March 6, 2021 – March 26, 2021
The 20-hour Pranayama Master Course offers a comprehensive, informed, and accessible approach to practicing and teaching the transformational breathing techniques at the heart of yoga.
Often described as “secret” practices dating back to the origins of yoga, this course demystifies the histories of pranayama and offers a safe and sustainable way to develop a pranayama practice in alignment with one’s conditions and intentions in doing yoga.
This course begins with the idea of prana as expressed in the earliest periods of yoga’s development, tracing the contours of pranayama theory and practice from ancient to modern times. We look closely at traditional theories of subtle anatomy and energy as well as scientific understandings of the anatomy and physiology of respiration. This foundation in history, philosophy and science then informs a set of specific preparatory practices for enhancing personal pranayama practices.
The heart of the course comes in the guided practices, including simple refined breathing (puraka-rechaka-kumbhaka) and conscious techniques for deliberately cultivating energetic balance, including ujjayi, sama vrtti and visama vrtti, viloma, antara kumbhaka and bahya kumbhaka, kapalabhati, bastrika, sitali, anuloma and pratiloma, suryabheda and chandrabheda, and five different types of nadi shodhana.
Is This Course for You?
The Pranayama Master Course is designed for experienced yoga students and new and experienced teachers and teacher trainers who are interested in deepening their knowledge and skills for practicing and sharing pranayama techniques.
Part I: Theory: Myth, Early Practices, and Modern Science
- Welcome and Course Overview
- Prana and Pranayama: Cultivating Subtle Energy
- Prana Before the Upanishads
- Prana in the Upanishads
- Prana Vayu
- Patanjali’s Ideas
- Pranayama in Hatha Yoga
- The Human Respiratory System
Part II: Preparatory Practices
- Prep for Prep
- Breath Awareness
- Sitting versus Supine
- Diaphragmatic, Costal, and Blended Breathing
- Human Nature: Puraka, Rechaka, Kumbhaka
- Preparatory Practices
- General Asana Practices for Pranayama
- Specific Asanas in Preparation for Pranayama
- Yoga Nidra for Receptivity
- Nasal Cleansing: Neti
- Mouth, Tongue, and Throat Preparation: Tavalya Kriya, Jalandhara Bandha, and Simhasana
- Preparing to Sit
- Preparing to Lay
- Being Present
Part III: Practicing Pranayama
- Supine and Seated Breathe Awareness and Refinement
- Sama and Visama Vrtti
- Antara and Bahya Kumbhaka
- Slowest Breathing Exercise
- Nadi Shodhana
- Basic Technique
- Five Variations
Part IV: Pranayama in Your Life
- Developing and Sustaining a Consistent Pranayama Practice
- Alternative Methods of Teaching Pranayama
- Breathing As Though Your Life Depends Upon It