Full Yogic Breath is a balancing breathing technique that benefits vata, pitta, and kapha. It is sometimes known as three-part breath because it works with three different sections of the torso and naturally engages all three lobes of the lungs. Full Yogic Breath revitalizes the entire body with prana(essential life force) hence the term pranayama. In particular, it benefits the vital organs, which can easily become stagnant, constricted, or fraught with emotional and physical tension when we experience stress. Full Yogic Breath relieves stress, refreshes the mind, and activates the parasympathetic nervous system, encouraging a calmer, more balanced state of being overall. It also helps to correct unhealthy breathing patterns.
Overview of the Practice:
Full Yogic Breath begins with a deep and fluid inhalation that fills three sections of the torso independently, but continuously. First, we breathe into the lower abdomen. Then, we breathe into the mid-section of the torso, expanding the diaphragm and the ribs as the inhalation continues. And finally, we draw the breath into the upper chest and shoulders as the inhalation comes to a close. This slow and purposeful inhalation is then followed by a long, slow, gentle exhale, expelling the breath from these same three sections of the torso in reverse order, releasing the upper chest, then the diaphragm and ribs, and finally the lower abdomen. One round of Full Yogic Breath includes one complete inhalation and one complete exhalation.
Both the inhalation and the exhalation should feel FLUID and continuous; at no point should either one cause any strain whatsoever. Keep in mind that it may take some time to develop a relaxed relationship with this type of breath work, especially if it is new to you; it is no accident that pranayama is referred to as a practice. What’s important is the intention to develop our capacity for moving the breath intentionally, fluidly, and yet without tension or struggle.
The "How to's of it":
Choose a comfortable seated position. Prop knees and bottom if necessary. Make sure that your pelvic bones are pushing into the floor/pillow, and that your spine is tall and erect. Please do not lie down unless you absolutely have to due to pain.
Close the eyes and settle down for a minute with your natural breath.
When ready, inhale slowly and with purpose, drawing your breath deep into the abdomen, starting from the pelvic floor and slowly allowing the breath to fill upward (toward the belly button) and outward (away from the spine). Remember big belly!
Once the lower abdomen fills, continue with the inhalation by filling the torso (chest area) in a similar manner. Continue to draw the breath upwards, from the navel to the ribs, allowing the breath to gently expand the diaphragm, the ribs, and the mid-back. The spaces between the ribs are expanding. This feels wonderful.
Once the mid-torso feels full, complete the inhalation by drawing the breath into the upper chest—allowing prana to rise up and finally into the shoulders and the base of the neck. Feel the collarbones lift slightly. The entire lung is being used here. Not just a small portion of it like our normal inhale. This is huge!
For many, there is a brief, but natural pause at the top of the inhalation. If this occurs, just allow it to be there for a moment before surrendering to a long, slow exhalation. First, release the breath from the upper chest as the heart, lungs, sternum and shoulders all relax—dropping down and drawing in, toward the spine. Then, expel the breath from the mid-torso, feeling the ribs contract and the navel draw in, closer to the spine. And lastly, release the breath form the lower abdomen, feeling the belly contract and draw inward toward the spine.
Try to make the exhale longer than the inhale. Say inhale fo ra count of 4. Then exhale for a count of 6 or 8. You can work with whatever ratio is comfortable for YOU. This is your practice. Work on making the numbers larger every week or so until you are at your maximum effort that is still calming and comfortable for you.
This completes one round of Full Yogic Breath. If your exhalation is followed by a natural pause, take a moment before beginning the next round. Then, draw a fresh inhalation into the lower abdomen.
After several rounds of Full Yogic Breath (up to fifteen minutes), allow your breathing to return to normal for a minute or two before gently opening your eyes and bringing your practice to a close. Then, before you move on to your next activity, pause briefly to notice how you feel.
Full Yogic Breath can be done through the day, anywhere. In the grocery line, as you first wake in the am. Anytime. one minute is fine, five minutes is great. You do not have to do only when you have a full 15 minutes. Do try to practice everyday.
Enjoy the peace this brings you. Examine how you feel afterwards VS before.
So you think you have time do you? Start that exercise program later, eh? Maybe next year's resolution? Think again you old folks.
Shoulder injuries are one of the most common injuries from yoga!
They are also a very common injury in general. It truly is a very unstable joint. Keep it strong and flexible. With a good ROM (range of motion).
So many yoga poses are questionable for the shoulder.
Here's what we need.
I love walking barefoot in the sand or on the grass. For me the beach is the anture I love the most. Followed closely by the woods or mountains. The glory of the outdoors is good for you, and here's why.
This article is taken straight from www.cedartreehealing.org.
Why do we feel so good in nature? Why does nature heal? The top 10 reasons November 24, 2014 / Kris Abrams
Earth, rivers, mountains and trees! Silent canyons, babbling creeks, and growing green gardens! If you spend time in nature, you’ve probably noticed that you feel happier out there than in here.
But why? One of the better known theories, the “biophilia hypothesis,” suggests that we love nature because we evolved in it. We need it for our psychological well-being because it’s in our DNA. This theory rings true to me. But it’s so broad, it also leaves me grasping for more. What is it about nature and our relationship to it, that brings us so much joy?
I’ve been asking this question for some years now. I’ve studied Ecopsychology, wilderness therapy, and nature-based therapy. In my private psychotherapy practice, I work with clients in nature and bear witness to their experiences. And personally, I spend as much time as I can in nature. Putting all of this together, I’ve developed my own ideas about why nature makes us feel good and helps us heal.
