Breath Series

"Be aware of your breathing ... notice how this takes away from your thinking and creates ... space" - Eckhart Tolle

Woman poses in meditation on a tree stump
When doing breath work - there's no need to rush it. Find your space.

Breathing is the most important part of a yoga practice. Your breath in yoga is your compass and your energy. In yoga we refer to the breath as Pranayama breath, prana meaning “life energy or life force.” By learning how to breath, you affect your life energy. By changing the breath we can directly change how we feel. Your breath is your ticket into your present moment. The breath is the best way to check in with yourself, create awareness, and garner mindfulness - and the best part - this amazing power is always with us. When you INHALE ... these are opportunities to stretch, extend or grow longer in your pose. When you EXHALE ... this is where you can deepen and sink into your pose. Your inhale welcomes and invites the new. Your exhale releases that which doesn't serve you. By learning how to breathe and pay attention to your inhales and exhales, you can practice connecting your mind, body and spirit. Over the next 2 weeks we will delve into the common forms of yoga breath and how each of these can support you, your practice, and your life.

"Deep breaths are little love notes to your body."

Victorious breath, known as Ujjayi breath, is a foundational breath in yoga. It is an audible breath built on strength and useful in guiding you as you move from pose to pose. This breath heats your body from the inside out.

You may find this breath is reminiscent of the ocean. Ujjayi is done through the nose only, with the lips sealed. Let’s give it a try.

1. Find a comfortable seated position, sitting up tall, place one hand in front of your mouth. Imagine this hand as your mirror that you will fog up using only your breath. 2. Take a full breath (inhale) in, exhale fogging up your mirror. Repeat this for several breaths to hear this ocean sound and feel connected to this breath work.

3. Now, gently close your lips and take your next breath through your nose.

4. Exhale this time making the same “fogging the mirror sound” with your mouth closed. 5. Repeat this breath cycle for a couple rounds hearing this ocean sound and feeling this breath in the back of your throat.

6. To complete this breath cycle, in your last exhale allow your lips to open and exhale - releasing this air out and returning to your normal breath rate.

A Ujjayi breath cycle can guide your yoga practice like the engine in a train … Your breath is your compass.


"Master your breath ... master your mind."