As I mentioned in yesterday’s article, here is some more in depth information on Yoga and Deep Breathing Exercises.
Breathing is an important part of yoga. It teaches that connecting your breathe to your motion or pose creates focus and promotes relaxation. With each deep inhale, the practitioner strives to go a little deeper in the pose. Yogis learn to control their breathing which helps them to control their body and quiet their mind.
The first exercise I would like to discuss promotes full use of the lung. You will get the most benefit by lying on your back with your knees bent, but any position will do. Step 1: Place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest, and notice how your hands move as you inhale and exhale. Step 2: Try to fill your lower lungs by breathing so that the hand on your stomach goes up when you breathe in through your nose, and the hand on your chest does not move. Exhale through the mouth. Step 3: After you feel comfortable with Steps 1 and 2, breath to fill your lower lungs which makes the hand on your stomach rise and then continue inhaling until you fill your upper lungs, making the hand on your chest rise. Step 4: Exhale and notice how your hands move like a wave. Some people may feel dizzy for the first few times. If this happens begin to breath as you normally would and get up slowly.
The second exercise is useful when you first get up in the morning. It can help clear nasal passages and relieve muscle tension, especially in the low back. Step 1: While standing with your knees slightly bent, bend from the waist and let your arms hang in front of you. Step 2: Inhale slowly as you roll up one vertebrae at a time. Your head should come up last. Step 3: Hold the breath for 2 seconds and then exhale as you slowly roll down one vertebrae at a time.
The third exercise can relieve neck tension, and help clear the mind. If you have arthritis of the neck or other spinal diseases please consult your healthcare provider before performing this exercise. Step 1: Inhale as you roll your neck to the right, starting with your chin at your chest, until your head is back and your chin is pointing toward the ceiling. Step 2: Hold your breath for a second. Step 3: Exhale and roll your neck until you chin is at your chest again. Step 4: Repeat Steps 1-3 rolling your neck to the left.