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How to Practice Pranayama aka Yoga Breathing

Learn how to practice pranayama, aka yoga breathing, from yoga instructor Lisa Dawn Angerame in this Howcast video.

Transcript

Hi, I'm Lisa Dawn Angerame, I'm one of the founding partners of Nava NYC. A collective of nine yoga and meditation teachers in New York City. Our website is www.navanyc.com. Today, I will be talking to you about meditation. Pranayama is a Sanskrit word that has a double meaning, It's made up of two Sanskrit words. Prana and yama or prana and ayama. So prana is energy, yama means to control. Prana is energy and ayama it means to set it free. So it is to both control the energy and to set it free. And so when we sit down to practice meditation, it is a good idea to employ yoga breathing to bring a sense of calm and freedom to your body and to your mind.

Pranayama comes in many different forms, there are many practices you can employ. The first that we'll talk about is samarithi. It is a great way to calm yourself down when you first sit down on your yoga mat. Samarithi pranayama means equal breathing. Sama, same, rithi, movement. So it's the same movement of the breath. So you inhale to a count of four, and exhale to a count of four. So when you first sit down on your meditation cushion, it is a good idea to close your eyes, become conscious of your breath, and to begin equal breathing. So inhale to a count of four, and exhale to a count of four. Your breath is one of the few bodily functions that we can both control and then not control. So you first take the time on your cushion to control it, and then after a minute or two you start to release the control and that's it for your meditation practice.

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