I love yoga, and was hooked after my very first class. When I began the yoga journey I was a runner and loved the calming effect it had on the mind chatter in my head, the postures stretching and soothing my tight muscles. As a student, I know when I cross the threshold into the sacred space of the studio, I can leave my stress and worries outside the door, giving my mind, body, and spirit a much needed break from everyday life. As an instructor, I always look forward to my very first class with fresh yogis new to the practice. I love watching them as they walk into my room with brand new rolled up mats, ready to have their bodies twisted and shaped into postures they’ve seen many times in magazines. I also love to see the confused looks on their faces when they realize the majority of their first class will be spent stretched out on their mats, learning the art of breathing and finding the peace that comes with stillness.
Learning to quiet the mind for even a few moments can be one of the most challenging aspects of a yoga practice. We humans love to obsess about the past, or worry about the future and often miss out on the simple act of being. Let’s face it, most of us take breathing for granted because it’s automatic and we are usually unaware of it, unless of course it’s somehow compromised. But did you know that how you breathe can actually effect how you feel? Did you know that the more stressed you are, the shorter your breath becomes which can actually make you more anxious? The word yoga means union. In this beautiful practice we unite the body, breath, and mind and they all work together. Breathing correctly is vital to a yoga practice, which is why I teach it first. It fuels our muscles with energy. Our breath also lives in the present moment. Taking a few minutes everyday to connect with the breath, whether you’re practicing yoga or sitting at your desk, calms the central nervous system. It allows the mind and body to experience the bliss of what is here and now. We’re able to release the past which is gone, and stop the what if’s of what may or may not happen in the future, giving us the opportunity to enjoy the present moment.
To learn more about the basics of diaphragmatic breathing, check out the link below.