The Principle in Practice
- Take time to connect with your breath before you begin a movement and then as you practice the asana go slowly enough so that you don’t lose the connection
- Whenever you notice yourself holding your breath, exhale completely, blowing the air out through your mouth until the last whisper of air leaves your lungs. Wait for the inhalation to begin spontaneously, and then begin the yoga asana again with the support of your breath
- Slow Down! Roughness, unevenness, or shortness of breath are signs that you are forcing your body to open too quickly or are moving in a way that is creating disharmony
From Yoga Mind, Body & Spirit by Donna Farhi
Cherish the quiet sounds of your breathing
As you fall asleep.
With each exhalation,
Fall deeper into the center of your heart.
Thus fall into freedom as you dream.
~The Radiance Sutras
When the breath is unrestrained, so is the mind. On the contrary, when the breath is under control, the mind will be tamed as well. ~Hatha Yoga Pradipika
Prana means “life force” and yama means “to direct” or “to control”, ayama means “to extend”.
- Practice Pranayama on an empty stomach. Light food may be taken half an hour after finishing.
- The most effective time to practice is before sunrise and after sunset to avoid the heated affects of the sun, as too much heat is rajasic. Best when it is the same time every day.
- Pranayama should be practiced with the eyes closed, inviting awareness inside and eliminating distraction.
- Pranayama should be practiced before asana or when the body is cooled after asana.
- People with high blood pressure should not retain breath after exhalation.