Attention on the breath within a comprehensive yoga approach can be an effective way to address our psychological well-being. Why so?
The practice of the ancient hathayoga humming breath “Bhramari” has been recommended for hundreds of years that when done repeatedly and correctly produces “an indescribable blissful experience that fills the mind”. Similar to the practice of repeating the sound of Om on an exhale, it is a wonderful practice that delivers many benefits.
Pranayama & Ayurveda and the importance of practicing with a teacher
It’s too easy to take breathing for granted, allowing the respiratory system to do its thing, keeping us alive and functioning, without any conscious effort, day and night. Is your breath pattern supporting your health in the best way it could though?
Boost your health dramatically by ensuring you are breathing through your nose – at all times – whether directly doing breathing exercises, a yoga-asana practice, household or work duties throughout the day, or while sleeping. The benefits of nasal breathing compared to mouth breathing have been well researched, and are worth understanding so you can optimize your breathing habits and ensure they are functioning well.
Have you ever been told, or maybe you have advised someone else, to take a breath to help calm down? It is a common, if acute, piece of advice. It may give a momentary relief but this effect is typically short-lived as a few deep inhales aren’t going to transform your physiology. In fact, only focusing on big inhales can exacerbate your anxiety. Instead of focusing on how deep your inhale is tune into the length and completion of your exhale. Aim to do this when not upset and you will find it becomes part of your normal breath functioning. This takes the same time and energy investment as the above acute advice but turns it into “breath resilience”, something you can cultivate over time by regularly practicing controlled yet simple breathwork activities. Subsequently, your capacity to adapt in different stressful situations without succumbing to negative mood and affect, known as “emotional resilience”, can be a possible outcome.
Sri O. P. Tiwari explains how the nose should be held correctly for pranayama practice and explains the origins of this in the traditional hatha yoga texts.
What are the benefits of pranayama? Sri O. P. Tiwari explains briefly how pranayama allows us to see reality for what it is and not as it appears.
Did you know that your hands can assist you to tune in easily to the natural movement of your breath, bringing more awareness to this ‘simple’, automatic bodily function? We know that by consciously working with the breath you can improve your health and reduce anxiety and stress ( Breathwork in times of Stress), but even before starting a breath practice there are some natural, simple ways to be with your breath, to create more awareness to your patterns, and start to override them in a beneficial way. It all starts with the hands.
You engage in pure intimacy everyday. It’s called breathing. How deep it goes is a matter of difference between individuals. That depth and the breath’s effect can also be stifled with reduced intimacy based on how you mentally appraise a situation – an emotional response displays as anxiety or one that is managed and reveals resilience.
In order to breathe a vast respiratory apparatus and neuronal programming is required (1). It is deeply wired. However, based on changes to our lifestyle as we grow and eventually age both this respiratory set of muscles and organs, as well as the integrity of nervous impulses that direct it, typically reduce in efficiency. This affects our physical health as well as our response to that state of health and other stimuli impacting us each day. Though the breath is by and large an involuntary process, it has the unique capacity for conscious intervention whereby we can manipulate the motion of breathing. Done well, with understanding, it can change our entire physiology and how we feel mentally. That is powerful.
How to breathe is rudimentary to life yet a faculty that tends to deteriorate as life goes on. We breathe all the time but our functionality of that breath process, in many people today, is inefficient and impaired, which leads to a host of other physical and mental issues as well as its effect on the aging process. Watch this video to learn the essentials.
Sri O. P. Tiwari gives a simple and clear explanation of the purpose of pranayama and its relationship with the mind. It is through breath control that the negative effects of the mind can be overcome.
If you're asking the question what is breathwork? Watch this. Paul gives a concise answer in this video from his perspective in relation to research and tradition.
Sri. O. P. Tiwari and Paul Dallaghan discuss ongoing scientific research into the practices of yoga and pranayama. Paul explains the vision and motives of conducting this research and how it relates to peoples lives
Lineage and Parampara Paul Dallaghan introduces his teacher Sri O. P. Tiwari. Tiwariji talks about how he was introduced to his teacher Swami Kuvalayananda and the scientific work he undertook with a fundamental belief that yoga has a message for humanity in body, mind and soul. See video
Diaphragm Raised (Pre-Nauli), Lower Abdomen Engaged (Uddiyana Zone), Pelvic Floor Managed (Mula) Techniques Differentiated in the field of Yoga Practice
Yoga, though ancient in origin, is now found around the world in one form or another, from traditional ashrams to the modern yoga studio offering its different styles of classes. To take a deeper look reveals asana practice as the most conspicuous representative of this vast tradition of yoga. Many who practice yoga today will not know what the kriyas of hatha yoga are but have most likely come across a few of them in a modern interpretation of those techniques.
