Pranayama is an essential component in the practice of yoga. It is occasionally called "breathing yoga" because a large part of it deals with instructing students about the various methods of breathing control. It is common for pranayama to be combined with other important elements of yoga. Postures referred to as asanas are frequently taught together with pranayama. This is done because they both are essential to master in order for a student to develop a solid yoga routine. A person can also become more in touch with their body through these practices. Here are a few of the primary benefits of teaching pranayama:
1. Longer Life
For over 2,000 years, the philosophy of yoga has taught that the length of a person's life is directly connected to their rate of breathing. Therefore, if a person can master the control of their breathing rate and lower it by using pranayama, they will have a significant chance of living a longer life. The tortoise is an example that practitioners of yoga often mention to their students. A tortoise can live for more than 100 years, yet it only takes an average of five breaths each minute.
2. Lower Breathing Rate
The techniques involving breathing that are part of the practice of pranayama can enable a student to learn to control their rate of breathing. They will be able to breathe slower and deeper than they were able to previously. Pranayama students can often reduce their breathing rate from 15 breaths every minute to as few as five breaths every minute. Your heart rate will naturally become lower when you reduce your breathing rate. This will enable easier transition into a meditative state. It will also reduce the rate of wear and tear that is placed on your body's organs. There will be a reduction in blood pressure, which will lead to a lower amount of stress on your body.
3. Improved Heart Health
The average heart in a human beats 100,000 times every day. Having a healthy heart is critical to living for a long time. Pranayama breathing exercises are capable of raising the blood's level of oxygen. When this happens, more oxygen is able to reach the heart's muscles. This increases the heart's strength and enables it to pump blood in a more efficient manner.
4. Improved Blood Circulation
Freshly oxygenated blood travels from the lungs towards the heart when a person breathes. After the heart pumps it, arteries and blood vessels carry it throughout the body. The blood will begin to seep into the body's tissues and cells. Pranayama breathing techniques can improve blood circulation in the students who learn them.
5. Organs Function Better
- The functioning of the autonomic system is improved, enabling the heart, kidneys, diaphragm, pancreas, abdomen, lungs and intestines to function with less stress and greater efficiency.
- Digestive system efficiency is greatly improved. Digestive organ problems do not happen often.
- Increased levels of oxygen will be provided to every organ in the body. An efficient removal of toxins will occur. This will help to prevent the forming of diseases. Pranayama can also increase the strength of the immune system.
6. Improved Sleep
Many people suffer from insomnia. Problems caused by work, relationships and family are often to blame for this. A peaceful and meditative state can be reached through the use of pranayama, enabling a person to sleep better.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA
One of the greatest things about yoga is that it can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities. Even people who have trouble standing can enjoy the benefits of yoga through the practice of yoga in chairs. Teachers who want to reach the widest percentage of yoga students can really benefit from learning how to teach yoga in chairs. Here is a guide to teaching chair yoga classes that instructors can use to expand their practices.
Selecting the Right Chairs
Of course, one of the most crucial components of chair yoga is the chairs themselves. Teachers need to select chairs that are quite sturdy. The chairs need to have a flat seat that has a moderate amount of padding. There should be no arms on the chairs, but they should have straight backs.
If the class is going to be taught on a smooth floor, then it is best to place yoga mats underneath the chairs to keep them from sliding around. Alternatively, teachers can cut up an old yoga mat to create coasters to go underneath each leg of the chairs.
Setting up for the Class
The chair should be placed far enough apart so that each student can reach out their hands and legs without touching another student. Students will need around the same amount of space as students in traditional yoga classes.
Teachers of chair yoga classes will set up in the front of the class just like a traditional yoga class. The teacher will need to be sitting in a chair as well to avoid confusing students when showing them the poses. If the teacher's chair is placed upon a riser, it will make it much easier for every student to get an unobstructed view of the instructor during classes.
Skip the Music
Although soothing music can be very beneficial for most traditional yoga classes, it can often be a hindrance when teaching chair yoga classes. This is because the majority of students in the classes are senior citizens. Many of these older students have hearing problems, and they often will find it difficult to hear what the instructor is saying if music is playing in the background.
Shorten the Classes
Most typical yoga classes run somewhere in the neighborhood of 45 minutes to an hour, and some of the more intense classes even run 90 minutes to two hours. This will not be possible with chair yoga participants. Most chair yoga students are older and have less stamina than typical yoga students. Therefore, instructors teaching yoga in chairs need to shorten their lessons. It is best if classes run for around 20 to 30 minutes. At most, classes should run 45 minutes.
Work on Breathing
One of the most positive aspects of yoga for seniors is that it helps them with their breathing. Many older individuals have trouble breathing, which means that instructors should focus on teaching students proper breathing techniques to help give them a better quality of life.
Instructors who follow these tips will find great success when they are leading chair yoga classes. Teaching yoga is a wonderful way to make a difference in the lives of senior citizens. It can be a very rewarding way to teach yoga, and the smile on the faces of their students will reward yoga teachers many times over.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.