“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”
― Thich Nhat Hang
Weekly Focus: Pranayama // breath control (mindful breathing)
Pranayama is breath control and is the fourth limb of the 8-Limb Path outlined in the Yoga Sutras.
Prana (life force, vital energy, breath); ayama (lengthening, extending, stretching)
Yoga theory states that breath is the way we take in and interact with the subtle life force energy that surrounds us. When we’re able to make breathing a mindful practice, we’re able to invigorate our bodies with this life force and change the way that our central nervous system reacts to stress. Additionally, pranayama gives us the opportunity to pause and come up for air, take a break, connect back to our breath.This reminder to give ourselves a moment can be a constant check-in: How are we doing? How are we reacting? What are we assuming?
All Classes: Sama Vritti Pranayama // Square Breathing
Sama (equal); Vritti (mental fluctations); Equal Mental Fluctuations Breath
Samavritti is used to help bring harmony and balance to our breath, and congruently, to our thoughts. This practice can help to calm the mind and body, and to reduce mental stress and worry. It is an excellent practice to incorporate into your daily routines perhaps when you first wake up, before a big meeting or stressful event, during a break at work, or to relax you before bedtime. Try taking three minutes out of each day this week to practice your Samavritti! You might even journal for a few minutes after and see what comes up for you. To practice Samavritti:
- Inhale to a count of 4
- Sustain to a count of 4
- Exhale to a count of 4
- Hold to a count of 4
- Repeat as many times as able/desired