Pranayama: Breath Retention

Today is our last day focusing on discipline, and we are going to go out with some gusto 🙂 June will be moving our way into Trust, so our work into breath retention is a beautiful transition. We spend a lot of time, and rightfully so, on the inhales and exhales. They are crucial first steps to connecting with the breath. Once we feel familiar with lengthening the inhale and the exhale we can move to a space of working on breath retention.

The spaces between the inhale and the exhale have a lot to offer. Within the vayus the pauses between breath have particular purposes. It is important in the work and connection with the breath to start to notice those pauses, as ever slight as they may be to begin with.

The breath will naturally move from inhale to exhale and back again without too much, if any, thought behind it. The discipline and power of the breath comes from working with it and on it. Pranayama itself means the control of the breath. So when we think about adding the holds or pauses between the breath, we want to add these mindfully and with intention.

When you have found length to the inhale and the exhale, add some space between the breath. Start with the fraction of a breath, then move to the length of an inhale. Think about adding space between breaths slowly and with that discipline that we’ve been discussing this month. Take your time in the length of the space between breaths, as we do not want to add anxiety or fear into the body or the mind. Rather we want to be able to notice stillness, and cherish moments of quiet and peace.