Have You Taken A Deep Breath Today? by Michelle

 Welcome to “Spring Ahead 2013”!! Welcome to more daylight hours!

This week I am going to be focusing on the breath. If you come to my classes you may hear things such as, “just breathe,” “re-connect to your breath,” “follow your breath, there is no need to rush.” These statements may seem cliché, but there is also at least one pearl of wisdom to this.

Most of the time our breath is shallow and short and it naturally arises without thought (which is amazing – it keeps us alive!!) BUT the more stressed we are, the shallower and faster our breath becomes (which can be useful if we are being chased by a lion – it’s our natural stress response or our flight-or-fight system). This stress response triggers automatically but starts to become an issue when this response become chronic and we are constantly in this high alert state. Stress can start to cause things like: depression, indigestion, chest pain/anxiety, aches/pains, and loss of sleep.

The Good News: By consciously slowing down our breath and breathing deeper we can physiologically affect our body – our heart rate will slow down and our bodies will start to relax – and we can actually ‘override’ the stress response into the rest-and-repose response.

When we practice conscious breathing we are practicing pranayama (a Sanskrit word – prana meaning life force energy and yama meaning extension – expanding our life force energy, or expanding our breath), one of the 8-limbs of Patanjali’s Astanga yoga.

Join me this week where we will focus on expanding our breath:

MichelleMonday @ 7:45 PM ~ Gentle Yoga

Tuesday @ 7:45 PM ~ Flow Yoga

Wednesday @ 7:45 PM ~ Gentle Yoga

Thursday @ 7:45 PM ~ Flow Yoga 

Saturday @ 9:15 AM ~ Power Yoga ~ with Kathy as I continue in my 500 hour teacher training journey. 



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