Learning to Breathe in Yoga

Margaret Kruszewska

Everyone alive knows how to breathe. But our breath also changes according to our emotions and environment.

I frequently notice students holding their breath (not breathing) when they are trying to get into a difficult yoga pose. Nothing shuts down the physical body faster. Muscles don’t move, your brain and heart receive a message to stop.

Then there are the shallow breathers who haven’t discovered the reservoir of breath available from the abdominal area. Or those just thinking about the inhale breath and not realizing that the releasing exhale breath is just as important (and for those suffering from asthma symptoms, long exhale breaths are even more important).

One of the first lessons I emphasize for all students is to know where your breath begins. Laying on the floor, place your hand on your belly. On the inhale allow the belly to rise pressing into your hand and then relax the belly on the exhale.

If you only learn one thing from yoga, this is it!

-Margaret “saraswati”

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