“Tune into your life with a regular yoga practice.”
People in North America are regularly exposed to YOGA that has become very popular for all ages, with the focus on staying fit and healthy. It increases flexibility, mobility, coordination and strength to all the muscles and joints of the body as well as enhancing the functioning of all the systems of your body. It protects against heart attacks, increases good bone health, decrease back and joint pain, improves proper body alignment, increases memory and slows down the aging process.
Yoga has a fitness flavour with people looking for ways to manage stress and family life. If one wants to go deeper, yoga allows one to be more conscious of the mind-body connection and the effect of the breath that holds ‘prana’, our vital life force, that is an important part of the hatha yoga practice. The goal of the breath is to manage the mind so it isn’t in charge, causing that monkey mind phenomenon. This allows the heart to be in the lead, you know the saying, ‘heart over head.’ Remember that the mind follows the breath so with deep breathing, the mind becomes calm and relaxed.
Many people forget to breathe deeply when engaged with daily living, work and even social past-times, breathing more in the upper chest only. One can manage the breath by consciously breathing more deeply so that the lungs are completely oxygenated. This is called ‘the natural breath’ – breathing deeply in through the nose with tummy rising as the diaphragm moves down and out through the nose with tummy moving towards the spine, just like a baby.
The natural breath is free, easy to do and you can do it anywhere, anytime. Try doing it for 3 minutes at your work desk, cooking in the kitchen, having a bath, walking your dog or attend a hatha yoga class to get to know the value of your own prana.