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connie c.
Nov 16, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Congratulations, You Have Reached the End of the Pranayama, Breath & Balance Community's Program! Although this is the end of the Community's no-cost program, Pranayama, Breath & Balance, feel free to create relative posts regarding pranayama, breath & balance or join the conversations of existing posts. Thanks for your interest and for being a part of the ISA Community!
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connie c.
Nov 16, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Kapalbhati/Skull Shining Breath for Motivation About the Above Image: For clarity and more advantageously, breath practice would be conducted on a flat, sturdy surface, such as the floor or a chair. This image is mainly to offer an excellent example of clasped hands with open palms. For introduction's sake, Kapalbhati/Skull Shining Breath was included because it offers the example of a practice for motivation. Continue reading to find out more. Breath Practice Considerations This is an introduction to Beginners' Pranayama, Breath & Balance of Kapalbhati/Skull Shining Breath for motivation. Keep in mind, the following practices are for general informational purposes. In order to experience a more defined scope of what may work best for you as an individual, it may require more external research outside of this community or by visiting a guide in your local environment for in-person experiences before conducting at home. Some individuals feel comfortable conducting breath practice at home from the very beginning. Be sure to take into account your state of health or condition before breath practice, and always refer to your licensed healthcare provider if you have existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, or you experience abnormal discomfort while conducting breath practices. In my experience, it has been recommended that breath practice should not be conducted exactly after eating a meal, Assisting Inner Balance Through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. Similar to when exercising, if you have eaten, consider waiting a while before conducting breath practice. If you feel that you would like to conduct breath practice at any given time, even exactly after eating a meal, this is solely up to an individual but probably isn't most beneficial. Kapalbhati, Breath Practice for Motivation Kapalbhati is conducted by breathing out forcefully, concentrating on exhalation because inhalation is achieved more naturally with this practice. With breath practice, the discussion of ratios is usually listed, but with this practice, there really are no ratios, or at the most unsimilar to prior breath practices posted in the Community. Exhalations are counted, which are referred to as pumps. For a beginner, they may start with practice by completing 5 pumps/exhalations in which they breathe forcefully through the nostrils. Each pump is a 1-2 count. So, 1 pump would be counted as One-two, the next would be counted as One-two, the third would be counted as One-two, and so on. Meaning on One, that is the forceful exhalation or outward breath, and on two, that is the natural moment of inhalation. As a beginner, it's beneficial to begin with 5 Pumps/Exhalations and gradually extend practice if that's within individual comfortableness. Always pay attention to the body's response to avoid overexertion and abnormal discomfort. Kapal means Skull and Bhati means Shining. Breathing practices are known to be extremely efficient in assisting with the support of complementary change in the body and mind. Particularly, Kapalbhati is believed to assist with the removal of mental fatigue, purification of the brain, expelling stale air from the lungs, and improving digestion. The counts below begin with 5 Pumps/Exhalations by breathing out forcefully and allowing the Natural Moment of Inhalation on 2 of the 1-2 count. Then, the following counts extend accordingly. First Round, 5 Pumps/Exhalations Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then a natural breath in: Begin by lightly positioning clasped hands with open palms on the stomach, so they can act as a guide to reasonably press onto the stomach while exhaling pumps of air out of the lungs through the nostrils. 1st Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 2nd Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 3rd Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 4th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 5th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel motivated or energized? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... More Advanced First Round, 10 Pumps/Exhalations Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then a natural breath in: Begin by lightly positioning clasped hands with open palms on the stomach, so they can act as a guide to reasonably press onto the stomach while exhaling pumps of air out of the lungs through the nostrils. 1st Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 2nd Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 3rd Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 4th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 5th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 6th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 7th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 8th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 9th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count 10th Pump on the Count of 1, Natural Moment of Inhalation on the 2 count Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel motivated or energized? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Additional Information Usually, Full Rounds are considered to be around 30 to 50 Pumps for Kapalbhati, Breath Practice for Motivation. Remember, as a beginner, it's beneficial to begin with 5 Pumps/Exhalations and gradually extend practice if that's within individual comfortableness. Always pay attention to the body's response to avoid overexertion and abnormal discomfort. Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer to the beginning of this post for some general considerations regarding breath practice. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. Visit Variances/Differences of Breathing to understand how different each individual's body can be, which will determine adjustments or growth in ratio/duration for breath practice. Now that you have been introduced to the Uttejak or Exciting, Motivational Practice, Kapalbhati/Skull Shining Breath, what are your thoughts? This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Nov 15, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Anulom Vilom/Alternate Nostril Breathing for Calm & Balance Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Vishnu in his Emanation as Narayana Vishnu is one of the principal deities in Hinduism and is known as the preserver and protector of the universe. Vishnu returns to the earth during troubled times and restores the balance of good and evil. Vishnu Mudra, the gesture for universal balance, derives from symbolic, spiritual, or ritual gesturing relative to Hinduism, Jainism, and Buddhism. Mudras have differing significant purposes. Image of Vishnu Mudra Gesture for Practice Breath Practice Considerations This is an introduction to Beginners' Pranayama, Breath & Balance of Anulom Vilom/Alternate Nostril Breathing for calm and balance. Keep in mind, the following practices are for general informational purposes. In order to experience a more defined scope of what may work best for you as an individual, it may require more external research outside of this community or by visiting a guide in your local environment for in-person experiences before conducting at home. Some individuals feel comfortable conducting breath practice at home from the very beginning. Be sure to take into account your state of health or condition before breath practice, and always refer to your licensed healthcare provider if you have existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, or you experience abnormal discomfort while conducting breath practices. In my experience, it has been recommended that breath practice should not be conducted exactly after eating a meal, Assisting Inner Balance Through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. Similar to when exercising, if you have eaten, consider waiting a while before conducting breath practice. If you feel that you would like to conduct breath practice at any given time, even exactly after eating a meal, this is solely up to an individual but probably isn't most beneficial. Avoid forceful inhalations and exhalations with this practice. Breathe with an accommodating, extended pace. Anulom Vilom, Breath Practice for Calm & Balance With breath practice, the discussion of ratios will be listed. Meaning for the following examples, the suggested ratios are the duration of inhalation, hold, and then, the exhalation of the breath. For a beginner, they may start with practice by the ratio of a 4-count inhale, a 4-count hold, and then, an 8-count exhalation (Ratio 1:1:2). Beginning with the completion of three rounds may assist an individual in becoming more familiar and connected with their body. As a beginner, it's beneficial to begin with simpler ratios and gradually extend practice if that's within individual comfortableness. Always pay attention to the body's response to avoid overexertion and abnormal discomfort. Anulom means Rising or Ascending and Vilom means to Descend or Descending. Breathing practices are known to be extremely efficient in assisting with the support of complementary change in the body and mind by calming the nervous system and positively clearing the mind of thought. Particularly, Anulom Vilom's goal is to restore balance to the body and mind by balancing the two hemispheres of the brain and the energies within the body. The ratios below begin by inhaling through one nostril while conducting the Vishnu Mudra gesture, a hold of the breath by closing both nostrils, and lastly, exhaling through one released nostril of the nose in which inhaling and exhaling will alternate with each nostril. Then, the following ratios extend accordingly. Learning to effortlessly alternate nostril breathing requires practice, so don't feel inadequate about any current experiences. First Round, Ratio/Duration a 4 count Inhale, a 4 count Hold, and an 8 count Exhale (Ratio 1:1:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 1. Begin by positioning the right hand into Vishnu Mudra. 