ONE WORD WISDOM: BREATHE

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WHY DO WE STOP?

If you’ve ever breathed a heavy sigh of relief, it’s because you were holding your breath. We tend to do that when we’re nervous or anxious about what’s happening. Next time, remember to breathe. We breathe approximately 18 times a minute, yet we tend to only think about our breath when we’re running out of it. But when we are aware of our breathing, it actually helps calm our minds and bodies.

Pause. Take a long, deep breath in through your nose. Fill your lower lungs, then your upper lungs. Hold to the count of three. Exhale slowly, letting the muscles in your face, jaw, shoulders and stomach relax.

Three-part Dirga Pranayama is a practice of yoga that actually focuses on breath. It’s a good breathing exercise for beginners because it teaches you how to fill and empty your lungs completely. Most of us are probably not used to using our full lung capacity. Without careful thought, we tend to take shallow breaths. Breath is life. Take time to breathe. Try this exercise before your next yoga session and come back to share how it went!