Meditation March 2023: Pranayama (Breathing) – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Happy Meditation March 27, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing) – Nadi Shodhana

Good morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day!

cool perspective close-up shady green leaves on tree in grassy field - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Be thankful for a breath of fresh air to be alive and well. Allow love and happiness to penetrate throughout your mind and soul. Take time to relax and live in the moment, the now, the present. Enjoy today. - Amaka Imani Nkosazana
Be thankful for a breath of fresh air to be alive and well. Allow love and happiness to penetrate throughout your mind and soul. Take time to relax and live in the moment, the now, the present. Enjoy today. – Amaka Imani Nkosazana

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Pranayama Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Pranayama Practice – Nadi Shodhana.

This is our last Pranayama Day for our special meditation month, so today we will cover a meditative Pranayama practice – Nadi Shodhana (NAH-dee show-DAH-nuh). This literally translates as “channel-clearing” but we frequently use a more descriptive translation of alternate-nostril breathing. This technique is meant to clear the body’s energy channels, and I find it is super cleansing for the entire respiratory system – you may want to keep some tissues handy for this technique, and do not perform if you have a stuffy nose!

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Nadi Shodhana or Channel Clearing, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this alternate-nostril breath. We recommend trying this breath technique during meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

  • Get in position – you will want to come into a comfortable seat. Place your left hand on your left knee. Bring your right hand into a Vishnu Mudra, folding your first two fingers to your palm (or if this is not comfortable, bring all three center fingers to the palm, or rest your index and middle fingers on your forehead/third eye)
  • Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your left nostril only, keeping your diaphragmatic breath technique, breathing into your belly.
  • Move your right ring and pinky finger to close the left nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your right nostril only.
  • Continue this alternate-nostril breathing for 3-5 minutes. Remember, exhale and inhale, then switch sides.

This technique can be quite confusing – you may want to follow along our recommended video this first time!

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

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Pranayama (Breathing) – Meditation March 2023: Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

Happy Meditation March 12, 2023 – Pranayama – Yogic Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day for the 4th Limb of Yoga! So, we are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice.

cool perspective looking into sunny mountain pine forest - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Deep breathing brings deep thinking and shallow breathing brings shallow thinking. - Elsie Lincoln Benedict
Deep breathing brings deep thinking and shallow breathing brings shallow thinking. – Elsie Lincoln Benedict

Bonus Daily Meditation Challenge

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for March! For Pranayama Day today, try our Breath-Focused Meditation with our Three Part Breath Below!

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths, after expanding into your belly – try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

February 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Happy February 17, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Good morning Yogis! We are at the end of our week of special Pranayama practices! We will start a special meditation-focused week next week, and today we will try a a meditative Pranayama practice – Nadi Shodhana (NAH-dee show-DAH-nuh). This literally translates as “channel-clearing” but we frequently use a more descriptive translation of alternate-nostril breathing.

cool perspective close-up modern black metal sculpture from decordova sculpture garden among bright green sunlit trees - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Breathing is meditation; life is a meditation. You have to breathe in order to live, so breathing is how you get in touch with the sacred space of your heart. - Willow Smith
Breathing is meditation; life is a meditation. You have to breathe in order to live, so breathing is how you get in touch with the sacred space of your heart. – Willow Smith

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Nadi Shodhana or Channel Clearing, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this alternate-nostril breath. We recommend trying this breath technique during meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

This technique is meant to clear the body’s energy channels, and I find it is super cleansing for the entire respiratory system – you may want to keep some tissues handy for this technique, and do not perform if you have a stuffy nose! You can also try a Guided Pranayama Meditation Practice – Nadi Shodhana.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

  • Get in position – you will want to come into a comfortable seat. Place your left hand on your left knee. Bring your right hand into a Vishnu Mudra, folding your first two fingers to your palm (or if this is not comfortable, bring all three center fingers to the palm, or rest your index and middle fingers on your forehead/third eye)
  • Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your left nostril only, keeping your diaphragmatic breath technique, breathing into your belly.
  • Move your right ring and pinky finger to close the left nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your right nostril only.
  • Continue this alternate-nostril breathing for 3-5 minutes. Remember, exhale and inhale, then switch sides.

