Breath of joy is one of my all-time favourite pranayama (breath-work) styles. There are a few different versions like a seated version and a slower version, but I just love the standing version- the whole body is involved.
The benefits of breath of joy:
- energizes the body and the mind
- uplifts the spirit
- strengthens the arms and shoulders
When to do breath of joy:
- after an argument or intense conversation with someone
- when you're feeling blue
- mid-afternoon in the office
- first thing in the morning
* I often teach this after a series of balancing postures. When a full class is practicing balancing postures, the energy in the room becomes really intense. We naturally take balancing SO seriously and focus SO intently that following up with this breath-work feels really good!
How to do breath of joy:
- begin standing with feet hip distance, a soft bend in the knees, and arms along side the body
- taking three sips of an inhale through the nose: raise your arms up in front of you on the first sip, raise them out to the sides on the second sip, then raise them overhead on the third sip
- on the exhale, bend the knees a lot, fold from the waist and sigh the breath out of the mouth
- use the momentum to return to standing and begin again
- five in a row is usually suffice, but if you really want to give'er, try ten
- on the last one I like to inhale the arms straight up and exhale the hands to the heart centre, close my eyes and feel the energy I've stirred up and released
- it's also really fun to literally let your hair down when you do it
See my embarrassing video below for a demo!