108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 30 – In order to access its inner dimensions, I feel Prāṇāyāma needs to be sustained…

In order to access its inner dimensions,
I feel Prāṇāyāma needs to be sustained,
in terms of both frequency, consistency and
competence, rather than it being a sporadic,
or perhaps nominal foray, into its potential as
a primary tool within Bāhya Aṅga Sādhana.

Maybe this is because of insufficient interest
in a long-term exploration into Prāṇāyāma?
On this point, one might offer observations
on the environment and expectations within
which the styling of modern group classes
are framed, seemingly ‘posing’ as if ‘Yoga’?

Or, perhaps because this cursory glance at its
form and function arises from us just looking
for nominal, immediate or even external fruits?
As one might with Āsana, when experiencing
a structural, energetic or psychological issue?

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 29 – The ‘seed’ of potential for Ujjāyī as an Ajapā Mantra…


The ‘seed’ of potential for Ujjāyī as an
Ajapā Mantra abides within the ‘shell’ of
a Bhāvana for Ujjāyī as a Dhāraṇā Deśa.
The Deśa also needs to be supported by
utilising a locationally relevant Ādhāra,
as in this instance, the Viśuddhi Ādhāra.
Further considerations can be around the
linking of the sound of Ujjāyī to a semantic
thought-form, by adding Mano Japā Rūpa to
this Ajapā, as some do through using Haṃsa.
However, one could argue that this formation,
shifting from a non-language feeling-based
experience into a language thought-based
experience, can detract from the Bhāvana,
in that a unique Lakṣaṇa of Ujjāyī resides in
the notion of ‘sounding’ without language.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 28 – Ujjāyī is a form of Ajapā Mantra…

Bhāvana on Ujjāyī as a Dhāraṇā Deśa

Ujjāyī is a form of Ajapā Mantra.”

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 27 – What defines the transition between Cikitsā Krama, Rakṣaṇa Krama and

What defines the transition between
Cikitsā Krama, Rakṣaṇa Krama and
Śikṣaṇa Krama is the desire to practice
Prāṇāyāma for the sake of Prāṇāyāma,
rather than for purposes such as recovery, or
preventative health, or constitutional support,
or reducing agitation, or promoting relaxation.
Exploring Prāṇāyāma as Prāṇāyāma offers the
potential to propagate a fresh perspective into
the relationship between Prāṇa and Nirodha.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 26 – You are presuming when working with Prāṇāyāma…

You are presuming when working with Prāṇāyāma
that the student has already put three things in place.
1. A physical possibility in terms of access to a steady seat.
2. An energetic possibility in terms of access to open channels.
3. A psychological possibility in terms of access to concentration.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 25 – Prāṇāyāma in relation to Haṭha and Rāja Yoga……

Prāṇāyāma, in relation to
Haṭha and Rāja Yoga Sādhana,
has differing priorities, albeit
en route towards similar goals.
In Haṭha Yoga the intended outcome
of Prāṇāyāma is Prāṇa Śakti.
In Rāja Yoga the intended outcome
of Prāṇāyāma is Manas Śānti.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 24 – Prāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Yoga Sādhana……

nadi_sodanaPrāṇāyāma is common to both Haṭha and Rāja Sādhana,
whether working with the Prāṇa Śodhana of Haṭha Yoga,
where you were taught to practice it at each
of four transitional points through the day,
or with the Citta Śodhana of Patañjali,
where it is the pivotal Bahya Aṅga,
Prāṇāyāma is seen as the primary means to engage
the Élan Vital, the vital force or creative principle.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 23 – Leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma……

nadi_sodanaOne of the joyful experiences that can emerge within our morning practice
is the feeling that arises on arriving at our Prāṇāyāma seat and taking
that first breath within an atmosphere of having more than enough time
in hand left to engage with this aspect of our on the mat Sādhana that day.

The sense of Sukha is palpable and offers a spaciousness that facilitates
the breath both releasing and entering into the spirit of, as Krishnamacharya
spoke of in terms of Āsana, Prayatna Śaithilya and Ananta Samāpatti.

This feeling in itself can both automatically lengthen and deepen
the flow of the breath without any conscious effort on our part.
A precious gift to start the days journey into exploring this vital area of practice.

A constant reminder, if not rejoinder, to not forget
to leave more than enough time for Prāṇāyāma,
rather than it being the token twiddle at the end of the practice,
or that which is oft easily at best compromised or at worst,
forgotten within the seduction of the bodily experiences.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Glossary of Āsana and Mudrā Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling, Lying,
Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting Categories

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 22 – When reflecting on the intimacy of the relationship between Prāṇāyāma and Āsana…

When reflecting on the intimacy of the relationship between
Prāṇāyāma and Āsana experientially, we could consider
exploring the practice of Prāṇāyāma and its developmental
conjunction with Āsana, via the following reference points.

Within the age-old coalescence of Prāṇāyāma and Āsana,
Prāṇāyāma can have three potential roles in influencing
the physical, energetic, psychological or emotional
effects arising from the prior practice of Āsana.