This technique can be quite confusing – you may want to follow along our recommended video this first time!

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

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February 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

Happy February 16, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

Good Morning Yogis! We are continuing our special Pranayama week! Today we will revisit a warming and energizing technique – Bhastrika Pranayama or Bellows’ Breath!

close-up cool perspective of colorful fluorescent art from meow wolf denver - pranayama breath breathing Quote: I really believe that breath, in and of itself... can become the ultimate self-healing tool. - Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa
I really believe that breath, in and of itself… can become the ultimate self-healing tool. – Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Bhastrika Pranayama, an energizing Pranayama Practice. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, to center before beginning this technique. Please note this is a technique that should be practiced on its own, NOT during Asana practice! This Pranayama is best first thing in the morning, or if you need an energy boost during the day. Also, this technique is best on an empty stomach, or at least a couple hours after eating!

This is a great technique to watch and follow along – click here for video instructions!

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air.
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Bhastrika Pranayama / Bellows Breath

  • After 5-10 full Diaphragmatic Breaths, close your mouth and begin the Bellows Breath:
  • Exhale forcefully through the nose, followed by inhaling forcefully through the nose.
    • These are quick forceful breaths, about one second for each inhale and one second for each exhale.
    • Use your diaphragm to initiate this breath, so your belly moves in and out quickly with your breath. Note that due to the speed, your breath will likely only reach your chest, not your belly.
    • Keep head, neck, and shoulders still throughout this technique.
  • Complete a round of 10 Bellows Breaths.
  • Move back to Diaphragmatic Breathing for 5-10 complete breaths. If you are getting dizzy, just stick with one round.
  • Complete a second round of 20 Bellows Breaths.
  • Move back to Diaphragmatic Breathing for 10 complete breaths.
  • Complete a third round of 30 Bellows Breaths.
  • Do not practice more than 3 rounds or 60 total Bellows Breaths at a time.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Have you tried this breath technique? How many rounds did you complete? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

February 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Vilona Pranayama (Retained Breath)

Happy February 15, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Vilona Pranayama (Retained Breath)

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We are in the middle of a special Pranayama week.

close-up cool perspective of colorful fragmented reflections of van goh painting from immersive exhibition - pranayama breath breathing Quote: An instructor once told me that when there's resistence in your body, it's only because of the resistence in your mind. It's about getting inside the pose. Being the breath. - Lisa Bonet
An instructor once told me that when there’s resistence in your body, it’s only because of the resistence in your mind. It’s about getting inside the pose. Being the breath. – Lisa Bonet

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Vilona Pranayama or Retained Breath, a Pranayama Practice. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. Vilona Pranayama translates as “against the wave” and is a retained breath technique. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice if poses are held for an extended period! Or, you can use this cooling breath technique to calm down after an active workout, or to help with anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Vilona Pranayama / Retained Breath

  • VARIATION 1 – Retain before Inhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each inhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Exhale 6, Hold 6, Inhale 6…
  • VARIATION 2 – Retain before Exhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each exhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Hold 6, Exhale 6, Inhale 6…
  • VARIATION 3 – Retain before Inhale and Exhale: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of this breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale. Then, hold your breath for a count of 6 before each inhale AND exhale. Your breath pattern will be Inhale 6, Hold 6, Exhale 6, Hold 6, Inhale 6…

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried retained breath before? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

February 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath)

Happy February 14, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Ujjayi Pranayama (Ocean Breath)

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a special Pranayama week! Today is also Valentines Day – Happy Valentines Yogis! Today we will be revisiting Ujjayi (oo-JAW-yee) Pranayama. This is literally translated from Sanskrit as Victorious Breath, but is commonly referred to as Ocean Breath due to the sound of this technique. This is another great cooling and calming breathing technique, and is ideal during Asana practice. You may have learned this in Yoga class before, especially if you have attended a Hot Yoga class.

cool shot looking out plane window at night over city looking through lit up sparse clouds - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift. - Amit Ray
Breath is the finest gift of nature. Be grateful for this wonderful gift. – Amit Ray

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is trying Ujjayi Pranayama or Ocean Breathing.

