• Karla Neblett

How do you breathe when doing yoga?

Updated: Mar 1, 2020

Last week’s class

Despite the threatening gales of Storm Ciara, our yoga class kicked off with an energetic start. The KarmaTree organisers were over the moon to have eleven people show up. Thanks for spreading the word! It would be great to see you all there tonight.

We hope everyone felt the fun and playful vibes of the warm-up. It was a pleasure to hear everybody share one thing that had made them happy that day before we started. The serenity that spread through the room as we started sun salutations was palpable. The goal was to still our minds and connect to breath.

Pranayama breathing

In yoga, pranayama breathing is breath control.

Prana = Breath

Ayama = Control[1]

There are many types of pranayama.

Marc guided us through abdominal breathing pranayama: to hold a hand on our bellies and a hand on our chests, breathing deeply into our bellies and exhaling fully, occasionally holding our breaths. We then breathed into our chests. After this, we engaged both belly and chest as we breathed. Finally, we chanted.

Benefits of Pranayama breathing

Yogic breathing has been shown to have numerous health benefits[2] that can positively impact the following areas:

· neurocognitive (on brain activity)

· psychophysiological (helping to modulate our autonomic functions)

· respiratory system

· biochemical and metabolic (for example, aiding oxygen consumption within the body)

· when combined with other healthy practices, reducing risk of cardiovascular diseases, respiratory disorders and diabetes

· managing anxiety and stress

Can I do yoga every day?

Pranayama breathing is an easy and simple way that we can start to introduce a calm yoga practice into our daily lives. Try by setting your alarm ten minutes earlier to open up a space for you to do this. It is advisable to be led by a trained practitioner first in order to ensure that you’re implementing the techniques correctly.

“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside of you.” – Deepak Chopra

  1. [1] https://www.yogapoint.com/info/pranayama.htm [2] https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0975947617303224

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