Warm Up by Breathing!

Sitting Mountain Asana

Deep breathing infuses the body with energy

Sit on your chair, it can be any chair in any place. Assume the Sitting Mountain Asana position by sitting on the front edge of it. Sit in a tall position.

Now bring to mind the words "lengthen, strengthen, extend, and expand." And take these four words into your daily vocabulary. The words will help you experience openness, grounding, and a lightness of Being!

How to Properly Breathe

Whether you breathe through the mouth or the nose, you need to focus on taking air in through the nose as much as you can. Primary mouth breathing leads to hyperventilation, acidity and anxiety. Nose breathing soothes and alkalizes the body.

At birth, you breathe through your nose. As you start experiencing stress, you increase the mouth breathing gradually breathing more shallowly. You no longer breathe deeply into the lower lobes of the lungs. The breath now resides only in the clavicle area (upper chest and shoulders.)

Make an effort to take the breath deeper into the lower lobes of the lungs. So when you inhale, the belly expands and fills the lungs completely with air, all the way down into the lowest part of the lungs.

The next step is to focus on bringing the breath into the middle part, and finally the upper section of your chest. When you exhale, the chest should release first, then the rib area, and finally the belly. (You will learn about this Full Yogic Breath in a future article.)

UjjayiPranayama

On to the warming breath-

Begin to warm the body by breathing through the nose and creating an ocean wave-like sound of an in and out sound from the back of your throat.

Here are a few of the ways you can achieve this sound.

  • Use the word whisper. Inhale and silently sound the syllable "whis." Exhale while silently saying the syllable "per."
  • Take air in and exhale out via the nose to create an ocean wave-like sound down and up the "back" of your throat.
  • Imagine holding a small mirror in your hand about 6 inches from your mouth and do a forceful exhalation. You'll pretend to fog it up like during a shower. At this time, close your mouth and inhale through your nose. Continue to do this several times and create the sound with a closed mouth.
  • Visualize a character like Darth Vader in the movie, "Star Wars." If ever there was the perfect character illustrating an Ujjayi Breath breather, it was Darth Vader! Remember the movie? The deep sound occurred with a closed mouth. Do the same.

Enhancements to Breath

  1. Follow through with your breath by making your breathings soft and observe how the chest gradually opens
  2. Allow the air flow exhalation be even and come out from both lungs and nostrils
  3. Finish with the exhalation before inhaling again
  4. Now lessen the hold on your abdomen as the air comes to an end
  5. Do not inflate the nostrils.
  6. Keep the face and eyes still.

Benefits of the Ujjayi Breath

  1. It increases oxygen intake
  2. It soothes the nervous system
  3. It helps builds energy

Namaste! I honor the Light that shines within you that also shines within me!



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