The Importance of Exhaling in Yoga by Andrea Cespedes

The Importance of Exhaling in Yoga  by Andrea Cespedes,

The Process of Exhaling You inhale to bring oxygen into the body and exhale to release carbon dioxide. The act of exhaling causes the diaphragm, a muscle in your lower abdomen, to move upward into the chest cavity and the small muscles around the ribs to contract. These muscular actions reduce the space in the chest cavity, forcing carbon dioxide out of your lungs and out through your nose or mouth. Exhaling is normally an involuntary activity. In yoga practice, however, you make an effort to exhale fully and completely to stimulate the central nervous system, explains Sudha Carolyn Lundeen, Advanced Kripalu Yoga Instructor, Holistic Health Nurse and Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapist, in “Yoga Journal.”

Purpose A full and purposeful exhalation helps you clear out your lungs so you can take a fuller in-breath, which provides you with fresh, oxygenated air. Focused exhaling gives you more control over your breathing in general, reducing shortness of breath or other breathing discomforts. Strong exhalations also strengthen muscles in the chest and abdomen, which are important to a powerful physical yoga practice.

Evidence Exhaling fully and completely can help reduce stress and lower your blood pressure by stimulating the calming parasympathetic nervous system, National Public Radio reported in December 2010. Complete yogic breathing programs can help diabetic patients control glycemic levels, found a study in the May 2012 issue of the “Indian Journal of Endocrinology and Metabolism.” Another study, also published in May 2012, in the “Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine,” found that a regular practice of yoga breathing among cancer patients receiving chemotherapy correlated with better sleep, reduced anxiety and improved mental quality of life.

Nose or Mouth How you exhale depends on what pranayama technique you are using in your yoga practice. Some exercises ask you to exhale through the mouth to release a large volume of air quickly while relaxing the jaw, tongue and shoulders. Nose breathing is more commonly used in yoga practice, however. Nose breathing is considered cleaner, as it filters out pollutants and pathogens while adding moisture and warmth to the in-breath. In yoga philosophy it is said that exhaling through the nose stimulates the olfactory nerve in the brain which, in turn, activates other glands in the brain and sinus chamber, helping to bring balance and stillness to the mind.

Shared by           Bea Ammidown The YogAbility Institute www.yogability.org

bea@yogability.org 310-451-0598

 

 

 

How, why and what I teach

 

The invisible spiritual benefits of adaptive Yoga Therapy for those with  Special Needs including caregivers.

 

I care about describing  to students  how as a senior who has rehabilitated from serious injuries I was able to restore my body and spirit utilizing the years of recovery experiences with research, becoming ambulatory again and then deciding to be trained to teach and serve others.

Demystifying Yoga to those who will benefit through simple, clear demonstration, emphasizing safety, comfort and faith with poses that soothe, empower and delight.

 

The ease with which I as a elder am able to introduce Yoga opens the doors of awareness to those who fear attempting this weird 20/30 year old assumed standing on your head exercise program. One on one sessions given to children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy or autism where I include the parents and/or caregivers validates how when co-creating a sanctuary, a peaceful space healing happens.

Suggested movements and affirming words for caregivers that are present prove how caring for oneself helps those who care for others, uniting families and helpers. Wheelchair bound individuals with ALS, Cerebral palsy, paralysis, Alzheimer’s or simply aging receive yoga’s therapeutic benefits through breathing exercises, using the chairs, walls and tables as props to support and offer security.

Selected words, music and sounds enliven static elders; calm a frantic teen and/or rambunctious children. Moving to rhythms, listening to old time favorite songs restore and bring delight to the partially sighted and those with dementia. Silence is often a favorite.

The method that is offered enables those with fear, pain and ignorance to experience what Yoga Therapy is. Tools, clues and tips are part of a customized instruction manual and gives light to the issues, diseases, and injuries showing what is manageable.

All bodies have special needs that ask to be acknowledged and respected. From the strongest and able to the ones seemingly weak and suffering.

My mission with YogAbility is to show how all are able for advancement when accepted, acknowledged and guided with responsible professional teaching and lovingkindness.

