- 29 Sep
October Theme: Pranayama
The October theme of the month is the 4th Limb of Patanjali’s Ashtanga Yoga—Pranayama.
Prana is the vital force that animates the body, enlivening it with motion, intelligence, radiance, transformation and artistry. Though closely associated with the air we breathe in, Prana is subtler than air. Rather, air is the medium through which we absorb Prana into our being. This Prana is introduced into our being through breath, and upon entering our being it courses through invisible channels called nadis ( a concept similar to the Chinese meridians), that crisscross our being. The science of Yoga informs us that we human beings possess 72,000 nadis.
Pranayama is the science of breath control. Breath is intricately connected to the mind and emotions. When one is calm the breath is deep and slow. When one is tense, anxious, angry or fearful the breath is either, held, irregular, short or difficult. Therefore by changing your breathing pattern you can regulate your emotions and feel calm. Careful regulation of Prana, through a series of spiritually determined and scientifically validated sequences of inhalation, exhalation, and retention, maximizes Prana absorption, retention and application in healing the body and mind.
Some of the Pranayama techniques outlined in The Hatha Yoga Pradipika that you can expect to do this month are: Kappalabhati (shining forehead), Nadi Shodana (alternate nostril breathing), Ujjayi (victory breath), Surya Bhedana (sun piercing), Chandra Bhedana (moon piercing), Sitali (cooling), and Bhramari (black bee.)
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