Nasal Breathing (Pranayama) vs. Mouth Breathing

Nasal Breathing (Pranayama) vs. Mouth Breathing; Moving from Stress & Anxiety to a State of Calm & Relaxation by Trudee Sanbonmatsu

     At the beginning of every yoga class, I impress upon my students the importance of yogic breathing during practice. It is so important that the poses are secondary to yogic breathing; a student can consider their practice perfect, if all they do during class is yogic breathing, while adding few or no poses.

The ancient Indian system of yoga identified prana as the universal life force or energy which distinguishes the living from the dead. Start by finding a slow, deep, rhythmic breath, in through the nose and out through the nose. Then, find a ratio of inhale to exhale wherein the exhale is a little longer than the inhale; the exhale is as powerful at the end as it is in the beginning. On the initial inhale, soften the belly allowing the diaphragm to move downwards and fill up the lungs. On the exhale, drawn the navel in and up, expressing all the air out the lungs. These simple steps will: calm the mind, reduce worries and anxieties; improve focus and attention; increase energy, bringing enthusiasm and positivity; boost the immune system; rejuvenate the body and mind; and, may even slow down the aging process.

Take a moment now to become aware of your breath. Is it deep or shallow, smooth or choppy? Most of us breathe from the chest. Shallow breathing sends a signal to the brain that all is not well and we are stressed. Alternatively, breathing from the abdomen boosts respiration, ensures a rich supply of oxygen to the brain and signals that all is well. If you watch new born babies, you will see that their stomachs rise and fall as they breathe in and out. This type of breathing calms the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS) our body’s fight, flight, freeze reaction and switches on the Parasympathetic Nervous System
(PNS) producing a feeling of calm and relaxation.

If we breathe a lower volume of air by breathing in a slow controlled fashion through the nose, we increase the amount of carbon dioxide, and can deliver more oxygen to our muscles and organs including the heart and brain. Breathing in and out more air than necessary results in hypocapnia, a state of reduced carbon dioxide in the blood. You inhale and exhale too much when breathing in and out the mouth. This reduces oxygen to the brain and body tissues. Nasal breathing increases the levels of nitric oxide. A key signaling molecule used throughout the body. It regulates air flow and helps prevent
over-breathing.

More professional athletes are now using the ancient wisdom of pranayama breathwork to excel at their sport. Ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek, seven-time consecutive winner of the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run, states that slowing down his breath rate and breathing from his belly through his nose, is essential to his athletic success.

Pay attention to your breath. Breathing in and out of the mouth signals the nervous system that something is wrong. Mouth breathing means difficult breathing and this, in turn, means deficient oxygenation of the tissues with the result of lowered vital organ and brain activity. To move from the SNS into the PNS, find an everyday situation and train your brain to start automatically breathing yogic breath. One suggestion is when driving, each time you come to a stop light, soften your belly and inhale then exhale slowly always through the nose. Over time you will naturally begin to exist in a state of calm and relaxation, instead of in a state of constant stress and anxiety.

Thank You to Trudee Sanbonmatsu, Park City’s Best Yoga Instructor 2015 & 2016 for taking the time to prepare this article. If you feel it’s time to benefit from Yoga  -try a class with Trudee, check out her studio website, Yoga Kula Project for classes and times. Namaste! 💚🙏🕉🌸

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ॐ Yoga in Park City ॐ

Hey Park City? How many of you are regularly practicing Yoga? Have you been considering it but were looking for more info? Today we have an article submitted by Trudee Sanbonmatsu, Park City’s Best Yoga Instructor 2015 -who has great info on WHY you should all be doing Yoga! ❤ ❤ ❤

Why Should You Practice Yoga?

“Parkites” tend to be a very active group. We have Olympic athletes, regular athletes, weekend-warriors, not-so-regular athletes and the average person all living in and visiting our town. Yoga is for everyone and for every ability. I ask you: Do you want to feel more vitality, move without effort and ease the mental chatter in your mind? If so, then a regular yoga practice is for you. There are too many benefits of yoga to list them all; however, I will touch on some practical reasons that Yoga is being practiced by all ranges of those seeking to increase health, vitality and performance: from elite NFL quarterbacks to the elderly.

