Rodney Yee's Restorative Yoga Sequence to Prepare for Pranayama

Release tension with this restorative sequence from Rodney Yee for encouraging the flow of breath and prana.

Rumor has it that when B.K.S. Iyengar’s daughter Geeta asked him to teach her pranayama, he said, “Go practice Savasana (Corpse Pose) for 10 years. Then we’ll begin.” So, the road to learning pranayama starts with relaxation. Then you move on to breath awareness—of assessing what is in the way of your natural breath. Finally, there are many pranayama techniques that will keep you engaged for the rest of your life.

If you practice without a teacher, red flags that you’ve gone too far are as follows: tearing of the eyes, ringing in the ears, shaky handwriting, irritability, and anxiousness. All of these are signs that you need to do less—that you might want to consider resting in Savasana. It is important to be honest and accept the feedback your body gives you. It’s necessary to check in periodically with a proficient teacher who knows you well and has an extensive pranayama practice of their own (a daily pranayama practice for at least 10 years). The following sequence will help you relax, observe obstacles to peace (both internal and external), and prepare the diaphragm for deep breathing.

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