at your local bookstore or library.

Besides the basic pranayama that I call “conscious breathing,” or diaphragmatic breathing, there is a very unusual one that I thought I’d share with you especially since it’s July, and therefore...well...hot! Its called shitali, meaning “cooling”; pronounced shee-tahl-ee. Known to actually cool the body, I can tell you it really works. Just gently curl your extended tongue and inhale slowly until your lungs are comfortably full, retain the breath a moment, and then exhale through both nostrils. You’ll feel the cool air going into your mouth. A few quiet minutes of this pranayama and you’ll be fresh, relaxed and much cooler. Try it the next time you’re out feeling uncomfortably warm—you’ll be amazed.

Yours in the Greatest Degree of Love, Nancy

Rev. Nancy Ash, E-RYT is an ADL Ministerial Trainer, and long-time practitioner of hatha yoga and dzogchen. She writes and teaches from foothills of the Sandia Mtns. in New Mexico

Thank you for visiting today. I trust you enjoyed learning about yoga breathing techniques which are called pranayama. Write if you have a question. Heartfelt Blessings with love, Sanskrit OM Symbol

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