4 Days breathing retreat -Overview
The 4-days breathing retreat is a delightful getaway from the modern commute and into the yogic world. In this retreat, you will learn about various breathing exercises which will help you become a happy individual. You will also learn about yoga poses and asanas. This retreat will bring about the best in you and lead you to a path of awakening.
Your morning commences with a cup of green tea and after completing the morning breathing session, you will have lunch. Dine on the finest vegetarian delicacies and dive into the yogic texts and philosophies. Carefully, maneuver through the breathing exercises and find yourself becoming one with the heavenly spirit.
In a nutshell, the 4-days breathing retreat is one of the best things that you can take part in.
During this breathing retreat, you will spend your time doing not only breathing exercises but other activities too. The routine and activities that we shall take part in are given below.
Everyday schedule of breathing retreat:
6 am to 7 am: Wake up and drink green tea or herbal tea
7 am to 8 am: Yoga Asana
8 am to 9 am: Breakfast
9 am to 10 am: Rest
11 am to 12 pm: Breathing Exercise
12 pm to 2 pm: Rest
2 pm to 3 pm: Lunch
4 pm to 5 pm: Breathing/pranayama
Pranayama or breathing exercise
The major activity of this pranayama retreat is pranayama. Before we dive into the exercises, it is crucial to understand what it means. The word pranayama is made of two Sanskrit words ‘Prana’ and ‘Yama’. Each of them individually means ‘vital life force’ and ‘control’. When we merge these words, we can assume that it means controlling and elongating the vital life force.
However, This breathing retreat is much more than that. It follows a system of techniques that harnesses and manipulates the universal energy. Practically, it involves synchronizing the breathing procedure between asana and achieving inner peace. People who practice Pranayama daily can achieve tranquility and maintain a healthy mind. Also, it is the gateway to connecting with the supreme being.
There are five types of prana in the human body that are responsible for performing various pranic activities. Out of these 5 pranas, ‘Prana’ and ‘Apana’ have crucial importance. Prana means the upward flow of energy whereas ‘Apana’ means a downward flow of energy. In the pranayama retreat, we shall perform exercises to maintain equilibrium between them.
Other different types Pranayama included in this breathing retreat
- Natural breathing
It is the foundation of all breathing exercises. It gives us an idea to comprehend our breathing pattern and what breathing is. Similarly, it aids us in performing other types of meditation activities too.
- Thoracic breathing
This type of breathing is not only important in creating awareness but is useful in comprehending yogic breathing too. This type of breathing is fairly common among people and consumes a lot of energy. At the pranayama retreat, we will further explore this topic.
- Basic abdominal breathing
This is a warm-up routine before practicing any pranayama routine. To do this, sit in a comfortable position and breath with your diaphragm. It might be difficult at first but once, you get the hang of it, it is easier.
- Yogic breathing
In this breathing exercise, we use our chest, abdomen, and the clavicular region. You can do this after starting the breathing exercises or after finishing it. Its major benefit is that it allows us to have maximum exhalation and inhalation ratio. This activity will prove helpful in this breathing retreat.
- Clavicular breathing
Clavicular breathing is a relatively strong method of breathing. Normally, you can combine it with thoracic breathing. In this breathing exercise, the collar bone and upper ribs are pulled back to allow more air into the lungs.
- Deep breathing
It starts with normal breathing and slowly, we take deeper breaths. You must stay aware while breathing. You need to be aware of your abdomen rising and contracting. You should note that you should do it only when you are capable. It is also a part of our breathing retreat.
- Viloma breathing
The viloma breathing is a major activity in this pranayama retreat. To do this, you need to inhale and exhale in steps. It might sound a bit odd right now but once you join us, our yoga teacher will explain this concept to you through this example only. Viloma breathing helps to expand the breathing capacity and preps the body for deep breathing too.
- Fast breathing
Additional Pranayama included in Breathing Retreat
To practice fast breathing, make sure that you do not have any medical ailments like blood pressure and heart disease. Once that’s sorted, we begin by inhaling and exhaling through both nostrils. Later, we inhale through the right nostril only followed by inhaling through the left nostril only.
- Cooling breath
The cooling breath falls into three different categories. They are Sheetali, Sitkari, and Kaki Mudra. In our breathing retreat, we shall learn about them in detail and practice them too.
- Alulom vilom breathing
This is an advanced version of the viloma breathing technique. Through this technique, the whole body feels rejuvenated and it lowers stress levels too. Also, it increases vitality and removes the blood of any toxins. It plays an integral role in balancing the pranas as well.
- Victorious breath
In this breathing exercise, we emphasize the throat. It can be a bit difficult for first-timers. While doing it, you need to slowly contract and release the throat while exhaling. To make it easy, you need to focus on the breath and sound. Once you start controlling the sound, it becomes easier. This is an important breathing exercise in the pranayama retreat.
- Bellow’s breath
While performing it, you need to forcefully breathe out from the nose. You mustn’t strain while breathing. You can also call it an advanced version of fast breathing. It helps in balancing the doshas and brings serenity and calmness.
- Humming bee breath
In the humming bee breath, we inhale very slowly from the nose. While exhaling, we make the sound ‘aum’. It is the sound that relates to the origin of the universe. Sound and breathing methods have many benefits. For starters, it is good for the thyroid and improves hearing. It is a religious breathing exercise in this breathing retreat.
- Surya Bhedan
The main objective of this breathing exercise is to purify the Pingala Nadi. You need to breathe in from the right nostril and then exhale from the left nostril. The benefits it provides are simply immeasurable.
- Vritti pranayama
This breathing exercise is of two types. The breathing ratio that these exercises follow is somewhat similar to other breathing exercises. It is important to understand the theoretical aspects of these breathing exercises too.
Benefits of Breathing Retreat
The benefits of taking part in a pranayama retreat and taking breathing exercises as a whole are as follows:
- It helps in weight loss
- It is healthy for the skin
- It promotes digestion
- It makes the long stronger
- It is healthy for the sinus and nasal passages
- It promotes a healthy cardiovascular system
- It boosts the immunity system
Precautions for Pranayama
Pranayama is a demanding exercise and before you do it, you need to apply caution. Here are the precautions you need to take care of:
- Any medical condition
- You should not do it if you have no control over asanas
- Don’t overstrain your lungs
- You should not practice it in a cramped place
- Do not do it if you are too tired