New to Yoga?
Are you new to yoga and feel a little misplaced, not sure where to begin? You’re not even sure what yoga is, but you hear about the benefits. Yoga originated more than 5,000 years ago for the purpose of increasing stamina for lengthy periods of sitting during meditation. The Sanskrit root of yoga is “Yuj” which means to unite or join as one. Yoga, then, unites the body and breath with the mind creating balance and harmony within. You may not realize this at first, but through a committed practice you’ll experience a gradual awakening to a more peaceful life.
Breathing is a vital element of life. A person can live several days without food or water, but can survive only a few minutes without breathing. In yoga, this element is known as pranayama: prana means life-force, and yama means to control. Controlling the breath keeps your focus on creating a slow, deep rhythm of breathing. As a consequence, you are present and now able to unite the physical and mental principles of yoga. According to The Art of Living Foundation, your breath not only determines your state of mind, but also allows you to relax in difficult asanas (poses) by being aware of it. By coordinating the breath with the poses, you will remain in your body and not allow your mind to wander off.
How to Coordinate Your Breath With Postures
- Breathe in whenever there is a feeling of expansion in the chest area. For example, when you stretch your arms up or bend backwards.
- Breathe out when you feel contraction or a squeeze in your abdomen. For example, when you bend forward and downwards or twist your spine.
- Breathe out when you come out of a pose and return to normal position.
- Do not hold your breath unless instructed to do so. Holding the breath unconsciously is generally associated with struggling in that pose.
See http://www.artofliving.org/yoga-and-breath for the full article.