Thursday, August 19, 2010

Morning Breath: the Good Kind

Several mornings during the past two weeks I have awakened while the sky is still dark and traveled across town to breathe with 26 other people. I suppose we all have our reasons. Some people say they gain an energetic yet calm feeling from this yogic breathing, or Pranayama. Its repeated, deep and structured inhalation and exhalation look a little like this:

Health benefits of Pranayama
Pranayama is also associated with improvement in
  • circulation
  • digestion
  • nervous system
and most notably, asthma. Seems if you practice breathing, you get "better" at it: asthma responds very well to pranayama. Studies report improvements in pulmonary function and quality of life -- and corresponding reductions in airway hyper-reactivity, frequency of attacks and medication use.

My teacher is of the Iyengar school of yoga. We start by reclining with our heads on a folded blanket and a taller folded blanket under our chests. The instructor gives precise directions for each breathing exercise. He calmly moves us into a seated position for a spell before our final corpse pose, sivasana. We just inhale... and exhale.

Except for the 6 am part, it's pretty swell.

1 comment:

mikroenjeksiyon said...

It's very interesting. Thanks to the author.