Turquoise and pink ombre texture
Turquoise and pink ombre texture

Breathing for Life: Pranayama and the Psychophysiology of Respiration

April 5—December 6, 2022



Harnessing your breath and life force is both an art and a science. In this in-depth 12-month 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 monthly two-hour live online Zoom classes with Richard
  • Each class to include a live lecture, guided prāṇāyāma practices and a Q&A session to help you build a successful and sustained personal practice 
  • Self-paced, at-home learning
  • An online support forum
  • Recordings of each session to be available during the entirety of the course
  •  A comprehensive manual, handouts, and suggested between session readings and home practices
  • Approximately 24 hours of continuing education for various organizations

 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.

What if I can’t attend every session?  
This course runs from January to December 2022. The live monthly classes will be held from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. pacific time and will be recorded. You’ll be able to catch up on anything you miss on your own time.

Please note that if you register to receive Clinical CE credits, you must participate live during each session. Recordings cannot substitute for live online participation, and attendance will be taken at each session. 

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 homework?
Yes. This course consists of 24 hours of live online lecture, practice, and Q&A sessions. A comprehensive manual and between session readings and practices are included.

Is there a refund policy for this course?
You can receive a full refund, minus the credit card and processing fees, up until the start of the course.


This event is being livestreamed using Zoom.


$899 - TCN Regular Pricing 
$999 - Regular Pricing

Want to join the TCN to receive the discount? First log into your account. Once logged in, click on "Community" then click on "Join TCN" and complete the short form. Your TCN membership takes one day to process, so please register for this Skill-Building Workshop 24 hours after you sign up for the TCN.

Already a TCN member? Make sure you log into your account before you register in order to receive the discount.


Approximately 24 Continuing Education (CE) credits.
CE registration information will be sent with your event registration receipt.


Tuesday, April 5 to Tuesday, December 6, 2022


This event will be hosted once every month on a Tuesday from January to December 2022. All sessions will be held from 2:00–4:00 PM Pacific Time.

Tuesday, January 25

Tuesday, February 1

Tuesday, March 1

Tuesday, April 5

Tuesday, May 3

Tuesday, June 7

Tuesday, July 5

Tuesday, August 9

Tuesday, September 6

Tuesday, October 4

Tuesday, November 1

Tuesday, December 6



Required Reading


CE Info

†CE credits for psychologists are provided by the Spiritual Competency Academy (SCA) which is co-sponsoring this program. The Spiritual Competency Academy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Spiritual Competency Academy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

The California Board of Behavioral Sciences accepts CE credits for LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFT license renewal for programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

LCSW, LPCC, LEP, and LMFTs, and other mental health professionals from states other than California need to check with their state licensing board as to whether or not they accept programs offered by approved sponsors of CE by the American Psychological Association.

SCA is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (BRN Provider CEP16887) for licensed nurses in California. RNs must retain their certificate of attendance for 4 years after the course concludes.

For questions about receiving your Certificate of Attendance, contact iRest Institute at support@irest.org. For questions about CE, contact Spiritual Competency Academy at info@spiritualcompetencyacademy.com.