Here are the top ten:
10) Nature teaches you that there is nothing wrong with you.
Urgency, deadlines, and “clock time,” as measured by hours, minutes and seconds, melt away. Clocks teach us to abandon the natural rhythms of our bodies and the Earth and conform to a schedule rooted in our economic system. That creates a lot of stress.
On the flip side, nature models a healthier pace of life. Trees and plants grow s – l – o – w – l – y. Deer graze calmly. Rabbits and squirrels scamper about, but that is their natural pace. Everyone is moving according to their natural rhythm, and you begin to do the same.
8) Nature models “just enough” sustainability.
Our culture teaches us that we never have enough. We strive to make more money, buy more things, eat more delicious food. Mainstream culture also encourages us not to think about how this over-consumption affects others, such as the sweatshop laborers who make our clothes, or the people and animals who depend on a climate in balance.
In contrast, eco systems embody harmony and balance. Trees grow to a height that reflects the nutrients and water immediately available. Squirrels store the right amount of food to get them through the winter. (Imagine how absurd it would be if squirrels expected their collection of nuts to grow exponentially without any effort on their part – as we do with our investments!) Quietly witnessing this balance and harmony is like salve in the wound of overconsumption.
7) You surrender comfort and control.
Our culture propagates the harmful myth that we should strive to be as comfortable as possible, to make life as pleasurable possible, and to resist hardship as much as possible. No myth has made us unhappier as a people. We simply can’t be pleasured or comfortable all the time. We can’t control everything. Trying to achieve permanent comfort and control leads to a dull, meaningless life that kills the soul.
Nature calls you back to reality. You can’t stop it from raining. You can’t delay the set ting sun. You can’t set the temperature to a comfortable 70 degrees. If you’re climbing a mountain, your muscles are going to burn. But with this surrender comes such relief! You awake from a dream and realize how little control you really have. You remember that hardship and lack of control are part of life, and accepting this reality makes it not only bearable, but possible to feel the joy of being alive.
6) Nature reminds you of death so you can appreciate your life and its natural cycles.
In the U.S., we do everything we can to avoid the knowledge that we, and everyone we love, are going to die. In nature, you encounter dead trees all the time. And, behold! - they’re nursing young plants to life. You walk through a burn area and see a profusion of wildflowers thriving in the newly enriched soil. You might even see animal skulls and bones. When we come face to face with death, we value our own life more, the present moment more, and experience surges of joy to be alive. Many cancer survivors know this truth well from a harsh encounter with death. Nature eases us into this reality.
5) As the noise of our crazy culture fades, your mind calms and you experience silence and stillness. What a relief! Enough said.
4) You behold the beauty of nature.
How is such majesty possible? The strength of that mountain, standing there for all those years! The miracle of this single flower, infused with sunlight! The revelation of a tree, rooted deep in the earth, stretching to the sky, and bearing silent witness to the world around it! You feel awe and joy and are whole again.
3) You remember that you are connected to all living things.
You feel that you belong to this Earth. That you are part of the community of nature. You are made of the same substance, and that you are no better—and no worse—than that bird, that tree, that other human walking up the trail.
2) You remember who you truly are.
You feel comfortable in your own skin, you experience your own quiet peace and strength, you sense the inner you that is the true you. The mask you present to the outer world is irrelevant for a time, and put in its proper place.
1) You experience the Divine.
Whether you call it God, Earth Mother, the Great Mystery, or by another name, nature helps you to connect with this powerful, loving presence. You might feel this presence loving and supporting you. You might receive guidance and wisdom. Nature brings you closer to our own spirit and to Spirit.
These are the reasons why I believe we are so happy in the natural world. This is why nature heals, and helps us to live lives of meaning and joy.
Straight from webmd. Smokers have more pain (especially joint pain) than nonsmokers. Just another reason to kick the habit.
There's even a study about male smokers and knee pain.
A less common situation on the pelvic tilt game but if you have it, you need to address it. Have fun with improving your posture. It will be a great benefit in every aspect of your pyhsical life. Two awesome websites with great advice.
Think of your pelvis as a bowl of water. Which way is the water pouring out?
Here's an example of a common posture problem a lot of people have. Including me. So I've been working on it. This particular website has helped me more than anything. Give it a try if you are working on your posture and have the same issues.
A must watch video. Yoga is so much more than the poses. This may take a few clicks to get to, and so worth it. 12 minutes a day.... can change your life.
Don't feel like paying a monthly fee for a website that gives you yoga videos to watch and practice from the comforts of your own home? I understand. Check these top youtube channels out.
Not listed is one of my favs Esther Ekhart. Especially for quick tutorials on things like: how to do a yoga warrior one pose.
Lord knows my body needs this pose. But I truly despise it. It has been a "quest" for me for a while now. I have decided to do it everyday. And in one month I see a difference! I'm uber proud of myself. Doing what you "hate" teaches you something. Tolerance. Discipline. This pose causes me some pain on the outside of the hip of the front leg. It's past discomfort. I'd call it pain. So I am VERY careful. Give this pose a shot. Use a block. Somedays I can reach the ground, other days, it's just not happening. And that's ok. Be kind to yourself. Remember that hurting your body in yoga asana is just going to set your progress back. Weeks, possibly months. So I take it pretty easy in my yoga asana practice. I've hurt myself many times over the years. That's how I found yoga to begin with.
Take a look at Ray Long's fabulous info on this pose.
Debbie Krejci E-RYT
become a yoga teacher