Non Fiction Review: Essential Pranayama

Essential Pranayama by Jerry Givens
Essential Pranayama: Breathing Techniques for Balance, Healing, and Peace
by Jerry Givens

4 out of 5 stars

This book goes in-depth about the energy centers of the body and how the breath can move and create energy, soothing and refreshing the body. There are instructions for different types of breathing rhythms, and different postures for sitting or lying down as you meditate and breathe. I love how many details and explanations there are about different aspects of the breathe and lungs.

There are breathing exercises to try, with clear instructions and a list of benefits. There are exercises for an energizing breath, or for a calming breath. Some of my favorites are included like Alternate Nostril Breathing, Buzzing Bee Breath, and Ocean (Ujayi) Breath. There are breathing techniques for mental clarity, stress relief, and for better sleep through calming and cooling breathing.
The breathing exercises are divided into sections for beginners, intermediate, and advanced, with slight variations on the basic breathing techniques to deepen your breathing and your meditation practice.

There is a section with sequences of meditation and a mixture of breathing techniques that work together to detox the body, calm the mind, and release all anxiety. These begin with a “warm-up” breathing technique that is simple and easy just to get you focused and relaxed. Then the sequence will move on to a deeper breath, and finish by releasing all breathing techniques and just noticing your natural breathing.

I really love that this book encourages the reader to listen to their own body, pay attention to how the body reacts to each breathing technique. All techniques will not be appropriate for everyone, and some may fatigue your lungs if you practice them too long. Each breathing technique comes with a suggested time limit, so that the reader can be safe and healthy as they practice.

There is some excellent information in this book, as well as compassionate guidance for meditation and breathing.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a free and honest review. All the opinions stated here are my own true thoughts, and are not influenced by anyone.

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