How to Breathe During Yoga Poses – Original Method
What you actually gain from yoga? I think the followings are the main yoga benefits
- Reduction in stress
- Improved quality of sleep
- Increased lung capacity/improved breathing
- Muscle toning and strengthening
- Improved flexibility & circulation
- Improved balance of mind and body
- Corrected posture/body alignment
- Maintain/Build bone density
- Increased concentration
- Improved digestion & metabolism
- Rejuvenated joint function
- Increased self-awareness
- “Yoga and Breathing”
All these benefits come from movements and breathing. We shall see here the breathing only.
Importance of Breathing in yoga
For people who believe that there is no gain without pain, it can be difficult to accept that we can make progress while being kind to ourselves. But, indeed, we can. As discussed in the previous issue, it is possible to accomplish great health benefits this way. Specifically, Yoga breathing is one of those ways.
Each yoga pose that we do includes breathing. In fact, breathing is the integral core of Yoga. It is the process of breathing that allows the spine to begin to open, extend and increase flexibility.
Most people use only a small portion of the lungs – and many of us unconsciously hold our breath at various times during the day. By gently practicing the use of the lungs, we become more flexible and more relaxed while bringing more oxygen to the blood and improving lung capacity. Possibly most important for today’s fast-paced, demanding lifestyles is that the breathing we learn in Yoga can relieve stress and anxiety and a myriad of associated ailments. Further, proper breathing can reduce blood pressure, relieve respiratory problems, strengthen the diaphragm, improve digestion and elimination, and release toxins.
Best Yoga Breathing Exercises
Here’s an exercise you can try at home:
Lie on your back in a relaxed and comfortable position.
Take a few natural breaths as you relax your muscles and calm your mind.
Visualize the breathing area of the body as a vessel that has three chambers – lower, middle and upper.
As you inhale, begin to fill this vessel allowing the belly to rise slightly as the lower chamber fills. Imagine the breath moving to the middle chamber as the central torso (rib cage area) expands. Finally, if you have enough breath left, bring the breath to the upper area of the chest. Do not hold or force the breath at any time.
Now that your vessel is full, allow the breath to slowly pour out of the body from the upper, then middle and finally lower chambers. Feel each chamber release slowly until your vessel is empty. Then begin again.
Do not be concerned if you do not “fill up” completely. Just use the “three-chamber” image as a guide, but never force the breath. Move through a few to several cycles in a relaxed manner, allowing the breath to be smooth, fluid and comfortable.
When you are done, release any concepts of technique or form and spend a few moments just relaxing. Do not evaluate your “performance.”
Even five minutes a day of this or a similar practice can result in major body and mind benefits. Giving you the gift of Yoga can be a great way to help develop Strength of Body and Peace of Mind.
“In the body there needs to be a constant cycle of renewal and yet we take for granted this (the breath) life giver. Yoga can bring a conscious attention to this ever renewing source…You will be amazed that, if you are kind to your body, it will respond in the most incredible way.” — Vanda Scaravelli, Yoga master and teacher, awakening the Spine, 1991”
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