Our breath is a really important part of our Yoga practice. Our breath is our connection to life. We breathe or we die, it is as simple as that. Our breath is what feeds, nourishes and sustains us.
Through restricted breathing or unknowingly holding our breath when we are stressed can lead us to become closed off to the basic goodness of life. Our breath is the one thing in life that remains constant amongst the busyness. Through our awareness and the quality of our breath we can begin to have a great influence on our overall health. Our aim on and off the mat is to adopt a smooth flowing breath to aid us with the challenges of daily life. To sustain us and keep us grounded in this present moment in order to bring you to a place of stillness and inner peace.
5 Great Reasons To Connect With Your Breath:
1. Relax ~ This may sound really obvious, but as physical and mental challenges arise we have a tendency to restrict or hold our breath causing stress within your body. By bringing awareness to our breath we can begin to let go and relax. A great place to start is with the outward breath by letting go tension on each exhalation.
2. Focus ~ We have all had those days when we just can’t focus, no matter what we try our mind has an agenda of it’s own and continues to go off in a tangent. This excessive mental chatter is reflected in the quality of our breath and our ability to feel nourished. Our internal and our external world affect the smoothness of our breath. This can create health issues caused by the build up of stress in our daily lives. By focusing on the flow of our breath we can begin to rein our mind in from the constant stream of thoughts.
3. Connection ~ By bringing our awareness to our breath we make a body/mind connection integrating the two. When we are fully present in our body we have a higher respect and appreciation for the wonder that we are. By using our breath we add a deeper dimension to our practice through mindfulness as we are no longer mindlessly moving our body, we move with awareness of everything that is going on within us.
4. Stillness ~ Once you begin to follow the path of your breath you will begin to notice that there is a pause at the crossover between your inhalation and exhalation. This is the quiet pause between each breath and it is at this point that we find an unchanging stillness within us.
5. Refuge ~ We can get so caught up in the stories of our lives that we can forget to enjoy this present moment. Focusing on our breath offers us refuge from the constant stream of life events, to ground us in the Now. Allowing you to become present in this moment and open, inviting your inner wisdom to shine through.
Yoga and the Breath becomes more than a tool, it’s a practice to help you to Relax, Focus, Connect and find Refuge in the Stillness within.
Sit, Relax, Breathe… I invite you now for a few minutes to simply sit and observe your breath. No controlling. No expectations. Simply Connect. Just allow it to be…
This is by no means a complete list as there are many health benefits to be gained from learning to breathe more fully. Any health issues regarding trouble breathing should always be referred to a health professional.