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Yoga of Sound Breath

Svara Yoga Pranayama

(s-VAR-ah)
svara = sound, air breathed through the nostrils

Step by Step

Traditionally the five "elements" that make up our body-mind (and the entire material universe)-earth, water, fire, air, "ether"-are each energetically associated with a fixed point on the linings of our nostrils. So it's possible to influence and transform our body-mind by channeling our breath over or away from these points. .

This exercise is a variation of the traditional teaching, since our two points are non-traditional and not elementally potent, and our immediate goal is simply to become better acquainted with our breath. These points (two in each nostril) are the "inner nostril" just beside the septum, and the "outer nostril," underneath the "wing" (ala) of the nose.

Sit comfortably and attend to your breath as it passes in and out through your nostrils. It's likely you'll feel a difference between the two; your inhale, for example, is touching your right nostril near the septum, but your left nostril below the wing.

Watch for a minute or two, then begin to channel (or "narrow") your inhales across your inner nostrils. Continue for a minute or two.

After breathing normally for 30 seconds, begin to channel (or "widen") your exhales beneath s your outer nostrils, "widening" your breath. Again continue for a minute or two, then return to normal breathing for 30 seconds.

Finally combine the inner and outer breaths and breath slowly for a few minutes. You can practice this version of Svara Yoga during Ujjayi or Kapalabhati (on the exhale).


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Reader Comments

Delia

What breathing technique is good for a person with Cardiac problems?
Which technique can assist with ear ringing problems?

sofija

Ms Thomas looks extremely tensed on this picture with such energy like she is telling us "Look what I can do".
It is not yoga attitude at all....

Haristanda Giri

This is an attempted description of Kriya Yoga. Isvara - sound of inhalation --- Omkara, then Rakara---sound of exhalation. The point is to be aware of your breath. Messing around with the alternating nostril techniques and points of attention without proper guidance can cause problems and confusion.
Everything connected to breath is elementally potent--simply because everything is connected to breath.
Kechari Mudhra is a precursor to any breath technique.

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