Pranayama Hints & tips
While Pranayama Standing Deep Breathing isn’t strictly considered a posture it is an integral component to the Hot Bikram Yoga series. Don’t be fooled that it is ‘just’ a breathing exercise, it is as important as every posture that follows.
correct alignment is key to everything we do in the hot room.
The average lung capacity of an adult is around 6 litres, yet, in daily life we very rarely utilise this and mostly shallow breathe, using only the top third of our lungs. Shallow breathing means that stagnant air and pollutants can sit culminating at the bottom of our lungs. This can lead to fatigue, respiratory sluggishness and diminished tissue function. So lets get deep breathing…
Engage the muscles in your legs, buttocks and stomach, standing straight.
To engage your thighs and buttocks: squeeze your glutes together, then imagine you are pulling your knee caps up and squeeze your thighs together. At the same time engaging your core by concentrating on your abdomen. Feel like you are pulling your bellybutton inwards, toward your spine and drawing up from your pelvic floor (imagining you wish to stop yourself from going to the toilet!).
Palms together, interlace your fingers and thumbs, placing your knuckles under your chin. If possible arms together up to the elbows. However, if when doing this your back rounds and your shoulders come forward, open you arms enough to prevent this from happening. Shoulders drawn down and your back straight through the exercise. Keep the knuckle to chin connection throughout the entire exercise.
The goal is to eventually be able to raise your elbows up until your forearms touch with your ears. This can take weeks or years depending on your flexibility. Don’t be disheartened if you cannot reach this final position, as long as you go to your personal edge you are getting maximum benefit from the exercise.
Your chin should stay rested into the ‘u’ of your hands through the 6 counts.
Like you are trying to fog up a mirror.
Simultaneously, while you are exhaling for 6 counts, drop your head backwards, knuckles glued to the chin and bring your palms, wrist, forearms, and elbows together. Your elbows, wrists, arms and upturned face will form one parallel line to the ceiling.
Remember keep your eyes open during the entire exercise.
Pranayama Standing Deep Breathing, will not only energise you and set you up for class, it will clear out all that old stale air and replace it with fresh oxygen, that is then zinged around your body to all the organs and muscles getting them ready and lively for class. This breathing will also help to clear and focus your mind.
If you have any questions or injuries please speak with your teacher before class.
Standing Deep Breathing
Standing Deep Breathing
Good for lungs and respiratory system.
Helps with mental relaxation.
Helps high blood pressure.
Good for detoxification.
Exercises nervous, respiratory and circulatory systems.