Breathing for Life: The Principles, Foundations, and Practice of Prāṇāyāma
A 12-part, self-paced course with Richard Miller
Harnessing your breath and life force is both an art and a science. In this in-depth 12-part course, you’ll learn the underlying philosophy, theory, structure, energetics, and in-depth practices of breathing based on Eastern perspectives of prāṇāyāma (breathwork) and Western research into psychology, physiology and neuroscience.
The practice of prāṇāyāma awakens and strengthens the resilience of your body, mind, emotions, and spirit. It balances your energy and supports your health, healing, and well-being. Engaging the breath with intention also offers direct access to your underlying nondual Essential Nature, which enables you to feel deeply connected within yourself, and intimately interconnected with all of life.
This course is designed for anyone wanting to deepen their knowledge and skills or develop a personal, at-home practice of prāṇāyāma. This includes health care professionals such as psychologists, social workers, other mental health professionals, and medical doctors who will find this course to be a complementary addition to their skillset. This course would also be ideal for students and teachers of yoga and meditation, and any others who wish to share these principles and practices with their friends, students, or clients.
In exploring the underlying philosophy, theory, structure, energetics, and in-depth practices of prāṇāyāma, you’ll learn:
- The anatomy, psycho-physiology, and neuroscience of respiration
- The foundations of prāṇāyāma for health, healing, yoga therapy, and meditation
- A safe and sustainable way to develop your own practice of prāṇāyāma that’s aligned with your personal intentions and physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing
- The underlying philosophy of prāṇāyāma
- A multitude of prāṇāyāma techniques that support health, wellbeing, healing, and awakening to your Essential Nature
- How to share these practices with others
You can expect:
- 12 course modules, each with a two-hour recorded video presentation by Richard (24 hours total)
- A syllabus, slide deck, and bank of readings and practices for each of the 12 sessions
- Each video recording to include a lecture and guided prāṇāyāma practices to help you build a successful and sustained personal practice
- A self-paced, at-home course platform that you can access at any time
- A comprehensive course manual
- Handouts, suggested reading, guided practices, and exercises to do between sessions
Topics included in this course:
- Yogic philosophy of prāṇāyāma including the five vāyus (movements of energy) and the role of prāṇa and apāna (inhalation and exhalation)
- The energetics of prāṇāyāma (laṅghana and bṛmhaṇa theory)
- 5-element and 6-koshas (sheaths of identification) theory
- Relevant sūtras related to prāṇāyāma and its use in meditation and awakening
- Anatomy, psycho-physiology and the neuroscience of respiration
- Qualities of the breath and breathing inquiries
- Working with the breath in movement and āsana
- The four types of breath
- The seven vital breathing spaces
- The three breathing spaces and 3-part breathing
- The role of the glottis in prāṇāyāma
- Hand and face pressure points related to the breath
- Preparatory cleansing practices of talabya (tongue and mouth), netī kriyā (use of salt water and string), and agnī sāra and naulī (abdominal toning)
- Coherence and Buteyko breathing regimens
- How to build and use sama vṛtti and visāma vṛtti ratios (equal and unequal ratios)
- The use of antara and bahya kumbhāka (retention and suspension of the breath)
- The use of bandhas (locks) in prāṇāyāma including mūla (perineal), uddiyāna (abdomen), jalandhāra (chin) and jiva bandha (palate)
- Prāṇāyāma practices, including anuloma, viloma, pratiloma ujjayi, mahat Kapālabhāti, nādi-shodhana, ardha sharīra, bhastrika, sūrya and chandra bhedana, brahmarī, mūrchā, and plavinī
- The use of breathing and healing mūdras (seals), including sharīra (physical), prana nādi (energetic), merūdanda (spinal), prāṇa kriya (cleansing), aswinī (sphincter), vajrolī (mouth), krāma (steps), bhairavi (meditation), kaka (tongue-mouth), and kecharī (tongue)
- The use of seed, vowel, and consonant sounds (nāda) that accompany and support the practice of prāṇāyāma
- The therapeutic use of the breath for working with different physical and mental issues asthma, emphysema, blood pressure, sleep, and depression.
- The use of breath in meditation for stabilizing, grounding, and directly pointing to Essential Nature
- Breath meditations from the ancient Nondual Śaiva text, the Vijñāna Bhairav
Frequently Asked Questions
I'm not a teacher. Can I still take this course?
Yes! This course is designed for everyone: new and long-term students, yoga teachers, and healthcare professionals. This course is for anyone interested in developing a personal practice of conscious breathing and for those who wish to share conscious breathing with others.
I have limited time during my week to practice. Is it still worth taking this course?
Yes! This course is designed to help you develop a personal practice of prāṇāyāma. You’ll learn a variety of practices that you can do in as little as 1-5 minutes. Maximum benefits are achieved through a regular 20-minute home practice.
Can I take this course if I have respiratory issues?
Definitely. Many of the techniques can be adapted for use with a variety of respiratory issues. Contraindications for specific conditions are pointed out and discussed during the course.
Will there be course work between modules?
Yes. This course consists of 24 hours of recorded lecture and practice. A comprehensive manual and between-session readings and practices are included.
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