In yoga, breathing practices are called pranayama. Prana means ‘life force’ and yama means ‘restraint’. Pranayama is the practice of consciously containing and channelling the energy of the breath. It is considered to be the foundation of a good yoga practice and important for developing greater concentration and awareness. It is also good for soothing and quietening the mind and restoring the nervous system.
Pranayama exercises can be both energising and relaxing whilst enhancing respiratory function, circulation and digestion.
The most common breathing practice we do during our flow classes is called the Ujjayi breath, this breath makes a soft ocean sound at the back of the throat on the exhale by partially restricting the back of the throat. Ujjayi breath is through the nostiles for both inhale and exhale. Ujjayi breath serves to keep the body and mind focussed during your flow class whilst also providing a steady foundation for your practice, particularly in the more challenging poses.
Anxiety is really common and almost a part of modern lifestyles. It affects our emotions, our bodies, our energy levels and over time our overall health.
Yoga can help with relaxation, breathing and mindfulness, with certain poses also easing feelings of anxiousness.
There are many, many poses that can be helpful for easing feelings of anxiety with a list of my favourites from our classes at Soul Studio here: