Breathing and breathing correctly is agreed upon by many, many world experts to be the most single important key to happiness, great health, gratitude, body elimination of toxins (up to 70%), clarity and balance in one’s life. As Dr. Andrew Weil says, breathing is FREE, REQUIRES NO EQUIPMENT and is RIGHT UNDER OUR NOSE.
Here is a breathing demonstration given by Lindsay Eagleton of St. Louis, MO followed by a description of how to practice breathing by Michelle.
Lindsay graduated from our Clayton Yoga Teacher Training Program in 2009 and wrote up this beautiful exercise during one of our teacher training days.
Warm up with Breath Focus
Step One: Bring your attention to your breath
When you do this, you are coming into the present moment
When you are with your breath in the present moment, all of the outer trials and tribulations begin to dissolve
Step Two: Notice the flow of your breath
Is it smooth or is it rigid?
Is it deep or is it shallow?
Are you inhalations longer than your exhalations?
Step Three: Now concentrate on the feeling of your breath
Is it warm or is it cool?
Is it smooth or is it hard?
Is your breath stuck in any part of your body?
Now that we have mapped out the terrain of our breath, let’s start to count our breath. On the inhalation, begin to count a 5 second count breath.
On the exhalation, begin to let go to a 5 second count breath. The Yogi Breath begins from the belly using primary muscles of breathing which lays the groundwork for the parasympathetic nervous system or the deep relaxation to occur. Begin to Inhale, feeling the belly as the prime mover of both the in and out breath.
Expand the belly like a balloon on the inhale, hold for five seconds, then from the belly gentle begin to exhale for five seconds. The ego or the busy mind, like to control, likes to dictate, see if you can notice the mind and remain calm.
The secret to being great at yoga breathing is to practice. The longer we become aware of our breath, the more relaxed and at ease our body and mind can become. This breath is called the UJAYI breath which stands for victorious. In learning to train our mind to be calm, we can access our own inner stillness and find inner freedom. There we emerge from our busy, chattering mind more relaxed and at ease with this unfolding path. Enjoy.