2. Gently close the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale through the left nostril for a 4 count. 3. Then, gently apply the other two ending fingers, the ring and pinky fingers to close the other nostril, so both nostrils will be closed for a 4 count hold. 4. Release the right thumb and exhale from the right nostril by an 8 count. Next Round, Ratio/Duration a 4 count Inhale, a 4 count Hold, and an 8 count Exhale (Ratio 1:1:2) 1. Continue positioning the right hand into Vishnu Mudra. 2. Gently keep closed the left nostril with the ring and pinky fingers and inhale through the right nostril for a 4 count. 3. Then, gently apply the thumb to close the right nostril, so both nostrils will be closed for a 4 count hold. 4. Release the ring and pinky fingers and exhale from the left nostril by an 8 count. Last Round, Ratio/Duration a 4 count Inhale, a 4 count Hold, and an 8 count Exhale (Ratio 1:1:2) 1. Continue positioning the right hand into Vishnu Mudra. 2. Gently keep closed the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale through the left nostril for a 4 count. 3. Then, gently apply the other two ending fingers, the ring and pinky fingers to close the left nostril, so both nostrils will be closed for a 4 count hold. 4. Release the right thumb and exhale from the right nostril by an 8 count. Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... More Advanced Ratio/Duration for Anulom Vilom could be the following in the nostril alternating breaths, but only after adequate practice of the prior: First Round, Ratio/Duration a 4 count Inhale, an 8 count Hold, and an 8 count Exhale (Ratio 1:2:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 1. Begin by positioning the right hand into Vishnu Mudra. 2. Gently close the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale through the left nostril for a 4 count. 3. Then, gently apply the other two ending fingers, the ring and pinky fingers to close the other nostril, so both nostrils will be closed for an 8 count hold. 4. Release the right thumb and exhale from the right nostril by an 8 count. Next Round, Ratio/Duration a 4 count Inhale, an 8 count Hold, and an 8 count Exhale (Ratio 1:2:2) 1. Continue positioning the right hand into Vishnu Mudra. 2. Gently keep closed the left nostril with the ring and pinky fingers and inhale through the right nostril for a 4 count. 3. Then, gently apply the thumb to close the right nostril, so both nostrils will be closed for an 8 count hold. 4. Release the ring and pinky fingers and exhale from the left nostril by an 8 count. Last Round, Ratio/Duration a 4 count Inhale, an 8 count Hold, and an 8 count Exhale (Ratio 1:2:2) 1. Continue positioning the right hand into Vishnu Mudra. 2. Gently keep closed the right nostril with the right thumb and inhale through the left nostril for a 4 count. 3. Then, gently apply the other two ending fingers, the ring and pinky fingers to close the left nostril, so both nostrils will be closed for an 8 count hold. 4. Release the right thumb and exhale from the right nostril by an 8 count. Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer to the beginning of this post for some general considerations regarding breath practice. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. Visit Variances/Differences of Breathing to understand how different each individual's body can be, which will determine adjustments or growth in ratio/duration for breath practice. Now that you have been introduced to the Shamvat or Calming & Sampad or Balancing Practice, Anulom Vilom/Alternate Nostril Breathing, what are your thoughts? Note There is a more advanced neighboring practice, which is Anulom Pratilom. Anulom means Rising or Ascending and Pratilom means Breaking the Flow/Prolonged Inhalation. This practice entails Step Breathing and Alternate Nostril Breathing. Anulom Pratilom is categorized as a Shamvat or Calming & Sampad or Balancing Practice. This practice will not be listed in detail with this program but is definitely noteworthy. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Nov 14, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Pratilom Pranayama/Step Breathing for Calm, Pranayama-Part III Pranayama Considerations This is the third part in Beginners' Pranayama, Breath & Balance for actual pranayama. Keep in mind, the following practice is for general informational purposes. In order to experience a more defined scope of what may work best for you as an individual, it may require more external research outside of this community or by visiting a guide in your local environment for in-person experiences before conducting at home. Some individuals feel comfortable conducting pranayama at home from the very beginning. Be sure to take into account your state of health or condition before practice, and always refer to your licensed healthcare provider if you have existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, or you experience abnormal discomfort while conducting practices. In my experience, it has been recommended that practice should not be conducted exactly after eating a meal, Assisting Inner Balance Through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. Similar to when exercising, if you have eaten, consider waiting a while before conducting practice. If you feel that you would like to conduct practice at any given time, even exactly after eating a meal, this is solely up to an individual but probably isn't most beneficial. Pratilom Pranayama, Practice for Calm The third part posted to the Community regarding pranayama is Pratilom Pranayama. This is a more advanced experience of pranayama. With pranayama, the discussion of ratio will be listed. Meaning, for the following example, the suggested ratio is regarding the duration of inhalation and then, the exhalation of the breath. For a beginner, they may start with practice by the ratio of a 4-count inhale in steps and then, an 8-count exhalation. Beginning with the completion of three rounds may assist an individual in becoming more familiar and connected with their body. Always pay attention to the body's response to avoid overexertion and abnormal discomfort. Pratilom means Breaking the Flow/Prolonged Inhalation. Pranayama is ideal for more in-depth practice. The below practice will be more complex than the prior breath practice of Niyantrit Shwas. Pranayama is known to be extremely efficient in assisting with the support of complementary change in the body and mind by calming the nervous system and positively clearing the mind of thought. Particularly, Pratilom Pranayama may not only calm the nervous system and relax the mind, but it also assists with strengthening the lungs and increasing capacity. The ratio below simply begins by inhaling through the nose in steps and then, exhaling through the nose. Avoid forceful inhalations and exhalations with this practice. Breathe with an accommodating, extended pace. Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds (Ratio 1:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 4 count inhale in steps (meaning in steps by 1 in hold, 1 in hold, 1 in hold and lastly, 1 in hold) and then, an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale in steps (meaning in steps by 1 in hold, 1 in hold, 1 in hold and lastly, 1 in hold) and then, an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale in steps (meaning in steps by 1 in hold, 1 in hold, 1 in hold and lastly, 1 in hold) and then, an 8 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer to the beginning of this post for some general considerations regarding pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. Visit Variances/Differences of Breathing to understand how different each individual's body can be, which will determine adjustments or growth in ratio/duration for practice. Now that you have been introduced to the Shamvat or Calming Practice, Pratilom Pranayama, what are your thoughts? This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
Pratilom Pranayama/Step Breathing for Calm, Pranayama-Part III content media
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connie c.
