Yoga Breathing 102

Dear Yoga Student,

Ever wonder why people who sleep on their side always sleep on their RIGHT side?

It’s because laying on your right side encourages left nostril breathing, which activates the right side of the brain and helps you relax.

Don’t believe me? Take a survey of everyone at your work, and you’ll see it’s true.

BREATHING EXERCISE: How to Chill Out

Our goal today is to learn how to cool the body (generally we’re talking about internal inflammation from stress and lame food), relax the body, and find some focus.

So let’s get started:

BELLY BREATHING

1 – Lie down on the floor, flat on your back, arms at your sides, palms facing up.

2 – Take your right hand at put it over your belly button. Relax completely.

3 – Inhale completely but don’t breathe into your chest… instead let your abdomen fill up as much as possible (this is difficult at first).

4 – Now exhale, allowing your belly to hollow out completely.

5 – Once you’re comfortable with this motion (chest stays still, belly fills like a balloon, then empties completely), now we’ll count the breaths.

6 – Inhale to the count of 1-2-3-4 *PAUSE* at the top. Now exhale to the count of 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1. Again, inhale 1-2-3-4… *pause*… exhale 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Do 10 rounds and then rest.

CHEST BREATHING

1 – Lie down on the floor, flat on your back, arms at your sides, palms facing up.

2 – Take your right hand at put it over your belly button. Relax completely.

3 – Inhale completely don’t let your belly move, instead your chest fills and rises up toward your chin (this is usually easier than the previous exercise).

4 – Now exhale, allowing your chest to fall toward the floor.

5 – Once you’re comfortable with this motion(belly still, chest inflating and deflating), now we’ll count the breaths.

6 – Inhale to the count of 1-2-3-4 *PAUSE* at the top, chest bulging. Now exhale to the count of 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Again, inhale 1-2-3-4… *pause*… exhale 8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Do 10 rounds and then rest.

HOW THIS WORKS

A handful of scientists (and a boatload of yogis) have studied this 1-to-2 ratio breathing pattern (here we did 4 to 8… same ratio), and what they’ve discovered is that by simply extending the exhale, it stimulates that vagus nerve and immediately has acalming effective on the body.

Is there more to learn?

Of course, but these two simple exercises take about 5 minutes to learn and you can do them anytime, anywhere (as long as your boss doesn’t catch you lying on the floor under your cubicle with your finger under your nose… that would be a tough one to explain).

Stay bendy,

Lucas
YOGABODY Naturals LLC
Yoga Practice Tools

p.s. Ideally, breathing is done on a empty stomach. Right after you wake up or right before bed are ideal times. 10 rounds of each practice will take you 10-15 minutes and you’ll feel the shift, energetically, right away (at night, it’s great for knocking yourself out too….)

Got Questions? Post them below.