19 Aug Sept 12th – Oct 3rd: 4-Part Online Pranayama Series
Take a Breather Pranayama Series with Viva Banzon
4-week, All-level, Online Course through PurnaYoga828.com
Sundays, September 12th through October 3rd, 2021 • 4-5:15 pm
$50 ($45 for PY828 Monthly Membership students)
Live attendance not necessary • Access each class recordings for 7 days
Learn three breathing techniques to relieve stress, reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, clear the sinuses, strengthen the lungs, and boost the immune system.
For millennia, yogis have used the ancient art of pranayama, often translated as breath control, to harness the healing and relaxing powers of the breath. Studies have shown that just 5 minutes of regular daily pranayama can relieve stress, reduce blood pressure, improve sleep, clear the sinuses, strengthen the lungs, and boost the immune system.
In this 4-week online course, Viva will guide new and experienced pranayama students through three foundational techniques: Ujjayi, Viloma, and Bhramari. She has chosen Bhramari, or “bee breathing,” to address the unique challenges of COVID-19, since this breathing practice increases the production of nitric oxide in the body. This molecule helps regulate immune cells and has both anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties.
From the comfort of your own home, you’ll first learn the anatomy involved in pranayama and how to bring awareness to these muscles, tissues, and organs during inhalation, exhalation, and retention of the breath. To emphasize safety and stillness, Viva will teach the three breathing techniques from a supported, supine (lying down) position so that you can focus on cultivating a smooth, rhythmic breath pattern. You’ll learn how to recognize symptoms of forcefulness – a common challenge in pranayama – and adjust accordingly, as well as how to use prakasha, or light, in order to bring a visualization component to the practice and further strengthen the mind/body connection.
During this process, you may discover pranayama:
- reducing upper body tension and headaches (including migraines!)
- increasing your mental focus
- calling up deep-seated emotions and memories
- creating a sense of inner calm and spiritual connection.
Students of all levels will find something new to experience and explore whether they are newcomers to pranayama or are mastering the basics.
Viva first encountered the benefits of pranayama in the late 1970s as a student of meditation and marine biology. Pranayama ultimately helped her overcome the anxieties and physical challenges of diving underwater so that she could complete her undergraduate degree in marine biology and embark on a lengthy career that took her around the world. While she continued to take pranayama workshops over the years, it wasn’t until she completed a 4-month course with Aadil Palkivala, Purna Yoga co-founder, that she found a teacher who devoted as much attention to the physiological and spiritual effects of pranayama as the techniques. She is currently taking a yearlong course with Aadil to become an even more experienced pranayama practitioner and teacher.
Prerequisite: Students should have a year of consistent asana practice, including the ability to stay in Shavasana (corpse pose) for 5 minutes without developing anxiety or falling asleep.
Recommendations: For the best experience, students are encouraged to take the class in a quiet place with no disturbances or distractions (e.g., phone, family members, pets, alarms). On- or over-ear headphones or earbuds may be beneficial since guidance will be given while you will be lying still with your eyes closed and encouraged not to touch your phone or computer.
Props: 2 yoga blocks, belt, a chair that encourages an upright torso, and supports for supine pranayama position (2 yoga blankets or a bolster to support torso, and an additional blanket to support the head). Optional: notebook to write and schedule homework for the week, and document one’s experience.
Sign up below. Further questions? Write to Viva.