Most people associate yoga with the physical postures; what many new-to-yoga folks don’t realize is that it is an “Eight-Limbed” path, of which the postures are only one limb. One of the remaining limbs is Pranayama, often translated as “breath control” or breathwork.
Yogi Bhajan, who brought Kundalini Yoga to North America in 1969, says that “If you can control your breath, you control your mind; if you control your mind, you control your life.” Think about that for a moment. Think about how you use your breath to energize you, to calm or to soothe. Yoga has an encyclopedic knowledge of breathing techniques developed over several thousand years to help you to reach full health. You will be introduced to a variety of these techniques, beginning with a precise version of alternate nostril breathing.
One of the most powerful techniques of breath control in any style of yoga is known as Nadi Shodhana Pranayama. Nadi is a Sanskrit word that translates to mean life-force energy channel which, according to traditional Indian medicine and spiritual science is not an actual anatomical structure, but rather a channel within our subtle body.
Through the inhalation of life-force energy, known yogically as prana, and the exhalation of eliminative energy, known as apana we are better able to bring ourselves into a state of balance. The act of breath retention adds even more power to the control of the breath. With regular practice of the Nadi Cleansing breath, described in detail on the PDF attachment, the benefits you will experience go beyond increased cardiovascular stamina and endurance. Yogi Bhajan tells us that this breathing technique, when mastered, is the “perfect cleanser”, which makes it a perfect breath to practice in Springtime! (Or better yet, every day.)
Interested in learning how to practice this incredibly healing pranayama? Please check out the attached PDF.