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The more you practice yoga the more you realize that it is less important to achieve exotic yoga postures and it is more important to be aware and refine your energy and energy flow. This is truly the mark of an advanced practice.
More advanced yogis ask themselves questions such as: Am I aware of the energy in my body? Am I aware of what my breath is telling me about my physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well being? Am I alive and awake in my practice?
Breathing or pranayama is a major way that we can control our energy as yogis. “Pranayama” comes from two Sanskrit words: “prana”, meaning the fundamental life force, and “yama” meaning to control. Pranayama is a channeling or controlling of your life force. “Pranayama” can also be seen as the combination of “pran”, your life force, with “ayama”, meaning expansion. In this sense pranayama expands your life force through all levels of your being, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual.
We can literally change our energetic state with breath practice. Breath of joy is energizing, uplifting and sweeps away depression. Ujjayi breath allows you to focus and puts you into a meditative state. Three part breathing is grounding. Kapalabhati breath is stimulating, invigorating, clarifying and refreshing. Square breath is balancing, spacious and resetting. Alternate nostril breathing is sedating. Sitali breath is cooling.
Pranayama can be used to relax, release tension, build energy, release fear or anxiety, charge your batteries or create healing. In this class we will experiment with different pranayama techniques in our postures and bring awareness to how they affect our energy. We will also practice a kriya to strengthen our aura to bring awareness to the energy field around us as well as a meditation for a calm heart.
Props Needed: block, blanket, option to sit on chair for meditations,