You’ve probably all heard of yoga – a physical and mental exercise that originated in India. While there are different types of yoga for people at all levels of physical fitness, breathing is the most important part of any yoga practice.
“Though some people have difficulty learning the physical poses and routines, others find it difficult to adapt to the yogic breathing patterns that can relax us and keep us balanced,” said expert yogi and professional yoga instructor Rodney Yee.
To help achieve a greater state of balance in your life, it’s easy to learn yoga breathing patterns in just a few quick steps:
Find a good yoga teacher. If your gym or health club doesn’t offer classes as part of your membership, try calling local studios and identifying someone who is willing to train you. “Having a good yoga teacher is a necessity,” said Yee. “We must come to a basic mastery over the yoga practice before working with the breath at any depth.”
Wear loose, comfortable clothing. Yoga is, in part, about relaxation. Wear yoga clothes that you can move in, but also clothes that make you feel comfortable so you can focus on practicing yoga.
Pay attention to your posture. Sit up straight in a cross-legged position and place your hands on your rib cage so that you can feel your chest expand with each breath.
Be aware of your own breathing. Don’t let yourself be distracted by noises, sights and smells in your yoga studio. Notice how your breath flows in and out and note what your breathing sounds like – at first you will probably notice that it is erratic and irregular. By understanding how your own breathing patterns work, it becomes possible to observe your state of relaxation and begin more advanced yoga breathing exercises.