Ujjayi Pranayama

Start with Diaphragmatic Breathing for 3 full inhales and exhales.

Open your mouth and inhale and exhale through your mouth. Contract your throat to slightly say “HA” on the exhales. Keep this light contraction in your throat so you slightly say “SA” on the inhales. You will start noticing the ocean sound from which this technique gets its name.

Now, close your mouth. Inhale and exhale through your nose, while keeping this contraction in your throat to keep the ocean sound continuing on both inhales and exhales. As you become comfortable with this breathing technique, try your Asana practice with this Ujjayi Pranayama.

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Ujjayi Pranayama exercise! Have you ever tried this technique as a standalone or during your Asana practice? Always remember, be kind!

February 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

Happy February 13, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

Good morning Yogis! We are in the middle of a special Pranayama week and today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day for Pranayama Day today! We are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. This is one of my favorite Pranayama techniques!

cool shot looking at manhattan from queens over river at night - pranayama breath breathing Quote: The air we breathe, the wind that blows around us, the earth that we walk upon, the lives of others around us, the most intimate things of our lives, are the place of our sleep or of our awakening. - Jack Kornfield
The air we breathe, the wind that blows around us, the earth that we walk upon, the lives of others around us, the most intimate things of our lives, are the place of our sleep or of our awakening. – Jack Kornfield

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing (yesterday’s practice, linked below), which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety!

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths, after expanding into your belly – try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

February 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Diaphragmatic Breath

Happy February 12, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Diaphragmatic Breath

Happy Sunday! We are doing a special series this month covering the 3rd-8th Limbs of Yoga. We just finished a week of special Asana (3rd Limb) focused practices examining different styles of Yoga you will likely find at your Yoga studio. This week we will cover Pranayama practices, and next we will focus on the upper limbs and meditation practices. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, which is usually the first step (at least as preparation and centering) for all Pranayama techniques.

multicolored lights floating down dark mountain river flowing under lit bridge full of crowd celebrating lunar new year - pranayama breath breathing Quote: I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. - Sheryl Sandberg
I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again. – Sheryl Sandberg

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Today we are going to try either standing in Tadasana, or laying down, rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. I love practicing Pranayama laying down in Shavasana, as I feel I can breathe deeper into my belly. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start either standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Did you try standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana today? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

January 2023 30 Day Challenge: Day 12 – Pranayama (Breathing): Flowing Breath with Asanas

Happy January 13, 2023 – Pranayama (Breathing): Diaphragmatic Breath

Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with an introduction to basic flowing for Asana and Pranayama.

30 Day Challengers

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

looking up through purple flowers and green leaves at sky with cool perspective - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Our breathing is designed to help us release any tensions that have become so much a part of us that we no longer sense their presence. - Carla Melucci Ardito
Our breathing is designed to help us release any tensions that have become so much a part of us that we no longer sense their presence. – Carla Melucci Ardito

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice with “flowing” between our first two Sun Salutations Series Asanas. This is an intro to linking breath and movement, if you are familiar with this already perhaps try a more advanced Asana class today and focus on your breath. Today we are going to start standing in Tadasana to prep for our Sun Salutations Asana Series rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start standing in Tadasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Now, on an inhale, raise your arms above your head to come into Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) or a gentle Anuvittasana (Standing Backbend) as you breathe into your belly
  • Exhale and lower your hands back to your sides to come back into Tadasana
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Raise your arms as your breathe in, and lower them as you breathe out, to start getting a basic flow coordinating your movement and breath. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Want more on Pranayama? Check out our Pranayama Guide!

