Mindful Breathing - How Yoga can help us breath better through life…
TD active Holidays | 19 July 2022
Our yoga holidays leave you feeling re-energised and full of clarity. On each of our holidays, we’ll be joined by a highly qualified yoga teacher from MOONS Yoga Loft, to help us achieve mindfulness and tranquillity among our stunning natural surroundings. On our yoga escapes we’ll learn more about Mindful Breathing. Sinead from MOONSyoga explains in more detail:
What Is Mindful Breathing?
“I often compare people’s treatment of breathing to blinking, we do it unconsciously throughout the day but unlike blinking, the breath can be a powerful tool when used correctly. ‘Mindful’ is a buzz word at the moment and sadly it has nearly been stripped of its meaning from over use. In practical everyday terms being mindful simply means to be aware. Therefore mindful breathing is just drawing the attention back to the breath and thus utilizing it to its full potential. Keeping our lungs working to their full capacity maintains optimal oxygen in the blood flow which keeps us alert but most importantly… breathing deeply calms the nervous system which keeps the body and mind - healthy and happy! As utilised through pranayama in our yoga practice, the real power of harnessing our breath correctly lies in its ability to tap into the parasympathetic nervous system. By working through breathing exercises, the body has the ability to slow the heart rate, keep the organs functioning evenly and can help quiet the mind.
Mindful Breathing Can Help Cope With Stress
Anxiety is something a lot of people live with every day but by harnessing the breath we offer the chance to ease stress…from within. Isn’t it exciting to thinking that we possess the tools to help relax our bodies and govern the mind! Yoga asana by its sheer nature of being a moving mediation, allows practitioners to quieten the monkey chatter of the mind but even simple breathing exercises alone can be a powerful tool. The world we live in will always throw challenges at us, stress will reach us and anxieties will attempt to deafen us. People need to accept that this is the beautiful chaos of life, ‘stress-free’ is a myth but it’s OK, we are already armed with the tools to cope. Instead of looking to have no stress or anxiety, let’s positively realign the bodily reactions when they occur. Below is a breathing technique that will slow the heart rate, quiet the mind and relax the body. Give this a go the next time the world is feeling a tad overwhelming and notice your reactions… Turning the gaze inward and being actually aware of how things improve, will also motivate you to try it more often. Thus achieves my ultimate goal… making people happier! Breathe like your life depends on it.
An Introduction to Three-Part Yogic Breath
- Sit on a cushion, chair or on the ground in any comfortable seat/ Sukhasana or cross legged – close your eyes if it feels nice. Ensure your sitting-bones/buttocks are connected to something, and level. Feel your spine grow long as you lengthen from the crown of your head. Relax your shoulders and jawline.
- Place your hands on your belly and take a deep breath inwards. Imagine your stomach as a beautiful balloon as it inflates when you inhale and deflates as you exhale. Connect to this sensation and repeat for 5 breathes.
- Now place your hands higher like a loose corset on the ribs. Again focus on the movement as you deeply breathe in and out fully for 5 rounds of breath.
- Finally, cross your hands and place them on the middle of your chest just below your collar bone. Focus on the chest expanding as you breathe in and how it falls as you let the breath release. Again, practice 5 rounds of full breaths, inhaling/exhaling slowly to your full capacity. Hopefully by now you feel more relaxed in your body and your mind, having been focused on the actions, is a little clearer. Your body and mind is now possibly a nicer place to be, less anxious, distracted and tense.
We know how important it is to be kind to our body and soul every now and then and our Yoga Holidays are the perfect escape from the everyday hustle and bustle.