The Power Of Breath

Unlocking the Power of Breath: Transformative Pranayama Practices for a Balanced Life

Connecting to the power of breath is essential. It’s the great constant of life and mostly goes unnoticed.

And ha, ha – point proven. A nice chap just popped in as I’m writing this, and he reckons he’s got breath sorted. He told me: “I can breathe in… and I can breathe out – and if you put eating and drinking on the list – you can tick those off two!”

We can joke, but humour is often thrown in to distract us from deeper truths we’re ignoring. We’ll need to pay attention soon enough when the breath becomes restricted or interrupted.

Breathwork, and by breathwork I mean specific practices, ratios and techniques done consistently over time, can help us breath better (most of us are only using 10 per cent of our capacity so there’s plenty to play for).

The Yoga tradition calls this breathwork Pranayama practice – and spoiler alert it doesn’t include simply breathing in and out!

Keep reading below or watch on YouTube!

The Missing Element in Modern Yoga

I think, and possibly for the push back you get from folks like the chap I just met, modern, western yoga classes aren’t prioritising this breathwork. I’m sure there are exceptions, but my experience is there’s little if no breath ratios taught, no specific techniques for certain energetic effects – it’s all about posture and we’re left to let the breath do what it does. Often that’s gasping, gripping, strained holding, unconscious breathing, ragged, jagged – you get the drift. None of that is what you want for a balanced nervous system.

You may be encouraged to breathe through the nose and even get introduced to some Ujjayi breath (noisy breath caused by gently constricting the epiglottis and the back of the throat). But Ujjayi technically isn’t pranayama either, (by definition, pranayama involves some element of breath retention/conscious holding).

So sorry folks, don’t get sold short. There are no short cuts and just breathing doesn’t count. You want the benefits of pranayama you need the techniques, and you need the practices – and they come from the thousands-of-years-old, traditional teachings.


Breathing for Life: Scientifically Proven Benefits

Yoga, remember, is a science that has been practiced and passed on for centuries and has proven its value even by modern standards. Why do you think folks like Wim Hof are now taking the stage and books like Breath by James Nestor are flying off the shelves.

It’s because the benefits of this work are huge. Breathing well is scientifically proven to:
  • Decrease inflammation.
  • Increase our immune response.
  • Alkalise our blood.
  • Increase our lung capacity.
  • Increase our adrenaline.
  • Increase our energy.
Research shows if you cultivate healthy breathing in daily life these benefits can touch every aspect of your life. 
  1. Job performance 

  2. Creativity 

  3. Peace of mind 

  4. Sense of purpose 


The Unnoticed Force Within

I’m not sure how many of us really get the power of breath and what an elegant tool it can be to change how we feel and how life changing that can be.

We can change our state, anxious, nervous, distracted, overwhelmed, stressed simply by changing the way we are breathing. No pills, no potions, and we can all do it.

So even if you did think Yoga was about flexibility (which it’s not) there’s no excuses for becoming a practitioner. And you can fling humour at it all you like, but the joke is on us if we’re not practicing this stuff.

When you come to class at our studio it’s the first thing we get you onboard with and mostly folks go home

  1. …wondering why they never thought that breathing would be something to spend time practicing.
  2. … to the best night’s sleep they’ve ever had.

Much like most things that quietly go about their business in the background – breath is taken for granted.

It needs to be a relationship we nurture consistently.

Breath is life, breath is life force. When you cultivate this life force through traditional Yoga practices like pranayama, we get to harness it and direct it skilfully, not randomly or left to chance. And what happens is we become stronger, more resilient, and more capable in every area of our life.

When that life force becomes you, you become a force of nature.

Now does that sound like something worth taking a conscious breath for?


A Month of Celebration and Appreciation.  

Today I’m inviting you to embrace the spirit of the festive season as we embark on a journey of celebration and appreciation. You may have guessed it, but one of the things we’ll be celebrating and appreciating throughout December is the breath and specifically if you join us this month, we will show you how to use the breath in practical ways to either reduce stress, find stability, or lift yourself up.

Or maybe you can learn how to do all of the above?

Here’s how that looks on the schedule.
  • Moon Don’t stress. Find spaciousness in the breath. 
  • Sun Don’t rush. Find stability in the breath. As you build life force, centre and contain it. 
  • Fire Don’t give up. Find your full potential in the breath. Lift yourself up. 
  • Restore | Breathe Perfect Breath Practices incorporated into restorative Asana (Posture) and Nidra (Yogic Sleep).


Workshop Clinics 

  • Week 1 Breath – Sami Karana (Balancing) 
  • Week 2 Meditate – Dharana (Candle Gazing) 
  • Week 3 Mantra – The Chakra Petal Sounds 
  • Week 4 Breath – Prana as Breath | Chakras as our batteries


Restore Practices (All Celebrating the Breath) 

  • Week 1 Breath – Find Perfect Breath – celebrate its power. 
  • Week 2 Breath – Find spaciousness with the breath. 
  • Week 3 Breath – Find calmness with the breath. 
  • Week 4 Breath – Find commitment to yourself through the breath.


Ahhh – take a breath – now does that that feel good?


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Thank you for stopping by and hope to see you on a mat real soon! Here’s a little offer to help you get started…