To Your Health
July, 2014 (Vol. 08, Issue 07)
Consider Your Breath
By Andrea Weeks
Typically we seldom think about our breath even though it is the key to being alive. We trust that our bodies know the exact amount of breath to take in and to release to keep us functioning.
It is a miracle how the body is able to do this so naturally but the body and mind are connected so the breath can be affected by our state of mind. Consider the times when you are stressed likely your breath will shallow or maybe even be held for short periods, or think about when you are angry perhaps that breath is really fast. So when we are anything else than calm and happy we are likely not breathing to the best our ability.
Pranayama is the study of breath control and is an integral part of yoga. Yogi's have known for thousands of years the importance of breath. There are many different types of breath control some which are intricate and should be taught by a professional and some that simple and can be learned on your own. Sit tall close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths feeling the expansion of the belly and then chest and then exhale emptying completely. Just a simple pranayama practice can bring a multitude of benefits some of which include:
- Reduction of stress and anxiety
- Increased focus
- Increased immunity
- More restful sleep
- Happier state of being
So just take note of breath periodically throughout your day and notice these benefits and more. Remember it is free and can be done pretty much anytime and anywhere. Enjoy!
Andrea Weeks has been teaching yoga for over four years at Yoga Tribe and has been trained and certified in the Dayton Method and Warrior Flow methods.