My breath is my anchor, my anchor is my breath
-Adriene Mishler (Yoga w/Adriene)
I have been leaning more and more into breath practice the past few months. Especially since starting Yoga Teacher Training with Detroit Yoga Lab.
I am seeing my breath in a whole new beautiful light.
The breath is our animating force.
The thing that we all have access to.
Something that we can use to affect how we feel.
Our breath influences our Central Nervous System–both our parasympathetic (calming/rest and digest) and sympathetic (fight or flight) nervous systems. Breath can excite us or calm us.
And it’s a valuable tool.
In yoga, we bring the breath. How we breath influences how we feel and how we move in our asana practice.
In meditation we are show to observe not just the mind but also the breath.
It’s pace, the pause between breaths, the depth of the breath, how it can extend into different parts of the body.
For today’s cacao ceremony we were taught to practice the “Rebirthing breath” exercise by Leonard Orr. I really enjoyed this breathing practice and feel that it really hit a home for me today. It helped to release some tension I was holding in my body. And that’s the beautiful thing about pranayama, the ability to move and shift energy in the body.
You might decide to adjust your breath practice based on how you are feeling and what’s going on for you.
I am a yogi in training but some tips that have been helpful include:
💙deep, slow diaphragmatic breathing to calm down, try to extend your breath into all four sides of your torso
💙having your exhale be longer than your inhale, try breathing a normal breath and count how long it takes, from there decide to do +1/2 counts to extend
💙quick, energetic breaths can be quick ways to move energy and “break things up,” I like to use breath of fire when I am feeling a little stagnant or experiencing depression.
Alternate Nostril Breathing (nadi shodhana)