Friday, June 30, 2017

Viloma Krama - Stair Step Breathing

Here are my notes about the exploration of Viloma Pranayama on pages 180-183 in the book Prana and Pranayama by Swami Niranjananda Saraswati,  This practice has been taught to me twice in person.  I was first introduced to Stair Step Breathing in a Kundalini inspired meditation class for Joy at The Den (a meditation studio in Los Angeles).  I don't remember what the Kriya was called.  I was next introduced to the practice in Life Force Yoga training at Soul of Yoga in Encinitas by Amy Weintraub.  She recommends this practice for students who have difficult with breathing exercises and pranayama.  She says if you are working with tamas practice in a supine position and if you are working with rajas practice in a seated position.  I have used the practice with students.  I even introduced it to a student this weekend with anxiety and breathing problems and she has reported back to me that she loves it.



Lie down in Shavasana or sit in any comfortable position. Relax the whole body and practice breath awareness for a few minutes.

Begin inhalation with a series of short pauses: inhale-pause, inhale-pause, inhale-pause.  Continue this until the lungs are full.  The diaphragm and abdomen should remain firm after each pause.

Imagine you are breathing up a set of stairs.

On the completion of the interupted inhalation, exhale smoothly and slowly until the lungs are empty. Do not strain.  Practice 11 rounds, the relax and breath normally.

My observations:

I did the practice supine.  In the beginning I had a hard time with the little steps of air coming in but after about 7 rounds it smoothed out.  I did the suggested 11 rounds.  I felt very relaxed at the end.  My exhales were very long and smooth.



Practice in the same way but this time the inhalation is smooth and full

The exhalation is interrupted by a series of pauses until the lungs are completely empty.

The number of pauses depends on the individuals capacity.

Practice 11 rounds and then relax and breath normally.

My observations

I liked the first practice better because I found it to be more relaxing.  My breath capacity on the inhale became very large during and after the practice.  I practiced in a supine position.



The practice combines interrupted inhalation and exhalation.

Inhale with a series of pauses until the lungs are full. Then exhale with a series of pause until the lungs are empty.

Try to control the abdomen but do not force.

Take a normal respiration between each round/

Practice 11 rounds.

My observations:

I don't remember doing this practice before taking a normal breath between rounds.  This practice is difficult more me. It took me about 7 rounds before I felt like I was doing it correctly.  In the beginning I was paradoxically/reverse breathing which is something I have been working a couple years to get out of.  After a lot of focus I was able to get out a paradoxical breathing into a normal breathing pattern meanwhile when I inhale the belly rises and when I exhale the belly falls.

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