Just as the asanas work the physical body, pranayama works the pranic body. Asanas clear away tension in the physical body and strengthens it and pranayama clears away tension in the energetic body and strengthens it so the pranic body can hold more prana.
Because we are working with a more subtle part of our being, we need to be more cautious and aware. When we are working in asana, it’s easier for us to know we are moving incorrectly, we feel pain or get injured (albeit sometimes much later!) but you know what I mean. PLUS, a teacher can see with her eyes if you are misaligned and can better help you.
Just like you can injure yourself by aligning poorly in asana, you can do the same in pranayama. I always teach becoming aware of your pranic body before doing more advanced breathing techniques. If you feel tension in the pranic body, you need to stop what you are doing.
The breathing practice I offer to you here is a lovely relaxing breath. I start all my students on this breath when they are learning pranayama. The breath will help you learn how to access all parts of your energy body so you can do pranayama more safely.
It is also deeply relaxing — a good thing! Enjoy!
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