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Yoga Holidays Portugal - Eco Yoga Retreat

Pranayama - connecting with breath.

Our breath is what keeps us 'alive', if we did not breathe, we would not live, we cannot live without it. It is our breath that connects us with our spirit, and the practice of concious breathing enables us to develop mindfulness, awareness and connection.

Awareness and mindfulness of our breathing is one of the most common techniques for concentrating the mind and dropping into the practice of meditation.

The practice of pranayama, generally translated from the Sanskrit as restraining or controlling the breath, is a practice that can really put us in touch with the basic connection of being alive.

Before we start to understand many of the yogic pranayama practices we must untangle our breath from years of habitual holding and unconcious restraints or blockages. As our bodies hang on to memories of physical and emotional experience, so our process of breathing can become unnatural as we grow through life. We all develop habits of holding, both body and breath, which we need to unwind and understand before we can move on. Pranayama can also be interpreted as developing an understanding and intimacy with your own breath, and freeing it from restraint and restriction.

Our breath is also intimately connected with movement. Our bodies move as we breath. The connection between the breath and the movement of the spine is an integral point of exploration in a yoga practice. Sometimes the subtle motion of our breath can lead us to our spine and also the more dynamic movements of our spine can lead us to our breath.
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'Thanks for a reinvigorating stay, we both feel a lot more at peace'
Sara and Jean Michel, London
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