Nov 14, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Anulom Pranayama for Calm, Pranayama-Part II Pranayama Considerations This is the second part in Beginners' Pranayama, Breath & Balance for actual pranayama. Keep in mind, the following practices are for general informational purposes. In order to experience a more defined scope of what may work best for you as an individual, it may require more external research outside of this community or by visiting a guide in your local environment for in-person experiences before conducting at home. Some individuals feel comfortable conducting pranayama at home from the very beginning. Be sure to take into account your state of health or condition before practice, and always refer to your licensed healthcare provider if you have existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, or you experience abnormal discomfort while conducting practices. In my experience, it has been recommended that practice should not be conducted exactly after eating a meal, Assisting Inner Balance Through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. Similar to when exercising, if you have eaten, consider waiting a while before conducting practice. If you feel that you would like to conduct practice at any given time, even exactly after eating a meal, this is solely up to an individual but probably isn't most beneficial. Anulom Pranayama, Practice for Calm The second part posted to the Community regarding pranayama is Anulom Pranayama. This is a more advanced experience of pranayama. With pranayama, the discussion of ratios will be listed. Meaning for the following examples, the suggested ratios will not be equivalent in duration of inhalation, then the hold, and lastly, the exhalation of the breath. For a beginner, they may start with practice by the ratio of a 4-count inhale, a 4-count hold, and lastly, an 8-count exhalation. Beginning with the completion of three rounds may assist an individual in becoming more familiar and connected with their body. As a beginner, it's beneficial to begin with simpler ratios and gradually extend practice if that's within individual comfortableness. Always pay attention to the body's response to avoid overexertion and abnormal discomfort. Anulom means Rising or Ascending. Pranayama is ideal for more in-depth practice. The below practices will be more complex than the prior breath practice of Niyantrit Shwas. Pranayama is known to be extremely efficient in assisting with the support of complementary change in the body and mind by calming the nervous system and positively clearing the mind of thought. The first ratio below simply begins by inhaling through the nose, next, holding of the breath, and lastly, exhaling through the nose in unequal parts or counts. Then, the following ratios extend accordingly. Avoid forceful inhalations and exhalations with this practice. Breathe with an accommodating, extended pace. First Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds (Ratio 1:1:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, and an 8 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Second Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds Ration (1:2:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 4 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, and an 8 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Third Ratio/Duration, 2 Rounds & Then, Advance to 3 Rounds When Prepared (Ratio 1:4:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 4 count inhale, hold for a 16 count, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for a 16 count, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for a 16 count, and an 8 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer to the beginning of this post for some general considerations regarding pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. Visit Variances/Differences of Breathing to understand how different each individual's body can be, which will determine adjustments or growth in ratio/duration for practice. Now that you have been introduced to the Shamvat or Calming Practice, Anulom Pranayama, what are your thoughts? This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
Anulom Pranayama for Calm, Pranayama-Part II content media
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connie c.
Nov 13, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Samvritti Pranayama-Equal Breath, and Boxed Breath for Calm, Pranayama-Part I Pranayama Considerations This is the first introduction to Beginners' Pranayama, Breath & Balance for actual pranayama. Keep in mind, the following practices are for general informational purposes. In order to experience a more defined scope of what may work best for you as an individual, it may require more external research outside of this community or by visiting a guide in your local environment for in-person experiences before conducting at home. Some individuals feel comfortable conducting pranayama at home from the very beginning. Be sure to take into account your state of health or condition before practice, and always refer to your licensed healthcare provider if you have existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, or you experience abnormal discomfort while conducting practices. In my experience, it has been recommended that practice should not be conducted exactly after eating a meal, Assisting Inner Balance Through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. Similar to when exercising, if you have eaten, consider waiting a while before conducting practice. If you feel that you would like to conduct practice at any given time, even exactly after eating a meal, this is solely up to an individual but probably isn't most beneficial. Samvritti Pranayama, Practice for Calm The first introduction to the Community regarding pranayama is Samvritti Pranayama. This is a more simplistic start to pranayama. With pranayama, the discussion of ratios will be listed. Meaning for the following examples, classically, the suggested ratios for equal breathing are the duration of inhalation, then the hold, and lastly, the exhalation of the breath in equal parts. For a beginner, they may start with practice by the ratio of a 4-count inhale, hold for a 4-count, and lastly, a 4-count exhalation (Ratio 1:1:1). Meaning that there will be an equal count for every action, such as in the prior sentence, a 4-count inhale, a 4-count hold of the breath, and a 4-count exhalation. Beginning with the completion of three rounds may assist an individual in becoming more familiar and connected with their body. As a beginner, it's beneficial to begin with simpler ratios and gradually extend practice if that's within individual comfortableness. Always pay attention to the body's response to avoid overexertion and abnormal discomfort. Sam means Balance, Equal (Sama means "Well-maintained or Regular") and Vritti in yoga refers to An Individual's Mind (Balancing the Mind). Pranayama is ideal for more in-depth practice. The below practices will be more complex than the prior breath practice of Niyantrit Shwas. Pranayama is known to be extremely efficient in assisting with the support of complementary change in the body and mind by calming the nervous system and positively clearing the mind of thought. The first ratio below simply begins by inhaling through the nose, next, holding of the breath, and lastly, exhaling through the nose in equal parts or counts. Then, the following ratios extend accordingly. There's also more advanced box breathing, which consists of an inhale, hold, exhale, and lastly, a hold in equal parts or counts. Avoid forceful inhalations and exhalations with this practice. Breathe with an accommodating, extended pace. Classical Samvritti Pranayama, Equal Breaths, Practice for Calm (Ratio 1:1:1) First Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, and a 4 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, and a 4 count exhale 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, and a 4 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Second Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 6 count inhale, hold for a 6 count, and a 6 count exhale 6 count inhale, hold for a 6 count, and a 6 count exhale 6 count inhale, hold for a 6 count, and a 6 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Third Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 8 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, and an 8 count exhale 8 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, and an 8 count exhale 8 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, and an 8 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Box Breath (Advanced), Practice for Calm (Ratio 1:1:1:1) First Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, a 4 count