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Breathing Techniques

A Y U R V E D A + S E L F C A R E

According to Ayurveda, Prana is the bridge between the body, mind, and consciousness. It is the constant movement of awareness and carries this awareness to the object of our perception, which is called attention. The internal movement of Prana is the movement of sensation, thought, feeling, and emotion. Prana and mind are deeply connected.

Pranayama is the intimate relationship between breathing and mental activity. “Ayam” means ‘to control’ and “Prana” means ‘to breathe’. By controlling the breath, we can control mental activity.

Breathing through the left nostril activates the right hemisphere of the brain while breathing through the right nostril activates the left hemisphere. Ancient rishis (Vedic seers) discovered
that balancing these energies is the secret of pranayama. When these energies are balanced, the neutral energy is awakened and one experiences pure awareness. The mind becomes controlled.
The following are breathing techniques that can be done virtually anywhere:

Alternate Nostril Pranayama

  • Sit comfortably with your postureerect, keeping your spinestraightened.
  • Close the right nostril with your right thumb, and inhale through the left nostril.
  • After inhaling, hold your breath for just a moment.
  • Exhale through your right nostril while closing the left nostril with your ring finger.
  • Repeat steps but start with inhaling through the right nostril (while you close the left nostril with your ring and little finger).

Humming Breath (Bhramari Pranayama)

  • On inhalation, lightly touch the tongue to the roof of the mouth.
  • On exhalation, make a humming sound — long and low. Be sure your teeth are not clenched during the inhalations and exhalations.
  • Repeat for ten cycles.

This type of breathing technique improves the melodiousness of the voice and the humming vibrates the nervous system, offering itself as a form of sound therapy for the brain. It is also beneficial to the thyroid, thymus, and parathyroid glands.

Living in accordance with nature and natural law means continually balancing our inner ecology by adjusting to our ever-changing environment.