At its core, yoga is about the breath. Sinking into this life force and being with the cycle of the breath, the receiving and the letting go. In a nutshell that is what life is about receiving and letting go. Reaching and resting.
In yoga we practice the ujjayi breath. You breathe in and out through the nose and close down the back of the throat slightly for that wind in the trees haaa sound. You even out the breath like a beautiful ribbon fluttering in the wind on a fall day.
Often in the daily craziness of life we get very far away from the breath. We forget about it. The breath gets shallow and does not pull in the much needed oxygen deep into the lungs where the actual carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange happens.
It keeps the body working harder than it needs to as the heart rate increases to see if it can get more oxygen for the body and the brain. (The brain uses about 25% of the body’s oxygen.)
When the mind is active and it feels like it has run away with worry or anxiety or just cannot rest for you to get to sleep, you can always come back to the breath. Finding slow steady ujjayi breaths can slow down the mind. Why? The mind and breath are tethered to each other. When the breath slows down the body taps into the parasympathetic nervous system and that is a mode of restoration and rest, calm and clarity.
Sinking into the breath can happen at any time of day. Just close the mouth and take a long inhale in through your nose. Let the belly balloon out so the diaphragm can drop down and give the lungs room to expand. On the exhale, draw the belly in so it squeezes the diaphragm up and presses the lung to flush out all of the carbon dioxide.
It’s an amazing system, the body and the breath is the life force of that system. Capture the power of the breath today. Try three long deep breaths, in and out through the nose, to give your lungs the full capacity of oxygen that they need and to calm the mind, get grounded and refocus. Do this every 15 minutes or after each task you complete at work.
Try it…it’s easy, you don’t need me and it’s free!