By Nathan, on May 18th, 2011
“Keep your breathing the same as it was during relaxation” our yoga teacher admonished as our class struggled to hold a lunge position. I thought she was nuts. Relaxation breath for our yoga consists of deeply breathing in through the nose for the count of five and then exhaling through the nose for the count of five. She is right, though. By keeping the breathing simple and deep, it helps to keep everything stable and relaxed.
Breathing is often taken for granted. Most of it is subconsciously done; we don’t have to monitor it for it to occur. It is, however, enormously important and a staple for life. By breathing deeply and slowly through the nose, you can control how deeply you breathe and how long you can hold it. I have started to use this method of breathing to bring myself back into balance, to release stress, to prepare and take me through exertions. It is wonderful to use after eating.
So, with your shoulders down and back, slowly inhale through your nose for the count of five. Make sure you can feel it in your throat and chest. It should sound a little like the tide, not like you’re sniffing. This allows you to control it. As you inhale, let it inflate your chest like a balloon, feel it all the way down your abdomen. Now, slowly exhale for the count of five. By the time you reach five, your chest should be empty, like a deflated balloon. Now slowly inhale for five and exhale for five. You should feel relaxed and calm if it is done right. Happy breathing.