Breathing techniques known as pranayama are central to yoga practice. They are many and various can be used in a myriad of ways – such as to promote calm, to invigorate, to support meditation and as a central part of asana (posture) practice.
For today’s Blog I want to go right back to basics – to the very start of any breathing practice that will just simply connect us with our breath and to ourselves.
I always start my classes with this very simple technique as it provides a symbolic start to our practice as well as easing away any stresses any strains that people may arrive with. This breath can be practised anywhere – in any position – sitting, laying down or even standing. It is nice to close the eyes which helps to bring the focus inwards.
“Start by finding a comfortable position and if you are happy too then gently close your eyes. Begin to relax and just bring your attention solely to this moment. As you do so become aware of your breath as it flows in and out of your body – you are not forcing anything just simply breathing, observing the simple ebb and flow of the air in and out of your lungs.
After a few gentle breaths place your right hand on your stomach and your left hand the centre of your chest (heart centre) Feel your palms connect with your body and in doing so also feel the movement of your stomach and chest as they rise and fall with the breath. Relax into this moment, feel the breath and heart rate start to slow. Continue to focus on on the gently rise and fall of the breath as you feel the outside world melt away.
There is only this moment. This moment is your breath. Your are in the moment.
You are the moment – calm, centred, relaxed.”