Being stressed is easy. Being relaxed is something quite a few of us need to work at.Read More
The benefits of taking time to breathe are common sense, yet taking time to do so is counter-intuitive for most of us. When experiencing stress or feelings of panic, we instinctively know that slowing down our breath might help. We say, ‘calm down… take deep breaths…’ but for a process that happens automatically, controlling our breath can feel like a chore in comparison.
If you are new to yoga and have recently begun a class, you will notice that your teacher constantly instructs you to breathe. To begin with, it’s likely that you will ignore the instruction (intentionally or unintentionally) as you will have much to concentrate on besides when and how to inhale or exhale. How you breathe will be the least of your worries, although you will still benefit from a reminder every now and again. Holding our breath is very common when we are concentrating and it may come as a surprise that your teacher notices you doing this before you do. (Without wishing to give away all the yoga-teaching-circle secrets - your purple-blue face is a good hint!)
Once you have settled into the class routine and have become familiar with some postures, it’s likely that you will have the space to add some breath work into your practice. In the early stages, this is likely to feel unnatural (because it is) and uncomfortable (because it is). You might even feel that breathing is just another aspect of the yoga class that you are getting wrong. As you become more practiced however, this will pass. Learning to breathe (like learning anything new) is difficult – so go ahead and let yourself off the hook.Read More