The Power of Breath: The Art of Breathing Well for Harmony, Happiness, and Health

Overview

Breathing is the most fundamental of our body's physical processes, yet most of us give it little or no thought in our daily lives. However, once fully acknowledged and harnessed, the power of the breath is unlimited - enhancing self-confidence, sharpening the ability to focus, easing stress and anxiety, strengthening the quality of the voice and even helping to relieve pain. A Sanskrit proverb claims, 'If you breathe well, you will live long on earth'. Renowned yoga teacher Swami Saradananda aims with "The Power...

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Overview

Breathing is the most fundamental of our body's physical processes, yet most of us give it little or no thought in our daily lives. However, once fully acknowledged and harnessed, the power of the breath is unlimited - enhancing self-confidence, sharpening the ability to focus, easing stress and anxiety, strengthening the quality of the voice and even helping to relieve pain. A Sanskrit proverb claims, 'If you breathe well, you will live long on earth'. Renowned yoga teacher Swami Saradananda aims with "The Power of Breath" to give gentle guidance on the art of breathing. The introduction explains the basics of breathing and the complex connection between the breath and the subtle body, as well as offering advice on rediscovering natural breathing and preparing for breathing exercises.The sections that follow then lead the reader through five types of breath - vitalizing, nourishing, expansive, cleansing and expressive. Over 30 life-enriching breathing exercises are explained within these sections, each one beautifully illustrated for clarity and maximum visual appeal.
There is a final section of mini breathing programs that helps you to specifically target common ailments and issues such as asthma, skin disorders, depression, lethargy and phobias as well as harnessing your breath to enhance vocal, dramatic or sports performance.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844837984
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 3/3/2009
  • Pages: 160
  • Sales rank: 501,508
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Swami Saradananda is the ex-director of the International Sivananda Yoga Vedanta Centres, in New York, Delhi and London, and former editor of Yoga Life magazine. She has been teaching yoga, meditation and breathing for over 30 years, and runs workshops on these subjects worldwide. She is the author of Chakra Meditation (DBP, 2008).

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Table of Contents

Introduction 8

The importance of breathing well 10

The body-breath-mind connection 12

Understanding your breath 14

Chapter 1 Exploring Your Breath 16

How your breath works 18

Your energetic breath 22

Breathing for stress-relief 26

Assessing your breath 28

Cleansing your respiratory system 31

Preparing for breathing 33

The art of sitting 34

Chapter 2 Your Vitalizing Breath: Understanding Prana 38

Your dynamic life-force 40

Prana visualization 42

Prana fable 44

Coping with negative emotions 46

Directing prana 48

Letting go 50

Aligning your energies 52

Integrating your complementary halves 54

Breathing for balance 56

Prana exercise sequence 58

Chapter 3 Your Nourishing Breath: Understanding Samana 62

Your digesting breath 64

Samana visualization 66

Samana fable 68

Drawing on the warmth of the sun 70

Firing up positive energy 72

Igniting motivation 74

Cooling your anger 76

Samana exercise sequence 78

Chapter 4 Your Expansive Breath: Understanding Vyana 82

Breathing from your heart 84

Vyana visualization 86

Vyana fable 88

Thinking outside the box 90

Walking with your breath 92

Enhancing your self-image 94

Opening your lungs 96

Breathing with compassion 98

Vyana exercise sequence 100

Chapter 5 Your Cleansing Breath: Understanding Apana 104

Clearing out your system 106

Apana visualization 108

Releasing tension 110

Overcoming stress 112

Breathing for new life 114

Rooting your breath 116

Climbing the breath ladder 118

Eliminating negative thoughts 120

Apana exercise sequence 122

Chapter 6 Your Expressive Breath: Understanding Udana 128

Tapping your inspirational energy130

Udana visualization 132

Udana fable 134

Breathing for success 136

Your upward-flying breath 138

The sounds of silence 140

Preserving positive energy 142

Floating on air 144

Prana exercise sequence 146

Directory: Health and Performance Programs 148

A.D.D./A.D.H.D. 148

Anger 148

Anxiety/panic attacks 149

Asthma/skin disorders 149

Chronic fatigue/lack of energy/lethargy 150

Circulatory issues 150

Concentration 150

Depression 151

Digestive problems 151

Dyslexia 152

Grief 152

Hay fever/allergies 152

High blood pressure 153

Insomnia 153

Meditation 153

Migraines/headaches 154

Pregnancy/childbirth 154

Pre-menstrual syndrome 154

Sports performance 155

Stress 155

Weight problems 155

Glossary 156

Further Reading/Resources 157

Index 158

Acknowledgments 160

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