Beginners Yoga Tips (2)

Breathwork or breath control is one of the foundations of yoga. The Sanskrit term you will often hear for the practice of breathing exercises in yoga, is Pranayama (‘Prana’ -life force/energy, Yama – restrain). These breathing exercises have the ability to quickly increase our energy, release stress, improve our mental clarity, and physical health. There are many breath exercises you will learn on your yoga journey, they will involve breathing through the nostrils in a specific pattern of inhalation, breath retention, exhalation. Some common yoga breathing exercises include Ujjayi breathing, Bhramari pranayama, and Nadi Shodhan pranayama (alternate nostril breathing). While the breathing exercises themselves are valuable the most important thing as a beginner is to learn to become aware of the breath.

Exercise – Simply start to notice your inhale and exhale, take time throughout your day even just one minute to stop, notice how you are feeling and become aware of how you are breathing. Just this one simple exercise can reduce stress, improve sleep and make you more present and aware.

Stillness- Most of us find it very challenging to sit still. Take a moment to think about your usual day, even when you are chilling out, and relaxing most of us are not still. Are your hands still busy scrolling your phone, feet tapping, mind wandering to the past or the future? Much of the time all of this is happening at once!

Exercise – The next time you are waiting in line, sat as a passenger in a car, on the bus, relaxing in front of the TV, notice the temptation to take out your phone for distraction. Try to observe the urge rather than immediately give into it.

So, before we start our journey into yoga poses begin to practice being still, being present and aware of your breath. These most basic tenets of yoga will have way more profound effects on your yoga practice than being able to wrap you foot around the back of your head.

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