Pranajam, mudra and bandha

Pranayam – Control over life energy

Pranayam is controlling the energy flow with breathing. Withouth breathing there is no Yoga. When we controul our breath we relax our spirit and affect our mind. Pranayam can calm us or fills us with energy. The purpose of breathing techniques is to purify our Nadis, energy channels in our body.

Pranayam that we perform in our classes:

  1. Yogic breath – abdomin/chest/shoulders
  2. Bhastrika – breath of fire, active exhalation/inhalation, massage of internal organs
  3. Kapalbhati ( part of Shatkriya) – the shining Skull, active exalation
  4. Surya Bedhana – Solar breath throught right nostril, we activate our metabolism, get energy and warm up our body
  5. Chandra Bedhana – Lunar breath throught left nostril, we slow down metabolism, cools down our body, calms mind and relaxes
  6. Nadi Shodana, Anulom Vilom – Alternately nostril breathing, always starting with left side and also finishing with left as well
  7. Samavriti – steady breathing, balances mind in this sequence: inhalation/retention/exhalation/retention
  8. Sithli or cooling breath – inhalation through twisted tongue/ exhalation through nose

All techniques should be implemented under supervision of an experienced teacher.

Bandhas – energy locks

With breathing we inhale Prana, Energy. If we wish to steer it through our body we use energy locks of Bandhas. ( Bandha, sanskr.=Lock). We are familiar with three main bandhas:

  1. Moolabhanda: squeezing the pelvic muscles, to prevent energy from going through perineum; Hatha Yoga Pradipika emphasizes that regular practice of Moolabhanda brings eternal youth and people who perform it usually have a special glow and attraction
  2. Udiyanabandha: abdominal lock with which we push energy to higher levels, towards head
  3. Jalandarabandha: throath lock which balances energy flow between heart and brain and is usually practiced through Pranayam when practicing the Great Lock ( using all three locks)

Mudras – the speech of fingers and hands

Mudras are symbols which help steering energy in our body so with them we return energy from our hands back to our spine and chakras. With this mystical language we enable non-verbal communication between our consciousness and unconsciousness.

The symolical meaning of our fingers:

  • Thumb – power of will
  • Index finger – ego
  • Middle finger – the finger of power which we use to balance heavy stabilizing energies
  • Ring finger – solar energy, the finger of individuality
  • Pinky – energies which are required to intelectually evolve

During our classes we usually practice two mudras:

  1. Om, Chin Mudra: The touch of thumbs and index finger. This circle represents balance between cosmos and our karma and expresses divinity which comes over ego. It calms our mind, breath, flow of our thoughts
  2. Namaste Mudra: palms together, stretched fingers which represents a gesture of respect and means: 'My Soul bows to your Soul.
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