When I started yoga a couple years ago, I was all over my mat and in fact what happens on the mat doesn’t stays on the mat, it reflects exactly what’s going on with my life.
Moving through poses without following the ‘inhale, exhale’ cues from my yoga teacher (shallow breaths and fainting spells),
Fall out from poses getting frustrated or tend to hold my breath in a pose (short-tempered and lack of patience),
My mind was drifting away thinking about my past and future (stressed and quarter-life crisis) and the list just goes on and on…
I realised the main reason is my breath.
Breathing is a natural vital function and we take it for granted, ignoring its capability to affect our mental, emotional, and physical state. With each inhale it brings oxygen into the body transforms it into nutrients and each exhale it brings carbon dioxide out of the body getting rid of toxins. Also, affects our state of mind by making us confuse or clear, excited or calm, tense or relax.
In yoga practice, it’s a combination of posture, movement and breathing. I’ve attended many yoga classes, every single one of them stressed the importance of breathing consciously and then I was introduced to Pranayama (control of breath) to control Prana (vital force). Pranayama – breathing exercises have an effect on specific moods and conditions, you can identify your personal practice by checking out Yogapoint or DoYouYoga, as it deals with the subtle life force, it is important to practice them as taught in your yoga class, experimenting with these techniques is not advisable.
The control of breathing shifts from medulla oblongata (carries out and regulates life sustaining functions such as breathing, swallowing and heart rate) to cerebral cortex (responsible for thinking and processing information from the five senses). Hence, the thoughts and emotions are bypassed – the mind is then focus, calm and aware.
When you concentrate on the breathing process, you are present. You let go of the past and future and focused on the moment. This is why breathing consciously is its own meditation.
Note to self: Just breathe.
YTT Sep’2017 (Weekend)