Reaching Out to the Sun

Breath Practices

Pranayama Exercises
Third Eye Opening and Heart/Mind Connection
  1. Bring the first two fingers of the right hand to the 3rd eye.

  2. Close your eyes. Breathe in and out of the 3rd eye 2-3 times.

  3. Slowly draw a spiral on the 3rd eye, going toward the left first.

  4. Breathe in and out of the 3rd eye as you spiral. Make 36 spirals.

  5. Pause, right-hand remains at the 3rd eye.

  6. The left hand comes up to the heart chakra.

  7. Inhale at the 3rd eye, collecting energy at the 3rd eye.

  8. Pause

  9. Breathe out, exhaling the energy of the breath down into the heart. Repeat 3X

  10. Inhale complete breath at the heart, feeling the energy of the breath rise into the 3rd eye as you inhale.

  11. Pause at 3rd eye.

  12. Breathe out, exhaling energy of the breath down into the heart. Repeat 3X. Feel the connection between the heart and mind.

 
Alternate Nostril Breathing

With first two fingers of the right hand at the third eye:

  1. Lightly place tip of right thumb against right nostril, ring and little finger against left nostril.

  2. Exhale through both nostrils

  3. Close right nostril with thumb, slowly inhale through left nostril.

  4. Close both nostrils and retain briefly.

  5. Release right nostril and exhale slowly.

  6. Inhale through right nostril.

  7. Close both nostrils and retain briefly.

  8. Release left nostril and exhale slowly.

  9. Repeat by inhaling same, close off, retain briefly, breathe out other side.

  10. In same. Out other

  11. Close by breathing out both.

  12. Practice for 2-5 minutes.

 
Rib Stretching Breath
  1. Stand or sit erect.

  2. Place hands high under armpits, thumbs reaching toward back, palms on side of chest with fingers toward the front, raising elbows perpendicular to the body.

  3. Inhale a complete breath

  4. Retain for 1-2 seconds.

  5. Gently squeeze sides as slowly exhaling.

  6. Repeat 1-2 more times.

  7. Follow with Cleansing Breath.

 
Lung Cell Stimulating Breath
  1. Inhale a complete breath.

  2. During inhalation, tap chest/lungs lightly with fingertips front and back, shifting body slightly.

  3. Retain the breath, patting chest front and upper back with open palms.

  4. Exhale strongly with mouth open.

  5. Repeat 1-2 more times.

  6. Follow with Cleansing Breath.

 
Breath of Fire (Kapalabhati)
  1. Sit with spine erect. Place hands on lower abdomen or on solar plexus. You can make a fist with one hand and cover with other hand. Or simple put one hand over the other. If your abdominal muscles tire, you can use your hands to assist the movement of exhale.

  2. Inhale and exhale.

  3. With mouth closed firmly, exhale sharply through the nostrils by strongly pressing abdomen in, letting breath inhale come in a passive fashion.

  4. Allow belly to rise and fall quickly with each exhalation, allowing passive inhalation.

  5. Do 4 rounds to 20 with 2 Cleansing Breaths between each round.

 
Cleansing Breath
  1. Eyes open and palms up. Can be seated or standing.

  2. Inhale a complete breath.

  3. Pucker up lips as if for a whistle or blowing out a candle. Don’t swell up your cheeks. Now exhale a puff of air through the open lips with vigor. Pause, retaining the air, and exhale a little more air.

  4. Continue until with short puffs until all air is expelled. Usually 3 puffs.

  5. Important: Do not inhale between puffs. You are exhaling a single breath!

 
Retained Breath
  1. Stand or sit erect

  2. Inhale a complete breath

  3. Retain the breath as long as you can comfortably, stretching your torso around the breath.

  4. Exhale vigorously thought the open mouth.

  5. Do 2 Retained Breaths and finish with 1-2 Cleansing Breaths.

 
Minor Yogi Exercise
  1. Inhale Complete Breath

  2. During retention, arc and sweep arms into prayer pose above the crown of the head.

  3. Call the Christ perfection from spine center out to the circumference of your being.

  4. Exhale while lowering your arms.

  5. Repeat 2X, can finish with a Cleansing Breath.

 
Complete Breath
  1. Stand or sit erect, or lie flat on the floor or firm bed. (Try all 3 postures)

  2. Exhale and relax. Breathe in and out of the nostrils only.

  3. Begin to inhale, “fill” lower part of the breathing space (bring into play the diaphragm, pushing forward the front walls of the abdomen.)

  4. “Fill” the middle part of the breathing space (open lower ribs, breath bone and chest.)

  5. “Fill the upper portion of breathing space (expand upper chest, lower part of abdomen slightly draws in).

  6. Retain the breath for 1-2 seconds.

  7. Exhale slowly by simply letting go of the breath, relaxing chest and abdomen.
     

Your lungs obviously occupy only the upper chest above the diaphragm. In this exercise, we become aware that your entire torso participates in allowing the breath into and out of the body. We use our focus to open the breath in all three areas, lower, middle and upper torso in sequence. This allows the entire body to expand as well as relax to receive the breath.

 
Level One Sadhana

Start with gentle breath awareness

  • cool air in nostrils   

  • warm air out nostrils

 

Third Eye Opening
Heart/Mind Uniting Breath

Alternate Nostril Breathing (2 minutes)


Lung Cell Stimulating Breath 2X
Cleaning Breath 2X


Rib Stretching Breath 3X
Cleansing Breath 2X


Breath of Fire (Kapalabhati Breath)
4 rounds to 20
2 Cleansing breaths between each round


Optional—Alternate Nostril Breathing (2 minutes)


Retained Breath 2X
Cleansing Breath 1X

 

Minor Yogi Exercise 2X

Image by Darius Bashar