Classes – Pranayama: Breathing through the whole body
Breath focused attention to increase ease of being.
Shanti Yoga Health Institute Australia offers Pranayama as both a class and a workshop:-
Pranayama is vibrant vitality. The Pranayama class is very easy, very, very easy. It may also be the most productive hour of lying down all day you will ever have. It is dedicated to the breath of life through which you can eventually experience the awareness, peace of mind and joy that lies within you. You will also discover the secret to harnessing a life force energy that grants you the ability to accomplish great things in life.
We started breathing when we because exposed to the full force of gravity, and most of the time we don’t ever think about breathing. If you had to remind your body to breathe, you wouldn’t have much time to do anything else! You breathe about 15-18 times every minute, or more than 20,000 times a day. Breathing air in and out is called respiration and it’s one of the essential activities your body does automatically.
You need to breathe because your body needs air. Air is made up of several different gases, the major one being oxygen. Every living cell in your body needs oxygen to turn food into energy. This energy keeps your incredible body machine ‘running’. Its all important function is the preservation of life. During your life span, a continuous supply of oxygen is necessary for the functioning of every organ in your body. If the cells of the human brain are cut off from fresh oxygen for as little as ten seconds, the body suffers serious harm or dies. This oxygen supply comes from the air drawn into your lungs. Life begins with breathing in the first breath and terminates with the last breath out.
You can achieve better breathing and a happier, healthier life, based primarily on simple Yogic methods of breathing and related exercises. Good breathing and good posture are inextricably linked, and from a functional point of view, they are almost the same thing. So many parts of you are involved: your ribs, the thoracic spine, your diaphragm, your shoulders, neck, the centre of mass, your centre of gravity, the appendages of the body and more! This workshop will clarify, expand and enrich the movements of respiration. it will enable you to discover ways to breathe more easily, more fully and enjoy more satisfying breathing – a more quenching breath! You will have conscious control over your breathing and also your subconscious. There will be interplay – a process where thinking can influence feeling, and feeling can influence thinking.
In the Breathe for Health workshop, you use your body to loosen your breathing apparatus and thereby purify prana, your voice for exhaling stale air and stagnant vibrations, your breath to energise, and your mind to concentrate and visualise. You train in the ways of controlling the channels and five types of breath retention: open hold, directed hold, closed hold, contracted hold and empty hold. The aim is to go beyond judging and thinking. This is called contemplation. When all these aspects are applied together, you have the possibility to arrive at your real knowledge or the understanding of the primordial state, your original condition.
You breathe around 900 times an hour, 20,000 times a day, 150,000 a week, 7 million times a year. It’s worth spending an hour a week, investing and improving the movements of your respiration.
If you’re unable to make it to classes due to a busy schedule please consider these wonderful home practice tools. Enjoy!