Teaching Traditional Pranayama Techniques: Teaching Foundations

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Lesson Overview

In this lesson, we lay the foundations for teaching traditional pranayama techniques, as distinguished from more basic breath practices.


Understand the parts of the breath cycle, what is necessary for safely teaching kumbhaka and which practices serve different energetic purposes.


Describe the relationship between prana and breathing practices. Define the parts of the breath cycle and explain the energy and effects associated with each. Provide a list of typical movement pairings for the inhalation and for the exhalation. Describe the purpose of pranayama. Explain how pranayama begins and ends, according to B.K.S. Iyengar. Understand why patience is required for safe and effective pranayama practice and a primary caution when teaching it. Describe what is required for safe practice of kumbhaka. Note which pranayama techniques tend to have a stimulating effect, which have a calming effect and those designed to balance energy.

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