While in Varanassi, Anna and I have been training with her dear yoga teacher of two years, Rajugi. He reminds me of a chipmunk and is full of laughter. We start each day with an hour of pranayama, followed by an hour of light asanas. It's amazing how relaxed and focused we feel afterwards. All that stuff people say about deep breathing is really true. I've always wanted to meditate, or work on my breathing, but every time I sit down to do it I really need to eat a sandwich or scratch my head or remember to take out the trash.
These are the ground rules for pranayama, laid out for Anna and I on our first day. It's really really hard for me to follow rule #3 and I can't even come close to imagining rule #4:
1) On inhalations, hold the breath as long as possible
2) Keep head down, chin on chest, when inhaling, until the head naturally rises. If you do not, this can lead to high blood pressure.
3) Do not swallow saliva until after the set of pranayama is complete.
4) Remember to focus your mind on each chakra specifically targeted by each different pranayama.