Surya Bhedana Pranayama

Surya BhedanaThis week we are introducing Surya Bhedana Pranayama ~ Sun Piercing Breath to our breathing practice.

Surya Bhedana pranayama can activate and energize the Pingala Nadi, which is associated with the right nostril or the "sun" nadi and the sympathetic nervous system.

Traditionally, Surya Bhedana is said to stimulate the brain, awaken energy in the body and increase body heat.

This technique should be avoided if you have any heart conditions/surgeries, or if you have high blood pressure. (If you have one of these conditions, we encourage you to continue the practice of breath observation that we begin our pranayama practice with).

This breathing practice should be avoided in the summer months and should not be practiced on the same day as chandra bhedana pranayama (moon piercing breath).

Sama-Vritti Pranayama

Sama Vritti

Sama = equal

Vritti = fluctuation

In sama-vritti pranayama the length of inhale and exhale are regulated to become equal in length.

Why learn to practice this technique?

Sama Vritti calms the body by stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system and can be used to reduce stress and anxiety. The equal breathing technique helps focus the mind and can also be used in conjunction with meditation practice if desired.

Expand Your Yoga Practice with Pranayama & Meditation

meditation announcementThere is so much more to yoga than the physical poses but sometimes an hour is just not enough time to fit it all in!

From 14th March onward we are happy to be offering extended classes to explore some of the traditional practices of yoga to compliment your regular asana (physical) practice.
This will take place immediately after the 1 hour flow classes (excluding chair yoga), for approximately 15 minutes and will include:

  • Extended Savasana/relaxation (who doesn't love more relaxation time?!)
  • Pranayama (breathing practice)
  • Guided meditation

This part of the class is optional but highly recommended as a part of a rounded yoga practice. 

If you do not wish to participate in the extended practice:
There will be a single chime of the tingsha bells to indicate the end of the 1 hour class.
Gently make your way to a seated posture (you will not be prompted to do so by your instructor)
Take a moment of stillness and bring your hands to prayer at your heart to thank yourself for your practice  
Your instructor will bow to you (Namasté), feel free to return the gesture to close your practice.
Please leave the studio as quietly as possible so as not to disturb students remaining in relaxation.
If you wish to participate in the extended practice:
Remain in relaxation until there are 3 chimes of the tingsha bells.
You will be guided into a seated posture and through the Pranayama and meditation practices.

More information about pranayama and meditation, and why you should practice them can be found on this blog. Check back regularly as weekly updates will be added with additional information about the pranayama technique being practiced that week in the studio. 

As always, if you have any questions regarding public or private classes, or any of the information in this post, please don't hesitate to call, text or email!



Sanskrit Word Of The Week: Pranayama

PranayamaPrāṇāyāma {pra-na-ya-ma} is the 4th limb of the 8 limbs of yoga as presented by Patañjali in the Yoga Sutras.

It can be translated as breath control or life force expansion. It consists of techniques designed to gain mastery over the respiratory process while recognizing the connection between the breath, the mind, and the emotions. 

Like any form of conditioning and training, Prāṇāyāma practices have beginning, intermediate, and advanced stages. What’s most important about the practice is to attend to them with patience, gentleness, and compassion.

Any level of practitioner can benefit from Prāṇāyāma and ike all yoga practices, it’s designed to meet us where we are.

What is Pranayama?


How often do you stop and pay attention to your breath?

Do you notice even now that you’re only breathing into your chest?

Did you just take a big deep breath?!

Most of us have an incomplete breath pattern due to modern day life (stress, sitting, slouching, and habitual breathing patterns) but yoga can help!

Yoga is more than a physical practice of poses. Part of the practice of yoga includes pranayama which means breath control, or breath expansion. It is the process of noticing our habitual breath patterns and learning to control and/or expand the breath and consequently, your energy.

Through different pranayama techniques, you can learn to use the breath to calm yourself in stressful or fearful situations. You can use the breath to clear your mind and help you focus. On days where you’re feeling tired and sluggish, you can energize the body with the breath, whereas when you’re feeling the heat of the Texas summer, you can practice a technique to cool and calm the physical body and mind.

There are many different pranayama techniques, some are simple and some are very complex. Exploring pranayama can be a fantastic addition to a yogi’s practice.  It can empower you to change your mood, enhance your asana practice, and bring focus to your meditation.  It’s something you can practice anywhere, anytime!

Yoga Mudras: Abhaya Hridaya

An introduction to the fearless heart mudra.

This one is a little tricker than previous ones to get your hands around but is a great mudra to practice during times of stress or when you're feeling anxious. 




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