“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.” Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

When we talk about the breath in class we are describing spaces. Inhale and an empty space is widened within your chest. Inhale deeper; that empty space comes up against a solid space and pushes.

It’s expansive. It physically moves and alters our internal organs. It presses against our muscles, activates and stretches. When we link the breath with movement we go deeper within ourselves, physically and mentally.

Like the ocean’s waves, the breath is cyclical. Strike a pose. The tension on the inhale shows us our boundary. Where are you stuck? In the pose? In life? The release on the exhale settles in to the tension, destroying the old, and creating the new boundary. And so the cycle continues.

Many have heard of “chest/shallow breathing” and likewise, have also heard that belly breathing is better. Being able to fully utilize the lungs is the aim. While belly breathing is important, the reality is that when the lungs fully inflate they can span over 70% of the back. So try this.

Be sure to warm up. Come in to your favorite back bend. For this lesson I prefer to sit on the floor, legs out straight and together, and bend forward towards my toes.

Take notice of your breath, trying not to alter it. What body parts are moving? Where do you feel the most restriction? Freedom? Now begin a deep inhale on a count of 3. Direct the breath to the low back. With each count of 3 try to expand the lungs so that your diaphragm physically pushes against the liver and kidneys, pushing into the low back. Exhale and settle into the discomfort/stretch. Release a little deeper, effortlessly dissolving tension in the hamstrings. #movement #yoga #missionmovement #mindbody #mindfulness

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *