Workshops

Exploring Yoga: Introducing Pranayama

Saturday 26th February 2022, 10am - 12pm

at The Manor House in Dawlish

Cost £20

For anyone interested in exploring what the practice of Yoga is really all about.

The Yoga that we practice in the West is more properly called Hatha Yoga, which encompasses all the different styles you will find at any Yoga studio. But whereas many classes you may come across will focus on the physicality of the postures (asana) and on achieving flexibility and strength, these aren’t the only things Hatha Yoga is intended for.


Hatha Yoga can be translated as Forceful Yoga and is about self-realisation by perfecting the body. Looked at another way, the practice of asana, together with other techniques, can lead to improved self-awareness through turning the attention inward and quieting the mind. The ultimate goal of Yoga, therefore, is to work upon the mind by means of working with the body.


Other techniques that Hatha Yoga provides include:

  • body purification through breath techniques and muscular action (using the Devon School of Yoga kriyas)

  • breath control: pranayama

  • various meditative and visualisation techniques such as Yoga Nidra

  • the use of sound, such as with mantra, which is also an effective method for focusing mental energy


This workshop will provide some introductory work with Pranayama.


Pranayama means "breath control" and its practice allows us to take control over this otherwise autonomous process. Our breathing is often very inefficient, being shallow and too rapid. The practice of pranayama encourages us to breathe more deeply and more slowly and its regular practice will increase our lung capacity, oxygen absorption is increased, and the functions of heart, circulation and nervous system become coordinated, since the action of the diaphragm actually assists in circulating the blood around the body. We can also focus on nostril breathing to either activate or calm the mind and body.


We'll start with a short standing Yoga Kriya session to clear the airways and awaken the diaphragm and will then practice a yoga posture sequence that will focus on side-stretching and back bends to release the muscles of the back and rib cage to prepare us for the pranayama session.


I also hope to have time to introduce the use of sound in Yoga, looking at the first three sounds of the Sanskrit alphabet, which we can use in a meditation exercise.


These sessions can introduce you to some of the additional practices of Yoga that you may not come across in a standard studio session, so please come along if you've not been to one of these before and wish to discover more.

Contact me at philip.cross@gmail.com, 07966 163683, to book at place.