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9 WEEKS : NEW YOU! PART 3

……..And Breath

So now you are adequately hydrated from making Part 1 a successful habit and you are now a person of action from Part 2!

What you missed Part 1 and/or Part 2???… or you even missed the intro on what this 9 Weeks To A Better You is all about?

No problem, just play catchup by clicking the links and come back to Part 3 afterwards

CLICK 9 Weeks To A Better You :: Introduction

CLICK 9 Weeks To A Better You :: Part 1


CLICK 9 Weeks To A Better You :: Part 2 

Now you may remember that I said previously that I was going to use some of my contacts to help me forge these 9 steps. Health and wellness is something to be looked at from a holistic standpoint in our eyes here at UCF.

Yes we need to eat good food, drink enough water, sleep deep sleep, exercise in a smart manner, cut stress, take quality supplements and so on BUT you may know that oxygen and our ability to use it is kind of important for us homosapiens .

I’ve spent time studying breathing techniques through the years and look to apply them to my day to day routine. If you are feeling a little stressed then you start to shallow breath, this is bad news for the body. Get some space and deep breath.

I could continue with this interesting subject but I feel I will instead hand you over to Mags who lives, eats, sleeps and breathes (excuse the very obvious pun) this subject in her life as a passionate yoga instructor.

Take it away Mags and you’ll see her site at the bottom of the page if you’d like to see a little more about what she does including low flying efforts as in the pic 😉



Take Time To Breathe

I have recently returned from a month in India, where I was qualifying as a yoga teacher in Ashtanga and Vinyasa Flow, in the foothills of the Himalayas, the perfect setting for any budding yogi.

As part of my course, I had to complete 200 hours that incorporated, yoga lessons, meditation, philosophy, student teaching and alignment.

It was the meditation side of yoga that surprisingly energised me, not only mentally, but physically too.  Now that I am back, it’s certainly something I want to continue in my own practice, as well as with clients.

One of the subjects we covered as part of our meditation practice was Pranayama, which is the Sanskrit word for, ‘vital energy’ or ‘life force’, breath expansion.

Prana is the energy that combines the body and mind.  It’s this energy we focus on during the practice of pranayama.

There are many breathing techniques as part of pranayama, but today I am going to focus on, Kapala Bhati Pranayama, which translates as forehead shining.   This can be practiced at any time of the day, but with an empty stomach (3 or 4 hours after meals) and only takes 10 minutes.

Don’t worry if you feel a little self-conscious to begin with, this will soon fade as you become more familiar with the practice.

Procedure:

  • Go to a quiet room 
  • Relax in a comfortable cross-legged sitting position.  If you find this position difficult, sit on a chair or a bolster with your knees placed either side of the bolster
  • Keep the head, neck and spine straight in one line.  Core and back muscles engaged.  Try not to lean back against a wall or anything else that can cause you to hunch and reducing the space in your abdomen
  • Shoulders are relaxed and away from the neck
  • Hands are placed on the knees in a mudra of your choice and eyes closed
  • Gently inhale through both nostrils expanding the abdomen
  • Exhale with a forceful contraction of the abdomen
  • The next inhalation will be natural and passive, no force used
  • The next exhalation will always be forceful and continue this sequence
  • Count each respiration mentally
  • Perform up to 5 rounds of 15 – 20 breaths. 


Breathing:

  • Breath should be rapid and be from the abdomen and not from the chest, which should not move.


Awareness:

  • Focus the mind on your rhythmic breathing or your third eye chakra (in between your eyes).

Benefits:

  • Tones the core and abdomen muscles
  • Balances and strengthens the nervous system
  • Harmonizes the digestive system
  • Removes sleepiness and energizes the mind and body
  • Removes sensory distractions from the mind
  • Helps to release stress and tension
  • Purifies and balances the Ida and Pingula Nadis (left and right side of your body). 

Contra-Indications:
Should not be practiced by people suffering from heart problems, high blood pressure, pregnancy or during menstrual cycle.

Note: 
If pain in the legs, caused from sitting cross-legged, or dizziness is experienced, stop the practice re adjust stretching out the legs and maybe cross the legs the other way.  Then sit quietly for some time, until you feel ready to try again.

The breath is the most vital process of the body. It influences the activities of each and every cell and most importantly, is linked with the performance of the brain.  Human’s breath, roughly 15 times per minute and 21,600 times per day.  Its this simple process that converts the breath into energy to power every muscle we use in our daily routine.

The principle underlying the system of yoga is that the breath, mind and physical body are one; therefore by controlling one, you are in fact controlling all of them.   The daily practice of pranayama, will not only enhance your asana practice in yoga, but you shall also benefit in your everyday life, resulting in a more pure, balanced and living you!

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

Mags…

_______________________________________


Thanks Mags,

Please visit www.purebalancedliving.com to book one to one or group yoga classes with Mags.

Actually I know the site is up and running real soon and you’ll be hearing more from Mags through us, but you can email her on info@purebalancedliving.com and if you click that link above you can add her on Facebook.

Namaste

@TomDyerUCF

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