Friday, June 4, 2010

The Breath


To breathe in yoga, we recognize our interconnectedness. We cannot breathe & cannot live without our connection to nature & especially plant life. As we animals inhale, we breathe in oxygen, & as we exhale carbondioxide, plant-life takes a deep breath, exhaling more oxygen. This is a basic cycle of interconnection- we need the plants, even more then they need us.

The breathing we learn in yoga is a deep, but comfortable breath. We relax the face & throat, keep the mouth closed, & breath entirely through the nose. Breath deeply and smoothly, in a natural way. Hear the subtle sound of your breath in your throat like distant ocean waves. Breathing in this way leads to relaxation, focus & rejuvenation.

We should aim to breathe fresh air fropm outdoors as much as possible, through open windows, or beong directly out in nature. We should spend a minimum of 15 minutes outside every day, even in the Winter time. Wearing sunscreen prevents us from receiving the vitamin D we need.

Yogic breathing should be done in a way that one can enjoy the scent of the air. If we are greedy & take too much air, we fill our lungs too fast, and smell nearly nothing. If we breathe too shallowly, we don't take enough air and smell nothing. If we breath gently but deeply, we can smell the freshness of the air & feel nourished.

Breathing is a physical & spiritual act when we are mindful of it. Your breath becomes mantra, a sound to focus & calm the mind.

Natural yogic breathing shouldn't only be used in yoga class, but while eating, relaxing, working- it serves us well in all of life. It helps us to experience peace, openess, strength, composure and to be present.

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