This video introduces the Centered Yoga Pranayama training. This practice of pranayama is part of a living tradition. Paul has learnt the full practice in a special one-to-one capacity over the past 20 years with Tiwariji
Dr. Al Scopp talks about his early years discovering yoga and being one of the first students to practice with Swami Satchidananda in New York, working at a pioneering neurology lab at Duke university in the 70’s and conducting some of the earliest experiments into biofeedback including testing Swami Satchidananda’s brainwaves and, more recently, conducts anti-aging seminars for medical professionals.
"Congratulations Samahita - 15 years of excellence is a superb record. Paul Dallaghan's cutting edge teaching is delivered with compassion and humor, ably supported by a team of fine teachers who enable the student to overcome hurdles with skill and gentle care. No doubt Sri Tiwari will also be a great experience. Here like minded students from around the globe share experiences around the dinner table and create a bonding atmosphere so each retreat is memorable. Importantly whether 30 yrs. or 80 yrs. of age or somewhere in between the student leaves inspired to continue along their yoga path. There is no greater compliment."
Paul Dallaghan gives a 10 minute exercise for proper breathing with guidance on using the abdomen and diaphragm correctly.
Energy is something which exist within us all. From humble insects to the greatest tree, to the tallest mountain on one side of the world to a vast lake on the other. It emanates from our rainforests, our oceans and every last inch of our world. That same energy exists within ourselves, we share the same energy, therefore we are ALL ONE.
The reality is we are in a continuously oppressive, destructive environment. That doesn’t mean to set a negative tone or context; it just means there are numerous forces we have to deal with: environmentally, and through physics and so on. To put yourself in the savasana position requires a complete release of bodily tension, which is not what we allow to happen very much in other moments of our lives whether sitting or standing for example.
When we talk about managing injury, in one sense, just for daily wellbeing, we want to manage this on a body-health-stress level. But the other sense is that the state of mind or personal spiritual progress – in other words your attitude and how you understand things and look at them – is a key component in all of this. It’s not enough to just do it; we need to do it, understand it, and absorb into it.
Diets that promote inflammation tend to be high in refined starches, sugar, dairy, saturated and trans-fats. Choosing foods which are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, fiber from vegetables, and many natural antioxidants and polyphenols actively lower inflammation in the body
Video Archive. June 2010 Paul explains Sutra Neti with the aid of a skeleton detailing the anatomy and process of this kriya.
Although you may only have two or three main meals in a day, there is a good chance you wander off for a snack, coffee or tea at other times. If you think about those snacks, they provide more of a mental break and social purpose than any blood glucose need. (Which is good news seeing as most snacks aren’t that healthy!)
A couple of things should happen when you practice asana. You should enjoy it, as it can both challenge and reward you, and it should support you, and not wear you down. Depending where you are at in practice, it can help cultivate an overall integrated experience on the level of breath and mind.
In yoga classes we are encouraged to keep our mouths closed, breathing only through the nose. Yet this is highly advised off the mat as well, and for several good reasons. The evolution of our systems to partially separate the passage of food and air is sophisticated and well studied.
The answer to this is something that evolves over time, with one’s development, as the experiences and insight grows and changes. In the beginning I can’t say why I practiced other than I liked it. I remember saying to myself “this is the most intelligent form of exercise I have ever done”.
Follow and DO as you read. Sit at the edge of your chair. Try to straighten your spine. Put one hand on your navel. Put the other hand on your heart center. Inhale through your nose.
You may say, “but I’m breathing all the time.” True. It’s such a vital function that without it you wouldn’t be reading this. The quality of breathing varies greatly, however, leaving most people seriously undernourished and overstressed.
Personally I think life is beautiful and great. An underlying understanding from many philosophies is that life is full of suffering. Which it is, especially if you really look at all we go through. However, how do you approach this? I realize the temporariness of life. I am personally going through the difficulties and challenges of life. Yet somehow, everyday, I feel great and very upbeat, from deep within.
Paul Dallaghan’s Interview for Inner Peace Conference in Amsterdam: "I was sent away at 16 on my own to work and live on a farm in rural France. Much time was spent in nature, either working or quietly alone. Without me realizing it was a key meditative time. That was the first key transformation for me with a few later key shifts occurring so it is now lived on a daily level."