Made on a Mac







I. Why should you do Hatha Yoga?

Hatha Yoga is a practice that involves deep breathing, posture alignment, stretching and relaxation. A daily practice will help to build physical strength and a balanced healthy lifestyle. Patience is of utmost importance as you begin your Yoga practice. With diligence in time it will improve circulation, digestion, concentration, relaxation, posture, strength and help to relieve stress.

Yoga can be utilized for finding the true nature within.  Learning to connect breathing and physical movements allows us to flow deeper into our body and mind .  Eventually with time we settle our fluctuating mind patterns and our body begins to relax.  We then begin to see more of who we are and what we truly need to become healthy and free of dis ease. 

The stress and discord of everyday life can take away the peace of mind we desperately need.  Stress also leads to poor physical habits that destroy our posture and the quality of our health.  The therapeutic value of Yoga is rare and should be shared by everyone.

Like having a conversation with your true Self.  The practice of Yoga helps you connect a dialogue between the body and mind.  This dialogue eventually speaks the truth about your present state both physically and mentally.  Further exploration within the yoga practice leads to a deeper understanding of the present moment and an enhanced ability to find solutions to become fulfilled within life.

Take a chance on the path of yoga and you will achieve all of your wildest of dreams.  Find the peace of mind, faith, hope and strength that you always looked for.  Invest in your present moment and find a better future.


Breathe Deep, Let Go, Listen And Flow.


II. Pranayama / Yoga Breathing Techniques

There are many varieties of Yoga in the world today. In the beginning it was all called Hatha Yoga or Sun and Moon. Sun is the Soul and the Moon is consciousness.  Yoga is a process for developing a clear vision of ones true self.  Nurturing our mind and body to find strength, and developing ourselves to be content and happy is a part of what Yoga encourages. Self awareness is found when we accept the present moment for what it is inside and around us. Allowing imperfections to be a part of our nature is a crucial element in this process. Patience and acceptance is the first step in learning to grow. Accepting change and adapting as we move forward in life is something that the yoga practice enhances.

The development and control of breathing is the key to a strong yoga practice. The one thing that is normally consistent when doing all types of yoga is the techniques used for breathing. Listed below is a brief discussion about how and why breathing is used during the yoga practice. Following that is a list of breathing techniques used to strengthen breathing patterns, clear passage ways and increase capacity of lungs. Learn each technique separately, one at a time and practice regularly to help increase energy level. It is important to understand each one listed before moving on to the next.

Pranayama is the most crucial element for practicing Yoga. The Sanskrit meaning of pranayama is to restrain or master the life force. The Life force is called Prana (prah-nah) or also known as energy. Ayama (a-yah-ma) means to lengthen or restrain and Yama (yah-ma) means to restrain or hold back. The system of Hatha Yoga asanas (poses) and breathing is based on balancing and increasing the flow of prana in the body. Prana exists in all things and is abundant in air, sunlight, food and water. The key to understanding prana or energy is breath. One who has strong lungs and good breathing capacity usually has abundant energy. When the mind is clear and balanced, the breath is even and rhythmic. When the mind is nervous and tense, the breath is strained and erratic. Be aware of this for pranayama exercises and Yoga postures.

There is an energy network in the body that corresponds to the nervous system called the nadis (nah-dees). The energy is absorbed and flows through the nadis. The nasal passages have more nerve endings than the mouth; consequently more prana is absorbed during nasal breathing which also has a balancing effect on the nervous system. Do the following Pranayama exercises through the nose unless the sinuses are congested. Practice on an empty stomach in a quiet place where there is a fresh supply of air. Create time in the early morning to practice so the mind and body are ready for the day ahead. A regular practice creates a good habit and builds the benefit slowly.

Abdominal Breath - Natural Breath, Diaphragmatic Breath.

This should be done always while awake and moving through day.  When done Lying on your back as you inhale, the downward movement of the diaphragm should push your stomach outward. As you exhale, the stomach will sink back down. This correct breathing feels almost like the stomach is moving air or is actually filling with air. Find the rhythm of breath that is smooth and most relaxing for your body.

Dirgha Pranayama - A 3 part complete breath that encourages deep breathing and fuller usage of lungs. The Yogic Breath and the warm-up breath for all pranayama techniques.

Sit comfortably with spine erect, take a few breaths and settle body. Slowly inhale, bringing the air into the bottom of the lungs with the diaphragm. Then continue inhaling to open and expand the rib cage upward and out to the sides. Continue to inhale up under the shoulders to fill the lungs completely. Then exhale slowly from the top to the bottom of the lungs. Contract the abdominal muscles at the end of exhalation to squeeze out all of the residual air.

Dirgha Pranayama uses the full capacity of the lungs, removing stale air and toxins. It keeps the chest and lungs flexible and relaxed. It increases overall energy, renews the entire system, improves digestion and elimination. After breathing like this for awhile it should start to feel natural.  Continue forward with Ujjayi Pranayama and others on list.

Ujjayi Pranayama - The Victory Breathe.  Ocean Sounding Breath similar to the sound of Darth Vader's breathing. This is a meditative and soothing breath used to regulate breathing.

