“If you can breathe, you can do yoga.”
Through yoga I learned proper breathing. I learned to breathe deep into my belly. I learned that my breath is my friend and even more, we can play. Lengthen the inhales and exhales, also pause, so called breath retention. I learned that breathing is much more than an automated process to survive.
Working with our breath in yoga is called pranayama. Built from the terms prana, which means life energy and ayama, control or extend. Through pranayama and the different breathing techniques, we control our life energy or even extend the life force.
In the Ashtanga tradition, we use Ujjayi breath during practice. We breathe through our nostrils, and when exhaling, we constrict the back of our throat, generating a sound, that reminds us on the sound of the ocean. Ujjayi breath creates the rhythm of our practice, while building and keeping the body heat inside. There are a lot of benefits, such as regulating blood pressure, increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood and many more.
I found Ujjayi breath very helpful to keep my focus. It’s my music when practicing. My rhythm. Deepening my asanas.
Bring your awareness to your breath and just observe. Start a good relationship with your breath, become friends. And eventually, extend your life force!