Today, I started reading the book Yoga Anatomy by Leslie Kaminoff. Almost every time I've gone to Barnes and Noble lately, I picked this book up and looked at it. Over Christmas Break, I decided to use some of my Christmas money to purchase it. The first chapter is all about the dynamics of breathing. It is fascinating to to read about how miraculous and amazing our bodies are.
I must say I find it a little disheartening when I attend a yoga class and the instructor barely mentions the breath. From the yogic background I have studied and practiced, the breath is an integral part of yoga...just as important as the asanas (postures) if not more so. One aims to equally balance awareness of body and breath and begins to become aware of the ever present connection between the two.
During sun salutations, each inhalation and each exhalation is linked with one movement. The body and breath are connected and flowing like a beautiful dance. Allowing the body to follow the rhythm of the breath energizes, warms, and creates feelings of lightness and spaciousness. The breath during the asana practice is key in keeping one mindful and present. It is so important not to sacrifice breath for a posture. I often find myself reminding my yoga clients, if we are in a posture and notice it's hard to take deep, full breaths, we've probably gone too far.
Truly, one of the secrets to life is connecting with our breath. This week, take 3 deep breaths three times a day. Perhaps when you're feelings anxious, stressed, tired, confused, rushed, or scattered. This is something everyone can do and it takes very little time. Just try it, and see if you notice a difference.