There are numerous benefits of pranayama, here are just a few – the improvement of memory and concentration levels, improved lung function as we age. It can even reverse or reduce the effects of aging which includes joint pain, loss of vitality, stiffening muscles, rheumatism, less flexible joints, headaches, sluggish diaphragm, backaches and hardening of the arteries.
Breath-work also relieves stress and anxiety, which is beneficial to us all including mothers-to-be, to keep calm and focused during stressful times including labour.
This booklet is complementary to The Yoga for the Seasons and The Spirit Yoga Health Series. Pranayama can be used as a practice on it’s own by anyone at anytime. Yoga classes can benefit immensely from incorporating pranayama before and/or after practice and also in union with the poses themselves (advanced practitioners). Pranayama can also be practiced before meditation to help calm and centre the practitioner.
Martine Ford (the author) has chosen some of her own favourite mudras (hand gestures) and pranayama (breath-work) that are simple to try but effective to practice.