Restorative Yoga: Antidote For Stress The Breath

Jul 03, 17 Restorative Yoga:  Antidote For Stress The Breath

Nancy Dale, Ph.d. Certified Yoga Instructor

The first breath of Life is not consciously remembered.  Yet, from this newly formed fertilized

cell of more than approximately 100 trillion in the human body, gasped for the first

life-force of oxygen to stay alive.  This was the beginning of our journey.

From that small tiny living cell to our grown human body, we are how and what we breathe.  But, today, do we “honor” our breathe with awareness and how it affects our moods, stress, weight, physical/mental disposition?   In times of illness or accident, attention is magnetized to the breathe; as if we can’t breathe, we die!

In Yoga practice we refer to “the healing breath” as “prana” or regenerative.   By performing Yoga postures, we learn to focus on a deep breathing practice to relieve restrictive stress locked in the muscles and other body parts limiting flexibility/mobility.  Yoga breathing or deep diaphragmatic inhales and exhales expel toxins from the body, renew oxygen in the bloodstream and relax muscle tension.  When we allow stress to lodge in the body/mind, the breath is shallow, rapid and restrictive.  A restorative Yoga practice teaches us how breathe for health.

LET’S PRACTICE:

Yoga Posture 1:  Find a quiet place and put on some peaceful music.  Lay flat on the floor, insert a rolled up towel or blanket above the hips with arms out-stretched and relaxed.  Close the eyes.  Mentally, count how long it takes to inhale through the nose, then count how long it takes to exhale through the nose.  Pause.  Do this several times and each time focus the mind ONLY on the inhalations/exhalations.  Without force, lengthen the count of the exhales to the same length as the inhales.  Practice slowly three times.  If   the mind “wonders” back into “thoughts” (it probably will), bring it back to counting the length of the breaths.20170403_172717

Yoga Posture 2:  While lying on the floor, move the buttocks up to a wall with enough room to extend the legs “up the wall.”  If you have a warm cloth, place it over the eyes and relax.  Be present with your deep inhalations and exhalations.  Breathe into the belly, feeling the rise on inhalation, and fall on exhalation; engage in diaphragmatic breathing keeping the rib cage as flat as possible.  Practice 10 times or 3 to 5 minutes.  Practice Yoga breathing at bedtime.  Quiet the mind and just let go.

RESTORATIVE YOGA is a deliberate “stillness” we can learn.  A calm night’s sleep is restorative; a restless sleep generates tiredness and tension during waking hours.   However, we can learn to quiet the gross movements of the body (nothing living is ever completely motionless) and be present in mind and body to “cultivate” stillness especially in stressful situations beyond sleep.  Just breathe!  This is what we call the “healing breath” of Yoga that you can learn and take it with you anywhere!  It is mobile!

FOR MORE INFO CONTACT:  nancydalephd@gmail.com20170505_180734

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