Yoga For the Fun of It

I love sharing inspiring words from a respected yoga therapist and colleague Carol Kruckoff. I intend my classes to impart this too. Bea

Remember  the feeling as a child, when the recess bell rang  and released you out  onto the playground to run, jump, swing and do whatever your little  heart and body desired? Yoga offers this kind of  “play break.”  In our busy, stressful lives, yoga practice can be a precious opportunity to be present in our bodies–stretching out the kinks, breathing deeply and having fun.  This is why I avoid using the word “work” in my yoga classes.  Instead of asking students to “work at the postures,” I encourage them to “play with the poses.”   For those steeped in the Western mindset–where there is a belief that the harder you work, the better the results–this can be a challenging attitude adjustment.    But in yoga, we recognize that working hard may actually create more tension and take you farther away from where you want to be. So, rather than “muscling into” a pose, which can lead to injury, we learn that relaxing into a pose can take us deeper.  Yoga teaches us to become keenly aware of how the pose feels, take the movement to a point of challenge but not strain, and allow the breath to invite the posture to unfold.  In other words, we typically progress in yoga not by working harder, but by working softer–relaxing, releasing, and letting go; or better yet, by not working at the pose at all, but by playing with it.        As legendary yoga master Vanda Scaravelli wrote in her extraordinary book Awakening the Spine, “Why are we doing yoga?  We do it for the fun of it.  To twist, stretch, and move around is pleasant and enjoyable, a body holiday.”        So forget about working out, and vow to take time every day to go out (or in) and play

In joy,   Carol Krucoff, E-RYT http://www.healingmoves.com

The real power of Yoga

The real power of yoga lies not in the strength and vitality it gives the physical body, but rather in the profoundly positive ways it changes our entire human system on a daily level. By refining the mind / body, clearing negative emotions and creating positive habits and behaviors, our whole life changes. And through this process of yoga, truly extra-ordinary capabilities are developed. The 3rd Chapter of Patanjali’s Yogasutra explains clearly and precisely how Yoga brings about these changes in a practical and realistic way.

Chase Bosart

Healing Yoga Foundation

3620 Buchanan St.

San Francisco, CA 94123

415-931-9642

www.healingyoga.org

Kindness and Compassion

LIKE A BABY LEARNING TO WALK, WE LEARN THIS SKILLFUL BALANCE OF ENGAGEMENT AND DETACHMENT GRADUALLY. AND LIKE A TODDLER, WE NEED ENCOURAGEMENT  WITH EVERY FALTERING  ATTEMPT WE MAKE TO ESTABLISH THIS INNER UPRIGHTNESS

ANY MOVEMENT TOWARD GREATER KINDNESS AND COMPASSION IS TO BE CELEBRATED.

ANY SKILLFULNESS  IN STAYING CALM IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT, IN REMAINING CHEERFUL IN ADVERSITY, AND IN MAINTAINING  EQUANIMITY IN SUCCESS OR FAILURE IS TO BE COMMENDED.


ANY ATTEMPT TO KEEP THE HEART OPEN WHEN WE MOST WISH TO CLOSE DOWN IS  A MOVEMENT I THE RIGHT DIRECTION, HOWEVER MINUSCULE OR PATHETIC THAT MOVEMENT MAY SEEM.   WHEN WE MOMENTARILY LOSE IT AND BECOME INWARDLY UNSEATED, THE FACT THAT WE HAVE NOTICED OUR UNSEATED STATE IS ONLY EVIDENCE THAT WE HAVE AN ALREADY STRONG SENSE OF WHAT IT MEANS TO BE SEATED.


EVEN WHEN WE MAKE TERRIBLE MISTAKES AND FOOLISH ERRORS THAT LEAD US WELL ASTRAY, THE PAINFULNESS OF THESE EXCURSIONS IS VERY LIKELY TO CEMENT OUR COMMITMENT TO STAY TRUE  TO OUR VALUES THEREAFTER.

DONNA FARHI

BRINGING YOGA TO LIFE.

THE EVERYDAY PRACTICE OF ENLIGHTENED LIVING

HARPER SANFRANCISCO 2003