The Power of the Breath
The quality of our breath expresses our inner feelings
Most of us don’t really think about the breath, yet so many of us don’t breathe in a healthy way. When you watch a baby breathe his tummy rises and falls with every breath....this is how we should all breath. It is often not until we start yoga that we learn how to breathe properly.
Back to Basics - Full Yogic Breath
Full Yogic Breath revitalizes the entire body with prana (essential life force) It benefits the vital organs, releases emotional and physical stress and tension and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging a more balanced state of being. It also helps to correct unhealthy breathing patterns.
Breath is the link between mind and body
How do we practise full yogic breath.
First, we breathe into the lower abdomen.
Then we breathe into the mid-section of the torso, expanding the diaphragm and the ribs as the inhalation continues.
Finally, we draw the breath into the upper chest and shoulders as the inhalation comes to a close.
Followed by a long, slow, gentle exhale, expelling the breath from these same three sections of the torso in reverse order, releasing the upper chest, then the diaphragm and ribs, and finally the lower abdomen. One round of Full Yogic Breath includes one complete inhalation and one complete exhalation.
Both the inhalation and the exhalation should feel fluid and continuous; at no point should either one cause any strain whatsoever.
Alternate Nostril Breathing – Nadi Shodhana
Another wonderful breathing exercise (Pranayama) Is Alternate nostril breathing (Nadi Shodhana). It harmonizes the two hemispheres of the brain, resulting in a balanced in physical, mental and emotional well-being.
In addition to calming the mind and reversing stress, alternate nostril breathing also improves our ability to focus the mind, enhances respiratory function, increases respiratory strength and endurance, rejuvenates the nervous system, removes toxins from the body, reduces stress & blood pressure.
How do we practise?
Take a comfortable and tall seat, making sure your spine is erect and your heart is open.
Relax your left palm comfortably into your lap and bring your right hand just in front of your face.
With your right hand, bring your index finger and middle finger to rest between your eyebrows, lightly using them as an anchor. The fingers we’ll be actively using are the thumb and ring finger.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out through your nose.
Close your right nostril with your right thumb. Inhale through the left nostril slowly and steadily.
Close the left nostril with your ring finger so both nostrils are held closed; retain your breath at the top of the inhale for a brief pause.
Open your right nostril and release the breath slowly through the right side; pause briefly at the bottom of the exhale.
Inhale through the right side slowly.
Hold both nostrils closed (with ring finger and thumb).
Open your left nostril and release breath slowly through the left side. Pause briefly at the bottom.
Repeat 5-10 cycles, allowing your mind to follow your inhales and exhales.
There is one way of breathing that is shameful and constricted.Then there´s another way: a breath of love that takes you all the way to infinity
To conclude, the breath really is our biggest teacher and when we sit quietly and really listen we can hear everything we need to from the breath.
Now is the perfect time to just to be in presence with your breath and be so grateful for the gift of life she bestows on us.
I would love to hear your comments and feedback on this blog
thanks you for reading
The Yoga Sanctuary Ibiza