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December 2022 Holidays – Pranayama (Breathing) – Bhastrika Pranayama (Bellows Breath)

Happy December 30, 2022 – Pranayama (Breathing)

Good Morning Yogis! Today is Pranayama Day! We will revisit a warming and energizing new technique – Bhastrika Pranayama or Bellows’ Breath!

cool perspective looking at blue sky reflection in ornate dark mirror - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Are you a stingy breather? Well, don’t be. Be extravagant with you breathing and come fully alive. - Ron Fletcher
Are you a stingy breather? Well, don’t be. Be extravagant with you breathing and come fully alive. – Ron Fletcher

Today’s Positive Practice suggestion

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Bhastrika Pranayama, an energizing Pranayama Practice. We will start diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this breath. Please note this is a technique that should be practiced on its own, NOT during Asana practice! This Pranayama is best first thing in the morning, or if you need an energy boost during the day. Also, this technique is best on an empty stomach, or at least a couple hours after eating!

This is a great technique to watch and follow along – click here for video instructions!

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air.
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Bhastrika Pranayama / Bellows Breath

  • After 5-10 full Diaphragmatic Breaths, close your mouth and begin the Bellows Breath:
  • Exhale forcefully through the nose, followed by inhaling forcefully through the nose.
    • These are quick forceful breaths, about one second for each inhale and one second for each exhale.
    • Use your diaphragm to initiate this breath, so your belly moves in and out quickly with your breath. Note that due to the speed, your breath will likely only reach your chest, not your belly.
    • Keep head, neck, and shoulders still throughout this technique.
  • Complete a round of 10 Bellows Breaths.
  • Move back to Diaphragmatic Breathing for 5-10 complete breaths. If you are getting dizzy, just stick with one round.
  • Complete a second round of 20 Bellows Breaths.
  • Move back to Diaphragmatic Breathing for 10 complete breaths.
  • Complete a third round of 30 Bellows Breaths.
  • Do not practice more than 3 rounds or 60 total Bellows Breaths at a time.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Have you tried this breath technique? How many rounds did you complete? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

December 2022 Holidays: Pranayama (Breathing) – Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

Happy Tuesday Yogis! We are celebrating a special Yamas / Interpersonal Ethics focused month starting a bit later this week for the 2022 Holiday Season! So, before we get started today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day for Pranayama Day today! We are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. This is one of my favorite Pranayama breathwork techniques!

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains and alpine landscape under partly cloudy bright blue sky - pranayama breath breathing Quote: If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. - Amit Ray
If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath. – Amit Ray

Holiday Yamas Practice Schedule

We will start soon by counting down the 5 Yamas with 5 days of Ahimsa (non-harming), 4 days of Satya (truthfulness), and 3 days of Asteya (non-stealing). Then we will have a full week of Brahmacharya for the week of Christmas in the United States.. a time that I will enjoy the focus on moderation! We will focus on a different way to practice each of these Yamas each day.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety – keep this practice in mind to use throughout this month if needed, since the holiday season can be stressful!

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths, after expanding into your belly – try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama breathing practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

November 2022 Challenge: Pranayama (Breathing) – Diaphragmatic Breath

Doing our 30 Day Challenge? Click here for today’s post!

snowy alpine valley snow covered dark green pine trees and snow capped mountain with bright blue sky and wispy white clouds - breath breathing pranayama Quote: Breathing well means breathing more slowly and deeply. Relax, feel your breathing, and breathe comfortably. Once aware, it naturally becomes deeper and slower. - Iichii Lee
Breathing well means breathing more slowly and deeply. Relax, feel your breathing, and breathe comfortably. Once aware, it naturally becomes deeper and slower. – Iichii Lee

Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with a slightly different approach.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Today we are going to try either standing in Tadasana, or laying down, rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. I love practicing Pranayama laying down in Shavasana, as I feel I can breathe deeper into my belly. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start either standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Did you try standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana today? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

Pranayama (Breathing): October 2022 – Nadi Shodhana Pranayama (Alternate Nostril / Channel Clearing Breath)

Good morning Yogis! Today is a Pranayama Day Practice!

