Saturday, January 22, 2011

Breathing

When the breath wanders the mind also is unsteady. But when the breath is calmed the mind too will be still, and the yogi achieves long life. Therefore, one should learn to control the breath.  
~Svatmarama,Hatha Yoga Pradipika


Tonight as I was following my Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred video for the fourth time, it occurred to me just how important breathing is. Not in the, if you aren't breathing, you're probably dead kind of way, but noticing the power of controlled breath.


Whether it's in yoga, pilates, running, or any other kind of workout (or really life in general) breathing at the right time is so important. Focusing on breathing can quiet the mind, making concentrating on working out easier. It can also help when lifting weights.....which is really what I noticed tonight. As I was struggling with my five pounders, I suddenly realized I was holding my breathe, something I always had problem with in dance. Holding your breath really will not help you.....at any time, but especially when trying to get through a work out. Giving your body and muscles oxygen at the right time is essential. Focusing on the inhale and exhale also makes the workout go faster (and easier).....and who doesn't like that.


My muscles are feeling tighter and my pants looser, and now I'm wishing I would have actually weighed myself before starting this just for the curiousness of how much weight I'm actually losing. 


My grandparents are driving down tonight to my Aunt's to pick up my great grandma on their way to Florida (luckies!), so I get to see them tomorrow morning. I wish they would take me with them.....I've been dying to get out of the mitten state and on to a much warmer climate. Granted last year when they were there it was warmer in TC than it was down in Florida, now that's unfortunate. Hopefully this year it will be a lot nicer for them, and they'll be able to enjoy the warmth and sun of the south. (seriously I might just try to fit myself into one of their suitcases tomorrow....who cares about school anyway right?)

2 comments:

  1. Nice posting. Do you know about this edition of the Pradipika?

    http://www.YogaVidya.com/hyp.html

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  2. I totally agree about focusing on breathing and its benefits for mind and body. I have been practicing it for the last 9 years, to reduce stress and derive several mind- body benefits. It is a simple, doable and no-cost technique which works even for 5 year old children. In my experience, simply focusing on breathing automatically makes it slow and deep over a few minutes. The simplest mode of this technique is the ‘Tip mode’ described below.

    **** TIP MODE: Touch the tip of the thumb to the tip of the little finger. Breathe in and out three times, counting in the mind, every time you breathe out. During the first out breath count ‘one’, second out breath ‘two’ and during the third out breath ‘three’. Repeat the same steps at each of the next three finger tips. When you are at the thumb, place the tip of the index finger at the base of the thumb and breathe three times. Then switch to the other hand and repeat the same process. Continue practicing, switching the hands. You will feel its calming effect, by the time you complete 4 to 6 hands, which takes 2 to 3 minutes. You can use this mode, anywhere and anytime, even for a few seconds, to avert potential stress or dissolve built up stress!****

    For five other modes of ‘focusing on breathing’ - Segment mode, Counting mode, Feeling mode, Staring mode and 911 modes, please visit this page http://countingbreaths.com/fob/relax/how-can-i-do-it/

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