Pranayama

How did I ever live my life, all those times, without exploring all the different techniques of breathing?!!! I asked myself that question as I’m beginning to experience the different types of Pranayama. For a long time, before my chance came upon yoga, it’s always been the shallow breathing for me. Simply unaware of how important it is, although I know that much, if I’m upset or needed a “time out”, I would inhale a little longer and exhale slowly. I know breathing alters depending on our mood and psychological state can be altered through our breath. Even when I used to run, I know that breathing is a vital technique I use for the momentum of my speed and distance. And of course the “yawn” when I’m thinking ooh?! My body lacks of oxygen, I’m tired or sleepy and I need more oxygen please! Well, that was then…

The various techniques I’ve come to know now is wonderfully amazing, enlivening, warming to the body, cleansing and the lists goes on. My asana practice has indulged me into doing the Ujjayi Pranayama. In this pranayama, the breath is soft sound produced by the air in the throat and is heard during inhalation and exhalation. The slight contraction to the throat, and directing the breath kept high up in the chest, rather then being allowed in the abdomen. Hence the meaning of Ujjayi “expanding” or “victorious”.
This pranayama is very energizing and for this reason, it’s best done in conjuction with Abdominal lock and Root locks ( bandhas). This helps me tremendously in my asanas practice when I need that extra push to get my face resting on my shin when I’m doing all my seated asanas and I fold over. Many thanks to my Guru 
The Brahmari technique is a more gentle practice of breathing. Listening to the sound of our own breath is deeply restorative and nurturing for me. Bringing my attention inward to my happy belly  the heart, throat and the head, while exhaling slowly making the humming sound in the palate of the mouth. I was advised by my other Guru to take a higher pitch which was an instant level of easiness and comfort. Feeling the vibrations in my ears, my face, throat and chest and the pulsing through the body is so soothing! This Prayanama is also known as the humming bee breath which someone said it attracts the bees or some flying insects! Well, let’s just say I would perhaps be having a mosquito net over me, just in case some flying insects fancy the sound and vibration coming from me.