When teaching yoga, it’s vital to have a basic understanding of energetics in order to create a transformative practice for your students (or yourself!). Any good yoga practice can create more space, self awareness and physical benefits but a Tantric Hatha Yoga practice manipulates prana (energy). This approach utilizes three practice options that stem from Ayurvedic terms, langhana (reductive), brahmana (increasing) and sama or samana (balancing). One of the aims of yoga is to balance the gunas and using the Tantric Hatha approach is super effective.
Brahmana means to “build or increase”. A brahmana practice builds physical energy and mental vitality. It helps to clear excess tamas, dullness, darkness, lethargy and that which is stuck in the mind. Brahmana practices build confidence, courage, clarity and joy.
When to Choose a Brahmana Practice
As you observe your students’ energy and demeanor, you can gauge how to best balance their energy with the practice you teach. In a group class, this is done by reading the room and feeling the overall energy. In a private or one on one class, you can speak with your student who will tell you how they feel and what they need at that moment.
Choose to teach a brahmana practice when your students feel tired or lethargic, stuck or confused, disempowered, disconnected, lonely, uncared for or depressed. It’s also appropriate for someone recovering from illness or injury or if they are feeling weak or insecure in their body. This style of practice will leave them feeling lighter, brighter, clearer and more energized, expansive and confident.
Brahmana Practices to Explore
Brahmana practices can be either a strong physical practice or a gentle practice, and they can be long or short. The intensity of the effect depends on how many brahmana components you include in the practice.
Here are some key ways to induce brahmana energy:
- Utilize backbending and lateral asana
- Explore dynamic movement in and out of backbends and lateral asana
- Lengthening and retaining the inhalation intensifies the effect
- Contemplation on light and the heart
- Meditations that invoke feelings of clarity, connection, courage, strength and vitality