how tos | meditate | yoga
How to Use a Pranayama Pillow with Angela Kukhahn
We know that Pranayama is difficult to pronounce, but this age-old deep breathing practice is one of the easiest ways to decrease feelings of stress and anxiety in your daily life. Plus, it's completely natural and free - imagine that!
So, what is Pranayama? Pranayama yoga is a centuries old practice of deep breathing exercises meant to strengthen the respiratory system and, in turn, bring the body back to its natural state of calm. It's been shown that taking time to practice deep breathing patterns can:
- Reduce feelings of anxiety and restlessness
- Provide feelings of increased energy
- Increase focus and attention
- Bring body and mind to a state of calm
Many long-time practicers of Pranayama yoga and deep breathing believe in the connection between the breath and emotion, claiming that we breathe differently depending on whether we feel happy, excited, angry, or sad. While we often don't have control over our emotions, they say, we can control the pattern of our breath and potentially override negative feelings and stress. You may not believe the relationship between between your breath and your emotions is all that meaningful, and that's fine. But even if you don't, nothing feels as good as taking time for yourself during a busy day to simply sit back, relax, and breathe.
Investing in a prop for Pranayama breathing can totally change the way you practice, allowing you to take poses deeper and hold them for longer. Consider a Pranayama pillow to bring it to the next level. The most common way to use a Pranayama pillow is to place it along the length of your spine and lie back in a supine position. With a study base beneath your spine, your chest and heart will open up, allowing you to take longer, deeper breaths and reap the full benefits of your deep breathing exercises.
When we last met up with our friend and Los Angeles yoga instructor Angela Kukhahn, she showed us a few of her favorite ways to use our Crystal Cove Pranayama pillow and yoga bolster. Watch the video and see the list of poses below!
- A simple supine position: using the Pranayama Pillow to open the heart and chest
- Varjasana or Thunderbolt pose: using the pillow to ease pressure on the knees and stretch the quadriceps
- Eka Pada Supta Virasana or One Leg Reclined Hero: using the pillow along the length of the spine to open the heart and chest for deep breathing exercises
Explore our collection of handcrafted, eco-friendly yoga tools below!