Pranayam Enhances Other Beneficial Activities
Practicing Pranayam for the enjoyment and benefits that come with it is great, but you can also use special breathing exercises to supercharge the time you spend practicing things like yoga and meditation. That’s because certain Pranayam breathing patterns can get you in the zone faster and drastically improve focus, concentration and energy.
Yossi has spent years developing his special approach to Pranayam, including his own special patterns and variations on traditional teachings. Indeed, Pranayam breathing has long been practiced to enhance both yoga and meditation.
In an article The Yoga Journal, Claudia Cummins profiled six different styles of yoga to learn more about how Pranayam fits into the different traditions. What she found was that breathing patterns and techniques were included in every kind of yoga, but not all in the same way.
Some classes focused on beginning and ending the class with different series of breathing exercises, while others put the emphasis on using different pranayams while doing asanas (poses). Breathe-work was used to help focus students, give them energy at the beginning of classes and calm them at the end. Cummins also saw some instructors teaching yoga poses that could be used to enhance Pranayam as well.
Being aware of the breath and mastering the breath is not limited to any one activity. It literally runs through every single thing we do in our lives and it plays a huge role in how our bodies and minds perform. As Yossi says, “Breath is life. Therefore the quality of the breath will be the quality of your life.
"Pranayam is a technique, the main point is breath.
Breath is life."
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Pranayam relies on the deep connection that exists between the breath, the mind and the body. As Yossi teaches, “The more you control the breath, the more you control the mind. The more you control the mind, the better life is.” In addition to developing mastery over the mind, Pranayam also has beneficial effects on the body. Read our page on all of Pranayam’s health and wellness benefits for more information.
The basic idea is that it’s very difficult to master the mind. Furthermore, not being able to attain mastery over the mind directly causes many of the problems afflicting people all over the world. The breath, on the other hand, is much easier to master. We have the ability to direct our breath to follow patterns and if we develop discipline, we can practice these techniques regularly. Pranayam is all about the effects that breath-control has on the mind.
“The mind and the breath are intertwined so they affect each other all the time,” explains Yossi. “Usually it is the mind that dictates how the breath is. It’s in control. If you are agitated, for example, your breath will be short and erratic. If you’re at peace your breath will be long and smooth and easy.”
“So it’s like an equation. If you breathe in long and deep and steady, your mind will follow because of that connection. Controlling the mind is always good. The mind is very useful for humans to live in the physical world but when one is looking for something deeper than that, the mind can be a kind of hurdle. It will always take your attention to forms and objects.”
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Pranayam for Yoga, Meditation, & Work
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