To understand others is to have
To understand oneself is to be
To conquer others requires strength;
To conquer oneself is even harder
-Lao Tse

Pranayama, breathwork or mastery of prana is an essential part of any yoga
practice.  To learn the ancient art one should study with a certified yoga
instructor.  A few techniques will be presented here.  Let's take a moment to
discuss pranayam.

What are the benefits of Pranayama practice?
Breathwork brings improvement to the organs and other systems in the body:  
circulatory, respiratory, digestive and nervous systems.  It helps to balance the
metabolism as it brings fresh oxygenated blood to the body.

When should I practice?
The practice of pranayama should be done on an empty stomach.   Its excellent
to practice before &/or after a yoga session and before meditation.

Many people take their breathing for granted;  using only the top portion of the
lungs.  As the mind follows the breathing it is important to allow the breath to
nourish our entire systems.

Think of the last time you were stressed.  How was your breathing?  Chances are
you were not using the full capacity of your lungs.

Take several  moments each day to check in with your breathing.  Notice how
you take the breath in;  clarity of mind and relaxation of the body come when
you take slow deep breaths.

**Working with a certified yoga teacher is important if you wish to truly explore the practice of pranayama

*If you feel tired, dizzy or nauseous at all while practicing lie down on the floor and take slow deep breaths.

*Never hold the breath for longer than feels comfortable.  Never strain while holding the breath!
"Keep breathing.  
That's the
LOTR, Twin Towers
Photography by TL-C
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