People understand that Yoga training can be beneficial to their overall health, but few of them understand the importance of breathing properly while performing yoga. Each breath we take, whether it is a long and deep breath or a short panting breath, has a physical effect on our bodies. Combine this with the mental and muscular exercises in Hatha Yoga, and the way one breathes while transitioning through or when holding a pose is just as important as the pose itself.
Pranayama is the form of yogic breathing commonly practiced during Yoga classes. Each breath inhaled must be exhaled, and the position our body is in determines the duration that the breath is in our body. Controlling pranayama during Yoga training sessions provides oxygen to the body and also causes the body to release toxins and waste products from our body.
In Vinyasa Yoga practice, pranayama is controlled and altered during the transition between poses. The breathing techniques assist with the yoga poses for the maximum benefit to the body. Yoga teachers will often teach the Ujjayi breath during Vinyasa, which is a specific way of breathing to pull your focus into the movements your body is making while providing an adequate supply of oxygen to your body. It has also been suggested that the Ujjayi breath also raises the body’s internal temperature to help facilitate healing and help relieve common headaches as well as sinus congestion and pressure.
Paying attention to our breathing during a yoga class is essential in maintaining a healthy body. If our breathing is too shallow or too quick, we starve our bodies of much-needed oxygen, allowing toxins to build. Lack of oxygen from improper breathing also decreases blood flow, causing fatigue. The exhaustion and lack of energy makes it difficult to enjoy the activities that we once enjoyed. By learning proper breathing techniques and using them with the yoga exercises and postures, we can increase our energy levels and allow our bodies to stay healthy.
There are exceptions, but usually breathing through the nose instead of the mouth is the proper way to breathe. The nose filters out the pathogens from the air that enter our bodies, and it is also believed by yogis that the nose can absorb the prana (vital energy) from the air. The extra energy (gained through pranayama practice) will help your body fight illnesses and allow more oxygen to reach your vital organs.
One of the first things yoga instructors should teach students is a better way to breathe during yoga training and during life’s daily situations. Breathing is such a vital part of life and practicing yoga for maintaining energy during the asana exercises and also for your daily health.
© Copyright – Aura Wellness Center – Publications Division
To see our complete selection of affordable yoga instructor certification programs, please click on the courses and products button in the navigation bar in the upper left section of this page.
If you are a yoga teacher, yoga studio owner, blogger, e-zine, or website publisher, and are in need of quality content, please feel free to use my blog entries (articles). Please be sure to reprint each article, as is, including the resource box above. Namaste!