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Entries in ujjayi breath (6)


Cardiovascular System, Blood

Healing the Total Body: Where Western Anatomy Meets Eastern Spiritual Science

Healing Series, part 10

Read on for more details...


Respiratory System, Breathing and Meditation

Healing the Total Body: Where Western Anatomy Meets Eastern Spiritual Science

Healing Series, part 6

Read on for more details...


What happens after yoga class: Where do the toxins and emotions go?


capture who you are

After yoga?

What do you do after yoga class? You went, you opened, twisted, sweat and stretched it all out. You unleashed emotions and thoughts, and sealed it all in with intention in the end (savasana).

Do you then just go on with your day?

Yoga—if done mindfully—can create euphoria and bring you to your happiest self. It can also bring you to the opposite as it acts as a sort of catalyst to making you face your darkness, as all that you hold inside your tightest body parts rises to the surface and begs for your attention.

Yoga opens you

This happens without notice with yoga poses that open the hips and shoulders, abdominal twists and mainly yoga breathing (i.e., ujjayi pranayama). With yoga, you are not only wringing out toxins, but also releasing emotions and setting energy free...

Be with what you find

Whether magical or disturbing, you can capture the essense of all that comes up in your yoga class by working with it. You can write it down (to share or not),

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do you know the most important part about yoga? 


breathing is the key of yoga

Do you know that the most important part about yoga is breathing. Sure, flexibility, muscle strength, meditative spaciousness, spirituality, stamina and emotional clearing are all important aspects as well of this 5,000+ year old practice called yoga.

But, to get to the truth of your yoga, you must breathe. Deep inhale. Deep exhale. Keep doing it.

When in doubt or overwhelmed, just breathe. When depressed, just breathe. When overly excited about something to a point where you get nothing else done, just breathe.

yoga on your mat

It's easiest to practice the deepest meditative breathing while on your mat, emulating colors of fire and feeling in your mind

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The secret of breath

Stop what you are doing now


Stop what you are doing now, no matter what it is, and for 15 minutes do nothing but close your eyes and breathe deeply. Try to breathe using ujjayi breath used in Ashtanga yoga or Pranayama meditation.

Make sure that you don't cheat yourself on your inhale or your exhale. Make them equal in length. Try 5 second inhales and 5 second exhales all through your nose, breathing through the back of your throat.

This breath is like an ocean with waves ebbing and flowing slowly. With your eyes closed you can even imagine waves moving to the rhythm of your breath as you look with the eyes of your soul.

While working a busy day, living a stressful moment at home, or feeling anxiously happy, this will be like transporting yourself to the beach...

You will be releasing toxins from the body and mind with this practice.

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Hiking as a path to your self: Living yoga

Living yoga via hiking

Hiking on a sunny day... turning to sunset. It is my favorite time up on the mountain.

image @ Cora Varnes

I can watch the day sunlight culminate from warmth to secretive, from life-giving to artistic. With that change comes a change of heart too.

Hiking is a type of yoga for me, as I pay attention to my breath in the same way as I do on my mat. Living yoga outside of yoga class is the true test of a healthy yoga practice anyway. Hiking is part of having a well-rounded yoga life for me.

If I take an intention with me, it unravels with every step. I can even go through the various chakras as I climb, balanced together with music of the soul. What's most important in order for me to make my hike into a yoga adventure is silence—not necessarily inner silence but literal silence (i.e., no orating any words). This can be done with a partner as long as this is agreed.

Another important factor is breathing through my nose, using what we call in yoga the ujjayi breath. It is done throughout an Ashtanga practice. This breathing is done by making a sound in the back of the throat. Some people like to refer to Darth Vader from Star Wars when describing it.

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