Written By:  Trudy Flaherty @ Just Breathe Yoga

Have you ever thought about your breath? Not how it smells to others, but about your breathing technique or lack there of.

You can learn a lot about breathing by how you practice it.

What? You do not practice?!

Most people do not, but if you knew how it benefits the body and well being would you start?

Do any of these sound familiar:
1. Shallow breathing, can hardly see the chest rise.
2. You breathe into your stomach not your lungs.
3. Are you easily short of breath when taking stairs.
4. Do you breathe with your mouth open.
5. Catch yourself holding your breath.

If you can relate to any of the above, you may benefit from practicing yogic breathing (also called pranayama).

What are the benefits?
1. Longer deeper breathing increases oxygen in the blood and improves circulation throughout the body.
2. Helps keep lungs elastic and healthy.
3. Anxiety decreases and moods lighten.

Think about what we say to children crying uncontrollably. ” Stop, take a slow breath and calm down. Now, tell me what’s wrong.”

So we already know deep breathing works. Now we just have to start practicing it.

One yogic breathing technique:

Sufi Mother’s Breath
Sit or lie down in a comfortable position. If sitting, feel as though you are lengthening. Close your eyes and just observe your breath. After a few moments start breathing in through nose for a count of 7, exhale for a count of 7. Repeat two more times, then return to unmanipulated breathing.

As you start to practice make sure to modify the count if needed. However, the more you practice this technique lengthen the count and add a 1 count retention between inhale and exhale.

This breathing technique is designed to make us feel relaxed and calm. If you feel light headed or uncomfortable release the count and go back to regular breathing.

This is just one breathing technique in yogic breathing. There are techniques that calm, that energizes, that help with allergies and anxiety. If you would like more info on yogic breathing contact Trudy.

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Trudy Flaherty

After being diagnosed with arthritis in 1994, Trudy turned to a home yoga practice as a way to help control the pain in her joints. Eighteen years later, Trudy is still on her yoga mat, owns her own business and is a registered certified Yoga, T'ai Chi and Pilates instructor. Her goal - to introduce as many people to the benefits of Yoga. If you would like for information on classes contact Trudy at 308-627-5506, www.justbreatheyoga.us or [email protected]