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Hand Crafted

The following pranayama techniques will bring balance.

By Janice Gates

Now, with your feet in position for Dynamic Virabhadrasana I (Warrior Pose I, variation), inhale to bend your front knee forward, and curl your fingers toward your palms while pulling your elbows back. Exhale, release your fists, and thrust your palms and arms forward, belly pressed back. Inhale to return to the prior position. Exhale, re--lease your arms, and straighten your front leg. Repeat this series 4 times on each side. Dynamic Warrior builds heat, energy, and focus. Alternating stretching and curling your fingers brings blood flow and awareness from the core to the periphery. And moving your arms in and out while pulling your elbows back opens your chest with each inhalation and draws your awareness to the lower belly on exhalations.

Chakravakasana (Sunbird Pose, variation) requires you to engage the opposite arm and leg while directing your awareness from the core to the periphery and back, and from opposite fingers to opposite toes. Begin by coming onto all fours in Table. Exhale your hips back toward your heels, while hugging your belly toward your spine to come into Balasana (Child's Pose, modified). Inhale and come forward into Bitilasana (Cow Pose) with your chest and head lifted. Repeat this sequence 3 times. Then, with an inhalation, come into Sunbird Pose by extending your right arm forward and left leg back, and reaching from the central axis of your spine out to your fingertips and toes. Repeat this 6 times, alternating opposite arms and legs. Stay for 3 breaths in the pose on the last 2 rounds.

Urdhva Prasarita Padasana (Leg Lift) is symmetrical and focuses on exhaling, which can bring your awareness back to your whole body. Begin by lying on your back, with your knees toward your chest and hands resting at your sides. Inhale as you extend your arms up overhead and lift your legs over the hips, bringing them perpendicular to the floor. Exhale to release, and hug your knees to your chest. Repeat 6 times.

Rest in Savasana (Corpse Pose) for 5 minutes, taking a moment to feel your whole body at once before sitting for pranayama and meditation.

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Reader Comments

Kind Essence

I wish the articles were on their own page so when I print I don't get all of the ads.

Rose

These breathing techniques are simple and are much needed in today's stressful environment. I practice these even at work for a refreshing and revitalizing pick-me-up

Balance

Great exercises, never knew there were a difference between solar, luar and alternating pranayama. Nice to know and practice!

Thank you :)

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