Pranayama – Breathing – Day 1 – August 2021 Yoga Challenge Day 12 – Diaphragmatic Breath – Flowing Breath with Asanas

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Happy Friday Yogis! Before we get into our detailed review of the Sun Salutations Asana Series discussed yesterday, we will take two days to cover the remaining 8 Limbs of Yoga. We are going to review Diaphragmatic Breathing today, along with our challengers, with an introduction to basic flowing for Asana and Pranayama.

Today’s Daily Yogi Practice is Diaphragmatic Breath, a Pranayama Practice with “flowing” between our first two Sun Salutations Series Asanas. This is an intro to linking breath and movement, if you are familiar with this already perhaps try a more advanced Asana class today and focus on your breath. Today we are going to start standing in Tadasana to prep for our Sun Salutations Asana Series rather than in a comfortable seat as we have done in the past. This is also a great calming technique for anxiety.

cool perspective looking up at grassy mountain valley with yellow wildflowers bright green grass and gray rocks - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Conscious breath control is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed, clear state of mind. - Andrew Weil
Conscious breath control is a useful tool for achieving a relaxed, clear state of mind. – Andrew Weil

Diaphragmatic Breath

  • Start standing in Tadasana. Begin by evaluating your current breath pattern. Place one hand on your chest, and the other on your belly. Breathe in and out, and notice when the hands resting on your belly and chest move to indicate expansion. You SHOULD use your diaphragm and breathe into your belly, so your belly expands on the inhale and contracts on the exhale. Most of us breathe shallowly into our chest only, and our belly hand never moves!  
  • Breathe in and make sure your belly expands, pushing your hand out as your entire torso fills with air
  • Breathe out, contracting the belly, making sure you empty the lungs completely
  • Now, on an inhale, raise your arms above your head to come into Talasana (Palm Tree Pose) or a gentle Anuvittasana (Standing Backbend) as you breathe into your belly
  • Exhale and lower your hands back to your sides to come back into Tadasana
  • Continue breathing in to a full count of 6, and out to a full count of 6, using your diaphragm to fill your lungs with air, and contract the belly to empty lungs completely. Raise your arms as your breathe in, and lower them as you breathe out, to start getting a basic flow coordinating your movement and breath. Focus on keeping your chest hand fairly still, and using your diaphragm to breathe into your belly.
epic cloudy purple pink and glowing orange stripey alpine sunrise in mountains with darkened pine trees and snow-capped mountain peaks - pranayama breath breathing Quote: Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Please comment and let me know what you thought of this Pranayama exercise! Did you try standing in Tadasana or laying down in Shavasana today? What did you think? Always remember, be kind!

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