This ancient pranayama technique works with breath retention. Retaining the breath brings us back to the two most primitive aspects of the mind: desires and aversions. This breathing practice brings us back to the root of our desires: the craving for life itself and the root of our aversions----the fear of death. As we move through the practice, we notice this desire, and we soften, knowing that we are not drowning, choking, or dying. We are examining the mind at its core, watching what happens, and training our being to breath with more balance and intentionality.

The basic pranayama technique comprises of the following three parts:
  • Puraka means controlled inhalation
  • Kumbhaka means retention of breath
  • Rechaka means controlled exhalation
Pranayama Instructions

Start in a comfortable seated position. Allow the spine to be upright and the shoulders to be directly over the hips. Bring the awareness into the body and feel the movements of the breath within the body expanding and contracting. In this breathing exercise, the inhalation, the space between the inhale and exhale, and the exhalation are all of the same length. Start by lengthening your inhale and exhale to a count of 6 or 8. Continue to inhale and exhale like this for several rounds. As you settle into a pace of inhale and exhale, retain the breath after the inhale. The retention of the breath should be the same length as the inhale and the exhale.

Inhale and exhale for a count of 10 each. Repeat several times. Then inhale for a count of 10, hold the breath for a count of 10, and exhale slowly for a count of 10. Repeat 3-5 times and then come back to a moderately paced breath.

For information on classes and trainings with Mayuri, visit www.prasanthistudio.com

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