Turquoise Takeover: Breathe Life Force at LUNG FORCE Yoga
Three years ago I looked out to a sea of turquoise clad yogis breathing through my first in person LUNG FORCE Turquoise Takeover Yoga Class. What an inspiration to teach and fundraise for healthy breath. Breath is the foundation of yoga, speaking and living a healthy life. As a yoga instructor, speech-language pathologist and having lost a loved one to lung cancer, I am passionate about the breath. The past year has been a lesson in gratitude for healthy breath. I am honored to be part of the Virtual Ft Lauderdale LUNG FORCE Turquoise Takeover Yoga on Tuesday, May 11, 2021 at 7 PM to increase lung cancer awareness and COVID 19 relief efforts. Join this virtual "breathtaking class by connecting to http://action.lung.org/goto/BrightDropYoga.
Pranayama, known as life force, is the fourth of eight limbs or steps of yoga as it was written in the “Yoga Sutras of Patanjali” thousands of years ago in India. Why is it when you practice yoga for an hour you leave class feeling uplifted? Some call it the magic of yoga. There is an explanation. It is the breath. Breathing is the essence of yoga. It is the most significant thing we do every day. Little attention is given to the breath until you practice yoga, exercise or become short of breath. Starting yoga with the breath settles the mind, centers and relaxes you.
When you close your eyes, take slow deep breaths and become aware of these breaths, you switch nervous systems. You change from the fight or flight nervous system to the parasympathetic nervous system of relaxation. Your heart rate decreases. Your respiration slows down. Your blood pressure changes. Your blood flow goes into your internal organs and brain. Your metabolism or energy is restored. This is conscious breathing.
When you breathe consciously, a different part of your brain is activated. Unconscious breathing is controlled by the medulla oblongata in the brain stem, the primitive part of the brain. However, when you breathe consciously, the more evolved areas of the brain in the cerebral cortex are stimulated. Impulses are sent from the cortex to the connecting areas that affect emotions. Activating the cerebral cortex relaxes and balances the emotions. When you breathe consciously, you gain mastery over your mind and consciousness rises from the instinctual to an elevated level. There is a biological effect on the mental, emotional and physical state. You become present, letting go of the past and future with the focus on the present moment in which you are breathing. Breathing consciously is its own meditation.
Yogic Breathing Techniques
Alternate Nostril Breath
3 Part Breath
Breath of Fire
Humming Bee Breath
Understanding the basics of the nervous system and respiration bring to light how the breath, mind and emotions are linked. The practice of conscious breathing allows you to control your respiration. Pranayama is the “life force” that revitalizes the body through the practice of yoga. Deep intentional breathing which accompanies poses removes energetic blockages, cleanses the body and increases prana flow. This leads to equanimity and living life with peace, health, harmony, freedom and enlightenment.
Throughout the month of May, Bright Drop Yoga classes will be devoted to different types of yogic breathing techniques as we breathe love, peace and joy in and out.