Manage episode 291281725 series 2772219
Breathing practice has become increasingly popular, partly at least, as we look for ways to help lessen the anxiety of these most uncertain times we are living through. Harmony is uniquely positioned to guide us in this having studied what she terms as ancient breathing (the subject of a new course she is soon to launch), with both Pattabhi Jois as well as the renowned Sri O.P Tiwariji; the then head of the Kaivalydam Institute for research on yoga near Mumbai in South India.
In this interview, we discussed how best to build up a practice, what breath to start with and the signs or symptoms that we are doing it effectively. We also talk about the fact that – even without dealing with anxiety – pranayama is most helpful to balance of the intensely stimulating affects of our ashtanga practice on our nervous systems.
For, the practice itself often stimulates the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight), which can be helpful in resolving trauma. On the other hand, we also need to balance this with tapping into the calming effect of the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest), which is not adequately found addressed in the way most people practice, and want to practice (ie. with a certain speed and dynamism that is invigorating, yet, also needs balance for this reason).
Finally, Harmony shares some of her own experience with using pranayama to fight inflammation, fatigue and digestive-issues. Here, we delve into the science behind it regarding oxygen and Co2 exchange, as well as considering how to commence breathing if you find yourself resistant or even frightened by the prospect of sitting quietly and focussing on your breath.