Don’t take your breath for granted!

If you are like most of us, your mind is always racing, jumping from one thought to another, and constantly reliving the past and planning the future.

As you get deeper into your yoga practice, you will learn that yoga is simply a breathing exercise linked to movements or vinyasas. To experience all the benefits of this wonderful practice, it is important to learn how to consciously breathe so your breath can guide you through your practice.

If you are like most of us, your mind is always racing, jumping from one thought to another, and constantly reliving the past and planning the future. This constant thinking stops us from living and focusing on the present moment.

This year has been a roller coaster due to the pandemic and it doesn’t look like it will be over soon – just know that whatever you’re feeling is normal and you will be fine, specially if you use your breath and body as tools to keep you healthy and grounded.

More than any other mindfulness practice, pranayama is an underestimated practice and tool that can not only help us be more present but help us navigate difficult times easier. Pranayama reduces stress, calms the nervous system, and quiets the mind.

If you are not familiar with this technique, below is some information and tips you can adopt during your next yoga class, so you can move on to 2021 filled with joy, love, gratitude and lots of deep meaningful breaths.

Pranayama – the science of yoga breathing, is the fourth limb of the discipline of yoga and the first principle anyone beginning a yoga practice should concentrate on. Learning to breathe properly is essential for a health life style.

Next time you unroll your eco-friendly yoga mat in class remember these tips to start linking your breath to your movement and begin creating a moving meditation.

- Listen to the queues of your teacher. Inhale and exhale when he/she suggests. Try to link each inhale and exhale with a movement.

- Focus on lengthening and deepening your breath instead of moving through poses too quickly.

- If you find yourself holding your breath or breathing heavily, take a step back and reevaluate your position.

- Don’t be afraid to choose a less challenging variation of a posture if your breathing is not aligning with your movement. Child’s pose is a wonderful way to rest and reconnect with your breath.

- Own your breath! Enjoy the sound of breathing deeply and consciously. Yoga is a judgment-free practice, so breathe as loud as you like to get all that clean oxygen into every cell of your being.

- If you can show up a few minutes early to class (or at home), doing a few rounds of breathwork on your own is a great way to get you focused on your breath, so you can take and keep that focus with you throughout class to reap maximum benefits.

Follow this simple tips and you will notice that when your breathing is deep and mindful throughout your practice, you will leave your yoga mat feeling refreshed, rejuvenated, calm and oh so good!

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