exhale, and lastly, 4 count hold 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, a 4 count exhale, and lastly, 4 count hold 4 count inhale, hold for a 4 count, a 4 count exhale, and lastly, 4 count hold Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Second Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 6 count inhale, hold for a 6 count, a 6 count exhale, and lastly, 6 count hold 6 count inhale, hold for a 6 count, a 6 count exhale, and lastly, 6 count hold 6 count inhale, hold for a 6 count, a 6 count exhale, and lastly, 6 count hold Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Third Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 8 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, an 8 count exhale, and lastly, 8 count hold 8 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, an 8 count exhale, and lastly, 8 count hold 8 count inhale, hold for an 8 count, an 8 count exhale, and lastly, 8 count hold Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer to the beginning of this post for some general considerations regarding pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. Visit Variances/Differences of Breathing to understand how different each individual's body can be, which will determine adjustments or growth in ratio/duration for practice. Now that you have been introduced to the Shamvat or Calming Practice, Samvritti Pranayama-Equal Breath/Boxed Breath, what are your thoughts? This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Nov 13, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Niyantrit Shwas (Coherent/Rational Breathing) for Calm, Breath Practice Breath Practice Considerations This is the first introduction to Beginners' Pranayama, Breath & Balance for an actual breath practice. Keep in mind, the following practices are for general informational purposes. In order to experience a more defined scope of what may work best for you as an individual, it may require more external research outside of this community or by visiting a guide in your local environment for in-person experiences before conducting at home. Some individuals feel comfortable conducting breath practice at home from the very beginning. Be sure to take into account your state of health or condition before breath practice, and always refer to your licensed healthcare provider if you have existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, or you experience abnormal discomfort while conducting breath practices. In my experience, it has been recommended that breath practice should not be conducted exactly after eating a meal, Assisting Inner Balance Through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation. Similar to when exercising, if you have eaten, consider waiting a while before conducting breath practice. If you feel that you would like to conduct breath practice at any given time, even exactly after eating a meal, this is solely up to an individual but probably isn't most beneficial. Niyantrit Shwas, Breath Practice for Calm The first introduction to breath practice is Niyantrit Shwas. This is a more simplistic start to breath practice. With breath practice, the discussion of ratios will be listed. Meaning, for the following examples, the suggested ratios are the duration of inhalation and then, the exhalation of the breath. For a beginner, they may start with practice by the ratio of a 1-count inhale and a 2-count exhalation (Ratio 1:2). Meaning, that there will be an exhalation~for twice as long~as the inhale. Beginning with the completion of three rounds may assist an individual in becoming more familiar and connected with their body. As a beginner, it's beneficial to begin with simpler ratios and gradually extend practice if that's within individual comfortableness. Always pay attention to the body's response to avoid overexertion and abnormal discomfort. Niyantrit means Controlled (Coherent/Rational) and Shwas means Breath. Breathing practices are an ideal place to start for beginners before introduction to more in-depth Pranayama. Although the below practices will be more simplistic, they are known to be extremely efficient in assisting with the support of complementary change in the body and mind by calming the nervous system and positively clearing the mind of thought. The first ratio below simply begins by inhaling through the nose, next, exhaling twice as long through the nose as the inhale, and then, the following ratios extend accordingly. There's also another standard ratio with this particular breath practice for a 1-count inhale, and 4-count exhale or to exhale~4 times as long~as the inhale, but for beginners, the adjustment of ratios may be more accommodating as follows: Avoid forceful inhalations and exhalations with this practice. Breathe with an accommodating, extended pace. First Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds (Ratio 1:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 1 count inhale, and a 2 count exhale 1 count inhale, and a 2 count exhale 1 count inhale, and a 2 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Second Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds (Ratio 1:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 4 count inhale, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, and an 8 count exhale 4 count inhale, and an 8 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Third Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds (Ratio 1:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 5 count inhale, and a 10 count exhale 5 count inhale, and a 10 count exhale 5 count inhale, and a 10 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Fourth Ratio/Duration, 3 Rounds (Ratio 1:2) Begin with exhaling all the air from the lungs through the nose in an appropriate, relaxed position, then: 8 count inhale, and a 16 count exhale 8 count inhale, and a 16 count exhale 8 count inhale, and a 16 count exhale Afterwards, return to normal, relaxed breathing and check in with the body and mind's response by awareness of how you are feeling. Do you feel calmer and more relaxed? Was the practice challenging? Do you feel breath practice is right for you? Do you feel more practice and application is needed to improve your experiences in the future? Is your body able to smoothly transition back after completing this ratio or duration?... Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer to the beginning of this post for some general considerations regarding breath practice. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. Visit Variances/Differences of Breathing to understand how different each individual's body can be, which will determine adjustments or growth in ratio/duration for breath practice. Now that you have been introduced to the Shamvat or Calming Practice, Niyantrit Shwas, Controlled (Coherent/Rational) Breath, what are your thoughts? This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Nov 10, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Breath Practice & Contraindications Mainly, breath practice is a safe, gentle activity, but because the breath is experiencing retention or regulation, it's necessary to be aware of some contraindications that could arise. Please remember to never overexert the body. Stay within the comfortableness of the body and what feels unpressured and relaxed. If you would like to share times of breath practice with friends or family, stay aware of your body's conditions during breath practice and be attentive to others if they are beginning to feel unease or exhaustion during practice. This is a sign to intervene with practice and investigate the matter. Quite possibly, this may be an indication for the individual undergoing abnormal discomfort during practice to disengage altogether. Do not conduct breath practice or any similar activities beyond your personal scope of understanding in order to avoid breathing incorrectly or causing unnecessary strain to the body. When incorrect breathing is being done, it can induce hyperventilation or rapid over-breathing, and unusual exhalation leaving an individual feeling breathless. Over-breathing can cause an individual to breathe out too much CO2. Low CO2 levels may activate a narrowing of the blood vessels that supply blood to the brain, leading to the feeling of lightheadedness. Also, it may create changes in vision, difficulties with concentration, headaches, convulsive movements or unconsciousness. This type of breathing may be to extremities at times in individuals experiencing escalated periods of anxiousness and those during panic attacks. It's quite common to see someone offer a small paper bag to an individual that is hyperventilating, so they can breathe into it. Breathing into the small paper bag actually creates an environment where the individual can breathe