Breathing and Pranayama Home Page
A POWER BREATH
This breathing practice is both a “cleansing breathing” and an empowering breath – it tends to encourage one to feel strong, assertive (almost aggressive) and capable of
meeting life’s challenges. The exhalation is fast and forced – which leads to efficient emptying of the lungs and can also be quite warming.
A slight danger with this practice is that it takes one in the direction of hyperventilation. So, do stop the practice at any signs of strangeness or dizziness in the head – and if
these signs are significant or persist then cup your hands loosely over your mouth and nose to encourage re-breathing of air.
Another slight danger with this practice is that it can “raise the temperature” of one’s emotions. So, you may wish to follow this practice with a somewhat more soothing,
calming practice such as simply watching the breath flow in and out or encouraging the exhalation to lengthen relative to the inhalation.
STARTING POSITION (and finishing position)
Stand in tadasana, that is with your feet parallel and your body long. Bend your knees and curl your tailbone downwards (and inwards) so that your lower
back becomes rounded. Curl your neck and upper trunk downwards and inwards so that your upper back is rounded. Make loose fists with your hands.
Place fists in front of your abdomen so that one fist is above the other wrist and your elbows point sideways.
Inhale through your nose at the same time as:-
- lifting your fists to about heart level and then drawing them sideways so that your arms straighten and end up pointing sideways at shoulder-level and your chest opens;
- pushing your feet down so that your legs straighten;
- extending your spine to upright so that it ends up long as in Tadasana.
Exhale through pursed lips at the same time as:-
- bending your knees and curling your tailbone downwards (and inwards) so that your lower back becomes rounded;
- curling your neck and upper trunk downwards and inwards so that your upper back is rounded;
- drawing your hands/fists downwards and inwards so that they move past each other in front of your abdomen.
(This same breathing practice could be done with the exhalation through the nose instead of the mouth.)