The yogic word for breathing practice is “Pranayama”. The word “prana” means life force energy, and the word “yama” means to expand. Pranayama is a practice for increasing energy, and aliveness in the body.
One of the favorite practices of pranayama at Journey to light yoga studio, is called “Belly breathing”. Belly breathing is a great way to slow down the breathing and deepen your connection to the prana in the breath. It is very relaxing, deeply nourishing, and often therapeutic for stress and anxiety. Set aside 10 – 15 min for this practice, in a place where you can be free from all distractions. I hope you return to your day relaxed, refreshed, and nourished.
1. Take 2 folded blankets, and stagger them, so one is on top of the other, and the top blanket is pulled about 2 inches back. Fold the top blanket under at the other end, to make a pillow.
2. Lay on your back with the base of the spine touching the bottom blanket. Let your shoulders roll under and open the front of the chest.
Notice your breath. Imagine that your breath is like a drop of Prana (energy) and all around you there is an infinite ocean of Prana, and nourishment. Allow your inhalations to be a drinking in of this nourishment.
Allow your exhalations to be dissolving breaths, as if drops of water are diffusing into the infinite ocean of Prana, and nourishment all around you. Inhale nourishing, exhale dissolving. Imagine that the supply of nourishment all around you is limitless.
4. Begin to focus your attention on your lower abdomen. Breathe in and allow the lower abdomen to lightly inflate, as if you were blowing up a balloon of energy just below the belly button. Stay with the belly breathing for at least 10 min, focusing on breathing deep into the lower belly.
Benefits ~ Strengthens the parasympathetic nervous system. increases relaxation, increases oxygenation of blood, improved mental clarity, and emotionally uplifting. Therapeutic for anxiety and stress.
Christine Wushke is a yoga and meditation teacher with over 15 years of experience. Her aim is to create a sacred space for students to effortlessly find the presence of stillness and an inner silence. Christine’s mission is to raise consciousness on the planet by empowering people to realize their own Divinity and to uncover a deep peace within. Christine is committed to assisting you in your journey, and helping you to realize directly for yourself the truth of what you are, and the stillness of truth within.
Christine’s meditations, and yoga articles will guide you to deepen your understanding of the wisdom within this ancient practice and experience the spiritual elements of yoga.