Learn how to breathe more effectively during your yoga practice with these helpful tips.
There are many things to keep in mind when you’re practicing yoga, like keeping the proper posture, utilizing the correct muscle groups and holding your body steady each pose. One other important thing that is often forgotten is making sure you are breathing properly and effectively during your routine.
Yoga requires proper breathing in order to help quiet the mind and create the sense of inner peace, while also leading you through your practice safely and successfully. Below are five essential breathing tips so you can get the most out of your yoga practice.
By Regina Due
1. Identify and understand the type of breathing
In a yoga class, you will often be asked to use Ujjayi breathing, or “Ocean Breath.” The concept behind ocean breath is constricting the back of your throat so your inhales and exhales both sound like ocean waves, which helps you breathe slowly, deeply and evenly. Taking time to learn how to breathe properly outside of class will help ease you into the right form of breathing during yoga. Choose somewhere comfortable and quiet where you can sit with your eyes closed to practice your breathing. Inhale, counting to five in your head, pause, then exhale for another five counts. Try to inhale and exhale as smoothly as possible. Once you get comfortable doing so, try for longer counts.
2. Breathe in and out through the nose
Breathing in and out solely through the nose helps center the mind, as this ritual enables the mind to focus on the present as well as help keep you calm – both mind and body. Nose breathing also helps keep your heart rate, as well as your internal temperature, under control.
3. “Breathe into it”
Sometimes you will find yourself in a challenging yoga posture, and you will hear your instructor say how you should “breathe into the pose” or “breathe into any areas of tightness or tension.” Breathing fully will guide you through challenging poses, and help you ease into the pose and release tension along the way.
4. Understand why you have shortness of breath
When your breathing changes from conscious and deep to quick and shallow spurts, this shortness of breath is your body telling you to take a break. When this happens, listen to your body and understand where you are getting stuck so you can learn how to recognize and move past it. Be kind to yourself and take breaks when you need to – your body will tell you when it’s time.
5. Focus on the breath to guide you
Allowing your breath to guide you through the pose will increase your awareness of how your body is feeling, thus establishing a stronger connection to self: self-awareness and self-trust. In this way, yoga will become more of an inward connection rather than a mere workout or set of positions.
Read the full article here.