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Pranayama

Noah McKenna / Pranayama
Noah Mckenna Yoga Teacher Training Janu Sirsasana

Breath Holding

This post I want to discuss holding the breath to produce the lowest breath frequency and why its really really interesting. If you are new to these articles Ive covered Natural Breathing and Equal Breathing so now lets look at breath holding. Really its best to learn these techniques from an expert. So I wont go into so much practical detail but want to share the information on why it works when its done well. If you’ve ever tried holding your breath a long time you might already know that it can feel like torture. There is a panic that sets in when the body decides that its had enough. The sympathetic nervous system releases its hormones and aside from the physiological effects it makes us angry,...

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Equal Breathing

Whats happening and how we feel about it changes our heart’s beat and our breathes’ rhythm. In reverse our physiology responds to different breathing frequencies. Like a magic formula for producing specific internal states just by breathing faster or slower. Our stress status then colours our mental and emotional experience. Breathing is one way to reset the system and its not so much a button as a dial. The links are bidirectional, standing between breathe and mind is the autonomic nervous system. To understand how breathing exercises work one essential view is to look at the frequency of breathing. The length of a single inhale and exhale can be timed and the number of breaths per minute gives a frequency. Those frequencies are the markings on the dial. Breath...

Noah Mckenna Yoga Teacher Asana Eka Pada Sirsasana

On Pranayama:

The ancient Yogis discovered that the breath provides entry into our very being. The interesting and unique thing about breathing is that it is possible to consciously breath, yet breathing is normally an unconscious act. By controlling the flow of air and focussing awareness on the action of breathing it is possible to access altered states of consciousness. Imagine: Sit yourself down in a quiet place free from outer distractions, place the body carefully to avoid discomfort. Begin to breath in a rythmic and controlled way focussing awareness on the quality of the breath allow your breath to become smooth and effortless. Gradually lengthening the breath and retaining the inhalation as you hold the awareness fixed and contracted in the core of the somatic field. As the...

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