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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 10 – Bhāvana for Locational Breathing in Prāṇāyāma

seated_pranayama_2

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 10 – Bhāvana for Locational Breathing

When beginning and throughout the Pūraka,
draw the spine upwards from the top down.
When beginning and throughout the Recaka,
draw the lower abdomen back towards the spine.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 9 – Pratiloma Ujjāyī is both an elegant and eloquent Prāṇāyāma technique.

seated_pranayama_2

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 9 – Pratiloma Ujjāyī is both……

Pratiloma Ujjāyī is both an elegant and eloquent Prāṇāyāma technique.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 8 – When using Mṛgi Mudrā to control the nostril flow in Prāṇāyāma……

seated_pranayama

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 8 – Mṛgi Mudrā and nostril flow……

When using Mṛgi Mudrā to control the nostril flow in Prāṇāyāma,
the ring finger and thumb remain as if glued onto the nostrils,
with one nostril being fully closed and one nostril partially closed,
with adjustments to the pressure according to technique and ratio.
Even when using Ujjāyī within techniques such as Anuloma Ujjāyī,
the finger and thumb remain as if sealed on the sides of the nostrils.
Externally it’s as if there is nothing to observe in terms of the body.
Internally there is a vibrant flow within the dynamics of the breath.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 7 – When using the Antar Kumbhaka to lengthen the breath……

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 7 – Antar Kumbhaka and lengthening the breath……

When using the Antar Kumbhaka to lengthen the breath,
always factor in its effect on the length of the exhale.
It should be able to stay the same length and quality.
If it is affected, change the length of the Kumbhaka,
rather than compromising the flow of the breath.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 6 – Bhāvana for the Breath in Nāḍī Śodhana.

seated_pranayama

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 6 – Bhāvana for refining Nāḍī Śodhana

One aspect in the refinement of Nāḍī Śodhana is
the experience of the breath as a subtle vibration
rather than an audible sound.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 5 – Bhāvana for the Breath in Kumbhaka

seated_pranayama

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 5 – Bhāvana for exploring Kumbhaka

Explore the Antar Kumbhaka with a soft holding.
Explore the Bāhya Kumbhaka with a firm surrender.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 4 – Four Quadrant Tool for the Mind

seated_pranayama_2

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 4 – Four Practice Quadrants and the Mind

Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Morning,
– Can be a Means to Hone the Mind.

Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Afternoon,
– Can be a Means to Refresh the Mind.

Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Evening,
– Can be a Means to Clear the Mind.

Prāṇāyāma as a Tool in the Night,
– Can be a Means to Settle the Mind.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 3 – Pratiloma Ujjāyī is a gentle and gracious…

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 3 – Pratiloma Ujjāyī is a……

Pratiloma Ujjāyī is
a gentle and gracious
Prāṇāyāma technique.

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 2 – Bhāvana for the Breath in Prāṇāyāma

nadi_sodana

Prāṇāyāma Pointer 2 – Cakra Bhāvana for the Breath in Prāṇāyāma

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108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers – 1 – The movement of the breath is a mirror

nadi_sodanaPrāṇāyāma Pointer 1 – The Breath is a mirror

The movement of the breath is a
mirror to the movement of the mind.
Haṭha Yoga Pradīpikā Chapter Two verse 2

108 Prāṇāyāma Practice Pointers