Summer Breathing

Summertime in Northern Virginia and it is HOT and HUMID and sometimes it seems there is no place to go to get away from the heat! But, with the practice of yoga we learn to go inside and it is there you can find relief – read on!

Did you know that you have your own personal cooling system that you carry with you all the time and is always available? Your breath is always with you and can be used to cool down on these hot and humid days of summer.

Pranayama is the term given to the various breathing techniques used in yoga. Literally translated from sanskrit pranayama means to channel (yama) the funamental life force
(prana).

Many of you are fully aware of ujjayi pranayama as we use a form of ujjayi in all of my classes – sometimes to build heat and other times to simply hear the sound that helps anchor us in the present moment. There are forms of pranayama that are heating (brahmana) and others that are cooling (Langhana).

Today I introduce you to two techniques that are cooling:

Sedanta Pranayama:
-press the teeth together slightly and let the tip
of the tongue press into the back of the teeth
-draw the breath in through the teeth and over
the gums and extend your inhale fully to your belly
-exhale through the nostrils
-the awareness is focused on the gums and the throat
-feel and experience the quality of the breath
on the inhale – cool breeze extends over the surface
of the gums, tongue, teeth and into the body
-exhaling through the left nostril brings an even cooler
sensation throughout the body

Kaki Pranayama:
-form a birdlike beak with the lips, they are ‘pursed’
– create a small opening through which to draw the breath
-press the teeth together slightly and let the tip of the tongue
press into the back of the teeth
-draw the breath in through the teeth and over the gums and
extend inhale fully to the belly
-exhale through the nostrils

Perhaps you will print this newsletter and cut out the instructions so you can carry these pranayama practices with you where ever you go this summer!