The Basics of Breathwork: Pranayama (Ayurvedic Breathing Meditation)

Breath is the absolute vital force of life. We cannot live if we cannot fill our lungs with nourishing air and feed our bodies essential oxygen. Ayurveda recognizes this importance and elevates it through Pranayama, the formal practice of controlled breathing, also referred to as breathwork. (The Prana represents life and consciousness.)

UMA Oils Pranayama Techniques Pranayama can have a profound impact on the functioning of the nervous system and our overall state of being. Ayurveda offers invaluable insight into harnessing the power of breath to bring balance to the mind and tap deeper into the subconscious. The practice can also have a tremendous impact on managing stress, and elevating energy, intuition and creativity.

Several simple but vital breathwork practices can be done anytime and any place. 

Ujjayi Pranayama (Victorious Breath) 

A soothing, calming, audible  breath that involves inhaling and exhaling through the nose, while keeping the lips closed. The technique involves constricting the back of the throat, as one would while whispering. 

Bhastrika (Breath of Fire) 

Generates heat and energy in the body. Inhaling normally, filling up the lungs, exhaling in short quick forceful bursts. This breath is great for balancing Kapha dosha. 

Shitali Pranayama

A cooling breath that involves inhalation through the tongue curled and exhaling slowly through the nose. This breath is great for balancing Pitta dosha

Nadi Shodhana (Alternate Nostril Breathing) 

A subtle energy clearing breathing technique, this pranayama involves closing one of the nostrils (with your thumb or finger) and inhaling through the other, then releasing the closure and exhaling through the other nostril, repeating this practice for several minutes. This breath is great for balancing Vata dosha. 

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