Benefits of Breath Work and Pranayama at Samahita
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. Our aim is to help you connect to your breath, regulate it by making it smooth, longer, improve your exhale, more effectively use your diaphragm, so your breathing is trained not only for waking hours but also improved in your sleeping hours. This breath regulation trains breathing through your nose, offered in structured breathing exercises in the different classes and trainings at Samahita.
Pranayama is introduced, along with breath regulation techniques, in every morning class at Samahita. The practice of it can be fine-tuned and advanced further in several of our advanced training courses. As noted earlier, one of our main aims is that you can take home a practice. Here you will learn a few kriya, breath, and pranayama techniques that you can continue after you leave Samahita. This is invaluable knowledge of effective types of breathing exercises to calm and manage stress and to increase your energy level. We want you to perform better and live life more fully. The breath is key to that.
We begin every morning with a specialized contemplation practice. This is a meditation practice, one that channels the mental energy onto a specific topic so that you can explore it deeply within. When it touches you, when it means something to you, this practice is then directly affecting the quality of your life and the relationships you share within this life. It is not enough to just say thanks or I’m sorry, these have to be deeply felt and processed. Doing this becomes a practice you can take with you and do anywhere at anytime. We provide the space and the guidance while you are here.
Yoga and meditation are one and the same. All techniques of yoga are meditation and the meditative techniques are yoga. Only today’s marketplace has made a distinction between them. The body and breath practices are typically part of Hatha Yoga’s approach to meditation but commonly called “yoga” today. “Meditation” today then has become known as all the sitting and mental type practices. In reality these are only part of it. However, for the purpose of modern understanding we can say that we offer several sitting and mental approaches to meditation practice, during the morning, early evening, and specifically scheduled nighttime sessions.
Our dedicated mediation sessions usually last 30 minutes and may include:
- Finding an appropriate seated position for your spine
- Watching the breath
- Loving Kindness (Metta)
- Mantra meditation
- Walking meditation
- Recitation of Om
- Gong meditation
DO BREATHING EXERCISES & PRANAYAMA
Samahita Retreat is one of the few places in the world where you can find both quality breathwork, taught in a practical way that fits into your daily life, and pranayama as it was taught in the classical Hatha and Tantric yoga traditions.
Swami Kuvalayananda taught the science of breath and the practice of pranayama in the most accurate yet accessible way, while he pioneered research on the subject. Subsequently, he established correct and precise practice methods. Kuvalayananda established the Kaivalyadhama Institute (India) in 1924 to do the research that led to a worldwide respect and growth in yoga practice. His great legacy was the wealth of knowledge around the breath and the practice of pranayama, as they fit within the meditative process. It is a practice that was meant to be used for both practical life purposes and personal spiritual pursuit.
Direct from this rich history of practice and teaching, Swami Kuvalayananda’s primary student, Sri O.P. Tiwari, continues to share the process. Paul Dallaghan, Samahita’s founder, has become Tiwariji’s most dedicated student and most active teacher of the breath and pranayama worldwide. All the teachers at Samahita have trained in pranayama and its related practices, and they have a dedicated personal practice, as well as their own experience, to draw from. Additionally, Tiwariji and Paul Dallaghan offer courses at certain times of the year.
To help you connect with your breath, establish a practice, and/or learn pranayama, we offer three options for you, each working on the breath with increasing levels of involvement and skill. Samahita is unique in this respect, as a dedicated center that teaches breathwork and pranayama safely, step-by-step for every level of student.
Your Options to Practice Breathing Exercises and Pranayama
1. One Rate-Any Date Programs: During our ongoing Daily Yoga and Wellness programs, we teach the basics of breathwork, to breathe through your nose, breathing exercises to calm down and more and encourage students to continue practicing after leaving.
2. Retreats : During our in-house yoga retreats we teach the basics of breath, kriyas (breath support techniques), and an introduction to pranayama. This is an excellent start to a yoga breathing pranayama practice!
3. Courses/Education : During our trainings and continuing education courses, we focus on pranayama practice as developed breathing exercises. These courses offer students a way to learn the practice in detail and an opportunity to progress with breath practice over time.
Benefits of Breathing Exercises, Pranayama and Proper Breathing Through Your Nose
1. In terms of overall healthy living, pranayama and correct breathing have countless benefits, including:
- Positively affects other autonomic functions in the body — lowers resting heart rate, improves digestion and circulation, improves sleep, etc.
- Strengthens the nervous system, helping you manage the stress in your life in a healthy manner and increasing your capacity for dealing with stress
- Ensures the whole body is nourished by an extra supply of oxygen
- Efficiently expels CO2 and purifies blood of toxins
- Stimulates brain centers to work nearer to their optimum capacity
- Supports clarity of thought, concentration, focus and productivity
2. As a continued practice over time, pranayama has specific mental effects, since the practice helps you work directly with the mind, reversing negative thought patterns and behaviors. Additionally, as you learn how to work directly with prana/energy in the body energetic benefits arise, especially long-term following a regular and continued pranayama practice.