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Saturday, July 18, 2015

The Simple Act of Breathing

Just came back from a vinyasa (flow) class and one thing that helped carry me through the strong practice was my breathing. It's true. No breathing, no strength. No breathing with the movement, no yoga. And I used to wonder how breathing could help. The thing is, I used to have this shallow breathing (still do, but am more conscious in trying to lengthen each inhale and exhale) and that doesn't do much. However, when the breath is long and deep, it's very powerful. It becomes a source of energy that both empowers and relaxes the body and mind. It IS the source of life itself.

Headstand in front of the Sky Tower
near the Niagara Falls
In my practice, breathing is like pumping air into the body so it doesn't get deflated. That becomes quite apparent especially when I'm upside down. I was doing headstand once and after about a minute my mind began to drift and wander, and I let go of the conscious breathing ... sure enough, like a deflated float, my body started to collapse (fall down) so, snapping out of my reverie, I quickly started to consciously breathe again, pumping air and energy inside the body. And I went straight up again. And this breathing has to be present throughout. After holding the headstand for about 10 minutes, I definitely have to keep pumping air in or else the core will just give up.

Talk about the core, I will need to train it more because, while my headstand is pretty solid now, I still cannot do pincha mayurasana or handstand away from the wall. I'm hoping to take some private classes with a friend to work on building up core and arm strength. Stamina is something that I truly lack when it comes to my yoga practice, so it's something that I will continue to work on as well as learning how to do those bandha locks ... am hoping to be able to do handstand by end of 2015 ...     

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