Have you ever noticed the way you breath? The rhythm of it and how it ebbs and flows. Ever since I have started doing more and more Moksha Yoga, I have learnt more and more about the movement of breath through my body, my belly, chest, diaphragm, intercostal muscles, all the different assets of my body working together to create life.
I have noticed that holding my breath increases my stress levels. When you are in a yoga class, in the beginning of class, you are breathing normally, you actually pay attention to the way you breath. You are on your best behaviour, your in-breath is as long as your out-breath, and you try to keep your breath to 5 count length. But as class goes on, you falter. The room is getting hotter, your muscles are getting tired, and you do not care much about the breath. You have to ensure that you are keeping up with class, your reputation and pride is on the line.
It is at that point, you start holding your breath, you stop breathing altogether! The most crucial point of the class for you should be, when you stop breathing in a balanced manner. The more you can ensure that your breath is balanced at this point, the better you will be able to handle the rest of the class. This also translates into life. You will notice in high stress situations that you hold your breath. You start sighing or yawning, as your body tries to get more breath inside of you, more oxygen inside of you. Remember, that breathing in a balanced point anytime you feel otherwise, is the way you beat stress or hard yoga classes.
Another thing that comes up with me is that my in-breath is much shorter than my out-breath, and I need to make them equal in length in order to balance my breath. I am more of a giver than a receiver in life, and that shows up in my breath. I give out more than I take in. If that is the case with you, notice it, and correct it as often as you can. It will help you translate that effort into life – where you start receiving as much as you give. Have you noticed something about breath that you found interesting? Let me know.