Pranayama: The Importance of Breathing

“The breath heals more than anything else in the whole wide world.” Kundalini Instrutor Gurmukh Khalsa

When I first saw the Breathe of Fire I thought ‘hmm’, then I tried it and I have to admit I had a bit of a challenging time. In yoga breathing is important. Even when I instruct kettlebells, breathing is a huge component, I can’t tell you how many time I have to remind people to breathe. Breathing can be an exercise on its own. In yoga they call it pranayama. In yoga there are several kinds. When I researched Kundalini, I learned breathing is almost more important than the postures (asanas). It bridges the gap between the physical practice and the internal. The physical posture is merely a prelude to the deeper meditation.

In Kundalini the Breath of Fire is one of the breathing techniques (watch the video at the bottom to see). Kundalini use of kriyas, mantras (chants), and mudras (hand gestures) can really supercharge your meditation. The breathing works on all levels: physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual. Physically it can boost immunity, expand the nervous system, respiratory system and help with digestive. As I’ve seen with Gabrielle Bernstein, they use it to break through blockages (check out the chakras post). Here are some things to keep in mind when practicing breathing because this is something to be done seriously and not to take lightly, the gurus believe in the great power this can have:

  • Do not practice advanced techniques when you are unwell
  • Wear loose clothes
  • Do it on an empty stomach
  • Practice early in the day
  • Sit
  • Do not Strain
  • Do not misuse

Even if you are not practicing yoga or Kundalini, it is important to realize how important breathing is in your everyday life but in whatever exercise you’re doing whether its crossfit or kettlebells, pay attention to your breathing.

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