Pranayama refers to breathing exercises and the practice of controlling the breath, which is the source of our prana, or life force/energy.
The aim of Pranayama is to strengthen the connection between your body and mind. There are many Pranayama which have different benefits, including calming and de-stressing, helping to focus the mind and concentrate, and also to help relax and sleep. Focusing on the breath is an important part of yoga and Pranayama is taught during the Pearl Yoga Ireland classes.
Simple Pranayama breathing exercise:
Rest your hands lightly on your abdomen.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in, allowing your abdomen to expand as you do so.
Slowly release the breath out and notice how the abdomen area contracts.
Repeat this noticing the movement in your body as you breathe in and out.
You can do this for as long as feels comfortable, noticing if the mind gets distracted at any stage or if you can keep the focus on the movement of your breath.
Short video to practice on Nadi Shodhana Pranayama:
Nadi shodhana pranayama is the alternative nostril breathing exercise. This can help to calm the mind and cleanse the nadis, the subtle energy channels. This 2 minute video guides you through the exercise which can be practised any time of the day.
If you’re interested in practising more pranayama breathing exercises, check out details about our classes here.