In this context the application of Prāṇāyāma can be
from one of three directions. It can be used to either
pacify, or to stabilise, or to intensify, the various
experiences arising from the practice of Āsana.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

Āsana and Mudrā Glossary
– Grouped into Standing, Kneeling,
Lying, Inverted, Backbend, Seated & Sitting

Glossary of Prāṇāyāma & Bandha Practice Techniques
– Grouped into Primary, Secondary & Ancillary Techniques

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 21 – it seems that there is not much place for, or interest in the use of Kumbhaka…

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 21 – Kumbhaka within Prāṇāyāma

These days, it appears that
there is not much place for, or
interest in the use of Kumbhaka
within the practice of Prāṇāyāma.
If used at all it appears to be mainly
Cikitsā or about recovery, or at best about
Rakṣaṇa or constitutional support, rather than
Śikṣaṇa and a personal developmental exploration.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 20 – Prāṇāyāma, the same as with Āsana and Dhyānam, was taught according to

Prāṇāyāma Pointers – 20 – Prāṇāyāma according to Cikitsā Rakṣaṇa and Śikṣaṇa

Prāṇāyāma, the same as with Āsana and Dhyānam,
was taught according to the core principles within
Cikitsā KramaRakṣaṇa Krama and Śikṣaṇa Krama.
Thus we have breathwork practice possibilities
ranging from Cikitsā, using simple ratios to settle
an irregular breathing pattern or pulse fluctuation,
to Rakṣaṇa, with a visible competence and fluidity
within a range of basic techniques and mild ratios,
to Śikṣaṇa and a skill base encompassing all techniques,
and ratios and especially, the application and integration of
Kumbhaka with long holds both after the inhale and the exhale.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 19 – The longer term measure of our Prāṇāyāma potential is determined…

Prāṇāyāma Pointers – 19 – Skilful efforts with the Breath in Āsana

The longer term measure of our Prāṇāyāma
potential is determined by our skilful efforts
within all four components of the breath in Āsana.
For example, can we maintain a ratio of 8.8.8.8.
in Parśva Uttānāsana or 12.6.18.12 in Mahāmudrā?

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 18 – In terms of setting learning priorities for Prāṇāyāma…

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 18 – Comparing Ratio and Technique

In terms of setting learning priorities for Prāṇāyāma,
the ratio is seen as more important than the technique.
Though the ratio can indeed be enhanced by technique.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 17 – Learning how to hold the breath…

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 16 – The experience within the Kumbhaka

Learning how to hold the breath
can lead one to the experience
of being held by the breath.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 16 – In the beginning, Ujjāyī is experienced more as a sound…

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 16 – Relationship of Sound and Sensation in Ujjāyī

In the beginning, Ujjāyī is experienced more as a sound.
As we refine its relationship with the breath, through
increasing the Length and deepening the Subtlety,
Ujjāyī is felt more as a sensation within the body
and less as a sound and vibration in the throat.

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 15 – Relationship between the nostrils and the chest in Nāḍī Śodhana

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 15 – Relationship between the nostrils and the chest in Nāḍī Śodhana

When using Mṛgi Mudrā in Nāḍī Śodhana
the control should not be at the nose.
The fingers are a guide more than a valve.
Thus you should not bend the nose.
The main control for the Inhale and for
the Exhale is in the chest not the fingers.

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 14 – When choosing techniques for control, whether…

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 14 – Relationship between Ratio & Technique

When choosing techniques for control, whether
it’s Lips, Tongue, Throat, Nostril or Nostrils,
there needs to be a relationship between the
ratio you use and the technique you choose.

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 13 – Bhastrikā is Kapālabhāti plus finger control…

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 13 – Relationship of Kapālabhāti and Bhastrikā

Bhastrikā is Kapālabhāti plus finger control with Mṛgi Mudrā.
There are several practice combinations around Bhastrikā:
1. Inhale Left Nostril, Exhale Left Nostril continuously
2. Inhale Right Nostril, Exhale Right Nostril continuously
3. Inhale Left Nostril, Exhale Right Nostril continuously
4. Inhale Right Nostril, Exhale Left Nostril continuously
5. Inhale Left Nostril, Exhale Right Nostril and
Inhale Right Nostril, Exhale Left Nostril continuously
However, the student needs to be proficient in the
practice of Kapālabhāti before introducing Bhastrikā.

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 12 – Controlling the Nostrils with Mṛgi Mudrā in Nāḍī Śodhana

seated_pranayama

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 12 – Bhāvana for the fingers within Mṛgi Mudrā in Nāḍī Śodhana

One aspect in the refinement of Nāḍī Śodhana
is an almost undetectable deftness within
the finger movement when using Mṛgi Mudrā,
whilst keeping them permanently on the nostrils.

Link to Posts Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 11 – To help facilitate the characteristics  inherent within a particular ratio…

seated_pranayama_2

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 11 – Bhāvana for Mental Counting

To help facilitate the characteristics
inherent within a particular ratio,
the mental counting needs to be
stronger than the mental mood.

Link to Series: 108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers