Far from being simply a physical exercise, yoga encompasses a wide range of techniques and practices. On this page we are building up a range of tutorials to develop and perfect your skills in the yogic arts of pranayama (breathing techniques) With time these practices will serve to deepen and enrich your work on the mat and broaden your outlook on life.
Anatomy of Breathing
You can hardly get through five minutes of any good yoga class without being reminded to breathe. Of course, all of us breathe every second of every day, we do it instinctively. However, how much do we all know about the mechanics of breathing and how we can optimise our breathing for our health and wellbeing? This yoga anatomy video offers an invaluable insight into the anatomy of your breath and how to use your breath on and off your yoga mat to help you feel good both physically as well as mentally. Please note that all advice and recommendations in this film are given generally and do not constitute any form of an individual diagnosis or treatment plan. A consultation with a medical practitioner or registered physical therapist is recommended.
Three Yoga Poses to Support Digestion
It might not be easy to find time to move our bodies or practice a yoga flow in our busy lives, but it is important to aid our bodies and help support our digestive system throughout the day. In this quick yoga class, Gabriella will guide you through her top three poses which can help support our digestive systems along with a diaphragmatic breath technique to help create calm. These will only take a few minutes and can all be done at your desk!
Breathe Deep and Restore
This yin yoga, restorative yoga and breath work class cools, calms and softens into body and mind; a deeply nourishing and supportive yoga class. Connect to your body and soul with this deep breathing experience. With a focus on breath work throughout, expect deeply restorative yoga poses to help to unwind and decompress. You will unravel the tension with cleansing breath work, deep stretches, and blissful meditation. Breathe through the yin and restorative poses; stretch and soften tense muscles; relax, release and recharge. This class is designed for anyone who needs a break, perfect for anytime in our busy lives to take time for yourself to relax, slow down, and BREATHE DEEP. You'll need a bolster, brick and a blanket.
Raise Your Energy with Kapalbhati Breath Work
A wonderful practice for first thing in the morning to raise your energy! This is a breath work class called Skull Shining Breath which is fantastic to improve our focus and energy and get ready for the day. Don't practice on a full stomach or if you're pregnant, and as with any class, don't force anything. Enjoy letting the energy flow!
Positive Psychology Series (4): Gratitude
Sleep Recovery Series (7): Meditations
A simple breath focused meditation class to help digest the day’s thoughts, feelings and impressions to banish the bedtime thought-parade that can prevent you from sleeping. Lisa gives you tips on mental-digestion during the day to prevent and recover from night-time sleeplessness.
Sleep Recovery Series (5): Breathe to Relax
A tutorial of breath work practices which are gentle, adaptable and easy to remember when you want to repair your ability to rest throughout the day. Use them to drift off to sleep at night, or if you wake in the middle of the night. The first breath practice is a simple Ujjayii breath with a lengthened exhale to increase a sense of calm, then three part breathing. These techniques are perfect to practice before bed or anytime you need to relax.
Meditation: Soft Pause
In the final part in our Introduction to Meditation Series, we start to watch the top and the bottom of our breath. You'll notice that there are round edges to the inhale and exhale, where each breath gently reaches a peak and then gives rise to the next. Either simply watch these spaces between breaths or gently hold for a moment at the top of each inhale, and pause for a moment at the bottom of the exhale.
Meditation: Exploring the Breath
In the fourth part in our Introduction to Meditation Series with Nikita, we learn how to explore breath patterns as a means to change the way we feel. Allow the exhale to be twice as long as the inhale to give the body a chance of releasing all the old, to make space for the fresh new oxygenated air to flow in fully. Start at an equal breath (e.g. inhale for six seconds and exhale for six seconds) then increase gradually to a ratio of 1:1.5 (e.g. inhaling for six seconds and exhaling for nine seconds). Eventually, breathing to a ratio of 1:2 (e.g. inhaling for six and exhaling for 12 seconds). Maintain for up to about 20 breaths and then return to normal breath. If you are asthmatic, you may find that it's tricky to get to the full 1:2 ratio at first, in which case stay at 1:1.5. This is another great technique you might want to use as a tool to anchor an anxious mind any time you feel overwhelmed.
