As you get deeper into your yoga practice, you will learn that yoga is simply a breathing exercise linked to movements. In order to experience the full benefits of this wonderful practice, it is important to learn how to consciously breathe so your breath can guide you through your best practice.
If you are like most of us, your mind is always racing, jumping from one thought to another, and constantly reliving the past and planning the future. This constant thinking stops us from living and focusing on the present moment.
Our breath is an underestimated tool that can help us be more present if it is deep and mindful. It can also help us reduce stress, calm the nervous system and quiet the mind.
Pranayama – the science of yoga breathing, is the fourth limb of the discipline of yoga (more on the others in future posts) and the first principle anyone beginning a yoga practice should concentrate on. Learning to breathe properly is essential for a health life style.
Next time to unroll your eco-friendly yoga mat in class remember these tips to start linking your breath to your movement and begin creating a moving meditation.
- Listen to the queues of your teacher. Inhale and exhale when he/she suggests. Try to link each inhale and exhale with a movement.
- Focus on lengthening and deepening your breath instead of moving through poses too quickly.
- If you find yourself holding your breath or breathing heavily, take a step back and reevaluate your position.
- Don’t be afraid to choose a less challenging variation of a posture if your breathing is not aligning with your movement. Child’s pose is a wonderful way to rest and reconnect with your breath.
- Own your breath! Enjoy the sound of breathing deeply and consciously. Yoga is a judgment-free practice, so breathe as loud as you like to get all that clean oxygen into every cell of your being.
Follow this simple tips and you will notice that when your breathing is deep and mindful throughout your practice, you will leave your yoga mat feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, calm and oh so good!