The Power of Pranayama

Pranayama can be defined as the regulation of breath through certain techniques and exercises. It has been practiced for centuries throughout India as a tool to elevate consciousness and align with radiant health.

Pranayama is like a potion that quickly and drastically soothes the nervous system, regulates the body's internal systems, and quiets the mind. Pranayama is a technique that is available and accessible to anyone and everyone. There
are a variety of styles and exercises to choose from- some practices focus more on relaxing and soothing the body, while others build heat, energy, and focus.

Read on as I share a few of my favorite Pranayama techniques and how they can help you find peace, healing, and vitality.

Box Breathing:
Box breathing is a simple way to calm an overactive mind and tune into your body. It can be done anytime of day or anywhere (just not driving!)
To begin, take 3 deep cleansing breaths.

Then, Inhale for 4 counts, hold the breath at the top for 4 counts, and Exhale for 4 counts, hold the breath at the bottom for 4 counts. Repeat this 4 times. If you are feeling good here, you can increase to a count of 6, and so on. Practice and repeat as many times as you’d like, or until you are feeling calm and relaxed.

Ratio Breathing:
Ratio breathing is another potent way to instantly soothe the nervous system and calm the mind. Ratio breathing will relax you, but it is also common to feel a greater sense of clarity and energy after this practice.
To begin, take 3 deep cleansing breaths.

Then, Inhale for 3 counts, hold for 1-2 counts at the top, and Exhale for 6 counts. Repeat this sequence at least 4 times. The key to ratio breath is doubling the length of the inhale on the exhale breath. Feel free to increase your ratio as your lungs grow stronger to 4/1/8 or even to 5/1/10.

Kapalabhati Breathing:
Kapalabhati breath is an invigorating, heat building, and purifying technique that will enliven your mind, body and spirit. It is recommended to practice this in the morning as it will powerfully energize you. This style of pranayama is also known as Breath of Fire. Please note that this technique is NOT recommended if you are pregnant, menstruating, have high blood pressure, or heart disease. Slow down or stop if you begin to feel dizzy.
To begin, take 3 deep cleansing breaths.

Then inhale deeply and fully into the low belly, and begin rapidly and repeatedly exhaling through the nose. This exhale should sound “choppy” and last about 1 second per exhale. Take about 10 consecutive quick exhales through the nose and pause. Feel the heat building in the abdomen and the mind and body awakening. Take another full inhale, and repeat the quick and continual exhales.
Repeat 1-3 times and enjoy the feeling of radiant vitality flowing through you!

There is something for everyone in the world of breathwork. It is important to explore your needs and find practices that honor and support you. Be curious, be open, and just breathe!