Your breath is your life force.
We talk a lot about breath in yoga, and if you've taken classes with me, you know I cue inhales and exhales through almost every pose.
In yoga, your breath, or prana, is believed to be your life force. Your breath is the link between the body and mind. When you bring your awareness to your breath, you're able to see your body through your self instead of through your thinking, judging mind.
The breath gives us insight into our mental and emotional health, as well.
When your breath changes, it tells you something is happening in your mind—worry, stress, excitement, relaxation—it all is reflected in your breath.
A large part of practicing yoga is practicing pranayama, breathwork. Most often students are familiar with the popular ujjayi breath, the type of breath used in vinyasa or Ashtanga style yoga. But there are so many types of breathwork, some of which you may have seen in my classes.
Breathwork can be used to calm and reduce stress, help you sleep, improve focus, and even INCREASE your energy and fire up your digestive system! Your breath can control your mind.
Still don't think you can call it breathing "exercise"?
An awesome thing about yoga is that a lot of modern day scientists are actually looking into the effectiveness of these ancient claims... and validating them!
Recent studies have found evidence of links between breath and parasympathetic activity, like improved Heart Rate Variability and increased CNS activities related to emotional control and psychological well-being. Many studies have shown that just a few minutes of breathing exercises can make drastic changes.
Your breath can control your body. Even science agrees that yoga works!
Some of my favorite breath exercises:
Kundalini Spinal Flexion
Kundalini Shoulder Twists
In February, I'm offering a free pranayama series. If you are curious about breathing exercises, these short, accessible breathwork classes may be perfect for you.
Sending lots of love,