Our topic today is the BREATH!
First things first … let’s cover the basics. Yoga is a Sanskrit word that means ‘union’, i.e. union of body and mind. In practice, this means that from the moment you arrive at a yoga class, you are encouraged to clear the mind, be in the present moment and aware of your body.
Your breath plays a key role in this process, so that’s why there is a lot of focus on the breath from the start. In fact, the deep breathing that we do in yoga directly impacts on your physical health, including lengthening your lifespan. Scientists say that the reason sea turtles and blue whales have incredibly long lives (circa 100 years) is because of their deep breaths and expanded lung capacity!
And what do the yogi masters say? Some yoga poses open each of the lobes of the lungs for optimal breathing. The slow rhythmic breathing you do while practicing the poses optimises efficient use of oxygen at the cellular level. The opening of the chest and lungs increases breath capacity. From an energetic viewpoint, your breath is the primary vehicle for moving prana (life force energy) throughout the subtle anatomy which consists of the chakras (energy centres), prana vayus (energy currents) and the nadis (energy channels). The free flow of prana is essential for the nourishment of the physical systems as well as for cultivating balance in the mind and emotions.
So now you know why breathing is so crucial to a good yoga practice. On Tuesday morning, we will use the last 10 minutes to practice pranayama (life force technique) called Anuloma Viloma. Some of you practiced this with me recently.
We will discuss the chakras, prana vayus and nadis at another time. Meantime feel free to ask questions and comment below.
Have a lovely weekend and see you Tuesday!
First posted: 8 September 2018, Facebook Group