Our state of mind is closely linked to the quality of our breathing. Everything that happens in the mind influences the breath; it becomes faster when we're excited, and deeper and calmer when we're relaxed. In order to influence our prana, we need to be able to influence the mind. Our actions often disturb the mind, causing prana to escape from the body. Through the daily practice of pranayama, we reverse this process, as a change in breathing pattern influences the mind.
This principle underlies all Krishnamacharya's teaching:
"In recommending yoga practices, teachers must always take into account an individual's particular circumstances. Just as other activities and practices must be adapted to changes in a person's life, such as age, yoga practices must be adapted as the practitioner changes." - T Krishnamacharya on Yoga Sūtra chapter one verse 34
Our intention is to gradually design a method of practice that suits the individual according to his or her needs. The student can easily memorize the sequence with both confidence and comfort, ultimately developing the skills necessary to move through the practice, establishing autonomy, stability and calm.
In pranayama practice, a very important question is how to find a breathing ratio appropriate to our individual needs. We can't always breathe in the same breath ratio - we may need a new ratio in order to maintain our attention on the practice, or because we need to take into account another immediate need. If the breath ratio is too easy, our pranayama practice will become mechanical. If it's too complicated, there may be resistance which, in turn, will cause problems.
Pranayama can and should be practised in the early days of discovering yoga, and should absolutely only be undertaken under the guidance of a patient and attentive instructor. Appropriate adaptation is essential.
Course content includes :
● Exercises in yoga postures in preparation for pranayama.
● Learning to observe the flow of breath internally.
● Yoga Nidra (a deep relaxation technique and form of meditation).
● Chants of the 7 chakras (bija mantra meditation).
● Tratak (concentration on a point or candle flame).
After each course, participants can practice at home to improve their physical and mental stability, as well as to develop the sensitivity needed to observe their own transformations.