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WHAT IS PRANAYAMA?
HOW DOES IT WORK AND WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS ?

Pranayama is quite simply using and controlling the breath to control our intake and elimination of prana- the life force or energy of the universe. As well as inhaling oxygen and exhaling carbon dioxide, we also inhale
prana, the universal life force and smallest and most primal unit of energy, and exhale apana - the spent energy. By controlling the breath we can alter patterns of the mind, create calm, energize, detoxify, and heal the body on all levels. Breath control is a very important tool used to wake up and raise kundalini energy in Kundalini Yoga. By applying mulbandh, (contracting the muscles of the anus, sex organs and navel simultaneously), with the breath suspended in, we create a pressure at the navel point, which travels down to the root chakra and wakes this energy up.

Here are some simple yogic techniques used in Kundalini Yoga and their effects.

1: Long Deep Breathing

Relax the belly, inhale deeply and slowly through the nose, filling the belly first, then the abdomen, lower and upper chest. Then exhale slowly through the nose emptying the belly last, allowing the belly to contract. This brings calm, stillness, helps control stress and anxiety, and awakens intuition and helps to elevate consciousness.

2: Breath of Fire

This is basically long deep breathing, speeded up very fast - like sniffing. This creates heat in the body and is a deeply cleansing, detoxifying and energising breath.

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