Breathe

Photo: yogis seated with hands over abadomen
Master class at Thrive Yoga

In addition to the material that I have accumulated on Art of Living’s breathing practice, there are other sources for this method of practice. Most yoga books will include a section on pranayama, usually just the basics. This is a practice that you definitely want the guidance of an experience yoga teacher to avoid some tangents that can take you in the wrong direction.

  • Cultivating Prana by Robert E. Svoboda. An eloquent essay about the interrelation of prana with body and mind. “Prana is the energy that drives life, the power that animates the body, enlivens the mind, spurs the soul. Prana is life’s inspiration, its foundation, its tenacity; it is the sure hand on the tiller, the wise voice of good counsel, the urge to health and harmony that craves to turn our bodies into havens where we can take shelter from the storms of the hectic modern world. Prana is at work at every instant in every cell of every living organism, seeking ever to deliver us from disease and confirm us in health, but only in those few people who are genetically fated to be healthy does prana automatically regulate its momentum.”
  • Amy Weintraub’s excellent site on yoga therapy for well-being. Her work starts from the foundation of breath work, including insight into the Art of Living approach. Her audio CD, Breathe to Beat the Blues is a great introduction to pranayama practice. Her book, Yoga for Depression, is a gateway in to the healing power of bodywork.
  • Dennis Lewis is the author of several books and a CD set on breathing. Authentic Breathing is not yoga but part of the stress reduction approach through breathing. Other links on breath work. Please note that the site seems to have a real slow response time.
  • Coherent Breathing and Coherence are the creations of Stephen Elliot. His pacing clock can be useful for those who feel that their breathing is ragged.
  • Taking some influence from Elliot and Ravi Shankar, Breath-Body-Mind is the Richard P Brown, MD and Patricia L Gerbarg, MD.  The Healing Power of the Breath: Simple Techniques to Reduce Stress and Anxiety, Enhance Concentration, and Balance Your Emotions is their book and CD that ties 20 years of work in applying breathing techniques to mental well-being,
  • Breathe In, Breathe Out: Inhale Energy and Exhale Stress by Guiding and Controlling Your Breathing by James E. Loerhr, Ed.D. and Jeffrey A Migdow, MD, is bit dated (1999), but the methodology is timeless. It was part of my teacher training bibliography.
  • Yoga breathing exercises from Amnol Mehta, with videos.
  • Why do Pranayama? by Patton Sarley (Dinabandhu) at Kripalu
  • Yoga Journal’s Pranayama section
  • Yoga International Pranayama section
  • Also try a search for apps on the iTune Store and Android Play if you want an aide in different breathing techniques.

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