Pranayama, Our Life Force
Pranayama is our life force. When we practice pranayama, we learn to control our breath. Breathing is fundamental to the practice of yoga and is one of the Eight Limbs of classical yoga.
There are various breathing techniques that one can practice. Below are the three that I enjoy practicing during my personal practice or when I meditate. As you prepare to practice these breathing techniques, find a comfortable place where you can sit silently without distractions. I recommend sitting towards the edge of a pillow or folded blanket. This allows your pelvis to tilt forward and helps you sit up tall for an extended amount of time. I begin all of my yoga classes this way. Otherwise, you can sit up against a wall to assist you in your posture.
Sama = equal, smooth
Vritti = fluctuations, modifications
Equal part breathing – the amount of seconds should be the same for both the inhalation and exhalation.
Begin with an inhale for a count of four
Hold the inhale for a count of four
Exhale for a count of four
Hold the exhale for a count of four
Complete three rounds of equal part breathing.
You can add an additional second when you’ve become comfortable with controlling and holding the four-count breath.