Breathing: pretty important stuff. As in kind of necessary to be alive. Last week when my purse was stolen I told the ladies at the bank and everyone else wishing me well, that today I’m going back to basics. Today I am thankful for breathing and therefore living (I could build from there later). But yoga this week, reasserted the importance of breathing while exercising. I frequently find when training kettlebells, that people hold their breath. I remember in high school I had a friend Shadow, who would hold her breath while she ran the bases. I told her it was a good thing she didn’t hit homeruns, otherwise she’d pass out. With kettlebells I teach induction (power breathing). People often neglect or don’t realize that they should focus on breathing as part of their movements. It can be a source of power, just watch my dad, who has a flair for the dramatics (which is probably why people approach me at the park rather than him: his breathing scares them). Maybe they feel silly taking a deep breath in the nose and then exhaling through the teeth (this exhale is the reluctant part). Inhaling at the beginning of the movement and exhaling when exerting. It is all part of the movement, all part of the power. Strength and training with kettlebells is an art, breathing is an art (trust me I often get people with ass backwards breathing patterns and they don’t do as well as when they are doing it properly).
Yoga breathing is an art (hell yoga is an art). With each movement or pose there is a breathing pattern. I remember the instructor saying: inhale lengthen, exhale twist. What you have to keep in mind, besides synchronizing the movement with breathing pattern, is protection as well. I was going to do this post all from my own perspective, but I couldn’t help myself, I wanted to research and give you a little more. I learned that the yoga breathing is called: pranayama (pretty fancy I know). Not only does this obviously bring much-needed oxygen to the brain, but it aids in controlling life’s energy (cool!). Plus when combined with asanas, this power couple, help mind and body. They’re considered the highest form of self-discipline and purification (even better!). Now I’m going to add a bit more that they say about the 4 stages, which I have to admit intrigue me:
- Arambha – the commencement stage wherein the person’s interest in Pranayama is awakened
- Ghata – the stage where the three sariras merge to envelope the soul. The three sariras are gross, subtle, and causal.
- Parichay- the stage where the yogi experiences the knowledge of Pranayama
- Nispatti- the stage where the yogi goes beyond his physical body, and unites with the supreme
Who knew that there was so much to learn from breathing (and believe me this is the condensed version)? So next time your exercising (or meditating), no matter the form, give a little love and attention to your breathing, it will help!