back in the CO2 that is being released out. This same action may be completed by an individual cupping their hands around their nose and mouth and breathing into their cupped hands. Hypoventilation is the opposite of hyperventilation. Hypoventilation is when respiratory depression occurs, causing the breaths to be too shallow or slow, establishing an unaccommodating environment toward the body's needs. When this takes place, there's a more limited ability for respiratory gas exchange, establishing an increase in the concentration of CO2. Hypoventilation is introductory to Hypoxia. Hypoxia occurs when the body doesn't have adequate oxygen to supply its cells in order to maintain homeostasis and may cause damage to the body's tissues. Individuals experiencing hypoxia may feel disoriented. Coughing, an increase in breathing and heart rate, lightheadedness, dizziness, and fainting may occur, which are also symptoms of hyperventilation. Regarding severe, minacious breathing conditions of any kind, please contact emergency services. There are some medical conditions that may not be conducive to breath practice, such as asthma, glaucoma, or high blood pressure because some practices cause increased pressure in the head due to the holding/retention of breaths. For the most part, breath practice is considered safe, but be mindful of the body's response during practice and apply the necessary precautions to provide a more suitable environment for safety. Breath practice does not require an individual to hold their breath for long periods of time. The practice should always be beneficial and not harmful. If an individual has a medical condition, it's most beneficial to consult with their licensed healthcare provider for further support. Anytime there are unusual symptoms, such as a racing heart or breathlessness, it's always beneficial to arrange a physician's visit to inquire if breath practice is suitable. Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer throughout this program for some general considerations regarding breath practice and pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Nov 09, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Duration of Breath Practice Some may wonder when will they have the time to engage in breath practice. What should be the likely duration for breath practice? What to do after breath practice?... Below are some considerations that may assist with planning: Duration of Breath Practice Ultimately, the duration of breath practice will be dependent on the given time available in an individual's schedule and their hopeful development. Breath practice doesn't need to be a rigid routine someone feels obligated to do every day, yet it may be quite beneficial, so some try to conduct breath practice daily if possible. Breath practice is also conducted according to the prominent or determined state of the body. Below are some more common durations of time that have been known for breath practice or similar practices: 1. 3-5 minutes 2. 5-10 minutes 3. 10-15 minutes 4. 15-20 minutes 5. 20-30 minutes 6. 30 plus minutes A brief breath practice of 3-5 minutes is enough to likely promote awareness and centeredness in the present moment. Extending 5-10 minutes of breath practice may provide time for more in-depth connectivity to the process. Beginners may find that breath practice under 30 minutes is more suitable until they become more familiar with the activity and their body's response to the process. An accommodating duration for some beginners may be between 10-30 minutes, offering more efficient timing to promote greater healthful experiences and well-being in the body and mind. When an individual becomes familiar with breath practice, depending on the time available, they may conduct breath practice for well over 30 minutes. If this is a preference, it may be beneficial to include elements of gentle stretches before breath practice or between different breath practice modes. Also, if preferred, during the transition of intervals allowing some additional movement to gently shake out the legs may be proven beneficial. Another approach may be to alternate sitting postures between modes or intervals and include breath awareness meditation. Breath awareness meditation may include in-between activities, such as listening to calm ambient music, journaling during the transition of intervals, and having moments of quiet contemplation. Activity After Breath Practice If breath practice is being done with someone else or a group, including a pleasant discussion circle after breath practice and enjoying a warm cup of tea offers an atmosphere for healthful connection along with sharing experiences and thoughts. If alone and an individual has time in their schedule, enjoying a warm cup of tea, reflecting on healthful experiences, and engaging in healthful thoughts may be enjoyable after breath practice. Rehydrating with room temperature water may be required first. Particular water temperatures may be considered depending on doshas or the body's response. Avoid drinking or eating anything at the least 30 minutes after practice. A warm cup of green tea is believed to be supportive. Be mindful of caffeine intake regarding tea selections to maintain balance. It has been stated that showering or bathing be withheld at the least 30 minutes to allow the body's functioning to settle before further engagements. Although it's recommended to conduct practice when there's a certainty of adequate time, a more flexible time frame may be at the least 15 minutes if necessary before further engagements. If it is necessary at any time during practice, regardless of the above statements, please disengage from the practice and hydrate the body by drinking water. Resume with practice when ready. It is important to be attentive to the body's response. Additional Article: Assisting Inner Balance Through Yoga, Pranayama and Meditation Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer throughout this program for some general considerations regarding breath practice and pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Nov 05, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Supportive Items During Breath Practice In historical images, it's most common to see monks and yogis sitting on the floor or ground to meditate. The reason being is that it wasn't as usual in certain historical time frames and many of the cultures to have excess furniture. Furniture would have been quite minimal. With that being a common occurrence, many still sit on the floor or ground to meditate or conduct breath practice because it is a vast part of past visual experiences among people today. Breath practice, as stated in prior texts, doesn't have to be conducted on the floor. Depending on a person's preference or comfortableness, they may prefer to conduct breath practice in a chair. The following are a few supportive items that may assist while sitting on the floor or in a chair during breath practice and are also shown in the image above. 1. Floor/Yoga Mat (Used as a barrier between the hard surface of the floor or ground). 2. Support/Yoga Blocks (Can be used to assist in alignment of the upper back while sitting in a chair or as support underneath the legs while sitting cross-legged on the floor). 3. Meditation Cushion (Used in supporting the sitting position for the lower body and back). 4. Rolled Blanket(s) (Can be used as support underneath the legs while sitting cross-legged on the floor if it feels more comfortable). 5. Bolster Pillow(s) (Can be used as support underneath the legs while sitting cross-legged on the floor or as support for the lower back while sitting in a chair). All the above items aren't necessary. Ultimately, the use of supportive items will differ with individuals' preferences. Note In additional practices, not just specific to yoga, a method of stabilizing or grounding an individual is by sitting on the ground. A practice of consciously and firmly positioning the bare feet or walking barefoot on clean flat flooring is considered grounding as well. Being aware of the feel and experience of the flat, sturdy surface beneath the feet, usually supports a feeling of stability during the activity. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Nov 01, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Anterior & Posterior Tilt, Agreeable Posture, and Sitting The Above Image Shows an Example of a Posterior Tilt. 1. Many individuals may have knowledge of Zen, while in a meditative sitting posture, and Padmasana (the Lotus Pose), simply from seeing it in media or perhaps someone they know conducts breath practice. The Lotus Pose may be more difficult for some individuals to conduct because of previous injuries, issues of comfortableness, not preferring to be seated on the floor, and so on. 2. This post will discuss the Anterior and Posterior Pelvic Tilt while in a sitting position. Prior, we discussed agreeable posture of the shoulders, back, and spine, this post is a continuation of that text in a little more detail. 