Prāṇāyāma comes from the Sanskrit words "prana" meaning life force or vital energy, and "ayama" meaning extension or control. Through conscious breathing, we can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps to calm the mind and reduce stress. It also helps to improve lung capacity, respiratory function, and circulation. By practicing Pranayama, we become more aware of the subtle sensations in our nervous system and our breath, which can help us to focus and concentrate our mind. This mental transformation process is called dhārana (“concentration”) and is a crucial step in preparing the mind for dhyāna (“meditation”). This process can also lead to samādhi, a state of deep meditation. The breather, breathing, and breath become empty of form and fall into one, resulting in a heightened sense of consciousness and self-awareness. Pranayama is a powerful tool for achieving a deeper level of awareness and concentration, promoting relaxation. It reduces stress, improves respiratory and cardiovascular function, and ultimately leads to a profound experience of meditation and self-realization. We will also see how the meaning and goals of Pranayama are defined classical texts such as Patanjali's Yoga Sutra or Adi Shankara's Aparokshanubhuti which will transform the way you look at - and practice - breathing exercises.


In the retreats you will learn and practice the most prāṇāyāma techniques. Just like in the asana practice you will understand the meaning and desired results of the practices rather than just mechanically repeating techniques, counting numbers etc. This way we will go beyond the physical plane and dive into the different layers of experience.
  • Kapāla-Bhāti
  • Viloma
  • Ujjāyī
  • Nāḍi-śodhana
  • śītalī | sītkārī
  • Nauli kriyā

How can I learn more about "Pranayama"?

Asana is incomplete with Pranayama, practice without good alignment is harmful, Yoga practice without knowing the “philosophy” has no orientation. 

All components of Yoga practice need each other. Therefore all of Grischa’s Retreat intensives are as complete as they can possibly be.

Many practitioners today learn only fractions of Yoga practices, in almost all cases only about the asana layer. If you are lucky to even hear about the other (much more powerful) practices, you normally need to find different teachers for different topics. But that is very problematic.

There are for example only few philosophy teachers and those often times have no idea about pranayama or asana. The experience shows, that studying from different teachers is fruitless. The teachings are unconnected and often not based on concrete experiences. But theoretical Yoga knowledge is useless just like “practice” without knowledge is ridiculous.

As teachers we MUST know and practice all yogic components. And we MUST know the theoretical foundation of all practices.

That is how Grischa has learnt it from his teacher Richard Freeman. You know why there is no alternative to this approach once you have experienced the difference between a mere asana teacher and one who has done his or her homework.

Upcoming Intensives in 2023

Mon, 3. July - 
Sun, 9. July
Breitenteicher Mühle
Experience the magic of daily pranayama, Mysore style and Meditation practice. Take your Ashtanga practice beyond with alignment workshops, philosophy and Sanskrit studies with the “full ashtanga intensive” program. Or take it easy and relax or work a little with the “ashtanga holidays” package.
Mon, 1. April - 
Sun, 7. April
Holzmannstett (Bavaria, Germany)
Take your Ashtanga practice beyond with alignment workshops, philosophy and Sanskrit studies. Dive deeply into Grischa’s magic ingredients for a transformative Mysore practice, pranayama and meditation. In addition this is a very special opportunity for studying one of the most inspiring texts on Yoga that exists, the famous Bhagavad Gita!