Pranayama breathing

 

The dog days of summer are almost done! Yet, the air is still hot, the space in our cars is way too hot and sometimes it feels as though our brain will melt from lack of cool air. Thank God for AC, ceiling fans, cool refreshing beverages and the recent rain. Our hearts go out to our fellow Texans in Houston and the Bay Area that received too much rain.
 
One way to cool off is to practice Pranayama breathing. I recently was in Utah, yes slightly cooler than Texas but not much due to climate changes. While hiking I had to get into an organic rythym of breathing to maintain energy and stamina for the 6 mile hike up and down the mountain! This even type of breathing is called pranayama.  
 
Prana means vital force and ayama means expansion. Think about it, we use this type of breathing in all forms of exercise, forcing oxygen in to gain an expansion of our limits. Professional and amateur athletes have to bring in more air to create that burst of energy or the endurance necessary for the activity.  
 
We can use this same life force to calm down and to focus. If you have practiced yoga, you know that your teacher has said “Use your Ujjayi breath.” We calm the mind by having long, deep, even breaths. When I taught school I had my students practice this throughout the day. It helped them to focus and to calm down.
It also kept me from losing my mind when surrounded by 30 ten year olds!
 
Pranayama breathing does so much more than calm the mind, it massages the organs by the act of inhalation and exhalation. This massaging action improves circulation and dispels toxins. Try it right now, breath in, breath out. Notice how your belly and your back feel after a good long breath. When we add asanas, yoga poses, to this equation we have just taken the breathing, in fact living, to a higher level! Now insert some rituals, visualizations, sensory images involving sound, color or smells and you increase the 
vital energy.              
 
Pranayama and Karma Yoga
              
Those of you that have practiced at Premier know this to be true. Even if you can’t speak Sanskrit words, you know this calming sensation in your heart and your soul and that’s why you joined the studio, for ALL the benifits offered. And now we can take that to women in need and share the joy of Karma Yoga with sisters outside of our studio and on the edges of life. In my last blog I wrote about taking our practice beyond our four walls and sharing our blessings with women who need and want a second chance. Yoga, and all forms of exercise, can reduce stress and help create a clearer path of energy, focus and healing.
 
Let Carla know if you would like to help with Karma Yoga. Let’s give some light and love away! 
 
Namaste y’all! It sure is good to be back in Texas!
 
Grace and Peace,
Zella