3. When sitting, an individual should be comfortable, yet alert. 4. Some mediation traditions set more emphasis on the sitting posture than others, such as Zen, although the matter has more connectivity with no-mind/Universal Mind (concentration and awareness/see zazen also) than with the actual physical sitting posture. 5. Ancient texts reference postures that are considered more beneficial, such as the Lotus Pose. The Lotus Pose is quite beneficial, but can be a difficult pose for some to conduct. The reason for this difficulty is that a person must have an above-ordinary ability to keep open hips during practice, and this may not be likely for many. 6. The above being said, other postures can be engaged with for more comfort while remaining alert. This is beneficial for comfortable sitting while in longer durations and involves the pelvis. 7. It is supportive for the pelvis to be in a neutral position. In a neutral position, the pelvis is comfortably still, avoiding placed stiffness in the body and abnormal curving along the back or spine. 8. The Anterior Tilt, when seated or standing, is when the pelvic area is comfortably tilted forward creating a very slight, inward, and supportive curve in the back or along the spine. This creates a more supportive platform for the back or spine while avoiding the more strenuous, opposite action, the posterior tilt. Depending on the extremities of an anterior tilt, more than likely, discomfort will be felt. 9. If there's an uncomfortable feeling, then the pelvic area is tilted forward too much and should become more relaxed into a more neutral position with a comfortably aligned, agreeable posture spoken of in the previous post. 10. An extreme Posterior Tilt occurs when positioning the pelvic area in the opposite action of the anterior tilt and is caused by excessive slouching or slouching the shoulders forward, creating an outward, and unaccommodating curve in the back or along the spine. The pelvic area is not tilted comfortably forward while in the posterior tilt, but tilts backward, possibly creating strain on the back or along the spine. Depending on the extremities of a posterior tilt, more than likely, discomfort will be felt. 11. If there's an uncomfortable feeling, then the pelvic area is tilted back too much and should become more relaxed into a more neutral position with a comfortably aligned, agreeable posture spoken of in the previous post. 12. For breath practice, a reasonable and comfortable Anterior Tilt is supportive while sitting. When the pelvis is in a comfortable anterior tilt, the seating arrangement is much more accommodating. 13. When in a posterior tilt, sitting is occurring on the tailbone of an individual, establishing unnecessary pressure on the back and its muscles. 14. Remember, Breath Practice can be conducted while appropriately sitting on a floor/yoga mat or in a chair. Additional Content: ResearchGate Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer throughout this program for some general considerations regarding breath practice and pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 31, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Agreeable Posture for Breath Practice 1. Agreeable posture for breath practice is an important element, and mindfulness should be applied during the entire activity to avoid discomfort. 2. Sitting comfortably in an agreeable posture, meaning to avoid slouching of the shoulders and heavy curving of the spine. Simply put, sit in a comfortable upright position. 3. Slouching inhibits the range of movement and sets limitations on one's ability to breathe deeply. 4. For an exercise, you may try sitting in a slouched position on a floor/yoga mat or in a chair for a short while and try taking a deep breath in. Most will discover that it's more difficult to complete deep inhalations while in a slouched position. Depending on the extremity of a slouched position, it may almost be impossible to deeply breathe within, so it's beneficial to maintain an agreeable posture. 5. Next, try sitting with an agreeable posture with the back comfortably aligned upright and take a deep breath in. Most, if not all, will discover considerable ease when taking a deep breath while sitting in an agreeable posture. 6. As stated above, an agreeable posture and a comfortably aligned upright back or spine are paramount. 7. When conducting breath practice while sitting, allow the shoulders to naturally relax and the hands can rest in the lap. 8. Not all breath practice is conducted while sitting, sometimes one may conduct practice lying down during meditation, but usually, many breath practices are conducted while the body is upright because reclining of some sort may induce sleepiness in an individual. 9. Before this post ends, let's mention paradoxical breathing. This type of breathing movement is considered abnormal in its function, signifying the chest wall moving inward during inspiration and outward during expiration. There are different factors why this movement may occur. In breath practice, the occurrence may be because of a tight or tense abdominal wall. If there are no other underlying or existing occurrences, this type of breathing movement may be assisted through certain practices where an individual is encouraged to activate more use of their diaphragm by being asked to lie down on their floor/yoga mat to breathe. This relatively stabilizes the stillness of an individual's chest, so they can focus on expanding the abdomen outwardly as they breathe in. It's beneficial for this type of practice to be initially conducted with a breath practice guide with extensive training in which an individual is comfortable following their guidance. Additional Article, Paradoxical Breathing: An Overview of Paradoxical Breathing 10. A guide may place an extremely light item, such as a very small pillow on the abdomen of an individual during the above practice, so the person can witness the actual movement of comfortably expanding the abdomen outwardly while breathing in. Over time, this usually becomes a breathing pattern of the individual, which is the natural process of a normal breath. 11. Overall, please take note if an individual regularly experiences abnormal breathing movement, it should first be discussed with their licensed healthcare provider and not relied upon by breath practice or a guide for determining irregularity or correction of breath. Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer throughout this program for some general considerations regarding breath practice and pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 27, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Considerations Before and During Breath Practice As discussed in prior posts, breath practice is known to have numerous benefits, including profound effects on all bodily cells and systems of the anatomy, specifically the brain, cardiovascular and nervous systems. In order to ensure breath practice is most beneficial, below are some invaluable considerations: 1. Environment- An appropriate, relaxed environment is beneficial to avoid overstimulation of the nervous system and the brain. An environment free of several obstructions, that is tidy, clean, and well-ventilated is most beneficial. Extreme, harsh lighting may cause overstimulation of the body's processes. More gentle, soft lighting is encouraged, but try to avoid overly dim lighting as well to avoid triggering a negative state in the nervous system, especially for those experiencing anxiousness, prior traumas, and PTSD. 2. Sound- Some may find that low ambient music is soothing in the background, while others may discover it's overstimulating and distracting. Sound is truly a personal preference, but it is usually not as beneficial set to high volumes for most individuals and is not encouraged. This is only my personal opinion and experience, but I prefer silence or the natural sounds of the outdoor environment. When I conduct breath practice in silence, it helps me to focus on breath and the sensations of my body appropriately. 3. Smell- During breath practice, it is most beneficial to avoid overstimulation of smell. Although candles are visually calming, if they emit a strong fragrance they could become overwhelming during inhalation. Breath practice requires deep breaths at times, and strong fragrances and matter from candles and incense could produce unwanted effects immediately or over time. If someone must have candles, then unscented would probably be more suitable, but generally, candles and incense aren't promoted. 