Yoga Breathing. How to breath (in Yoga)
Why Yoga Breathing matters.
Yoga breathing or Pranayama plays a central role in Yogic practice. Yoga Breathing is of equal importance with the Asanas. Similar to Chi of Chinese medicine, Yoga breathing pumps “Prana” or life-force energy around the body.
What’s so different about Yoga breathing?
I have often heard Beginners in a tone of great anxiety say, that they have no idea how to breath in Yoga. And although the smartest response might be to suggest breathing all the time :)) there is no one-sentence reply.
In yoga we are guided to inhale as we move into asanas (postures). We inhale on an upward movement and one that requires chest expansion. We can also exhale as we move into a stretch or asana. In general we exhale when bending down, twisting or moving deeper into pose.
That sounds easy
Well it is and it isn’t. If I asked you to tell me what poses expand the chest you might have to scratch your head a little. When physically involved in practice there isn’t much time for head scratching! (which is kind of the point!)
That sounds complicated I think I’ll just forget about this breathing lark….
Stick with your Pranayama (breathing techniques)! Not only will using the word every now and again make you sound vastly clever 😉 but it will transform Yoga into a moving meditation. You must admit, a gateway to tranquility is kind of handy!
OK, how do I do that again?
What if the teacher says inhale when I am exhaling?
Firstly master breathing steadily through your practice. Don’t get overly concerned with the “proper time” to inhale and exhale! The reality is, when you do learn the “proper” time for inhalation and exhalation you may realise that you have already been doing it.
In practice (rather than theory) all it takes is focused awareness!Just don’t hold your breath!