Sheena at Yam Yoga – Right Breathing
As well as thinking about the kinds of foods you will have in your home ready for your meals, it is a good idea to think about how and where you might make time for your yoga practice. It’s good to have a yoga mat, but you can also use a large towel or thick scarf. You don’t need specialist yoga clothing, but do make sure you are wearing something comfortable that you can easily move around in, and then find a clear space somewhere warm to settle down.
Some people like to practice with music, others prefer silence; if you have small children (or animals!) be aware that when you put yourself at floor level they will probably want to climb on you – if you prefer to be undisturbed, choose a time and a room where you can be by yourself, otherwise try and embrace the opportunity to bring something new to your family.
To begin, come to sit. This can be cross legged or with your legs straight out, on a cushion or folded blanket, or even on a chair if you can’t find a way to be comfortable on the floor. If you choose to sit on a chair, make sure both of your feet can rest flat on the floor. Tuck your chin slightly in towards your chest so that the back of your neck is long, and imagine that there is a thread coming out of the top of your head – this thread is gently puling you up so that your back is straight, with your weight coming slightly back over your sit bones.
Breathing in and out through your nose, let your breath be calm and at a natural pace. Begin to notice the feel of your breath as it passes in and out – slightly cooler on the way in, and gently warmed on the way out. Begin to bring your awareness to your lower belly, down below your belly button – it may help to bring your hands to rest here, to help you connect. See if you can pull your inhale all the way down into your belly, so that it expands a little, like a balloon inflating. When you exhale, simple release the breath, let it fall away from your body. Continue in this way for a few rounds, feeling what it is like to breathe from your belly.
When you feel in a comfortable rhythm, on an exhale begin to pull your belly button in towards your spine, squeezing out your breath. As you inhale, allow your belly to relax and expand, and again on the exhale pull the belly back towards the spine. Continue in this way, and begin to notice how the inhale becomes deeper and fuller each time. Notice how the breath can begin to expand into the belly, then the ribs, and then the chest, lifting the collar bones, before the breath turns and leaves the body in reverse; first from the chest, then the ribs, and then the belly pulling in towards the spine.
Every so often check in with your posture, making sure that your weight is still coming back over your sit bones, and that your spine is straight. This good posture will help you to make the most of the deep breathing, and is good practice for use during the asanas, or postures.
About Sheena from Yam Yoga
I am a Yoga teacher and holistic therapist, specialising in Seasonal practices and Women’s Yoga. I have a passion for helping people find their potential through a personal practice which suits their own lifestyle, encouraging a playful approach to finding a way to health and wellness. I believe that everyone has the right to access the wisdom of Yoga, and with this in mind offer affordable classes, treatments and 1-1 sessions. For more information please contact me at or find me at www.facebook.com/yamyogabristol
With every purchase of the Goodness Me consultation Sheena is offering a 1-1 session at a discounted price, either £25 in person in Bristol, or £20 via Skype, during January or February. This will include a consultation and a personalised practice plan that you can begin to use right away, and a recording of a special New Beginnings Guided Relaxation.