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains under partly cloudy sky during alpine twilight - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Bliss begins with the breath. We breathe in and accept all that is new. We breathe out, and release all that has passed. - Sara Wiseman
Bliss begins with the breath. We breathe in and accept all that is new. We breathe out, and release all that has passed. – Sara Wiseman

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Pranayama Day today, my meditation for the day is a Guided Pranayama Practice – Nadi Shodhana.

This is our last Pranayama Day for our special meditation month, so today we will cover a meditative Pranayama practice – Nadi Shodhana (NAH-dee show-DAH-nuh). This literally translates as “channel-clearing” but we frequently use a more descriptive translation of alternate-nostril breathing. This technique is meant to clear the body’s energy channels, and I find it is super cleansing for the entire respiratory system – you may want to keep some tissues handy for this technique, and do not perform if you have a stuffy nose!

orange breath graphic on yellow gold background

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Nadi Shodhana or Channel Clearing, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this alternate-nostril breath. We recommend trying this breath technique during meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama – Channel Clearing / Alternate-Nostril Breathing

  • Get in position – you will want to come into a comfortable seat. Place your left hand on your left knee. Bring your right hand into a Vishnu Mudra, folding your first two fingers to your palm (or if this is not comfortable, bring all three center fingers to the palm, or rest your index and middle fingers on your forehead/third eye)
  • Use the right thumb to close the right nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your left nostril only, keeping your diaphragmatic breath technique, breathing into your belly.
  • Move your right ring and pinky finger to close the left nostril. Exhale and then inhale fully through your right nostril only.
  • Continue this alternate-nostril breathing for 3-5 minutes. Remember, exhale and inhale, then switch sides.

This technique can be quite confusing – you may want to follow along our recommended video this first time!

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Have you tried this alternate-nostril breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!

October 2022: Pranayama (Breathing) – Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

Good morning Yogis! Today is a KISS (keep it super simple) Day! So, we are going to revisit Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice.

cool perspective looking at the top of snow covered colorado mountains under a bright blue partly cloudy sky - pranayama breath breathing Quote: The mind is the king of the senses, and the breath is the king of the mind. - B.K.S. Iyengar
The mind is the king of the senses, and the breath is the king of the mind. – B.K.S. Iyengar

BONUS DAILY MEDITATION CHALLENGE

We are in the middle of a bonus Daily Meditation Challenge for October! For Pranayama Day today, try our Breath-Focused Meditation with our Three Part Breath Below!

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Yogic Breath, a Pranayama Practice. Most of us have tried diaphragmatic breathing, which is part one of this three-part breath. We recommend incorporating this breath technique into your Asana practice, and bringing it forward into meditation! This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start in a comfortable seat by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.

Yogic Breath / Three Part Breath

  • PART 1 – Belly: Diaphragmatic breathing is the first part of three part breath! Make sure you complete 10 full inhalations and exhalations, counting to 6 for each inhale and exhale.
  • PART 2 – Ribs: After 10 complete belly breaths, after expanding into your belly – try expanding your rib cage outwards on inhales and allowing to compress on exhales.
  • PART 3 – Chest: After 10 full inhale and exhalations with rib cage expansion – first fill your belly, then expand rib cage, then try allowing your clavicle (collar bone) to rise as you fill and empty your lungs completely for another 10 breaths.

Follow us on Instagram – easy access to our daily positive practices
Plus second daily reminder photo /edit On INSTAGRAM Only
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@dailyyogi.world
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enable notifications for pop-up reminders!

Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Do you incorporate diaphragmatic breathing like this, or other Pranayama into your Asana practice? Have you tried this full three-part breath? Do you have another Pranayama practice you particularly enjoy? Always remember, be kind!