Guidelines for exploring the Breath in Āsana Mudrā and Prāṇāyāma

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Explore how the Breath can:

  • Stimulate Prone Backbend Āsana.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 7 – Breath and Abdominal Movement

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Postural Practice Pointer 7 – Breath and Abdominal Movement

Actively contract the abdomen when exhaling to emphasise Apāna Sthāna.
Actively constrict the abdomen when inhaling to emphasise Prāṇa Sthāna.

The art of viniyoga presumes that the five application principles of……

viniyoga

The art of viniyoga presumes that
the five application principles of
1. What is being taught,
2. Why it is being taught,
3. When it is being taught
4. Where it is being taught and especially
5. How it is being taught,
are personally applicable and
socially relevant to
Who is being taught.

Sometimes the Vinyāsa Krama or special placing of steps from is more……

vinyasa

Sometimes the Vinyāsa Krama,
or special placing of steps from,
is more important than the steps to.
At other times the Vinyāsa Krama,
or special placing of steps to,
is more important than the steps from.
In our life as well as our practice.

To be within the presence of the Mantra……..

tat_tvam_asi

To be within the presence of the Mantra
is to be within the presence of Grace.

Primary Prāṇāyāma Techniques as taught by Krishnamacharya and Desikachar

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1. Primary Prāṇāyāma Techniques

Anuloma Ujjāyī
– Inhale or Pūraka both Nostrils with Ujjāyī Throat Control
– Alternate Nostril Exhale (Starting with Left)

Viloma Ujjāyī
– Alternate Nostril Inhale (Starting with Left)
– Exhale or Recaka both Nostrils with Ujjāyī Throat Control

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According to the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā, Aśvinī Mudrā and Mūla Bandha are……

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According to such as the Gheraṇḍa Saṃhitā, Aśvinī Mudrā and Mūla Bandha
are seen as very different forms in terms of definition and application.
Regarding application, only Aśvinī Mudrā is focussed around
the repeated contraction of the anal sphincter muscles.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 6 – Making the Breath longer than the Stillness

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Postural Pointer 6 – Staying in Stillness
Making the Breath longer than the Stillness.

Making the Breath longer than the Stillness
means the body needs to be completely still before
the Recaka or Exhale is started and especially before it is stopped.
Equally the the body needs to be completely still before
the Pūraka or inhale is started and especially before it is stopped.
This is harder than it sounds given the propensity to want to tweak or adjust the body
at the beginning and especially when at the end of a movement.
Thus making the breath longer than the Movement
also means making the breath longer than the Stillness.

Tri Bandha Sādhana starts from the top down rather than the bottom up.

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Tri Bandha Sādhana – Jālandhara, Uḍḍīyāna and Mūla,
starts from the top down rather than the bottom up,
in both senses.

Mūla Bandha is that part of Uḍḍīyāna Bandha that you do not release.

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Mūla Bandha is that part of Uḍḍīyāna Bandha that you do not release.

There are some forms within the postural resources developed by……

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There are some forms within the postural resources developed by Krishnamacharya that can function as either an Āsana or as a Mudrā. The choice of outcome can be realised according to the specific Bhāvana associated with the intention of the practitioner and the style of performance.

For example if we look at the possibilities around inverted postures interpreted as Āsana through forms known as Śīrṣāsana or Sarvāṅgāsana, we can cultivate the external intensity of Āsana or the internal intensity of a Mudrā through choosing either of two practice directions.

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An example practice from 2002 from TKV Desikachar……

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Following on from the post two days ago and yesterdays post I wanted to offer a further sample practice given to me by my teacher, TKV Desikachar. It evolved from within our one to one lessons in Chennai, from 12 years ago, in 2002 and is based around:

Kapālabhāti Kriyā 48 breaths
Sūrya Bhedana Prāṇāyāma 12 breaths 1.1.1.1. with 10″ Antar Kumbhaka and 10″ Bahya Kumbhaka
Kapālabhāti Kriyā 48 breaths
Sūrya Bhedana Prāṇāyāma 12 breaths 1.2.1.0. with 20″ Antar Kumbhaka
Bhāradvājāsana – Stay 12 breaths each side with 10″ Bahya Kumbhaka
Apānāsana and Ūrdhva Prasṛta Pādāsana
– Aṅga Laghava Dynamic combination 12 times with 10″ Antar Kumbhaka and 10″ Bahya Kumbhaka
Candra Bhedana Prāṇāyāma 24 breaths 1.0.2.0

Though obviously relevant to my personal situation as a mid fifties bloke, at that time and place, it is a further illustration of how Antar Kumbhaka (AK) and Bahya Kumbhaka (BK) can be employed whatever the Āsana or techniques chosen.

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An example personal practice from 1980 from TKV Desikachar……

TKV_Practice_1980

Following on from yesterdays post on Kumbhaka quoted below:

“According to Krishnamacharya,
one who has not mastered the Bāhya Kumbhaka,
has not mastered the breath.”
– TKV Desikachar 1988

I thought it might be helpful to republish a post from early 2014. Here I wanted to offer a example of a personal practice given to me by TKV Desikachar. It evolved from within our one to one lessons in Chennai, from over 35 years ago, in 1980 and is based around:

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Yoga Postures in Practice – A series on Āsana by Paul Part 4 Utkaṭāsana

Part Four – Building our Support with Utkaṭāsana

This is the fourth in a series of articles presenting the core principles for Āsana practice as taught to me through many years of personal lessons in India with my teacher TKV Desikachar.

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108 Postural Practice Pointers – 5 – Utkaṭāsana and sequence of movement

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Postural Pointer 5 – Utkaṭāsana and sequence of movement respecting Prāṇa and Apāna

All these stages of descent are on one long exhalation.
– Lower the backside to the heels whilst keeping the back upright and the arms raised.
– Then stretch the back rounding it towards thighs whilst keeping the arms raised.
– Finally lower the arms to the ground.

All these stages of ascent are on one long inhalation.
– Raise the arms as far as we can keeping hips on the heels.
– Then straighten the back into an upright position.
– Finally lifting the backside off the heels and coming up.

108 Postural Practice Pointers – 4 – Dynamic Movement and the Breath

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Postural Pointer 4 – Dynamic Movement and the Refinement of the Breath

A longer term refinement of working with the breath in Āsana such as Paścimatānāsana,
is to begin the breath before leaving your departure point,
and finish the breath after reaching your arrival point.
In other words keeping the breath longer than the movement at all times.