Friday 8 June 2012

Pranayama - Standing Deep Breathing - For Beginners

Feet together

The first thing you will notice about the ridiculously simple maneuver of standing with your feet together is that you can' t do it. Feet together means heels together, bunion bones touching. Once you get this firmly in mind and keep reminding yourself, your heels will behave most of the time, but your toes won' t. They will refuse to stay together and pointed directly forward because you will feel as though you're falling to one side or another. You' ll be tempted to spread your toes for support. But keep them together and don' t panic. You won' t fall over. And you will soon feel comfortable in the stance.

Interlace your fingers

Most people are able to interlace their fingers and put them under their chins without much trouble - but then things get tough. Avoid the common error of arching or breaking the wrists upward leaving the elbows dangling Clara Bow style. Keep the wrists relaxed and down, with the nice straight line from knuckles to elbows.

Raise your elbows

Don' t be discouraged if you can't raise your arms above shoulder level at first. Concentrate on pressing the chin against the knuckles so firmly that you finally make them crack.

Breathing with your throat (inhale)

As for breathing, that will come when finally you understand what is meant by "breathing with the throat". If, on the intake, you feel it in your nostrils and make a sniffing sound, you' re not using your throat. To get the air where it belongs, you must pull it in steadily through your nose, until the pressure of it forces a snoring sound in the back of your throat. 


The exhalation will be even more disconcerting than the inhalation. To do it properly, just reverse the air flow, forcing it slowly and steadily up to ricochet off that same "snore" spot in the back of the throat under the nose, allowing the air to find its own way out of your slightly opened mouth. At the same time, be sure to touch the wrists as well as the elbows together. You might feel dizzy  - do not close your eyes or you'll topple over.


Because of sedentary habits, most people use only ten percent of their lungs, never allowing the lungs to reach the maximum expansion capacity that Nature intended.  As a result, they are susceptible to emphysema, asthma, shortness of breath and dozens of other breathing problems.  Standing Deep Breathing teaches you to use the other ninety percent of your lungs.

This exercise should be done before any kind of physical activity. Because it expands the lungs to their full capacity, it increases circulation to the whole body, waking everything up and preparing the muscles for action. 

Read more about this poses benefits, pictures, video and tips from here
Drawings and info from "Bikram´s Beginning Yoga Class " Book, 1978.

Did you know that this breathing exercise gives you energy and power to do the whole class? That is why we truly recommend not to come in late, or you will miss that amazing part!!

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