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Tuesday, November 04, 2014
Teaching Pranayama: A True Art
By Faye Martins
For those who love the ancient form of exercise known as yoga, becoming an instructor can be an extremely rewarding experience. It is a wonderful way to share in a way of life that promotes inner harmony and balance. Teaching pranayama should be included in each yoga session. It assists students as they learn how to regulate their breathing. With control, power is released.
In order to teach the art of pranayama, true understanding is necessary. These breathing exercises are meant to clear away inner obstacles, both physical and emotional. They promote the flow of life energy, known as prana. As you instruct your students, you will teach them to become conscious of their breathing, something that occurs naturally throughout our lives. Our breathing is our constant companion. However, as we get caught up in life, we tend to actually reduce our quality of breathing. When we become stressed, frustrated, or angry, we fail to breathe deeply, depriving our bodies of its vital supply of oxygen. However, you can help your students to tap into the power of their breathing during every yoga session.
You can use a variety of techniques to unleash the power of breathing for your students. Sitting in an upright position is found to be most beneficial when practicing breathing exercises. The Cross-Legged Pose is instrumental in allowing students to focus on the steady intake and outtake of air. Students can also learn how to breathe evenly as they perform the Lotus Pose. The main goal is to make sure breathing is easy and smooth. Students should never hold their breath while completing yoga poses. Forward bends, back bends, and shoulder stands allow students to focus on their prana as they slowly breathe in for five counts, then release for five counts. As they become experienced, they will become skilled in regulating their breathing.
Specific Breathing Techniques
In addition to encouraging your students to regulate their breathing during all yoga poses, there are specific techniques that are devoted to breathing alone. Kapalabhati Pranayama is known as Skull Shining breathing. It is truly energizing and detoxifies naturally, ridding the body of negative energy. Nadi Shodhana is alternate nostril breathing, a technique that promotes a deep sensation of relaxation. Sama Vritti is Equal breathing and is calming as well. Meditation provides the perfect opportunity to try different techniques. You should take a well-rounded approach to instruction, making sure that you focus on prana in a variety of ways.
Seek a Deeper Understanding
Teaching pranayama can be a true joy. Your class will reap the benefits that come with enhanced control of their breathing. Remember to focus on regulating breathing at all times, from the beginning to the end. Treat each session as a journey of discovery as you all embrace the power of our own bodies. Let your life force in and help your students to do the same with every class. Discover the art of controlled exhalations and inhalations in order to achieve inner harmony.
Faye Martins, is a Yoga teacher and a graduate of the Yoga teacher training program at: Aura Wellness Center in, Attleboro, MA.