Sit comfortably with the spine straight, take a few deep breaths and relax. Whisper the word home, holding the mmm…sound for a few seconds. Now whisper home on the inhalation and the exhalation. Don’t make the sound too loud and keep it smooth and even. When you are able to whisper the sound through the mouth evenly in and out, close the mouth and continue the sound through the nostrils on inhalation and exhalation. Continue with long deep breaths.

Ujjayi Breath is deeply relaxing and soothing. The breath is lengthened and the air is drawn to the bottom of the lungs. The mind becomes absorbed and focused by the sound, which induces meditation. It heightens awareness and enhances creativity.

Kapalabhati Pranayama - The Skull Polishing Breath or Breath of Fire. A vigorous breath that releases tension from abdomen and helps cleanse nasal and sinus areas. Also strengthens abdomen over time, energizing for body and excellent for clarity of mind. Creates quick intake and out take of oxygen.

Sitting comfortably with an erect spine, take a few deep breaths and relax. Exhale forcefully through the nostrils contracting the abdominal muscles, and then relax the abdomen immediately afterwards, the inhalation will happen passively. Repeat slowly at first to make sure the belly is relaxing after the contraction, then pick up the pace finding your own rhythm. The breath is in the abdomen, the chest is relaxed. Start with 10-20 breaths and increase gradually.

Kapalabhati Pranayama strengthens the abdominal muscles, diaphragm and heart. It deeply massages the internal organs, stimulates digestion and elimination. Removes stale air and toxins from lungs and pumps fresh prana into all the cells of the body. Produces energy, massages and clears away tension in the central nervous system, bringing mental clarity and alertness.

Menstruation, Pregnancy, Colitis, Surgery of abdomen (recent), Emphysema, Hernia and un-medicated high blood pressure are contraindicated for Kapalabhati. If you have any of these conditions you may do Ujjaya or Dirgha Pranayama instead.

Alternate Nostril Kapalabhati Pranayama - This is similar to the Kapalabhati technique but it is done through one nostril at a time or through alternating nostrils.

When beginning start out with normal steady breathing and sit with erect spine, relaxed shoulders and abdomen. Use hand gesture called Vishnu Mudra to place on one nostril at a time. Vishnu Mudra is done by pressing index and middle finger ends to palm as you extend ring and pinky finger with thumb. Use ring and pinky finger to hold down one side of nose and thumb to hold down other side when alternating side to side. You can use left or right hand for Vishnu Mudra.

Start out inhaling deeply through both nostrils. Press firmly on right nostril and strongly contract your abdomen, exhaling sharply through the left nostril. Relax abdomen immediately afterwards, the inhalation happens passively. Alternate from right to left and continue forward. It may be easier for the beginner to do 3 breaths on each side before switching to other side. Start out slowly to find rhythm. Repeat a few times to make sure the belly is relaxing after the contraction, then pick up the pace finding your own rhythm. The breath is in the abdomen, the chest is relaxed. Start with 10-20 breaths and increase gradually. End with forceful exhale through right nostril as you press left nostril. A full round is one exhale through each nostril along with one passive inhale that is normally not noticed just before each quick exhalation. To finish completely rest your hands on lap and take deep inhale and exhale through both nostrils for a few breaths.

Strengthens the abdominal muscles, diaphragm and heart. It deeply massages the internal organs, stimulates digestion and elimination. Removes stale air and toxins from lungs and pumps fresh prana into all the cells of the body. Produces energy, massages and clears away tension in the central nervous system, bringing mental clarity and alertness.

Menstruation, Pregnancy, Colitis, Surgery of abdomen (recent), Emphysema, Hernia and un-medicated high blood pressure are contraindicated for Kapalabhati. If you have any of these conditions you may do Ujjaya or Dirgha Pranayama instead.

Nadi Shodhana Pranayama - Alternate Nostril Breathing or Channel Purifying Breath.

When beginning start out with normal steady breathing and sit with erect spine, relaxed shoulders and abdomen. Use hand gesture called Vishnu Mudra to place on one nostril at a time. Vishnu Mudra is done by pressing index and middle finger ends to palm as you extend ring and pinky finger with thumb. Use ring and pinky finger to hold down one side of nose and thumb to hold down other side when alternating side to side. You can use left or right hand for Vishnu Mudra.

Begin with normal breathing to relax and settle. Start by pressing down right nostril and slowly inhale through the left nostril. As soon as you finish inhaling, exhale through right nostril as you press down left nostril. As soon as you have exhaled through right nostril, inhale through the same right nostril. Close the right nostril and exhale through left. Continue this pattern of inhale, exhale, switch. Always finish with exhale through left nostril. This way you will have done it equally on both sides. A full round is an inhalation and exhalation through each nostril once.


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When practicing all breathing techniques begin slowing down after a few minutes to create meditative quality to breathing and mental state. When finished rest hands on lap and take deep inhale and exhale through both nostrils a few times to relax. A full round is an inhalation and exhalation through each nostril once.