Often I find with my students during their yoga work-out in their intensity to hold the correct pose, they forget to breathe and instead hold their breath. However our breath related to prana – the life force and the intake of oxygen – is necessary to nourish and feed the specific muscles we are using while we are holding a pose. Therefore it is essential to maintain an evenness of breath while doing our yogic practice.
As a rule, we should inhale with any movement which involves expansion of the chest and exhale with any movement which involves contraction of the chest and remember to continue to breathe even while holding a position for a longer period of time. By a deep and even incoming and outgoing flow of breath, we will not stress our heart and lungs.
Consequently in our yoga workout, we must maintain an even breath during slow movements as well as while holding asanas or yoga positions. Another important factor besides feeding the muscles with oxygen is the calming effect even breathing has on our mind and thoughts. During our practice if we learn to focus on a steady and even breathe according to Gandhar Mandlik in his article, Role of Breath in Yoga, “the control of breathing shifts from the brain stem / medulla oblongata (related to our survival instinct) to the cerebral cortex considered the more evolved part of our brain. In that case, we are able to bypass our thoughts and emotions and our mind is able to become more focused and experience calm awareness. Our dispersed and random thoughts are removed in addition to emotional stress. He explains that our emotions can create tension in our muscles, stiffness in our joints and consequently a blockage to the flow of Prana, our life force. Evenness of breath keeps our energy free flowing.”
In closing, the twofold benefits of breathing, both nourishing the body and calming the mind, is the essence of yoga. So in your focus to do a correct posture, do not forget to keep breathing which will greatly improve and enhance your practice with much less effort and strain.
For information about my private and group yoga courses or to register, call us toll-free at 866.428.3799.
Date: Every Monday Night until April 9th
Time: 19h15 – 20h30
Place: Birla Wellness Center, Cheneville, Quebec
Cost: $150 for 12 sessions or $15 per session.