LEARNING HOW WE BREATHE6th August 2019
The ability to breathe is known as a normal function of the body. We don’t think about it, we don’t have to put any effort in, the body just takes in and expels air on its own. It’s not something we are taught as children, like tying our shoes laces. It just sort of happens. (And when you think about it, it’s an unappreciated miracle!)
However, what we are unaware of, is how we are breathing, especially in times or stress, panic, anger or upset.
Often we aren’t breathing at our lungs full capacity and this can have a huge impact on how the mind and body function.
Learning how we breathe; TRY THIS SIMPLE EXERCISE to learn how you are breathing:
-Begin laying down on the floor/ bed/ sofa and take a moment to notice where you feel your breath move in your body. You don’t need to do anything, just observe how your body receives and lets go of each breath. Notice where there is movement when you breathe. If possible, breathe in and out through the nose.
-To help you feel your breath, place one hand on your abdomen and one hand on your chest. Notice the gentle movement beneath your hands for a few breaths. Keep observing.
-Then see if you can start to deepen the breath by taking a longer inhale and a longer exhale. Notice how this feels.
See if on your next exhale you can breathe right to the end of your breath, getting rid of the last drop of air in your lungs.
Then taking a longer in breath, filling your lungs with fresh air. (This should feel really good! If it doesnt, you might be over-straining yourself.)
-Continue this process of a long exhale and a long inhale for 4 more breaths. Then relax your hands down beside you, return to your natural breath and observe how you feel.
Do you notice any difference from before and after? Are you aware of where your breath moves in your body? Do you feel you breathe more into your belly or your chest?
Sometimes it’s as simple as learning how we are breathing in a situation and seeing if we can take a deeper longer breath.
Relax like a queen: How to have the BEST savasana6th August 2019
Savasana, known as the “corpse pose”, is practised as a relaxation at the end of a yoga class. For some this can be the hardest posture as it involves staying still, relaxing the areas we sometimes naturally hold on to and trying to slow down the mind.
At a symbolic level, savasana represents the death of our limited beliefs. The process of yoga is said to dissolve these limited beliefs and the suffering associated with them.
To making the process of relaxation a little easier here are my top tips for RELAXING LIKE A QUEEN 🙂
Support your body with props! Props can become your best friend if used correctly!
- If you find your chin is pointing high up to the ceiling and the back of your neck is compressed, try placing a folded blanket or a thin yoga block under the back of your head.
- Can’t keep your eyes closed? If you are in a class and a teacher offers you an eye pillow say yes! Eye pillows gentle soften tension around the whole eye area. A little bit of weight around the eyes stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system the “relaxation response” in the body.
- BACK PAIN? Keep the knees bent! Trying placing a rolled up blanket/towel/ pilow or bolster under your knees to help you relax but take some tension off of the back.
- PREGNANT? Try lying on your left side, knees bent with a folded blanket or pillow between your knees.
- MIND WANDERING? For me a good savasana has a little bit of guidance to help you relax, some teachers leave a complete silent space and for some this situation can be even harder to relax in. If that is the case, focus on your breath and add a count of 4 to your inhale and exhale. Each time your mind wanders off, take a deep breath and focus on your exhale relaxing each part of your body.
When used correctly props really can make yoga so much more enjoyable and ACCESSIBLE! Yoga is not about what shape you make, but how it feels for YOU in your OWN BODY!
- If you know you can safely use essential oils, choose some to help you relax like lavender or clary sage.
- If you are touch sensitive and respond positively from touch, ask a teacher for hands on adjusments to ease the body into the earth more. Try these tips and let me know if they make a difference to your relaxation time.