Meditation: Counting the Breath
In the third part in our Introduction to Meditation series, we start to count the breath. Get settled in a comfortable spot, either sitting or lying down, and begin to count your breaths backwards from 20 to 1. Say to yourself mentally, I am breathing in 20, I am breathing out 20. I am breathing in 19, I am breathing out 19, and so on until you reach 1. If you notice your mind has wandered away from this focus, draw it back. If you lose your count, start again. If you manage to get all the way to 1, try starting at 50 next time. You might want to use this exercise as a tool to anchor an anxious mind any time you feel overwhelmed.
Meditation: Feeling the Breath
In the second part in our introduction to meditation class we notice the breath within the body. Notice the body's involuntary response to your inhalations and exhalations; from the most obvious, loudest reactions (like the rise and fall of the chest, the expansion and release of the mid body) - to the more subtle and quieter ones (like the gentle drawing back behind the eyes as you inhale, to the sensation of the palms of the hands as you exhale). Notice how you feel before and after doing this short meditation class, you might be surprised at how effective just a few minutes in meditation can be!
Feel Better Flow
The perfect class for when you are not feeling your best and you want to move into a better feeling. This class is great for when your immunity levels are low, you might be recovering from illness or injury or you just feel you need to improve your self-confidence gently. This is a beautiful self-care practice of self-massage, breathwork, gentle movements, and a supported inversion. These gentle practices will stimulate your immune system and then the flow is very gentle, perfect for slower days. Additionally, we will work with the power of intention and visualisation to bring wellness to your physical body.
Five Minute Energy Reset
A quick soothing practice to help relax the body and clear the mind after a busy day. Kirtan Kriya is a key practice with the Kundalini Yoga teachings. It’s a meditation with a mantra and mudra that helps balance the elements of the body and clear the subconscious mind of unnecessary clutter. We prepare the body to sit comfortably with spinal flexes.
A kriya is a specific sequence of postures or actions for a specific purpose. I like to call them recipes, each step works in turn to create a specific effect for your body, mind and spirit. There are hundreds of Kundalini Kriyas, this one is called the Kriya for Elevation. It is a simple practice involving lots of flexing the spine, stretching of the legs and stimulating breath of fire. The practice finishes with a more challenge held meditation Sat Kriya which is a key practice in kundalini Yoga. It encourages circulation of panic life force through all the chakras. It’s a great practice to help relieve symptoms of depression. This sequence has breath of fire to begin with so please watch my introduction to Kundalini Yoga if this is a new practice for you or you haven’t quite mastered it yet. Tune in to this traditional Kundalini yoga class or Kriya, as they are known in the Kundalini tradition. This full Kundalini yoga class involves chanting, mudra and physical hatha yoga poses and a beautiful, long Savasana to finish.
This short Kundalini yoga class, explains a couple of key practices of Kundalini to newcomers but also makes a complete short Kundalini class that incorporates movement, breath work and meditation that will relax and release the spine, charge up our energy, and soothe the mind. A grounding practice, very helpful particularly for anxiety and depression.
In this short tutorial, Adrianna guides you through an awareness practice that can be used alone, but also before each of the restorative yoga classes. Scan the layers of the body (physical, mental, emotional or spiritual) to listen into what is present in your body right now, so that it may inform our choices as we move into practice, be it poses, or a place in which to anchor our attention during each pose. A really useful short practice to listen to to connect to yourself before any yoga class, but especially useful for Adrianna's restorative classes.
Kapalabhati (Skull Shining Breath) Tutorial
A seated pranayama, or breath-work class on Kapalabhati, otherwise known as skull shining breath. This breath is fabulous for awakening, creating alertness and as an enlivener – as a pick-me-up, maybe instead of your morning coffee or before a vigorous yoga practice. This can be used anytime you need to feel more alert, and can also be used during yoga poses as well. Warning, if you start to feel dizzy, please do return to your normal breath.