Yoga Breathing Techniques

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,798
    Fitness expert Michelle Beaumont demonstrates proper yoga breathing techniques.

    Michelle Beaumont

    For more than fifteen years Michelle has been making her mark on the health, beauty and fitness industry. Michelle’s success has brought her recognition as a national level fitness authority. Her elite physique has earned her many top level standings in national beauty, figure and fitness competitions. Her innovative workout programs have been implemented into some of the nation’s leading health and fitness organizations. Her articles have been published by many leading industry magazines. She is an industry speaker on topics including weight management, wellness and group fitness and she specializes in helping large health clubs find and grow new revenue streams.

    Michelle Beaumont: Hi! I am Michelle Beaumont with michellefitness.

    com and Body Mind Fitness Solutions. I am demonstrating how to breathe for everyday living to reduce stress and anxiety, and to plan with your yoga practice.

    I am going to began with basic breathing techniques; the best thing to do is find a way to sit that s comfortable for you. You can choose to use what s called the yoga block and place it underneath your buttocks. Sit right down and bring your knees forward if your flexibility will allow. Your palms can be at any place that you feel comfortable, the important things is not to feel rigid. So in this position your palms can be here or here in front, or in what s called namaste, the prayer position at either third eye which is between eyebrows or at your heart center.

    You also have the option to sit in an Indian style position; this is a beginner position for lotus which requires both legs to come up. If you do not feel comfortable on this position which does take time since it is more advanced, you can place one leg up and sit in what s called half lotus. So you choose which position you feel most comfortable in. your arm in the lotus position is either hand out, palms open in the receiving position or you can touch what we call closing the circle of energy the palm in the first finger. You do want to make sure that your spine is erect that you feel that your is against a wall, your rib cage is not hyper extended, but pulled in, your belly is tight you are lifting the lower part of your navel, right above your pelvic area and pulling it up tight, there is a lifting action taking place.

    You can also come into your namaste or prayer position in this position as well or here. So if we took any of breathing technique you are placed both hands just start with hands on your belly and close your eye and began to just listen. Part of the practice is becoming more mindful of the senses, your sense of sight, hearing, smell and taste. So let s just tune in by placing the hands on the belly and began to breathe deeply. If the opposite of what you are use to, you are going to inhale and the belly will rise and exhale and the belly will contract inward and the breath will move down in the pelvis.

    Just focusing on the movement of the belly only right now, inhale and exhale and you will continue that for several breath then you will naturally move upward placing the fingertips along the rib cage, I like to gently place my thumb and first finger, right here with my elbows up, barely any pressure there so that you can feel the expansion of the rib cage. You will inhale the rib cage will expand, the belly rises and as you exhale everything contract inward towards the spine and down towards the pelvis, and again you will continue that area for several breath.

    The third part of the breath is placing the hands along the chest area, you will inhale the belly will rise, the rib cage will expand and all the breath will move into the chest. As it floats there, hold it for a pause and then exhale through the back of the throat and down. To found that you are here at the back of a throat is called the ujjayi breath. So as you inhale again into the chest I want you to really hear this sound it is like a slight snoring sound or the sound of the ocean and as you exhale imagine the sound, and as you continue that breathing once you will feel you have three parts, you will go into your receiving position or your namaste and you will continue to breathe tuning into the senses, listening carefully to the sound of your breath.

    The idea is to slow the mind down. Naturally, when the mind becomes still it becomes chaotic and all the thoughts throughout your day and things you need to do began to become more transparent, that s normal. If your breath feels restricted while you are doing this just go with the natural edge of the breath. As you inhale work with it, not against it. Find where the breath wants to be and it will naturally begin to open. Breathing should not be forced. So as you inhale into the throat, you will exhale and you just continue to find your sense of inner peace, just breathing for five minutes or 10 whatever works for you, whatever you think you need in that day, start simple even if its just one or two minute to focus breathing.

    The exercise involves really bringing your mind to your third eye which is right at the front of your brow and also the tongue at the roof of your mouth and remember to keep pulling your thoughts and energy inward for the most effective practice.