Although yoga is often thought of as being all about the poses, it's important to remember that breathwork is an essential component. The way you breathe can have a direct impact on how you feel during your yoga practice. Many breathing techniques in yoga are designed to reduce stress and anxiety so that you can feel more at peace with your movements.
Try breathing like a yogi with Yoga With Adriene, the YouTube channel of certified yoga instructor Adriene Mishler. Prana refers to the life force or breath sustaining the body in Sanskrit, and ayama translates to “extend or draw out.” Together, pranayama means “controlled breathing,” which is precisely what you do when you consciously inhale and exhale.
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Here Are 6 of the Best Yoga with Adriene Breathing Sessions to Try
Whether you’re just starting out or have been practicing for years, it’s always a good idea to try new things. After all, we will never truly master anything if we do not continue to grow and challenge ourselves.
1) 19-Minute Breathwork
In this Yoga with Adriene video, you’ll start off by lying down on your back. Adriene Mishler shows you how to use deep-breathing techniques to cultivate a stronger relationship with your breath and relieve stress and anxiety. You’ll also do a reclined cobbler’s pose and other moves that focus on deep inhalations and long exhalations.
2) Pranayam Breathing
You can watch this 20-minute video whenever you want to calm your nervous system and relieve stress or anxiety. It's a great way to reset no matter what's going on in your life, whether you do it on your yoga mat or in your office chair. You'll probably feel more present and balanced at the end of this video.
Pranayama is a series of yoga breathing techniques intended to bring the body and mind into healthy harmony. Throughout history, healers have discovered the power of breathing to enhance physical, mental, and spiritual wellness. Pranayama is a traditional practice of breathing exercises rooted in Indian culture. It is used today by anyone looking to gain relaxation and wellness.
3) Ujjayi Breathing
In this video, Mishler points out that ujjayi pranayama—an audible breath or internal sound used as an anchor in yoga—is pretty popular in hatha yoga classes for its calming effect. You may have done it before.
To get started, sit up tall on your mat and listen to your breath. Breathe in and out naturally, then try this breathing technique.Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth with a long “ha.” The sound of this exhalation will resemble ocean waves. You can also make the sound by placing your tongue behind your top teeth and blowing. According to Mishler, the ultimate goal of this breathing exercise is to connect to the body through movement.
4) Alternate Nostril Breathing
To calm your nervous system, try alternate nostril breathing, or nadi shodhana pranayama. In a video posted to Mishler's website, Breathing Zone, she shows how to pinch one nostril closed and breathe in through the other side for about five breaths. She says this trick is good for any time you're feeling stressed out, whether it's from working too hard or from a head-splitting headache.
5) Lion’s Breath
Lion’s breath is another option for pranayama, or breath work. It is a kneeling pose combined with breathwork to relieve stress, boost vitality, and open up the chest and neck, according to Mishler. She admits that it may feel uncomfortable at first but recommends trying it out to see how you feel.
The posture of a sitting lion begins with sitting up straight and folding your hands in your lap. When inhaling through your nose, imagine breathing in through the back of your throat and exhaling through puckered lips like a lion roaring.
6) Breath of Fire
In her video description, Mishler explains that Kapalabhati, or skull shining breath, is a powerful, rhythmic breath that consists of short, strong exhales and passive inhales. She calls this breathing technique a “cleansing breath” because it refreshes the body and mind by helping to increase focus.
Kapalabhati is a fast and effective way to improve blood circulation, digestion, and metabolism. It’s also great for strengthening the functions of the liver and kidneys.
Pranayama's practice can help to cleanse the body and mind, promote relaxation, and improve energy levels. Inhalation can have a calming effect on your nervous system, while exhalation brings energy to the body. However, as with anything, mastering this practice takes time and dedication. For those interested in trying yoga for the first time or even just breathing better throughout their day, this is a great way to get started!