Yoga is more than creating shapes with your body. It’s also about breathing in a way that optimises your mental and physical health. It nourishes and purifies the body and cultivates presence so you can move into a deeper and expanded way of consciousness.
My own first experience of consciously breathing was life-changing. It was a key point in my life that took me on my healing journey.
I was ‘holding’ onto a great deal. I was physically exhausted, mentally stressed and felt completely out of place in life.
When I tried my first breathing practice, my mind was able to let go and I was able to start detaching from my thoughts. This helped to quiet my mind and in turn relax my body, and because my body rested, so the healing process began.
I had this incredible peace of mind. I not only felt connected to myself but everyone around me too. I felt waves of love literally engulf my entire being. I felt I belonged. Simply put, present.
Over time, I began to explore my breath, exercise it and maximise using it. Along with yoga and meditation, it helped me recover from everything, from stress to addiction – as it can with you! This is why I love to teach it – because it works!
There are three main breath practices I teach…
What to expect: Seated or lying down (primarily before bed), this breathing practice helps trigger the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest nervous system response). Focus is more on the exhale which tend to be longer than the inhale.
For those who: Have trouble sleeping, hard time meditating or new to meditation. Who are looking for ways to relax the body and mind and want to experience deeper sense of peace through simple breathing techniques.
Benefits: Reduces your heart rate and reduces activity in the skeletal muscles. Can reduces stress and anxiety depression, boosts immune system and improves digestion. Balances left and right side of the brain, increases creativity and imagination, controls reason and logic. Helps to focus and gives you a healthy glow. Aids in weight loss.
What to expect: Inhales and exhales are at the same pace. Practiced standing, seated, lying down and even driving. Commonly used during yoga practices and low-intensity exercise.
For those who: Feel unbalanced, sluggish or a little out of whack. Great if your prone to feeling nervous before high-stress meetings or presentations.
Benefits: It will bring you up, if you’re feeling down and if you’re down, it will bring you up. Can practice anytime in the day or night.
What to expect: Seated, this breathing practice helps trigger the sympathetic nervous system (the fight and flight nervous system response). Rhythmic and stimulating breathing, through the nostrils which involves equal and continuous short inhales and exhales. Can be done first thing in the morning, before busy or task-related work and ideally before exercise.
For those who: Feel cold, tired, disconnected, lost, overwhelmed, overworked and with a busy mind.
Not recommended: If you are pregnant, you suffer from high blood pressure, diabetes, severe respiratory infections, cardiac problems, hernia and spinal disorders.
Benefits: Helps to regain control, keeps negative energy out, gives you greater peace of mind, brings about a deeper connection with your inner self, strengthens and balances the nervous system, invigorates, energises, increases blood circulation, tones abdomen.
WARNING: breathing practices should never be done while swimming or bathing. These are dry-land practices only. Under no circumstances whole you submerge in ice or water. If in doubt, please always consult your doctor.