Sunday, 18 September 2016

Why do yoga teachers say, 'Don't forget to breathe'?

When you are focused on the alignment of a challenging pose it is a natural reaction to hold your breath. This can trigger the 'fight or flight' stress response in the body which can make the pose more difficult.  The cue 'don't forget to breathe' reminds you to bring your attention back to the breath which will then start to lengthen and deepen. This causes your body and mind to relax and that challenging pose does not seem so challenging anymore.  

Try it as you practice Warrior 2 stand in the middle of your mat with your hands on your hips and take your feet as wide as is comfortable.  Turn your right leg to the right and the toes of the left foot in 45 degrees, lining up the heel of the front foot with the instep of the back foot (men) or heel with heel (women). Inhale, stretch your arms out at shoulder height, lift your chest, exhale bend your right knee, turn to look down the fingers of your right hand.  Hold for 10 breaths - with each breath out engage your pelvic floor and draw your navel back to your spine. To come out of the pose, inhale straighten the right knee, exhale hands to heart, turn your feet to face forward.  Repeat second side.

Once you learn to breathe in challenges on the mat, you will start to notice that you are able to breathe into challenges off the mat - focusing on the breath allows you to slip into a peaceful place inside of you.

Will someone please remind me to breathe as we practice our peak pose practice - Warrior 3 next week please!!!!!!


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