I’m writing so late because besides being a yogini, I’m also a musician – which entails writing, practicing, performing, and listening to music – and tonight I “listened” to music at a pop punk/alt rock show in Granada Hills.
But now I’m finally home so…back to yoga!
Last night, I taught a class focusing on the breath at LA Fit.
“The quality of our breath is extremely important because it expresses our inner feelings. If we are in pain it shows in our breathing. If we are distracted we lose control of our breathing. The breath is the link between the inner and outer body. It is only by bringing body, breath, and mind into unison that we realize the true quality of an asana.” – p.8 The Heart of Yoga by T. K. V. Desikachar
We explored the body with a few basic breathing exercises:
Breathing into different cavities of the body
- Breathing diaphragmatically (in your belly).
*In savasana, place both hands on your stomach and let your stomach expand into your hands*
- Breathing in your chest.
*Move hands to chest, right above the breast bone and breathe into your hands.*
- Breathing in your stomach and chest at the same time.
*One hand on your chest, one hand on stomach.*
- Back body breathing.
*In child’s pose, place hands on your back RIBS and feel the ribs expand.*
- Side body breathing.
*Move hands to side ribs and feel your ribs expand.*
Breathing for different longevities.
6. Breathing for 5 counts, holding at the top, and exhaling for 5 counts.
Recognizing and feeling our normal breath.
7. Breathing normally.
Directing the breath to spots of tension.
8. In thread the needle, visualize directing your inhale into the hip, expanding and creating space, and as you exhale release the tension.
Truthfully, I focused on breathing last night because I had a stressful day. We all have “one of those days.” With practice, we can learn to control our breath, and take control of stressful situations. Breathing into the different cavities of our body brings awareness of where we naturally place our breath, and teaches the breath to enter all parts of the body. Inhaling and exhaling for a specific number helps calm an anxious mind. Imagining directing your breath to tense areas of the physical body teaches relaxation of the muscles.
“Observing the body in this way is the first step toward changing uncomfortable or inefficient habits of movement and posture that cause stiffness and ultimately hinder the flow of vital energy through the body.”
Goodnight! Hope you tune in to your breath rhythms tomorrow