When to Use Pranayama
Different breathing exercises are useful at different times in your day or practice. You can practice Pranayama in the car, in your bedroom, as part of a yoga practice, at your desk, at the post office, or even at the airport. The practices are meant to support your daily life, so they don't have to be confined to practice in a yoga class or in the privacy of your meditation space.
Practicing Dirgha breath can support you throughout your day. It's a Pranayama you can do without drawing attention to yourself. Whether you're at work, standing in line, or taking a walk, you can practice this deep breathing technique to bring more vitality and a sense of calm to your life. And, the more often you practice, the more it will become second nature in times of stress.
Pranayama is an important addition to asana practice. Whether you use Dirgha to keep the breath steady or Kapalabhati at times to increase the energy, Pranayama helps keep the mind steady.
Nadi Shodhana to Switch Gears
Nadi Shodhana is a great way to switch gears. If you are transitioning from a hectic schedule to your yoga practice, Nadi Shodhana is a great way to transition.
Nadi Shodhana is said to help with the symptoms of menopause. Symptoms such as hot flashes, difficulty sleeping, and mood swings can be tempered with Nadi Shodhana because it's designed to help create balance. Practicing for ten to fifteen minutes at a time once or twice a day could alleviate menopausal symptoms.
Nadi Shodhana is also a great breath to use when you are making decisions. Because many people form habits of making decisions using one of the hemispheres of the brain, by using Nadi Shodhana first you can make decisions from a more balanced mindset. You will be using both your logical and intuitive faculties as you consider the choices.
Kapalabhati for Energy
A great time to practice Kapalabhati is when you are watching television. Watching TV can be a sluggish experience, and you could sit there for hours and hours in the same position. During commercial breaks, sit or stand up and practice Kapalabhati. It's a great way to engage your internal fire and get energy flowing at a time when you are otherwise sedentary.
Kapalabhati works well as a break from sitting at the computer, too. Whether you are working or just checking e-mails, take breaks for this Pranayama that will energize you and strengthen your metabolism. It's a perfect addition to any lifestyle that calls for extended amounts of sitting still, staring at a computer screen.