>> Sep 15, 2016
The breathing technique of Pranayama is a key component of Hatha Yoga, the origin of all physical or postural yoga. Pranayama is a major practice that balances our energetic channels (nadis) and assists our Kundalini in the final journey to enlightenment in a yoga retreat at Bali.
Prana stands for the underlying life force and the word ayama means the whole field of life activities. Once we master it through yoga teacher training, we are able to cleanse, harmonize, and ultimately control our body and way of life.
All the energy needed by the body has to be broken down and supplied – referred to as the Pingala nadi. It has the Sun as a symbol and is linked to the ‘Ha’ in ‘hatha’. All life-activities that need energy to be conserved and by consequence cultivate coolness are linked to the Ida nadi. It has the Moon as a symbol and is linked to the term Tha, in hatha.
Both these channels travel upwards through the body in a spiral way. The word Hatha stands for these two opposing channels (nadis), the Sun and the Moon. In a broader perspective, it is the process of bringing harmony between the opposites in order to achieve perfect balance in a Bali yoga retreat.
And when pingala nadi and ida nadi are balanced our main channel opens up: Susumna nadi. This is the channel that rests in the middle of the spine. The awakening of our primal life-force (Kundalini) stands for the opening up of this main channel.
This yoga teacher training culminates in a full transformation that leads to self awareness (samadhi), the ultimate goal of Yoga. Realization as the experience oneself being one with the universe is attained in a Bali yoga retreat when Kundalini travels up through Susumna nadi and reaches the highest center in the brain.
Puraka stands for inhalation and Recaka stands for exhalation. Kumbhaka refers to the technique when the breath is the retained either before an inhalation or after. The breath and the mind have a direct relationship: interfere with one and you’ll affect the other one too. It is very difficult to control our minds and our emotions.
It is quite more simple (not easy) to manipulate our breath through yoga teacher training. This is easily evident when someone experiences a panic attack: breathing patterns turn quicker, shallow and often take time to arrive at a more relaxed state.
So long as breathing goes on the mind remains unsteady; when (it) stops, (the mind) becomes still and the Yogi attains complete peace at rest. Hence, one should restrain one’s breath.” This sort of techniques is considered to be closely related to the attaining our Kundalini, the beginning of the last journey of hatha.
All techniques of yoga teacher training are about bringing silence not only to the outer levels (body) but also to the inner layers (emotion, mind and intellect). Cleansing our pranic channels is also a part of reaching this peace: once everything flows nicely, our psycho-physical structure will need less of our attention.