4. Application- With any healthful activity, practice ensures understanding of engagement. Over time, practice is a guide in assisting an individual to have more in-depth experiences and discoveries of their body's cycles and rhythms that are relational to breath practice. Establishing some time daily for breath practice is ideal, and don't be afraid to venture into different variations and modes of practice as long as your body is comfortable and experiencing benefits. 5. Boundaries- Applying mindfulness when it comes to your body communicating with you, will prevent discomfort and frustration in the future. Avoid overexertion of the body and always disengage with practice if your body is experiencing abnormality before, during, or after breath practice. This may be a signal that another underlying issue is involved, or overexertion of the body is present due to unbeneficial ways of practice. With abnormal or persisting discomfort of the body, always visit your licensed healthcare provider to inquire if breath practice is suitable at the present time. Some abnormal or persisting discomforts may be dizziness and breathlessness, so please take heed during these occurrences. 6. Method- During practice, every count is approximately 1 second apart. This assists with a supportive rhythm for guidance. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 27, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Nasal Breathing 1. A majority of breath practice is conducted by inhalation through the nose. 2. Nasal breathing promotes improved quality of oxygen during inhalation due to the hairs inside the nostrils acting as a filtration system and sterilizer of incoming air before coming into contact with the lungs. 3. Breathing through the nose retains air in the lungs longer than when breathing through the mouth. 4. Inhalation through the nose has been believed to stimulate the vagus nerve, assisting an individual to feel more at ease and relaxed. 5. Nasal breathing is beneficial because it doesn't dry out the sensitive lung cells that require moisture to remain in a state of balance. When gasping for air or breathing through the mouth, a person may begin to feel parched in the mouth, throat, and chest areas. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 24, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Modes of Breathing 1. Innately, individuals conduct different modes of breathing. 2. Below are four breathing modes: Eupnea is a mode of breathing that is classified as normal, resting, relaxed, and silent breaths. This mode is conducted by contraction of the diaphragm and external intercostal muscles. Costal is a mode of breathing that is classified as depthless and silent breaths (silent sort of similar to Eupnea), but is conducted by contraction of the intercostal muscles with a very slight movement of the diaphragm. Costal breathing is more prevalent during periods of anxiousness, stress, and disagreeable posture. Diaphragmatic is a mode of breathing that is classified as deep breaths. This mode is conducted by contraction of the diaphragm. Diaphragmatic breathing may also be referred to as deep abdominal breathing in breath practice by engaging with breathing deeply into the stomach and fully involving the diaphragm. "Breathing deeply into the stomach", is not an actual occurrence, but is stated to help guide breath practice. Air isn't actually entering the stomach, yet the abdomen will have to expand outwardly to create space, so the diaphragm can flatten and move downwards to contract properly allowing in-depth breathing. During this process of practice, the stomach expands into the shape of an inflated balloon. Hyperpnea is a mode of breathing that is classified as deeply breathing in more air than usual. Simply meaning the body is requiring and responding to the need for more oxygen. Hyperpnea breathing is more prevalent during periods of exercise, illness, and when there's involvement at high altitudes. The body requires more oxygen during cases or periods of hypomania as well. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 17, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Variances/Differences of Breathing Resting, Normal Breath Rates 1. Innately, individuals have different rates of breathing. 2. Breathing in and out of the nose only, is considered normal breaths. This excludes breathing under the process of stress, anxiousness (may be quite temporary, someone could experience anxiousness regarding passing a particular test or attending a special event), or manipulation of breath, such as panting, sighing, wheezing and so on. 3. At rest, normal breathing usually goes as follows: Inhalation or Breathing In is a process of 1 to 1.5 seconds. An automatic pause of nearly any breathing for 1 to 2 seconds. Exhalation or Breathing Out is a process of 1.5 to 2 seconds. 4. Every breath consists approximately of 500 to 600 mil of air, referred to as the Tidal Volume or depth of inhalation. 5. The breath rate of an individual will vary throughout their lifetime. 6. An infant's breath rate, 35-58 times per minute. 7. A toddler's breath rate, 15-22 times per minute. 8. An adolescent's breath rate, 12-16 times per minute. 9. An adult's breath rate, 10-14 times per minute. 10. A faster heart rate will generate quicker breathing. Please note that the above information on resting, normal breath rates has been averaged because there will be variances per individual, possibly even significant differences. Discovering Resting, Normal Breath Rates 1. A timer should be set for one minute before beginning this practice. 2. An individual will need to be comfortably positioned and seated; a yoga mat may be beneficial. Closing the eyes may help with focus, yet it's not necessary. Good posture is needed to avoid abnormal experiences of the body. Before beginning, exhale all the air from the lungs through the nose. Next, begin counting resting, normal breaths, meaning one breath is equal to one inhalation and one exhalation. If you need help keeping count, ask a friend or family member to tally or count with or for you in order to create documentation. 3. When the timer stops after a minute, calculate the number of breaths completed within that period. 4. For a fun experience, discuss variances by assisting your friend or family member to discover their resting, normal breath rate, and conclude any differences between the two of you. Understanding variances in breathing is supportive if one were to become trained in assisting others with breath practice. If there are significant variances in breath rates, this isn't necessarily an indication of abnormality within an individual or individuals. Breath Practice and Variances of Breathing 1. Commonly in breath practice, there's a beginning 4-count of inhalation, simply meaning breathing in until reaching the number 4 in counting, and then following is exhalation, supportively as a 4-count. 2. With variances in individual breathing, some may find that adjustments of counting inhalation and exhalation may be more accommodating for the natural rate of their body. Beginning practice within the individual's comfortableness of the body is most beneficial, whether inhalation and exhalation begins below or above the more usual 4-count. Although this is so, pay attention to breathing patterns in everyday life when necessary for the purpose of monitoring balanced and healthful states because sometimes indicators are present that may require specific care. Reminders Understand that engagement with the above is of sole discretion. Refer throughout this program for some general considerations regarding breath practice and pranayama. Initially, searching for a local qualified guide may be most beneficial for a more personable monitored experience, especially considering the state of health or condition. Inquire with your licensed healthcare provider if there are any existing conditions that may not be conducive to practice, being that only a few are mentioned in this community or on this site. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 13, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Additional Benefits of Practicing More Regulated Breathing Deep, regulated breathing is an increaser of Prana & promoter of more efficient use of prana for the body. In yogic philosophy, prana is the life force energy, mainly transported into the body through the process of inhalation. Deep, regulated breathing establishes connectivity to the three bodies in accordance with yogic philosophy, which is our: 1. Physical Body 2. Astral Body/Energetic Body 3. Spiritual Body/Wisdom Body/Causal Body The increase in regulated breathing has been believed to "possibly" promote beneficial effects on stem cells. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 05, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