1. Recovery Time: You can find countless case studies of athletes and regular people who came to a full recovery from injury through yoga practice. Yoga is a growing method for injury recovery widely recommended by physicians. Not only is yoga a great method for recovery, but also helps with post-workout recovery time. After a workout, most individuals often have sore, energy-depleted muscles. Yoga can help move energy through the body and relieve what could have been several days of muscle soreness. All that is usually needed is a few poses and breath work.

2. Prevent Injury: Many sports, such as cycling and running, have very repetitive movements usually in one direction and in one plane of motion. These sports can develop certain muscle groups while ignoring others. Over time, this process causes imbalances in the muscles and joints leading to overuse injuries. For instance, tight hamstrings and hip flexors will cause the body to recruit from other joints that are not intended for bearing extra loads. Yoga is an essential counter-action, as it elongates all of the muscles that athletes spend so long contracting.

3. Increased Performance: Yoga has been shown to increase flexibility, range of motion, balance, and coordination – all of which greatly translates to decrease the risk of injury in athletes and in our everyday life. Even though we often believe it will never happen to us, the physical and emotional scars from an injury can be significant.

4. Endurance: The endurance that yoga generates leads to endurance in sports and basic everyday activities. When you learn to tune into your body and mind, everything can be a meditation; whether you are at home doing the dishes or hiking to the top of a mountain. Yoga also helps you learn how to pace yourself, slow and steady, with breath. Some researchers call this getting into the flow; as such, we can use our body and mind energy more efficiently.

5. Balance: Yoga is designed to improve the law of compensation. The law of compensation states that our bodies will default to the path of least resistance when unconscious in our activity. Generally, the path of least resistance is the most flexible and often weakest area in our bodies. Yoga teaches us to become in tune with the body. As a result, we are able to balance the body by placing special attention to symmetry. In aligning our body and stacking our bones, we discover our weaknesses as well as our strengths.

6. Body Awareness: Proprioception is the ability to perceive our body internally without our eyes, but with our minds. We can perceive the body in its position in space and the direction and speed of its movement. Through subtle actions addressed throughout a yoga class we gain an understanding of how our body moves in various ways in relation to its parts. Having this keen awareness not only helps with reaction time, but with balance and injury prevention as well.

7. Flexibility: Practicing yoga increases flexibility and ease of movement, thus increasing range of motion throughout the whole body. For example, anyone in sports that require swinging action such as tennis and golf can benefit greatly. Yoga improves your range of motion and general mobility. Most of the classical poses in yoga support the same concepts of creating torque, finding a braced neutral spinal position, and always working from core to extremity. Practicing basic yoga poses help reinforce external rotation of the hip and shoulder necessary for many basic human movements. Performing yoga poses consistently helps improve your overall flexibility leading to more mobility and an overall healthier body.

Thank you Trudee for the great info on the benefits of Yoga! If you’d like to try go to Trudees website, Yoga Kula Project for class schedules! 💟

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Join us for Outdoor YOGA at the Farmer’s Market!

The Farmer’s Market season isn’t over yet! In fact some of our best selections of veggies and fruits are this time of year. Join us Wednesday October, 2nd for our first outdoor Yoga Dance event held by Lokah of Yoga Art Show. Lokah will be offering two one hour classes, the first class starting at noon and the second class at 1:30pm. Bring your Yoga mats and get ready for the Yoga Dance party! Let us know if you’re coming, go to our Facebook event and join! See you there! 😀

Outdoor Yoga Park City

Check out this video of Lokah’s outdoor Yoga show at Bhakti Fest earlier this month!

Yoga Dance at Bhakti Fest

Let us know if you’re coming, go to our Facebook event and join! See you there! 😀