POWER YOGA ...... mind and body in harmony.....

Thursday, 2 August 2012

Yoga Breathing

Dear friends, I am always trying to explain how we should breathe in yoga and sometimes it can be hard for me to explain in depth so here is a piece I found in my Max Storm book. I hope it helps :)

In yoga the breath is called the OCEAN BREATH. The Ocean Breath helps to open the heart center and helps emotional healing. It is calming to the mind and also helps to process grief. The Ocean Breath should be practiced everyday in your daily life, not just during yoga.  Practice for 10 minutes each day an hour or more after eating and it may be practiced in the morning and again in the evening before bedtime. When you learn to breathe well you may experience tears. This is caused by the releasing of trapped grief that you have been holding onto for years, trapped emotions being released. Eventually the tears with lesson as the grief is released over time.
One of the ways many people push grief down in the lungs is through smoking. Smoking is a way of pushing emotions down and it is a way for people who don't know how to deal with their feelings to repress their problems. But of course the emotions are not gone just stored away and this method will have consequences in the future. During yoga classes people will learn to breath and eventually most people do stop smoking. This is a natural result of learning to breath well.
The breath is one of the most powerfull transformative tools available to us and most people don't actually know how to breathe correctly!

Benefits of conscious breathing:
  • Stronger lungs
  • Healthier heart and diaphragm
  • In many cases the ability to heal asthma and release the habit of smoking
  • Nervous system is calmed diminishing stress, lowering blood pressure and heart rate
  • Improves sleep
  • Allows us to identify and heal emotional wounds from our past
Remember - our breath and emotions are interrelated.

Instructions for Ocean Breathing: (Called the Ocean Breath due to the wave like sounds of the ocean the breath makes, pulling in fresh air and expelling stale air and stress.
  • Stand with feet 3 feet apart and straight
  • Bend the knees 6 inches and lengthen the spine
  • Bring the hands to heart center and press the palms together in prayer
  • Inhale through the mouth and open the arms out to the side shoulder level expanding the lungs, chest and belly.  Pause,  then exhale back out through the mouth as if you were fogging a mirror with your breath bringing  the arms back to heart center
  • Continue the movements inhaling, opening the arms to the side, exhaling bringing hands back to the heart center  
The lips should be slightly parted and you should be making a ocean wave sound when inhaling and exhaling.

Breath into the lungs, chest and ribs

Continue for 5-10 minutes. You may experience an emotional feeling afterwards. Receive it as a healing experience and you will feel more peaceful, refreshed and balanced.

Once you have mastered this breath you may go onto the next level.  This is where you breathe making the same sound in the same way but with the lips closed and teeth slightly apart. The sound made is exactly the same, the only change is the lips are closed.

You may also practice while in a seated position  without the arm movements, spine tall and shoulders relaxed.

The chest is the most difficult part of the body to open, you may think you have tight hips or hamstrings but in fact the heart region of the body is usually the tightest area, emotionally constricted. The sayings 'she broke my heart' and 'he stabbed me in the back' etc. shows this is an area where most emotional healing work needs to be done.

Resistance to breathing is resistance to change, resistance to change is resistance to living, resistance to living is a kind of walking death. Inhale deeply friend, inhale. Your breathing practices and emotional healing will lead you to virtuous behaviour and a life of non- grasping and joy. The heart, unencumbered by grief and resentment, will blossom from merely an emotional heart into a spiritual heart.

Love and hugs 
Lucy x x