The Nervous System and Physiological Functions of Breathing, Part II Intentional, mindful, and deep regulated breathing along with slow movements of the body send signals to individuals' psychological processes and bodily presence that safety is occurrent, allowing the body to utilize its resources to create a state of healthful well-being and healing within. There are different types of breath practice that can affect the nervous system in different ways. 1) Shamvat breath practice, which induces calm, supporting and relaxing the nervous system into a more peaceful state. 2) Sampad breath practice, which stabilizes balance, supporting and harmonizing the systems of the body physiologically and energetically. 3) Uttejak breath practice, which promotes energetics, healthfully amplifying and energizing the systems of the body. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 04, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
The Nervous System and Physiological Functions of Breathing, Part I 1. The energetically, distinct effect of regulated breathing is its ability to shift or switch off the stress response in the body and transmute the prior into a relaxation response, which is referenced as the parasympathetic nervous system and is most beneficial during times of feeling stressed or undergoing anxiousness when the sympathetic nervous system has been activated. 2. When an individual is in the state of sympathetic nervous system activation, their breathing is fast, shallow, and short. 3. With consciousness, breath can be slowed, exhalation can be extended, and breathing can be regulated, creating a reflective effect on the body's stress response. Regulated breathing signals the systems of the body that safety is occurrent by the parasympathetic nervous system being switched on. 4. In the parasympathetic state, an individual feels calm and relaxed and experiences clearness of mind and peacefulness. The body recognizes the parasympathetic state is advantageous and can healthfully utilize all internal resources to balance and heal the body and mind. 5. In the parasympathetic state, there's optimal oxygen delivery to all the body's cells and tissues, such as the brain. In the parasympathetic state, a noticeable reduction in brain fogginess may occur and clearness of mind will present itself during breath practice. 6. The state of calm is advantageous to the nervous system overall, transmuting or shifting the fear locales in the brain. The state of calm also activates parts of the brain associated with complex thought and reasoning. 7. The autonomic nervous system or ANS, meaning (parasympathetic and sympathetic), is a branch of the peripheral nervous system. 8. ANS's involvement consists of either amplifying or calming an individual. 9. ANS maintains and supports several processes of the body, such as body temperature, digestion, heart rate, metabolism, saliva, and stress response, which may be referenced as fight or flight or the freeze response. 10. Regarding ANS, the sympathetic nervous system's design is to amplify and trigger the body's stress response & the parasympathetic nervous system's design is for calming and to trigger the rest and digest response. 11. During dangerous or stressful circumstances, the central nervous system or CNS sends signals to the adrenal glands, then adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones are presented and processes take place as a safety system designed to alert and activate the fight or flight response, which assists individuals with surviving certain situations. 12. During dangerous or stressful circumstances, an individual's pupils will dilate, an increased heart rate will occur, and the release of stored glucose will be dispersed, which will enter the bloodstream and will be utilized as energy toward the muscles and organs, vessels of the lungs will dilate to increase oxygen uptake, blood is channeled away from the digestive organs, and redirected to extremities (the somatic nervous system is involved) to support in the fight or flight response. The somatic nervous system is voluntary and the autonomic nervous system is involuntary. 13. At the time an individual feels secure that immediate danger has been resolved, adrenaline drops, and cortisol is released continuing to support the body's stress response for guarding, but not in its full capacity keeping an individual safe from prior danger. 14. Danger may be more psychological in modern and contemporary times because we aren't exposed to many aspects, elements, and factors of present danger through nature's wilderness, perhaps as some of our ancient ancestors were. This means that the condition of the mind, thoughts, and perceptions as a thought usually support or diminish the idea of ever-present danger and whether to activate the body's stress response or fight or flight response, freeze response, or settle into the rest and digest response. 15. While the body is in a mode of constant adrenaline activation this may sometimes feel amazing to some individuals, but will surely exasperate all internal resources, leaving an individual in a state of depletion with a body and mind that's being neglected into unhealthy states. 16. The advantage of healthful thought is the ability to transmute the body's stress response to the parasympathetic state while slowing down the heart rate. The parasympathetic state also supports and stimulates digestive activity, the activity of the intestines and saliva, as well as the rest and digest response, assisting an individual with effective nutrition, internal resources of the body, and balance of mood. 17. The ideal state is the parasympathetic nervous system or PNS if an individual isn't in a life-or-death situation, assisting with homeostasis and healthful well-being. 18. Stressors or a perceptive stressor is referenced as an overactive, unhealthy stimulus that exasperates or threatens an individual's homeostatic processes. Breath practice, pranayama, meditation, mindfulness, and yoga are engagements that can provide healthful signals to the nervous system supporting and maintaining the feeling or state of safety. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.
Oct 04, 2022
In Pranayama, Breath & Balance
Breath Practice and Physiological Functions of Breathing, Part II 1. Being that fluids like gases shift from areas of high pressure to low pressure, the lungs then fill up with outer air. 2. Taking a breath in, an individual experiences being in the respiratory zone. At this time, there's the occurrence of gas exchange from the lungs. 3. Blood will transport oxygen to the body's cells. 4. By 2 actions, oxygen is carried in the blood: 1) Oxygen attaches to hemoglobin, a protein molecule that is present in red blood cells. This action will persist through oxygen's attachment to this molecule, traveling around the body through the bloodstream, and being delivered to the body's cells. 2) Remaining oxygen is dissolved in the plasma, a base of liquidity for the entire body. 5. Plasma carries water, salts, and enzymes while transporting nutrients, hormones, and proteins to parts of the body where necessary. 6. It is of importance that the respiratory and circulatory systems work harmoniously together for optimal oxygen delivery to the body's cells. 7. When hemoglobin is completely established with oxygen, it's time for its process of delivery to the body's cells by transport of the bloodstream. 8. Oxygen highly benefits active tissues of the body, such as the brain, heart, and muscles and these tissues are always avidly awaiting more oxygen because they burn through it rapidly. 9. Hemoglobin releases oxygen to the body's cells. 10. The combination of activities during all processes produces other triggers in the form of waste production, particularly heat, and carbon dioxide or CO2. CO2 is a waste product that is created as a byproduct of metabolic activity. CO2 is also vital as it assists to maintain the respiratory drive and assists in maintaining the pH ranges of the blood. 11. An imbalance in CO2 levels may affect blood pressure, energy, and heart rate and can exasperate the nervous system, affecting an individual's ability to be calm and focused. 12. With oxygen already delivered, and red blood cells loaded with CO2, the blood will be transported back toward the lungs for the CO2 to be expelled and breathed out, allowing a new cycle of freshly inhaled oxygen into the lungs beginning all the initial processes once again. This information is provided for general informational purposes and is not a substitute or definitive to replace physicians' care.
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connie c.

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