Hello Wonderful People!
Let me introduce you to something that is so incredibly powerful, but as Westerners we might just overlook it as it seems too simple, maybe too easy? Or just not tough enough to get us any results? I thought so too until I tried it!
We’ve all heard the term “no pain no gain” right? Well I say it’s wrong! I believe it’s all about being kind to our bodies and getting balance. And by balance I don’t mean because I’ve had a green smoothie today, I can now eat a McDonalds! Yuk. I mean balancing the nervous system, getting a work life balance, balancing fun and leisure time with learning and growing as people, balancing fun sweaty workouts with calm gentle meditations. Balance.
Balance is hard, but Pranayama can help! Pranayama are simply yogic breathing exercises, you could even call them a meditation or mindfulness practice. It is the practice of different breathing techniques to help bring the body back into balance.
So what is Pranayama? ‘Prana’ means breath or life force and ‘ayama’ means to extend or draw out. So drawing out the breath or breath control.
There are certain pranayama techniques that can help you lose weight, some that help relieve vertigo, but we will come to that later. I first became interested in breathing exercises years ago when I was suffering with acne. I asked my nutritionist for help and I was initially (and I say initially with massive emphasis!) quite disappointed with her answer. She told me to simply take 2 deep breaths between each one on one personal training session I did or after I closed a door, the front door, the bathroom door. And that was it! But guess what? My acne cleared up in 3 days flat!
So from that experience, I was sold! After a few further pointers from Claire (the nutritionist) I started adding in a daily “breathing break” at lunch times. I’d simply lay on the floor of my studio, deeply inhaling into my lower abdomen, then up into my chest and ribs, then finally up into my collarbones (top of the chest) before exhaling through my lower stomach, chest and ribs and the top of the chest, i.e. in the same order as inhaling. I just did about 10-15 minutes every day before eating my lunch. I was the lightest I’d ever been, I only exercised gently and had the flattest stomach to date, all ‘effortlessly’.
At the time I hadn’t realised how much the breathing was helping, until I stopped doing it! Once I’d had a few weeks of not doing it I got straight back on the wagon and very quickly my amazing results returned!
There are so many ways to add a pranayama practice into your daily life and a lunch time breathing break is just one! So each month we will look at a different aspect of Pranayama and try them together. Simply practice the one you feel is right for you and have a play with the rest!
Check out our video tutorial on the 3D Yoga section and have a go!
And please let me know how you feel!