This thirty-minute Pranayama breathing sequence has changed my life. My digestion and circulation are stronger and I experience peaceful vibrancy after each session. The ancient breathing techniques are balanced with calm and vigor.
I practice Pranayama around 5 am. I begin by lighting incense and saying a prayer for those who have gone before me. I wear mala beads and comfortable clothing.
Begin by sitting comfortably on the floor or sofa with back support. I place two pillows behind my back and a yoga block under my feet to enhance my posture.
Take your left hand in Gyana mudra, thumb touches index finger and the hand rests on knee or thigh. Take the right hand into Vishnu mudra, index and middle finger curled inward, thumb, ring and pinky finger pointed outwards. Block your right nostril with your right thumb and inhale and exhale slowly for three minutes. I use my watch as a timer. Release and take a few breaths. Repeat, using right ring finger blocking the left nostril for three minutes.
Place both hands in Gyana mudra on your knees or thighs. Inhale for four counts, hold for four counts, exhale for four counts, hold for four counts. Repeat for three minutes.
Keep your hands on your lap in Gyana mudra and breathe willfully through your nostrils for one minute. Notice your nostrils flaring. After one minute, inhale then lift your bandhas (located in the sex organs, rectum and throat) in a lock, squeezing your pelvic floor up and dropping your chin to your chest. For extra benefit, Take your right hand and squeeze your nostrils shut with your ring finger and thumb. Release when you need air. Take a few breaths and repeat three times.
Keep your hands on your lap in Gyana mudra and breathe for one minute forcibly through your navel, feeling a snapping back of your stomach muscles. The goal is to exhale and inhale fully, allowing your breath to happen naturally as you pull your stomach inward. After one minute, inhale and hold, use your right hand to block both nostrils with your thumb and ring finger. Drop your chin to your chest and hold your inhale, locking the pelvic floor. Remain in hold as long as possible. Exhale, release right hand and appreciate Prana flowing in your torso and up towards your third eye (between the brows) and crown of your head. Repeat three times.
Nadi Shodhana Breath:
Find your dominant nostril by alternately blocking off your left and right nostrils (use your right hand, thumb and ring finger) to determine which nostril is most receptive upon inhale. Place your left hand in Gyana mudra and use your right hand in Vishnu mudra. Begin on non-dominant side, inhale for a count of three, blocking non-dominant nostril, hold both nostrils for 12, exhale other side for six, inhale for three, block both nostrils for 12, exhale other side for six, inhale for 3, repeat for five minutes.
Release both hands to knees or thighs in Gyana mudra. Naturally, inhale and exhale, exploring the peaceful vibrancy in your torso, neck and thighs. Feel your chest expanding as Prana weaves around your spine and up to your third eye.
Kem’s Personal Hints:
Always appreciate the transitional breaths between the Prana exercises.
Use a kleenex before beginning if your nose is congested.
Awaken before sunrise to practice Pranayama. Ideally practice in the evening as well.
Expect to generate body heat with Bhastrika and Kapalabhati breathing, wear layers.