A Breathing Exercise- by our recent Yoga Teacher Training Student, Amy Gonwa‏

9965084_sIn our yoga teacher training courses, we begin each day at 6am with breathing exercises designed to calm the mind, and prepare the body for sacred movement. As we practice more and more breathing exercises together, we become more awake, loving, aware, and confident. We discover in many ways, how beneficial it is just to breath deeply and notice life-force moving through us in so many wonderful ways.

Try the following breathing exercise in your home or office to gain rich understanding of your life-force connection too…

Breath is our life-force and has been supporting us through each and every day.

No one breath is the same.

Breath is yoga and yoga is breath.

In order to connect with our bodies we must come to our breath and find how it naturally flows within us.

The breath interweaves the threads of one’s intentions into the fibers of the outer body.

“It is the unifying force between the mind and the body or the heart essence and outer vessel”. Anusara Yoga’s founder, John Friend

How much can you feel your breath right now?

Begin to pay attention to the length of each inhalation and exhalation.

As you continue to breath, make them the same length, allow the breath to soften around the edges of your face, relax the jaw, take the tongue off the roof of the mouth.

When we are born, our breath is full, flowing and uninhibited, we breath effortlessly and naturally in a way that our bodies were beautifully designed to do.

The natural breath is the expansion of the pelvic floor and on the inhale, the collarbone lifts and rolls upward on the inhalation and descends on the exhalation.

The upper arms externally rotate on the inhalation and internally rotate on the exhalation.

Now come to this natural breath. We each have our own. Like an invisible fingerprint we make with each inhalation and exhalation.

Listen for the sound of your breath-have you noticed these sounds before, does it sound eased or labored?

What is the texture of the breath-smooth or rigid?

How is the rhythm of the breath? Does it feel like its moving in rhythm with other sounds in the room?

Allow yourself to sink into the earth.

A prayer by Thich Nat Hahn to accompany this breathing exercise…

1. Visualize some damage I have done in the past, I breathe in/seeing the suffering I caused, I breathe out.

2. Seeing my flack of understanding while committing that act, I breathe in, seeing my lack of mindfulness, while committing the act, I breath out.

3. Seeing the past present in me now, I breath in/seeing the wounds of the past present in me now, i breath out

4. Knowing that by transforming the present, I transform the past, I breath in/determined to be mindful and understanding in the resent I breath out.

5. Smiling to the present I breath in/determine to take good care of the present I breath out.

6.Tranforming the past by positive present action, i breath in/seeing my present the future, I breath out.

Exercise created by Amy Gonwa
Image: Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos

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