Despite it being one of the happiest times in your life, stress is also synonymous with planning a wedding. And this is not to mention that no bride wants to walk down the aisle feeling anything less than fabulous. So, in this circumstance, when time is rarely on your side, we suggest killing two birds with one stone. That’s where yoga comes in to save the day. Developed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago, this ancient practice is multi-faceted to encompass mind, body, and soul. While calming the mind, it strengthens the soul, and slims the body. Yet, breathing is the MOST vital piece of this particular puzzle, and the only thing you really need to master in order to get started. So, thanks to the help of yoga extraordinaire, Lisa Ash, “How to Strengthen Body & Mind” breaks down the basics of breathing and some things you should know before you venture out on your own!
There are hundreds of different yoga poses and ‘types of yoga’ but the basic concept is the same: connect breath with mind and body. Most people think of yoga breathing as loud, energizing ujjayi breathing used in asana classes, but that’s only one type of yogic breathing. Many specific breathing techniques, known as Pranayama techniques, were developed years prior to the yoga poses practiced in classes today. Let’s start with techniques that are designed to calm the mind and activate the ‘resting’ side of your nervous system. These techniques are easily accessible and very powerful. They are simple and they can be done anywhere, you don’t have to be sitting on a yoga mat or in a special place.
From yoga extraordinaire Lisa: I am commonly asked, “What are the most basic breathing techniques that will help me manage stress?”
One successful technique of breathing is called Sama Vritti. It is the process of matching the quality of duration of an inhale to your exhale. Your breath should be soft and inaudible. Count the inhale: 1, 2, 3, 4 and count your exhale: 4, 3, 2, 1. Continue for eight to ten rounds, and then take a moment to pause and see how your body has changed.
Yoga is listening to the small sacred space between your inhale and your exhale where the divine resides and learning to fill that space with your movement until only the divine remains. – L. Ash
Another technique would be Drigha Breathing or “Complete Breathing”. It is perfect for before a stressful meeting, during a stressful situation, prior to bedtime, and in preparation for meditation. This technique is most comfortable and relaxing when you are lying down, but you can practice it anywhere. Imagine your body in three sections: belly, chest and throat. These are the places you will direct your attention to in order to fill it with breath.
Here is the technique:
1. Inhale: Fill the bottom part of your diaphragm (belly) with breath
2. Exhale: Empty
3. Inhale: Fill the diaphragm and the chest
4. Exhale: Empty the chest then empty the diaphragm
5. Inhale: Fill diaphragm, chest, then throat with breath
6. Exhale: Empty all three parts from top to bottom
7. Repeat for a total of 10 rounds
8. Return to normal breathing and notice how relaxed you feel
Read more about yoga on Lisa’s blog at http://lisaashyoga.com.
Contact Lisa directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 853-5714 to request her class schedule or schedule a private session.
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