Pranayama Practice

Simple Supported Backbend - 5-10 min
• Fold two blankets lengthwise and two blankets widthwise.
• Take the long blankets and place them under the upper back and the short blankets under the head. Leave a small groove in between for the shoulders to hang into. Lie back with the soles of the feet flat on the floor and the knees up in the air.
• Soften the muscles of the neck, chest, shoulders and upper back.

Supta Baddha Konasana (Reclined Bound Angle Pose) - 5-10 min
• Soften the lower abdomen and hollow out the pelvis, releasing the muscles that line the pelvic bones.
• Soften the ribcage and all the muscles that line the inner ribs.
• Soften the lungs, allowing them to deflate evenly, retracting inwards away from the ribs cage.
• Soften the diaphragm

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - 5-10 in
• Use same set-up as simple back bend above, with a bolster under the knees.
• Soften and observe the movement of the diaphragm.
• Allow the stomach and the liver to move freely, descending as the diaphragm moves down with the inhalation, and rising as the diaphragm releases with the exhalation. Soften the organs and the ribs as much as possible to allow the most freedom of movement.

Setu Bandha (Bridge Pose) - 5-10 min
• Restorative set-up over a bolster or folded blankets, with thighs belted.
• Balance the movement in the abdomen with the movement in the rib cage so that neither one overpowers the other.
• After several minutes of this, begin to increase the inhalations and exhalations to a full tidal volume (the amount of air you can inhale and exhale without the muscles of the chest, back or core engaging to assist) for the remainder of the time.

Viparita Kaarani (Upside Down Pose) - 10-15min
• First establish a full tidal volume and continue for several minutes.
• With the exhalations, imagine the bottom of the lungs chasing away from the diaphragm and the diaphragm chasing away from the liver and stomach to create some separation between each of these three parts.
• Ujjayi 4: Increase the breath to full Ujjayi breathing. Use the inhalations to create room around the stomach and liver, the exhalations to separate lungs, diaphragm and organs. Continue for 3-5 minutes.
• Viloma 2 (Variation): At the bottom of each exhalation, create a brief pause where the breath is suspended, without hardening the breathing muscles. Use the pause to increase the separation of lungs, diaphragm and organs. Continue for 3-5 minutes.

Parshva Bharadwajasana (Side Bharadwaja's Pose) - 3-5 minutes each side
• Lie to the side over a bolster.
• Ujjayi 4: Use the breath to increase the space around whichever organ is elevated. On the inhalation, expand the ribs from the spine to the front. On the exhalation allow the organ to slide up and expand into the space created.

Seated Breath Observation - 3-5 min
• Establish a full tidal volume.

Ujjayi 8 - 3-5 min
Increase the breath to full Ujjayi breathing. Use the inhalations to create room around the stomach and liver, the exhalations to separate lungs, diaphragm and organs.

Viloma 5 (Variation) - 3-5 min
At the bottom of each exhalation, create a brief pause where the breath is suspended, without hardening the breathing muscles. Use the pause to increase the separation of lungs, diaphragm and organs.

Shavasana (Corpse Pose) - 5-10 min