And breathe ….. by Jacky Taylor

Restorative / Pranayama Classes at iYoga, by Jacky Taylor

Being a huge fan of pranayama (breath observation / regulation), I was delighted to have the opportunity to run a series of restorative / pranayama classes at iYoga. This was a new venture for the centre so we asked participants to give feedback after the classes and it seemed those taking part also enjoyed the experience.

All 11 students who completed a feedback form indicated they would return for another series of restorative / pranayama classes. They also all noted that they would encourage others to attend classes.

The classes included some introductory aspects of yoga philosophy from Guruji Iyengar’s commentary on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali. Students were also taken through a series of restorative and preparatory asanas to help them prepare not only the body, but also the mind ready for the pranayama.

Here are some comments from the participants:

“The preparation enabled me to quieten before the start. It was really relevant to listen to the relevant sutras. The asanas in preparation improved the quality of my breath.”

“Didn’t know much about 8 limbs – really interesting. New poses to develop skills (using ropes) – fab! Breathing techniques excellent.”

“I did not know about the theory and background. I enjoyed the restorative asanas and learning about various pranayamas.”

“Restorative asanas are great to prepare the body for pranayama breathing. It made me more focused inwards and notice the movement of the breath.”

There are many benefits to integrating a pranayama practice into our yoga, a practice that is normally done after becoming steady and confident in the asanas. Often described as the regulation of breath pranayama takes us to deeper levels of practice and understanding of yoga. Sutra II.49 describes pranayama as the regulation of the inhalation and exhalation with retention or a pausing of the breath. Prana is also described as life force or vital energy therefore pranayama can help to not only bring stability, calm and peace in the mind but restores energy of the practitioner.

Here are some further comments from the participants:

“Fabulous course. Thanks Jacky.”

“Thank you the course was very valuable. Informative and a lovely experience – I felt great after the sessions.”

“Thoroughly enjoyed it. Already incorporated into other classes and home practice. Jacky is a great teacher.”

“Jacky is a calming, kind and generous soul. It’s been great sharing the time with her, to gain more knowledge about pranayama.”

“Excellent course and introduction to pranayama. Very useful and restorative.”

“The 5 sessions were really well structured and paced. I liked the transition from classes with a lot of preparation into much more intense pranayama sessions. I also thought the encouragement to attend all sessions was very helpful and set the right tone / prepared us for progress. I liked too the timing of dark Sunday evenings.”

Here are some references for those who would like to read more about the yoga sutras and pranayama:

Light on the Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – B.K.S. Iyengar
Light on Life – B.K.S. Iyengar
The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali – Edwin Bryant
Light on Pranayama, The Yogic Art of Breathing – B.K.S. Iyengar

I’m delighted to also be teaching a Restorative / Pranayama Workshop at iYoga on Sunday 22nd January 2017 (5.30 – 7:30 pm) where students will be introduced to some yoga philosophy and pranayama techniques.
For further information about the workshop and to book click here

We will also be running another series of Restorative / Pranayama classes from Sunday 19th February – Sunday 19th March 2017 (5:30 – 7:00pm). For further information about the classes and to book click here

Feel free to contact me (jacky.taylor@mac.com) for any further information or if you have any questions at all.img_0108img_0109