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Donna Farhi's Breathing Book Re: Pranayama cautions: Link

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  • Nina
    ... Hi, Gene, thanks for the article. It was an interesting read and seemed fairly even in presentation of the material. It is quite true that the use of the
    Message 1 of 4 , Jul 8, 2004
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      --- In meditationsocietyofamerica@yahoogroups.com,
      "Gene Poole" <gene_poole@q...> wrote:
      > It is the whole article, read as interrelated information,
      > which is the ticket.
      > I don't particularly 'like' the promotion of pranayama,
      > but if it is to be promoted, the methods should be
      > described along with the preparation (necessary
      > purifications) and possible side-effects.
      > My own experiences with pranayama have revealed
      > it to be an extremely powerful method, best used
      > with great caution. It is not for the 'weekend yogi'.
      > ==Gene Poole==
      > Breath easy

      Hi, Gene, thanks for the article. It was an interesting
      read and seemed fairly even in presentation of the material.
      It is quite true that the use of the bhandas (and those are
      only three of many) can alter the quality of the breath
      when practicing pranayama, whoo-doggy.

      As with any practice, it is good to approach it with the
      scientist's mind, so that the practice can be refined and
      a place of balance can be found. With enough practice, it
      is possible to find correlations between what you do in
      your practice and how you feel immediately upon doing that
      and... this is the trickier part... how you feel in general
      beyond the practice. For instance, it is fairly common to
      say to separate pranayama practice (not talking about 'just
      following the breath' here) from asana practice by
      about 20 minutes of non-yoga practice activity (walking around,
      reading paper, sipping tea, doing housework, etc.). This is
      because... again and again... people who attempt to link the
      two find that they become 'wired' and imbalanced beyond their

      Learning about the breath can be fun and enjoyable, though.
      This morning I rediscovered a very good 'entry level' book
      by Donna Farhi called "The Breathing Book: Good Health and
      Vitality through Essential Breath Work". It skirts large
      breathing changes, focusing instead on coming to know your
      breath as it is - how it works, what body parts are involved,
      a few very simple practices to become more aware and easy in
      the breath.

      I find that pranayama can be (and is best) approached in a
      nurturing fashion, as if you were teaching a young child to
      walk. You can't make them walk, but you can clear a floor
      space and remove obstacles to their path. It is the same
      with pranayama. If you force the breath to become longer,
      or hold on tight to a breath retention, you experience
      a counterproductivity - when you finally do get back to a
      'normal breath', it is short and needy. However, if you
      make room for the breath by keeping your ribs, spine, and
      diaphragm flexible (through stretches, for instance), and
      if you learn to make room for the breath by letting these
      anatomical parts float (like continental plates, for instance)
      on the breath during pranayama practice, the breath will
      morph into a deeper breath with longer pauses naturally.
      As with many things - you need do nothing! ;)

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